June 30, 2012

Columbus Dispatch Reporter from 1,000-Attendee Convention: Tea Party Is ‘Alone and Scared’

In a report currently time-stamped early Saturday morning, Emily Wilkins at the Columbus Dispatch claimed in her opening sentence covering Ohio’s second We The People Convention in Columbus (“Fears fuel kinship at tea party convention”) that “Tea party members are alone and scared — and to them, that’s a good thing.”

Well, I was there this weekend in Columbus. I didn’t see “alone” or “scared,” or hear anyone say that such a combination of emotions would be “a good thing. Neither did the rest of Wilkins’ report, some of which follows the jump:

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AP and Report on Student Loans Exaggerates Potential Scope of Just-Averted Rate Hike

From the headlines to the verbiage in many establishment press write-ups, it would be easy to believe that the just-resolved controversy over interest rates on student loans affects virtually everyone in college who has borrowed money and anyone who graduated (or didn’t) who borrowed and is still owes Uncle Sam.

That isn’t so. To cite just one example, readers of Christine Armario’s Saturday morning report at the Associated Press have to work way too hard to figure that out. Additionally, those who listen to snippets of Armario’s work on TV and radio broadcasts probably won’t hear what she doesn’t get to until her third paragraph:

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We The People Ridin’ the Storm Out Update

Filed under: General — Tom @ 11:13 am

Columbus had a serious storm last night which knocked out Internet access from the We The People Convention (as well as electricity to hundreds of thousands of homes, according to the Columbus Dispatch).

Whatever the storm did to Net access here is outside of the control of the Ohio Expo Center. Thus, so is the return of Internet service. There probably won’t be new posts here at BizzyBlog until late tonight. I hope to file an update at PJ Tatler shortly, and that will probably be the only WTP-related post from yours truly anywhere today.

Saturday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (063012)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:05 am

Rules are here. Possible comment fodder may follow later. Other topics are also fair game.

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Positivity: Defense of Church requires revival of faith, Archbishop Chaput says

Filed under: Positivity,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Indianapolis:

Jun 21, 2012 / 11:05 am

While defending their freedom in public life, Catholics must also renew the Church spiritually, starting in their own lives, Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput said in a June 20 address to journalists.

“Politics and the courts are important. But our religious freedom ultimately depends on the vividness of our own Christian faith – in other words, how deeply we believe it, and how honestly we live it,” the archbishop told attendees of the 2012 Catholic Media Conference in downtown Indianapolis.

In his remarks to reporters and other Catholic media professionals, the Philadelphia Church leader observed that religious freedom “is an empty shell if the spiritual core of a people is weak.”

“The worst enemies of religious freedom aren’t ‘out there’ among the legion of critics who hate Christ or the Gospel or the Church, or all three. The worst enemies are in here, with us – all of us, clergy, religious and lay – when we live our faith with tepidness, routine and hypocrisy.”

Archbishop Chaput delivered his address on the eve of the U.S. bishops’ “Fortnight for Freedom” campaign of prayer and advocacy, inspired by the HHS contraception mandate and other threats to the free exercise of religion.

His remarks touched on the mandate, along with related areas of concern – including efforts to drive the Church out of adoption and foster care, and the government’s attempt to control a religious school’s self-governance in the Hosanna-Tabor Supreme Court case.

Such threats, he warned, could push the U.S. in the direction of Canada and Britain, where the Church’s freedom of speech and action is already compromised.

The U.S. Constitution would prove to be nothing more than “an elegant piece of paper,” if Catholics and other citizens were not willing to stand up for their rights, he said.

But the Church’s most serious challenges, the Philadelphia archbishop observed, are internal and spiritual in nature. He urged the faithful to “look honestly at the arc of Catholic history” in the U.S., as a guide to the deeper problems facing the Church at present. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

June 29, 2012

We The People Convention Reports

Filed under: Activism,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 3:48 pm

I have one up at PJ Tatler.

Matt Hurley has one at Weapons of Mass Discussion.

As one might expect given the events of the past week or so, particularly yesterday, the energy and determination levels are pretty high.

Friday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (062912)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:05 am

Rules are here. Possible comment fodder may follow later. Other topics are also fair game.

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Positivity: 90-year-old helps chase down her alleged mugger

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Oakland, California:

June 21, 2012

“I asked her if she wanted to go to the hospital or chase this guy, and she wanted to chase him, so if she was down, I was down to go get him. And we did.”

The two jumped into woman’s car and caught up to the man. Revelli got out and grabbed him as the woman called 911 from the car.

“[I] started jumping fences after him and caught him and got him in a headlock and held him there for the police,” Revelli said. “[The woman] was my partner; she was really into the chase with me. She was not scared at all.”

When police arrived, they arrested the suspect, who is currently behind bars facing robbery charges. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

June 28, 2012

The Contempt Is Bipartisan

Filed under: 2nd Amendment,Activism,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 4:59 pm

From PJ Media:

It was a 1-for-2 day for the Obama administration as the House found Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress by a vote of 255-67.

Seventeen Democrats crossed over to vote for the resolution.

Assuming all Republicans voted “yes,” I count 113 Democrats who didn’t vote (435 seats minus 322 votes cast).

Cowards (their leftists supporters should also see it that way) — including those who walked out.

If any one of those 113 ever opens their mouth to defend Eric Holder on Fast & Furious, their non-vote should be shoved down their weaselly throats.

‘Voting with their feet’ phenomenon continues in Ohio

Filed under: Economy,Education,Ohio Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 4:55 pm

Except for Columbus, Ohio’s largest cities are still losing people.

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This post went up at Watchdog.org earlier today.

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This morning, the Census Bureau released its July 1, 2011 population estimates for incorporated cities and towns.

As far as Ohio is concerned, the bureau’s related press release tells us that Columbus, with a population of over 797,000, remains the nation’s 15th largest city. The detailed data reveals that the city gained almost 9,000 residents during the previous 12 months. That’s more than the population gain of just under 7,000 (from 11.537 million to 11.544 million) seen in the entire Buckeye State during the same period. In other words, the rest of the state lost people.

Population losses which have been taking place in Ohio’s other major cities for the past half-century mostly continued, while ex-urban cities and counties have mostly seen gains. Cleveland, with 393,806 residents, lost 2,360 people, and came in with almost 3,000 fewer than it had in the official April 1, 2010 decennial census. The most recent result is 55% below the city’s 1960 population of 876,000. If there’s another major city in the U.S. besides Detroit which has seen a greater population loss in percentage terms, I can’t think of it.

Though their losses were much smaller, Cincinnati, Toledo, and Akron also saw their populations decline. Since 1960, Cincinnati, which had over a half-million residents at the time, and Akron, which had 290,000, have seen their respective populations shrink by 41% and 31%. The Glass City has lost 26% of its population since 1970. Each of the counties in which these cities are seated also lost people. Meanwhile, the ring counties of Cincinnati (Butler, Warren, and Clermont) all showed population gains. From a statewide political and electoral standpoint, southwestern Ohio’s influence continues to grow, while northeastern Ohio’s is waning.

As I noted in 2009:

“Ohioans have been leaving the state’s large cities for four reasons, only one of which — the natural human desire for open space — is arguably not their fault. The causes the cities have failed to deal with, and which have been within their control, are high crime, lousy schools, and high taxes. For decades, their governments have been asking, ‘Where else can they go?’ Hundreds of thousands have answered with their feet.”

Nothing much changed during the next two years. Sadly, voters last November rejected public-sector employee reforms which would likely have helped Ohio’s declining cities reverse their slide.

The Census Bureau’s counts are a year old, so it will be interesting to see what kind of changes will be in the next estimate. That update will be for the 12 months ending July 1, 2012, won’t be released for another year, and will cover a time during which the state has experienced a decent recovery from the four previous horrid years. My prediction is that Columbus will show continued growth thanks to public-sector and university employment, Ohio’s other major cities will stabilize at best, and ex-urban area growth will persist.

J. Christian Adams Pegs the ObamaCare Decision

Filed under: Activism,Economy,Health Care,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 4:19 pm

In his wrap-up:

When you hear Republican politicians warn about “legislating from the bench,” they are using rhetoric from two decades ago when courts advanced a leftist agenda in the absence of legislative activity. The term today is as archaic as parachute pants and AMC Gremlins. These days, legislatures are passing leftist legislation that exercises unconstitutional power. In that circumstance, it is up to the courts to defend the Constitution. Today, the Court flinched from that obligation, in part because of decades of conservatives repeating the empty and now obsolete admonition against “legislating from the bench.”

It would not have been “activist” to reject ObamaCare; it would have simply been defending the Constitution as written, not as it has been twisted.

Speaking of which, where in the Constitution or the Federalist Papers is it written that a Supreme Court’s opinion must be obeyed (not the right to judicial review, but the finality of an “opinion,” not on a specific individual case, but on the constitutionality of a law)? Specific responses only, please. Good luck.

As ObamaCare Ruling and Holder Contempt Vote Loom: Initial Unemployment Claims and 1Q12 GDP Revision

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:00 am

I won’t have time to even know the results, let alone react to them, until about 9:30 this morning. Update: That has changed. I’ll react quickly, and save further comment for later.

The Department of Labor’s report will be here at 8:30 a.m. One estimate I found ahead of the report when I drafted this post in the wee morning hours was for 385,000 at IBT. Update: That 385,000 prediction is also at Bloomberg and in Business Insider’s morning email.

The revised Gross Domestic Product result for the first quarter will be here, also at 8:30. The consensus expectation is for no change from last month’s annualized 1.9%.

Also, by the time I get to these, the ObamaCare ruling may already be out. I won’t be able to immediately react to the Supreme Court’s ObamaCare ruling. Also, the bipartisan Eric Holder contempt vote comes up today in the House.

UPDATE, 8:40 a.m.: GDP, at an annualized 1.9%, had no change, officially remaining pathetic.

Unemployment claims came in at 386,000, while last week was revised up by 5,000 to 392,000. After this week is virtually inevitably upwardly revised, we’ll be looking at a three-week average of 390K.

There’s certainly nothing to cheer about in either number.

Thursday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (062812)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:55 am

Rules are here. Possible comment fodder may follow later. Other topics are also fair game.

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BLUMER: ‘Good Government Groups’ Are NOT Behind ‘Voters First’

Filed under: Activism,Ohio Politics,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 6:45 am

How does DDN’s Laura Bischoff know?

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Note: This item went up at Watchdog.org on Wednesday.

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At the Dayton Daily News, Laura Bischoff’s June 22 story about the status of a petition drive “to overhaul how Ohio draws its legislative and congressional districts” tells readers that she “has covered Ohio politics and the Statehouse since 2001.” As such, she should know better than to use the term “good government groups” in what is supposed to be an objective news report, for at least three reasons.

The first is that the League of Women Voters, the one organization Bischoff identified as being behind the “Voters First” effort, forfeited its claim to the term at least a year ago by unapologetically engaging in specific partisan issue advocacy aimed at specific politicians.

In May of last year, the League “began airing blistering, campaign-style ads targeting Senators Scott Brown of Massachusetts and Claire McCaskill of Missouri for their votes on air-quality regulation.” The League’s response to its critics, in the Boston Globe’s words, was that “it is still nonpartisan and the campaign is only an extension of advocacy on other major issues.” That’s fine, but once an organization decides to weigh in on matters like environmental regulation, ObamaCare, and so-called campaign finance reform, it should no longer be characterized as a “good government group” in news reports — at least ones which claim to be playing it straight.

The second reason why the “good government groups” term doesn’t apply is that the Voters First web site’s “Who We Are” page does not specifically identify any other group associated with the effort. So how are we to know? If Bischoff is aware of who some of the alleged “good government groups” are, she owed it to readers to tell them. She didn’t.

Bischoff could have looked at the Voters First events schedule to get an idea of who else besides League is likely behind the petition drive (if she did this and didn’t tell readers what she found, double shame on her). Here are a few of the organizations which have allowed their facilities to be used for specific petition events:

Of course, there’s nothing presumptively wrong with these groups or their likely involvement in a cause they hold dear. But no reasonable person would characterize any of them as “good government groups.”

The final reason why use of “good government group” is inappropriate is far more fundamental. The term,” even when arguably accurate, is deliberately judgmental and casts the groups involved in a favorable light which they may or may not deserve. I would argue, for example, that tea party organizations which want federal, state, and local governments to follow their U.S. and state constitutions are self-evidently “good government groups,” but I would never characterize them that way in what is supposed to be an objective news write-up. That Laura Bischoff did so to the benefit of the League and the other organizations which she either could not or would identify was journalistically negligent.

Positivity: Supreme Knight urges Catholics to put faith first while voting

Filed under: Positivity,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Indianapolis:

un 22, 2012 / 09:00 pm

Catholic voters must demand respect for their moral convictions and the Church’s freedom in 2012 and beyond, the head of the Knights of Columbus said in a June 22 speech.

The faithful “must have the courage to act boldly,” by insisting that candidates “respect the integrity and mission of the Catholic Church and its institutions,” Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson told journalists gathered for the 2012 Catholic Media Conference in Indianapolis.

As they cast their votes, Catholics “must have the courage to tell candidates that if they want Catholic votes they will have to respect the fundamental principles of Catholic social teaching,” the head of the Catholic fraternal order said.

Anderson said the faithful should seek to “debate and vote on the full range of Catholic social teaching – including prudential issues that raise serious moral questions.”

But this can only be accomplished if Church members stop supporting “candidates who advocate policies that are intrinsically evil.”

Only by withholding the vote from unacceptable candidates, will Catholics eventually become able to “choose between candidates who are in agreement on the fundamental social teaching of the Church.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.