PBS show about Ohio’s bloggers deconstructed

Hey, Ohio blogosphere, did you get a chance to see the PBS show that was about you?  Now that the airings of the show on PBS and The Ohio Channel have concluded, you’ll have to look to online sources to view the September 26 installment of “The State of Ohio,” which features Ohio’s political blogosphere (unless you purchase a DVD or VHS of it here).

Right now, the video can be viewed on the portal page of “The State of Ohio,” but as weeks pass, you’ll have to access the 9/26/08 episode from it’s archive page.

OK.  Did you click on a link in the prior paragraph so that you could view it?  If so, we are ready to deconstruct it.

Karen Kasler, who’s hosting the show, recaps the week’s news headlines in Ohio during the first 5 minutes.  The segment about the blogosphere begins at the 5:15 mark, or five minutes fifteen seconds into the video footage.

Eric Vessels, of Plunderbund and Progress Ohio, is the guest who’s sitting next to me during the blogging segment.  Plunderbund posted a TIVO-replicated video-clip of the program.  Before getting the first on-screen look at Eric Vessels and myself, Karen Kasler makes reference to a left-wing national political blog, Huffington Post (at the 5:45 mark), then a right-wing national political blog, Townhall (at the 5:46 mark), and then segues into discussion of Ohio’s political blogs.  Eric’s first on-screen appearance occurs at the 5:56 mark.  A screenshot of Plunderbund’s front page is shown at the 5:59 mark.  My first on-screen appearance occurs at the 6:08 mark, with a screen-shot of the front page of Buckeye RINO shown at the 6:12 mark.

At 6:38, Karen Kasler segues into the discussion of the presidential campaigns’ activities in Ohio, and how Ohio’s bloggers have responded.

Because Eric spoke of communications between local and national bloggers, at 8:26, Karen Kasler guided the conversation toward the interaction and cooperation between Ohio’s blogs, noting that my blog referenced Carnival of Ohio Politics, edited that week by Jill Miller Zimon, of Writes Like She Talks.  Other editors of the Carnival of Ohio Politics include Lisa Renee, of Glass City Jungle, Ben Keeler of The Point, and Keeler Political Report, and, until recently, Scott Piepho of Pho’s Akron Pages.  If you are a blogger who would like to have the best 3 of your past week’s posts on Ohio politics included in the Carnival of Ohio Politics, dash over to the webpage and send an email.  Eric spoke about how searchable blogs are, and how easy it is to link up from many sources.  Eric’s Plunderbund post notes that some of his comments during this segment hit the cutting room floor.  Also on the cutting room floor was Karen Kasler directing a question at me that mentioned the right-wing State of Ohio Blogger Alliance.

At the 9:46 mark, Karen Kasler poses the question of “Who are you bloggers?”  Eric joked that he was tempted to play into the stereotype by wearing pajamas into the studio.  I didn’t get a chance to say who I was, as a blogger, until later in the program.  I won’t say what I’m wearing right now as I type this.

At the 10:50 mark, Karen Kasler starts asking about the influence that bloggers have on politics.  Eric and I talk about how cost-effective blogs are, as messages can be spread without cash outlays.  Blogs are able to fill a niche in cases where the MSM is silent and where campaigns lack the cash to advertise.  The diversity of opinion allows voters to learn the pros and cons of issues and candidates as they search the blogs.  If someone finds their viewpoint unrepresented in the blogosphere, Eric points out, at the 11:59 mark, that one can launch their own blog with relatively little difficulty.  Eric mentions WordPress (at the 12:16 mark) as one of the available blogging platforms, which also happens to be the platform that I use.  Eric said (at the 12:27 mark) his interest in blogging was sparked by Daily Kos.  He also mentions (starting at the 12:32 mark) Chris Baker, who’d been on hiatus more recently, but who had risen to prominence at Ohio 2nd Blog as being inspirational in Eric’s initial writings at Plunderbund.

Eric had made use of the term “citizen journalists,” so at the 13:09 mark, Karen Kasler asks for elaboration on that point.  Eric and I did not bash the MSM at this point, though I’ve been known to bash some media outlets on this blog.  We maintained a level of civility, though Eric pointed out that bias exists in the media, just as it does in blogs.

At the 16:27 mark, Karen Kasler steers the conversation towards partisanship, not just between Democrat and Republican, but of minor parties, too.  Some of my blog entries touched on the presidential candidacy of Libertarian Bob Barr (here, here, and especially here and here).  Karen Kasler asks why the blogosphere is so polarized and why alternative voices from outside the major parties aren’t more prominent.  The tug-of-war between Democrats and Republicans does generate web traffic in the blogosphere, and though we may try to steer the conversation in other directions, readership is substantially greater when inter-party bickering comes into play.  There is a silver lining for minor party and independent candidates that allows them to be part of the political discourse, through blogs, without needing tons of money for campaign advertising.  Eric advances the idea that inter-party bickering can be more entertaining, and mentions Jon Stewart of the Daily Show, at the 17:26 mark, as someone who approaches politics from that angle.  Karen Kasler, at the 17:45 mark, notes my claim that liberals think I’m too conservative (re: abortion, guns, gay marriage, small government) while conservatives think I’m too liberal (re: labor, education, environment, diversity), which is what led me to employ the RINO (Republican In Name Only) designation.

One of the major points of departure between myself and Eric is that he is fed the talking points of his party, while I’m not fed the talking points of mine.  Karen Kasler asks about that at the 19:35 mark.  Eric pointed out that he’s judicious about whether to go ahead and print the party’s talking points.  At the 20:12 mark, he pointed to a time when, Democrat Party, or not, he participated in the blogswarm criticisms of former Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann.  Printing talking points without fact-checking can lead to loss of credibility.  Eric took advantage of an opportunity to lash out, at the 21:48 mark, at Matt Hurley, of Weapons of Mass Discussion (Eric substituted Destruction for Discussion) as someone who printed talking points in the Ohio 7th Congressional District contest between Steve Austria and Sharen Neuhardt before all the facts had been checked.  Karen Kasler jumps in, at the 21:59 mark to note that Matt Hurley was not present to defend himself, stopping Eric from elaborating more.  Not all the facts were in, but, in my opinion, Neuhardt can’t just sweep the immigration issue under the rug, unaddressed, and still look like a leader who will engage in honest discourse on the issues of the day with the people she wishes to represent.  If she thinks the nation’s laws on seeking asylum need revision, then she should please spell that out for us.  The intro that I didn’t get to make at the 9:46 mark, when Karen Kasler first asked whether bloggers work in the basement while wearing underwear, was finally made at the 21:04 mark, when I describe myself as a failed politician, one of several who blog who had lost their last election.

Karen Kasler, at the 22:11 mark, noted that one right-wing blogger had declined to come on the program, citing that Ohio’s political blogosphere hadn’t yet matured to the point of possessing enough gravitas to merit a TV news segment.  Matt Naugle, of Naugblog, outs himself as the blogger referenced.

I pointed out, at the 23:06 mark, the increasing length of the blogroll at BlogNetNews: Ohio, to show that the Ohio political blogosphere is gathering strength.

If you’ve read my very first post here at Buckeye RINO, then you know that I contributed to Word of Mouth blog before launching Buckeye RINO.  I make mention of this at the 22:45 mark.  Eric responded, at the 22:56 mark, with a shout out to Scott Bakalar, who, with his wife, Michele, started a blog after becoming fed up with sewers that would back up and flood his basement after some hard rains.  Hi, Scott!

Eric Vessels, at the 23:32 mark, pointed to Plunderbund’s political muscle in getting a candidate endorsement yanked, and that candidate lost an election.

To make my final point (beginning at the 24:58 mark) about the power of blogs, I pointed to Word of Mouth (as an aside, I acknowledge that Buckeye RINO is still small pototoes in the real world).  During the summer of 2007, some contributors at Word of Mouth expressed dismay at Lorain City Schools (one of the largest school districts in Ohio), and called for the public to make their voice heard, and advocate for change.  There was a shakeup in the Board of Education elections last year, as incumbents were swept out of office.  A blogger’s (Brian Hazelett’s) rallying cry was instrumental in mobilizing hundreds of teachers, parents, students, and other community members, to show up in force at school board meetings.  In addition to Scott, Michele, and Brian, the other Word of Mouth bloggers (Kelly Boyer Sagert, “Henery Hawk,” Loraine Ritchey, Jim Smith, Paula Tobias, Dale Lieb, and Roman K.) at that time also stoked the fires that turned a passive community into an active one.  The local print news media and the Cleveland TV media trudged out to Lorain to report on the community’s rally.  It’s an example of the power of what a blog can do and foreshadows the possibility of even greater political muscle that Ohio blogs might flex in the future.

Vote YES on Issue 5 and NO on Issue 6

I think it’s crazy that casting ballots has already begun in Ohio.  I hope voters are informed about all the candidates and issues on the ballot before they vote.

I would urge voters to limit payday lending and casino gambling by voting yes on Issue 5 and no on Issue 6 (more about Issue 6 here).

Are you upset about the shark-infested waters on Wall Street that endangered the middle class?  Are you upset at the rampant greed of the fat cats that prey upon those of us that are less savvy about money?  If so, there are conniving persons just like the ones on Wall Street that are scheming of ways to plunder Ohio residents by way of payday lending and casino gambling.  Voting yes on Issue 5 and no on Issue 6 will hold these predatory forces at bay (for now . . . unfortunately, the casino interests make incessant attempts to gain entry to Ohio).

Ads for these schemers and connivers may mention what the laws allow in neighboring states.  Let me suggest to you that what happens in other states is no concern of ours, except to point out that these predatory industries are detrimental to the economies of those other states.  States that neighbor ours are not faring well economically, and the presence of these predators only make conditions worse.  Ohio should be proactive, not reactive, and make laws that are in the best interests of Ohioans instead of worrying about what may or may not go on in other states.

Both of these predatory industries are suggesting that if you vote the way I suggest, jobs will be negatively impacted.  Let me just say that there is a reason why these vultures want us to lay down and die.  They want to devour us for lunch.  Let’s not be a carcass for them to feed on.  Vote yes on Issue 5 and no on Issue 6.

Step away from the madness

The American people gave Congress an earful and let them know that they did not favor a bailout.  Wall Street is being a crybaby about it and doing what they can to induce the American people to panic so that they can get their bailout.  I think that we will indeed experience painful economic shocks even if we do have a bailout, so I don’t see the point of a bailout.  I have already urged families to prepare for the downturn that is coming while your cash still has purchasing power.

Today, I learned that the MSM, especially the medium of television, is tone deaf to the American people.  Those people who phoned Congress against the bailout?  TV journalists have no understanding of those ordinary folks.  I guess if we don’t organize a march on Washington DC with picket signs hoisted high in the air, the reporters won’t bother to figure out why we just don’t want the bailout.  The protest of the people couldn’t be caught on camera, as we sent phone calls and e-mails instead.

The TV pundits have made an assumption about us.  They have determined that we are too stupid to realize that economic pain is coming.  The MSM has chosen to mingle their voices with those of Wall Street.  Wall Street threw a tantrum, and now the MSM has joined in.  The reporters are trying to pin blame for the failure of the bailout bill on one politician or another.  Blame?  Should we blame them?  Shouldn’t we be giving them credit for doing the right thing and listening to their constituents?  Clearly, the MSM has been partial.

Wall Street is in New York City.  The MSM capital is in New York City.  I guess I can’t expect the MSM to figure out how the economic news is playing in Ohio.

Go ahead, MSM, ask me some questions about my feelings about the economy going sour as I sit here in Ohio.  What do you want to know?  Nothing?  I’ll tell you anyway.

My own financial credit crisis occurred in 2003.  I lost a good paying job.  I’ve had a trickle of income ever since.  I’ve had to make do with whatever cash I have on hand.  I have no investments.  I have no 401k.  I had to sell my house.  I had to sell my car.  I still have no house.  I still have no car.  I live a fairly spartan lifestyle, sometimes with a bit of cash carrying over from one month to the next, sometimes not.  The computer I post these blog entries on is the most expensive asset that I own, and with the quick depreciation rate among computers that are rapidly outmoded by technological advances, this computer really isn’t worth a whole lot.

But it’s 2008 now, which is 5 years after my own personal financial meltdown.  I remain among the most vulnerable of Americans as our economy worsens even further.  I’m still hanging in there, still surviving, still happy to be alive, still happy to see what each new dawn brings my way.

But I am outraged, nonetheless, by what’s going on with Wall Street chicanery.  To Wall Street, I say, though I am of modest means, I don’t try to steal from somebody to get more.  I don’t try to defraud anybody.  I am not greedy.  I don’t want your Wall Street $$$$ millions $$$$ redistributed to me by way of ushering in a socialist society to replace our capitalist society.  If I, in my spartan surroundings, can resist scheming to make a quick buck in a dishonest way, why can’t you, in your opulent lifestyle, resist such schemes?  Wall Street, you ought to be held accountable.

Now back to my observations of the mainstream media.

Today, I noticed that TV reporters appear to be well compensated.  When “financial experts” appear as guests on the cable news shows, the reporters are asking questions such as “What should I do with my 401k?  How much should I have in stocks?  How much in commodities?  How much in bonds?  What should I do with my portfolio?”  I begin to understand why the MSM doesn’t understand me or many of the Americans who live paycheck to paycheck or who live, like me, on a cash-only basis because my credit rating was ruined a very long time ago, and my low income precludes me from becoming credit-worthy again.

I think the MSM is taking the side of Wall Street and not the American people on this bailout issue because the reporters are realizing they have a lot that they could potentially lose.  Their own lifestyle could possibly resemble mine someday.  If companies large and small are cash-strapped with little access to credit, and have trouble meeting payroll, and have to cut their advertising budgets, and companies start folding, then the MSM will lose advertising revenue, their own Super Bowl ad revenue bubble will burst, and networks will have to start becoming leaner, and perhaps shedding some journalists’ jobs.  Nevertheless, even should the worst befall them, there is still life after financial crisis.  Life goes on.  And . . . as long as we don’t cave under the pressure to convert our economic system from capitalism to socialism, we remain free.

The American people DO get it.  They DO understand that an economic crisis looms.  But they will brave the storm.  America is, after all, “the land of the free, and the home of the brave.”

And, eventually, the marketplace will stabilize, and we’ll count our blessings.

How the Ohio Congressional delegation voted on today’s bailout bill

Yes

  • Boehner (R)
  • Pryce (R)
  • Hobson (R)
  • Regula (R)
  • Wilson (D)
  • Ryan (D)
  • Space (D)

No

  • Tiberi (R)
  • Turner (R)
  • LaTourette (R)
  • Chabot (R)
  • Schmidt (R)
  • Latta (R)
  • Jordan (R)
  • Kaptur (D)
  • Kucinich (D)
  • Sutton (D)

Hooray! U.S. House votes “No!”

By no means are we out of the woods when it comes to economic crisis.  I’m not cheering the fact that our economy will be rocked severely.

I am happy, though, that I still live in the U.S.A., not the U.S.S.S.A (the United Soviet Socialist States of America).

Congress must still take action, but the message is clear:  Stop the march toward nationalization of our financial sector.  Stop the march toward socialism.

We can regulate.  We can reregulate.  We can stop the fraud and the cheating.  We will be financially in dire straits, but we’ll still be free, and the market will eventually correct itself.

My favorite John Kerry quote (though referring to different circumstances when delivered at the DNC in 2004):  “The future doesn’t belong to fear.  The future belongs to freedom.”

Does Kofinis know what’s good for the country?

I see Democrat strategist Chris Kofinis bloviating on MSNBC about the prospects of passing a bailout bill.  Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi doesn’t want a floor vote on the bill until she is assured that about a hundred House Republicans will go along with the measure.  Everybody’s pacing the floor while the House Republicans are huddled in their chambers poring over 106 pages of legislation.

Chris Kofinis is saying that the the House Democrats, the White House, and the Senate don’t like this bill, but they are doing it because it’s what’s good for the country, and that House Republicans are trying to play politics with this instead of doing what’s right for the country.

I have to ask, what country do we live in?  The U.S.A.?  Or the U.S.S.S.A (The United Soviet Socialist States of America)?  This vote is pivotal.  This vote tells us whether we are a capitalist democracy, or a socialist bureaucracy.  The political risk for bailing out Wall Street is that if the people of the United States voted on the matter directly, we’d retain our capitalist economy, even though it falters from time to time.  Since Congress is willing to buck the will of the people, they are fairly confident that incumbency will protect them from blowback as they seem poised to become the elites of a socialist state.

If this is still the U.S.A., then Chris Kofinis is no patriot, and is clueless about what’s good for the country.

Eye-popping video of the Franklin Raines era

These are excerpts taken from Congressional hearings about the dealings of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae back in 2004.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MGT_cSi7Rs

Raines characterized housing as a riskless investment asset.  Wow!  That turned out to be dead wrong, but that’s not all this YouTube video reveals.