News

Me likey bouncey

Gallup’s 3-day tracking poll for today shows that the R’s have halved the D’s advantage from an 8-point high 3 days ago to 4 points today. The 3-day released September 2 had Obama on top by 50-42% while today’s has it at 48-44. Since the polling for today’s release was conducted Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, the new numbers only reflect roughly 1/3 of any bounce from Palin’s speech on Wednesday night, and not much from McCain’s speech last night. (Some of the polling on each day could have occurred after that same night’s speech, presumably for folks further west.)

Pretty decent numbers for McCain-Palin. We won’t see the full effect of any RNC bounce in this poll until Monday, but that’ll include 2 weekend days which tend to skew results. So in theory we’d need to wait until Thursday, but by then of course there will be new things happening which will likely affect the results.

Rasmussen’s 3-day, with the same 3-day caveats, has a statistical tie with Obama over McCain, 46-45. It’s 48-46 with leaners.

More interesting perhaps is Rasmussen’s attitude survey.

Palin’s favorability is at 58% (Obama and McCain are tied at 57, Biden is at 48). This, I think, is a significant factoid:

Among unaffiliated voters, favorable opinions of McCain have increased by eleven percentage points in a week—from 54% before the Palin announcement to 65% today.

That’s a big jump. And the following graf has a certain bombshell quality about it:

However, following the Wednesday night speech, voters are fairly evenly divided as to whether Palin or Obama has the better experience to be President. Forty-four percent (44%) of voters say Palin has the better experience while 48% say Obama has the edge. Among unaffiliated voters, 45% say Obama has better experience while 42% say Palin.

Obama leads among unaffiliated voters on this question by 3%. That’s comparing the top of one ticket to the bottom of the other!

I’m looking forward to the next Quinnipiac for Ohio. I think Palin’s going to be a big hit here.

McCain’s day

OK, the first two-thirds of that speech: Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

McCain’s just never going to be anywhere nearly as good an orator as Obama, and everyone knows that. I did actually agree with many of the cultural/political positions he laid out, which was good. It’s a reminder that even if the right disagrees with John McCain on several controversial issues, there’s still a lot of reasons for the right to prefer him to the collectivized Democratic Party candidates. I’ll never completely get over McCain-Feingold though.

His own telling of the Hanoi Hilton years was quite strong- better than Fred Thompson’s telling of it. I do think they need to give that story a rest, however. Then the very end with the whole Country First bit was also very strong. I loved the ending with McCain’s exhortations to “fight, fight!” right through the crowd’s cheers.

I missed Cindy McCain. After watching speeches for two weeks, I’ve become exhausted from listening to them, so I wanted to save myself for John McCain’s speech. I like Lindsay Graham, but he’s no speechifier. He doesn’t seem to have the gravitas to hold a crowd at all.

What was the deal with Keith Olbermann cutting off Tom Brokaw in order to apologize on behalf of MSNBC for showing the RNC’s 9/11 video? Apparently, according to Keith, no television network should ever show any events from that day. He didn’t even say that the problem was the Repub’s politicizing of it- an objection which I would understand, if not agree with- the problem was showing anything at all, assuming he meant what he said.

I know the lefty mindset on the matter is that 9/11 footage makes Americans angry and gets them into a “Let’s roll!” spirit and that everything must be done to avoid that. It’s just weird for a media person to be so blatant about it. Meanwhile, footage of dead bodies floating in Katrina flooding- no problem. The RNC video didn’t have anything nearly that graphic.

Sick-day ballot to be withdrawn

From ProgressOhio:

Ohioans for Healthy Families, the state wide coalition that has sought enactment of a paid sick day law in the Buckeye state, announced today that it will ask that the Ohio Healthy Families Act not appear on the November ballot.

You might call this the Thomas Eagleton of ballot initiatives.

The group that filed the ballot request will formally request of the SOS later that the initiative not appear on the ballot. Apparently Gov. Ted Strickland was involved in getting them to retract it.

My question is, since they’ve already submitted the petition, with 240,000 signatures, to Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, by what reasoning should they be able to unilaterally retract it? I mean, nearly a quarter million people signed up to put it on the Ohio ballot. Does the group that submitted the petition have the authority to speak on behalf of all those people when the group changes its mind? Did a quarter million people also change their minds?
It might be legal, but it doesn’t seem ethical. Those folks signed up to get the initiative on the ballot, not to pledge their allegiance to whatever Ohioans for Healthy Families decided to do next.

A Central Ohio landmark was demolished Tuesday to make room for a new healthcare center.

The abandoned Schottenstein Department Store building on Parsons Avenue soon will be home to a new center that will provide quality care to South-Side residents.

Parsons Avenue needs all the help it can get. Though it is the place to go in Columbus for meth head prostitutes. (Video at the link.)

End of the Coop

It’s the end of an era. Tonight is the last game the Clippers will play at Cooper Stadium. They’ll be playing at Huntington Park next year.

Here’s columbusING, and here’s the Dispatch. And from last year, an old post of mine with pics of the stadium.

Ohioans go to Gustav

The Ohio National Guard is sending a CH-47 Chinook helicopter and five crew members to Louisiana from Company B, 238th General Support Aviation Battalion in Akron.

The unit is expected to help move supplies into staging areas, search for and rescue people and transport evacuees.

That’s good. There’s more, too.

The return of Skybus?

Maybe to Springfield? I’m dubious.

VP: It’s Sarah Palin

CNN has it. No link yet. In your face, Keeler! :)

She’s been my McCain VP prediction, and my preferred choice, for months now. I think it’s a good move. If you’re keeping score, I predicted John Edwards for Obama- man, was I way off! After that little fiasco, I moved on to Clinton. That didn’t work out either. I like Joe Biden, so I’ll be fine, thanks.

For those that never heard of her, she’s the governor of Alaska, relatively new to the political scene. Her bio will soon be all over the place, but for now, here’s her wiki page.

This is supposed to be officially announced later in Dayton, Ohio.

Here’s that CNN link.

Here’s an interesting pro and con from Jonah Goldberg at The Corner.

LisaRenee at Glass City Jungle:

In talking to quite a few people recently, especially moderate to conservative women who had voted for Clinton, the idea of a Palin pick was appealing to them for a variety of reasons. One of which of course is that she is a woman, another was even while dubbed conservative she has demonstrated the ability to stand up to political corruption.

Yes.

Here’s the official announcement site, via The Corner.

Clips & Comment has NBC video, along with some hope that a connection to Ted Stevens, the indicted Alaska Republican senator, can be found.

One thing about this pick, it puts the maximum breaks possible on the Obama convention bounce. If McCain had picked Romney or Pawlenty, it would’ve generated news of course, but the Palin pick generates something more than that. Pro or con, I think people will be having a more passionate response to this choice- and that’s something the McCain campaign was missing. It may or may not pay off in November, but the effect is certainly helpful now, the day after the Dem convention ended. Obama’s speech will barely have 24 hours in the news cycle.

Jill Miller Zimon at Writes Like She Talks:

…this is a HUGE miscalculation based on thinking that women chose Clinton because she’s a woman. That voter did it because she’s a pro-choice woman, not because she’s female. The campaigns have a lot to learn and accept about how women choose. Sexism is really going to sting them - because we just do not vote that way. As proven by Obama’s win.

Some women will vote for a woman because she’s a woman. (Nothing wrong with that when it’s for a first.) And why were so many Democratic women so strongly for Clinton? It’s not because she’s stronger than Obama on abortion rights. But there is a point there. Pro-life women were probably already on board with McCain. On the other hand, a lot of people, even many women, are not single-issue voters on abortion.

Buckblog: “It smacks of pandering.”

Plunderbund:

With his VP pick of Sarah Palin, John McCain has just thrown away one of the only reasonable attacks he had against Barack Obama: lack of experience.

Yeah, it was reasonable now that he can’t use it anymore. Heh. But that is a valid point. As I wrote in comments at Ben Keeler’s Ohio Politics blog:

Interesting that Obama’s pick tends to undermine one of his arguments against McCain, Washington business as usual, while McCain’s pick would tend undermine McCain’s argument against Obama, inexperience. Though out of all four people on both tickets, she’s got the most executive experience, i.e., some.

Americans have preferred former governors as their presidents since Jimmy Carter.

More round-up by Eric at Plunderbund. Some lefty lowlights include Tim Russo at Blogger Interrupted:

McCain thinks that because Sarach Quayle Palin has vaginal tubes, women who supported Hillary will suddenly flock to him.

Vaginal tubes. Classy as ever, Tim. Also Chuck at the Chief Source:

Now John has a new trophy around. As we should all be aware, John left his swimsuit model first wife when she started gaining weight and shrinking as a result of a car accident. He left her for Cindy, who was much younger and prettier….and had a lot of money to help him run for office.

But Cindy is now old and frail, so she must be concerned that very attractive Palin is going to steal her man.

I’m not overly familiar with that blog, but that strikes me as beneath that writer. It’s just sexist stereotyping, isn’t it? (It’s ok when liberals do it.)

Less disagreeably, here’s De Magno Opere: “Brilliant choice - if you want to stamp out the Obama flame for a day or two - and want to lose.” I had a similar thought. The greatest payoff for the Palin pick might just be today and maybe tomorrow, for squelching the Democrat convention bounce, which is already at 8 points according to Gallup- more than my humble prediction- and that mostly doesn’t include Obama’s speech last night. Michael also links to this story on the investigation into Palin’s “controversial firing of former state Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan.”

Strickland comes out against sick-day initiative

“While we would hope that all Ohio businesses would make paid sick days available to their employees whenever possible, we believe that this initiative is unworkable, unwieldy and would be detrimental to Ohio’s economy, and we will be opposing it and asking Ohioans to oppose it as a result,” said Strickland and Fisher in a statement.

Against labor? Interesting. Here’s the rest at Openers.

Tax credit shenanigans

A press release from State Rep. Mandel (R, Lyndhurst) and Jay Goyal (D, Mansfield):

COLUMBUS – State Representatives Josh Mandel (R- Lyndhurst) and Jay Goyal (D- Mansfield) announced today they will soon introduce legislation to offer state income tax credits to Ohio-educated graduates in return for their commitment to stay and work in Ohio.

Oh, my favorite: tax credits. One of the things that stands out for me about the 2004 presidential election was Al Gore’s mantra “targeted tax cuts.” (Second only to “lockbox.”) This season, tax credits are the fashion, and it seems everybody’s doing it.

McCain’s got his health care tax credit, and he’s got a proposed $5000 tax credit for people who buy new electric or hybrid cars.

Obama, clearly the winner in the tax credit contest, is proposing tax credits for having children ($7000), working ($500), child care (50%), tuition, building hybrid vehicles, and more.

There are two things wrong with targeted tax credits. One, the tax system is already ridiculously complicated, and clearly all these new rules will make it even worse, and will open the door to fraud. But more importantly, this is our money. A government which takes too much money from you, and then deigns to give some of it back- if you jump through some of these hoops they’ve set up- is too involved in our decisions.

Frequently the tax credit is sold as making citizens’ financial burdens lighter. This is a cynical ploy in which politicians pretend to care while they’re really trying to get people to toe the line on this or that government policy. How about this policy- let us keep more of our money in the first place, and then you won’t have to bother yourselves coming up with reasons to give some of it back.

Back to the Ohio residency plan, look at what they’re proposing for tax credits over 10 years:

* Associate’s degree: $5,000
* Bachelor’s degree: $20,000
* Master’s degree or higher: $30,000

I don’t have to point out studies which show that college graduates earn more than non-graduates. So this tax credit plan is also likely to be rather regressive- not good.

Here’s a different idea: reduce everyone’s taxes in Ohio. Then more of everyone will want to stay- including businesses. A plan like that might also help out a little problem like 7.2% unemployment.

UPDATE: Practically on cue, Mary Jo “Kilroy calls for targeted tax relief for middle class:”

Kilroy wants a college tuition tax credit worth up to $5,000 annually; increasing the child tax credit to 35 percent to a maximum of $2,100 for families earning up to $200,000; a $1,200 credit for the first $6,000 in elderly care expenses; $1,000 per person credit ($2,000 per family) for health insurance coverage otherwise lost between job, and finally a 401(k) match from the federal government of 25 percent up to $1,000 per year….

Kilroy said her plan could be paid for by repealing the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts.

Charming. Raise taxes on everyone, only give it back to those whose votes she wants to buy- I mean target.

Port Columbus gets new airline

Some good news for all you flyboys:

Local travelers still stinging from Skybus Airlines’ demise are expected to get a welcome piece of news today, as discount carrier AirTran Airways announces it will begin flights from Port Columbus in November.

The Orlando, Fla.-based airline will offer nonstop flights to Atlanta and Orlando and Fort Myers, Fla., beginning Nov. 6. Atlanta service will be twice daily, while service to the Florida destinations will be once daily.

A bit limited but it’s a help.

Tragic day in Ohio politics [Updated x 3]

This is rather shocking:

U.S. Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, the first African-American woman to represent Ohio in Congress, has died after suffering a brain aneurysm, said sources familiar with the situation.

UPDATE: Acknowledging earlier reports that she had died, CNN is saying Tubbs Jones “remains in critical condition.” I hope so. (Via Plunderbund.)

UPDATE 2: The Plain Dealer story linked above is gone. Now,Tubbs Jones in critical condition at Huron Hospital is the story.

UPDATE 3: And now it appears that she has passed away. 10TV News is reporting that:

Tubbs Jones died at 6:12 p.m. after suffering a brain hemorrhage caused by an aneurysm that burst and left her with limited brain function.

“Throughout the course of the day and into this evening, Congresswoman Tubbs Jones’ medical condition declined,” Sheil said in a statement from the clinic and Tubbs Jones’ family.

No voting machines at home

Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner issued a directive yesterday forbidding county elections officials from taking voting equipment home and bringing it to polling locations on Election Day. The directive affects at least 23 counties, including Fairfield.

That’s one of those rules that common sense would lead you believe had already been in place since, well, forever. (Dispatch.)

Ohio: McCain up by 5

Rasmussen has McCain up by 5 in Ohio. That’s 48-43% and includes leaners. It’s 45-41 among likely voters. Previous polls had it:

PPP, Aug 18, tied 45-45
Quinnipiac, July 31, 46-44, Obama

It’s not smart to compare different polls and find a trend, but this definitely looks like a trend. Anyway, there’s still 76 days before the election- anything can happen. (Via PolitickerOH.)

Drill Ohio

More domestic drilling- in Ohio? I didn’t know Ohio currently has 63,000 active oil and natural gas wells, according to the story. It’s NPR audio. Canada’s been drinking our milkshake in Lake Erie for 40 years. Despite this, environmentalists still say that keeping the US from drilling there too is more important, and all together now, drilling there won’t have any impact on prices.

The Feed

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