Is this really a reform County Council?
It seems that the new county council majority democrats can’t wait to be sworn in to pull their backroom tricks. Several of the eight member majority met privately to select their council president. The newspapers got hold of the story and crucified the attendees. They will now go into the Jan. 5 organization meeting with a large helping of eggs on their faces and the loss of public trust.
Ward 7 Councilman Daryl Langman ( www.7wardeuclid.blogspot.com/ ) reports that the old eyesore sound barriers on the Euclid portion of the freeway are coming down. This ends a decade long of pressure on the Ohio Department of Transportation by several members of our city council. They will be replaced by walls like those in western Lake County, featuring sections with our city name and waterfront scenes. This should enhance the image of our city. The federal stimulus will pick up about 90 percent of the cost; the state will pay the rest.
The tax man cometh
Ward 4 Councilwoman Mary Jo Minarik ( www.4euclid.blogspot.com/ ) reports that the Dec.13 council service committee meeting to was suddenly cancelled without explanation. The agenda was to be whether or not to accept the mayor’s forthcoming recommendations, based on the Maximus Report, that sewer rates be increased another $4 or $5 per mcf starting on the first day of the coming year. Minarik has extensively investigated these water issues. Her computer blogspot is a wealth of information. She is irritated about these charges pulling millions out of the local economy in the past two years without your vote. If you want the lurid details go to her blogspot.
The national election process has a powerful voice in FOX News. This cable and mainstream TV outlet, owned by financer Rupert Murdock and managed by political guru Roger Ailes, has captured nearly two thirds of the cable audience. Some of the programming, like the Bill O’Rielly Factor, beats NBC, CBS and ABC in the ratings. Some believe that FOX coverage of the presidential race will have more influence on public opinion than candidate early visits to Iowa and New Hampshire. For instance folksy and articulate former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee has a prime time weekly Saturday hour, repeated on Sunday prime time and late night on both days. He also doubles as a guest consultant on many of the Fox talk shows. His show is a combination talk and country music variety. Without announcement of his presidential intentions, he is near the top in early polls. The same can be said for the energetic and also articulate former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. She is also a frequent guest on FOX talk shows. Her book was the number one best seller for several weeks. Her association with the Tea Party gets constant coverage. She, too, is near the top in early presidential polls.
Why does FOX draw watchers so well? President Ailes hires exceptional and likeable news anchors and talk show hosts that are willing to bring in guests with opposing points of view. There is no question that his hosts are conservative. However, they have to be on their toes when debating articulate guests like Congressmen Barney Frank, Charles Rangel, then-Senator Obama and many well known liberal progressive figures. Hosts, like Sunday morning’s Chris Wallace, bring in a liberal and conservative and lead a debate, asking tough questions of both. Other hosts like Glenn Beck have powerful research staffs that investigate White House Staff and other fringe organization backgrounds. His style is not unlike a professor, using a blackboard to drive home his points. He has high respect for the founding fathers and almighty God. He is constantly exposing socialist ties to the Obama White House. He called for a “Restore Honor” rally on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on the Washington Mall. There were no hate sign carriers among the estimated half million that attended. The speaker subjects were patriotism, religion and honor. When the crowd dispersed, the grounds were clear of trash usually left by other rallies. FOX and Beck are frequently mentioned in public complaints from the Obama White House. Harvard educated Bill O’Reilly has the distinction of being feared by many public figures to enter his “no spin zone.” Ailes must have weakness for beautiful, brainy blondes. Many of his news anchors and consultants who fit that description are lawyers, PhDs and licensed professionals. I’m sure that most of the FOX audience is male. The top-rated business network features likeable and humorous Neil Cavuto, who calls in and grills financial analysts in his fast moving style.
The mainstream FOX channel 8 carries many of the top rated shows and sport events. Then there’s also FOX Radio. Then again Murdock also owns the popular national news daily the Wall Street Journal. It features brilliant columnists like Dr. Charles Krauthammer, who is also a regular on the cable talk shows. Yes, Murdock and Ailes have put together a system that will have a powerful effect on the future of our nation.