Web Osi Speaks!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

U. S. House OVERWHELMINGLY passes ethics reform bill.

The U. S. House has OVERWHELMINGLY, by a vote of 411-8, passed an ethics bill designed to CLEAN up Congress. The Bill, S1, has different titles. Title 1, the LEGISLATIVE TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY ACT OF 2007; and, title 2, the LOBBYING TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY ACT OF 2007 will, among other things:

— Prohibit lobbyists and their clients from giving gifts, including meals and tickets, to senators and their staffs. The House adopted a gift ban in January.

— Require senators and candidates for the Senate or White House to pay charter rates for trips on private planes. House candidates would be barred from accepting trips on private planes.

— Require lobbyists to disclose payments they make to presidential libraries, inaugural committees or organizations controlled by or named for members of Congress.

— Bar lawmakers from attending large parties given in their honor by lobbyists at national political conventions.

— Bar lawmakers and their aides from trying to influence hiring decisions by lobbying firms and others in exchange for political access.

— Deny retirement benefits to members of Congress convicted of bribery, perjury or similar crimes.

The bill, which now makes its way to the Senate -- where Alaska Senator Ted Stevens has suggested he will hold it up! -- appears to have REAL TEETH, as it increases fines for willful violations from the current $50,000 to $200,000, and adds a new criminal penalty of up to five years in prison for lobbyists who "knowingly and corruptly" violate the yet to be established law. But it is not perfect and should be considered a welcomed first step, though the Senate can now make it tougher, at least as far as sun shinning earmarks or "pork barrel spending" is concerned!

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It is an open secret: Top contributors to Obama and Hillary are BIG businesses.

While Democrats scream that the Republican Party is a party of BIG businesses and their party for small people, it is an OPEN SECRET, so witness where the top ten contributions to Obama and Hillary came from:

1. Goldman Sachs: $441, 851
Hillary Clinton: $131, 850
Barack Obama: $310,001

2. DLA Piper: $318, 627
Hillary Clinton: $284, 620
Barack Obama: $34, 007

3. Citigroup, Inc.: $312, 261
Hillary Clinton: $18, 145
Barack Obama: 154, 116

4. Lehman Brothers: $303, 510
Hillary Clinton: $83, 650
Barack Obama: 219, 860

5. JP Morgan Chase & Co. : $243, 555
Hillary Clinton: $89,100
Barack Obama: $154, 455

6. Skadden, Arps et al: $242, 716
Hillary Clinton: $135, 060
Barack Obama: $107, 656

7. Morgan Stanley: $215, 035
Hillary Clinton: $127, 700
Barack Obama: $87,335

8. Kirkland & Ellis: $213, 301
Hillary Clinton: $110, 200
Barack Obama: $103, 101

9. Time Warner: $210, 971
Hillary Clinton: $103, 220
Barack Obama: $107, 751

10. Viacom Inc.: $173, 599
Hillary Clinton: $93, 200
Barack Obama: $80, 399

Hat tip to the folks at Human Events.

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Are we seeing the last days of Democracy?

This author seems to think so. Listen. What do you think -- is the speaker "crying wolf" or giving us a "heads up"?

As you ponder your answer comes news that "[t]he Bancroft family has accepted ... $5 billion offer to buy the publisher of the Wall Street Journal ... [and] Dow Jones will be part of News Corp". News Corp. is owned by Robert Murdock, who also owns FOX and other news businesses.


Ken Starr's law firm love$ Hillary Clinton.

Kenneth Starr, former president Bill Clinton's special prosecutor, love$ Hillary Clinton and Democrats. His law firm has given more in campaign contributions to Hillary than all the Republican candidates combined.

Is this a sign of things to come for the GOP?

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Monday, July 30, 2007

Breaking news: FBI and IRS raid home of Alaska Republican Senator, Ted Stevens.

The FBI and the IRS have both raided the home of U. S. Senator, Ted Stevens (Republican of Alaska).

Back in June, I reported on the news about the FBI conducting a corruption charge against the Senator. Now it seems like the investigation has grown legs. Stay tuned for further information.

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U. S. Supreme Court Chief Justice, John Roberts, suffers another seizure.

The Chief Justice of the U. S. Supreme Court, John Roberts, has suffered another seizure. This is the second publicized seizure since 1993. As a staunch supporter of the Chief Justice, I wish him God's speed and complete recovery.

Update: Great news as CJ John Roberts is released from hospital.


Kentucky Legislature meets and adjourns, will resume to consider Peabody deal ONLY.

The Kentucky General Assembly met today and quickly adjourned as expected. The Law makers will re-convene in two weeks to consider the Peabody deal only and will adjourn if Gov. Fletcher adds another item to be considered by the body -- Fletcher has indicated he won't. Stay tuned for any further developments.

Meanwhile, the Family Foundation has staged a rally at the steps of the Capitol urging Lawmakers to take up the issue of domestic partner benefits. Stay tuned also.

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Bad news for Michael Vick as co-defendant "cops" a plea.

It cannot be viewed any other way other than that the news of his co-defendant "coping" a plea is bad news for Michael Vick. I expect his co-defendant to start "squealing like a pig" soon.

update: Michael Vick's co-defendant, Tony Taylor, suggests Michael Vick financed and participated in dog fightings and the dog killings that took place afterwards.

The "squealing" has started.

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With 99 days left before Kentucky's elections, links to candidates' websites are updated and posted.

With 99 days remaining before Kentucky's fall elections, I have posted here below (scroll half-way to the bottom) all the links to the candidates' websites. I hope you find the links helpful, informative and useful.

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Words to live by.

"Liberty is a word which, according as it is used, comprehends
the most good and the most evil of any in the world. Justly
understood it is sacred next to those which we appropriate in
divine adoration; but in the mouths of some it means anything,
which enervate a necessary government; excite a jealousy of the
rulers who are our own choice, and keep society in confusion for
want of a power sufficiently concentered to promote good."

-- Oliver Ellsworth (A Landholder, No. III, 19 November 1787)

Reference: Essays on the Constitution of the United States, Ford,
ed. (146); original The Connecticut Courant [Sheehan (4:4)]


Sunday, July 29, 2007

***** Voter ALERT: Electronic voting machines lose to hackers ... *****

... that is why I ALWAYS use the old machines that leave a "paper trail", so keep this in mind as you go to vote this election.

So do as I do and Stay away from the new electronic machines that have NO "paper trails"!

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Gambling: "Fool's gold" or "great asset to have".

Gambling has become an issue in this Kentucky's election, with the Gov. Fletcher, who once wanted to leave the issue for voters to decide in a constitutional amendment vote but now is against it, calling it "fool's gold", and his opponent, Steve Beshear, who supports it and wants the voters to approve a constitutional amendment allowing what I'm sure he'll echo is "a great asset to have".

So what is your take on all of this?

And is there anyone reading this who is aware of a COMPREHENSIVE study done on the effects (positive and negative) of casino gambling (such as is being proposed), WITHOUT the rhetoric, hyperbole and partisanship that OBSCURES the TRUTH?

If so, can you PLEASE ALERT us to the study so that we may be equally enlightened as you are? Until then, would everyone please share your NON-PARTISAN and FACTUAL thoughts with us?

Update: Jury's out on casinos.

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Osi and wife, Anne, fellowship with James Robison and wife, Betty.

Last Saturday, My wife and I joined a select group of supporters of the LIFE OUTREACH INTERNATIONAL Ministries headed by James and Betty Robison for a dinner and fellowship at the Marriott in Nashville, TN.

James Robison is also the author of many books; my favorite so far is "The Absolutes", which needs to be a REQUIRED reading for EVERYONE. Pick up a copy and see if you agree.

As you might imagine, I did NOT have a camera with me and my cell phone came to the rescue. So the picture you see is the BEST that my cell phone can put out!

Anyway, James and Betty Robison are doing God's work all over the world and both appear to be the REAL deal. That's why I'm glad to help, when I can, and I hope you can help them out too, if, and when, you can.

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Liberal H-L Columnist and KY Kurmudgeon faces reality.

Liberal Herald-Leader Columnist and Kentucky's Kurmudgeon, Larry Dale Keeling, has a piece in today's edition of the paper where he faces reality:

"So, yes, McConnell could be, even should be, vulnerable next year, particularly if he remains joined at the hip with the president on the war. But I'm not convinced Kentucky Democrats have a candidate who is willing and able to take advantage of the opportunity."

Any thoughts?

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Saturday, July 28, 2007

Bob Dole to abandon John McCain for Fred Thompson.

Former Kansas Senator and GOP presidential candidate, Bob Dole, is sending STRONG signals that his support for John McCain will now go to Fred Thompson because "it's just not happening [for my good friend, John McCain and] the buzz is gone."

Even McCain's Alabama state Chairman, the state's Atty. Gen. Troy King, is reported by Bob Novak to have attended a private fund-raiser for Thompson in Mountain Brook, Ala., last Monday night.

Now where have I heard that before, about a top staffer for a candidate attending a rival candidate's fund raiser? Hmmmm ... yes, it was the campaign manager for Jody Richards'/John Y Brown's campaign, Larry Townsend, who attended fund raiser for Bruce Lunsford.

Anyway, if John McCain had stayed true to his Maverick persona and "straight talking" style, this conversation from Bob Dole would have had a happier and more optimistic tone.

But that's the way it goes when politicians display a lack of enduring principles and try to live FALSE to their natures or be EVERYTHING to EVERYONE!

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Friday, July 27, 2007

Person for the week: House Speaker Jody Richards.

This blog not being devoted to the advancement of any party, person or group, and recognizing the efforts of Jody Richards (pictured on the right) in the Peabody matter, we choose House Speaker Jody Richards as our person for the week.

Honorable mention goes to the man to Speaker Richards' right (and on your left), Senate President, David Williams for his similar efforts (though on a smaller scale than Jody's) and his "let cooler heads prevail" attitude towards the resolution of the special session drama.

Of course, the dishonorable mention (at least in the news) goes to Atlanta Falcon's Quarterback, Michael Vick, whose EXTREME animal cruelty dog fighting federal indictment MAY have "electrocuted", "hanged" and/or "shot" his NFL career.


Quote(s) for the week.

1) "The discussion was on a national NSA program that has been much discussed, yes."
- ROBERT MUELLER, director of the FBI, contradicting the Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales's previously sworn testimony that there had been no disagreements over the NSA program inside the White House, prompting some to utter the "perjury" word.

2)(a) "I don't want a continuation of Bush-Cheney. I don't want Bush-Cheney Lite, I want a fundamental change."
- Democratic Presidential candidate BARACK OBAMA, comparing his foreign policy approach to rival Sen. Hillary Clinton's in a campaign speech in Concord, N.H. yesterday. Obama and Clinton have been sparring over the issue since the Democratic debate Monday.

2) (b) "The notion that somehow not talking to countries is punishment to them ... is ridiculous."
- Illinois Senator BARACK OBAMA, declaring that he would meet with the leaders of pariah states — including Iran and North Korea — if elected President, during a televised debate that featured Democratic presidential candidates answering questions posted on YouTube.

3) "That's not the 'Right Stuff' as far as I'm concerned."
- BART GORDON, U.S. Representative and chairman of the House Science and Technology Committee, on a recent report revealing that NASA astronauts were allowed to fly while dangerously drunk.

4) "I'm tired of having my rights violated and being treated as a second-class citizen."
- ROY DEN HOLLANDER, a New York City attorney, who is among two dozen men suing bars that host "Ladies' Nights".

5) "Our losses will preclude us from continuing to do individual memorial ceremonies."
- U.S. Brig. Gen. WILLIAM TROY, explaining why commanders at Fort Lewis Military Base will now hold monthly, collective services to honor soldiers killed in Iraq.

6) "I don't trust you."
- SEN. PATRICK LEAHY, U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales during his testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. Republican Sen. stated that Gonzales had a credibility problem at the same hearing, just before Gonzales denied that as White House counsel he pressured then-Attorney General John Ashcroft to recertify President Bush's intelligence-gathering program -- a statement that has now being discredited by the FBI Director.

7) "I'm cool with it."
- BOB BARKER, on being replaced by comedian Drew Carey, after Rosie O'Donnell was snubbed, to host The Price Is Right. Earlier, Carey told reporters that "as long as Bob Barker is cool with it, the fans will be cool with it."

8) "I would not want a U.S. citizen to go through the process. But it is not torture, and there would be no permanent damage to that citizen."
- U.S. Spy Chief MIKE McCONNELL, when asked about President Bush's new order outlining permissible interrogation techniques, adding he would not get "too specific".

9) "We've accomplished our goal."
- Speaker Jody Richards, commenting on the meeting with Peabody regarding "his goal to justify the cost [of a special session] to taxpayers" by garnering "assurances from Peabody that there is a real commitment to investing in Kentucky, and that these commitments are contingent upon receiving the incentives prior to the 2008 regular session."

10) "I'm sure we can get something done if we lay politics aside."
- Gov. Ernie Fletcher, on the prospects of the Peabody meeting and a special session.


U. S. District Judge voids Hazelton's tough immigration law.

A Federal District Judge in Pennsylvania, in Lozano V. City of Hazelton, has voided the tough city of Hazleton's immigration laws that penalize employers and landlords who employ and rent to illegal immigrants. The Judge found that the city's laws are unconstitutional because they are pre-empted by federal immigration laws and violate due process and equal protection guarantees of the U. S. Constitution.

It is hard to see how Hazelton's laws are pre-empted by federal immigration laws, though the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment argument may add credibility to the Judge's ruling. Stay tuned as the case is sure to be appealed to a higher court.

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NTSB pins Comair crash on pilot error, and boozing Astronauts endanger us.

The NTSB has concluded that the Comair flight 5191 air crash that killed 49 people last year, was the result of pilot error. Read more.

Also, a few months after Astronaut Lisa Nowak wore a diaper to "attempt murder" of a love rival, which prompted this report, we now hear from the same report that Astronauts have been flying the space shuttle after boozing -- I wonder if there is a DWFASS (Driving While Flying A Space Shuttle) law on the books.

This revelation gives a new meaning to the phrase "have bottle, will throttle"!

"Houston, we have a problem", as boozing Astronauts endanger our safety!

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After KBE fiasco with first presidential choice, COPSE fills interim post with state budget chief.

After the Kentucky Education Board's fiasco with its first choice for ed. Commish post, council for post secondary education avoids same fate and picks state budget director, Brad Cowgill, for its chief post on interim basis, effective Sept. 1st, at a pay of over a quarter of a million dollars (Cowgill currently makes about $155,000.00).

What are your thoughts -- good or bad move?

Update: How the Barbara Erwin "search, find and destroy" KBE commish fiasco came about.

Update #2: KBE has decided to keep its interim commish for now, while a search for a permanent one is undertaken.

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Bobby Jindal's LA Governor's campaign.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Michael Vick plans to fight like a "dog".

Michael Vick, the Atlanta Falcon's QB, who was indicted on numerous dogfighting charges pleaded NOT guilty today and plans to fight like -- a dog! Pun intended.

Stay tuned.

Update: The Michael Vick sorry saga continues as big name sponsors Nike, Reebok and sack the QB!

Update #2: Upper Deck decks Vick with an upper cut!

Update #2: After the upper cut, Rawlings sports piles on the downed QB!

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McCain's media team quits, and Newt warms up to Fred.

Things are not going too well STILL for John McCain's political fortunes as his media team QUITS.

Meanwhile, Fred Thompson seems to be drawing the admiration of former U. S. House Speaker, Newt Gingrich, leading me to speculate that Newt is vying to be his Veep candidate.

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More trouble for Gonzales as the "P" word is utterd.

Days after U. S. Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee, and two days after the House issued subpoenas against two of Bush's aides, key Senators are calling for the appointment of a special counsel to pursue perjury charges against. If this proves credible, Gonzales will only have himself to blame for prolonging his (and Bush's) agony and pain.


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Bush (and Iraq) and immigration take toll on Senator Mitch McConnell ...

... as the SURVEYUSA poll shows his approval has fallen below 50%; but, he's NOT running for re-election this year, thereby giving him the rest of this year (and all of next year) to recover the lost Independent voters (who abandoned him by nearly 30% points since last month) he needs -- particularly with his advantages of a lack of a very credible Democratic challenger and his near mastery of Kentucky politics!


Is NY Mayor Mike Bloomberg running for President? I suspect so.

Check this out and you be the judge. I suspect he's up to something -- with an eye to the '08 presidential election, how about you?

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U. S. House panel cites White House officials for contempt.

The U. S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee has voted to cite White House Chief of Staff, Josh Bolton, and former White House Counsel, Harriet Myers, for contempt for refusing to testify about alleged law breaking surrounding "Prosecutorgate". The whole House will take up the matter presumably after their August break. If approved, as it probably will, the contempt action will set force a constitutional showdown between the House and the White House.

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Breaking news: With a firm commitment in hand, special session to commence August 13 sans sine die on July 30.

It appears that Peabody has given the firm commitment demanded by Speaker Jody Richards as a pre-requisite to a special session. The Speaker stated that "they [Peabody] did not rule Kentucky out if we didn’t pass them now, but certainly we’re convinced that it would be to Kentucky’s advantage for us to go on and pass those incentives now."

Gov. Fletcher saw it the same way, announcing that "[i]f this legislation is passed in a special session in the next couple months… they [Peabody] will make a recommendation, they are committed to make a recommendation to their partners that Kentucky be the sole site for the evaluation of this new plant, and that is a very, very strong commitment I believe."

Though there appears to be an agreement on the need for special session, both Houses are expected to adjourn sans sine die on Monday and tentatively resume on August 13. Stay tuned for more developments.

Update: Peabody deal will be the ONLY item on special session agenda, as Jody Richards took credit for the deal and, presumably, for the pared down special session agenda.

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Ernie, Jody, David and company meet with Peabody.

The long talked about meeting between Gov. Fletcher, Speaker Richards and President Williams is taking place today. Will Jody get his commitment or will he promise another sine die come Monday? Will the Gov. prevail with an "I told you so, Jody"?

We will soon know the answers to the questions, but I think it is interesting to note that Peabody's proposal is to build a plant on a site "[w]e hope to have ... within 90 days", near an existing Peabody mine in Western Kentucky, southern Indiana or Illinois. Peabody "anticipate(s) completing the scoping and feasibility analysis within a year," and basing "[o]ur final site selection ... on that analysis."

Whether Peabody intends to choose a site (in a state of Western Kentucky, Southern Indiana or Illinois) within 90 days and then the land within one of those states after a "final site selection study" is completed "within a year", or whether the choice of a state to be completed "within a year" is not very clear.

What will be clearer after the meeting, hopefully, is whether an urgency of a special session is warranted (which will be the case if Peabody has a decision to make before the General Assembly re-convenes in January), leaving for our elected officials to decide whether there is any wisdom in luring Peabody with a financial incentive package (which will be the case if that is the ONLY way Peabody will choose Kentucky, and the BENEFITS flowing to Kentuckians from their investments outweigh ALL the COSTS of having Peabody's business).

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Voters STRONGLY disapprove of Bush, Cheney and yes ... Congress!

The new Washington Post/ABC News poll shows respondents STRONGLY disapproving of the job President Bush and Vice President Cheney are doing. And yes, Congress is right there with them.

In the latest (July 17th) SURVEYUSA poll for Bush in Kentucky, his approval rating is at 38%, with 59% disaproval!

I guess in the vernacular of the '60's, you can say the voters are in a DEEP funk, singing the blues.

The bright spot in the poll is for Rudy Giuliani: He is still looking good to the voters, even as Mitt Romney looks less appealing and McCain faces a nightmare, for obvious reasons. That will continue to be the case as Fred Thompson procrastinates and shuffles his "undeclared" presidential staffers, making Rudy look like a winner.

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AG Alberto Gonzales is back on Senate "hot seat", trust and credibility lacking.

Today the U. S. Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales, has returned to the Senate "hot seat" and so far, based on the opening statements, he's got "a hard road to travel" considering that the two high ranking Senators on the Judiciary panel don't trust him or finding him lacking in credibility.

Why the man doesn't "slide out" of his position to spare the President and himself further embarrassment is beyond me.


Rosie O' snubbed as Drew Carey is told to "come on down" as "The Price Is Right."

The producers of the highly successful show, The Price Is Right, have snubbed Rosie O'Donnell (she lobbied HARD to host the show) and other interested parties vying to replace the show's retired host Bob Barker, and have instead invited Comic Drew Carey to "come on down, you are the next contestant ...", no host.


Monday, July 23, 2007

Democratic presidential candidates YouTube/CNN their debate. Any thoughts?

The Democratic presidential candidates debated today by way of YouTube/CNN. I did NOT watch it, but here's a provided link and even a life blog. If you watched it, we'd like to hear your thoughts on the debaters -- who impressed and who bombed and why? Thanks.

Update: SURVEYUSA's poll of who won, lost and which candidate is best.

Do you agree?

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JCPS approves new student assignment plan in compliance with SCOTUS mandate.

The Jefferson County Public Schools Board has passed a new student assignment plan in order to comply with the U. S. Supreme Court's mandate in the JCPS case, which outlawed the use of race as a SOLE determining factor in student transfer or placement. The plan goes to U. S. District Judge, John Heyburn, for approval consistent with the U. S. Supreme Court opinion.

Do you think the new plan will be constitutional?

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Stan Lee: Casinos win, Kentucky loses with Jack Conway.

Here is a press release from Stan Lee, candidate for Attorney General:

The Operating Philosophy of Jack Conway:
Casinos Win, Kentucky Loses

Rep. Stan Lee, Republican candidate for Attorney General, today released the following statement:

The operating philosophy of Jack Conway seems to be pretty simply – casinos win, Kentucky loses.

On Friday, July 20, 2007, the Louisville Courier-Journal did a story on the “operating philosophy of the casino industry.” Simply put, they win, hardworking Kentuckians lose. In the article, the Courier-Journal examined the latest scandal at Caesars Indiana and how the “slot machines are rigged by design” and are “programmed to make the casino the overall winner.”

This “losing philosophy” extends beyond the doors of the casinos as communities with casinos note higher crime, more drugs, and increased rates of divorce and family violence. The operating philosophy of Jack Conway seems to be in line with the casino industry. On Thursday, July 19, 2007, Conway’s campaign manager, Mark Riddle, acknowledged Conway supports bringing casinos to every county across the Commonwealth. Apparently Jack Conway doesn’t see anything wrong with increased rates of murder, robbery, prostitution, and bankruptcy. That’s not the kind of rigged operating philosophy Kentucky needs from its top law enforcement officer.

With Jack Conway and the casino industry watching over our Commonwealth, we can expect the crime rates to soar. A recent study found that in every community in which casinos were introduced, the crime rates went through the roof. In fact, crime rates for casino communities are 84 percent higher than the national average.

For example, in 1996, the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute conducted a study of the state's 17 casinos, and found that crime rates increased in all counties where casinos had been located. The crimes showing significant increases included murder, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault and burglary. The study also noted that local governments incurred nearly $51 million in additional costs to their criminal justice system for increased investigations, arrests, arraignments and imprisonments associated with gambling-related crimes.

Conway continues to turn a blind eye to studies that show sharp increases in crime are not limited to the towns where casinos are located. A study of casinos in Atlantic City found crime increases extending at least 30 miles into the surrounding communities.

If casinos come to town, make no mistake about it, the casinos will win, and the people of Kentucky will lose. This is the operating philosophy of the industry and apparently Jack Conway operates that way as well.

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No kidding: Stumbo "explores" race against McConnell; Chandler expected to wait for Bunning.

Outgoing Attorney General, Greg Stumbo, has formed an exploratory committee to gauge a run against Senator Mitch McConnell. No kidding.

Meanwhile, former Attorney General and now Congressman, Ben Chandler, has been raising money for what I opine to be a race against Senator Jim Bunning in 2010.

What are your thoughts?

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Alberto Gonzales' mea culpa: Real or imagined?

Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales, has made a mea culpa of sorts to Justice employees; and on the eve of his Congressional testimony declares he's not a quitter, while asking for a chance to right wrongs.

What are your thoughts -- mea culpa (and contrition) or a desperate attempt to save his job?

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Words to live by.

1) "The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must
be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse."

- James Madison (speech in the Virginia constitutional convention,
2 December 1829)

2) "In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence
in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the

- Thomas Jefferson (fair copy of the drafts of the Kentucky
Resolutions of 1798, 1798)


Sunday, July 22, 2007

From the NBA to the NFL, EXTREME cruelty to "man's best friend" is alleged.

From the NBA's fixed games to the EXTREME cruelty of animal abuse comes the story of Michael Vick, quarterback for the NFL's Atlanta Falcons, and criminal dog fighting. It is alleged, by way of a federal indictment that Michael Vick and his gang of dog fighters, CRUELLY disposed of nonperforming fighting dogs by electrocuting, hanging and shooting them. The depravity is unprecedented, I believe. If proven, all the dog killers could spend long terms in prison.

Update: Michael Vick ordered by the NFL Commish to stay away from the Falcon's camp pending the dog fighting investigations.

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Democratic tips on Republican candidates.

Here's a link to Democratic tips on Republican presidential candidates.

Does anyone have one by Republicans for Democratic candidates that I can post here?

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Rudy knows how to pick 'em, doesn't he!?

With ALL the trouble Rudy's association with many people have been, after this one can it get any worse?

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FBI calls offensive foul, will investigate NBA referee for "selling the whistle".

As an avid fan of the old Magic Johnson/Larry Bird/Isiah Thomas/Michael Jordan, etc., rivalry, and one who is trying very hard to be interested in the "new" NBA of spoiled rich kids and a "me, me, me" culture, including some bad refereeing, it comes as a "downer" to read and hear that the FBI is investigating a seasoned NBA Referee, Tim Donaghy, for "selling the whistle" in order to "point shave", so that he can pay gambling debts to organized crime.

In an update, the ref. has promised to name names and cooperate with the investigation.

So next time you hear the ref.'s whistle and watch the player or coach have a fit, there may be a valid reason why they protest.

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Local Liberal Blogger Youtubes (CNN) presidential debates.

Local Liberal Blogger, Jim Pence, of the, is on YouTube/CNN video for the presidential election debate. Watch it and comment.

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Bush signs executive order clarifying CIA use of torture.

President Bush has signed an Executive Order further clarifying what is acceptable use of torture by the CIA in its global war on terror.

In a nutshell, "[t]he Order requires that any CIA interrogation program that might go forward comply with all relevant federal statutes, including the prohibition on 'cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment' in the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005, the federal prohibition on torture, and the War Crimes Act, all of which protect against violations of Common Article 3. The Order imposes other explicit limitations on interrogation techniques and conditions of confinement in a CIA program."

Further, "the Order bars 'acts of violence serious enough to be considered comparable to murder, torture, mutilation, and cruel and inhuman treatment.' It also prohibits 'willful and outrageous acts of personal abuse done for the purpose of humiliating or degrading the individual in a manner so serious that any reasonable person, considering the circumstances, would deem the acts beyond the bounds of human decency.' And the Order forbids acts intended to denigrate detainees' religion, religious practices, or religious objects."

The Executive Order is a welcome act on the President's part and may go far enough to allay fears that the U. S. is in the "gutter" with terrorists when it comes to exhibiting traits of humanity that the terrorists obviously lack.

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Tammy Faye (Bakker) Messner is no longer with us ...

... she passed away a few days ago at the age of 65. No matter how you feel about her, her husband Jim Bakker, and the whole Heritage USA religious vanity debacle, the Christian thing to do is to ask the Good God to have mercy on her soul -- so I am doing so. Read and watch her story, and her horrifying last CNN interview.

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Saturday, July 21, 2007

Mitt Romney may laugh now, but his laugh WON'T last long.

Mitt Romney may laugh now but his laugh won't last for long, as the primary election will take care of him!

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Witness Harry Potter mania; why NOT Democracy mania, too?

If only we can have Democracy mania, where voters will be more than happy to stand in line for more than 14 hours to vote to select the BEST candidates, rather than always being asked to elect the lesser of two evils.

(A BIG Sigh).

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Friday, July 20, 2007

Former Fletcher official's affidavit claims Liberal Blogger was target of censoreship.

The former official in the Fletcher administration responsible for the state's technology, Michael Inman, has accused his former boss, Robbie Rudolph, in a court affidavit of having "intentionally targeted and had blocked the category of blogs and other categories of Web sites in an attempt to disguise that fact. ... as a result of Mark Nickolas’ criticism of the administration."

This new allegation could prove to be explosive material in the pending lawsuit brought by Mark Nicholas against the Fletcher administration for blocking access to his website. While the state may limit employees access to internet use on government issued computers, it is constitutionally doubtful the state can pick and choose which content of political speech is acceptable and which isn't based on political party or affiliation. We have to wait to see if Mike Inman's allegations are proved in court and how the court eventually sees the competing government as an employer and others First Amendment rights issues at play, but the affidavit should be cause for the administration's concern.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Senate pulls an "all nighter", reveals they've NEITHER done their homework NOR are ready for our examination!

Last night the Senate cooked up an "all nighter" of a charade, pretending to be doing something when they are NOT -- kinda reminding me of walking while standing still. More importantly is the fact that, as many who have been students remember, one ONLY "pulls an all nighter" when one has NOT done their homework or are ready for an exam (or test).

So when you think about it, it is ABUNDANTLY CLEAR what message the Senate sent us last night: yep, you guessed it -- they have not done their homework or they are not ready for our examination/test.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Please show Bobby some love in the Bayou state!

Please HELP show Bobby some love in the Bayou state.


SURVEYUSA poll is out: Beshear 59%, Fletcher 36%.

The SURVEYUSA poll (of 560 likely general election voters, with data collected 7/14 to 7/16, and a margin of error of 4.2%) came out today for the Kentucky Governor's race. It held pretty much steady from last month's poll (other than Beshear LOST 3 points and Fletcher GAINED 2 points), with the Beshear/Mongiardo ticket leading the Fletcher/Rudolph ticket 59% to 36% -- with about 5% undecided.

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I'm with ... (fill in the blank).

U. S. Senator David Vitter, Republican of Louisiana, held a news conference and again apologized for his "grave sins" and denied allegations from his "enemies" that he is a frequenter of New Orleans brothels.

If you are a student of non verbal communication, you can figure out what his wife is saying. I suspect it starts with something like "I'm with ... ." I have left the rest blank so you can fill in your own statement. You can also use this as a free forum to talk about what you want. Have fun.

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One more official may get a cold "bath", the other may get a "knott"y problem!

In the everlasting debacle that is a parade of officials being given cold "baths" comes another allegation that the Bath County Sheriff, Calvin Randall "Randy" Armitage, may get added to the list. And now it is alleged that the Knott County CJE, Randy Thompson, is involved in an FBI probe alleging that "blacktop" was exchanged for votes (surprises there!) -- an allegation which if proven true can best be described as quite a "knott"y problem (pun intended).

Stay tuned.

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Monday, July 16, 2007

Richards planning peabody meeting; Fletcher may attend "if constructive".

Speaker Jody Richards intends to follow up with his plans to meet with Peabody to obtain assurances that Peabody will locate in Kentucky if given the financial incentives package. He says he is reserving a seat on the airplane for Fletcher and Senator David Williams to join him.

In a letter today, Fletcher says he will go too "if Peabody views another meeting ... as constructive", though he warned that "it is unprecedented and unwise for Legislators to negotiate business deals for the state" and urged them to "to put aside partisan politics and return to Frankfort".

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Political trouble for McCain mounts as more staffers bolt.

Campaign staffers for John McCain's GOP presidential race continue to bolt as his press department today resigned en masse. He should have stayed a "straight talker" like he was in 2000, rather than trying not to be his real self -- or is the new McCain his real self?.

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It gets cheesier folks; this time it's Obama vs. Giuliani.

NO joke: John Edwards embarks on poverty tour.

Democratic presidential candidate and former U. S. Senator John Edwards, is embarking on what is billed as a poverty tour, designed "to bring awareness to America's poverty". You can read about it here. Call me a cynic if you must, but while I think it admirable to shed light on poverty, is John Edwards REALLY the light bearer. As a multi-millionaire himself, unless he wants to give up some of his money to help eradicate poverty, is he to be taken seriously? From my viewpoint, I guess the tour will commence just after he has had a $250 hair cut, drank some latte, snacked on on caviar on prime rib tips, and dined on foie gras, which he'll wash down with a glass of the finest vintage dinner wine.

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Words to live by.

"Public affairs go on pretty much as usual: perpetual chicanery and rather more personal abuse than there used to be... ."

- Founding Father, John Adams


Sunday, July 15, 2007

Days after U. U. Senate boosts Osama Bin Laden's bounty he surfaces on video. Or did he?

The U. S. Senate has doubled the bounty on Osama Bin Laden's head from $25 million to $50 million (I wish I knew where he s!), he surfaced in a video urging militants to martyrdom with this statement: "The happy (man) is the one that God has chosen him to be a martyr". Observing that by his statement God has not chosen him, I notice also that by accounts the video is undated and old, making me wonder if there is NO fresh (live, perhaps) Osama to make a fresh video.

Just wondering.

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Short of cash, Virginia makes cops the tax men ...

... and other states devise ingenious ways to ensure that "[a]nything that puts money in the treasury, without raising taxes, is on the table". But do some of these schemes represent good governance or irresponsible and PREDATORY government, with constitutional concerns?

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Saturday, July 14, 2007

Former Virginia Gov., James Gilmore, is the first casualty of GOP presidential race.

Former Virginia Governor and GOP presidential candidate, James Gilmore, is quitting the race. He is the first to do so -- though I predict others will follow. He is being mentioned as a possible candidate for the Senate (should Sen. John Warner decide to "pack it up") or for Virginia Governor.

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War of words continue over special session as Fletcher responds to "NewsMaker" Richards.

The war of words over the special session continued today as Gov. Fletcher has responded to the latest statements from Speaker Jody Richards, who appeared on "Bill Bryant NewsMakers". Below is Fletcher's press release:


"An obstructionist attitude such as the one House Speaker Jody Richards has displayed over the past several weeks, most recently with a letter requesting a trip to meet with Peabody’s CEO, is not productive when negotiating with potential billion-dollar investors for Kentucky.

"On June 1, a day after a meeting I had with House leadership, Speaker Jody Richards was quoted in the Courier-Journal as saying ‘I'm never too much for special sessions, but this one seems to be important in terms of some economic development.’
"On June 6, a Herald-Leader article cited Speaker Richards as saying he did not believe a special session was needed.
"On July 5, Speaker Richards and the House Democrats acted unconstitutionally when they voted to walk out on the special session.

"A Courier-Journal article Friday reported the Speaker as saying he will not rule out returning to Frankfort to pass energy incentives.
"Today on Newsmakers, Speaker Richards said he will walk out again when the session resumes on July 30.

"While Speaker Richards is talking about the unprecedented and unwise policy of having legislators negotiate business deals for the state, he has made a dogmatic statement that he is not coming back to pass the only legislation that has potential to attract this investment to Kentucky.

"If Peabody views another meeting with me, my staff and/or members of the legislature as constructive, I will be glad to accommodate them. It is important to repeat that Peabody has clearly stated they will not consider Kentucky without these incentives, and they are making their decision well before the January session. They will not make a multi billion-dollar decision based on a letter. The House only needs to convene for three days to vote on legislation that passed the Senate with bipartisan support this past Monday.

"I hope Speaker Richards will reconsider his decision for Kentucky and do his duty to allow his members to vote on this opportunity. I again call on individual members of the House to return to Frankfort and pass these important incentives – incentives which will bring opportunity and jobs for all of Kentucky."

If, and when Speaker Richards responds, we will post it for your thoughts, too.

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Iraq's PM says his country can do without the U. S. ...

... (Read it here). I say we 'll ALL soon find out soon enough come September 15th, when the FINAL "surge" report reveals to us that the Iraqis have been "asleep at the wheel" of Democracy and that we should START bringing our troops home.

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A picture speaks a thousand words: NAACP hosts GOP presidential forum, only Tom Tancredo showed up!

The NAACP hosted a forum for the GOP presidential candidates. The picture above speaks volumes -- or not?

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Person(s) for the week: "Ladybird" Johnson.

"Ladybird" Johnson, wife of former President LBJ, who passed away a few days ago at age 94, is our person for the week.

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Friday, July 13, 2007

Quote(s) for the week.

1) "Our guys should talk."
- Sen. HILLARY CLINTON (D-N.Y.), at the annual NAACP convention Thursday, whispering to former Sen. John Edwards about collaborating with his campaign.

2) "We'll go back to the 1920s, and have direct conversations with people."
- N.J. Governor JON CORZINE, announcing he will no longer use email after Republicans filed a lawsuit to obtain email exchanges between the governor and the state's union president.

3) "Rudy Giuliani has used a horrible event — Sept. 11, 2001 — to create a carefully crafted persona."
- HAROLD A. SCHAITBERG, president of nation's largest firefighters union, in a new online video that criticizes the Republican presidential contender for his mishandling of 9/11 rescue efforts.

4) "We don't owe the blacks a damn thing, anyway."
- RICHARD NIXON, dismissing the idea of appointing a black politician to his 1972 Cabinet in newly released audio tapes from the National Archives.

5) "I was never invited back."
- Former Surgeon General RICHARD H. CARMONA, after a meeting with top White House officials to discuss global warming. Carmona told a Congressional panel Tuesday he was muzzled by the Bush Administration whenever his scientific findings contradicted party politics.

6) "Yeah, the 'gut feeling' has been described as 'breaking news.' Actually, a 'gut feeling' would be closer to 'breaking wind.'"
- MSNBC host KEITH OLBERMANN, attacking the Homeland Security Secretary's prediction of a "summertime" terror strike, saying it's just a way to distract the media from embarrassing stories about the administration.

7) "Christ 'established here on earth' only one church."
- The ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH, in a new document approved by Pope Benedict XVI which says other Christian denominations are not true churches.

8) "I'd have to say to the competition, they can eat my shorts."
- Springfield, Illinois Mayor TIM DAVIN, addressing the 13 other Springfield's in the U.S. competing to host the film premiere of Fox's The Simpsons.

9) "This was a very serious sin in my past for which I am, of course, completely responsible."
- Louisiana Sen. DAVID VITTER, after his phone number was released by the supposed "D.C. madam," who is accused of running a prostitution ring.

10) "Look, I make no apologies."
- KARL ROVE, the White House political strategist, in response to a question about whether he felt personally responsible for the Iraq war.


That didn't take long: New KY Education Commish quits amid questions.

The new Education Commission hired to begin work on Monday has quit amidst numerous inquiries about her past. Read her resignation letter. Say what you may, her employment was seriously flawed from the state and it was only a matter of time before the inevitable happened. As it has turned out, it did NOT take too long. The Education Board needs now to take its job seriously enough to avoid another embarrassment.


Special session: Richards wants to meet with Peabody, Williams demurs & Fletcher says OK.

It appears, according to Pat Crowley, House Speaker Jody Richards wants to meet with Peabody executives to get assurances before the House entertains coal to liquid fuels incentives. Below is Richard's letter urging the meeting:

Dear Governor Fletcher and President Williams:

I am pleased to report that representatives of Peabody Energy have informed my office that their CEO Gregory H. Boyce is willing to meet with the three of us together, and appropriate representatives from our offices, concerning a possible incentive package for the construction of a coal to gas facility in Kentucky.

Since time is short before your request that we return for an extraordinary session on this issue, I require a response by noon Monday concerning your willingness to participate in this meeting, as well as specific dates prior to July 30 when you will be available to travel to Peabody's offices in St. Louis.

I look forward to hearing from you very soon.


Jody Richards
Speaker of the House

However, it also appears that Senate President David Williams is not too enthused about the idea and he has expressed as much in his reply:

Dear Speaker Richards,

I am in receipt of your July 12th letter suggesting a trip to St. Louis to meet with Peabody Energy CEO Gregory H. Boyce. In your letter you state the purpose of the meeting with us concerns a possible incentives package for the construction of a coal to natural gas facility in Kentucky.

We both know that Rick Bowen, with Peabody Energy, testified before the Senate's Ag &Natural Resources Committee that he will recommend to his investors that they build the proposed $3 billion dollar facility in Kentucky if we adopt the incentives as currently proposed in Senate Bill 1, which has passed the Senate with broad ipartisan support.

I presume Mr. Bowen told you the same in the private meeting with your leadership. We both know that time is of the essence since a decision will be made this summer.

I do not understand why you need to fly to St. Louis, unless you are trying to create cover for the House failing to act on this important measure when it unconstitutionally attempted to adjourn Sine Die and left town while the Senate remained and worked on this important incentive package.

Only your use of leadership to summon your members back to Frankfort to act on this bill, which has passed the Senate, will make you and the House relevant in accomplishing the important goal of developing Kentucky's coal assets and creating thousands of jobs.

Sincerely Yours,

David L. Williams
President of the Senate

Meanwhile Fletcher, though "suspecting subterfuge", would be glad to meet.

Could some kind of a compromise be in the offing? Only time will tell.

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Thursday, July 12, 2007

September 15th is STILL the day to remember!

Today President Bush released the preliminary Iraq Assessment Report in PDF or Plain text detailing America's progress on that war. According to the report, the Iraqi government has SATISFACTORILY met 8 of the 18 benchmarks set for it. The report found progress in the following areas: a revision of the Iraqi constitution, the formation of semi-autonomous governing regions, and Iraqi political and economic support for military operations to secure Baghdad neighborhoods. The government has taken some steps to protect minority rights in the existing legislature and authorized the expenditure of $10 billion on provincial reconstruction projects.

Though it is obvious the Iraqi government is woefully inadequate for the job it was created to do, as is evident from its failure with regard to the rest of the 18 benchmarks which were given failing or UNSATISFACTORY grades, causing many war opponents to increase their call for cessation of hostilities and to bring our troops home, considering that this is a mere preliminary report and that the consensus when the "surge" was announced was to wait for General Petreus' final report on September 15th in order to properly assess the fruits of Bush's "surge", is September 15th not STILL the day to remember?

Update: Following on the heels of the report, the House rushed and passed a resolution for Iraq troop withdrawal, effective APRIL FOOLS' DAY, 2008. Catch the irony? PATHETIC.

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Bush orders former Adviser, Harriet Miers, to ignore Congressional subpoena.

In the on-going stalemate between the White House and Congress over Prosecutorgate, the President, through his General Counsel, Fred Fielding, citing ABSOLUTE executive privilege, has ordered Bush's former Adviser, Harriet Miers, to ignore the subpoena issued by Congress.

So the saga continues.

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

"Lady Bird" Johnson, wife of President Lyndon B. Johnson, has died.

Former First Lady and wife of Former President Lyndon B. Johnson, and beautification environmentalist activist, "Lady Bird" Johnson, has died. We wish her eternal rest.

Many may not know it but Lyndon Johnson was one of my favorite presidents, in spite of his overly political ambitions that made him appear to be uncaring. But as the saying goes, behind every great man is a great woman, and such was the case with LBJ's "Lady Bird", who brought out the decency and humanity in her husband.

Update: Before I catch any more flak for my admiration of LBJ, let me clarify, like I should have, that my admiration of him stems from his STRONG Civil Rights stance (when he pushed Congress to pass the Civil Rights Act).

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Pope annoys -- again, claims "Catholic Church is the one, true church of Christ".

The Pope is at it -- again. This time he is catching flack for claiming that the "Catholic Church is the one, true church of Christ" and that "the Protestant communities, however, are not churches because they do not have apostolic succession -- the unbroken succession of bishops going back to St. Peter".

I do not know about you, but as a Protestant, I will use Christ's teaching to forgive the Pope -- especially to ask the Father to forgive him for he knows not what he's doing".

Frankly, though, I think the Pope, like many, is just a victim of the long summer heat.


Feds indict two for "bomb collar" pizza delivery bank robbery; victim implicated, as his brother cries "foul".

The U. S. Attorney's office in Pennsylvania has returned an indictment charging two people, and implicating the pizza delivery man who was blown up when the bomb tied around his neck exploded killing him, with the bungled bank robbery. Meanwhile, the victim's brother cries "foul".

This is the stuff of summer thrillers, folks.

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Fletcher's Finance Cabinet Secretary resigns.

PolWatchers is reporting that John Farris, Fletcher's Finance Cabinet Secretary, has resigned effective August 1st, and will be replaced by his Deputy, Mike Burnside.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Fletcher opts for "cooling off" period, will adjourn session until July 30.

Gov. Fletcher has indicated today that he will adjourn the special session of the legislature until July 30th, in order to give both feuding sides a "cooling off" period.

Meanwhile since the House sine die adjournment of the previous week, both political parties have been busy accusing the other of playing politics with both the call for the special session, Steve Beshear's reception for the Democratic House members after their adjournment, letters exchanged between Fletcher and Richards, and now Republican "Robo calls".

KDP Chair, Jonathan Miller, had a press conference today suggesting that the "robo call" are an indication the special session is political which prompted the GOP to ask for Miller's resignation as State Treasurer.

It's going to be a long hot summer, folks.

Update: Jody Richards has just confirmed my earlier speculation that he will, once again, adjourn the House sine die if called back into session, as the Gov. will order at the end of the 21 day "cooling off" period.

So unless Jody changes his mind, or the Gov. abandons his special session call (both propositions may prove unlikely, I suspect), the long hot "political" summer will get even hotter come July 30th!

Update #2: Gov. Fletcher has now signed a proclamation adjourning the special session and calling the members back in session on July 30th, which Speaker Richards says "it's over".

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Trouble in McCainland as two key campaign staffers bolt; is the end in sight?

Amid McCain's money problems, comes news that two of his campaign staffers, campaign Manager, Terry Nelson, and John Weaver, the senator's longtime chief political strategist, have both left the Senator's presidential campaign, suggesting that (unless things change in his favor, SOONER rather than LATER) his political end could be in sight.

Update: More trouble for McCain's campaign as more staffers, national campaign finance director, Nevada campaign manager and soon Iowa campaign manager, FLEE.

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D. C. "Madam" releases phone records of clients, U. S. Senator David Vitter is first to apologize for "very serious sin".

The Washington, D. C. Madam, Debora Jean Palfrey, AKA Pamela Martin, who threatened to release the names of her clients has now released their phone numbers instead, prompting U. S. Senator David Vitter, Republican of Louisiana, to apologize for "a very serious sin in my past for which I am, of course, completely responsible", while explaining that "[s]everal years ago, I asked for and received forgiveness from God and my wife in confession and marriage counseling" and that "[o]ut of respect for my family, I will keep my discussion of the matter there -- with God and them. But I certainly offer my deep and sincere apologies to all I have disappointed and let down in any way."

In another one of many weired connections that touches Rudy Giuliani, (read other Giuliani posts here), Vitter was the first Senator to endorse him and currently serves as his southern regional campaign Chair.

Something tells me that Vitter is but the first in an anticipated parading long line of sin confessors. How about you?

Update: Here's a good feed on Senator Vitter (hat tip to TP), which begs the question of whether the Senator will now resign:

Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) first got his start in Congress after replacing former Rep. Bob Livingston (R-LA), who “abruptly resigned after disclosures of numerous affairs” in 1998. At the time, Vitter argued that an extramarital affair was grounds for resignation:

"I think Livingston’s stepping down makes a very powerful argument that Clinton should resign as well and move beyond this mess," he said. [Atlanta Journal and Constitution, 12/20/98]

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Monday, July 09, 2007

Meanwhile, in Washington, D. C., Congress and Bush spar.

Kentucky is not the only place where the Executive is feuding with the Legislature. Today, President Bush directed his aides to disregard Congress' subpoenas issued to them in the wake of "Prosecutorgate" (search for the term here on this blog) claiming the existence of an executive privilege. Congress, in turn, has threatened to find all opposed to its move in contempt, thereby setting up what may become a federal constitutional crisis of sorts -- to be resolved by the courts, unless "political questions" are presented, in which case the courts will "punt" the issue and a political "shootout at the OK corral" will commence.

It MUST be something about the summer heat that is currently stifling our nation's capital!

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Fletcher/Richards meeting produces no "meeting of minds".

The meeting that was referred to in this letter by Gov. Fletcher to Speaker of the House, Jody Richards, produced this response instead, and the meeting itself today produced a "disappointment" for Fletcher as Richards demanded a "commitment" from Peabody (the company interested in building the coal to liquid fuels plant that is a part of the special session call) before the legislature will sign off on the $315 million incentives package.

So the stalemate continues. Stay tuned for future developments.

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Federal Judge gives another Bath Co. official a COLD "bath".

No, this is not the same story you have read here before. This "COLD" bath -- pun intended -- concerns the Bath County Attorney, Donald Champ Mays, who was today sentenced by Judge Hood to 21 months in federal prison for (drum roll, please) vote buying!

It MUST be something in the Bath County water!!

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Words to live by.

"It has been said that all Government is an evil. It would be more proper to say that the necessity of any Government is a misfortune. This necessity however exists; and the problem to be solved is, not what form of Government is perfect, but which of the forms is least imperfect."

— The Nation's Founding Father, James Madison.


Saturday, July 07, 2007

Steve Beshear criticizes Fletcher's special session call; Fletcher responds.

Gubernatorial Democratic candidate, Steve Beshear, has a news release criticizing Fletcher's call for a special session. Here it is:

(Frankfort, KY) Democratic nominee for Governor Steve Beshear this afternoon expressed his disappointment in Governor Fletcher’s failed leadership.

"I have said all along that a Governor should not take the extraordinary measure of calling a special session in the absence of agreement with the legislature on the agenda and the pressing need for the session," said Beshear. "It is apparent that the Governor did not get such an agreement and that is why it failed."

The Beshear/Mongiardo campaign has proposed an aggressive energy platform that calls for an incentive package to encourage a wide range of energy firms to do business in Kentucky. The plan would also create a cabinet level Secretary of Energy Independence position to organize and focus resources on this effort.

"Mr. Fletcher has had 3 years to put a comprehensive energy plan in place," said Beshear. "His failure to do so, including his complete absence just a few months ago in regards to Rep. Rock Adkins energy bill, should not be subsidized by the taxpayers of Kentucky. Especially given that Kentucky has already given out $400,000 for a feasibility study that won’t be completed until April of 2008."

The Beshear/Mongiardo Fueling Kentucky First plan, available at, would create a $60 million Kentucky Energy Fund to help jump-start the development of alternative fuels and new clean coal technology industries. By providing $15 million in incentive grants and research funding each year, the Kentucky Energy Fund will create a public/private partnership that will make Kentucky a national leader in the production, distribution and sale of home grown fuels like corn ethanol (fuel produced from burning corn), bio-diesel (clean burning alternative fuel commonly made of soy, animal fats and/or wastes, or vegetable oils), and cellulosic ethanol (ethanol blend of grasses and agriculture wastes, such as switch grass and stalks), as well as clean coal (coal that is purged of some minerals and impurities) and coal to liquid and coal to gas technologies.

By dramatically ramping up the private sectors ability to produce alternative fuels to power our cars and trucks, as well as investing in renewable and other clean power generation technologies, Kentucky can become one of the first states to become energy independent - while providing a well needed boost to our rural economies across the state.

Here is Fletcher's response:

FRANKFORT, Ky. - Marty Ryall, Campaign Manager for Governor Ernie Fletcher, today called on Steve Beshear to stop gambling with Kentucky jobs.

Ryall said, "Steve Beshear could be the first politician in history to have a negative impact on economic development while not holding office. By influencing the house leadership to walk out on their duties he sends a clear signal that the good old boy politics of the past is ready to pick up where they left off three and a half years ago."

Ryall said, "It is clear that Steve Beshear has no interest in jobs coming to Kentucky that do not involve casino gambling. By joining the Democratic house leadership to celebrate their walk out yesterday he sent a clear signal that his one issue campaign continues."

"He has joined in a walk-out that could cost Kentucky billions of dollars in economic development and thousands of jobs for petty partisan politics. True leaders roll up their sleeves and go to work conducting the people’s business. They don’t tuck their tails and run away. It is evident that Steve Beshear hopes to better sell his argument for casino gambling by further depressing areas of the state that are in desperate need of new jobs, Ryall added.

Ryall concluded, "Kentuckians deserve more in an energy plan than what Steve Beshear is offering. He has offered a plan that was pilfered from another candidate in Iowa, and a plan to burn energy to light the neon signs of casinos all across the Commonwealth. The first shows a lack of vision for Kentucky; the other demonstrates a sell out to the fool’s gold of casino gambling."

Meanwhile, Fletcher's office has released a letter they sent to Speaker Jody Richards a proposed meeting to discuss the special session impasse. I will update any significant developments from this meeting as any becomes available. Stay tuned.

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Was Fred Thompson a legislative "mole" for the Nixon White House during "Watergate"?

Yes, says the Boston Globe. If so, inquiry minds want to know from the Senator: what's up with that?

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Friday, July 06, 2007

Person for the week: President Bush.

No person has dominated -- while simultaneously angering and pleasing so many -- the news this week more than our person for the week. President Bush (or should I say: El Presidente') has watched his amnesty immigration bill explode in his face -- like a malfunctioned Fourth of July firecracker -- and his commutation of "Scooter" Libby's sentence make hypocrites of so many, including former President Bill Clinton, the prolific and unabashed pardoner himself, who sanctimoniously took Bush to task.

So for all his newsworthiness, even more than he normally gets as Commander - in - Chief, President Bush is our Person for the week.

Honorable (or dishonorable, depending on your political outlook) are the Kentucky House Democrats (minus one, plus the lone Republican who joined them) in voice voting to sine dine adjourn the General Assembly, provoking what could prove to be a constitutional crisis.


Quote(s) for the week (Kentucky special session special edition).

(1) "The claim of an urgent need to pass a bill is blatantly contrary to the cold, hard facts which have piled up in recent weeks."
- Kentucky House Speaker Jody Richards, D-Bowling Green, on sine dine adjournment of the House.

(2) "I will not be a party to using the court system to try to force the other body back into any active role."
- Senate President, David Williams, on whether the Senate will join a lawsuit to force the House back into special session.

(3) "They took a cheap shot at me, yet they hit 4 million people."
- Gov. Ernie Fletcher, reacting to the House's actions.

(4) "I have said all along that a Governor should not take the extraordinary measure of calling a special session in the absence of agreement with the legislature on the agenda and the pressing need for the session. It is apparent that the Governor did not get such an agreement and that is why it failed."
- Steve Beshear, Democratic gubernatorial nominee, criticizing his opponent's actions.

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As I CORRECTLY predicted, Jody Richards IMMEDIATELY sine dies House.

As I CORRECTLY predicted on this blog, Jody Richards has sine die adjourned the House IMMEDIATELY after the special called session started.

I expect Fletcher to call them back into session, to be followed by another Richards sine die, and so on. How the issue gets finally resolved is anyone's guess, but mine is that a constitutional fight in the courts will be avoided -- and the courts may declare the issue a non-justiciable political question -- with both Fletcher and Democrats eventually declaring victory. How the voters will see the special session impasse, after they sort it ALL out, will remain to be seen in November -- and next year's legislative races!

On the same or similar note, I have read where some people have suggested that the sine dine actions of the House violate Section 41 of our state constitution, which provides thus:

"Neither House, during the session of the General Assembly, shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other place than that in which it may be sitting."

I tend to disagree with them and believe instead that the more RELEVANT and applicable constitutional provision is found in section 80, which provides as follows:

"He may, on extraordinary occasions, convene the General Assembly at the seat of government, or at a different place, if that should have become dangerous from an enemy or from contagious diseases. In case of disagreement between the two Houses with respect to the time of adjournment, he may adjourn them to such time as he shall think proper, not exceeding four months. When he shall convene the General Assembly it shall be by proclamation, stating the subjects to be considered, and no other shall be considered."

The question is thus begged: Does one chamber have the constitutional authority to decide the time of its adjournment WITH the obvious disagreement of the other chamber?

My legal conclusion is that I think NOT, as ONLY the Governor, in my opinion, can "adjourn them to such time as he shall think proper, not exceeding four months." However, as I stated earlier in this post, both sides may not have the stomach for a court fight over what has the potential to quickly spiral into a constitutional crisis, even if the court(s)s want to take such a case!

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Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy Independence day to ALL!

Happy Independence Day to ALL!

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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Governor has gusto, takes charge where the federal government has failed us.

Now there's a Governor who can act where the federal government is obviously incapable of acting. Janet Napolitano of Arizona has signed into law a new measure that penalizes employers for employing illegal aliens. Click here for the details. Talk about displaying gusto where the Feds have failed us.

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Monday, July 02, 2007

Fletcher signs special session proclamation order.

Gov. Fletcher has signed a proclamation calling the Legislature back into a special session. The proclamation lists alternative fuels, restoration of many capitol projects vetoed by Fletcher from the last budget, as well as some new capitol projects. The session is expected to start at 4:00 P. M. this Thursday.

Meanwhile, Speaker Jody Richards is suggesting that the House is going to use the special session to investigate Beverage's allegations of bid rigging at the Transportation Cabinet.

However, I do NOT know how Jody plans to avoid the constitutional proscription against the Legislature taking up issues/items NOT contained in the Governor's proclamation, as Section 80 of our constitution provides:

He [the Governor] may, on extraordinary occasions, convene the General Assembly at the seat of government, or at a different place, if that should have become dangerous from an enemy or from contagious diseases. In case of disagreement between the two Houses with respect to the time of adjournment, he may adjourn them to such time as he shall think proper, not exceeding four months. When he shall convene the General Assembly it shall be by proclamation, stating the subjects to be considered, and no other shall be considered. (Emphasis is all mine).

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Though premature, Bush's commutation of "Scooter" Libby's sentence is welcomed.

Just hours after a three judge panel of the D. C. Circuit Court of Appeals denied his request to stay of jail pending his appeal, President Bush has commuted "Scooter" Libby's sentence thereby preventing him from serving any jail sentence while leaving the rest of his sentence intact.

I have argued here that the judge's sentence of "Scooter" Libby was excessive in this case, and that some type of pardon is warranted.

While I think that Bush should have waited for the entire panel of the Appeals Court to rule on Libby's request before granting him the commutation to prevent making this decision prematurely, I still think it was a very good decision by the President, who found, like I did, that the sentence was excessive.

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Words to live by.

"On every question of construction carry ourselves back to the
time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit
manifested in the debates and instead of trying what meaning may
be squeezed out of the text or invented against it, conform to
the probable one in which it was passed."

-- Thomas Jefferson (letter to William Johnson, 12 June 1823)