With local primary elections being held on the date of the submission deadline for Carnival #164, this was to be the pre-primary edition of the Carnival of Ohio Politics. After surveying all the entries for this week's Carnival, and seeing they were devoid of coverage of local primary races, I say we scrap the pre-primary theme and go with a number 164 theme. 164 is two times 82, and 82 happens to be the number of regular season games in the NBA, so two regular seasons' worth of games in the NBA is 164, and you just can't mention NBA and Ohio together without mentioning the Ohio native who was just named on Monday, at a ceremony in Akron, as the 2009 Most Valuable Player in the NBA, from the Cleveland Cavaliers, LeBron James. He's had six seasons with the Cavs, so the LeBron era of regular season games of Cavs basketball is 3 times 164.
So let's make a mid-course correction:
Welcome to the LEBRON JAMES EDITION of the CARNIVAL of OHIO POLITICS!!!!!!!
This week, LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers face the Atlanta Hawks in the second round of the NBA playoffs after having swept the Detroit Pistons in the first round. Should the Cavaliers advance, they would face the winners of the Boston Celtics-Orlando Magic series to determine the Eastern Conference champion, who would then play the Western Conference champion to determine the overall champ of the NBA. Currently, the Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks, and Denver Nuggets are still in the hunt for the Western Conference championship. We may not have a crystal ball, but I've got a hunch that fans of the Cavs and LeBron James are in for a real treat as the playoffs unfold.
Well, if you thought my thought process for how I arrived at LeBron James from the number 164 was silly and convoluted, YOU AIN'T SEEN NOTHING YET! This week, Ohio's bloggers seemed to want to highlight silliness, almost as if there were some competition to see which resourceful blogger could come up with the most ridiculous story to cover in the realm of Ohio politics. Ohio can really get weird. Skeptical? Read on!
If there really were an award this week for most silly (ooh! What should we call such an award, if there were one? The Traficant Awards? I'm open to suggestions!) I'd have to give it to the Dean of Cincinnati, writing at The Cincinnati Beacon, for a story about an anonymous, costumed and masked, self-appointed crimefighter from suburban Milford who wants to ensure that Cincy's Over-the-Rhine neighborhood is safe. Who is that masked man, anyway? It's . . . (LOL!) . . . Shadow Hare! ROFL!
If that didn't tickle your funny bone, then you didn't click on the link, read through the original post, and watch the video linked to that. Go back and do it.
I'd say the Dean edged out John Michael Spinelli by a hair (hare). Spinelli on Assignment brings us the pathetic tale of a conspiracy to get Ohio and the feds to squander government $$$$ on a passenger rail route from Cleveland to Cincinnati on freight rail tracks that would take an hour and thirty minutes longer to make the trek than it would to just drive oneself there. Spinelli captures the boneheadedness of this fiasco-in-the-making by aptly nicknaming the proposed rail service as "turtle trains." If government minds were open to funding turtle trains, then we might as well funnel money into state route 3 instead of I-71, and Buckeye fans might as well travel to the next bowl game in tiny turboprops with frequent refueling stops instead of in a jumbo jet. Aside from the tortoise (turtle train) and the (Shadow) hare, Spinelli does have the more sobering story of Chrysler and potential bankruptcy, including Sherrod Brown's take on the matter. Jeep workers in Toledo may be in for a rough ride.
And while we're on the topics of silliness, Toledo, and transportation funding, Lisa Renee Ward, of Glass City Jungle, submitted a rather straightforward piece about TARTA that questions the notion of public transportation as a form of socialism. That's not the silly part. You need to read the comments in response to her post to get to the really silly stuff, like the person who suggests that we should have no public roads. I suppose that person would like to stake a claim to I-75 as their own personal toll road. At any rate, the debate which ensues among the respondents is so much more convoluted than how I arrived at LeBron James from the number 164 that I just rolled my eyes as I read it.
I hope the photo that HistoryMike has on display of a horse in front of a TARTA facility isn't what Toledo has in mind as it seeks more funding for public transportation. If so, then the turtle train story isn't silly enough to be runner-up to Shadow Hare. At least a turtle train is a train. I'd hate to think that TARTA riders would have to mount actual horses to get around Toledo. HistoryMike also has a more sober story of highway deaths and subsequent roadside memorials.
If you haven't cracked a smile by now, you haven't been clicking these links to read these fantastic blogs. Go back and click the links.
For repeat readers of the Carnival, we've come to expect a little bit of silliness injected into the posts at Just Blowing Smoke, haven't we? This time, Just Blowing Smoke turns the tables on our lawmakers, showing how they've come up with some silly laws. Also, trying to delineate clearly between foreign automobiles and domestic ones can be a bit convoluted.
At Roland Hansen Commentary, the latest quirk that Roland Hansen noticed about a member of Toledo's City Council, Lindsay Webb, is that she's all of a sudden touting a reduction in the size of city council itself. Hansen is still trying to figure Webb out. If her actions or words seem convoluted, though, I wouldn't necessarily attribute it to silliness. More likely, it's just that she's a lawyer.
The Allen County Commissioners are tough to figure out. Are tax hikes in the county's future? Conservative Culture notes that their utterances haven't been consistent. Why haven't they staked out their principles and stuck with them? Also, Jon Husted has been to the Lima area talking about a run for Ohio Secretary of State in 2010, and unveiling a proposal that includes a new composition and new rules for the body that makes Ohio's redistricting decisions in the wake of each Census.
At Writes Like She Talks, JMZ blogs about a state rep, Josh Mandel, that she can't always figure out, either. She includes a video clip of an interview with Mandel conducted outside the AIPAC conference. You can see for yourself if you can figure out Mandel by watching the video.
From Keeler Political Report: Until recently, the job of Chris Paulitz was to generate a media buzz for his boss, Senator George Voinovich. Now, as he leaves the Voinovich staff for another job, Paulitz creates his own media buzz. Isn't the media odd, sometimes, for what they choose to report?
We bloggers often pick on the media for their silliness, but sometimes they get it right. Tom Blumer, at Bizzy Blog, wants to point out that someone in the media actually got it right when they pointed out that John Kasich was chair of the budget committee in the U. S. House when Congress balanced the budget for the first time in more than 30 years back in 1997. Also, when silly politicians think they have their constituents cornered into making concessions to government, people can just up and leave. They vote with their feet.
Perhaps the entry most devoid of silliness and convoluted thinking for this week comes to us from The Ohio Republic. The text of a proposed resolution introduced in Ohio's General Assembly that affirms the Constitution's 9th and 10th Amendment provisions is included. That the people, and that local and state governments should have checks and balances upon the power and authority of the federal government makes a lot of sense, just as there are checks and balances between executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government.
Some silliness has finally come to an end. Repeat drunken driver Mark Provenza has stepped down from his post as Lorain's law director, and he's been replaced by Patrick Riley, who started work on Monday. I've got that story posted at Buckeye RINO.
Feel free to share your suggestions for what we should name the awards for silliness in Ohio politics.
Though we ditched the pre-primary theme for this Carnival, I hope Ohioans took the opportunity to visit the polls if there were races in their precincts.
That concludes our Carnival. Now let me get caught up on the latest news of the Cavs and LeBron James.