June 2007 Archive

Right Angle Blog’s low blow

More blog baseball here. Read at your own risk.

Matt Naugle of Right Angle Blog posted earlier today about Jerid at Buckeye State Blog’s father’s 1986 DUI conviction. Few have been tougher on Jerid than I have, but posting this kind of info on family members isn’t acceptable. My criticisms are always focused on what Jerid says or does. I would never dream of digging up dirt on any blogger’s family members, or publishing it if someone sent it to me.

Matt has removed the post. He should also apologize.

As you can imagine there’s plenty of reaction. Here’s Jerid himself:

I’m just a 24 year old law student, please don’t attack my family. If you insist on being an asshole, go after me.

I’m not ashamed of my father. I’m not ashamed of my mother. They’ve made plenty of mistakes in their lives, and I’m sure I’ve followed suit. But that doesn’t relate back to our political debate. Not in the least. Not a tiny bit.

Here’s Brian at Plunderbund:

I believe that this kind of ugliness must be confronted to be defeated.

As Jerid points out, this stuff has absolutely nothing to do with anything other than trying to embarrass and attack uninvolved third parties.

Left of Ohio:

So Right Angle Blog came back from their maintenance with all the grace and journalistic integrity of a super market tabloid. In a post where Matt Naugle announced that the changes were complete he attacked an Ohio blogger by posting details of their father’s DUI (which took place 2 months before I was even born), claiming this was why the blogger defended Frankie Coleman.

That’s all correct. (And Matt has done this before with a post on Jennifer Brunner’s son.) One major theme running through all of those posts though is the idea that it is the Ohio GOP that’s responsible, because as Brian puts it:

I’d ignore them entirely, if there wasn’t significant evidence that Naugle is running an astroturf blog over there, and thus is doing this at the behest of the Ohio GOP.

And Jerid’s post is titled “The Republicans Would Like You To Know About My Father’s Alcohol Problem”.

I have no idea to what extent, if any, the Ohio GOP is behind Matt’s site. I do know that at least some of the speculation in those Plunderbund links is wrong, since it involved me and Matt maybe being the same person, which I know from first-hand evidence not to be true. So I don’t think Jerid has the facts to support saying that it’s “The Republicans” who would like you to have this info. Jerid has conflated Matt’s postings with the entire Ohio Republican Party before, as Lincoln Logs has observed.

UPDATE: More from Blue Bexley, and from VikingSpirit’s blog, “RAB and BSB: Crossing the Line“.

Buckeye State Blog represents conservatives now

Jerid at BSB was doing some shotgun journalism on Fred Thompson yesterday, asking, “Conservatives are interested if you support Ann Coulter’s remarks recently? If you’ll take a stand against big media?”

Thompson pays him no mind, unfortunately. I’m glad however that Jerid is at least trying to ask questions that conservatives demand to know. Maybe he can get work with Rush Limbaugh or FOX, since Jerid is now apparently interested in giving conservatives the info they want.

iPhone Day

Apple will start selling the iPhone at 6pm today. Yes, there are lines. This blog post has a picture of the line at Easton. Here’s an NBC4i story on the big day:

“It’s the new must-have,” said Michelle Schleppi, 32, explaining why she wanted to be first in line at the Apple store in Columbus, where the iPhone was going on sale at 6 p.m.

Apple and AT&T Inc. stores nationwide were offering the product at that hour in each time zone, with customers limited to two iPhones per purchase on a first come, first served basis.

Schleppi said she had scoped out the Columbus Apple location since midnight Friday but saw no one else around, so she didn’t try waiting until 6 a.m. Security at the outdoor shopping center chased her away and didn’t allow the line to start forming until two hours later, she said.

By midmorning, dozens of people were behind her.

I’m going to wait until they come out with the implant version.

UPDATE: This is hilarious:

A film major was trying to escape with his iLife. He was only buying software, but his waif-like consitution was no match for the mad throng that pressed forward. Bruised, he retreated to the Genuis Bar, where several of the weaker sales associates had taken refuge. They were calling Cupertino for support, their fingers dancing away on the revolutionary interface, but the network, like the fading promise of salvation, had collapsed.

Make sure you read it all.

On the downtown condo market

Interesting post by Joe Peffer at Columbus Real Estate Notes:

In the wake of a hugely successful City-Hop, One must still ask the question: Is the notion of first time buyers and young professionals snatching up all those groovy urban digs just a media-induced smoke and mirror trick?

Yes, it is, for the most part. Baby Boomers and Empty Nesters have been the bulk of the buyers in the Downtown Columbus Condo market so far and they probably will be for the foreseeable future.

He point to this article in the Other Paper in which he’s interviewed.

The suburban slump has created a vicious cycle, said Rob Vogt, a partner at Vogt Williams & Bowen, a Columbus company that provides national real estate market-feasibility information.

“The profile of the buyers Downtown tends to be empty nesters who are moving from the suburbs,” Vogt said. “When you’re trying to sell your $400,000 house in Dublin and there’s no buyer, you’re not going to be able to close on your condominium Downtown.”

With most Downtown condo price points traditionally starting near $350,000, Vogt said developers made the mistake in the first round of building of bypassing many first-time home buyers.

“The lion’s share of the market isn’t being served by the current supply of Downtown condos,” he said.

So you just start building cheaper ones, right? Joe Peffer, a buyer’s agent specializing in urban real estate for Coldwell Banker, said it’s not that simple because young buyers’ expectations of a luxurious Downtown pad clash with their limited bank accounts.

“For $250,000, they want to buy excitement, and all the upgrades have to come standard,” he said. “It can happen, but they certainly won’t get more than seven to eight hundred square feet.”

Speaking of downtown condos, Cap City Savvy dissents from the hoopla surrounding the announcement of “the new downtown neighborhood“:

So why aren’t I doing backflips like everyone else about this project?

1) We only get one chance with all of our surface parking lots. They’re a blank canvas and leave us with huge potential. Residential doesn’t just go away. You don’t get any mulligans. You can’t just kick residents out and decide that you want to build something with more density.

2) The project is being pitched as “affordable”, which combined with the favorable city financing package (in addition to the tax abatements), makes me think that there might be some handshake deals going on here. Look at it this way, when is the last time you heard of a developer selling units below market rate? One bedroom units for $150k with private greenspace in a premium location don’t make sense. Developers letting things go below market rate doesn’t smell right.

3) Density brings amenities like corner markets, clothing shops, restaurants, etc… We’re not helping ourselves much in that regard by only adding 260 units on 9 city blocks.

It does seem a bit un-downtown-like.

Republicans back gay candidate for City Council

Even though some Franklin County Republicans have reservations, the party has gone ahead with their endorsement:

Despite accusations that he has been disloyal to their party, Republican leaders voted last night to endorse Bill Brownson for Columbus City Council.

Brownson, who will replace placeholder candidate John Campbell, is the first openly gay candidate to be backed by the county GOP’s 144-member central committee.

The election is in November. Previous post here.

Nanny state to the rescue

Does Ohio need this?

The Ohio bill would prohibit anyone younger than 18 from using a commercial tanning bed without a doctor’s prescription for ultraviolet radiation treatments. Ohio law currently requires minors to have parental permission before using a tanning bed.

“I don’t believe parents are educated to the fact of how dangerous these tanning rays can be to a young child,” said Rep. Courtney Combs, a Hamilton Republican who sponsored the proposal. “Surely to God, if you knew that, you wouldn’t allow your child to go into a tanning bed.”

According to the legislative conference, 15 states introduced bills on this topic this year and, as of May, three have become law.

If parents are unaware of certain dangers, the response should be to get the facts out- not to take away parental rights. And not every problem requires a law. But when you’re a state legislator, I guess every problem looks like a nail. (Huh? You know what I mean.)

More campaign songs for Clinton

That’s a good impression. Here’s a real Clinton video.

(Via Boing Boing.)

Fireworks and the Fourth

Fireworks #23

Maureen McCabe has a round-up of Fourth of July activities in the Columbus metro area. Musical highlights include Buckwheat Zydeco in Grove City and K.C. and the Sunshine Band in Dublin. And there are plenty of fireworks displays scheduled, starting tomorrow night in Grove City, with most of them on Wednesday. including Columbus’s Red, White, and Boom will be on Tuesday. Check out the Dispatch’s fireworks list.

(Photo: Fireworks #23 by Jared Cherup at Flickr.)

Ohio senators help defeat immigration bill

Ohio Sens. Brown and Voinovich have changed their opinions on the immigration bill:

On Tuesday, Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown and GOP Sen. George V. Voinovich of Ohio voted, along with 62 other senators, in favor of moving toward a final vote on immigration reform.

But what was seen as a victory for proponents of overhauling the nation’s immigration laws and offering a path to citizenship for an estimated 10 million to 12 million illegal immigrants now in the country turned to defeat today. Brown and Voinovich again were on the winning side — but this time with “no” votes on the issue of continuing to move toward a final vote, joining 51 other senators in derailing the legislation for the foreseeable future.

I wonder if all those calls had anything to do with it. Here’s Lincoln Logs on the switch:

First, Senator Voinovich voted against cloture. I think he heard Ohio loud and clear and he did the right thing. He deserves credit for that - even I suggested this morning that I expected him to vote for the bill. The Ohio blogosphere can think what they want about Voinovich and they can take as much credit for the vote as they want (the people of Ohio, I think, deserve substantial credit for that), but in the end he had the vote and he did the right thing.

The bill now appears to be dead. NYT:

The Senate voted today to effectively block efforts to overhaul the nation’s immigration laws, meaning that the issue is most likely dead until after the 2008 elections.

Cleveland Clinic to stop hiring smokers

The famous Cleveland Clinic has issued a press release stating their policy not to hire smokers:

Effective Sept. 1, applicants will be informed of the policy when they apply for a job. The presence of Cotinine [a nicotine metabolite] will be confirmed during the post-offer required physical exam. Applicants who test positive for tobacco products will not be considered for employment and will be referred to tobacco cessation resources paid for by Cleveland Clinic. After 90 days, applicants successful in quitting will be encouraged to reapply.

Hey, it’s for your own good. I myself have a policy not to hire Baptists.

With this expanded policy, the Clinic joins the World Health Organization, the American Cancer Society, and more than 6,000 other employers in the United States who have chosen to advocate for healthier living.

I think employers ought to be able to hire and fire whomever they want. But don’t call this little bit of totalitarian puritanism advocacy. It’s control.

UPDATE: Lincoln Logs, Right Angle Blog, and Glass City Jungle also weigh in.

Weekend stuff

Lisa the Waitress has another things to do in Columbus this weekend post up. Highlights include Bodies, The Exhibition, which is in Columbus from yesterday through October, and a Grandview Art Hop on Saturday. And of course, Tuesday the 3rd is Columbus’s Red, White, and Boom fireworks thingy.

Voinovich not too popular on the right

Republican Senator George Voinovich has not won any friends on the right this week. Here are a couple of choice samples:

King’s Right Site:

…first he supports the shamnesty program and now he wants to pull out of Iraq, but not abandon our mission! Pull out and not abandon our mission???

With his head still in his ass and standing on phone books while speaking to the media, Little George, emulating his new idol Kookcinich, tried explaining his betrayal.

Joe C. at Right Angle Blog:

I don’t think I’m overstating it when I say that any illusions GV may have had of running for re-election in 2010 were dashed today. All any challenger would have to do is continually replay this blithering at every campaign stop and make it a TV ad with the trailer: “Do you want this idiot in the senate for 6 more years?” I doubt that anyone could vote for him with a clear conscience.

Voinovich did a segment on Sean Hannity’s radio show that didn’t go over very well. BizzyBlog has a round-up of caustic opinion.

Giuliani and Clinton tied in Ohio

The latest Quinnipiac University poll shows Fred Thompson, who hasn’t formally announced, picking up support, most likely at Rudolph Giuliani’s expense.

Thompson, who played the district attorney on television’s Law & Order, has crept into second place behind former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani in Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania…

Giuliani’s 4 point loss now has him tied with Hillary Clinton in Ohio.

Clinton and Giuliani are tied in Ohio at 43 percent, compared to May 16 when Quinnipiac showed Giuliani leading Clinton 47 percent to 43 percent.

Here’s the previous Quinnipiac poll post.

Columbus’s CAIR connection

From Central Ohioans Against Terrorism:

Following up on exclusive information we have provided here at the COAT blog, FrontPage Magazine today profiles our Columbus homeboy, Ahmad Al-Akhras, “Hometown Jihad: Getting By With a Little Help From His (Terrorist) Friends“. The article notes that Al-Akhras is one of Mayor Coleman’s closest associates, but also maintains some not-so-fashionable friendships. Say, with two Columbus men charged with being part of an active al-Qaeda cell. Or with his “longtime” friend, Cleveland imam Fawaz Damra, who was deported earlier this year after being convicted for being part of the terrorist Palestinian Islamic Jihad organization. And Ahmad Al-Akhras has been there to defend them all publicly.

Here’s the opening graf from the FrontPage article:

No one can deny that Ahmad Al-Akhras, CAIR National Vice Chairman and Columbus, Ohio-area resident, is connected. He is one of Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman’s closest advisors, which no doubt has helped Al-Akhras get appointed to the city’s Community Relations Commission, the Street Car Working Group [pdf], and named chairman of the Transportation and Pedestrian Commission. Al-Akhras makes his living working for the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission. And as one of the first five inductees to the Leadership Columbus Hall of Fame, he circulates among the rich and powerful of the Central Ohio elite.

If you’re not concerned about CAIR, let me quote again from the Cleveland Jewish News:

CAIR has been presented as a civil rights group advocating acceptance of and equality for American Muslims. But there is another side to CAIR. Senator Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) describes it as an organization “which we know has ties to terrorism.” And (anti-terrorist expert) Steve Emerson calls it “a radical front group for Hamas.”

CAIR officials have been indicted for various charges ranging from fundraising for terrorist organizations to aiding and abetting jihadists. An ADL report observed that CAIR was founded by leaders of the Islamic Association for Palestine, a Hamas-affiliated, anti-Semitic propaganda organization and that CAIR also endorsed and participated in several anti-Israel rallies supporting Hezbollah last August.

When he’s not helping to plan trolleys for the streets of Columbus, Dr. Al-Akhras can be found in the newspaper saying good things about Ohio terror suspects. On Christopher Paul:

“From the things I know, he is a loving husband and he has a wife and parents in town,” Al-Akhras said Thursday. “They are a good family together.”

On Nuradin Abdi:

“What we know about him is unlike how he is portrayed,” said Ahmad Al-Akhras, president of the Ohio office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

I’m sure they’re both quite charming. Here’s my previous post on Gov. Strickland’s dinner with CAIR.

Columbus recommends conserving water

Tanya Arsh, Columbus’s director of public utilities, is recommending that everyone ease up on water usage:

The city’s utilities director recommended yesterday that water customers conserve by limiting lawn sprinkling, [and] fixing leaks…

Other conservation methods the department suggested include using shorter cycles on washing machines and dishwashers and using a bag or gallon jug to displace water in toilet tanks. Shortening lawn-watering times, watering less frequently and watering at night all can help conserve water, the department said.

We’re not in drought conditions yet, but the forecast is looking a little dry.

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