Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Saint Patrick's Day 2009 Edition of the Carnival of Ohio Politics

I'm such a party-pooper. Saint Patrick's Day reminds me how much of a party-pooper I am. It's not just that I'm at home blogging instead of out celebrating. It's more than that. I'm totally dysfunctional when it comes to partying.

I remember once in my adult life when I went out with officemates on a Saint Patrick's Day. It was in 1998, and I was working for Electronic Data Systems (EDS) at an office in Dublin, Ohio, a northwestern suburb of Columbus. I'd never made a habit of fraternizing with co-workers in any of my previous jobs. I was married to my first wife at the time I worked for EDS, and she encouraged me to at least take a few baby steps toward mingling with those I worked with during my time off. She didn't see how I could advance my career with the company without rubbing shoulders with them.

But here's the thing: I don't drink alcohol. Ever. I know I've packed on the pounds and I've got quite a paunch these days, so it might be natural for onlookers to suppose I've got a beer belly. But I've never had even a taste of beer (for one thing, I can't get past the foul smell of it, to start with). So many people over the years have had a chuckle at juxtaposing my first name, Daniel, with my middle name, Jack, to joke about me being the namesake of a bottle of whiskey that it sometimes comes as a surprise to them that I've never even had a sip of a Jack Daniels in my life. But really, I'm telling the truth when I say that I don't drink alcohol.

Anyway, it's Saint Patrick's Day 1998 in Dublin, Ohio, and I've tagged along with fellow workers to a pub with an Irish-sounding name not far from Muirfield's golf course, and I'm hoping to hit it off well with people who might, in the future, be professional references that I'd list on a job application, or people who might evaluate me and recommend me for promotion or something like that, but, truthfully, there was just no chemistry. I don't even like the smell of alcohol, and I can smell it everywhere in the pub, making me uncomfortable from the get-go. I don't really enjoy being around people when they're drinking, and that's doubly . . . , no, . . . triply . . . true about being around people once they start getting tipsy. While they are making merry between swigs of green-tinted ales, I'm finding that I'm not amused at the things they are amused at, and I'm getting frustrated that no one cares to join me in earnest conversation of any sort. I'm a cold wet rag dampening their spirits. They can see I'm being no fun at all. They can sense that I can't relate to them and they can't relate to me. Awkwardly, I finally decide to get up, bid them farewell, and head back home to tell a disappointed wife that I just don't mix well with the crowd from work.

That's the first and last time I went out to "party," if you can call it that, on a Saint Patrick's Day.

I do have Irish ancestry, and I do wear green on March 17th. In my own understated way, I feel like I'm in keeping with the spirit of the holiday.

Three months later, our Dublin office was closed, permanently. Clients of our business had merged and consolidated their operations in Augusta, Georgia. Accordingly, EDS followed the client to Augusta. I helped with the transition from Dublin to Augusta, but I didn't relocate with the company, so that was the end of my employment with EDS. Doesn't it always seem like business leaves Ohio for someplace else?

But, hey, you came to this page to check out this week's selections of bloggy goodness all about Ohio politics. Well, you're in luck (consider it the luck of the Irish), because we've got a pot full of treasure sitting at the end of the rainbow with great selections from across the political spectrum from Ohio's bloggers. Let's check out some of these charms.

I think we should start with Just Blowing Smoke. If you wanted something more in keeping with the Saint Patrick's Day spirit than the pathetic drivel I just related above, then you need to read his Saint Patrick's Day blog entry to make it right. Where do all of you weigh in on the subject of traffic cameras? Are traffic cameras good for public safety? Or are they just a hoax designed to bring in extra revenue for the government? Tim Higgins would like to nominate . . . (drum roll please) . . . comic actor John Lovitz for the next Mayor of Toledo. Finally, he attended an Irish wake. Not really. Actually he attended something that was billed to be a huge newspaper convention in Las Vegas, but, you might have heard, the newspaper industry is on the down-and-out.

If Lee Fisher is running for the U.S. Senate in 2010, is it possible that Congressman Tim Ryan would consider being Strickland's running mate as the candidate for Lieutenant Governor? Also from Ben Keeler, of Keeler Political Report: Apparently some aren't taking the news too well that kickball games will be a little less frequent on the Statehouse lawn.

It's now official, and Ohio Republic wants you to know it: A Resolution asserting Ohio's sovereignty, as per the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, has been introduced in the General Assembly by state reps Jarrod Martin and Kris Jordan.

The 10th Amendment isn't the only one under assault. Liberals and conservatives alike have expressed concern over the protections of the 4th Amendment, and Buckeye Punditeers dares to explore whether the bailouts exacerbate the erosion of those protections. Also, it is surmised that Ohio Republicans will not gain any traction by time warping into the past with their rhetoric, and that comparisons between Obama and Stalin, between Strickland and Marx, are just too far of a stretch for people to find believable.

Echoing that last sentiment, angryteacher, at Buckeye State Blog, says that Republican gubernatorial hopeful John Kasich has a losing message on education that insists that teachers are too selfish to act in the interests of students.

Free Market Politics looks at demographic trends and projects that union shop states will continue to lose Congressional representation compared to right-to-work states once the 2010 Census rolls in. If "cap-and-trade" is a method employed by the federal government to deal with carbon emissions, can you guess which states would foot the largest bills? If you guessed Ohio and other Rust Belt states would be disproportionately disadvantaged by "cap-and-trade," you're right. Will health care benefits from employers be subject to taxation during the Obama Administration? Obama scoffed at McCain on the campaign trail for proposing such, though the central thrust of the McCain proposal was a $5000 tax credit that would allow consumers to shop for health care on their own. No such tax credit is on the table right now, just the possibility of taxing benefits, therefore the prospects for such under Obama are way scarier than the prospects under McCain that Obama made fun of.

The Virtuous Republic provides an eyewitness account of Cincinnati's "Tea Party," protesting Obama's stimulus package. Furthermore, take the accounts of the "Tea Party" related by WCPO with a grain of salt.

Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray and a Lancaster newspaper will team up for an observance of Sunshine Week, in recognition of Ohio's Sunshine Law, on Thursday the 19th. Cordray promises to answer questions from the public, and Jill Miller Zimon, of Writes Like She Talks, wants you to know about it. I absolutely love maps, and WLST has a link to a doozy of a nationwide Congressional District map. The downside of the map is that it contains data which cast Ohio in a bad light, as Ohio fares very poorly on a "well-being" index. Intuitively, we knew that, didn't we? Still, I spent quite a bit of time ogling the map. Finally, JMZ examines the MSM and the "baseless" prognostications of the Plain Dealer's demise, complete with the nuts and bolts of how news is gathered, dispersed, and marketed.

"Eats, Shoots, and Leaves" is the title of a post from Seneca County Blog that accompanies an illustration of a panda to be reckoned with, but the post is more about: Who should be the best candidates for open positions on Tiffin's Architectural Review board: Local residents? Or absentee landlords who reside a hundred miles or so away? Two city council members saw to it that the city ordinance specifies that Tiffin property owners residing in Seneca County are eligible.

Allen County's foreclosure rate increased more rapidly than did the foreclosure rate in any other Ohio county. Ouch. Conservative Culture also presents us with a portrayal of new RNC chair Michael Steele that should have conservatives in the GOP shaking their heads in disbelief. Finally, a vandal who hitched a ride to the property he vandalized couldn't find transportation to the place where he was to perform the community service that the courts sentenced him to.

The Dean of Cincinnati, at The Cincinnati Beacon, is alarmed that depressed teens might give more careful thought to suicide if they happen to read some of the local newspaper coverage on that topic. News stories of suicides ought to be crafted so that they don't inspire copycat suicides. Also, what outlandish price tag is attached to preparation and administration of the Ohio Graduation Test? Are you ready for sticker shock?

Ready for more sticker shock relative to Congressional earmarks? Lisa Renee, of Glass City Jungle, shows what her research turned up. Another GCJ offering: Ohio's race track owners don't want to be outschemed by the casino proponents. They have designs on getting slot machines at race tracks, and they may sidestep the voters, to boot.

Our cauldron at the end of the rainbow was full of blog treasures, wouldn't you agree? Before I bid farewell to the leprechauns who've been helping me, I have one post at Buckeye RINO to share about how Glenn Beck's show last Friday is spurring some of my acquaintances to become civically and politically active at the local level.

May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.


Jill said...

What a great job, Daniel - thank you.

Tim Higgins said...


Another great job on the Carnival, especially while dealing with painful memories of St. Patrick's Day past. You may not have blended well with those EDS workers of days gone by, but you do well with the bloggers of today.

Barga said...

forgot all about this
grumbles, and i actually had ohio stuff...

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Adi said...

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