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I have been on vacation recently and returned this week.  I live in a Columbus suburb, as some who read Daily Kos know.  As my handle indicates, I am a Democrat who is a member of the Democratic Party.

In my one week absence, the Columbus Dispatch endorsed Mitt Romney.  This is no surprise, I am not aware of the Republican Dispatch ever endorsing a Democratic candidate for president in my 60 plus years.

However, this morning the Dispatch did something completely unexpected.  I will describe below the fold.

The front page of the newspaper contains four interesting stories that would make it hard to vote for Romney unless you simply just hate President Obama.

1.  Jobless rate lowest since ’08, 7 of 8 central Ohio counties hit 6% or less in September

In all 8 counties shown in a graphic, the unemployment rate is down in all eight counties.  Let me ask, would a voter in Election Ground Zero want to mess with this kind of progress on the jobs front and elect a president who wants to reverse everything President Obama and his team have accomplished in the past 4 years and put rank amateurs in their place?

2.  Obama says Ohio can trust his leadership

This is a complimentary article about the president's campaign stop in Dayton yesterday, where Obama highlighted the shiftiness and untrustworthiness of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.  The question is; why put those rank amateurs in charge of our great nation?

3.  (Consumer Protection) http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2012/10/24/bureau-to-press-for-fair-conduct.html

This article about homegrown Richard Cordray's leadership of the Consumer Protection Bureau (which every congressional Republican opposed) has generated rules to rein in the excesses of debt collectors, a first.  Why would consumers want to elect a president and vice president who opposes this protection?

4.  U.S. may hit No. 1 in oil

In this article, the text completely blows up the Romney-Ryan meme that oil production is down under Obama.  In fact, it is up FOUR STRAIGHT YEARS, including when the Earth's worst oil well blowout occured in the Gulf of Mexico:

Driven by high prices and new drilling methods, U.S. production of crude and other liquid hydrocarbons is on track to rise 7 percent this year to an average of 10.9 million barrels per day. This will be the fourth-straight year of crude increases and the biggest single-year gain since 1951.

“Five years ago, if I or anyone had predicted today’s production growth, people would have thought we were crazy,” said Jim Burkhard, head of oil-markets research at IHS CERA, an energy-consulting firm in Englewood, Colo.

The Energy Department forecasts that U.S. production of crude and other liquid hydrocarbons, which includes biofuels, will average 11.4 million barrels per day next year. That would be a record for the U.S. and just below Saudi Arabia’s output of 11.6 million barrels. Citibank forecasts that U.S. production could reach 13 million to 15 million barrels per day by 2020, helping to make North America “the new Middle East.”

 Emphasis mine.

Now in this case, why would any rational person want to turn our nation over to a crew who have pledged to evicerate regulation of the oil and gas business, carry out the Radical Republican commitment to drill ANWR, even though we lack sufficient pipeline capacity to move any oil extracted there, and why would we want to break the progress that is being made to wean America's addiction to oil, particularly foreign oil?  Who would want to turn back the clock on recently passed , and agreed to by the industry, new CAFE standards that will improve gas mileage by twice as much by 2024?  Who would want to put in office a bunch of politicians committed to keeping us dependent upon oil in general, and who are committed to continuing mulit-billion dollar welfare checks from the American people to the most profitable companies on Earth, American oil companies?

What else is going on in Central Ohio, Ground Zero for this presidential election?

How about Area home sales up 11.4% over 2011, hinting an end to buyer's advantage?  Can you think of a single homeowner looking to sell that they should vote for a presidential candidate dedicated to getting rid of recently enacted consumer protection against rapacious banksters?

There's more in this decidedly Republican newspaper, and any rational reader would have to be inclined to, shall I say it? . . . Stay the Course with this president, and give him a congress he can work with by getting rid of a bunch of Radical Republicans dedicated to making America fail so they can find an excuse to get rid of the president they hate, Barack Obama.

So, in Ground Zero, Columbus, Ohio and the rest of Central Ohio, the swingiest part of the swingiest state, has no good news for Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan on its front page, 13 days before the election, and of course, while the election is on-going with Early Voting, with an estimate of 20 pre cent of Ohioans, including yours truly, having already voted, with estimates for President Obama and Vice President Biden running at 55 per cent of those who have already voted.  This leaves an insurmountable lead for the president, and quite frankly, should increase our intensity and desire to GET OUT THE VOTE, and get each and every Democratic voter to the polls this year.  The stakes are too high not to do this.

Update: this just in from Upper Arlington Progressive Action:

The opposition is getting organized and ruthless in its attempt to suppress the vote in Franklin County. More than 23,000 people in Franklin County have voted early at the in-person Early Voting center in the first three weeks of October. This number surpasses 2008 figures despite the fact that we have had far less voting hours. On Monday and Tuesday alone, over 5,000 people voted early at the Early Voting center on Morse Road and it appears that 8 out of every 10 voters were Democrats. Naturally this has the Republicans worried and they are pulling out the stops to suppress this early vote.

For example, on Monday of this week two huge Romney vans with negative signs set up camp in the middle of the early vote parking lot, taking up parking spots from early voters and creating a negative atmosphere with their divisive signs. This morning Fox News from Chicago arrived to film and presumably create chaos.  In addition, three huge signs were planted along Morse Road today that say "Abortion is Baby Murder" and "Stop Sodom and Gay Mora [sic] Marriage."  The Northland Alliance was called to remove them and they did, but the signs are now being held by Romney volunteers. Later today, the Romney team is staging a women's rally at the Early Vote Center at 3:00 p.m.  Be sure to read: "Illegal Campaigning by Romney Supporters Prompts Response by Sheriff at Franklin County Polling Location"

Why is this happening?  Because Republicans want to decrease turnout by changing the perception that voting is easy or a pleasant experience.  They want to increase their early vote turnout. They want to create an incident that either gets volunteers banned from distributing sample ballots or results in a negative story that suppresses the vote. We cannot let this happen.

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE VOTE EARLY! Our presence at the Early Voting location will help support and reassure other voters who may be fearful or reluctant to even enter the building. We can help these people exercise their right by simply being there, voting and being friendly to all we encounter. Additionally, voting early means you free up space in line on Election Day.

Update 2: 17:17 20121024 - H/T to jan4insight to correct my spelling of "potpourri" in the title.  All hail Grammar Police.

Originally posted to Ohiodem1 on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 11:24 AM PDT.

Also republished by Central Ohio Kossacks.

Poll

What is the most effective point of emphasis for Obama in Central Ohio?

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| 49 votes | Vote | Results

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