So how’s your day going?
This controversy is getting bigger in Ohio, but everyone should be questioning these “public-private partnerships” in my view, because we’re not equal partners. The private side write some very favorable accountability and transparency terms for their end:
The Republican state auditor is demanding access to financial documents, Democratic lawmakers are demanding more public scrutiny of the nonprofit JobsOhio, one Republican leader is chastising both of the former, and Gov. John Kasich is calling the whole thing a misunderstanding over a complicated issue.
Such was the status Thursday in a growing controversy over the private office that coordinates the state’s economic development programming, the millions of dollars in public funding it has received and the lack of public information on the nonprofit’s spending and donors.
“Sometimes you read things and it appears one way,” the governor told reporters Thursday. “It’s really just a little disagreement about how we should proceed. The simple fact of the matter is I favor all public money being able to be audited by our state auditor, plain and simple. … But you don’t want to go in and audit the private books of private industry by the auditor. That’s beyond his authority.”
The brouhaha focuses on JobsOhio, the nonprofit created by Kasich and lawmakers two years ago to reach out to existing companies and firms thinking about expanding into Ohio, negotiating economic incentive packages and helping to commercialize research and technologies developed at the state’s universities.
Most of JobsOhio’s dealings are conducted outside of the public spotlight, a setup supporters say is needed during business negotiations.
But documents also indicated the nonprofit has received more than $5 million in public funding, and a number of employees received six-figure salaries.
Auditor Dave Yost this week issued a subpoena seeking financial statements, “bank statements for ALL accounts,” lists of JobsOhio contributors and other documents.
The subpoena requires JobsOhio representatives to appear at the auditor’s office March 19 to turn over the documents and provide additional testimony.
“The governor and I have the same goal: to make sure JobsOhio’s money is working for the people of Ohio — creating jobs and growing this economy for our families,” Yost said. “It’s important to look at the total picture. The private bond proceeds trace directly back to the public money.”
State Rep. and Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern called JobsOhio “Gov. Kasich’s re-election slush fund” and criticized the nonprofit for being “shrouded in secrecy.”
There’s something really wrong with this. They’re setting these things up to “cut red tape” and “innovate” but what’s really happening is they’re getting around state law. The laws were put in for a reason, and it was (everyone pretend to look shocked at this next part) corruption.
This idea that states like Ohio put in disclosure laws because they sought to get in the way of “innovation” or “add red tape” is just ridiculous. That isn’t what happened. They put in sunshine and disclosure laws because they’re stewards of public money and the public has a right to to know where it’s going. If that bothers wealthy people or business entities, if they see that as an impediment they have to circumvent, I am truly sorry but that’s, you know, democracy. It’s a pain in the ass, almost by definition.
It doesn’t really matter if they commingle “donations” with public money. We’re not begging them to chip in towards our “start up” state government. Why are we being so polite and coy about this? We don’t want to insult these wealthy people and powerful business entities and question their intentions? The minute they took public money they opened themselves up to disclosure. It isn’t personal. They’re not some special, protected class of public money recipients because they put in some of their own. Hell, I didn’t even ask for it, and I don’t want it. I think it comes with strings and at a price, obviously. I want to know what they got in exchange. I want to look a gift horse in the mouth, as the saying goes. Is that so wrong and cynical and “mean” of me?
This is a great read. I felt bad laughing at this guy til I realized how lucky he was to get only a couple years for two kilos of coke.
In November 2011, Paul Frampton, a theoretical particle physicist, met Denise Milani, a Czech bikini model, on the online dating site Mate1.com. She was gorgeous — dark-haired and dark-eyed, with a supposedly natural DDD breast size. In some photos, she looked tauntingly steamy; in others, she offered a warm smile. Soon, Frampton and Milani were chatting online nearly every day. Frampton would return home from campus — he’d been a professor in the physics and astronomy department at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for 30 years — and his computer would buzz. “Are you there, honey?” They’d chat on Yahoo Messenger for a while, and then he’d go into the other room to take care of something. A half-hour later, there was the familiar buzz. It was always Milani. “What are you doing now?”[….]
On the evening of Jan. 20, nine days after he arrived in Bolivia, a man Frampton describes as Hispanic but whom he didn’t get a good look at handed him a bag out on the dark street in front of his hotel. Frampton was expecting to be given an Hermès or a Louis Vuitton, but the bag was an utterly commonplace black cloth suitcase with wheels. Once he was back in his room, he opened it. It was empty. He wrote to Milani, asking why this particular suitcase was so important. She told him it had “sentimental value.” The next morning, he filled it with his dirty laundry and headed to the airport.
Frampton flew from La Paz to Buenos Aires, crossing the border without incident….
Reader Brian sends in this gem and wonders if Obama should take these guys to a movie on the second date after they shared one enchanted evening:
“This is the first step that the president has made to really reach out and do like other presidents in the past — develop relationships and build trust. If they continue to do that, that’s how you set up to get something done.”
I hope Barack won’t make Tom stay home on a Saturday staring into his bedazzled iPhone waiting for a “let’s hang out” text. Though I would advise Tom not to change his relationship status on Facebook quite yet.
Oh, no, Obamacare claims another victim:
“I probably could keep Chester Cab Pizza going for a while more. But when I see the mandates that businesses will be required to comply with by 2014, I figure those would be the mandates that would break the camel’s back. So why wait, my work is done. Why delay the inevitable?”
“There’s a perfect storm brewing, involving a number of factors. There are higher fuel and food costs (due to mid-west droughts and corn ethanol mandates), higher labor and health care requirements, and a hostile New York State business environment. With high unemployment and U.S. Labor salaries being stagnant, I did not feel we could push the prices to the customer any higher.”
“It just seems to be the right time to shut it down and say good-bye to my customers and employees and thank them.”
You’d think he was going out of business, but actually he sold the place to one of his managers, probably at a profit.
This guy is a serial Galtian douche – last year he replaced the front page of another restaurant he owned with a long rant about union thuggery. The real story was that he rehabbed a restaurant that was located in a special taxation district where property taxes were greatly reduced as long as you did all your work with “prevailing wage” contractors, which in practice turn out to be union. He didn’t want to pay those wages, so he hired his own contractors, and when the unions turned him in, he cried just like a little girl.
The protagonist in Atlas Shrugged was selling something nobody else had, a special metal that was the product of his ubermensch intellect and sweat of his brow. Papa John and this local douche are selling pizza. Anyone with enough money to rent an storefront, pay minimum wage teenagers and buy the cheapest rubbery cheese available can open a pizza place. Please, you whiny fucks, deprive us of your productivity. Maybe the type II diabetics in your neighborhood will stave off amputation for a few more years without your greasy pies.
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled in an en banc hearing that searches at the borders must adhere to the 4th amendment. A cursory once over of your laptop or tablet is OK, just as they can rifle through your luggage, but they can’t go deeper than that without probable cause or a search warrant. Further, the court held that merely password protecting or encrypting a file on your personal computer is not probable cause in and of itself.
(Sylvia via GoComics.com)
Blogreading for a slow Saturday, from NYMag‘s Dan Amira:
… All the way back in 1990, a lawyer who has been on the Internet longer than you have, Mike Godwin, introduced the now widely familiar Godwin’s Law, which predicted the inevitability of a Hitler or Nazi comparison arising during any online debate. Godwin, who lives in D.C. and works as a senior policy adviser at Internews, spoke to Daily Intelligencer about how Godwin’s Law has changed through the years, whether it will still exist in the year 3000, and whether it will be mentioned in the first or second sentence of his obituary.
When you first proposed Godwin’s Law, it stated, simply, “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.” In other words, such a comparison is, eventually, inevitable. Would you give it the same definition today?
The only thing I would say is that it turns out not to be limited to online discussions. Other than that, it still seems to have some observational value. It’s the worst thing anybody can think of, so if you have some kind of rhetorical escalation with someone you disagree with, it’s sort of easy to go there if you’re not very reflective about what you’re saying….
The thing it seemed to me worth doing was to prevent the Holocaust from turning into a cliché, or into a handy arrow in someone’s rhetorical quiver. I was entering into the online world pretty deeply in the eighties, and I was offended by how glibly these comparisons came up — almost invariably inappropriately. My feeling was that the more people got into this habit, the less likely that people remembered the historical context of all this. And as you know, one of the injunctions of Holocaust historians is that we must never forget, we have to remember. And I just thought, Well, I’m going to do a little experiment and see if I could make people remember.
I don’t know if this would be a corollary to Godwin’s Law, or if the law has transformed completely, but it’s now come to mean that whoever makes a Nazi comparison first has automatically lost the debate.
I think of it instead as a mutation. The way it mutated is that some people inferred that by the time you go to the Hitler comparisons, it was really hard to have a fruitful discussion or exchange of ideas, which I think is mostly true…
And Professor Krugman responds to the notorious Scarborough/Sachs op-ed: I Guess It’s A Form of Flattery.