– Ohio has the 7th highest state and local tax burden, as calculated by our friends at the Tax Foundation.
– Weirdly, the locals call mayflies “Canadian Soldiers”, and the front desk of the (swanky) hotel and conference center warns that mayflies are not poisonous. I miss mayfly hatches, when millions of the tiny newborn bugs make the top of a lake boil at sunset, and the trout rise like ancient monsters to snap away their brief lives.
– Ohio is in the bottom half of all, and bottom ten of two, of the Mercatus Center’s 2009 Freedom In the 50 States indices. (PDF, Skip to page 11 for tables)
– Cuyahoga County has an unemployment rate of 9.4, lower than both the national average of 9.6, and Ohio’s 10.4.
– Cleveland native Drew Carey partnered with Reason.tv to make an excellent series of videos, Reason Saves Cleveland. Well worth watching, and a good primer on libertarian policy ideas, for all the “libertarians are just negative haters” out there.
– Every local I’ve talked to loathes, JUST LOATHES, LeBron James. Several people made weirdly vague accusations that LeBron is much more of a party animal than the media let on. Conventional wisdom is that going to south beach will be “the end of his career”. It seems to be an open secret that the Cavs owner, Dan Gilbert, leaned on local media to keep LeBron’s image squeaky clean, and that he has four, not two, children, by three different women. Sad to see a city rip into a once-favored son like that, but he brought it on himself.
– Panini’s Grill does sandwiches in what I think of as “Pirmanti style”; overstuffed and including french fries. I texted a Pittsburgh friend to say Cleveland is stealing all Pitts junk! What’s next, a Jake Delhomme motorcycle accident? After extensive discussion, the crowd decided I should have made a (alleged) rape joke. My mistake. Damn it.