» The shooting took place in the school’s cafeteria: The shooting in Chardon, a small community 30 miles outside of Cleveland, took place before classes started for the day. The 17-year-old gunman was apprehended within an hour of the shooting. Ohio Gov. John Kasich praised the district’s quick handling of the situation, which involved campus lockdowns and returning students home before they got to school: ”Please join me in praying for the students who’ve been injured in this horrible crime,” Kasich said. “Praise goes to the Chardon Police and Geauga County Sheriff’s office for quickly getting this situation under control. I’ve pledged Ohio’s full support to them, the school and the local community in this difficult time.” (EDIT: Updated death toll)
zophiamcdougal asks: I am going to be 18 in May, Can you simplify what the media is saying about the 2012 elections?
» We say: Honestly, it’s too early. Back in 1994, Clinton was in the dumps. And in 2008, Obama was on a high. In two years, everything changed. At this point, keep an eye outside of the two major parties; things are weird enough right now that a third-party candidate could do very well. Our money’s on New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg finally going national. Ron Paul, while still considered by many to be outside the mainstream, has gained a lot of new fans in the last two years and could shake things up. And if you want to see who’s probably going to run against Obama, watch Fox News – many of the likely major GOP candidates are on there (particularly Mike Huckabee and obviously Sarah Palin). Ohio Gov.-elect John Kasich proved that time hosting on Fox News can help you out. The wildcard right now, though, is the hostile weirdness in the Senate, particularly Mitch McConnell claiming that the GOP needs to stonewall for the next two years. (Last one, guys! Thanks for the help in making our first Office Hours a success!)
» Our take: Why is it that the first thing GOP leaders look to cut are public-works projects with potential long-term implications? The two projects in question here – a high-speed link between Milwaukee and Chicago and another between four of Ohio’s largest cities – would have a long-term positive effect on the state economies. Yet canceling them halfway through is a great idea. Have these guys even looked at the rising popularity of the Acela trains in the Northeast Corridor? Or how much these would help commuters? Milwaukee to Chicago, for example, is a very common Amtrak trip, and faster trains would make it easier for people who want to skip the traffic to make the trek. It’s not always about slimming down now, but planning for tomorrow.