Northern Kentucky man ordered not to say “bingo” for six months

“Just like you can’t run into a theater and yell ‘fire’ when it’s not on fire, you can’t run into a crowded bingo hall and yell ‘bingo’ when there isn’t one,” said Park Hills Police Sgt. Richard Webster, the officer who cited Whaley. […]

“At first, everybody started moaning and groaning when they thought they’d lost,” Webster said. “When they realized it wasn’t a real bingo, they started hooting and hollering and yelling and cussing. People take their bingo very seriously.” […]

When Whaley appeared in Kenton District Court last week, the judge ordered Whaley: “Do not say the word ‘bingo’ for six months.”

Aged White Dog

Unlike vodka, bourbon distillers can’t just make more to meet demand. By law, bourbon has to age at least two years. The good stuff takes at least six years. To make sure they don’t run out or have expensive, unsold inventory, distillers have to predict how much bourbon people will want, put it in the barrels, and then pray while they wait for the wheel of seasons to turn around and around.

Why I left news

So here goes. This is the real reason why I left news: I finally came to accept that the vanity of a byline was keeping me in a job that left me physically and emotionally exhausted, yet supremely unsatisfied. […]

I took a pay cut when I moved back from Florida to Charleston, expecting to make up the difference quickly. Instead, I quit my newspaper job at 28, making less money than earned when I was 22.

Meet the $4.7 Billion Birmingham Highway Only Cronyism Could Build

Angie Schmidt of StreetsBlog shines the light on another highway project that would never be built if we actually weighed the true costs and benefits of highway projects. This time, it’s a 52-mile bypass around the northern side of Birmingham, Alabama, at a bargain price of $4.7 billion.

Evidence has been mounting for years that Americans are driving less, and it’s likely a long-term trend. And we already don’t have enough funding to maintain our existing highway infrastructure, such as Cincinnati’s Brent Spence Bridge, which won’t be built until 2040 unless we accept tolling as a funding mechanism. But why pass up an opportunity to cut a ribbon for a new highway, adding another 312 lane-miles that Alabama won’t be able to afford to maintain?

According to a pro-highway group, the bypass would attract 372 new businesses and 6,527 new residents. But residents don’t pull off the highway and directly into a driveway. Alabama would also have to build new arterial streets, water and sewer, and other infrastructure before any of the newly-accessible land could be transformed into subdivisions and strip malls.

MOTR owners to revive old theater as venue for bigger bands

It’s great how quickly MOTR Pub in Over-the-Rhine became one of the most relevant venues in Cincinnati’s local music scene. Now they’re going to renovate the old Woodward Theatre, virtually across the street, into a new 600-person music venue.

For bands, the Woodward would provide the bridge between smaller bars like MOTR and larger area venues such as the Taft Theatre and Bogart’s. It would also give Cincinnati a leg up in attracting musicians, McCabe said. When a band is making its way from Chicago to Nashville, it doesn’t make stops at Indianapolis, Columbus and then Cincinnati; it just picks one.

Motorists Do Not Pay Their Fair Share

A Harvard study found that motorists pay only 25 to 40 percent of the cost of their transportation. The remaining costs are borne by employers (through such amenities as free parking), by other travelers (due to increased congestion, reduced safety, etc.), and by governments and taxpayers who pay for the expansion and maintenance of roads. […]

The costs not directly paid by motorists each year include $13.3 billion for highway construction and repair, $7.9 billion for highway maintenance, $68 billion for highway services (police, fire, etc.), and $85 billion for free parking.

Rob Portman, Republican Senator from Ohio: Gay couples also deserve chance to get married

That isn’t how I’ve always felt. As a congressman, and more recently as a senator, I opposed marriage for same-sex couples. Then something happened that led me to think through my position in a much deeper way.

Two years ago, my son Will, then a college freshman, told my wife, Jane, and me that he is gay. He said he’d known for some time, and that his sexual orientation wasn’t something he chose; it was simply a part of who he is. Jane and I were proud of him for his honesty and courage. We were surprised to learn he is gay but knew he was still the same person he’d always been. The only difference was that now we had a more complete picture of the son we love.

Shorter Rob Portman: It’s okay to discriminate, as long as it’s not against someone you personally love.

Kasich’s tax plan rewards rich, starves public services

Ohio Governor John Kasich wants to balance the state budget by raising state sales taxes, while simulatenously reducing the amount of sales tax that goes to cities and counties. Most Ohio cities are in a budget crunch right now because Kasich did the same thing last time — balancing the state’s budget by passing the problem down to the cities.

What’s the impact on an average Ohio resident?

The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, a nonprofit research group in Washington, calculated how Ohioans in different income groups would fare under Mr. Kasich’s plan. It concluded that he would give the most affluent 1 percent of Ohioans — those who made at least $335,000 in 2012 — an average annual tax cut of more than $10,000.

Households in the middle fifth of the income spectrum, which earned between $33,000 and $51,000 in 2012, would come out about even, with an average annual tax increase of $8. The bottom fifth of taxpayers, making less than $18,000 a year, would see an average tax hike of $63.

People making $18,000 can afford an additional $63/year in taxes, but six-figure earners need a cut of $10,000… according to Kasich.

And Kasich will certainly claim that this “isn’t a tax increase” since he’s raising one tax and lowering another, but overall, it’s an increase for anyone making $51,000 or less. Why not just be honest about it?

It’s awfully similar the tactic used by the Republican-lead 1996 Hamilton County Commissioners during the infamous stadium deal, when they supported a plan to raise the sales tax and use part of the income to roll back property taxes. The result is that taxes went up for anyone who rents, while anyone who can afford to own a home got a break.

Opt Out of Social Security

In 1965, the government passed a law that allowed US citizens to opt out of Social Security.

Of course, only a small minority of Americans can legally stop paying Social Security taxes and strike their beneficiary status. In order to qualify for the IRS’s exemption, you must:

  • Convince them you are part of a religion that is “conscientiously opposed to accepting benefits of any private or public insurance that makes payments in the event of death, disability, old age or retirement.”
  • Have a ranking official of this religion authorize that you are a true believer
  • Prove that your religion has been established – and continually opposing insurance – since at least 1950.

So unless you are Amish, Mennonite, Anabaptist or part of another very small religious sect, odds are you’re stuck paying (and receiving) Social Security for the foreseeable future.

I’m absolutely shocked that the Tea Party hasn’t tried to organize itself as a religion and find a way to backdate its history to 1950. That way, tea partiers could have their true belief confirmed by Surprime Leaders David and Charles Koch, and then opt out of social security for good!