Following the 2008 Election, I left Columbus for Athens, Ohio. Starting in 2009, I began covering Ohio’s 6th and 18th Congressional districts, often seeing U.S. Reps. Charlie Wilson and Zack Space in Athens County.
They visited my offices at The Athens NEWS. They attended events at Ohio University. When they were up for re-election, they debated their positions at candidate forums hosted by the local League of Women Voters. Democracy was working for the Republic.
In 2011, the great gerrymandering of Ohio happened. The majority of Athens County was included in Ohio’s 15th Congressional District, stretching across the state all […]Full Story... →
It’s an article of faith among many on the right that President Barack Obama is waging a war on coal. I’ll not argue here on anthropogenic climate change, the merits or demerits of coal, or America’s energy future.
What I will argue is that no matter where you stand on coal, the people of coal country deserve a future beyond coal. The Obama administration is keenly aware of that, and is investing in a new future for the Appalachian region.
The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training […]Full Story... →
I nearly executed a perfect spit-take of my Cheerios Saturday morning when I heard Donald Trump’s pitch to black voters to support him because, apparently, why not?
“You’re living in poverty, your schools are no good, you have no jobs, 58 percent of your youth is unemployed — what the hell do you have to lose?”
Did I just hear that? Did Donald Trump just tell black people that they are poor, unemployed, poorly educated and they’ve got nothing to lose by voting for him? Tone-deaf doesn’t begin to describe it.
Then I realized, no, he didn’t tell black people that. He […]Full Story... →
To hear the Columbus Dispatch tell it, U.S. Sen. Rob Portman’s lead in the polls over former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland is driven by his campaign RV as he tools around the Buckeye State, pressin’ the flesh, back-slappin’, glad-handin’, county fairin’, and otherwise gettin’ on the level with regular folk.
And, Strickland, by contrast, is portrayed as a 75-year-old “old-school, old-man” who is running a “campaign that is failing to engage voters.” Woof. Didn’t the Wolfes sell? It’s not until the 17th ‘graph that the Dispatch mentions in passing the “flood of TV commercials by special-interest groups.”
Talk about […]Full Story... →
Thoughtful, studied consideration does not reign supreme in American politics, and frankly, I can’t think of an era it did. Conversely, I also can’t think of an era like ours where crankery and ignorance was entertained so prominently and with such deference.
Author Isaac Asimov may have best characterized the mindless beast of legitimized stupidity in a 1980 column for Newsweek magazine.
“There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been,” he wrote. “The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the […]Full Story... →
A recent survey of likely Ohio voters by Gerstein Bocian Agne strategies shows U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Cincinnati, is hurt badly by the endorsement of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in Portman’s re-election race against former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland.
A memo for the survey dated July 21 said that the U.S. Senate race between Strickland is a statistical dead heat, with Portman leading Strickland 48 percent to 46 percent with 6 percent undecided and a 3.5 point margin of error.
The survey for Project New America was conducted between June 29 and July 6 with phone interviews of 920 […]Full Story... →
CBS Streaming Online News cut away from the stage right when U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio took it, thus was I robbed of seeing him live on TV at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia Thursday night.
So it goes in the age of hipster cable, where all of my electric television shows are streamed across the worldwide inter webs, and live news options are severely limited. But on Friday afternoon, I made time to watch Ohio’s senior senator give voice to my folk – Buckeye folk – in the 2016 Election.
His speech hit close to home, literally. […]Full Story... →
Being a jaded, cynical newspaperman in 21st Century America often harrows the soul. We witness the beast, in all of its manifestations, zoomed-in on graphic detail, often armed only with a reporter’s notebook, a pen, and a digital recorder. These tools, while perfectly suitable for the recording of history, don’t leverage much power against the darker forces at work in civilization.
While the use of a Macbook and a website content management system give voice to frustration, the fractiousness of our politics may often convince one it’s just so much screaming into the void. The void, by definition, is empty […]Full Story... →
On Tuesday of the 2016 Republican National Convention, Plunderbund Columnist D.C. DeWitt explored the protest action in Cleveland Public Square and played witness to the shenanigans inside The Q. Here is his blog for Day 2.
9:30 a.m. I’ve spent the morning catching up with some friends who live and work in Cleveland, taking the pulse of the locals. I’m hearing that for many of the businesses, along East 4th for instance and in other areas of the town, the economic boon from the convention hasn’t been as big as it could’ve been.
This mostly has to do with the […]Full Story... →
This is Plunderbund columnist D.C. DeWitt’s reporters’ blog for Day 1 of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. It’s been a helluva show so far. Ringling Bros. would be jealous.
So it begins. I last attended the U.S. Presidential Conventions in 2008. Eight years later, everything boasts familiarity, except this time I’m in Cleveland, my second favorite city in Ohio (right behind my hometown of Athens).
The theme of the day according to the Republican National Committee is “Make America Safe Again.” Each day has a theme. Tomorrow we will make America work again. And then we’ll make […]Full Story... →
Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of the issue of fracking on a political level is the absolute refusal on the part of elected representatives and public officials to listen to the concerns of the community in an open, public meeting.
It would seem to me to be the absolute least they could do. And yet, injection well after injection well is approved in Ohio with nobody of account willing to answer questions or hear out the opposition in a public forum. All avenues for redress of grievances are systematically closed. All letters of concern and scientific studies shared are summarily […]Full Story... →