COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Excerpts of recent editorials of statewide and national interest from Ohio newspapers:
The (Toledo) Blade, June 17
There's good and bad news in college Republicans' report to GOP leaders on the party's shellacking in the 2012 election. Trying to understand how President Obama amassed a 5-million-vote margin over Mitt Romney among voters under 30, the young Republicans conducted a listening tour of their generation.
The good news for the party is that, as a voting bloc, millennials aren't particularly in love with Democrats. The bad news is that the most recent crop of Republican candidates and the party itself are considered too extreme to be a credible alternative.
The GOP is held in such low regard by those born since 1980 and later that the party's brand has become convenient political shorthand for "close-minded, racist, rigid, old-fashioned," the report says....
The report also calls for a more robust outreach to racial minorities based on appeals to opportunity and fairness for all, and a less hostile orientation toward gays and lesbians.
The report says the GOP has become too identified with negative messaging, such as opposition to same-sex marriage and to Hispanic immigration....
Reaction to the report by the GOP establishment has been mixed. Fox News host Bill O'Reilly asked the report's author why the Republican Party should care about the opinions of "a bunch of kids who don't know anything."
This kind of condescension will condemn the party to continue losing national elections. The fact that one of the nation's most prominent conservative broadcasters felt no hesitation about insulting young conservatives about the need to repair their party's image encapsulates the GOP dilemma perfectly.
The (Findlay) Courier, June 17
Given the option, most Ohioans would choose to live in their home rather than in a nursing home or extended-care facility.
While many factors, including age, and the severity of a disability or medical condition, can impact that choice, the benefits of residing in a familiar environment, with family and friends nearby, are obvious. It can also be more affordable....
In recent years, state leaders have pushed to expand home- and community-based services and reduce institutional care to save millions in long-term care spending. Gov. John Kasich's two-year budget proposal directs $31 million to be spent on home- and community-based services.
A boost to home care came last week when the federal government awarded Ohio $169 million to help keep seniors and the disabled in their homes.
Ohio was one of 16 states awarded funding through the Affordable Care Act's Balancing Incentive Program. The aid is provided to help states reach a goal of using at least half of their long-term-care spending on non-institutional care by 2015.
About 43 percent of Ohio's long-term spending is now directed to home- and community-based care, up from 39 percent in 2009, according to Ohio Medicaid officials.
Officials say there are no waiting lists currently for state home-care programs for Medicaid-eligible Ohioans. They say the federal aid will help make it easier and faster to get most services....
Regardless of the direction Ohio goes with Medicaid expansion, continued support for home health care options makes good sense.
The (Tiffin) Advertiser-Tribune, June 17
Last week's online poll question -- Which is more important to you, security or privacy? -- found views rather evenly divided.
That's not surprising. As two of our word-on-the-street respondents stated, security and privacy are equally important.
Plus, Benjamin Franklin's statement notwithstanding, security still is essential to preserving freedoms, including the right to be left alone....
The controversy over snooping by the National Security Agency involves electronic data -- phone call records and emails. It may be an invasion of privacy, but it's not a home invasion.
The story broke when a government contractor told of a secret NSA effort to collect records of phone calls. That was described as an effort to connect the dots between terrorists networks -- to find who is contacting whom. No one, we're told, is listening to our phone calls.
Then the source told of a program to collect and, with a secret court's blessing, read emails.
These revelations won't bother some folks. For others, their views depend on whether the NSA can be trusted not to monitor our communications. And recently, our trust in federal institutions has been shaken.
The NSA controversy comes on the heels of two other scandals. The Internal Revenue Service had targeted certain nonprofit groups for extra scrutiny, and the Department of Justice obtained phone records belonging to The Associated Press. Both actions smack of partisan politics.
Perhaps what America needs is a National Privacy Agency. But how could we trust the federal government to run it?
The (Canton) Repository, June 16
Last summer, the exotic word "derecho" (Spanish for "straight ahead" or "direct") made its way into many Americans' vocabulary with lightning speed.
It's no wonder. The June 2012 storm that packed winds of up to 90 mph, traveled 800 miles, lasted 18 hours, shed hail nearly 3 inches across and left 22 people dead does deserve its own attention-getting classification.
Fast-forward to early last week. It's no wonder Stark Countians and other Midwesterners felt some anxiety as meteorologists speculated about whether conditions would be right for another derecho in northeast Ohio late Wednesday or early Thursday.
Mercifully, it did not happen.
The winds were strong enough to bring down trees and knock out power to more than 5,300 AEP and Ohio Edison customers, but neither the storm's intensity nor its duration lived up to the predictions.
Anyone who has lived in northeast Ohio for more than a year or two would consider the storm unmemorable. Thank God for that.
But human nature being what it is, our relief can easily turn to disbelief. The weather experts exaggerated, some hyped the storm for TV ratings, we might be thinking.
We should be on guard against this "cry wolf" syndrome. A derecho is the epitome of unpredictability. Heaven knows miscalculations by experts can be annoying and inconvenient. But miscalculations by people who wind up in such a storm's path can be dangerous, even fatal.
The only sensible response to this skepticism: Better to be safe than sorry.