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Monday, April 30, 2007

Northup's latest ad on education and "a few things."

Anne Northup has released her latest (and 4th in series) video, this time it's on education and "a few things". She also has some "conversations with Anne Northup" videos available on her website, including one on her being pro-life.

So watch the video and tell us what you think. We will also post videos from other candidates as we receive them.

BTW: Speaking of pro-life, the Kentucky Right to Life organization has endorsed both Anne Northup and Ernie Fletcher for Governor, but declined to endorse Jody Richards who was endorsed in 2003. The group also endorsed Trey Grayson for SOS, Stan Lee for Attorney General, Lonnie Napier (R) and Mike Weaver (D) for Treasurer.

And, here are locations for Fletcher's campaign headquarters. I will update the info if any other campaign's info is received by me:

Lexington, 3735 Palomar Centre Drive, Unit 18, Lexington, KY 40513, (859) 224-0371
Louisville, 1939 Goldsmith Lane, Suite 142, Louisville, KY 40218, (502) 459-5595
Elizabethtown, 4611 N Dixie Hwy, Elizabethtown, KY 42701, (270) 982-7355
London, 360 North Main Street, London, KY 40741, (606) 878-1516
Florence, 6895 Burlington Pike, Florence, KY 41042, (859) 283-9400
Hopkinsville, 1361 South Main Street, Hopkinsville, KY 42240, (270) 839-8953

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U. S Supreme Court backs police in high speed chase and other cases.

The U. S. Supreme Court has ruled 8 to 1, in Scott vs. Harris, 05-1631, that a police officer, who is involved in a high speed chase -- watch the video -- and who uses his cruiser to stop the speeding vehicle in a bid to prevent "serious risks to police and bystanders", is not liable on Fourth Amendment UNREASONABLENESS grounds for a violation of the civil rights (42 U. S C., section 1983) for the injuries sustained by the driver of the speeding vehicle -- in this case, the injuries left the driver a quadriplegic.

Justice Scalia, writing for the Court's majority, stated: [W]e loath to lay down a rule requiring police to allow fleeing suspects to get away whenever they drive so recklessly that they put other people’s lives in danger. It is obvious the perverse incentives such a rule would create: Every fleeing motorist would know that escape is within his grasp, if only he accelerates to 90 miles per hour, crosses the double-yellow line a few times,and runs a few red lights. The Constitution assuredly does not impose this invitation to impunity-earned-by-recklessness. Instead, we lay down a more sensible rule: A police officer’s attempt to terminate a dangerous high-speed car chase that threatens the lives of innocent by-standers does not violate the Fourth Amendment, even when it places the fleeing motorist at risk of serious injury or death."

The lone dissenter, Justice Stevens, accused his colleagues of "set[ting] forth a per se rule that presumes its own version of the facts[] ... given that it is not clear that this chase threatened the life of any 'innocent bystande[r]'[which issue] ... jurors in Georgia should be allowed to evaluate" [in a trial].

What does all this mean? It all means that police will NOT be held liable for injuries sustained by drivers involved in high speed chases, such as was captured in the video linked above.

So give us your thoughts.

Speaking of the Supreme Court, the Court today ruled 7 to 1 in favor of Microsoft Corp. and against AT&T, 05-1056, which made it easier to challenge patents by restricting the reach of patents overseas.

What do you think?

And speaking of both the Supreme Court and overseas, the Court has agreed to decide the case of a Mexican national on death row in Texas. In the case, Medellin v. Texas, 06-984, the Court will look at executive power and the role of international law on state court proceedings. Death row inmate, Jose Ernesto Medellin and 50 others, are challenging their convictions because they were not allowed to contact their Counsels as allowed by the 1963 Vienna Convention Treaty of which the United States is a signer.

The case will likely be decided by the Court this fall, but until then what do you think? Should a foreigner be told of his rights to contact his country's Consul before certain proceedings are undertaken against him, as allowed under a treaty which the U. S. is a signer?

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Former Bush money backers bolt for Obama & Clinton; Bush set to wield veto pen.

Here's a story about how former financial backers of Bush's campaigns are now jumping ship and backing Obama and Clinton. Not sure how much trouble this spells for Republican presidential candidates, but it's worth a mention and a read.

And this week, maybe today or so, President Bush is expected to veto the pork-laden Iraq war bill with benchmarks that sets a target date of March 2008 for troop withdrawal.

Stay tuned for any more developments.

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Is Henry "a model citizen until [he] runs for office"?

The H-L continuing series on the gubernatorial candidates is on Steve Henry this time. Steve, in his own words acknowledges that "I'm a model citizen until I run for office," which begs the twin questions: If running for office makes him a non-model citizen, should he be running and does Kentucky deserve to have him as Governor?
Share your thoughts.

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Sunday, April 29, 2007

Democratic presidential contenders spin & then eat fish in SC.

Taking a break from their polite jousting the other day and all the spinning that goes with it, it was all fried fish and trimmings for the field of presidential contenders in South Carolina. Watch the video. I am NOT sure which of the candidates got the biggest fish or greased the voters down with used fried fish cooking oil, but the poll taken after-wards suggests that Obama out-shined Hillary.

Meanwhile, the world waits for the Republicans to take the stage this Thursday in what will certainly be more of a blood match than the Democratic forum, and suggestively identical (if not in tone, then in "concealed" but obvious words) that will take President Bush to task -- at least on the part of some candidates.
Stay tuned as I'll post a report on the Republicans' forum.

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On the national scene: George Tenet slams Bush as Joe Biden serves "waffles".

CBS "60 minutes" program tonight is airing an interview with CIA Director, George Tenet (pictured on the right), who has published an expose', At the center of the storm (available at, in which he will argue that President George Bush was gearing up for war with Iraq and misused Tenet's "slam dunk" comment to urge the presence of Saddam Hussein's WMDs as a pretext for the Iraq war. Watch the video and decide if he needs to be believed. Some say yes, others say no.

The question I have is why Tenet kept silent until NOW, when he should have spoken up against any misuse of his "slam dunk" flawed Iraq war intelligence?

And Senator Joe Biden (pictured on the left) was "called out" today by Tim Russert on his prior inconsistencies on Iraq and other issues. Watch the video and see (and hear it for yourself). After watching Joe Biden serve us so many "waffles" -- how long he expects us to stay in Iraq, abortion, to mention a couple, -- I wondered why he forgot to bring a bottle of "syrup" with him. That would have come in handy to sweeting his not-so-sweet servings!

Update: Watch the video as Secretary of State, Condi Rice, dismisses Tenet's accusations.

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Courier Journal endorses Anne Northup for Governor.

The Courier Journal has endorsed the candidacy of Anne Northup for Governor and Jeff Hoover for Lt. Governor. Here are excerpts for the endorsement:

GOP should nominate Northup for governor

This is the truth: Gov. Ernie Fletcher is so wounded, politically, that Kentucky Republicans would be hurting their own cause by renominating him in the May 22 primary.

Read the numbers. Polls consistently have shown that Gov. Fletcher carries such heavy baggage from the merit-system scandal that he is unlikely to win a second term.

Republicans should give themselves a chance to win -- and give Kentucky an attractive alternative to whoever emerges from the crowded Democratic primary -- by nominating former U.S. Rep. Anne Northup of Louisville.

Billy Harper, a millionaire Paducah businessman who is largely financing his own campaign, is also in the GOP race and has released a flurry of television ads.

Mrs. Northup brings a strong résumé to the race.

She served 10 years in Congress from Kentucky's 3rd District, before being defeated last fall in the anti-Bush tide. Although her voting record was more conservative than majority views in her district, she won widespread praise as a community leader who worked tirelessly to fund local needs. She was pivotal in pulling together support and money for Louisville's vital Ohio River Bridges Project.

Before that, she was an effective member of the Kentucky legislature, where she demonstrated independence and courage. She backed progress and reform in education -- a passion she carried to Congress. And at a time when most state politicians steered clear of tobacco controversies, she focused on smoking's health risks and the gathering economic storm confronting growers.

If Mrs. Northup becomes governor, conservatives will get a strong opponent of abortion and an ally on a range of social issues. Everyone will get a constructive advocate for progress in areas such as education, health care and urban needs.

Mr. Harper also is an engaging candidate. He, too, has an ambitious and thoughtful agenda, especially in education. He stresses a vision that emphasizes early childhood education, avoiding dropout risks in middle schools and keeping college affordable.

But Mr. Harper has not held public office, and he lacks Mrs. Northup's experience and proven ability. And he cannot win.

Gov. Fletcher, for his part, is not going to exit without a fight, and he rattles off what he considers key accomplishments.

He says that he has streamlined state government. He argues that his tax reform package was a substantial achievement. He points to successes in cutting costs and modernizing the Medicaid program. He says he has done a lot for Louisville, partnering with civic leaders in projects such as a new downtown arena.

Ironically, however, the Governor's gravest shortcoming looms in the area where, as a candidate in 2003, he pledged to make the biggest difference: changing the culture in Frankfort.

Instead, he and his administration descended into an illegal effort to thwart the state's merit system with a scheme for politically based hiring.

Gov. Fletcher denies reality. He claims to have been exonerated and insists that, in any case, he was the victim of a witch-hunt conducted by Attorney General Greg Stumbo.

He won't acknowledge the compelling facts: his pardons for 27 people indicted in the scandal; his own admission, in a deal to end the probe, that there was strong evidence of wrongdoing and that he bore responsibility as head of the executive branch; his acknowledgement in the agreement that the investigation was proper; the reality that this hiring operation was conducted out of the Governor's office; the embarrassment of his own lieutenant governor, Steve Pence, saying some of Gov. Fletcher's actions amounted to a cover-up.

Some Republicans are sympathetic to Gov. Fletcher's defense. But they should ask themselves two questions:

First, can Gov. Fletcher really persuade voters in the November general election to give him four more years? Mrs. Northup and Mr. Harper have avoided harsh attacks in a GOP primary. Does anyone suppose the Democratic ticket will exercise such restraint?

Second, what is best for Kentucky -- weakened leadership from a crippled and tarnished governor?

By nominating Anne Northup, Kentucky Republicans would strengthen their party's hand in the fall campaign and upgrade the quality of leadership they offer the state.

We urge her selection.

Are you surprised by the endorsement? Share your thoughts with us.

Update: Louisville Teachers union endorse Fletcher.

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Alessi's trail mix: Is Fletcher exploiting religion or expressing faith? And is Henry fudging -- again?

Fletcher's campaign has taken on a decidedly religious overtones, from him comparing himself to Jesus to his "this little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine" TV commercials, drawing criticisms. But is he exploiting religion for political purposes -- and possibly blurring the Church/State separation --, as he is accused of doing, or is he merely expressing his Christian faith?

Share your thoughts with us.

Also, I reported here this week that Steve Henry has loaned his campaign $1 million. Well, it is starting to sound Henry-esque. There may NOT be a loan after all. The money was supposedly used to buy media, but then the Henry canceled the media buy and instead issued this notice to the media companies: "Due to limited funding, the Henry campaign is cutting 2 weeks of orders" from May 1 to May 20. "The cuts were across all media; they do not have funds to run their initial plans", though the Henry campaign attributed the email to "shifting resources," Over at The Rural Democrat, Bill Haynes is reporting that the $1 million is a myth.

Share your thoughts on Steve Henry, too.

FYI: Talking about fund-raising on this Sunday, the State Journal is reporting that Fletcher raised a lot of money in Franklin County and the Owensboro Messenger-Enquirer is reporting that Fletcher's fund-raising faltered in Daviess County.

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Al Cross: In Kentucky Governor's race, "truth is elusive."

Al Cross is using his piece this week, In campaign ads, truth is elusive, to illustrate the blatant untruthfulness of campaign ads put out by gubernatorial candidates. Here are excerpts: The news in the governor's race ... [is about] television and radio commercials and direct-mail brochures full of exaggerations, half-truths and worse. ... let us turn out attention to the ads, starting with those from the incumbent. ....

How can Fletcher say in a TV commercial that more Kentuckians are working than ever before, when Northup says the state's unemployment rate is going up? Simple. More Kentuckians are working than ever before because there are more Kentuckians than ever before. So, Fletcher's ad is a half-truth, at best. Voters deserve better.

But what about Northup's ad, which says the unemployment rate has gone from 39th to 46th among the states, ranked by the worst at the bottom? (The drop is since Fletcher took office in December 2003, but the ad doesn't mention him, reflecting Northup's tempered approach.) ... as far as it goes, Northup's point seems valid.

Less reliable is her opening line in the ad: "Kentucky is falling behind, and that's why I'm running for governor." ... She said she was running because Fletcher couldn't win the general election. That forecast remains a pretty reliable one for Republicans -- though you can't rule out a second Fletcher term as long as the Democrats with the most baggage, former Lt. Gov. Steve Henry and businessman Bruce Lunsford, are leading in that primary. But no matter who wins the Democratic nod, Northup stands a better chance of winning than Fletcher, who carries heavy baggage from politicizing civil-service jobs, pardoning aides and then firing some of them.

Fletcher's campaign is tackling that issue with a radio ad calling the investigation a political witch hunt (the C-J disputes this characterization) that ended in the charges against him being dropped. That doesn't square with the language in the deal Fletcher signed to end the probe: "The governor acknowledges that the evidence strongly indicates wrongdoing by his administration . . . that these actions were inappropriate, and that he regrets their occurrence, and accepts responsibility for them as head of the executive branch of state government." The Governor didn't admit personal wrongdoing, but his signed agreement says Attorney General Greg Stumbo's investigation was "necessary and proper" and "ensured that abuses of the state's merit system will be eliminated." And now it's supposed to be a witch hunt?

Fletcher is appealing to the widespread but mistaken belief that merit-system jobs have been common political currency. ... Sure, every administration has bent and manipulated the system to make political hires, but there has never been evidence of such a systematic attempt to circumvent it as was made by the Fletcher administration. The Governor's misleading statements are all the more egregious when he's touring the state on the taxpayers' dime, going from ceremonial check presentations to fund-raising events where he collects real checks from those who stand to gain or lose at the hands of the state -- money that will buy more misleading ads.

And what about the Democrats?

As widely reported, the Lunsford-Stumbo slate has a platform that Lunsford claims they wrote -- but that borrowed about a fourth of its language from the Florida gubernatorial candidate for whom their communications director worked last year.

Henry's TV ad says "Families pay less for heath care and prescription drugs" because he "fought to end the tax on doctor visits and medicine." Henry was a leading opponent of the health-care provider tax, but had such limited leverage as Paul Patton's lieutenant governor that his claim stretches the truth to the breaking point.

Former Lt. Gov. Steve Beshear has a TV spot in which he says, "I helped Governor Collins bring Toyota to Kentucky." This is the same guy who had no real role in Martha Layne Collins' administration, and repeatedly questioned whether she struck the best deal with Toyota.

State Treasurer Jonathan Miller ran two ads promising "health care for our veterans," an almost completely federal issue. It ran when the Walter Reed Hospital scandal was still making big news. That's pandering to the primary electorate, most of which is likely to be older than 55.

House Speaker Jody Richards hasn't been on paid TV yet. Perhaps we should be thankful.

Well, we should wait until the campaign season is all over to be thankful, don't you think so? More importantly, if the half-truths and lies do NOT work, politicians will leave them alone -- right?

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C-J's candidate profile: Billy Harper.

The C-J's candidate profile this week has Billy Harper as its candidate. Harper gives this statement as why he's running: "I did like what Ernie had to say (in the campaign). I did like his style," he said. "… I just felt like Kentucky really hasn't changed since he got there."

Give us your thoughts.

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Saturday, April 28, 2007

HYPOCRITICAL AID head "ESCORTED" out of federal office.

The head of the federal Agency for International Development (AID), Randall L. Tobias, has abruptly resigned his post over allegations that he was a "one of the regular customers" who frequented an escort service that "functioned as a high-end adult fantasy firm which offered legal sexual and erotic services across the spectrum of adult sexual behavior."

Mr. Tobias served previously as CEO of Eli Lilly company and AT&T international, as well as on the Board of Duke University. In 2003, President Bush nominated him for the $15 billion program to fight AIDS worldwide. He took an anti-prostitution loyalty oath and signed a White House directive that "prostitution and its related activities" were "inherently harmful and dehumanizing". Mr. Tobias also touted his successful program aimed at "fighting sex trafficking and prostitution". At the time of his appointment in 2003, some AIDS experts said Mr. Tobias did not have much experience with AIDS or Africa.

I do NOT know about his experience in Africa, but I do know that his hypocritical penchant for "escort" services appear to confirms the allegation outright -- he knows nothing about AIDS or how the disease is spread!

Update: Washington D. C. Madam. Deborah Jeane Palfrey, who "abhors injustice" and has already caused Mr. Tobias' professional demise, is expected to "sing like a canary" and reveal the names of her many clients -- including many in the White House, Pentagon, Congress and others in our Government, and powerful persons in private (business) life. My, oh my. Stay tuned for updates.

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Friday, April 27, 2007

Fletcher reverses course, will reimburse state for campaign expenses.

Fletcher, who has been criticized for scheduling fund-raisers the same time he is on official business, has reversed course and will reimburse the state for "pro-rated" portion of the travel expenses related to his campaign. I reported on this issue earlier and I think it is a wise move on his part.

Update: More from the H-L on the expenses.

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Person(s) for the week: Obasanjo and Yar'Adua.

This week's person(s) for the week are two people who most Kentuckians (and Americans) probably know nothing of, but who hold the key to the re-birth of Democracy in Africa's largest "Democracy". They are Umaru Yar'Adua (pictured on the left) who "won" the presidential election in Nigeria and the current President, Olusegun Obasanjo (pictured on the right), who is expected to hand over power to him next month.

We wait with JADED breath.

Honorable mention goes to the field of Presidential Democratic candidates who "took to the stage" yesterday to "bare it all" to the world. I applaud ANYONE who wants to serve our country, so the candidates get this week's honorable mention.


Quote(s) for the week.

1) "I haven't made the first phone call to ask for money. And I will not make a phone call to ask for money. That is the root of what's wrong with politics in Kentucky today."
- Gatewood Galbraith, Kentucky Democratic gubernatorial candidate.

2) "You can lead like Jesus and be successful ... [but] there's a price to pay."
- Gov. Fletcher comparing his leadership to that of Jesus.

3) "I'm not a politician."
- Fletcher's opponent, Billy Harper, who will spend nearly $5 million to unseat him, conceding the obvious.

4) "Plenty of chutzpah, but little capacity for embarrassment or shame."
- John David Dyche, a Lawyer and newspaper Columnist, on "a winning personality profile in [Kentucky] politics."

5) "These are deliberate and calculated lies."
- Kevin Tillman, the brother of Army Ranger and former NFL star Pat Tillman, testifying before Congress about inconsistencies in the military's account of his brother's death.

6) "Our goal has never been to sell the most cars in the world. We simply want to be the best in quality. After that, sales will take care of themselves."
- Paul Nolasco, a spokesman for Toyota, which became the world's top auto seller in the first quarter of 2007, surpassing GM.

7) "I propose a limitation be put on how many squares of toilet paper can be used in any one sitting."
- Sheryl Crow, in an entry posted on her web site that seeks to curb global warming.

8) "There's something to that — there might be a little Bush fatigue now."
- Former President, George Bush, agreeing with an assessment by Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney that his youngest son and former Florida Governor, Jeb Bush, would be a Presidential contender if he had a different last name.

9) "There are good and bad things about him, but he will remain in history for his one great achievement: he buried communism."
- Alexander Bolshakov, a a mourner at the Moscow state funeral of former Russian President Boris Yeltsin.

10) "Clearly, steps should be taken to protect children from excessively violent programming. Some might say such action is long overdue."
- Kevin J. Martin, the FCC chairman, in a speech deserving of an "Amen, Brother", urging lawmakers to restrict violent TV programming to late evening.

11) "It takes me 60 seconds to clear my throat."
- Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL), joking about Thursday night's debate for eight Democratic presidential candidates, whose responses will be limited to 60 seconds.

12) "She is a solid conservative, her fundraising is strong, and I think she is the best person to lead Kentucky as our next governor."
- U. S. Senator, Jim Bunning, on why he is appearing in an ad for Anne Northup for Governor campaign.

13) "I guess he's jumped on the bandwagon. He and Fletcher are two peas in a pod. One's just taller than the other."
- Republican state Rep. Tim Couch of Hyden, accusing Senate Majority Leader, David Williams, of "flip-flopping" and of secretly supporting the campaign of Gov. Ernie Fletcher.

14) "America's generals have repeated the mistakes of Vietnam in Iraq."
- Lt. Col. Paul Yingling, an active-duty Army officer and Iraq veteran, in an article published Friday in Armed Forces Journal.


Northup's latest ad features Senator Jim Bunning and wife Mary.

The Northup/Hoover ticket has a new ad set to run (in mostly Northern Kentucky). The ad features U. S. Senator Jim Bunning and his wife Mary touting Northup's conservative values. Watch the ad and post your comments to tell us what you think.

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What are they REALLY saying?: Domestic partner benefits.

The H-L continues its series on gubernatorial candidates, this time the question is: As governor, would you support or oppose legislative attempts to ban public universities from offering these benefits? Here's what they are REALLY saying -- in their own words:


GATEWOOD GALBRAITH: "Under certain conditions I believe domestic partner benefits are appropriate. ... If these partners enter into a civil contract ... they should be treated fairly and with the same benefits awarded anyone else." Gatewood believes that partners, who enter into a civil union, should have partner benefits.

Steve Henry: "... I believe that university personnel policies are best determined by the universities through their respective Board of Trustees. As a rule, the more people we can cover, the better off we’ll be." Steve will leave it up to universities to decide the issue, though he notes "the more covered, the better".

Otis Hensley: "I will support such attempts. These domestic partner benefits are a veiled attempt to promote the homosexual lifestyle and undermine our religious culture, which, today, is under assault from abortion, gambling, and homosexuality." Otis will support a ban on domestic partnership benefits.

Bruce Lunsford: "Public universities should be allowed to make their own decisions to hire the best and most talented professors, researchers and other staff." Bruce will leave it up to the universities to decide the issue.

Jonathan Miller: "Oppose. Like the dozens of major employers in Central Kentucky offering such benefits, our universities should have that option." Jonathan opposes any attempts to ban domestic partnership benefits.

Jody Richards: No response. Well, that says it all.

Steve Beshear: "Our colleges and universities should be able to handle these types of personal issues without interference from state government." Steve will let colleges and universities decide the issue in order to be competitive.


Anne Northup: "I strongly supported the ban on Same Sex Marriage ... [and] I also do not believe that the Governor or the General Assembly should micromanage our universities. ... However, if the General Assembly does not choose to ban these benefits and universities decide to offer [them] our state government should not spend one cent to support domestic partners." Anne supports a ban on same sex marriages and doesn't believe government should micromanage universities on this issue, but if the General Assembly bans partner benefits then government shouldn't use public money to fund them.

Billy Harper: "I made this clear ... that I am strongly opposed to any benefits to couples other than man and wife ... ." Billy supports a ban on domestic partner benefits.

Ernie Fletcher: "I believe that our university boards of trustees are independent bodies and they should have the autonomy to set their own policy. ... However, I am personally opposed to the addition of these benefits." Ernie is personally opposed to domestic partner benefits, though he believes that universities should be allowed to decide the issue.

That's all folks, the candidates in their own words -- deciphered.

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Veiled threat or joke taken out of context.

Did Northup make a "veiled political threat" against Sen. Robert Stivers, regarding a possible opponent for him, or was her comment a "joke taken out of context"?

Read the H-L piece, judge for yourself and please share your thoughts.

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Is Galbraith running to bring "change" or does he "like the spotlight"?

The latest H-L gubernatorial piece is on Gatewood Galbraith who, as the last free man in America, says he's running because "[e]verybody's ready for a change; all my opponents are the old face of the party." Is he or does he simply "like[] the spotlight a little bit," as former Congressman and former Lexington mayor, Scotty Baesler, (who also described Gatewood as "smart and very charismatic") alleges?

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Doug Alexander: Borrowing ideas from other states is NOT a bad idea.

Doug Alexander, executive director of the Commonwealth Progress, repeats what I had suggested here: that the plagiarisms of some gubernatorial candidates (other than for given credit to the sources) are much ado about nothings. But Mr. Alexander goes further to argue that Kentucky -- at the bottom of the rung in almost every measurable social issue -- needs to borrow ideas that work from those states. I think he makes a VERY valid point. Read Let's borrow ideas that work and tell us what you think.

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In Kentucky: A quick look at Treasurer candidates.

The C-J has a piece on the candidates for Treasurer. Who (of the four from each party) do you think has the upper hand?

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On the national scene: Democratic presidential candidates debate.

I watched most of the debate last night of the field of Democratic presidential hopefuls and, though they all held their own and demonstrated their presidential creds., Hillary and Obama out shined the others, with former Sen. Mike Gravel (Alaska) and Rep. Dennis Kucinich (Ohio) providing some refreshing candor. In all, there were NO fireworks, as the candidates (as expected) were united in their criticism of President Bush. In case if you missed it, here are their answers to various topics --- in their own words:

On Iraq; On confronting negative perceptions; On domestic policy -- abortion & health care; On the confederate flag; ON non-Iraq foreign policy; On impeaching Dick Cheney, gay marriage and other topics; and, the Pundits respond here and here, including memorable quotes.

What do you think -- who won, lost or changed your mind?

Update: SURVEYUSA poll says OBAMA BEAT HILLARY in the debate.

Update #2: Nick Anderson's take on the debate:

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Congress passes bill telling Al-Qeada when we'll QUIT Iraq!

Watch President Bush "Boogie down".

Watch President Bush boogie down to African drums.


Robert Novak joins call for Gonzales's resignation as Congress seeks immunity for Gonzales' senior aide, Monica Goodling.

Many know that I have called for Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to be nudged out of his post. Now many in the GOP are making the same call, including Syndicated Columnist and Political Commentator, Robert Novak. In his piece, Bush's Barricade, Novak concluded: "With the administration in trouble on several fronts, the president barricading himself with Al Gonzales by his side does not help." Here are excerpts:
The authoritative word from the White House was that Bush was adamant about retaining Gonzales as attorney general despite Republican demands that the president cut his losses.
All the Republicans in Congress whom I contacted view this as pure folly.
While the current cliche is that Bush never should have named Gonzales attorney general in the first place, the consensus in the administration was that Gonzales also was at sea in his first post, as White House counsel. Colin Powell, Bush's first-term secretary of state, was so appalled by Gonzales that he shunted contact with him off to Deputy Secretary Richard Armitage, who in turn handed him down to lower levels along the State Department chain of command.
Bush's position, however, may be undermined by an unexpected development this week. It was announced that a little-known agency -- the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, headed by Scott J. Bloch -- has launched an investigation into possible illegal White House political participation in the firing of at least one U.S. attorney. The irony here was not noted in early news accounts.

And to ALL of that I add the latest news that a grant of immunity is in the offing for Gonzales' key aide, Monica Goodling, and you get a picture of things getting ready to possibly go wrong for Gonzales -- and provide embarrassing fodder for the Democrats to use against Bush.

Let the nudging begin.

Update 3:40 p.m.: Sen. John McCain joins call for Gonzales' nudge. Is the REAL McCain re-emerging?

And before Liberals start "ha-ha"ing Republicans, they may consider taking a look at Sen. Harry Reid, Democrats' Gonzales.

And, the crescendo builds.

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Is Beshear running to provide leadership or to gamble with our future?

Steve Beshear is the subject of the latest H-L piece on the gubernatorial candidates. Beshear says he's running because of a "a total lack of leadership in the state." But his campaign promises and platform depends on the spending of $500 million he claims gambling will yield to Kentucky, which begs the question:

Is Beshear running to provide leadership or to gamble with our future?

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

More "Open Secrets": Democrats pour money into race.

Here is a breakdown of fund-raisings for Democratic gubernatorial candidates, starting from the lowest raisers/spenders to the least:

The biggest spender in the race and the Democrats' Billy Harper (in times of ability to spend money) is Bruce "Big Bucks" Lunsford, who promised to "spend what it takes to win" and who has recently loaned his campaign $3.5 million, in addition to the $722,000.00 he received from contributors. He has spent $4 million and will spend more -- as needed.

Steve Henry follows, loaning his campaign $1 million and receiving an additional $478,000.00 from contributors. He's left with about $500,000.00 even after his $800,000.00 media buy.

Steve Beshear reported raising $1.13 million and having a cash balance of $553,000.00.

Jonathan Miller reported raising $1.01 million raised and has about $187,000.00 left.

Jody Richards raised $515,000.00 and has $332,000.00 on hand for media exposure.

Gatewood Galbraith raised $17,823.00 and has about $775.00 on hand.

Otis Hensley reported raising $700.99 raised and spending $500.00 on his "bull ride" to Frankfort to announce his candidacy. Talk about money well spent.

Now wait for my caveat: I must post this analysis with a caveat. As many of you know, I am one who decries the corrupting influence of monied interests on our Democratic process. Moreover, I do NOT believe the voters are ALWAYS FOOLED into voting for the candidate with the most money. So it is with that understanding that I am posting all this information for you to use however you choose to do so. As for me, all the information makes ABSOLUTELY NO DIFFERENCE in who I will be voting for come May 22nd or this November!

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McCain re-starts campaign as Conservatives eye Fred Thompson's bid & Democrats prepare first debate.

Senator John McCain has "restarted" his campaign -- his words not mine -- as he takes "pot shots" at his opponents, Gonzales and Bush. I was one of two people, that I know of, who voted for McCain in Kentucky; but I may NOT be there this time unless the REAL John McCain starts talking and showing up at events.

Meanwhile, Conservatives like me who are worried about McCain and NOT so sure about Giuliani's liberal stance on public funding for abortions, are waiting to see if Fred Thompson will run -- and to assess his conservative credentials (which CANNOT be thought of as any worse than what's out there for Conservatives to choose from).

Speaking of Giuliani, he rankled Democrats today by suggesting that Democrats are less concerned about the war on terror than Republicans, which prompted a retort from Obama who accused Giuliani of playing "9-11 politics" -- or something like that.

And, speaking of the Democrats, their first debate is scheduled for tomorrow on MSNBC at 6:00 p. m. Central time.

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Fletcher releases 4th ad, this time it's on education.

Click above to view Fletcher's new education ad and share your thoughts by commenting below by telling us what you think about it.

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Is Northup comfortable being "out there by herself"?

The H-L does another piece on the gubernatorial candidates and this one has Anne Northup stating that she's "ok" with being "out there by herself". Northup, who is noted as a ferocious campaigner and "absolutely the toughest campaigner going", and who was the recipient of the "Brass Balls" award for her tenacity while she was in the state Legislature, is begging the question of whether she's really "out there by herself" or is she being coy about her political strengths?

What do you think?

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More "Open Secrets": Fletcher slightly edges Northup in money chase.

The various campaigns have released their campaign reports 32 days before the May Primary. To view the complete filings, please visit the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance website. The filed information shows that since Northup joined the Governor's race, she has raised $1 million (excluding the $.5 million she gave her campaign. NOTE: Much ado has been made about the fact she contributed money to her campaign, with some people speculating that she did so because she is NOT raising enough money. But those who speculate so, rightly or wrongly, also miss the point that she may feel very comfortable about winning that she is willing to bet her own money. Otherwise, one would wonder why else she would risk her finances this way, if there was NO chance of her winning. Just my thoughts)!

Her campaign finance information also shows that she has nearly a million dollars left (counting the $.5 million she loaned herself, or $980,214.00 for the final stretch). For a list of Northup's prominent contributors, which includes Senator Jim Bunning, and a few former Fletcher allies, like Jim Host, Bill Stone, Basil Turbyfil, etc., please visit here.

Fletcher on the other hand, has raised $1.29 million since Mrs. Northup joined the race (an amount a Fletcher critic suggested was about the same he raised in 2003 without the aid of incumbency. Overall, Fletcher has raised 2.9 million and spent nearly $2 million) -- all of which appears to have been raised from contributors -- no loan to the campaign for Fletcher -- though he has been criticized for holding fund-raisers in the same area and time just as he is handing out checks to local communities, a practice which outrages some who say it resembles a "quid pro quo" and others view as politics as usual practiced by Fletcher's predecessors -- like Paul Patton.

Fletcher has nearly a million dollars left ($935,819.00 to be exact, slightly less than Northup's, for the final stretch). For a list of Fletcher's prominent contributors, which include County Judge Executives, Government employees, Lobbyists, Contractors, etc., please click here.

Billy Harper has not yet filed his reports, though he is self-financing his campaign and has added another $2.5 million to his campaign, thereby bringing his total to $5 million and change.

On the Democratic side, only two candidates have filed. I will have a new posting for them once the filing deadline passes tonight. You may view the down ticket candidates filings here.

CAVEAT: I must post this analysis with a caveat. As many of you know, I am one who decries the corrupting influence of monied interests on our Democratic process. Moreover, I do NOT believe the voters are ALWAYS FOOLED into voting for the candidate with the most money. So it is with that understanding that I am posting all this information for you to use however you choose to do so. As for me, all the information makes ABSOLUTELY NO DIFFERENCE in who I will be voting for come May 22nd!

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Hillary Clinton's "Open Secret" and the "Timbaland" hypocrisy.

Senator Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Presidential candidate, has got to be one of the biggest hypocrites in America -- and we know there are many -- and that shpould be an open secret. She was one of the outspoken critics who took Don Imus to task -- and he SURELY deserved to be taken to task -- for his racist and sexist slurs hurled at the women of Rutgers. According to Senator Clinton, Don Imus' "Nappy headed 'hos" comments showed "small-minded bigotry and coarse sexism ... [and] a disregard for basic decency and were disrespectful and degrading to African Americans and women everywhere." Last weekend, I was typing away on this computer while trying not to listen to the television as my significant other was watching her deliver her speech at Rutgers University.

But that proved to be as easy as driving by and trying NOT to rubber-neck at a car wreck!

Just what makes her hypocritical you ask?

Well, compare her statements above (and her Rutgers University speech) to the fact that she was the subject of a fund-raiser at the home of Hip Hop Rapper, Timbaland, real name: Timothy Mosley, to get the point. She reportedly raised $800,000.00 at the minimum $1000.00 a person event.

Still confused?

Well, sample, if you will, some of Timberland's lyrics:

From the track "Come and Get Me":

"Nigga Your Time Is Up, I Aint Come To Kid You
I Knew You Niggas Was Dumb, But How Dumb Is You . . .
I'm A Ride Or Die Nigga, I Be Tearing [expletive] Up
We Aint Like Them Other Fools, Who Don't Compare To Us
All The Hoes Love A Nigga, They be Backing It Up
But Me I Love Money I Be Stacking It Up . . .
I'm Rich I Can Pay To Have You Six Feet Deep (Nigga)

And from his track "Kill Yourself":

" . . . most of u rap niggas is hoes to me,
wherever u from
the question I ask
is do u think I give a [expletive] . . .
u mad at me? cuz im getting rich,
well put the pistol to ur head and empty the clip, pop nigga!

And from "Considerate Brotha,":

". . . Hoes coming up short? Hoes finna get cursed out!
. . . Slam the mask out of these hoes and they say, 'What is that, velvet?'
And they betta meet they quota, betta yet betta meet they deadline . . . I'm a pimp all around
A pimp of the town -- we pimpin 'em up, HOES DOWN.

GOT it?


So next time you see (or hear) Senator Clinton, don't go looking elsewhere for where the hypocrite is, because you'll be starring at her!!

Update: Today, days after I posted this post on Hillary's Hip Hop connection, CNN has done a story on it. Watch the video.

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It's an "Open Secret" who's bankrolling the campaigns.

In case if you are interested in finding out who's (or which organization) is bankrolling the campaigns, I assure you it's an Open Secret. For instance, the top ten most generous contributions to campaigns came from these organizations’ political action committees, employees and executives to candidates for federal office from 1989 through 2006:

1. American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees
$38,133,049 Labor 98% 1%

2. AT&T
$36,992,735 Business 44% 55%

3. National Association of Realtors
$30,298,348 Business 46% 52%

4. National Education Association
$27,108,900 Labor 93% 6%

5. American Association for Justice
$27,107,056 Lawyers 89% 9%

6. International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
$25,779,741 Labor 97% 2%

7. Laborers Union
$25,018,639 Labor 91% 7%

8. Goldman Sachs
$24,902,461 Business 61% 38%

9. Service Employees International Union
$24,675,343 Labor 95% 3%

10. Carpenters & Joiners Union
$24,422,870 Labor 89% 9%

If you ever feel like big businesses and big government are ripping you off, now you know how!


On the national scene: Trouble for WH as Rove is targeted.

Several news sources, such as the LA Times, are reporting that the President's Chief Strategist and Deputy White House Chief of Staff, Karl Rove, is the subject of a massive investigation by the Office of Special Counsel. The 106-person Office of Special Counsel, whose primary mission has been the enforcement of the 1939 Hatch Act, a law designed to preserve the integrity of the civil service by prohibiting certain political activities by federal employees, "has never conducted such a broad and high-profile inquiry in its history".

Certain penalties attach to a violating of the Hatch Act. Thus, "[a]n employee who violates the Hatch Act shall be removed from their position, and funds appropriated for the position from which removed thereafter may not be used to pay the employee or individual. However, if the Merit Systems Protection Board finds by unanimous vote that the violation does not warrant removal, a penalty of not less than 30 days' suspension without pay shall be imposed by direction of the Board."

Stay tuned to this site as updates on the investigation will be brought to you.

Update: The Washington Post is reporting that the probe may have Kentucky connections by implicating Scott Jennings. We hope not.

Weird: On finding out who the Special Counsel is, I find this info. that he is being investigated himself.

Update: WH political briefings at Agencies disclosed.

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Does Steve Henry have "a winning personality profile" in Kentucky politics? ...

... yes, according to John David Dyche, who accuses Democratic candidate for Governor, Steve Henry, of having "plenty of chutzpah, but little capacity for embarrassment or shame. From Happy Chandler to Wallace Wilkinson, history proves this can be a winning personality profile in commonwealth politics."

Read the column and voice your opinions. Do you agree with Dyche's damning view of Kentucky politics?


KET forum: Republican Lt. Governor candidates, domestic partner benefits.

I do not know how many of you caught the KET forum for the Republican Lt. Governor candidates -- Jeff Hoover (Northup), Robbie Rudolph (Fletcher), and Dick Wilson (Harper) -- but here is the video.

Tell us what you think, who won, who you liked the most, who changed your mind about their ticket.

I can assure everyone reading this that it is an EXTREMELY important position that the Lt. Governor occupies. As the one who will step in for the Governor in the Governor's absence, it is EXTREMELY important that you consider these candidates and that you choose WISELY.

One of the issues that was brought up in the forum is the issue of domestic partner benefits. University of Louisville offers it, UK is set to approve it, other universities (and colleges) are looking at offering it and the Kentucky General Assembly is divided over it (the Senate banned it, but the House did NOT pass on it, though it appears there's support for it there).

Fletcher previously indicated that it was a subject for universities to decide for themselves, but the issue may now be a subject for an-as-yet-to-be-called special legislative session. So says, Robbie Rudolph, Fletcher's running mate.

Do you think that universities (and colleges) should be allowed to decide whether to offer domestic partner benefits, or should the people (through the Legislature) be given a chance in a special session to ban it?

Update: The H-L is reporting, and the C-L is confirming, that UK has approved the University's domestic partner benefits plan. The paper is also reporting that Fletcher has WISELY ruled out an (expected inefficient) special session before the Primary.

Update #2: Fletcher now says he is not sure the domestic partner issue -- which he opposes "at this point" -- will be a part of any special session after all.

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Is Harper a better candidate or a "drag" on the "race"?

The H-L has done another good write-up. This one is on Billy Harper, who rejects calls to quit the Governor's race and instead declares that he's a better candidate than Northup or Fletcher because "I'm not a politician. I've come out of the business ranks where I know what it is like to make a payroll."

Is Harper a better candidate or is he a "drag" on the Republican gubernatorial "race"?

BTW: meet Dick Wilson, Harper's running mate.

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Monday, April 23, 2007

Is Fletcher "leading like Jesus" and paying the price for doing so?

The H-L has done a piece on Fletcher's campaign. In it the writer, John Stamper, compares Fletcher's early political life during the Merit System Investigation to the medical condition of having E coli septic shock -- a disease that nearly claimed Fletcher's life in real life. The writer suggests that the power of incumbency, "[a]t a significant cost to taxpayers" may be helping Fletcher in his comeback bid. Fletcher, a former Baptist Minister, in the piece likens himself to Jesus, stating that "[y]ou can lead like Jesus and be successful [though] there's a price to pay."

What do you think? Is Fletcher "leading like Jesus" and is he paying the price for doing so?

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Charade or Legitimate: The Road To Democracy In Nigeria.

"The election was a charade. A democratic arrangement founded on such fraud can have no legitimacy," cried opponents, as current President Obasanjo's hand picked successor, Umaru Yar'Adua of the ruling People's Democratic Party (larger photo), is declared the Presidential contest winner. Obasanjo (smaller picture) urged calm amid opposition's call for the results to be annulled and eerily pronounced "that results so far did not deviate from projections"!

Is that another way of acknowledging the oppositions' claim that the voting was a "charade", since the outcome was as "projected"?

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Sunday, April 22, 2007

What "Perfect Stranger" lacked, "Fracture" put to work!

Breaking from my routine of going to the theater about once a month, me and my significant other went today and saw the Anthony Hopkins -- he was as spooky as ever -- and Ryan Gosling thriller, Fracture. Everything that Perfect Stranger lacked, Fracture had -- believable plot- and story- line, a near excellent acting (believable characters) and intrigue. I give the movie a B+, and that's saying a lot considering that Hollywood has lowered the bar on what passes for theater movies and/or run out of ideas for great movies. The movie is what a view.

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Nothing peaceful about this election, as re-run calls mount.

Well the elections have been held and there was nothing peaceful about them, as I, and many others, had hoped. Worse, with charges of widespread allegations of fraud, opposition and other affected groups have called for a re-run. Meanwhile, as the world (particularly native Nigerians) wait with jaded breath, some similarities with Kentucky politics STILL persist.

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C-J's candidate profile: Jody Richards.

The continuing candidate profiles from the C-J. This time it's the ticket of Jody Richards and John Y. Brown, 111.

Any comments?

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Friday, April 20, 2007

Person(s) for the week: ALL those affected by the Virginia Tech tragedy.

This week's person(s) of the week are ALL those affected by the tragedy at Virginia Tech. Professor Librescu (shown in the video), who willfully gave his life so that others may live, is immortalized here. You may also view a photo essay here.


Quote(s) for the week.

"I cannot begin to convey my own personal sense of loss over this senselessness of such an incomprehensible and heinous act."

Charles W. Steger, President of Virginia Tech, the site of the nation's largest campus shooting.

Neither can we. Our prayers go out to those who mourn that they may be comforted.


Alberto Gonzales appears on Congressional "hot seat", needs to be "nudged" into another post.

I was unable to watch the Gonzales grilling by Congress yesterday, but here's a good roundup of what other newspaper editorials are saying about him, including a slow march of Republicans who want to be political pall bearers for his AG career. The question is whether Alberto "GONZO" Gonzales should go or stay. As for me, he should NOT go because of "Prosecutorgate" -- though the handling of the whole sorry episode makes one close their political nose from ALL the stench, -- but all the blunders and questionable actions he has spearheaded make him a good candidate to be replaced. The sad part about ALL he has been accused of doing is that he has CONTINUED to act as President Bush's White House Counsel, a role he confuses with his present position as the nation's Chief Law enforcement Officer/Counsel! That is SINFUL enough to warrant a nudge back to his White House Counsel job -- or a Federal Judgeship!!

What do you think?

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What are they REALLY saying?: Automatic restoration of Felons' voting rights.

This week's question is: Do you support a constitutional amendment that would automatically restore voting rights to felons once they have completed their full sentence?

Here are their responses -- in their own words!


Steve Beshear: "... I believe that Kentuckians who have paid their debt to society should have their applications for voting rights restoration reviewed in a timely manner." Steve does NOT support automatic restoration of voting rights -- just a timely review process.

Gatewood Galbraith: "I agree that many convicted felons should have their voting rights and other civil rights restored -- with sex, child crimes and PFOs." Gatewood believes in restoration of voting rights for felons with some exceptions.

Steve Henry: "I favor a process by which felons can have their voting rights restored – not automatically, ... ." No automatic restoration of voting rights for Steve.

Otis Hensley: "I will support the mandatory restoration of voting rights after completion of sentence and restitution has been made for non-violent felons." Otis supports automatic restoration of voting rights for non-violent felons.

Bruce Lunsford: "I support the automatic restoration of voting rights for non-violent offenders who have served their time and paid their debt to society." Bruce, like Otis, supports the automatic restoration of voting rights for non-violent offenders.

Jonathan Miller: "After one has served time, repaid his or her debt and re-enters society, there should be a process to have voting rights restored." Jonathan omitted "automatic" from his answer, so it must mean he doesn't support automatic restoration of voting rights.

Jody Richards: "Kentucky and Virginia are the only two states that do not automatically grant voting rights to felons who have served out their full sentences, including probation and parole. I believe that there should be a reprieve for those who were not convicted of a violent or sexual offense. Once they have served their punishment, they should be given one of the most crucial rights we as citizens have." Though Jody did NOT come out and say it like Otis and Bruce, I believe he is saying -- without saying so -- that he is in favor of automatic restoration of voting rights, except for violent and sex offenders.


Ernie Fletcher: "I do not think that it is too much to ask of a person who knowingly committed the most serious of crimes to comply with a few simple steps to have those precious rights restored." Ernie does not support the automatic restoration of voting rights for felons.

Anne Northup: "No, I oppose a constitutional amendment to automatically restore voting rights for felons."

Billy Harper:
"Convicted felons need to work their way back into society and earn their voting rights." Billy does not support automatic restoration of voting rights for felons.

That's all folks, the candidates in their own words, deciphered.

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Senator Bunning is Senates's 6th most Conservative, McConnell is highly rated, and Northup & Fletcher appear evenly matched.

The American Conservative Union has just released its list of the most Conservative members of Congress for 2006. Senator Jim Bunning is 6th in the Senate, with a rating of 96%, up from 92% in 2005 and a 20 year lifetime rating of 95%! McConnell had a rating of 84%, down from 100% last year with a lifetime of 90%.

In the House, Anne Northup had a rating of 78%, down from 96 from 2005 with a lifetime rating of 86%.

In 2003, the last year that Fletcher was in the House, his lifetime rating was 90% and Northup's was 88%.

In other scores, Fletcher scored 88% and Northup 84%, and Fletcher 92% and Northup 88%.

Comparing 2003 scores -- the ONLY ratings comparisons that would be FAIR to make for both of them --, it appears that both Fletcher and Northup are evenly matched, CONSERVATIVELY speaking.

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Country set for "peaceful" handover, events parallel Kentucky's.

Nigeria, Africa's largest Democracy, is getting ready for a "peaceful" presidential election that will be the first time one democratically elected government will hand power to another. Since the country gained independence from Britain in 1960, the country has been ruled by one succession of KLEPTOMANIAC military Hunta after another. At first, skeptics doubted the election would EVER take place. The President, General Olusegu Obasanjo, a former military Hunta himself, won election 8 years ago. Constitutionally barred from seeking a third term and challenged by his Vice-President, Abubakar Atiku, who announced he would be seeking the office himself, the President reacted by pushing to have the constitution changed in his favor. Deterred in his efforts, and still quarreling with his Veep who by now has switched parties, the President, in an event paralleling Kentucky's, took away his Veep privileges -- his official airplane, cars and security detail! Both the President and the Veep were accused by the Senate of corruption, the Code of Conduct Commission (a corruption fighting arm of the government) charged the Veep with corruption and the President sought to sack the Veep for switching parties. Disqualified from running for office by the Federal Election Commission because of his appearance on a list of 135 corrupt politicians, Nigeria's Appeals Court upheld the FEC's actions. Just days ago, however, the Nigerian Supreme Court, in a unanimous opinion, nullified that ruling freeing the Veep to appear on the ballot this Saturday. Whether or not Atiku's name appears on the ballot this late remains to be seen, though the Electoral Commission is promising as much. You can read more how democracy disappoints Nigerians. Last Saturday's voting for Governors and Legislators appear to have gone well or rigged, depending on who you ask. In some particular areas of the country, it is reported that "people were seen stuffing ballot boxes."

Yet another Kentucky parallel!!

Update: Read the "thugging" of Democracy.

Update #2: Voting takes place amid filed bombing. Read it here, as country waits.

Update #3: Chaos and fraud.

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Judge who jailed immigrants without bail suspended, State Supreme Court says WKU foundation is immune from suit.

The local Western Kentucky judge who was the subject of my earlier post for jailing offenders of Hispanic descent without bail has been suspended for 15 days by the Judicial Conduct Commission. I know the judge and I know she is not a bigot, but I suggested that she was, nonetheless, violating the accused constitutional rights. The Commission reached the same conclusion today.

Also in a significant UNANIMOUS ruling for public institutions of learning, the State Supreme Court has issued a ruling finding that a foundation set up by Western Kentucky University (WKU) qualifies it as an "alter ego" of the institution, and since it is "incorporated [and] exists only to serve WKU, [it] derives its [governmental] immunity status through WKU."

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Northup releases new ad, more trouble follows Steve Henry, college students vote & accusations of plagiarisms fly.

Anne Northup has issued her second ad. you can view it on here (it's the top one -- I do NOT know why she won't post ads with embedding HTML attached to them so they can be accessed from anywhere on the web).

Let us know what you think of her latest ad.

Also, a woman has sued Steve Henry and others for medical negligence. Why does bad news seem to follow Steve Henry like a bad headache?

In a for whatever it's worth category, SOS Try Grayson's office conducted mock trials at all the state universities. Here are the results:

On the Republican side, Ernie Fletcher received 44.6 percent of the vote, compared to 40.3 percent for Anne Northup and 15.1 percent for Billy Harper.

On the Democratic side, Miller garnered 35 percent of the vote, followed by Jody Richards with 16.4 percent, Steven Beshear with 15.2 percent, and Gatewood Galbraith with 9.3 percent. Others brought up the rear.

Any comments?

On another related topic, Steve Beshear and Bruce Lunsford are accused of plagarising some of their campaign platforms and promises. So what's up with the hoopla anyway?

Update: The C-J calls the plagiarisms "disappointing and confounding." And Anne Northup continues to focus on Fletcher.

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U. S. Supreme Court delights abortion foes, upholds ban on "partial-birth" abortions. Is "right" to abortion next to go?

The U. S, Supreme Court has issued an opinion that has GREATLY delighted anti-abortion foes and others who are horrified by the senseless killing of unborn babies, euphemistically misnamed "partial birth" abortions. The 5 to 4 decision, written by swing voter, Justice Kennedy, and joined by the Court's other Conservatives, is Gonzales vs. Carhart, 530 U. S. _____ (2007). Nebraska was one of the first sovereigns to try and outlaw the procedure. My boss at the time, Attorney General Don Stemberg's attempt to do so was rebuffed by the Supreme Court in Stenberg vs. Carhart, 530 U. S. 914, which found Nebraska's attempt violative of Roe vs. Wade and others. Reacting to the rebuff, Congress passed a new ban on "partial birth" abortions (both pre-viable and post-viable] and prohibited "knowingly perform[ing] a partial-birth abortion . . . that is [not] necessary to save the life of a mother." 18 U. S. C. §1531(a).

The Act defines "partial-birth abortion," in §1531(b)(1), -- in "anatomical landmarks" -- as a procedure in which the doctor: (A) deliberately and intentionally vaginally delivers a living fetus until, in the case of a head-first presentation,the entire fetal head is outside the [mother’s] body . . . , or, in the case of breech presentation, any part of the fetal trunk past the navel is outside the [mother’s] body . . . , for the purpose of performing an overt act that the person knows will kill the partially delivered living fetus”; and "(B) performs the overt act, other than completion of delivery, that kills the fetus."

The procedure requires, as the court found, a woman to first "vaginally delive[r] a living fetus." Then for the living fetus to be killed. This overt act of performing an intact D&E is what the Act criminalizes and penalizes by fine and up to 2 years in prison.

The Supreme Court CORRECTLY overruled the lower courts, which found that the Act was fatally flawed because it did not require a finding that the health of the mother was in danger, and brushed aside any concerns of the Act's vagueness and that the Act "unduly burdened" a woman's right to have an abortion. The Court held instead, while applying the law of Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v. Casey, 505 U. S. 833 (1992), that "an undue burden on the pre-viability abortion right exists if a regulation’s 'purpose or effect is to place a substantial obstacle in the [woman’s] path' ..., but that "[r]egulations ["which are rational and pursue legitimate ends"], and which do no more than create a structural mechanism by which the State . . . may express profound respect for the life of the unborn are permitted, if they are not a substantial obstacle to the woman’s exercise of the right to choose."

Thus it was not unreasonable for Congress to find, said the Court, "Implicitly approving such a brutal and inhumane procedure by choosing not to prohibit it will further coarsen society to the humanity of not only newborns, but all vulnerable and innocent human life, making it increasingly difficult to protect such life [and] that partial-birth abortion, more than standard D&E, undermines the public’s perception of the doctor’s [which the state can regulate] appropriate role during delivery, and perverts the birth process."

As for proper safeguards for women whose lives may be in danger unless the prohibited act was used, the Court held that "the proper means to consider [those] exceptions is by as-applied challenge", while noting that "the Act [complained of here] already contains a life exception" [in the form of] "... an injection that kills the fetus ... " before a prohibited live birth.

In a concurring opinion, Justices Thomas, joined by Justice Scalia "reiterate[d] [their] view that the Court’s abortion jurisprudence, including Casey and Roe v. Wade, 410 U. S. 113 (1973), has no basis in the Constitution," signaling to anyone who can read that, if given a chance, they'll overrule ANY cases that find a federal constitutional right to abortion.

The dissenting opinion, authored by Justice Ginsburg and joined by the Court's other Liberal Justices, aptly noted that "[t]he Court’s hostility to the right Roe and Casey secured is not concealed".

After this opinion today, one can expect that this "hostility to Roe and Casey", described by Justice Ginsburg and the Dissenters, will manifest itself in the form of a Supreme Court decision finding that there is NO federal constitutional right to have an abortion.

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C-J's candidate profile: Gatewood Galbraith.

This post is in continuation of the C-J series on the Governor's race. This time it's the ticket of Galbraith and Wireman. Read and tell us what you think. I have a question, though: The other series I have read for the other candidates appeared on Sundays, which has me asking why Gatewood's is printed on Thursday? Just a thought.

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Robert Novak: Blue Dog Democrats are Pelosi's pets.

Robert Novak has an interesting observation about the Democrats 100 day plan and how the new breed of Blue Dog Democrats fared. They were touted as Conservatives (because they represent districts that Bush carried) and were expected to vote Conservatively. Not so, says Novak, who states the Dogs are Speaker Pelosi's pets (my characterization). Here are some excerpts:

On Tax Hike: Just before the Easter recess, the House voted on the Democratic budget for 2008, which anticipates a $400 billion tax increase over the next five years.

On Iraq Pullout: The emergency supplemental appropriations bill, which funds the Iraq War until October and sets a timetable for withdrawal, had been endorsed by the left-wing group It passed 218-212, with the support of every moderate Democratic freshman.

On Embryonic Research:
On the question of funding for scientific research that involves the destruction of human embryos, the new moderates split down the middle.

On Unions: In two separate votes dear to the heart of union bosses, all 10 of our freshmen voted the party line.

These are some of the issues I excerpted. Any surprises or thoughts?

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Group rates legislators on Fiscal responsibility.

Kentucky Club for Growth, a fiscal watchdog group based in Covington, KY, has released its fiscal responsibility ratings score card for Kentucky Legislators. Read the Club's press release and rankings to see how your Legislator fared in being fiscally responsible with your money.

In the House: I am HAPPY to know that my Legislator and VERY good friend, Rep. Jim DeCesare, is the second MOST fiscally responsible (at a score of 88), right behind the MOST fiscally responsible Legislator of the ALL -- Stan Lee (at 91). Lt. Governor candidate, Jeff Hoover ranked #16 by score (at 47).
The bottom rung of the fiscal ratings ladder is populated by Legislators, such as Reps. Robin Webb, Larry Clark and Steve Riggs (who came in at 100 and were considered the least fiscally responsible). Speaker Jody Richards came in at 91 -- a better score than 9 others.

In the Senate: My friend, Sen. Dick Roeding came in the Most fiscally responsible, followed closely by another good friend Sen. Bob Leeper. My good friend and Senator, Brett Guthrie was tied with several Senators at second place with a score of 61.
Bringing up the rear were Sens. Gerald Neal, Tim shaughnessy and Dan Mongiardo.

Related story: Billy Harper has put out a news release in response to the rankings stating: "Fiscal responsibility in Frankfort has taken a back seat to politics for years now, and state policymakers need to reevaluate the way they spend taxpayer funds. Education reform and economic development, state government’s most important responsibilities, have been allowed to whither on the vine while many policymakers have looked after their own special interests."

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Bob Novak: Kentucky leans Fletcher.

Syndicated Columnist and Political Pundit, Robert Novak, who last month leaned Northup, has switched his leaning to Fletcher. This is what he had to say this time:

Kentucky: Despite what we perceived as a promising start, former Rep. Anne Northup (R) has flopped so far, remaining flat in the race for the Republican nomination for governor. Incumbent Gov. Ernie Fletcher (R) has run ads effective in portraying himself as the victim of Democratic attacks. Northup's ads, which began just recently, have been judged uninspiring.

Fletcher's previously negligible lead has quickly grown by seven points in the most recent local poll, putting him at the all-important 40 percent mark that would allow him to avoid a runoff. Northup has stayed flat at 31 percent. Fletcher's continued poor showing in the polls still holds forth hope for Northup, but he may survive the May 22 primary.

There is little question that he would win the election if it were held today. Leaning Fletcher.

What say ye?

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Northup reacts to KET Dem. gubernatorial forum.

The Northup/Hoover ticket reacted to the Democratic gubernatorial debate on KET last night by releasing the following statements, excerpted here:

The Democrats running for Governor held their first KET debate last night and reaffirmed exactly what the Northup-Hoover campaign has been saying since the first day — Ernie Fletcher can’t win in the fall. Read the Courier Journal article for your self. Democrats aim toughest criticism at fletcher in debate.
The Democrats illustrated last night in their debate that if Ernie Fletcher is the Republican nominee, they are going to spend all their time and energy running a campaign about pardons, indictments, and corruption.
The question Republicans need to ask themselves before the May primary is: Which candidate can successfully carry the Republican message into the general election?

Any thoughts?

Also, the Northup/Hoover ticket has released a call for supporters who want their campaign signs now (before they are distributed free later in the campaign) to buy them at $9.95 each. Considering how unusual the request is -- though it is a smart and efficient way to raise money and allow regular "Joes and Janes" without a lot of money to financially support a candidate of their choice --, Ted Jackson, a campaign adviser for the ticket who owns Spaulding Group (the company that is offering the signs for sale), said all proceeds go to his company and not to the campaign.

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Fletcher releases new ad, this time it's on health care.

The Fletcher/Rudolph ticket has released its latest campaign ad. This time it's on health care. Click to watch it and share your thoughts with us.

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Blanco, Breaux, Landrieu bow out of Louisiana Governor's race; "Cake walk" for Bobby Jindal?

The Times-Picayune is reporting that former Democratic U. S. Senator from Louisiana, John Breaux has bowed out of jumping into the Governor's race against the widely popular U. S. Representative, Bobby Jindal. Sen. Breaux flirted with the idea of running after the HUGELY UNPOPULAR Governor Kathlene Blanco decided against seeking re-election. With NO CREDIBLE Democrats stepping forward to challenge him, and the state's Lt. Governor Mitch Landrieu taking a pass on running, it appears that a Republican Bobby Jindal will "cake walk" his way and become the next Governor of Louisiana -- a solidly Democratic state.

Who would have "thunk" that?

Update: Check out Bobby Jindal's Conservative rating: He is atop the ratings for ALL Louisiana U. S. Lawmakers; 96% lifetime, with 92% in 2006 and 100% the previous year!

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Monday, April 16, 2007

Gunman shoots up Virginia Tech, we mourn the senseless loss of lives.

A gunman has shot up the Virginia Technical University killing over 33 people. We mourn the senseless loss of lives and send our prayers for comfort to the affected families.

Update: The gun man has been identified as a 23 year old English major at the school. I choose not to emphasize his ethnicity, race or country of origin because that fact is NOT really important information, and it is likely to lead to UNWARRANTED recriminations against the people of that country of origin who had nothing to do with this tragedy.

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KET Kentucky Governor's candidate forum: Democrats.

The KET Governors' debate is scheduled for tonight at 8 p. m. (Eastern time). This time it's the Democrats' turn. I will provide an update, particularly with the posting of the video, when available.

Update: I have just finished watching some of the forum. As a Lawyer who actively tries numerous cases in court, I am a big fan of the closing argument. I think that is where cases are won or lost (not to minimize the impact of opening statements and ACTUAL evidence). So judging the candidates on the basis of their closing arguments (you'll have a chance to view the video and judge the entire performances for yourself, hopefully, by tomorrow), here are my thoughts:

Jonathan Miller's "Fletcher lite" comments and "Miller genuine" should energize the anti-Fletcher crowd in the Democratic party and give them the perception that he is the one MOST positioned to take on Fletcher in the fall, should he win in May.

The other lawyers did very well as to be expected; Beshear showed good debating skills and was self-assured. I liked Gatewood's gutsy move of inviting Ben Chandler's supporters to join him. I say gutsy move because, while the invitation has a chance of getting him the undecided voters (if those supported Chandler in the last race) he needs to join the run-off election, the move could backfire if Chandler comes out and endorses someone other than him!

Steve Henry was a little unsure of himself and it shows that the negatives may be taking a toll on him!!

Bruce Lunsford did surprisingly very well and was self-assured. Maybe, the last SURVEYUSA poll gave it to him.

Jody Richards appeared too legislative and somewhat unsure of himself and there's no reason for him to be so. His accusation that Fletcher is an "embarrassment" to Kentucky may also rally Democrats (like it may do for Miller) who want someone to take the fight to Fletcher -- again should Fletcher win the primary.

And, Otis "Bullman" Hemsley just wanted to ride that "bull".

Any thoughts?

Update #2: View the video and tell us who impressed you the MOST and who changed your mind.

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Sunday, April 15, 2007

This stranger is all about imperfections.

It is NOT often I go to the movie theaters to watch a movie, due to the fact that I feel Hollywood has completely run out of fresh movie ideas or Hollywood has deliberately and intentionally lowered the bar on what should pass for a movie destined for the theaters, but about once a month or sooner my significant other drags me to one. This week's pick proved my point entirely. The movie we watched was the "perfect stranger", starring the stunningly beautiful Halle Berry, (pictured on your right top) and the versatile Bruce Willis (pictured on the left), whose promiscuity in the
movie reminded me of "Quagmire". The movie poster was enticing enough to suggest a "must see" thriller. What we witnessed instead was a movie that proved to be less of a thriller and more of a strangely disappointing imperfection. You did NOT need to figure out who was sponsoring the movie as bottles of Heineken were prominent everywhere, so were mentions of Reebok and Victoria's secret. Rated R, because of mind numbing gratuitous sex, sexual innuendos and misplaced (if you will) profanity, the stranger flick with lots of imperfections merited a merciful C from me, simply because of its surprise ending -- otherwise a D would have been more than adequate. Which begs the question: where were Berry's and Willis' Agents when they signed up to star in this picture?

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David Hawpe: Politics is about tropery and trickery on TV.

The C-J's David Hawpe argues in today's column that "politics [has been] reduced to tropery and trickery on TV," and "[t]he problem with politics on TV is that candidates' claims disappear into the ether. What sticks with us is the easy gesture, the facile smile, the whole body language of phony certitude."

Can ANYONE dispute the veracity of that WISE observation?

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C-J's candidate profile: Bruce Lunsford.

The fifth in the continuing series by the C-J on the gubernatorial candidates. This time it's Bruce Lunsford and Greg Stumbo.

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Saturday, April 14, 2007

Another recap on the Don Imus flap as "Snoop" speaks out.

Snoop Doggy Dog, the Rap "artist", presumably speaking for other Rap "artists", reacted this week to comparisons between what Don Imus said and Hip Hop musical lyrics that constantly degrade women by saying: "It's a completely different scenario. [Rappers] are not talking about no collegiate basketball girls who have made it to the next level in education and sports. We're talking about ho's that's in the 'hood that ain't doing sh--, that's trying to get a n---a for his money. These are two separate things. First of all, we ain't no old-ass white men that sit up on MSNBC [which announced Wednesday it would drop its simulcast of Imus' radio show] going hard on black girls. We are rappers that have these songs coming from our minds and our souls that are relevant to what we feel. I will not let them mutha----as say we in the same league as him."

Notwithstanding who Snoop is (not a good representative of ANY group other than Rappers), do you think he's making any SENSE by his claims of a difference between Rap music lyrics and Don Imus' rants, or is he simply spewing out NONSENSE? What do you think?

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