It’s an off year as far as national politics are concerned, but don’t forget that if you live in the city of Cincinnati, there’s an important election next month: We’ll be voting on City Council candidates, the next mayor, and a ballot initiative that could affect the area’s fortunes for decades to come: Issue 4, a city charter amendment to reform the pension system for Cincinnati government employees.
A recent event brought a two-member panel of experts to Cincinnati to discuss the current system and the proposed reform. The Cincinnati Free Beacon has the video, as well as video of Issue 4’s animated opponents, who protested on the street corner outside the event. Excerpt:
You’ve probably been keeping up with news during this government shutdown (or government slowdown, as Herman Cain calls it, since even some three quarters of the federal government continues running uninterrupted) on television or talk radio or National Review Online or Hot Air or your news media of choice.
But just in case and for your convenience, here is some of what has been happening, with links to sources (or links to places with links to sources):
Republicans’ congressional investigations are making progress. NRO’s Eliana Johnson, who has been doing yeoman’s work covering the developing story of the IRS abuses, reports:
A congressional source has confirmed to National Review Online that embattled Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner, who has been on paid administrative leave since May, is retiring. The Associated Press is reporting that Lerner’s retirement is effective Monday. According to the ranking member of the House Ways and Means Committee, Sander Levin (D, Mich.), Lerner’s resignation comes as the Accountability Review Board investigating the scandal was set to recommend her termination on the basis of mismanagement and “neglect of duties.”
You will be encouraged by this report from the Ohio Liberty Coalition. Excerpt:
Ohio has stood strong against [Medicaid] expansion to date, and the federal government will spend $13 billion less on Medicaid as a result. Thanks to the 26 other states which have also opted out of Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion or are exploring different options, another $600 billion in federal tax dollars have been saved, not to mention a major component of Obamacare has been blocked in half the country.
We asked, “Should Congress abolish the IRS?” About 50 of you responded, and the results are in:
Congressman Brad Wenstrup has initiated a petition against the double standard whereby elected officials and their staff are exempt from a significant part of Obamacare while ordinary Americans are not. You can learn more and sign the petition at No Special Pass .com.
Related entry: “Obamacare Burdens for Thee but Not for Me”
Michael Cannon at National Review Online explains how the Obama administration has granted another (possibly illegal) Obamacare waiver.
Obamacare includes a provision that should cost each member of Congress and each staffer $5,000 to $11,000 per year.
National Review Online’s Eliana Johnson continues to cover the (still developing) IRS scandal:
A senior Internal Revenue Service official who until recently served as an adviser to embattled official Lois Lerner is leaving the agency, according to an IRS agent with knowledge of the situation. . . .
Interesting research from the American Enterprise Institute (abstract in HTML, full text in PDF): They attempt to measure whether turning out for a political rally makes a difference (causes political change, rather than is merely correlated with it), using rainfall at various events as a randomizing independent variable. They conclude that the rallies do make a difference.