August 15, 2007

SOBer Thoughts (081507)

Matt at Weapons of Mass Discussion agrees with COAST (as do I) that spending $75,000 of hotel-tax money on the Cincinnati Film Commission is not what was intended when that particular tax was increased.

This paragraph from the Enquirer story is soooooo illustrative of the government mindset (bolds are mine):

In 2002 the city and county raised the hotel-motel tax to 6.5 percent to generate money for the expansion of the Duke Energy Center downtown. The county’s portion of the tax exceeded expectations last year, generating $5.65 million – $1.67 million of which was surplus. In February the county amended the agreement to allow some of the surplus to go to the Northern Cincinnati Convention and Visitors Bureau for the expansion of the Sharonville Convention Center. The agreement noted that the CVB could allot up to $75,000 of that to the Film Commission.

County Commissioner Pat DeWine, the lone Republican on the three-member board, thinks the surplus – which could top $84 million over the life of the tax – should go toward construction of the new jail. He has long advocated for the county to seek a law change allowing that to happen.

Apparently it has never entered anyone’s mind, even alleged GOP member DeWine’s, to reduce the tax. It never does.


RAB has a confirmed Matt Dole sighting. I wish Mr. Dole all the best in his endeavors.


Bearing Drift Ohio couldn’t resist. Can’t say I blame him.


Brian at One Oar caught this Ralph Peters column via the MVCA group. It has stats about soldier conduct no one should ignore, but which Old Media naturally has.


Porkopolis calls out GOP half-heartedness.


Other findings:

  • The Toledo Blade notes the struggles of the Toledo Club in an editorial. It doesn’t seem to register to the sharpies at The Blade that 40 years or so of failed urban social engineering might have convinced the area’s executive class that the club, and the city itself, isn’t worth the bother.
  • Cleveland Equanimous Philosopher is deeply involved in the Cuyahoga County sales tax-increase repeal effort, which of course makes him a loon (HT Jill at WLST). Actually, not at all — the loons are the ones allowing outrageous double-digit increases in city department budgets while laying off cops. The city and the county are imploding while their leaders fiddle.
  • I’m just about out of words in describing just how out of control the Cincinnati Public School system is. CPS apparently “just” discovered a $79 million budget hole that requires a 16% or so property tax hike to fix, even though “The district’s annual operating budget is about $428 million. Projected enrollment for the upcoming school year is 33,809, down by more than 20 percent since 2000.” That works out to almost $12,700 per pupil, and will be at least $14,500 if CPS gets a levy passed. Enough is enough — One of the most prestigious private high schools in Cincinnati “only” charges $9,450 — and gets results.

Carnival Barking (081507)

Filed under: News from Other Sites — Tom @ 12:07 pm

The 78th Carnival of Ohio Politics, edited by Lisa Renee at Glass City Jungle, is here.

I’m afraid Lisa Renee’s going to start taking it personally that I’ve missed two of the last three Carnivals she’s edited, and no others. Rest assured, ma’am, that the airheadedness is not deliberately selective.

Couldn’t Help But Notice (081507)

Tommie Thompson has withdrawn from the presidential race. Since he apparently plans to leave politics, the Father of Welfare Reform deserves a final round of applause.

Before Thompson, many on the right despaired that welfare was a lost cause, and that the best that could be hoped for was containment.

Thompson changed that, first in Wisconsin. Note the snarky intro to the PBS 1996 report, which, even though Wisconsin had reduced welfare rolls 44% in the two counties where reform measures were implemented, said that a statewide program “supposedly, will reduce welfare rolls.” Of course it already had, and did when expanded to the rest of the state.

More importantly, Thompson’s success moved the GOP Congress to pass national Welfare Reform three times in 1995-1996. President Clinton, who for almost four years after his election campaign promise to “end welfare as we know it” had done little to advance the cause, vetoed the first two bills. But he signed the third, largely because he was told that he re-election bid might be in jeopardy if he didn’t. Then, at the Democratic Convention shortly after he signed, his aides “assured conventioneers that he will ‘fix’ welfare reform after the election.” He also “promised to undo many of the reforms.”

Thank goodness he didn’t. As noted at this previous post with a follow-up at the end of this one, welfare rolls, which peaked in 1994 at about 14 million, are down to about 4 million now.

Not many people can say that they played a major role in helping 10 million move from depending on society to participating in it. Thompson can. Well done, sir.


The Muslim Brotherhood in Ohio? The documents don’t lie, even though its members do.


On the Duke lacrosse case, John Leo (HT Instapundit) roasts Newsweak’s Evan “we’re worth 15 points for the Democrats” Thomas for his “The narrative was right but the facts were wrong” spin. The facts AND the narrative were wrong, pal. See what else Leo compares the Duke case to in his column title.


In a matter NOT related to the Duke case, Michael Vick is now the only one of four defendants who hasn’t copped a plea.

Here’s an interesting name from the past who has surfaced in the Vick situation:

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is expected to make a decision on Vick’s future in a few weeks. He is waiting for attorney Eric Holder to complete an investigation before making his decision, the league has said.

Holder declined comment Tuesday about his investigation.

I wonder if Mr. Holder plans on being as rough on the 27 year-old Vick as he was on (at the time) 6 year-old Elian Gonzalez:

Andrew Napolitano, legal analyst for Fox News and a constitutional scholar had this exchange today on Fox with Eric Holder, Reno’s second in command at Justice:


Napolitano: Tell me, Mr. Holder, why did you not get a court order authorizing you to go in and get the boy?

Holder: Because we didn’t need a court order. INS can do this on its own.

Napolitano: You know that a court order would have given you the cloak of respectability to have seized the boy.

Holder: We didn’t need an order.

Napolitano: Then why did you ask the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals for such an order if you didn’t need one?

Holder: [Silence]

Napolitano: The fact is, for the first time in history you have taken a child from his residence at gunpoint to enforce your custody position, even though you did not have an order authorizing it.


The Associated Press writes an unsolicited (?) Obama campaign press release to cover a disgraceful gaffe by the candidate. Ray Robison (“AP joins Obama in slander of US troops”) and Jeff Goldstein, among many others, are not amused.


The Tide of Katrina apparently rolled all the way inland to Tuscaloosa, Alabama. That would be the Tide of federal “aid.” Go to the link to see why the “T” in “Tide” is capitalized.

Positivity: Royal Marine ‘sacrificed his life to save boy’

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:58 am

From the UK — The plane crash involved took place in 2004, but one man’s heroism in placing a young man’s life above his own apparently was only revealed a couple of weeks ago:

Last Updated: 1:49am BST 31/07/2007

A teenager survived a plane crash when an Army major shielded him with his body as the aircraft nose-dived, an inquest heard yesterday.

Daniel Greening was strapped to Royal Marine instructor Mike Wills when the light plane’s engine failed as they took part in a charity skydive in Devon.

As it plummeted, Major Wills sacrificed himself by putting his back to the metalwork and taking the brunt of the impact – shielding the 16-year-old boy with his body.
An inquest in Exeter was told that rescuers had found Major Wills still alive at the scene, but that he died four hours later in hospital after emergency surgery.

Mr Greening was left in a critical condition but survived and made a full recovery.

It emerged yesterday that he later joined the Air Training Corps and is now training to become a commercial pilot.

Four people died, and two survived, when the single-engine Cessna crashed into a field near Honiton in June 2004, shortly after taking off from Dunkeswell airfield.

Go here for the rest of the story.