Consider running for office in 2010

Up in arms over the direction your county is headed in?  Up in arms over the direction the state is headed in?  Up in arms over the direction our nation is headed in?  I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if that’s the case.

Wonder what you can do about it besides contacting your elected officials, attending civic meetings, signing petitions, voting, and rallying for causes?

You could run for office in 2010!  Despite all our gripes about elected officials, how many times do we see unopposed candidates on our ballots?  Far too often!  Voters need choices on ballots!

For many races, the eligibility rules for candidates aren’t all that complicated, especially legislative races, where citizenship, residency, and voter registration are often the only criteria for eligibility.  Don’t automatically suppose you wouldn’t be qualified to run.  There’s an excellent chance you’re eligible for a great many positions.  The Ohio Secretary of State webpage can be a starting point for checking on candidacy requirements and deadlines.  Some of the pointers I shared about launching a candidacy for municipal offices apply to running for county, state, and federal offices, too.

Don’t know much about running a campaign?  Phil Van Treuren, who ran a successful campaign this year, has a blog titled “Killer Campaigning,” which is very thought-provoking.  I bet you’ll find highly useful information there.  Start with this important advice about consulting family about a potential candidacy, then feel free to absorb the remainder of the blog’s articles thereafter.  Thanksgiving is a time for families to gather.  That’s a great opportunity to discuss launching a campaign with family members.  December’s holidays are also great opportunities to further communicate with family about launching an election bid.

On the ballot for next year:

  • Judicial branch: county court, state appellate court, and state Supreme Court judge positions
  • Legislative branch: county commissioner, some state school board seats, all state rep seats, odd-numbered state senate district seats, all seats for U.S. House of Representatives, and a U.S. Senate seat
  • Executive branch: county auditor, Ohio governor and lieutenant governor, Ohio Secretary of State, Ohio Treasurer, Ohio Auditor, and Ohio Attorney General

I’m hoping voters are swamped with choices next year.  Please consider putting your name on the ballot.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Transportation, part 2, the city of Lorain

In response to my post that launched this transportation series, Brandon Rutherford asked a perfectly good question about how much importance to attach to transportation infrastructure.  Sometimes a site, at first glance, appears to be sufficiently connected, yet the site remains vacant or underutilized.  I didn’t fully respond to Mr. Rutherford’s comment, but I hope to fully address it over the course of this transportation series.  Mr. Rutherford cited the specific example of the former location of a Ford assembly plant in Lorain, so let me use that as a springboard to share a collection of my thoughts about transportation in Lorain.

So here is Lorain, that had it good as a port on Lake Erie when water transport was best.  Lorain was also well situated when railroads and surface roads were built, because, in relation to US geography, commerce between the Northeast US and the Midwest, where the bulk of the population lived, was compressed as it passed through Ohio because Lake Erie is the southernmost of the Great Lakes.  When freight travels from Boston or New York to Chicago, it can only go west as far as Buffalo and then it has to dip south through Ohio on its way to Chicago.  Just like today where I-80 and I-90 converge and follow the same route, or nearly so, for hundreds of miles, this was true of railroad networks and US highways, like US 6 and US 20, before interstates.  Ohio was a conduit for all this East Coast-Midwest transit.  The emergence of Detroit as the Motor City only helped, as it added a longitudinal dimension to shipping through Ohio.  Lorain had many things going for it, and Lorain thrived until the 1970’s.  Since the 1970 Census, Lorain’s population has declined.

Northern Ohio, including Lorain, had an excellent location for many years, as there was a time when two-thirds of the population of the United States and half of the population of Canada lived within 500 miles of the boundaries of Ohio.  Though the US has experienced southward and westward migration and Canada has seen more growth in the Vancouver area, Ohio is still very well situated among the most densely populated areas of North America north of the Mexican border.  In terms of sheer geography and demography, Ohio is still a great location for distribution centers, manufacturers, and corporate headquarters.  So, no matter what has gone wrong that led to the urban decline in Lorain, there is still a lot of potential for recovery.

Transportation has so much to do with the decline of Lorain.  Supertankers cannot travel on the Great Lakes, so freight moved upon the water has to take place in smaller vessels than are available elsewhere.  Lorain is not conveniently linked to Cleveland Hopkins Int’l Airport (Lorain isn’t even well linked to the county’s airport in New Russia Township).  Most noticeably, limited access divided highways bypassed Lorain instead of penetrating it.  Is it any wonder that business has dwindled as Lorain’s transportation advantages have disappeared?

By virtue of existing highways, Lorain is closely tied to Cleveland to the point that if Cleveland’s economy bottoms out, so does Lorain’s, and Lorain only prospers when Cleveland is also prospering. We need to branch out. We need to diversify. We need better connections with prospering, more diversified economies like that of Columbus. If we had a north-south highway that connected Lorain with I-71 at Ashland, commerce and innovation from Columbus could reach Lorain at the same rate that it reaches Cleveland. Right now, it is channeled up I-71 to Cleveland, and from there it is diffused slowly out to neighboring communities in concentric waves until finally it reaches Lorain, if it ever reaches Lorain at all. Lorain County has forecast a need for such a north-south corridor, but their proposal is to build it parallel to Quarry Road, cutting through the farmland of the western Lorain County townships.

I am fully aware that it costs less to build a highway through farmland than it is through developed areas, but to do so only heightens the problems we are trying to eradicate. When we think of the costs of building a highway, we must think beyond mere construction costs to the costs of the consequences of where we build. For example, it may have cost less to build the Ohio Turnpike between Lorain and Elyria rather than through the heart of either town, but what has it cost in terms of shoveling money into Lorain and Elyria to revitalize them when the revitalization never takes hold? What kind of a money pit did we create when we bypassed the already urbanized areas? And what about the sprawl that will only increase if a north-south highway is built parallel to and in the vicinity of Quarry Road? Will that suck more of the life blood out of the communities already in existence?  I know that they have talked about this in Oberlin, and Oberlin is fully aware that a highway in such a location will have negative repercussions for Oberlin’s downtown commerce. Right now, the lands that are most heavily commercially zoned in the western townships along a north-south artery stretch alongside SR 58. I say: Let’s make SR 58 the limited-access divided highway, with frontage roads alongside, so that we do not kill off the commerce that already exists along SR 58 to transplant it into the cornfields near Quarry Road. Why create more abandoned businesses? If the new highway runs exactly where SR 58 is now, wouldn’t that buttress the businesses that already exist there? Isn’t that what we want? Besides, those that live out in the vicinity of Quarry Road probably like the rural nature of their environs and would prefer to keep it that way. When the highway reaches Wellington and Oberlin, I have ideas on how to keep the downtown intact, especially buildings of historical significance, without building bypasses on the edge of town that would kill those downtowns, but I do not wish to elaborate on that here. I wish to focus more in depth on Lorain.

In this age of instant gratification, who wants to wend their way through all of Lorain’s stoplights, railroad crossings, and 20 mph school zones on crampingly narrow and potholed surface streets to reach downtown? A “smart” transportation system would make a lot of sense. In chronically congested places such as Los Angeles, they have installed “smart” transportation systems that use cameras and sensors to gauge traffic flow on city streets and highways. This ties into a nerve center where the flow of traffic across the transportation grid can be diagrammed. Signals can then be sent to traffic lights to optimize the timing to allow for the best traffic flow, to flashing message signs along the highway that alert motorists to traffic conditions and alternate routes, and to police officers on highway patrols and street patrols to mobilize them to bottlenecks where needed. But we need more than “smart” transportation to get people downtown.

Once this new SR 58 highway reaches an interchange with SR 2 and SR 254, I want to make it more likely that traffic will flow through Lorain closer to its downtown. Right now, SR 2 traffic flows eastward to where it converges with I-90 and heads to Cuyahoga County. There are some major bends in the existing highway. Let’s take advantage of these bends in the existing highway–we can build a shorter one. If we draw a line straight across from the SR 2 interchange with SR 58 to the I-90 interchange with SR 611, we will have built a straighter highway that crosses the Black River south of E. 21st St. but north of the steel mills on E. 28th St. That will put traffic flow much closer to downtown. The Colorado industrial park will also have much better access. East-west through traffic would prefer to flow through Lorain if it is faster than taking the existing route. The straighter we can make the highway, the bigger the advantage.

With this new cross-town highway built, what if we took SR 57 from the Ohio Turnpike interchange northward and turned it into a limited access divided highway that connected with the cross-town highway? Wouldn’t that allow more motorists to head toward downtown? Wouldn’t it also bolster South Lorain to have this major artery flowing through it? Wouldn’t the two highways combined bolster the industrial area that includes the steel mills?  Wouldn’t it vastly improve Lorain’s access to Cleveland Hopkins International Airport?

Consider the following map.  Existing surface streets are shown in yellow.  Existing limited access highways in the vicinity of Lorain are shown in magenta.  The additional highways I’ve just proposed in the preceding paragraphs are shown in red.


My proposal is just one way in which Lorain could address its outdated transportation infrastructure. If others have alternative proposals that address Lorain’s transportation deficiencies, I’d love to see some additional debate on the topic, but so far, I haven’t heard a peep out of anyone about any alternative proposals, so I’ll continue to promote my own proposal in order to fill the vacuum.

LCCC once hosted a community forum that talked about Lorain County’s future based on trends reflected in the most recent Census data. When they talked about comparing the fastest growing urban areas in the country with those that were declining, they said that the growing cities were the most DRIVABLE! Get it? DRIVABLE! Lorain is not drivable. Not yet, anyway. Yes, what I propose is expensive, but it’s worth it if it achieves what we design it to do. A cheaper highway through nowhere gets us . . . nowhere.  As an illustration, the Flats in Cleveland are difficult to drive to, yet the city is constantly fighting blight there. A few years ago we heard about a much-ballyhooed revitalization of the Flats. Only properties were fixed up–the Flats were not made more drivable. Guess what?  There will never cease to be more calls for urban renewal of Cleveland’s Flats so long as the urban renewals undertaken are nothing but cosmetic facelifts without addressing drivability. How much money does it cost to pay for the same urban renewal over and over and over again? Add that into the cost of a highway through nowhere.  Urban renewal efforts in Lorain will fail to take hold so long as those efforts only result in cosmetic facelifts.

I will have more to say about paying for the expenses of transportation projects in future installments of this series, and I’ll branch out to addressing the transportation deficiencies of other communities such as Elyria, Norwalk, Sandusky, Tiffin, and Fostoria, as well.  I also want to address other modes of transportation besides highways, though I’ve already posted some thoughts pertaining to passenger rail here.

To be continued at a future date . . .

As climate change negotiations approach in Copenhagen . . .

The following gruesome photos (below the fold) have gone viral on the internet, and have even made their way into my email inbox.  I tried to check the website cited on the pics, but I don’t read Arabic, so I reached a dead end. I also googled the photos and found them posted at numerous websites that advocate against eating meat.

Are the photos real?  Are they doctored in any way?  Are they photoshopped?  Is it a complete hoax?

They are purported to be photos of a ritual slaughter of Risso dolphins and pilot whales at a harbor in the sparsely populated archipelago of the Faeroe Islands, ruled by Denmark, the nation that will soon be hosting a global summit on saving the planet through creation of a new climate change regime. Purportedly, these marine mammals are used for food, but, allegedly, much more “food” is harvested than is actually consumed. Read the rest of this entry »

Transportation, part 1, historical retrospective

Way back when the country was first being settled, and travel over land was difficult, the highways were the waterways.  Settlements were most dense along navigable waterways.  Lorain, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, and Toledo are examples of cities that lie alongside navigable waterways.  Shipping from Cincinnati down the Ohio to the Mississippi and down to New Orleans was pretty quick.  From New Orleans, freight could be shipped up the Atlantic Seaboard.  This was a lot easier than hauling freight over the Appalachian Mountains.  Once iron ore was located in large quantities in the region surrounding Lake Superior, the steel industry fueled the growth of Northeast Ohio, as ore flowed into Lake Erie ports to converge with coal from nearby Southeast Ohio, West Virginia, and Western Pennsylvania.  Once canals and locks were added to the Great Lakes, the Lake Erie ports, via the Saint Lawrence Seaway, were closer to European ports than were the major ports along the Eastern Seaboard (due to the curvature of the Earth’s surface), providing this area with an advantage when it came to exporting goods.

Land transportation kept improving, however, with the construction of the National Road that led from Wheeling WV through towns like Cambridge, Zanesville, Columbus, and Springfield before crossing the state line into Richmond IN.  At the heyday of canals, about 1830, railroads were first being pioneered.  In the 1870’s to the beginning of the 20th century, railroads were extremely important to shipping.  Towns that lay along crossroads or canals that were bypassed by the railroad lines had their growth stunted.  Paved roads eventually eclipsed the railroads as the automobile industry took off, especially after more of the middle class were able to purchase cars.  For awhile, railroads and ocean-going vessels were still preferred methods of shipping huge amounts of freight, but with the advent of modern-day interstate highways, semi-trucks, and the recent predominance of just-in-time production schedules that keeps inventory levels low (thus allowing for smaller shipments), over-the-road shipping has scaled the heights to become king of the mountain.

Now settlements sprawl from interchanges along limited-access divided highways.  For a while, since automobile use grew year after year after year, towns like Fremont, Norwalk, Sandusky, Elyria, and Lorain were choosing to ease the congestion of their downtowns by diverting through-traffic along newly constructed bypasses.  Bypasses worked so well that traffic was indeed diverted from downtown, and businesses migrated from downtown to the outskirts to be near the bypass.  Luckily for major cities, like Cleveland, Toledo, Akron, Columbus, Dayton, and Cincinnati, the interstates did manage to cross into the more central sections of those cities, although those inner cities still have to compete with the outerbelts.  Water transportation, while now slower, is still cheap for hauling huge amounts of freight, but now there are supertankers hauling freight across the oceans.  Guess what?  Supertankers don’t fit through the locks of the Welland Canal that links Lake Erie with Lake Ontario, neither are supertankers able to navigate the Saint Lawrence.  When it comes to shipping grain, coal, steel, and commodities like that which are shipped by the megatons, the Great Lakes ports are no longer as efficient as ocean ports.

It used to be that, pound for pound, hauling freight by air was expensive.  But with just-in-time production schedules, not a lot of pounds have to be shipped anymore.  In this instant gratification society that has an ever greater demand for overnight parcel delivery, organizations like UPS that you ordinarily think of as ground carriers, due to the ubiquitous brown delivery trucks, are actually hauling more and more parcels by airplane.  It used to be that corporate headquarters needed to be located conveniently in relation to an airport because business leaders had to be able to use air travel to keep track of their far-flung empires.  This is still true, even though telecommunications advances have allowed business leaders to stay home a lot more often.  But now, distribution centers and manufacturers also need to be conveniently located near airports because freight is being shipped more and more through the air.  In fact, distribution centers and manufacturers do very well when they are at an intermodal hub of air, rail, road, and water transportation.

To be continued at a future date . . .

The Obamacare vote among Ohio’s representatives in Congress

Late Saturday night, 11/7/2009, the U.S. House of Representatives narrowly passed an Obamacare bill, 220-215.

As you may recall, this past summer, when Obamacare opponents said that the proposed legislation hadn’t ruled out federal subsidies for abortions, Obamacare supporters said that such a charge was as fictitious as death panels and coverage for illegal immigrants.  “Stop telling lies!” was the mantra of the Obamacare supporters.  Obamacare opponents, of course, were not telling lies, and federal subsidies of abortion weren’t stricken from the Obamacare bill until Saturday, just an hour before the final Obamacare bill vote, when an amendment to the bill, the Stupak amendment, was passed.

Not until the final hour had abortions been ruled out of the bill.

Could Congress have saved themselves some headaches by ruling out abortions much earlier in the process?  I think so.  Speaker Pelosi, however, has been playing a game of brinksmanship, to squeak uber-leftist legislation through.  Moderate Democrats have been left in a bind.

Many moderate Democrats arrived in Congress on the heels of Republican scandals.  Other moderate Democrats won seats because Republican officeholders voted like liberal Democrats on key issues.  Moderate Democrats pledged that they would represent voters’ interests more faithfully than their Republican opponents, and that they’d be scandal-free.  Voters in many conservative-leaning districts took a big risk by electing Democrats instead of Republicans.

While the moderate Democrats may have remained true to the pledge that they would not embroil themselves in scandal, their voting records under Pelosi’s leadership have been quite liberal, as Pelosi hasn’t sought middle ground on any issue whatsoever.  Conservative-leaning districts are quickly learning that the Democrats they elected aren’t really championing voters’ interests.

Let’s recap how the Ohio delegation voted on the Stupak amendment and on the House’s finalized version of the Obamacare bill:

  • Republicans Boehner, Turner, Latta, LaTourette, Tiberi, Jordan, Schmidt, and Austria all voted for the Stupak amendment (to rule out federal subsidization of abortion) and against the final Obamacare bill.
  • Democrat Boccieri voted for the Stupak amendment and against the final Obamacare bill.
  • Democrat Kucinich voted against the Stupak amendment and against the final Obamacare bill.
  • Democrats Space, Wilson, Kaptur, Ryan, and Driehaus voted for the Stupak amendment and for the final Obamacare bill.
  • Democrats Sutton, Kilroy, and Fudge voted against the Stupak amendment and for the final Obamacare bill.

Question:  Whose re-election bids were helped and whose were hurt by their votes on Saturday?

Republicans are helping themselves with these Saturday votes, and some need all the help they can get.  For Austria, he’s a freshman, so he needs votes like these to establish himself.  Boehner, Tiberi, and Schmidt all voted for the initial Wall Street bailout last fall, so they’ve got some catching up to do, as their votes started our nation down the socialist path.  LaTourette, who, in past years, has always faced very liberal campaign opponents, and who’d also been labeled as a RINO by many inside the GOP, has really benefited by Pelosi’s uber-left agenda.  With no middle ground being sought in the Pelosi house, LaTourette has had no middle ground to steer towards, and, having to steer either left or right, LaTourette has steered right, thus bolstering his conservative credentials and winning greater favor from the base.  Though his district lies in Northeast Ohio, and though local Democrats may postulate that LaTourette has moved too far to the right to be relevant in his district, I think LaTourette has strengthened his hold on the district, as Pelosi has steered Congress much further to the left than voters in LaTourette’s district can stomach.  LaTourette’s liberal campaign opponents didn’t gain enough traction against him in the past, and now that the true colors of liberals are openly displayed, I don’t think they’ll gain enough traction against him in 2010.

Leave it to Dennis Kucinich to march to the beat of a different drum.  Some speculate that if the vote had been 217 to 217 on the Obamacare bill, with Kucinich being the last person to cast a vote, that he would’ve capitulated, and voted for the measure.  He was given wiggle-room this time.  I’m not sure whether his constituents will be amused or annoyed by his capriciousness, but he’s dodged every bullet so far.

Though there are some liberal Democrats around Ohio that are incensed by Boccieri’s vote, I think the vote helps him.  The lefty voices claim that Boccieri can’t win over conservatives because they’ll still fault him for cap-and-trade and various sundry bailout votes, which is true, yet I think this vote, because it’s so highly publicized, will help Boccieri among independent, middle-of-the-road voters.

For Kaptur and Ryan, they haven’t sufficiently alienated their constituencies by these votes.  Their support of the Stupak amendment spares them from Catholic backlash while their support of the Obamacare bill leaves them in good standing with the unions.  Though Driehaus voted the same way, I don’t think it helps.  The high tide of Democrat turnout that carried Driehaus into office on Obama’s coattails won’t recur in the 2010 election, and I think his seat reverts back to Republican control.  Space and Wilson like to talk as if they are middle-of-the-road, but with no middle ground in the Pelosi House, they’ve chosen to steer to the left on every vote.  Somehow, eastern Ohio doesn’t keep close tabs on their Congressional representatives until scandal erupts, like it did with Bob Ney, Jim Traficant, and Wayne Hays.  If they were keeping close tabs, Space and Wilson would be dead meat in 2010.

Lastly, there are the Emily’s List delegation members.  In Fudge’s district, she’s a shoo-in.  I can’t imagine her re-election being screwed up by any Congressional vote. Whether she votes uber-liberal or ultra-conservative for the rest of her term, just the fact that she’ll have a “D” by her name in November 2010 will ensure her election.  Sutton has shown that she cares more about the views of liberal lobbyists around the Beltway than she does about the views of voters in her district.  Though her district leans slightly left, it’s not an uber-liberal district, so I think Sutton is hurting herself and increasing the risk that she could be successfully outflanked on the right.  Finally, there’s Kilroy.  Come November 2010, she’s toast.

One final note about the gamesmanship of Beltway lobbyists, I highly recommend this BizzyBlog post that explains how Obamacare might have been defeated if not for National Right-to-Life blocking the route.  Pathetic.

I wanna be a czar

It’s another Saturday of college football,  a government-subsidized, tax-exempt moneymaker for the biggest collegiate athletic programs.

I’m not suggesting we should start taxing college athletics to death.  I definitely think the federal government needs to drastically cut both spending and taxes.

But I do want to call attention to a charade.

At the end of the season, there will be bowl games, and a mythical champion will be crowned.

No playoffs.  But there’ll be a champion.

The two teams vying for the championship will be chosen by . . . pundits.

Since pundits do the choosing, why not have the championship at the beginning of the season, and what is currently the regular schedule can become mere exhibition games?  The pundits just have to pick the best team from the SEC and the best team from the Big 12, and those’ll be the contenders for the big championship game that kicks off the exhibition season.

Think that makes no sense?  What happens in reality makes only slightly more sense.  There is this ranking formula called the BCS that automatically assumes that the SEC is strongest conference.

Oh, but on the gridiron, the SEC proves its dominance with its winning record against its non-conference opponents, right?

Oh yeah!  I was totally impressed with that 62-3 beatdown that Florida gave to Charleston Southern.

I can’t wait to see how the Alabama Crimson Tide fares against Tennessee-Chattanooga.

That’s sarcasm, in case you missed it.

Charleston Southern and Chattanooga are colleges that aren’t even in the NCAA Bowl Subdivision.  It’s like a high school varsity squad cushioning the schedule with JV teams.  Yeah, there’s a chance the game will be competitive, but will the outcome of such games really inform you how good the varsity squads are?

Despite the creampuff nonconference schedule, even an SEC team with a loss can make it into the national title game, conceivably even two losses, which means that besides Florida and Alabama, LSU is still in the running.  LSU sheduled only teams within the NCAA Bowl Subdivision this season, unlike Florida and Alabama, though it’s non-conference lineup isn’t exactly scary, with the likes of Lousiana Tech, Louisiana-Lafayette, Tulane, and a U of Washington squad that lost all of its games last season.

By the way, each team plays 12 games during its regular season.  That means 6 home games and 6 away games, right?  Well, Alabama and LSU scheduled 7 home games and 5 away games.  Florida scheduled 8 home games and 4 away games.

The deck seems a little stacked, don’t you think?

Even my favorite collegiate team, the Ohio State Buckeyes, pad their schedule.  7 home games and 5 away games is standard for the Buckeyes.

The schools in the NCAA Bowl Subdivision don’t want to switch to a playoff format.  They want to make money.  The current bowl game scheme helps the fattest cats get fatter.

I’m not saying making money is a bad thing.  In America, we are at liberty to make money.

But let’s not kid ourselves that football in the NCAA Bowl Subdivision is a wholly capitalist venture.  The government does subsidize universities, and it does grant universities tax-exempt status.  Someone might even suggest that our universities are socialist, and who am I to say they’re wrong?

Occasionally, some members of Congress, and even President Obama, have called out the football bowl scheme and the so-called championship game for what it is: a charade.  Is there an approach that might improve the system that wouldn’t totally overturn it?  Sure!  That’s where I come in!

Daniel Jack Williamson is the solution.

For an annual salary of $48,000 (that’s less than $1000 per week!) and reimbursement for any job-related travel expenses (I’ll fly coach, or take Amtrak, and stay at budget motels, I promise!) I’ll go to work as the Obama Administration’s sports scheduling czar!  That’s right!  I’ll work for Obama!  Do you hear me, Mr. President?  If I work for you, that means I won’t be able to blog about you, and I won’t be in a position to criticize you!  Doesn’t that sound like a great deal?  And when Glenn Beck picks on me for being a White House czar, I won’t be thin-skinned like Van Jones, and, if Glenn Beck says something about me that’s untrue, I will not be afraid to call Mr. Beck’s phone, unlike Anita Dunn. (Oh, I’m sorry–I assumed Ms. Dunn was afraid.  I guess I assumed wrong.  Ms. Dunn is not afraid of Glenn Beck.  It’s just that the record didn’t need to be corrected because Mr. Beck was 100% correct.  My bad.)

As sports scheduling czar, I will schedule all the regular season games so that teams play meaningful schedules.  The teams won’t be playing schools who aren’t in the NCAA Bowl Subdivision (perhaps with the exception of schools who are in their first year after transitioning to the Bowl Subdivision).  If the typical school has 4 non-conference games, then, for the most part, they’ll play 2 games (one home, one away) against teams from 2 different major conferences and 2 games (one home, one away) against teams from 2 different mid-major conferences.  The regular season will have 6 home games and 6 away games for all teams, whether the team happens to be Florida, or the team happens to be Eastern Michigan.  With the more balanced regular season schedule, that I, as White House sports schedule czar, will impement, pundits will be able to compare apples to apples instead of apples to oranges when bowl selection takes place.

By taking the scheduling privileges away from college athletic directors and giving them to me, your sports scheduling czar, you will be reminding the schools that they are dependent on government for a great many things.  They are socialist institutions, not capitalist institutions, and you aren’t about to let them forget it.

If you’d like, I’ll even schedule all the other NCAA sports teams from all the divisions–big school, little school, volleyball, synchronized swimming, fencing, you name it, I’ll schedule it.

I’ll have my rolodex filled with contacts at all the sports venues so I’ll know when concerts and other events have dibs on the stadiums and arenas.  For venues that house home games of more than one team, I’ll make sure there are no time conflicts.  If a game is postponed due to weather, I’ll get that make-up game on the schedule.

Major League Baseball has an exemption from anti-trust laws.  As a bonus, at no extra charge, as White House sports schedule czar, I’ll schedule the MLB regular season, too.

NFL, NBA, NHL, MLS, WNBA, I’ll whip up regular seasons schedules for all of them, if you’d like.  Any day of the week you’d like to sink into a sofa and watch sports on TV while dithering and procrastinating decisions about Afghanistan, I’ll make sure there’s a compelling sports matchup on tap.

Mr. President, just email me (email address appears on my “About” page), to let me know you’d like to set up an interview for the czar job, and I’ll respond with my phone number so we can iron out the remaining details by phone and in person.  Like Glenn Beck, I’ll be waiting by my phone for your call.


Hoping somebody’s listening


This was forwarded to me by way of some Ohioans who trekked to Washington DC yesterday to express their disapproval of how the U.S. House of Representatives is shaping their health care bill.

The AARP, in defiance of the wishes of a great number of its members, has endorsed the House version of the bill, which not only doesn’t have bipartisan support, it doesn’t even have the support of all the Democrats.

Michelle Malkin always has riveting blog entries about this topic.  4 of her blog entries posted during this past week can be found here, here, here, and here.  I recommend reading through them.

2009 election results: 1 step forward & 2 steps backward

Some of the election races turned out the way I’d hoped, but I’m sure regular readers know that, over all, I’m displeased with Ohio’s election results, especially pertaining to Issue 3.

All counties routinely covered by Buckeye RINO, namely Erie, Huron, Seneca, Lorain, and Cuyahoga, favored the casino cartel.  Absentee votes were overwhelmingly in favor of the casinos. In a few years, Ohioans will see how the casino vote is every bit as damaging as the lottery vote a few decades ago, but it will be too late to do anything about it, just as it’s too late to do anything about the lottery.  These things can’t be undone.  Sorry, Ohio, but you’ve stepped in it.

Ohio also voted to pay out more interest by taking on more debt with passage of Issue 1.

In Erie County voting, there were some election night successes that indicate an improvement for both the Sandusky school board and the Sandusky city commission.  Voters did pick Koonce for Sandusky school board and dump Patterson.  Smart move.  Also, two Sandusky city commission incumbents who are among the good old boys, Stahl and Warner, came in dead last, while challengers Nuesse and Hamilton picked up two of the three commission seats available.  However, by favoring Issue 3, Erie County residents rewarded some bad behavior and have undercut Cedar Point and the indoor water parks as tourist destinations.

In Cuyahoga County, voters did pass Issue 6 and reject Issue 5 in an attempt to come to grips with corruption in county government.  However, in passing Issue 3, voters have greatly facilitated the operations of organized crime, so, at the same time they are trying to heal the damage, they’ve shot themselves in the foot.

In Lorain County, it seems that Gary Bennett has won election to Elyria Municipal Court, that Phil Van Treuren did secure a seat on Amherst city council, and it seems that the Lorain school board candidates endorsed at Buckeye RINO have emerged as winners. Issue 4, a county sales tax increase, was also defeated.

However, Lorain may have to change its name to Giardini-on-the-Lake as Democrat good old boy party boss Anthony Giardini saw all of his preferred candidates sweep the elections for Lorain city council.  It’s really hard for me to feel sorry for Giardini-on-the-Lake when voters continue to support a Democrat machine that has abused them terribly.  In the race for Law Director, Giardini-on-the-Lake voters rewarded non-compliance.

Elyria voters chose exactly the same city council candidates that were endorsed by the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram.  Maybe the CT wants to do more than just report events–maybe they want to shape events.  Maybe the CT, with its endorsements, just wanted to bet on the winning horses and come out smelling like a rose.  I don’t know, but I bet the city won’t move forward as successfully as if the election results had matched Buckeye RINO’s endorsements.  Most disappointing were the Democrat sweeps in the at-Large seats.  Here’s the fly in the ointment with electing the CT slate:  The city tax issue, Issue 10, went down to defeat.  The CT endorsed Issue 10.  The city council that the CT has chosen doesn’t know how to govern without passage of Issue 10.  The Buckeye RINO-endorsed city council would have been able to move forward without passage of Issue 10.  If Elyria voters had thought this through more thoroughly, they would have realized that their opposition to Issue 10 meant that they needed to elect the Buckeye RINO slate, not the CT slate.  Just watch–Elyria will try to raise taxes again, because of who was elected to city council.  Leopards don’t change their spots.  Just look at the county commissioners with their sales tax hikes.  Voters in Lorain County chose commissioner candidates that can’t govern without hiking taxes.  Two years ago, a sales tax hike approved by county commissioners was soundly defeated.  Did voters oust the offending county commissioners?  No.  They returned them to office.  What happened?  They hiked sales taxes again.  Voters rejected that tax hike by rejecting Issue 4.  Want to stop going down the path of tax hikes?  Vote for different commissioners!  Next year, Betty Blair’s commissioner seat will be up for election.  Should you return Blair to office?  Not if you’ve voted against the tax hikes twice.  Think about it.

It’s November 3rd, 2009

Did you vote?