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Top Stories
Obama: National high-speed rail initiative on hold until Cincinnati voters cast their ballots
By Ted Beverage | Dealer staff writer    Thu, Oct 29, 2009
 

obama-press-conferenceWASHINGTON - This week, President Obama met with the Federal Railroad Administration concerning Cincinnati's Issue 9. 

Obama later told reporters that if Issue 9 passes, the plans for a national high-speed rail network will have to go on hold "until Cincinnati voters have approved of our national project".

"Although many cities would gladly replace Cincinnati as a central midwestern hub for this high speed passenger rail network," said Obama, "Cincinnati's Issue 9 simply means that we will have to shelve this entire national project until Cincinnati voters have made their final decision".

"It just wouldn't be fair to exclude Cincinnati from all our initial planning merely because we have to wait for them to schedule and vote in a referendum 2 years after all the planning begins," he said.

Obama then noted that it might be much easier to change the national spelling of the word "passenger" to "passenjer" in order to bypass Issue 9's obstacle to "all passenger rail".

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Top Stories
Council to Convene Red Light Camera Focus Group Just to be Sure
By Burt Safer | Dealer staff writer    Mon, Nov 10, 2008
 

red-light-cameraCINCINNATI -  Should the city of Cincinnati have red light cameras?  Former Mayor Luken vetoed them.  Mayor Mallory said he would veto any red-light camera ordinances passed by City Council, while Council itself rejected red-light cameras this year. 

Additionally, Issue 7 passed last week, effectively banning red-light cameras from Cincinnati.  However, some members of City Council want a fifth opinion.

"The mayor has spoken, City Council has spoken, and the people of Cincinnati have spoken," said Councilman Cecil Thomas, "But are we really really sure about not doing the whole red light camera thing?"

Thomas convinced Council on Monday that a focus group of visitors to Cincinnati needs to weigh in on the issue, "just to be really really certain".

The focus group of city visitors will be given a faux $120 dollar traffic ticket, along with a survey asking them whether the ticket would make them more or less likely to return to Cincinnati.  A follow-up survey would then ask if they are "absolutely sure" about their answers to the first survey.

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Life
Lotto Player Concerned With Obama Tax Plan
By Burt Safer | Dealer staff writer    Tue, Oct 21, 2008
 

joe_the_gamblerTOLEDO - A middle-class Toledo man has become a media sensation after daring to question Obama on his plan to increase taxes on millionaires.  Dubbed "MegaMillions Joe" by the McCain campaign, Joe Wurzelbacher plans to win the MegaMillions lotto sometime next year.

"I was looking forward to winning the $35 million jackpot sometime in March," said Wurzelbacher, "But when I saw that Obama's tax plan could bring me down from 35 million to only 33 million, that just kind of like deflated my hopes, you know?"

Wurzelbacher called the tax increase back to Ronald Reagan levels, "pure socialism".  Local supporters of  "MegaMillions Joe" agreed.

"My heart bleeds for any lottery winner who is burdened with winning $35 million during the Obama administration," said Harvey Wipsnar, a Toledo janitor who says he will stop playing the lottery if Obama wins.

Upon further investigation and interviews by the media, it was learned that Wurzelbacher didn't realize that lottery winnings are already substantially taxed, and Obama's plan calls for a relatively minor increase.

Furthermore, "MegaMillions Joe" had never actually bought a lottery ticket - he didn't even realize that it was necessary to purchase a lottery ticket in order to win the lottery.    Wurzelbacher even believed that the welfare checks his family had received were actually small lottery winnings.

Nevertheless, what struck the biggest blow to his "Megamillions Joe" lotto player authenticity was when he told reporters that he would prefer annual payments to the lump sum "cash option". 

The resulting uproar forced "MegaMillions Joe" to appear on Fox News every day this week, so he could repeatedly implore the media to leave him alone.

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Top Stories
Krikorian remembers hit & run incident differently
By Burt Safer | Dealer staff writer    Tue, Oct 14, 2008
 

davidkINDIAN HILL - On Monday, Independent 2nd District Congressional candidate David Krikorian claimed that there were some inconsistencies in Congresswoman Jean Schmidt's story about being hit by a car on her right side while jogging last week. 

"I listened to Jean Schmidt tell her story on the news, and that really isn't how I remember mowing her down at all," Krikorian told reporters.

Krikorian said that he had not edged dangerously closer to the side of the road, as Schmidt claimed the unknown hit and run driver had done.

"She was the one who nearly ran me off the road," said Krikorian, "After blinding me with her reflector vest, she did a pirouette, stuck out her bony left hip, and put a huge dent in my passenger side door, all while making sassy remarks about patriotism."

"I know exactly what happened because I was there," said Krikorian, "How can we trust Congresswoman Schmidt, when I know for a fact it was definitely not her right side, but her left side that I plowed into."

"Now don't feel sorry for her - this lady has hips made of titanium," he added, "You should feel sorry for me - I spilled coffee all over my trousers."

After reporters confronted him on the fact that his car was undamaged, Krikorian was forced to confess that he could not take credit for mowing down Schmidt.   He said he had a good reason to lie about being the hit and run driver.

 "Sorry, that was just my ploy to get sympathy, and therefore, votes," said Krikorian.

After receiving medical treatment for two broken ribs and two broken vertebrae, Schmidt ran the Chicago marathon on Sunday in 3 hours 48 minutes.  She is back in Washington this week, working on a $12 million sidewalk earmark. 

 

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Opinion
Target, its shoppers, and their lack of values
By The Spleen of Cincinnati | Dealer staff writer    Thu, Oct 9, 2008
 

[After a lengthy hiatus, The original Spleen of Cincinnati returns to reclaim the persona that was stolen!!  The piss-poor imitator who stole your humble Spleen's moniker was so ashamed after his blatant theft was exposed, that he removed all of his blog entries.]

value_city_signSome will refuse to believe it, but there is a part of me committed to doing comparative discount shopping until the moment I pull my bascart into a checkout lane.   I always remain open to one store swaying me over another. 

That said, I still advocate for whichever store provides the best deals, whether it be clothing, dishware, or sporting goods.  And, at this time, I happen to be enjoying the great deals at Value City - beautiful furniture, stylish clothing,  colorful candles, and fragrant jars of potpourri.

So yesterday I decided to exhibit my appreciation of Value City's amazing prices and friendly customer service by handing out Value City coupons and circulars at the Target in Mount Healthy.  Although a big box store like Target is supposedly "open to the public", I was surprised by my rough treatment.

1.  Foul-mouthed hypocrisy

Walking around the Target men's department, one Target shopper who I'd just given a Value City flier asked me "Who the hell shops at Value City?"  I then replied, "Who the hell shops at Target?"  Not that I believe Target is all bad, I just wanted to reflect his negativity back at him.

Amazingly, this pathetic excuse for a frugal shopper acted offended that I would say the exact same thing back to him.  Hypocrisy, anyone?  That move just cost you Target shoppers and your ilk 42 points.

2.  No Value City coupons allowed inside.

I was eventually told by several Target employees and then management that I couldn't distribute Value City circulars at Target.   I'm not sure if passing out Value City fliers and coupons at an open-to-the-public Target location should be that big of a deal, particularly since all kinds of people there were carrying Target circulars with them. 

But here is the thing: Target's motto is "Expect More, Pay Less".  Target is supposed to value discounted items..  Essentially they are supposed to value value, the kinds of values provided on a daily basis by Value City.   So, when Target shows they support cost-cutting values at their store, but not other amazing discounts which don't happen to be available at Target, it just makes me a bit disillusioned.  Minus 35 points for Target.

3.  “If you don’t leave, we are going to call the police.”

I’m not sure why my meager distribution of Value City information would incite anyone to extreme actions, but I couldn’t believe I was receiving this threat from a mindless Target employee drone who attempted to intimidate me.

I double-dog dare any Target store manager to press charges against me for exercising my freedom in a public place.  In the meanwhile, I’m taking 38 points more for the supreme disrespect for my right to peaceful and nonviolent distribution of Value City coupons.  That takes Target down 115 points.

4.  “I’d shop at Value City, but they don't have much selection.”

Before I was unjustly kicked out of the store, one of the Target shoppers had the nerve to tell me this. 

If everyone who said this went ahead and actually shopped at Value City, then they would have a much larger selection.  Enough said!

Target and stores like it are guilty of large-scale brainwashing so they can maintain their market dominance.  I’m taking 27 points for the sheer stupidity at play here.

5. Forcing the debate between Target and Wal-Mart

After being kicked out into the cold rain by a supposedly free market-espousing Target manager, one "savvy" shopper in the Target parking lot informed me that there was no real competition between Value City and Target - He condescendingly informed me that Wal-Mart is the only real competitor for Target out there, as if Target and Wal-Mart are the only stores in existence. 

When I asked this Target shopper about the values to be found at Stein Mart, Value City, and Family Dollar, he laughed in my face.  That arrogance just cost you Target shoppers another 25 points.

Final total -   The Spleen: 167, Target and all Target shoppers: 0.

 

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Top Stories
"Yes" & "No" to be Proportionally Represented
By Burt Safer | Dealer staff writer    Tue, Sep 23, 2008
 

pr_ballot2CINCINNATI - In November, the Board of Elections will actually use Proportional Representation (PR) when PR goes on the ballot for Issue 8, so that voters can better understand how  PR works.   

Voters will have a chance to rank their "Yes", "No", and "Maybe" choices on the ballot (see picture example). PR advocates applauded this move, stating that "Yes", "No", and "Maybe" would be better represented by their constituencies in this election.

Here's how PR works:

For purposes of this example, let's say "No" gets the most first place votes in November. Any surplus of votes for No will then be redistributed to the surplus voters' second choice.   So some No voters get their first choice, while other, specialer No voters get their second choice.

If enough No voters had chosen a second choice of "Maybe", then Maybe could potentially move into first place, and become more proportionally represented than No.   However, many of  Maybe's new surplus of votes could then be deferred to the third choice of even specialer voters: "Yes".   Therefore, "Yes" would become the winner, becoming truly, the most proportionally represented of them all.

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Top Stories
Chabot Starts Petition Drive Against Walgreens
By Burt Safer | Dealer staff writer    Mon, Aug 18, 2008
 

WalgreensCINCINNATI - The Walgreens at the corner of Colerain and West Galbraith seems innocent enough, but a new petition being circulated by Congressman Steve Chabot says otherwise.  Due to its proximity to some area schools, Chabot is demanding that Walgreens close its operations before the school season begins, as he explained in a Monday morning press conference.

"This Walgreens is a den of obscenity, a location where birth control pills, condoms, lubricants, and pregnancy tests are being sold a stone's throw from both St. Ann Elementary School and AAAA Driving School," said Chabot.

"Walgreens lures these children into the store with their discounts on Twizzlers and Jujubes, which are conveniently located not far from the fruit-flavored lubes," he said.

Walgreens released a statement expressing confusion about the timing of this petition, since this location has been opened for over 5 years, and is not required to close its operations even if a petition urging its demise is started by a congressman.

Although this Walgreens does not perform abortions, Chabot made the argument that birth control pills were like "tiny abortions in candy form".  Nevertheless, even kids who don't have a prescription to the birth control pills are given other options by Walgreens, according to Chabot.

"You're not going to believe this, but they even sell coat hangers at this Walgreens," said Chabot.

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Top Stories
VapoRub Container Arrested in Body Rub Sting
By Burt Safer | Dealer staff writer    Sun, Aug 10, 2008
 

vaporubSHARONVILLE - A container of Vick's VapoRub was arrested by Sharonville police on Saturday for the charge of offering body rubs without a license.

Police are considering a greater charge of prostitution, but only if they can prove that anyone paid to have sexual contact with the mentholated ointment container.

"It's not that we don't want containers of VapoRub to have any fun,"  said Sharonville Lt.John Cook, "We just don't want anyone paying for a special VapoRub massage."

This container of VapoRub isn't a licensed massage therapist, but Lt. Cook says that didn't stop it from offering to rub on an undercover cop's chest and throat, for the temporary relief of his cold.  

"And it didn't stop there," said Lt. Cook, "It proceeded to offer to rub on his muscles and joints, stating that it would temporarily relieve his aches and pains."

"Now if that isn't code language for prostitution, I don't know what is," he added.

Local consumer products giant Procter & Gamble, which manufactures VapoRub, quickly distanced itself from the rogue practicing-massage-without-a-license ointment container.  A P&G representative told reporters that this incident should not reflect poorly on all of the other law-abiding containers of VapoRub.

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Top Stories
Homeland Security Takes Over UC Sorority
By David Akadjian | Dealer staff writer    Mon, Aug 4, 2008
 
CINCINNATI - In light of new discoveries in the Bruce Ivins anthrax case, the Department of Homeland Security has moved to takeover a University of Cincinnati sorority: Kappa Kappa Gamma. 
 
Bruce Ivins, according to the department, was obsessed with the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority, dating back to his college days at the University of Cincinnati where he apparently was rebuffed by a woman in the sorority.
 
"We can't have anyone spurning terrorists," Richard LeMastre, deputy chief for Homeland Security said.  
 
LeMastre explained that his department would have to take control of the sorority until such time as his team could thoroughly investigate. 
 
"If there's sorority terrorism obsession repression," LeMastre said, "we'll get to the bottom of it."
 
aug_2008_001
 
Girls were lined up early on the lawn this morning for departmental training on how to accept the advances of social misfits, potential terrorists, and English majors. By afternoon, several were turned loose in the biomedical engineering building.
 
"One of them tried to show me this cat scan thingy," said Denise Lenore. "It was kind of creepy."
 
But Lenore explained that it wasn't as bad as she originally thought as some of them might make a lot of money if they weren't busy mailing anthrax to media celebrities.  
 
"And we've had to do worse things for the Phi Delts," Lenore added. 
 
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Business
Peek in Kaleidoscope Reveals New 5/3 Buyer
By Burt Safer | Dealer staff writer    Wed, Jul 30, 2008
 
fifth_third_wachoviath 
Fifth Third bank's logo, as seen on their website (left) and through a kaleidoscope (right)

CINCINNATI -   With its poor showing in 2008, this week Cincinnati-based Fifth Third Bank tried to squash rumors of being bought out,  further raising speculations as to the potential buyer. 

Local blogger Dean of Cincinnati has tipped financial market watchers as to the identity of 5/3's new buyer. According to the Dean, one only needs to look at 5/3's logo through the lens of a kaleidoscope to reveal the logo of its new buyer: financial giant Wachovia. 

A quick phone call to Wachovia's new CEO Bob Steele confirmed the Dean's suspicions. 

"That's weird," said Steele, "I actually had a vision of 5/3's logo while staring at the Wachovia logo.  This was after finishing my third fifth of bourbon last night."  

"The two logos are obviously a match made in heaven," added Steele, "Plus they're name is even goofier than ours.. I think we'll buy them.

Other than the blue & green logos, goofy names, and poor 2008 showings, neither Wachovia CEO Bob Steele nor the Dean of Cincinnati could provide any further reason for the banks' compatibility.

Rather than change the name of Fifth Third to Wachovia, Steele says they will most likely combine the names of the two banks, in the Fifth Third tradition, giving the new bank the name of Fifth Third Wachoviath.  

Glimpses at the logos of PNC Bank, Provident Bank, and Key Bank through a kaleidoscope were inconclusive. 

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