Poor Rob Portman. It’s not enough that Mitt Romney ignored his faithful traveling companion in Ohio in choosing Paul Ryan as a running mate; it’s not enough that the GOP right-wing is flapping hysterically because of his seismic shift to support gay marriage; it’s not enough that the liberals have targeted him because of his opposition to background checks (and a lot of other things).
Portman, the junior senator from Ohio – more accurately, the right-leaning Cincinnati area – has now become a noun and a verb. As in : Portmanization. And Portmanize. These are not words that have been pattering [...]Full Story... →
Jimmy Haslam, this year’s owner of the Cleveland Browns, is facing a long summer. Like previous owners, he is looking for ways to coax a winner out of the perennially forlorn team that has never been to the Super Bowl. The other day one of the team’s new draft picks was arrested and pleaded no contest to DWI after once promising that he would shape up his off-the-field lifestyle. Finally, about that draft, the team’s brain trusts insisted that they’re looking to 2014 to turn the Browns around – sort of up-down-talk when you’re trying to sell season tickets for 2013.
But [...]Full Story... →
With the NFL draft in full throttle the past week end, Gov. Kasich got his man. Fellow named Matthew Borges (not to be confused with Borgia). A right guard, I believe, although Republicans in the Dawg Pound will have to go on trust regarding his talent.
He had been touted all along as the governor’s chosen crony to replace the temporary Republican chairman, Bob Bennett, a former chairman himself who came out of the steam room to fill a vacancy at headquarters after the governor exiled Kevin
DeWine. But that’s another story, which is hardly worth repeating.
The GOP [...]Full Story... →
OK. let’s try it this way: The Grand Old Party has become the Grand Old Put-ons. Pretenders, all. It has talked for years about broadening its base, possibly even into Antarctica and the Fiji Islands. (Bad choices since ice is melting and Fiji could be swept under by rising sea water.) But the Put-Ons never give up. As Rand Paul, one of the current soul-fathers of the Put-Ons, has said:
“The GOP of old has grown stale and moss covered” and then went on to describe the new gang of ideological frontiersmen as having “need to embrace liberty in both the economic and [...]Full Story... →
Nearly a century ago Walter Lippmann, the wise and widely respected political analyst and essayist, wrote of the perils of meaningless gibberish in defining human discourse. He came down hard on are the media of his day, but his dark message had a much longer reach.
In his essay “Liberty and the News,” he wrote;
“It is almost impossible to overestimate the confusion in daily life caused by sheer inability to use language with intention. We talk scornfully of ’mere words’. Yet through words the whole vast process of human communication takes place. The sights and sounds and meanings of [...]Full Story... →
Not since LeBron James packed up his wallet and left town has anything bestirred the Plain Dealer’s readers more than the paper’s official announcement that it would implode to a three-day-a-week delivery system this summer. The angry letters to the editor and telephone calls to the downtown offices were not unexpected as rumors circulated for weeks that the PD would suffer the same fate as other papers owned by Advance Publications that were abbreviated. “The readers are really upset about it,” says Harlan Spector,the guild president and 22-year veteran of the paper’s news staff. “They feel betrayed.”
Although Spector has [...]Full Story... →
Thanks to the Sun News, the Cleveland weekly, we recently got a glimpse of Ohio Rep. Jim Renacci in action at a Town Hall meeting in Fairview Park. The dominant topic was guns, largely because a group of pickets showed up to protest his standardized Republican opposition to gun control.
As you know, the multimillionaire businessman (reported by Roll Call to be $35.8 million!) is comfortably operating out of the new Ohio 16th congressional district created just for him in northern Ohio.
Still, Renacci, now in his second term, is taking no chances; he’s not slipping out of the right-wing mask [...]Full Story... →
A million years ago, maybe a little longer, Ohio Republican Chairman Bob Bennett (then in his earlier term) and Summit County Republican Chairman Alex Arshinkoff insisted to me that their party would expand its base to include you-know-whos. It would be a magisterial commitment by two GOP draft horses to make the party whole for generations to come.
Didn’t happen quite that way. Not even close. So after its Comeback Team Romney/Ryan debacle in November – a presidential election that even Karl Rove and Peggy Noonan decided was in their party’s victory column for the asking – the Republican brass [...]Full Story... →
The arrival of March Madness II so soon after CPAC’s March Madness I is forcing all of us to consider whether the floor games will be a more valid expression of the soul of America than the conservative fringe that went to the convention in hopes of a slam dunk. The distractions for the bounty-hunters couldn’t have come at a worst time as speaker after speaker tried to convince us that the former Republican Party lacked, um… relevancy and that Barack Obama was at least a socialist..
The delegates were upstaged by Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, a conservative Republican who conceded that his notions about [...]Full Story... →
While Washington is again bedeviled by the kooky return of Paul Ryan’s latest version of a drive-by budget, Gov. Kasich is finding himself bedeviled by of all people, Republicans, for his own budget proposals that spread sales taxes while accepting an expansion of Medicaid with federal dollars.
For a governor girding for a reelection campaign, a family fight can be the sort of distraction that will test Kasich’s presumed invincibility as the budget fracas betrays any sense of solidarity within the GOP ranks. And with the Tea Party managing some of the dissent, it could be a long hot summer. [...]Full Story... →
In view of Plain Dealer news room’s mission to report the news, the absence of news about the people who are supposed to report the news of others has left the staff in a state of day-to-day suspended animation. And hardly feeling secure in their line of work.
The problem, of course, is the presumed impending doom of the state’s biggest and often most puzzling newspaper (as we now know it), a deeply ensconced establishment journal that has tight-roped for years through local issues in a diverse city that has needed little encouragement to become unruly.
Ever since the word got [...]Full Story... →