Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 154

On Politics
Being out of the country during both political conventions and being away from the political ads (which Ohio leads the country) was a great vacation in itself.

The politics around the recent attack at the US Embassy in Libya demonstrates the lowness of the current state of politics.

Congressional Republicans are correct. The slow economic recovery shows that their obstinate policies haven’t worked.

Ohio is a battleground state for the state, and this poll shows how well informed Ohio voters are. A recent poll asked Ohio voters who they thought deserved more credit for the killing of Osama bin Laden: Obama or Romney: 63 percent Obama, 31 percent weren’t sure, and 6 percent said Romney. Republicans answered 38 percent Obama, 47 percent weren’t sure, and 15 percent Romney. Although it is probably a good example of bad polling, I wonder about the correlation of these results with most people in Ohio being Ohio State Buckeye fans.

Why did Gov. Romney’s pledge to keep “In God We Trust” on coins?

Because I missed the GOP convention, fortunately Jay Leno captured this.

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On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
Prevent Identity Theft by Changing Identity Every Three Years
Hand-gliding Putin Leads Flock of Birds
Man Halfway Down Waterslide Remembers It’s 9-11
Homeless Man has No Idea What to Do with Visiting Parents
Woman Dumped on 15-Week Anniversary
Supreme Court’s New Agent Already Getting Them Better Cases

Interesting Reads
About ZZ Top’s Beards
Charts about “Are we better off than four years ago?”
A story about the pen
Political divisions between and within
Finnish educational reform

On Potpourri
I will post Saturday, but it won’t be a classic cartoon post – it will be my 1000th post so it’s time to celebrate! The post is getting its finishing touches, so invite your friends to visit and comment. Party starts between 8-9 AM (Eastern US).

Interestingly, throwing a party for myself and all the self-promotion I’ve been doing is so not me.

Many of you are aware of John Erickson, the one who comments on many blogs but didn’t have a blog … until now! Visit John to say hello.

Cheers to the life of Neil Armstrong who passed away while I was vacationing. He spent many years living a private life in the Cincinnati area. Given his private nature, his choice of burial at sea didn’t surprise me.

I know this is old news, but baseball player Melky Cabrera’s 50-day suspension is one thing, but his attempted cover-up method earns his a Dolt of the Year nomination.

Baseball announced my Cincinnati Reds will open the 2013 against an American League team. To me, just another reason to dislike MLB Commission Bud Selig.

Headline: Bristol Reacts to Levi’s Baby News … I say “Who Cares!”

In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch … and here’s some music in advance of tomorrow’s celebration!

The Complex Ohio Vote

Though another election, Ohio is one of the battleground states. Although we appreciate the impact, consider this downside: We’ve been seeing campaign ads seemly forever.

Current polls have Senator Obama ahead ranging from 2 to 6%. For those not familiar with our state, here’s some information about us because Ohio is a diverse state. What is popular in one region of the state may not resonate elsewhere.

No Republican has ever won without Ohio. Yet, of Ohio’s 88 counties, Senator Obama only won 5 or 6 during the Ohio primary – all urban!

The three metro Cs create a line through the state: Cincinnati-Columbus-Cleveland. These three cities are very different from one another. Cleveland was the more industrial and the most established. Columbus is our capital and home to our largest university, yet has experienced the most growth. Many in Cleveland have eastern European roots while Cincinnati is blended with German Catholics and southern U.S. heritage. Cleveland has always been considered as Democratic, while Cincinnati as Republican. (Senator McCain will probably get around 60% of the Cincinnati-area vote.)

A Republican Cleveland Mayor (George Voinovich) served as a two-term governor and is one of our current senators. In 2004, President Bush’s campaign visits to southwestern Ohio always gathered big, enthusiastic crowds while serving as a fertile ground for campaign dollars. The Cincinnati area is the home of Republican leader John Boehner.

Smaller cities as Dayton, Akron, Canton, Toledo, and Youngstown are witnessing a shrinking industrial base. Ohio’s unemployment rate is over 7%.

Wright-Patterson AFB gives the military a large presence in Dayton.

Eastern Ohio is home to sulfur-containing coal, thus the potential impact of clean-coal technology. Because our proximity to coal, coal-burning power plants are scattered along the Ohio River.

The upper half of Ohio’s western side is our agricultural land containing many small towns representing Middle American values of strong family, hard work, and local pride. Politically, this area resembles Indiana.

Appalachian counties, south of the C-C-C line, culturally and politically resemble eastern Kentucky and West Virginia. I grew up in this traditional-Republican area (but I also have many life experiences throughout the state) and this region is its own. To learn more about this area and its importance in this election, here are two informative articles: Appalachia  &  Portsmouth.

So goes Ohio, so goes the nation.