Saturday, December 31, 2005

Top Cincinnati Stories of 2005

Well, that's it for another one. The Enquirer lists their top local stories and the limit it to 5. They failed to cover many other important stories. These may or may not have gotten the level of press coverage the should have, but I believe these stories were the most significant in city and the region. Everyone had their chance to voice their top lists. Here are my top local stories for 2005.
  1. The election of Mark Mallory as Mayor. New leadership brings with it a chance for an improved image of the city.
  2. The election of a centrist, slightly right leaning City Council. This might make for a better run city, but one where racial division is not reduced.
  3. Fountain Square rehab and the Banks Project Collapse. 3CDC looks good, and the county government looks inept.
  4. Paul Hackett's showing in a GOP stronghold. He should have been trounced, but he showed that many conservatives are not pleased with the GOP and want change. Senator Hackett is not a pipe dream, it is a strong possibility.
  5. Railcar styrene leak and the evacuation that followed. Someone is going out of business over this one.
  6. WHO-DEY: The Bengals making the playoffs. This is important for a simple thing that will make a big difference in 2006, increased civic pride.
  7. Jean Schmidt's shameful attack of Rep. Murtha. Schmidt is a disgrace. She will have a tough time getting the GOP nomination.
  8. Bob Taft pleas guilty to crime. This was a first for a sitting governor who has the lowest poll rating of any governor in polling history.
  9. Councilman Sam Malone charged with beating his son. A thug should not be on council. He nearly got reelected. That is a sad case of a misinformed electorate or a nutty one that approves of beating your son with a belt.
  10. The firing of Bob Huggins. Cleaning up college sports should be the most important goal of all Division I University. UC may not win tournaments, but they have improved the ethical standards of their sports program 1000%.
So what did I leave off that should have made it or what did I list that should not have made my top ten?

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Hmmm, Hustler Store Not Causing Harm?

I am shocked! I guess Touchdown Jesus (aka Buttery Jesus) was the counter force to keep the youth from looking at naked boobies.

Huh?

This article is so short and the headline claims so much it is confusing. Why it has a Cincinnati dateline is very strange. If anti-abortion "scientists" are putting out a study claiming RU486, then yes I think a different headline is warranted. I think far more detail is needed to now what report was issued, and who really issued it. It should also be a warning sign that the report is not very credible when it is only good enough for a website, not a print medical journal. If people want to talk about bias, this article existence is a sign of bias, its lack of detail is a sign of either lack of time or bad reporting.

Hear This Peter Bronson

Bronson speaks of bias when he really should be saying there are not enough people in Newsrooms that share his desire to push his conservative views. His list shows no bias. These are all stories and people worthy of attention. I guess the puff pieces we have read about Jean Schmidt are just the "truth?"

Peter should also face another reality about bias in the newspaper he writes for: there is not a liberal local political columnist who provides any kind of retort or balance when Bronson provides cover in print for local bigots like Tom Ullum. CRAP is well represented Peter, you just can't get everyone to accept your propaganda as truth.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Nate Turns on Mallory, Kinda

It didn't take long for Nate to come out and criticize the Mayor. He may have done so before, but here he is making it close to a race issue. Nate seems to be making it more of a religion issue. I guess an attack on a religious institution by random strangers is no big deal, but when someone is killed at a party, and little apparent cooperation from those who were there, that should get the FBI going. Never mind the fact that terrorism and murder are looked at differently. Never mind that the FBI rarely ever opens an investigation on the State crime of murder. Nate is doing his usual, fanning the flame of racial division. He appears to want outrage over a murder that has failed to outrage those in attendance enough to come forward and help catch the criminals responsible for the horrible crime. If the community doesn’t care, why would the media or public officials? The police are doing what they can. If they don't get leads, they can't do much. Announcing a big investigation is only a dog and pony show for the press anyway. If the Mosque bombers are caught, it will not be because of a massive investigation, it will be because they were stupid and left evidence behind.

The media is lazy, remember. If they can't get the family to come on camera and cry, they don't push the story. See the WCPO story that only aired because it had pictures. No video, no eyeballs. WCPO and the other local TV stations treat viewers like trained dogs. Viewers unfortunately give them reason to.

Michigan Terrace in Hyde Park Square

The old timers and purists are begrudging change. What is lacking is progress on what retail will fill the first floor of the project. Hyde Park square has a specific retail feel. Any retail added shouldn't detract from the Square's general theme, which maintains a boutique centric focus. What ever goes in should not be a store you can visit at the mall.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

The Mayor Comments

Mayor Mallory issued a press statement today on the shootings at the Legacy on Christmas Eve:
"I am horrified and saddened that a teen dance on Christmas Eve could end in gun violence and another tragic loss of life. This is absolutely unacceptable. We must do everything that we can to find the people behind
the shooting and bring them to justice. I am calling on the community to help in that effort. We as a community must stand up and say that enough is enough. I encourage anyone with any information about this incident to come forward and help solve this senseless crime."
Are people holding back information on who the shooter is? If they are doing that, why?

WCPO has video footage from inside the club, but we learn little from it. It was disgusting how the reporters had to tell us the CPD was the "second organization" to view the video. Who cares! It's not even sweeps weeks.

Another Puff Piece

What is it with the local media doing constant puff pieces about extreme religious nut cases? There is no criticism about the delusional people at Answers In Genesis in the article. The even dare call people working there "Scientists." Where did they get their education and who, if anyone accredited them?

I know there are plenty of conservative Christians around here, but are there that many who are stupid enough to think the Earth is less than 10,000 years old? That many who really want to read a puff piece about these idiots?

Where's the puff piece on a local office of Planned Parenthood? They actually do good works. Ken Ham's clan is out making people ignorant, and his groups gets the Post's pat on the back. Just a little balance would be nice. Hell, in the Planned Parenthood piece I propose I would expect a similar type of opposing view present, not as a focus, but acknowledging some would not agree with what they do. In the case of Answers in Genesis, I hope most don't buy their extreme views on the age of the earth or of evolution, making criticism not only valid but imperative.

Local news?

Is the last news brief listed really a Cleveland story or does it have one big typo?:
Bodies found in trunk

Two bodies were found in the trunk of a vehicle Monday, police said. The bodies, a male and a female, were found about 10:30 a.m. on the city's east side. They were taken to the Cuyahoga County Coroner's Office to determine their identities and cause of death, Sgt. Dan Galmarini said. The car was discovered by some people looking for a missing Richmond Heights man. Galmarini said the car was connected to the man, but he didn't know how. Authorities hope to identify the bodies today through autopsies.
It this happened on the Cincinnati East side I would have thought it would have been much bigger news. If this did happen in Cleveland, then how is this "local news?"

Now Who's a Thug?

The answerman has his new Christian way to live: using fear and the threat of violence to get what you want from people who have not faced due process. This discarding of the rule of the law and the discarding of a peaceful approach to civil authority is the means of a thug. This is how third world countries operate. Bronson and the rest of the thugs pushing for pain on anyone they hate need remember a few words: the ends don't justify the means. Call it a cliché, but it holds true. If honor matters to wanna-be soldiers like Peter Bronson, then how we treat people should matter as much as the results we seek to gain. That conflicts with Christian Capitalists, where morality and ignoring profit don't make for good foreign policy.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Sad Christmas

It has been asked before and will be asked again: How do we as a community stop this? I have no answers. I have only questions.

As opposed to this

The sports department did well, while the Gannett Washington office put this GOP fluff piece in print. Mean Jean is given a make over with the meaningless actions of adding language about the Flying Pig Marathon to the congressional record. It is great that the Flying Pig Marathon was recognized as a good marathon, but why have the human interest story about someone with an orchestrated effort to rehab her image? Oh, right, they want to help rehab her image.

Nice Miami Football Story

More like this, please.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Happy Holiday's

I wish everyone a great Holiday! Please be safe if you are traveling this weekend. If you are lucking enough to get Monday off (I have to work) then take it easy and go out and pour some money into local businesses!

Next week I plan on having issue a few lists. My aforementioned top stories of the year list. I also may have my favorite local concerts/shows of the year, and my favorite local "moments" of the year. If I have time I will issue a resolution or two that I will likely break and make some predictions for 2006 that likely will not come true.

Be Well!

Upstar Crow is now Arnie's

Arnie's on the Levee fills the space left when Upstar Crow closes. The place now will have the feel of a nice sports bar, at least from the article. It claims to be trying for a "club" crowd for late nights. It is good to see the prime space used. The theme appears to be nothing unique.

Editor on Vacation

It appears that the editor who is pushing the Lindbergh Jesus story is on vacation. Letting this gem get through is an indicator that someone is getting really bored covering this story and needs to vent some disdain on the fools concerned about it:
Asked if officers would stand among the scene's life-size figures and go undercover dressed as wise men or shepherds, Neal replied:

'Where Baby Jesus is concerned, I won't rule out anything.'
This makes the people of Cheviot look nutty, and it mocks the cops there big time. It is funny as Hell. Those making a big deal about this are really nutty. How much public money is being wasted on this while other criminals go stealing someone else's Christmas presents? Priorities need refining on the Westside this year.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Women Blogging and Leading

Listening to the radio gets you several things. It pointed me to a new blog headed by CinExer Jen Spillane called Not Your Woman. The radio also introduced Vanessa Enoch, the new YP member of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber Board.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Get Thee To The Store

Shop suckers, SHOP!

If you are not going to shop, then OPEN THREAD!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

How Long Will It Take?

Has anyone already compared the Mosque bombing to the stolen Jesus doll? Calls will be made to charge the teenagers involved with a hate crime, that is going to happen. Bets on how long it will take?

Suspect Dies In Custody

I hope and at this point evidence indicates we don't have another Nathaniel Jones case on our hands. We have something else. What that is, we'll just have to wait and see.

Local Terrorism

A pipe bomb reportedly went off outside a Clifton Mosque last night. No one was hurt, thankfully, and damage appears to be light.

This is terrorism. The criminals who did this should be caught, tried, and put in jail. They should not be considered enemies of the Crown and sent to Cuba.

Who did this?

UPDATE: A fairly unified condemnation. I am sure there were Protestant clergy represented, but I wish they had been quoted as well. I hope very conservative evangelical sects were represented.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

A New FOP?

Roberts and Fangman are out as officers of the Cincinnati FOP, but did they take their right wing politics and slow-down tactics with them? I hope Kathy Harrell can bring something new to community-police relations, something other than the arrogance and hate brought by the likes of Fangman and Roberts.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Top Stories of the Year Nominations

At the end of the year I plan on listing my top 10 Cincinnati stories of the year, so I am opening up the nominations. What do you think should make the list? Keep in mind these stories must deal with the Cincinnati Metro Area in some direct way.

Money Didn't Matter

In the mayor's race Pepper out spent Mallory $1.2M to $.4M. That is the most stunning statistic from the election.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Bengals Closing In

7:01 p.m. It's not over until the coach gets drenched. Bengals are AFC North champs.

5:55 p.m. 31-7 Bengals. Let's make some predictions for the final standings.

1. Indy. 14-2. They'll lose to Seattle, but win the last one. But they can't be moved, so it doesn't matter.
2. Cincinnati. 13-3. Win out. Sure would be nice to have that Indy game back, wouldn't it?
3. Denver. 12-4. They beat Oakland, but then they lose to SD.
4. New England. 11-5. Beat Miami and NYJ.
5. Jacksonville. 12-4. They have a weak remaining schedule.
6. Pittsburgh. 11-5. They have an even weaker remaining schedule.

Outside:
San Diego. 11-5. They win out, but they lose the tiebreaker to Pittsburgh.
KC. 8-8. Looked bad the other day and will lose out to more highly motivated teams.
Miami. 8-8. They won't beat New England.

The problem with our predictions? It depends upon San Diego beating Denver after being eliminated with Pittsburgh winning earlier in the day on the last day of the season. However, the Chargers look so good, and it's at home, and besides, the Bengals need a bye, so this is how we get to one. So there.

5: 35 p.m. Half-time, Bengals 24-7. Most of the games are already over, so we can update the standings.
Division Leaders

1. Indianapolis. 13-1. Conf. 11-1. Lost to SD, but they're the #1 seed.
2. Denver. 11-3. Div: 3-1. Conf: 8-2. After beating Buffalo, Denver still beats the Bengals on tie-breakers and control their own destiny for the #2 seed and that first round bye.
3. Cincinnati. 10-3, Div: 5-1, Conf: 6-3. Up on Detroit right now and will thereby maintain position.
4. New England. 9-5. Div: 4-0. Conf: 7-4. They looked fantastic against Tampa and clinch their division based on division record.
Wildcards
5. Jacksonville. 10-4, Conf: 7-3. Weak win, but it still counts for maintaining their position.
6. Pittsburgh. 9-5. Conf: 6-5. They now control their own destiny, as they can clinch a wildcard by winning out.
Outside Looking In
7. San Diego. 9-5. Div 3-1. Conf: 7-3. The win against Indy helps them a lot, but they still need to win out plus some help, with either Pittsburgh losing once or Denver losing twice or Jacksonville losing one or more games (SD would win the tiebreaker based on Conference record against Jax in that case).
8. KC. 8-6. Div 3-2. Conf: 7-3. Things look bleak. They can't win the division. They lose the tiebreaker with SD on common opponents, should KC win out and SD beats Denver. So, they need to win out, for Pittsburgh to lose at least once, and for SD to lose all remaining games, or to win out, Jacksonville to lose out and some other help.
Way Outside Chance
9. Miami. 7-7. Div: 2-3. Conf: 5-5. Can't win division, but they can get in with a lot of help. Pittsburg and SD have to lose their remaining games, and they need KC to lose at least once (so win vs. SD but lose to Cincinnati). Miami would then be 7-5 in the conference, KC would be eliminated by losing the tiebreaker with SD (because Division ties are broken first), Pittsburgh would be 6-6 in the conference, SD would be 7-5 in the conference. So, then Pittsburgh would be eliminated. Miami then wins the tiebreaker against SD since they beat them head-to-head. Got it?

5:00 p.m. Bengals up 24-7 with 9:20 remaining in the first half. This is about what we expected. However, the rest of the games are bizarre. While we watch this game, we'll take a look at the other results from the day and see what's going on.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Union Label for Hackett

Very big news for Paul Hackett. He lacks Northeastern appeal, and the UAW endorsement brings some with it.

Bigotry Tree Grows in Springdale

Suckers are born every minute, but these idiots were not wiped clean of placenta. I have to laugh at how ignorant people are. It is so very say at the same time though. This is not about free speech. The denials in opposition to that simple truth are not only lacking in creativity, but in credibility. You can't yell fire in a crowded theater. You can't threaten bodily harm on someone. You can't discriminate against people. The last one is not really speech, but hell, ignorance about what they are really talking about takes too long to explain to them, so I shall digress

(Maybe not) I also don't want to quibble with conservatives on constitutional law, but I will. They are the literalists here, after all. This is not about "Speech." This is at best about the freedom of the "press" is it not? Or is personal expression protected under the law? I don't see that written in the Constitution, now do I? It is there under case law, thankfully, but once again the hypocrisy of conservatives doesn't fail to impress me.

4th Amendment

Has the President of the United States ever read this?
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Based on the type of King George despot-speak we got today, I don't think he has.

It will be amazing how Bush defends will try to defend this. These will be the same type of person who cried about Ruby Ridge under Bush the Elder (yep, that wasn't Clinton's doing), but will now say they support ignoring the rights of people because they a suspected of being linked to "terrorists." How many of those will be Palestinian groups? I swear, it will take a video of Bush eat babies before some will turn against him, and even then it will be a tough choice. Admit you were wrong and move on. Bush is horrible. Accept it. Move on, and help the rest of us return the country to the rule of law.

Why Not In Cincy?

Why can't this type of thing happen with some of the crack houses in Over-the-Rhine? Why are landlords letting crack sales go on, but then others stamp out skanky girls dancing in pasties?

Friday, December 16, 2005

Monzel Shills For the Party

I know he owes much to the party for leaving Malone in the gutter and for not doing much for Ghiz so that he could get the money to get back on council, but what gives with bringing national politics into the city arena? Oh, sorry, I forgot, we are talking about Chris Monzel. Chris has a few speeds. He fights Ice Cream Truck Drivers, public defecators, against women's rights, and for computers (well for a while).

Chris should let Chabot do his own dirty work. This looks so cheap. It is low and shows Chris gives more of a shit about Congress, than about the city.

Civil Right Commission Says: Discrimination

Pleasure Inn owner Tom Ullum and his bigotry got another rebuke. No help from Charlie Winburn though. It is nice to see Charlie grill someone. It is shameful he was not Grilling Ullum, and instead sought to act as an advocate for the local conservative movement darling (Ullum). Is Charlie sucking up to the local powers that be for another futile run for office? His attitude towards those filing the compliant reminds me of what a 1940's Alabama Judge might have said about a "Whites Only" sign hanging in a diner window. Times don't change, but perspectives do.

"Might" Should Be In Quotes

Don't be fooled, Bob McEwen will challenge Jean Schmidt for the 2nd Congressional District. The only question to me is will he be challenged? Will Tom Brinkman run again? There will be others, but they have no name and no organizational support to make them a serious contender.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!

I don't have much to say, now that I am finally feeling better. I hope to be getting back to regular blogging. Until then

OPEN THREAD!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Chaos in Covington?

Not really chaos, but a political infighting among MainStrasse businesses. Is it the bars vs. retail?

Monday, December 12, 2005

Sleep is the Enemy: An Open Thread

In the spirit of Christmas so elequently alluded to in the threads by Joe Wessels and by our friends and neighbors throughout our city, accept this open thread.

Be nice.

Miami: Still #2

We love to satisfy our readers wishes. Per the comment threads below asking for more Miami coverage, we offer this link: Miami is, in fact, still number 2. Insert fight song here.

No jokes about the headline, please. We intend to keep it clean in the absence of Mr. Griffin.

Enquirer: Unite to Defeat Snow Monster

The Enquirer included a lengthy editorial about how we need to plan better for the next snowstorm. Is it just us or is this weirdly late and overkill considering the huge set of editorials that ran on Friday?

This line from Friday struck us as particularly curious:
While it seems frankly silly in an urban area that has snowplows equipped with global positioning transmitters and grocery stores overflowing with food, the instinct itself has served mankind well down through the ages.
We don't know. Maybe it's entirely rational for people to hoard food so they don't have to go out for more later, considering that they may have spent five hours sitting in traffic in a relatively minor snowstorm.

Where to place the blame? Why not just blame everyone?
Commuters stuck in Thursday's rush-hour havoc wrote e-mails to The Enquirer blaming just about everyone for the traffic jams that stretched from Southwest Ohio suburbs south to downtown Cincinnati and into Northern Kentucky.
But there's no mention of Bart Giamatti? He has to be responsible, too, after what he did to Pete.

Actually, here's the interesting point:
After last year's record-breaking snowstorm, which dumped 15 inches on the city just before Christmas, the city of Cincinnati set realistic expectations: For an average storm of 3 inches and temperatures no lower than 25 degrees, residents should expect all primary routes cleared within 24 hours, and residential streets plowed within 36 hours.
So, what's the expected target with this storm? It's clear that this response time wasn't met.

Oh, no. We're complaining about the snow. We're such sterotypical Cincinnatians.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

So, This Is What We've Been Missing...

Yes, Cincinnati, there is NFL football played in December, and what fun it is. We haven't watched this much football in years.

This is the promised update on the playoff chase. (NFL tiebreaker rules are pretty easy to figure out. If you took calculus in high school.) As always, Division winners get top seeds, and the Division ties are always broken first.

Division Leaders
1. Indianapolis. 13-0. Conf. 11-0. Assured of the #1 seed and home field as long as they stay in.
2. Denver. 10-3. Div: 3-1. Conf: 7-2. (Thanks, Baltimore.) Denver beats the Bengals on tie-breakers and control their own destiny. The tie-break is conference records. This is critical, #2 gets a bye in the playoffs.
3. Cincinnati. 10-3, Div: 5-1, Conf: 6-3. One more win clinches the division and a home game in Cincinnati.
4. New England. 8-5. Div: 4-0. Conf: 6-4. Bengals have a two game lead.

Wildcards
5. Jacksonville. 9-4, Conf: 7-3. They can't win their division, but they're up a game for the wildcard.
6. Pittsburgh. 8-5. Conf: 6-5. It gets confusing here. In a three-way tie for the wildcard, you eliminate all but the top teams from each division using the Division tiebreaker. San Diego wins the AFC West tiebreaker since they are up 1-0 on KC. Pittsburgh then beats San Diego on head-to-head play (1-0). Here's where it gets weird. If KC and Pittsburgh both win out, they'll be 11-5. KC would move ahead of San Diego in the process, since they play each other (SD could be 10-6 at best in this scenario), and then KC wins the tiebreaker with Pittsburgh based on Conference record.

Outside Looking In
7. San Diego. 8-5. Div 3-1. Conf: 6-3. Denver has a two-game lead on SD and KC, but either can win the division with help. Also, SD can win the wild card with help.
8. KC. 8-5. Div 3-2. Conf: 7-3. In eighth, but it appears that they control their own playoff destiny. Go figure.

Way Outside Chance
9. Miami. 6-7. Div: 1-3. Conf: 4-5. They can still win their division, under much the same criteria as Pittsburgh. Might not be eliminated from wildcard race. (But we didn't figure it out since there's too much number crunching for something so unlikely. Check back next week if you care that much.

No one else can get in. It will take at least 9 wins to get in, probably 10, and no one else can do that.

Mayor: Buck Stops Here

Yep, the mayor said it or something close.
Enquirer: "So who's the person that pulls all of that together?"

Mallory: "OK. That's going to be me. Let me be real clear about this. It's going to be me. Because a lot of what I'm hearing around the table is, it's basically a commitment to the same conversation that I have been having over the last several months. It's about each entity, each person having to do their part. It obviously takes a person to coordinate that. It takes a person to send the message that it's what has to happen. I have said consistently each of us has a responsibility. Each of us has a role to play."
Like it or not, this is going to be the issue upon which Mayor Mallory will be judged.

In the print Enquirer, they run a huge package on gun violence issues. You can find all the related stories in the link above, just look at the right of the page. (This is one way that print is still superior to the Web: big packages are easier to lay out in print.)

The redacted version: gun violence is way up (duh) and we need a multi-faceted approach to solve it (duh, duh). All right. No more snark.

Some observations:
1. It's probably a sign of how good ER is in this town that they number of shootings is way up and the murder rate is not climbing at the same rate. That's just a guess, and we'd love to see some support for that.
2. They talk a little bit about a new jail, but that's not a big part of the article. Are we keeping shooters off the street? Or are we limited by the jail limits? Aren't most violent criminals in the state prison system? What about drug treatment? Are those enough questions about jails?
3. Also, drug-related violence is a big part of the shootings problem. But, this statement seems to make people feel better about their chances without addressing the whole problem. It's not as though innocent bystanders don't get shot. So, communities with drug problems have huge problems. So, if that's the case...
4. Why aren't communities more involved? Give Mayor Mallory credit for calling out lack of community involvement. But is it fear of police, a community-wide us-against-them mentality? What's going on?
5. Just look at the clusters. We don't have anything else to say about that.

Bengals Beat Browns: 23-20

With Mr. Griffin under the weather, I'll post some good news. The Bengals have almost assured themselves of a playoff spot with the defeat of the Browns.

It was a lot harder than it should have been, but the Bengals have really helped themselves immensely with this win. The only way that Pittsburgh can win the division is to win all three remaining games and to have the Bengals lose all remaining games. The reason: Bengals have the tie-breaker against Pittsburgh (tied head-to-head, Bengals lead in Division play 5-1 vs. 3-2, with no way for Pittsburgh to surpass 5-1). So, the Bengals are in if they win any of their remaining games: at Detroit, vs. Buffalo, at KC. Pittsburgh is in trouble for reasons we'll see in a minute.

Here are the seeds right now. (Many games are on TV right now, so I'll update later tonight.) Seeds 3 and 4 host the wildcard games. Seeds 1 and 2 host the second round. The top remaining seed hosts the AFC championship.

Division Leaders
1. Indianapolis. 13-0. Having lost to them, the Bengals can't pass them. Denver can't either. They won their division, and they're the #1 seed.
2. Denver. 9-3, Div: 3-1, Conf: 6-2. (They're on TV right now.) There's a log-jam in this division, and we'll know a lot more based on today's games.
3. Cincinnati. 10-3, Div: 5-1, Conf: 6-3. At 4:30 p.m., Denver beats the Bengals on tie-breakers and control their own destiny. The tie-break is conference games, so the Bengals can pass them on this, depending on how the rest plays out.
4. New England. 8-5. Conf: 6-4. Bengals have a two game lead. Also, the Bengals win the tie-breaker right now, based on conference records.

Wildcards
(Top 2 make it.)

5. Jacksonville. 9-4, Conf: 7-3. They can't win the division, but they're in good shape for the wildcard.
6/7. San Diego/KC. 8-4. These two are playing right now, so I'm not going to right all this out. I'll update after their games. Either can win their division--we'll look at that tonight.
8. Pittsburgh. 8-5. They can get in by winning the division over Cincinnati (doubtful), or by winning out and getting some help.

That's enough for now. Check back later, and we'll update the results and standings.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Merry Hypocrit

I have been watching conservative Christians walk around with their panties firmly in a wad over everyone not complying with their religion. Well I firmly say Happy Winter Solstice to them!

I say shame on some of them right here in Cincinnati who are nothing but hypocrits:
"There's a national frustration," Giroux said. "Christians have kind of felt empowered to take back Christmas for Christ."
These locals folks are selling bracelets that read: "Just say 'Merry Christmas.'" These bracelets cost $2 each. So I wonder what the profit margin is on spreading the word of Jesus. 50% markup maybe? We can’t exploit Christmas on anything less than 40%.

Snow Stories?

It took me almost two hours to get home last night from Mason. Hamilton County was good by the time I got there. Mason and the local township were horrible when I left work around 7:15PM. I had to wait that long because the roads were so backed up, that no one could leave the parking lot.

Looking Ahead

Mark the Twain for the tourists! Tall Stacks is reporting that more than 40% of the 50,000 cruise tickets already sold for next year's Tall Stacks are from "outside the Cincinnati area." They don't define that, but I will interpret that as meaning outside the Metro Area, at least. This is more great news for Downtown. We should have a completed Fountain Square to show off to these tourists and their wonderful money. I for one wish to welcome them at this early point. I hope they come for the weekend and enjoy Tall Stacks and the rest of the City.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Chiquita Staying

Why they are staying is not reported, but this is great news for Downtown, the City, and region.

White Death Hits the Blogosphere

You know blogging has either reached a peak or jumped the shark when we get a "SNOWBLOG" from WCPO.

City Council Rules

Council has adopted new rules. The key passage concerning citizen speakers:
There's no change in the rules on when citizens may speak.
Cole and Crowley were grumbling about the process. The meeting reportedly ran smoothly, and quickly. Is that because of the new rules, because Reece and Smitherman are gone, or because Mallory has the reins?

Creative Dems

Kudos for National Dems for not letting a Republican run company from halting their political action. Schmidt must go!

Oh, also when you think Lamar is not Republican run, why was this billboard allowed to go up and not the anti-Schmidt one?

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Voter ID Proposal

Of those who are pushing to require ID to vote, who is against either a National ID card and more importantly automatic voter registration when you get your driver's license or state ID? If they are, then it is clear they are all about keeping certain voters from voting.

Automatic registration would work wonderfully. You would be forced to ask to not be registered to vote, kind of negative registration. Additionally, you would be allowed to vote where you are registered inside the state, if you have your ID. This would increase the registration rolls and any fraud could be easily traced via the state BMV database. Adding this type of provision is the only fair way to use ID in the voting process. Without it and it is unfair.

It is clearly an attempt by the GOP to keep poor people and more importantly minorities from voting. It is a GOP tactic to reduce voting. The CW is that the lower the turnout, the better the GOP does. It is very sad that the GOP is forced to do this, but no surprising. What I want to know, how many voter fraud cases have been prosecuted in the last year? How much evidence of fraud exists? If it exists now, why is it not prosecuted? The likely reason is that there are "things" happening that no one wants to prosecute, because some of their friends my get fined and kicked out of politics. Those instances are more of a wife' tale, but it is great way for the GOP to hit the Democratic base via the back door of race/nationality, without having to overtly appear to be bigoted.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

More Banks Fallout

The Enquirer hits the Banks story hard. They add in an editorial and Borgman Cartoon.

The deal appears to the media to be deader than Mike Allen's political career.

Bronson?

This column appears to be written by Peter Bronson. It is recycled information, which sounds like Bronson, but it generally has a positive tone about the city, so one must wonder who actually wrote this column.

MIAMI Hockey #2

Love and honor to Miami,
Our college old and grand,
Proudly we shall ever hail thee,
Over all the land.

Alma mater now we praise thee,
Sing joyfully this lay,
Love and honor to Miami,
Forever and a day.


RedHawks jump to No. 2 ranking (Again in the Enquirer, and yesterday it was an update during the day, again WOW!)

As the Council Turns

For those of you who can't get enough of the Mallory-Crowley kerkuffel (and there are clearly a few of you die-hards who keep posting on this dying warhorse of a story), Korte has posted his (hopefully) final word on the whole fiasco. Korte's two questions are:

1. How is this a report if they didn't really meet?
2. On the document, Crowley's name has been added after the fact to the signatory list. Of course, he's also listed as being vice-chair on page three, which makes it look like they just added page 4 to the revised list.

Answer to 1: Don't think of it as a report; it's a motion to council on committees. In the Rules of Council, the mayor appoints chairs, but the council votes on committee members and vice-chairs. So, what this is is a full slate of members for all the positions that will presumably be approved by a voice vote at council. (Since we were not at the first meeting, it would seem based on press reports that the only votes were on Tarbell as vice-mayor and Cole as president pro tem. What does the president pro tem do, you ask? Not much, honestly, but she's third in line to the Big Chair... If this is the case, the committees get approved at the next meeting. If you were there, say something in comments.) Is it a violation of sunshine laws? Not as long as you think of it as a motion, not as a report. After all, if all the assumptions are correct, and Council has yet to appoint the committee, then Rules Committee doesn't exist right now; therefore, this isn't a report and can't be a report. Instead, it's a motion that can (and will) be passed by Council at next meeting (presumably, after asking consent to suspend the rules and vote immediately on the motion), along with the new rules.

Answer to 2: Who cares, really? If it makes this story go away faster, then wonderful. (If it's a lousy story, then why are we writing about it? Why not? That's what blogs are for, right?)

Also, there's one thing that Korte doesn't call out--on the "report", Crowley is listed as vice-chair of both Neighborhoods and Health/Education/Recreation on the PDF of the report.

After all Crowley's email supposedly read:
I learned tonight that Mayor-Elect Mark Mallory choose not to give me a chairmanship position on ANY City Council Committee for the term starting tomorrow. In fact, Mallory did not even recommend me for the vice-chair position of the committee I currently chair.
Read the whole "report" if you're interested in how the committees break down.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Cranley Making News, Already

One place Steve Chabot is going to really suffer is John Cranley's ability to make the newspaper constantly where he can drop moderate or even quasi-conservative viewpoints like this:
"We need a real energy policy to make us independent of Middle Eastern oil. We need to bring the deficit down and not give corporate welfare to oil companies making record-high profits. We need to improve our homeland security.

"None of this is being done four years after 9-11. That really is the fault of Congress and needs to be changed. Steve Chabot is part of the program - the things that John McCain talked about. He has gone along with the program."
Chabot is going to need to be back in town all the time. Cranley can just be Councilman, doing something for the community, while we never hear Chabot's name. Cranley needs to stay away from any negative city story, but be out in front of every other city story. He then needs to find a way to break deeper into the West side and Butler County. The formula exists, he just needs to find out what it is, and replicate it.

Banks Deal Dead?

The Enquirer is reporting that Corporex has withdrawn from negotiations with the county. They were partners with Vandercar Holdings to create The Banks Development Company. The BDC pulled the fast one and got a "secret" deal with the county.

The reasons why the deal allegedly is falling through is unknown.

Does this kill the Banks? It has been called dead many times. This certainly makes the County look like fools, unless they and Vandercar Holdings (Cincinnati-based developer Rob Smyjunas) can pull a 10 million dollar rabbit out of a hat.

Calling 3CDC! Will anyone answer?

Brinkman Dancing On The Head of a Pin

Tom Brinkman is posturing for the chance to wipe Jean Schmidt off the map in next year's GOP Primary for the 2nd District. He is giving a "by-your-leave" to Bob McEwen, who finished ahead of Brinkman in the primary earlier this year. Brinkman must face some reality; he is not well liked in the 2nd District. Is he that much less disliked than Jean Schmidt? That is the saddest thing to have to consider. When does David Pepper get into the race for the Dems?

Message Boards at Cincinnati.Com

I knew they had sports message boards, but the Enquirer's website has message boards on politics too. Few are using them currently, but that may change. Their boards used to be hoping. Before and during and after the riots they were a hot place for discussion.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

John Cranley for Congress

City Council top vote getter John Cranley has taken an unsurprising move, but still one that carries a sense of oomph when you read it in print.  This a great move for Cranley and for the Democrats.  Every race should be contested and in this case Cranley has more than just a shot, he stands a good chance of winning.

The GOP faithful may think that this district is a safe one.  Well, it is safe when the Dems run a mainstream liberal like Greg Harris. Greg was a great candidate, but he hit bad timing when running against the fear campaign of 2004.  The district wasn’t ready for a candidate like him.

Cranley is a far different Democrat than Harris.  Cranley is anti-abortion, which on the Westside is more important than where you stand on taxes, foreign policy, and even gay rights.  District 1 is a conservative district, but it is not as Republican as District 2 is, and there a socially “liberal” (He is moderate for Dems, but liberal for GOPers) Democrat, Paul Hackett, came very close to beating what turned out to be a horrible candidate in Jean Schmidt.

Cranley will make it difficult for people like Pete Witte to vote again him.  Witte will support Steve Chabot, he is a good party guy, but he will not stand for the trashing Cranley by Chabot’s campaign or by the RNC.  The people of this district, at least the City residents, know Cranley, and like him.  Chabot will not be able to attack Cranley and tar him with the national political issues, as is the norm for congressional races.  In this case the politics is indeed all local.  Chabot has not been around much, Cranley has been here and been getting elected easily.  Chabot is going to need a lot of money and big media buys to beat Cranley.  He will likely get that, but if Cranley can match him, he will win.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Just Kill the Bar Business, Why Don't Ya

Only in Cincinnati would anyone in power consider a ban on serving alcohol outdoors after 10PM. If you want new development, this kind of law puts handcuffs that are just not warranted. I don't know if this law incorporates zoning laws, where the only places affected would be bars in "residential areas." This might affect Places like City View Tavern, but should not affect Christy's Rathskeller, Neon's, or the Pavilion in Mount Adams.

If there is going to be a smoking ban, then there MUST be outdoor drinking, or bars in Ohio will not survive long, which Northern Kentucky booms. Council should just put this to rest now and over-rule it.

"Is that you Mo-Dean?"

Very Shiny.

Crowleys and the McCoys

Is there a family feud brewing for City Council Dems?

Club Clueless

Classist, snobs, pretentious idiots. That is what came to mind when I read about The Continental Lounge. In a city where we are striving for some sense of common good, common development, and common futures comes a club seeking to suck out what little vibrancy we have here in town and lock it in their own little world. “Cool” is the combination of selfishness, greed, and being fickle. It sure can be fun, but when you cut it off behind a big velvet rope, you are no longer cool, you are dicks.

The good thing about this club is that I know where it is and I know where not to go. The old adage about not wanted to join a club that would have me as a member is flipped on its head. People who want to join this type of club really should think about leaving town. Seriously, you are no good to this city/region if you can't stand in line with the rest of us for a beer or you can't bare to wait 15 minutes for a table.

Call it the creeping in of a Midwestern sensibility into my mind, but I really can't stand this type of thing. Places like the Banker's Club are around town and they have been here for years. They don’t creep into life much. They add little, but don’t take away much. They are the Little Rascals Clubhouse for those who are seeking to be rich or thought of as rich. They have a purpose, but they are viewed as stale uber-establishment venues. They reek with social order, the adult version of high school popular kids. The bottom line is that they have been here, don’t matter, and won’t matter. A new “club” whose entire purpose is to keep people out of it, hurts the region. I can honestly say I hope it fails, and my conscious is better for that hope. When Dick & Jane VIP wannabe shell out their limited money to join this group, thinking they will become cool for having $2,500 to waste, and then realizing that when the place closes its doors and their membership closes with it, being "cool" like being respected is earned, not purchased. I hope they only used play money.

CinAd Radio

Joe Wessels will be broadcasting live on the Internet at 11:30 AM today. Joe's line-up today includes: Photographer and editor of Street Vibes, Jimmy Heath, Pat Clifford, director of the Drop Inn Center, and Victoria Morgan, artistic director for the Cincinnati Ballet.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

GOP Prays For Smoke Filled Room

In the race for Ohio Governor, the GOP is praying that someone will drop out. Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell, Attorney General Jim Petro and Auditor Betty Montgomery are all declared candidates that if things stay the way they are, will result in a bloody primary fight.

Ted Strickland is loving it. With Coleman out of the race, Strickland will win the Dem nomination with money not wasted on a primary fight. Add a close DeWine-Hackett race and a shift away from scandal racked Ohio Republicans, and Strickland looks like he will fair very well next November.

Snowball's Chance

This guy has Zero Chance. This is likely all the free press he will get if he actually appears on the GOP primary ballot.

Bronson Perpetuates Schmidt Lie

Peter Bronson has let the power get to his head. He hates Bill Clinton so much, that he is now is doing what Bill Clinton did over the meaning of words. Jean Schmidt called Rep. Murtha a coward. Did she literally or "technically" do it? That depends on the meaning of "is." Her intent and her inference are ABUNDANTLY CLEAR. Bronson shouldn't be allowing Jean Schmidt to continue to lie to the voters in her district. She intended, fully intended, to paint Murtha as a coward, and in turn paint all Democrats and those who don't blindly follow Fearless Leader™ as cowards as well.

To play a game of semantics is not only dishonest, it is foolish. Bronson shows he is more about party than about truth. This is plain cold truth. She did it, end of story. This is not a debate about what should be in the budget or over Federal regulator policy. This is about an individual who lacks the skills and temperament to hold a Federal Public Office. If she wants to run for dogcatcher, than she might do a good job. Every Toto in Milford would live in fear. Don't let the truth live in fear when she is on the floor of the House of Representatives.

Secret Start to New Council

Soon to be Mayor Mark Mallory showed his skills at Roberts Rules of Order with the manner in which the new rules of Council were chosen. This maneuver included picking chairpersons of Council Committees:
New City Council committees, and their chairmen, are:

Finance: Democrat John Cranley.

Law and Public Safety: Democrat Cecil Thomas.

Economic Development: Charterite Chris Bortz.

Vibrant Neighborhoods, Environment and Public Services: Democrat Laketa Cole.

Arts, Culture, Tourism and Marketing: Charterite Jim Tarbell.

Education, Health and Recreation: Republican Chris Monzel.

Rules: Democrat Jeff Berding.
Mallory showed a different side by appointing Chris Bortz and Chris Monzel to committee chair positions over that of Democrat David Crowley. Why does Chris Monzel, the guy who led the fight to make Abortion rights a city issue, get the Education, Health and Recreation committee?

Greg Korte has much more on the "secret meeting."

Mallory Snubs Crowley

Mark Mallory, who officially become Mayor of Cincinnati today, snubbed fellow Democrat David Crowley for a Chairmanship of a council subcommittee. Crowley issued an impassioned email to supporters:
Friends:

I learned tonight that Mayor-Elect Mark Mallory choose not to give me a chairmanship position on ANY City Council Committee for the term starting tomorrow. In fact, Mallory did not even recommend me for the vice-chair position of the committee I currently chair.

As the current chairperson of the Economic Development Committee and former chairperson of the Education Committee, the 4th top vote getter in this month's election, one of the most senior members on Council and a fellow Democrat, I am very disappointed and disturbed with Mallory's decision.

In fact, Mallory recommended two Charterites and one Republicans for chairmanships over me, a Democrat.

I urge you to contact Mayor-Elect Mallory TONIGHT and let him know that you are angered and frustrated with his decision to completely overlook me. He can be contacted at mark.mallory@cincinnati-oh.gov or 352-3250. The quickest way is to call the office and register a complaint because we are not sure whether or not Mallory is checking his email yet.

Thank you for your continued support,
David Crowley
Queen City Forum had this last night.

UPDATE: Korte has more.