Excerpts of recent editorials of statewide and national interest from Ohio newspapers:
The Marietta Times, Feb. 6
The blame game was in full swing this week as Congress held hearings on the Flint, Mich., water fiasco. There, people drank water tainted with lead for months before anyone did anything to deal with the threat.
On Wednesday, lawmakers heard a round of cover-your-behind accusations from local, state and federal officials – all trying to blame someone else.
But the bottom line is clear: Local officials knew there was a problem and, for too long, did nothing about it. State officials knew there was a concern, but issued no orders to deal with it. And U.S. Environmental Protection Agency officials warned there was a risk to the public’s health, but took no decisive action to eliminate it…
Local government is supposed to look out for the best interests of people. State officials are entrusted with ensuring that happens. Federal agencies are expected to serve as a backup when serious health or safety risks are involved.
Now all levels of government must work to make the situation right. They must make sure all Flint residents get clean water free of lead and contaminants, and they must make the situation right for all of those who were sickened or otherwise harmed by the water…
Cleveland.com, Feb. 7
A funny thing happened to Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump on their itinerary to the White House: Iowa’s Democratic and Republican precinct caucuses. The presidential derby remains a horse race…
In that respect, Iowa’s caucuses, like the presidential primary elections that follow, starting on Tuesday with New Hampshire’s, did what they were supposed to do: thin the field, and test, in political combat, the mettle of those staying in the race.
Bernie Sanders, for example, proved that he is more than a distraction to Hillary Clinton’s campaign; he’s a threat, although Clinton remains the favorite for the Democratic nomination. But if Clinton was expecting Iowa Democrats to say thanks, but no thanks, to Sanders, they disappointed her big-time.
On the Republican side, Donald Trump’s insurgent candidacy proved itself vulnerable; Either his supporters didn’t turn out in Iowa, or if they did, they were persuaded to comparison-shop, and bought into Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio
Either way, it’s still a horse race for both R and D. Trump has challenges in turning out his voters — and maybe showing this chink in his armor in Iowa could cause some of his supporters to look at other candidates…
The (Canton) Repository, Feb. 7
Parents must talk with their kids
If the line between toy guns and the real thing hasn’t vanished, it at least has been blurred.
That’s largely due to the emergence of BB guns and air rifles that resemble actual guns — all the way down to serial numbers. In too many instances in recent years, these toy guns have alarmed bystanders and, even worse, led police to shoot the people carrying them…
Unlike other states, Ohio has no law regulating these toy guns. Federal law only requires that they include an orange tip, which often is removed… And while federal law prohibits the sale of these toy guns to anyone under age 18, they sit on store shelves, no more difficult to grab than toilet paper or toothpaste…
With the growing popularity of these toy guns comes the added responsibility of educating users about when and where they should be carried and how best they should be used — if used at all. Whether they keep toy guns and real guns in their home or forbid them altogether, parents must talk with their children about the risks associated with these replica weapons…
The Cincinnati Enquirer, Feb. 6
Nestled between the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire presidential primary is Super Bowl 50. More than 114 million people in the United States are expected to tune in to the game Sunday.
But that other spectator favorite, the sport of politics, shares a number of similarities with the game of football – known for its strategy, penalties and, sometimes, sheer nastiness.
Those seeking the Republican and Democratic presidential nominations in 2016 are living this out. They have to quickly interpret information and make changes. And politicians, like coaches and general managers, must make strategic decisions based on information gleaned from their opponents’ past performances and tendencies.
“It’s about taking territory. That’s really what it is. And to take territory and to continue taking territory, you eventually end up with a conquest, which is the touchdown,” former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice once said. Rice now is a member of the Bowl Championship Series selection committee.
Both politicians and football players can be hated or loved, and they will experience the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. But they also have to have short memories and persevere to fight another day.
So, it’s not surprising that former football stars have translated their success on the field to being successful political leaders and public servants after their careers ended…
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