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Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year, EVERYONE.

May the New Year bring you and yours the very BEST that life has to offer.


Person for the year (America and World): General David Petraeus.

Again, there should be NO surprise who our Person for the year outside of Kentucky ought to be. We are sure you'll conclude with us that the person is the Commander of our multinational forces in Iraq -- the one and only General David Petraeus.

When Americans were getting restless about the war in Iraq, President Bush introduced the General to us as our savior in Iraq. Heck the way Republicans depended on him and talked about him, we thought he was the Messiah. Maybe, in a sense, he was the Iraq military messiah.

And the way Democrats talked about him, you thought he was the anti-christ himself. Heck, he so spooked Democrats to the extent that pre-emptively "moved on" him, by taking a full page ad at the New York Times -- subsidized by the paper, of course -- to accuse him of "Betray[ing] us".

By the time, it was all said and done, even Representative John Murtha, President Bush's arch-rival on Iraq, had to admit that the "surge" led by the General "was working". Even Democrats in Congress had to agree, giving Bush the money he needed to conduct the Iraq war further, without them suggesting a date for our troops to pull out of Iraq.

The deafening silence you hear is the drumbeat on Iraq dying down considerably. So no matter how one "slices it", one CANNOT escape the fact that NO one deserves the honor of this blog's Person for the Year more than General David Petraeus, so we SALUTE him with the recognition.


Person for the year (Kentucky): Steve Pence.

Is there any doubt whatsoever who our Person for the 2007 year should be?

Here is a man who withstood all manners of derision, from those who accused him of treasonable conduct, when he refused to compromise his integrity, and support the WRONGS perpetrated by the administration he was a part of, and instead stood up to be counted, giving hope to those of us who REFUSE to believe that politics is all about corrupt practices, and the like.

Anyone who disputes that Steve Pence should be Kentucky's Person for the year, needs to raise our collective eyebrows.

Honorable mentions go to:

Political "Prophetess" Anne Northup (pictured on the right), who foresaw how the election would turn out, and warned Republicans, including predicting EXACTLY how the Democrats will do it -- and some will say -- even producing the t.v. ads that the Democrats used to dismantle Fletcher's campaign.

Governor Steve Beshear (pictured on the left), for not only his win against an incumbent Governor, but for defeating all of his primary opponents, without needing a runoff to do so, to become the Democratic nominee for Governor.

Congratulations to all the winners.


Sunday, December 30, 2007

The award for the most effective political ad campaign for the year goes to: The Bluegrass Freedom Fund.

A vast majority of what we do on this blog is political -- in the sense that we post and comment on articles concerning politics. It is only fitting then that we have an award for political advertising. (Though not announced yet, one can guess -- CORRECTLY, I'm sure -- that our Persons for the year will, probably and most likely, come from the world of politics).

This is the first time this blog will be giving an award for the most effective political campaign (more in the form of political ad campaign) -- kinda like the "Swift Boat"ing of John Kerry in 2003; and, our award goes to none other than the Bluegrass Freedom Fund for its "Swift Boating" of Ernie Fletcher's campaign.

As many of you are aware, no matter what Ernie Fletcher tried to do and what ad he ran in order to salvage his campaign, the Bluegrass Freedom Fund released a counter DEVASTATING and EFFECTIVE ad. (Watch the "issue" ads). The effectiveness and devastation, of course, happened because Fletcher fed the group the "gun" and "ammunition" that was used against him.

For its efforts, the Bluegrass Freedom Fund wins our first EVER award for effectiveness in political advertising.

The award for the most ineffective ad campaign goes to: Republican gubernatorial candidate, Billy Harper.

Where did the $6,206,645.98 he spent on the campaign go, and can ANYONE even remember one of those forgetful ads?


Persons for the year will be announced tomorrow.

Who will they be? Check back tomorrow.


A pair of election related bills pre-filed: one to do away with runoff primaries, the other to make provisional ballots available in all elections.

Law requires Fletcher to disclose contributors to legal defense fund by January 10th, but one Lawmaker has prefiled bill to require more "sunshine".

Read the pre-filed "Ernie Fletcher" bill.

Under current law, Fletcher is required to make a partial disclosure of those who contributed $200 or more by Jan. 10 (or 30 days after a Governor leaves office) in a report to the Executive Branch Ethics Commission.

The pre-filed "Ernie Fletcher" bill will among other things, require Governors who set up legal defense funds to file periodic reports listing the donors and the amounts they contribute; prohibit a public servant or officer from accepting donations to a legal defense trust from any person or business who does business with the state; and, establish that a violation of the donor limitations or filing requirements constitutes a Class D felony and the forfeiture of employment or constitutional or statutory office.

"I think people have a right to know who's giving," said state Rep. Darryl Owens, D-Louisville, who is sponsoring the legislation. "This basically allows more transparency in terms of who is contributing."

"Gov. Beshear supports a revision of disclosure and reporting laws related to legal defense funds," Governor Steve Beshears' spokeswoman, Vickie Glass said. "He looks forward to working with Rep. Owens and others on this and other legislative matters."

The proposal also would bar anyone who works for state government from contributing to such a fund, a move intended to prevent elected officials from pressuring people to give.

"That's important," Owens said, "because the question is: Are they contributing to get business with the state or to keep business with the state?"

We welcome the proposed changes and ask members of the Legislature to QUICKLY adopt them.

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Saturday, December 29, 2007

William "Billy" Kristol, editor and co-founder of The Conservative Weekly Standard, will write Op-Eds for the Liberal New York Times!

Read about it here.

Who'd have "thunk" that!

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Friday, December 28, 2007

What's wrong with this picture?: Congressman Ben Chandler the fiscal Conservative, and, Congressman Geoff Davis the fiscal Liberal.

Read about it here.

Who would have "thunk" that?

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Person for the week: Benazir Bhutto.

I cannot think of anyone else who should be our person for the week, than the former Prime Minister of Pakistan and fearless defender of the course for human freedom in her country, who was assassinated yesterday, Mrs. Benazir Bhutto.

Can you?


Governor Steve Beshear announces dates for special elections, and appoints acting Commissioner for Local Government.

Here are the announcements:

Governor Beshear Signs Executive Orders for Writ of Elections

95th House Seat & 30th Senatorial Seat Elections set for February 5th

FRANKFORT, KY – Governor Steve Beshear today signed two executive orders calling for the special election for the vacant 95th House of Representatives seat and the vacant 30th Senatorial seat to be held on Tuesday, February 5, 2008.

James Brandon Spencer resigned from the General Assembly, by letter dated December 18, 2007. Dr. Daniel Mongiardo’s Senatorial Seat in the 30th District became vacant when Mongiardo was elected Lieutenant Governor of the Commonwealth and administered the oath of office on December 11, 2007.

Governor Beshear Names Acting Commissioner of Local Government

FRANKFORT, KY (December 28, 2007) – Governor Steve Beshear today announced that his chief of staff, Jim Cauley, will serve as the acting Commissioner of the Governor’s Office for Local Government (GOLD).

"This agency is in many ways the Commonwealth’s liaison to the people," Beshear said. "I’m confident that under Jim’s leadership, GOLD will continue to provide services that will enrich the lives of our citizens across the state."

Cauley, a Pikeville native and resident of Louisville, ran Barack Obama’s successful bid for the U.S. Senate. He also recently played a leading role in helping Democratic candidates regain the majority of governorships for the first time since 1994.

A veteran of more than 20 campaigns, Cauley ran the Maryland Fund, an independent expenditure campaign that ran issue advertising about Governor Bob Ehrlich’s record – the only incumbent governor to be defeated in November 2006.

The primary focus of GOLD is to provide assistance to cities, counties and special districts. In addition, the agency administers a wide variety of state and local grants and loans to local governments. It is the only state agency that solely deals with local governments and their elected officials.

As acting commissioner, Cauley also will serve as the chair of the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority.


Thursday, December 27, 2007

Rudy Giuliani releases a new ad. Yep, you guessed it, there's 9/11 there somewhere.

I think Rudy is getting ever and ever closer to the day and time when someone will yell, sans Joe Mcarthy: "Have you no shame, Rudy, using the tragedy of 9/11 to score CHEAP political points"!?!

In fact, we can start with a new label that we are sure Rudy will wear out: Have you no shame?


The Rothernberg Political Reports picks its Best and Worst of politics for 2007: Biggest Electoral Embarrassment of 2007 is Ernie Fletcher.

Read the report here.

Governor Steve Beshear made the list too: As a nominee for Biggest Electoral Win of 2007 which Governor Bobby Jindal of Lousiana won.



The assassination of Pakistan's Banazir Bhutto is a great crime and possible disaster, but it could also be an amazing opportunity, if only our slowfooted "experts" would get moving.

Right now the violence in Pakistan is due to the fact that most of the Taliban types have taken up refuge there, rather than fight it out with our special forces in Afghanistan. Given Pakistan's nukes, its unstable government, and always dangerous relations with India, this is the proverbial powder keg that could blow at any minute.

But the Bhutto killing may also be the moment of clarity when world leaders might be coaxed into acting responsibly, if someone (like President Bush) pushes hard.

I suggest three things could be done right now to make a terrible situation a lot better.

First, secure from our NATO allies a real committment to the fighting in Afghanistan. So far only the Canandians, Aussies, and Brits actually go with us where the shooting is. But NATO literally has hundreds of thousands of soldiers (currently doing nothing at home) that could be sent into the tribal areas along the borders, to smother the Taliban and probably catch Bin Laden. Now's the time to ask for them.

Second, we need a real deal with Pakistan on who gets the nukes in case of civil breakdown. We've talked about this for years, its time Pakstan publicly took care of this contingency with a treaty. Perhaps something like the old CENTO could be revived so the US could have access to their weapons in an emergency.

And third, the rogue elements in Pakistan's intelligence service need to be purged. I imagine Musharaff is already doing this, taking advantage of the situation, but we need to back him up.

The world is a dangerous place. It just got a lot more dangerous. Let's see if there are any grown-ups left in Washington.

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BREAKING NEWS: Former Pakistani Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto, has been assassinated.

She was assassinated today at a rally for her race against American ally, President Pervez Musharraf .

We will bring you updates as we get them. May her soul rest in peace.

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Finally, someone in the Hilton family has had enough, as Paris' Grandpa gives away family fortune to charity.

Yep, you can read the news here.

Can't say I blame Gramps and I can't say I feel sorry for Paris', her sister and her folks, either.

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President Bush signs $555 billion budget that funds Iraq war WITHOUT a withdrawal timetable; with so much "pork" and the "devil in the details", ...

... (read about it here) should the amount approved not be $666 billion, instead?

After all, the amount will properly represent what happened up there. Moreover, what's another $111 billion to Congress but a drop in the bucket of hog insides?

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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Another UNENDORSEMENT of Mitt Romney, this time it's the Union Leader.

Read it here, the second UNENDORSEMENT in a row from his "home" newspapers. In fact, it appears that none of these newspapers plan on endorsing him. Rather, the newspapers all appear to be fighting for the prize of who will "diss" him the MOST.

Here is the gist, from the Union Leader:

THERE IS A reason Mitt Romney has not received a single newspaper endorsement in New Hampshire. It's the same reason his poll numbers are dropping. He has not been able to convince the people of this state that he's the conservative he says he is.

Like a lot of people in New Hampshire, we wanted to believe Romney. We gave him the benefit of the doubt. We listened very carefully to his expertly rehearsed sales pitch. But in the end he didn't close the deal for us. Now, two weeks before the primary, the same is happening with voters.

Republicans and right-leaning independents in New Hampshire gave Romney a chance. His events have not been sparsely attended. Nor have they been scarce. He's made more campaign stops here this year than any other Republican, even John McCain.

And after a year of comparing Romney to McCain, of sizing up the two in person and in the media, Granite Staters are turning back to McCain. The former Navy pilot, once written off by the national media establishment, is now in a statistical dead heat with Romney here.

How could that be? Romney has all the advantages: money, organization, geographic proximity, statesman-like hair, etc.

But he lacks something John McCain has in spades: conviction.

Granite Staters want a candidate who will look them in the eye and tell them the truth. John McCain has done that day in and day out, never wavering, never faltering, never pandering.

Mitt Romney has not. He has spoken his lines well, but the people can sense that the words are memorized, not heartfelt.

Last week Romney was reduced to debating what the meaning of "saw" is. It was only the latest in a string of demonstrably false claims -- he'd been a hunter "pretty much" all his life, he'd had the NRA's endorsement, he marched with Martin Luther King, Jr. -- that call into question the veracity of his justifications for switching sides on immigration, abortion, taxes and his affection for Ronald Reagan.

In this primary, the more Mitt Romney speaks, the less believable he becomes. That is why Granite Staters who have listened attentively are now returning to John McCain. They might not agree with McCain on everything, as we don't, but like us, they judge him to be a man of integrity and conviction, a man who won't sell them out, who won't break his promises, and who won't lie to get elected.

Voters can see that John McCain is trustworthy. Mitt Romney has spent a year trying to convince Granite Staters that he is as well. It looks like they aren't buying it. And for good reason.

Are you starting to feel me now?

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Reflections on the Drug Wars in Appalachia

The following was originally posted at the Cyberhillbilly blog: Presaging my career as a gadfly writer (i.e. blogger) was an incident that happened while I was in 7th grade at Big Creek Elementary in Leslie County. The two most popular and attractive kids in our class, Keith and Katrina, had a crush on one another. Keith, always a better basketball player than student, employed, pro bono, yours truly to write a love poem for him. It was a tongue in cheek assignment, so I quoted something silly from popular TV sitcom Three's Company that I’d heard Mr. Farley say. Fortunately for Keith, before that letter could be passed on it was discovered by school authorities who promptly took it to the principle.

That letter resulted in my being hauled before the principle for a conference with my parents. Although I grew up in a family where I was always considered in the wrong when it came to a conflict with school officials (today, parents seemingly presume the opposite) this was one case where they felt it was much ado about nothing. In fact, they were more insulted by my cheesy writing than anything else.

My mom and I still laugh about that episode several times a year, but it’s a bittersweet memory. After 7th grade I transferred to the school system in Clay County and lost contact with Keith and Katrina. I’d still hear about them on occasion, but was never again close. Around 2005 both Katrina and Keith died in their early thirties. The latter was killed in an accident where alcohol was a factor. The former died of a drug related illness. Two young people who’d once been the stars of their class are now dead thanks to drugs and poor decisions. Both left kids behind.

Stories such as these, sadly, aren’t unusual in Appalachia. Drugs have taken a severe toll on our people. They caused another friend from Big Creek to commit suicide. They caused another classmate from 7th grade to run off the road on Buffalo mountain; he didn’t survive the crash. They killed two of my neighbors. When I practiced law in London, they killed at least three of my clients (and that was in just a two year period.)

Earlier this week I read about a UNITE operation in Clay County. 33 suspects had been charged with felonies for trafficking in drugs. I knew two of the folks on that list. One was a popular girl who rode the bus with me from Oneida to Clay County high. She was pretty, smart, outgoing, popular. Now she was charged with trafficking drugs near a school. Another was a popular athlete while I was in Clay County. He was a football player and a big man on campus.
Last night (Sunday, Dec. 23rd), WYMT broke the news that 125 people in Harlan County were being sought on arrest warrants. All 125 were wanted for drug related crimes. 125 people in a county with just over 13,000 households.Where will the drug wars end? Will they? Perhaps they’ll go on forever, and otherwise good people will continue selling themselves to the devil to make money and get high. Perhaps they’ll finally just kill themselves off with their destructive habits. Maybe that’s what meth is all about.

Whatever the final outcome, I can’t help but look back over the years at the fun and engaging young people I knew whose lives would ultimately be destroyed by drugs. I can’t help but miss these people, though I’m not sure I would have recognized some of them in their final days. And two final questions keep bugging me: why and how? Why did they start down that path? Do folks who start down the path of intense drug use ever come out on top? I frankly can’t think of one affirmative response. That’s self evident to me, why wasn’t it to them? Is it like a vortex where lots of folks play around the edges while only a few get sucked in? I also don't understand how this happens. How did these folks go so far? Wasn’t there someone out there, some mom or dad or aunt or uncle or boyfriend or girlfriend, to step in and say to them “stop!”?? Did their loved ones think they could weather the storm until it was too late? Do they, God help them, stay up nights pondering this very question?

Meanwhile, as you celebrate this Christmas season with your loved ones, consider this comment from the Harlan County Sheriff Marvin Lipfird: "Usually right after Christmas, we get calls about kid’s bikes being stolen, their gifts being taken and taken to local drug dealers and traded and we just decided this Christmas we were trying to eliminate some of those problems."

A footnote: Marvin Lipfird’s primary opponent in the 2006 Sheriff’s race, Alan Harris, was recently arrested on charges of drug trafficking.

Cross Posted at: Cyberhillbilly


Do you think Mike Huckabee is the political savior for Conservatives?

Felons should NOT have their rights to vote denied them, UNLESS they have been convicted of election related crimes. Enough said, and enough already.

Yep, enough said and enough of this nonsense already.

Read the pre-filed bill.

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If you are British, a British subject or have anything to do with the British, we wish you Happy Boxing day.

If you are British, a British subject or have anything to do with the British, we wish you Happy Boxing day today.


U. S. Supreme Court: Gore V. Bush redux?

The U. S. Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments on Jan. 9, in the combined cases of Crawford v. Marion County Election Board and Indiana Democratic Party v. Rokita, I previously discussed here.

The issue? Does a state requirement that voters show a specific kind of photo identification before casting a ballot violate the Constitution?

The answer, depending on who you ask, and the political persuasion of the answerer, will vary.

How, you ask?

Well, Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner, a Ronald Reagan appointee, wrote in upholding Indiana's strictest-in-the-nation law is not burdensome enough to violate constitutional protections.

In Judge Posner's opinion, "It is exceedingly difficult to maneuver in today's America without a photo ID (try flying, or even entering a tall building such as the courthouse in which we sit, without one)."

Not too fast, his colleague on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, Bill Clinton appointee Terence T. Evans, suggested in advising "[l]et's not beat around the bush: The Indiana voter photo ID law is a not-too-thinly veiled attempt to discourage election-day turnout by certain folks believed to skew Democratic."

This 2 to 1 opinion broke down along party lines, and so did the opinion of the entire court.

In Michigan's Supreme Court, the justices -- who are elected in partisan races -- split along political party lines in upholding that state's voter ID law (five Republicans voted to support it and the two Democrats opposed it).

Whether the U. S. Supreme Court Justices will also split among party lines (remember Gore V. Bush) remains to be seen, though an indication of how the Supreme Court may rule may be found in a pair of previous cases from the Court.

In 1992, the Supreme Court refused to apply constitutional "strict scrutiny" standards concluding that it would conflict with the states' ability to run efficient elections in a case involving write-in candidates in Hawaii.

And in 2006, in a relatively short and unsigned opinion issued just weeks before the election, the court gave approval to a voter-approved initiative in Arizona that required voters to show proof of citizenship.

So, though it is markedly suspicious when the Court accepts a case, suggesting that the Court has found something wrong to reverse in the case, it appears that the Court may employ a less than "strict scrutiny" test in this case -- such as a "rational basis" test -- to find that the voter id law in question, with its basis in the prevention of voter fraud, passes constitutional muster -- especially if safeguards, such as the use of provisional ballots for voters without ids, and allowing voters to sign sworn statements attesting to their identity before voting, are a part of the voter id law.

We'll have to see how the oral arguments go on the 9th, and most importantly what the Justices say in their majority opinion (which I predict to be 5 to 4, or 6 to 3 decision) when the opinion is issued.

Stay tuned.

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Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas to ALL, "for unto us a child is born this day ... Christ the Lord."

Remember HE is the "reason for the season".


In case some of us forget "the reason for the season".

In case some of us, in our gluttonous frenzy to shop and exchange gifts, forget "the reason for the season".

"And the Angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in this day in this city of David a saviour, which is Christ the Lord."

-- Luke 2:10-11


Words to live by.

"How many observe Christ's birth-day! How few, his
precepts! O! 'tis easier to keep Holidays than Commandments."

-- Benjamin Franklin (Poor Richards Almanack, 1743)

Reference: Poor Richard: The Almanacks, for the Years, 1733-1758,
Intro by Van Wyck Brooks (111)



I don't blame Mike Huckabee for taking a long shot gamble on running for President. The GOP field is pretty green when it comes to actual national leaders. McCain is an anti-leader, and Thompson and Giuliani are more national celebrities. Romney was certainly never considered an important national leader on any issue and wimped out on a run for re-election as Massachusetts governor because he would get beat.

That said though, the weak spots in Huckabee us political junkies have known about for years now appear. The bad temper, the uncurious mindset, the shallow level of experience and lack of top level people around him.

Riding an unexpected wave of popularity, the Huckabee campaign showed themselves to be the rubes they are, wading into the topic of Mormonism, when all he had to do was let Romney flail away with the press on that denomination's controversies, then attack Rush Limbaugh, and now embracing a virulently anti-Catholic minister in Texas. There may not be many Mormons at the Iowa caucuses, but you can believe there will be a ton of Catholics out Nov. 3.

(The chameleonesque Ed Rollins, of course, won't help any, just drain away Mike's funds for his own big salary.)

The sad truth is Huckabee is a big government guy, all the way through, with a lousy record on taxes, spending and school choice. He knows nothing about foreign affairs and his feeble embrace of the national sales tax was nothing more than a dodge to obfuscate his support for things like a national smoking ban.

It's nice he is pro-life, but so is everyone except Rudy.

The problem we conservatives face is that we have gone from the greatest rhetorical leader in American history, Ronald Reagan, to the tongue-tied Bush dynasty, where putting together three coherent sentences in a row is challenge. So any smoothie, like the pulpit-trained Mike Huckabee comes across as a breath of fresh air. But rather than just sounding good, or funny, or quick we need someone speaking with intelligence and care. And that's not Mike Huckabee.

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Sunday, December 23, 2007

Ron Paul on "Meet the Press": All you ever wanted to know about him.

Ron Paul was on "Meet the Press" with Tim Russert. The long interview reveals and tells you what you want to know about Ron Paul.

Watch the entire interview on video here and read the transcript here. I will update later and embed the video on this post.

For what its worth, I disagree with Ron Paul's stance that Abraham Lincoln could have ended slavery without the Civil War. As many of you know, Abraham Lincoln is my hero, but that's not why I'm defending him here. But the record needs to be set straight.

I also disagree with Ron Paul on his disdain for the passage of the Civil Rights Act, which "he would vote against, if it came up in similar language" on the grounds, according to him, that it impacted "property rights".

As for the first issue, Ron Paul imagines that Abraham Lincoln (and the Northern states) would have ended slavery by simply purchasing slaves and setting them FREE.

But that is HOG WASH.

For one thing, one wonders if Ron Paul joins those who consider slaves "private property to be bought and sold as chattel" back then. I would hope not. No matter, Ron Paul forgets that Abraham Lincoln thought about it and quickly dismissed it knowing the South REFUSES to give up their "peculiar way of life".

And, Abraham Lincoln is NO more responsible for the Civil War than are the Jews for the Holocaust! Has Ron Paul forgotten that it wasn't Abraham Lincoln, but that Southern Admiral (I won't repeat his name here) who fired that first volley at Fort Sumpter!!

As for Ron Paul's stance on the Civil Rights Act, the Act is NO more "property rights" as is the Magna Carta. I would hope that Ron Paul has NO problem with that.

These comments from Ron Paul are VERY disappointing -- especially coming from a Libertarian -- unless the liberty interests deserving of protection in his eyes, are those for the rich "property" owners.

No wonder many from the lunatic fringes swarm to Ron Paul's campaign -- like racist group members -- because they think he is their man.

There are so many other issues I agree with Ron Paul on, that I would like to see him do more to re-assure the rest of us, that the lunatics have got him all wrong.

Update: Here's the embed (in 4 parts):

Part #1

Part #2

Part #3

Part #4

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New Hampshire newspaper, the Concord Monitor: Romney should not be the next president. I AGREE!

The New Hampshire newspaper, the Concord Monitor, has just released what I consider a first: an UNENDORSEMENT of a candidate!

Who is the candidate you ask? Mitt Romney. You can read their UNENDORSEMENT of Romney, and I wholeheartedly AGREE. Here it is, excerpted:

Romney should not be the next president

Monitor staff
December 22. 2007 3:00PM

If you were building a Republican presidential candidate from a kit, imagine what pieces you might use: an athletic build, ramrod posture, Reaganesque hair, a charismatic speaking style and a crisp dark suit. You'd add a beautiful wife and family, a wildly successful business career and just enough executive government experience. You'd pour in some old GOP bromides - spending cuts and lower taxes - plus some new positions for 2008: anti-immigrant rhetoric and a focus on faith.

Add it all up and you get Mitt Romney, a disquieting figure who sure looks like the next president and most surely must be stopped.

Romney's main business experience is as a management consultant, a field in which smart, fast-moving specialists often advise corporations on how to reinvent themselves. His memoir is called Turnaround - the story of his successful rescue of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City - but the most stunning turnaround he has engineered is his own political career.

If you followed only his tenure as governor of Massachusetts, you might imagine Romney as a pragmatic moderate with liberal positions on numerous social issues and an ability to work well with Democrats. If you followed only his campaign for president, you'd swear he was a red-meat conservative, pandering to the religious right, whatever the cost. Pay attention to both, and you're left to wonder if there's anything at all at his core.

As a candidate for the U.S. Senate in 1994, he boasted that he would be a stronger advocate of gay rights than his opponent, Ted Kennedy. These days, he makes a point of his opposition to gay marriage and adoption.

There was a time that he said he wanted to make contraception more available - and a time that he vetoed a bill to sell it over-the-counter.

The old Romney assured voters he was pro-choice on abortion. "You will not see me wavering on that," he said in 1994, and he cited the tragedy of a relative's botched illegal abortion as the reason to keep abortions safe and legal. These days, he describes himself as pro-life.

There was a time that he supported stem-cell research and cited his own wife's multiple sclerosis in explaining his thinking; such research, he reasoned, could help families like his. These days, he largely opposes it. As a candidate for governor, Romney dismissed an anti-tax pledge as a gimmick. In this race, he was the first to sign.

People can change, and intransigence is not necessarily a virtue. But Romney has yet to explain this particular set of turnarounds in a way that convinces voters they are based on anything other than his own ambition.

In the 2008 campaign for president, there are numerous issues on which Romney has no record, and so voters must take him at his word. On these issues, those words are often chilling. While other candidates of both parties speak of restoring America's moral leadership in the world, Romney has said he'd like to "double" the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, where inmates have been held for years without formal charge or access to the courts. He dodges the issue of torture - unable to say, simply, that waterboarding is torture and America won't do it.

When New Hampshire partisans are asked to defend the state's first-in-the-nation primary, we talk about our ability to see the candidates up close, ask tough questions and see through the baloney. If a candidate is a phony, we assure ourselves and the rest of the world, we'll know it.

Mitt Romney is such a candidate. New Hampshire Republicans and independents must vote no.

(Check other endorsements for the other candidates).



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Saturday, December 22, 2007

SURVEYUSA poll proves me right: It's the economy, stupid, as Mitch McConnell's approval rating surges.

Last week in my posting, I warned Democrats "salivating" over Andrew Horne's announcement that he'll "feel the BOULDER" -- I would NOT want to be him -- that Iraq will NOT be the issue come next year's election. I suggested they take a cue from former President Bill Clinton and understand that: it's the economy, stupid!

Well, the EXTREMELY reliable SURVEYUSA poll has come out revealing that I am right on target -- it's the economy stupid!!

Also, SIGNIFICANTLY noteworthy is the fact that Senator Mitch McConnell's approval rating has surged. I will post the poll results here later, but for now, read Mark Hebert's analysis:

Poll Shows Big Turnaround for McConnell

The latest Survey USA/WHAS 11 poll shows a huge turnaround in the approval ratings for U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell.

Last month, for the first time since the polling of McConnell's job approval rating began, a bigger percentage of Kentuckians disapproved of the job he was doing in Washington. Not so anymore. This month's poll shows 51% Approve, 42% Disapprove with 7% undecided. A slew of TV ads, better news from Iraq and decisions by Crit Luallen and Greg Stumbo not to challenge McConnell have probably helped his standing. But perhaps the more interesting numbers were found in the crosstabs/breakouts. When those polled were asked what's the top issue facing the next president, 23% said the economy, 22% said health care, 13% Iraq and 12% immigration. To me, the most stunning numbers are the last two. Many Republicans are hoping to base their entire campaigns on a promise to crack down on illegal immigrants while many democrats are hoping to base their entire campaigns on getting out of Iraq. But it looks like voters are looking for leadership on two issues closer to their pocketbooks.

BETTER Stick with Mitch.


Breaking news: Democrats nominate Jody Richard's protege for special election.

The Democratic Executive Committees of Lyon, Marshall, McCracken met today and unanimously voted to nominate Marshall County banker Will R. Coursey to run in a special election to fill the vacancy left by Democrat J.R. Gray. Gray stepped down to serve the Commonwealth as the Director of the Department of Labor.

Coursey was an executive officer to Speaker Richards for five years prior to becoming a lending officer with Community Financial Services Bank in Benton.


Political "slush fund" continues to "tar" both political parties. Isn't it time to let an independent body oversee it? I think it is!

Both parties have consistently used Kentucky's emergency road fund as a political "slush fund" tool, in a tit for tat arrangement whereby tar is traded for votes. What ends up happening is that ALL Kentuckians end up being "tarred" and some will say "also feathered".

The way to prevent this from happening, I think, is to either do away with the "slush fund" -- an extreme remedy --, or turn it over to an independent body that is twice removed from Kentucky politics.

Let's try it for a change, shall we?

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Arizona's anti illegal immigration law is working, is it not time to try it here?

Read about it here.

Well, is it not?

Update 12/30: Kentucky tries to do the same.


Friday, December 21, 2007

John Rogers for Senate website is launched.

Person for the week: Senator John McCain.

Given up for (political) death, Senator John McCain seems to have hard a resurgence of sorts this week.

Read about it here, here, here here and here.

Whether or not his "surge" lasts to make him "the comeback kid" remains to be seen (that will, of course, depend on whether he can "resurrect the dead" "straight talking" Maverick). But for this week, he is our (news) Person for the week.


I thought I share with my readers a copy of a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year card I received from Governor Bobby Jindal of Lousiana. Enjoy.



Rudy Giuliani "politicizes" Christmas, then wishes you "Happy Holidays".

Rudy Giuliani, for his Christmas greeting, "politicizes" Christmas, then wishes you "Happy Holidays".

Well, Merry Christmas to you Rudy.

You go figure.


Merry Christmas from the Obama family.

Merry Christmas from the Obama family.


Judge COMPLETELY "snuffs" out Louisville's "BOGUS" smoking ban.

Read the story here.

Why do I say "COMPLETELY"? Well, in Constitutional Law jurisprudence, a court can save portions of a law that are NOT unconstitutional, severing it from the unconstitutional part(s). In this case, the judge said "phewee" to the ENTIRE law, because NONE of it could be saved!

And why do I say "BOGUS"? Because if you look at the law banning smoking, it had NO legitimate rationale basis for the local government to exclude Churchill Downs from its reach, other than the Louisville Metro Council members bowing to SPECIAL INTERESTS.

Now the Metro Council MUST go back to the drawing board!

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Senate Committee Minority Report Challenges UN & Gore Claims On Global Warming

More than 400 scientists challenge claims by former Vice President Al Gore and the United Nations about the threat of man-made global warming, a new Senate minority report says.

The scientists "many of whom are current or former members of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that shares the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with Mr. Gore for publicizing a climate crisis" cast doubt on the "scientific consensus" that man-made global warming imperils the planet.

As expected,Nobel Laureate,Internet inventor and Saint Al of Gore dismissed this historic Senate report by stating through a representative that some of these esteemed scientists from around the world have connections to Big Oil, and, therefore, their opinions should be ignored.

Pretty amazing coming from a man that likely has made what some estimate is $100 million in the past seven years selling this canard to the public, wouldn't you agree?


Who's The Most Partisan Member of KY's Congressional Delegation?

The difference between John Yarmuth and Ben Chandler.

According to Washington Post analysis, Rep. John Yarmuth (D - KY / San Francisco) is the most partisan member of KY's congressional delegation, voting with Nancy Pelosi 97.1% of the time!

Ben Chandler is a close second with 95.2% partisanship, but as I documented here a few months ago, there are big differences between Rep. John Yarmuth (D - KY / San Francisco) and Rep. Ben Chandler (D - KY). One notable exception came when Yarmuth voted not to condemn's "Betray Us" ad which criticized the man who has implemented relative calm in Iraq, General David Petraeus, while Chandler cast the sensible vote that the majority of his constituents would have cast.

The majority of Louisvillians would have voted to condemn the ad. John Yarmuth did not.

Of course, the majority of Louisvillians would have affirmed the importance of Christianity and Christmas after paying Islam, Hinduism, Ramadan, and Diwali that respect. Yarmuth did not do that either. Erwin Roberts called him out on it yesterday.


Iraq Veteran Deserves Fair Treatment

I don't know the details of this story. I don't think anyone really does yet, if ever. What I do know, however, is that Jason Roach deserves fair treatment in the media and in the courtroom. Here's a sample of an email I got from a friend who knows Roach:

Jason Roach was an Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran and a father of three plus a friend of my wife and I. From my understanding Kelly Douglass (deceased) was a friend of both Jason and his wife Misty. Jason was continually getting worse with PTSD symptoms IE: paranoia, flashbacks, nightmares, lack of sleep etc. Kelly did come to the house unannounced and an argument broke out instantly, which is when Jason told him to leave. A scuffle ensued and while they were fighting Kelly fell and hit his head on the corner of some concrete. Kelly went unconscious and Jason started screaming for help. Jason is charged with voluntary manslaughter and at this time he is being held in jail on $500k bond.

The media has made Jason appear as a savage who beat Douglass to a pulp but we are trying to counter that now. Here is one of the few media sources that are semi accurate. Please check out the story here and there is a video on the right hand of the screen as well.


Erwin Roberts Smacks Yarmuth Over Christmas/Ramadan Votes

In an email sent today, Erwin Roberts took his opponent, Rep. John Yarmuth (D - KY / San Francisco) to task over his vote to recognize Islam as one of the world's great religions, but not to pay Christianity the same respect.

Roberts said:

Last week, my opponent, John Yarmuth, again demonstrated how out of touch he is with the people of the Louisville's 3rd Congressional District by refusing to support House Resolution 847, a resolution "recognizing the importance of Christmas and the Christian faith." Yet he gladly supported House Resolution 635, which recognized the Muslim holiday Ramadan and the Islamic faith as one of the great religions of the world.

Then Roberts hit Yarmuth hard:

By his votes, Mr. Yarmuth has shown that he does not grasp one of the most fundamental principles of our American Constitution: Government must treat all religions with equal respect. Everyone in the 3rd District -- particularly Christians -- should be offended that their elected representative has, by his official actions, elevated one religion over another. Everyone in the 3rd District should be disturbed that Mr. Yarmuth chose to ignore a fundamental constitutional principle in order to play sectarian favorites. And until the voters of the 3rd District remove him from office next November, the message to Mr. Yarmuth should be loud and clear: At least for now, he represents all the people of the 3rd Congressional District, including Christians.


Erwin is encouraging everyone who is disturbed by Yarmuth's votes to donate some amount of money to his campaign, so that his message can be communicated loud and clear in the fall of 2008. You can do that here.

HR 847 has made waves nationwide, including here, although thus far Louisville's MSM has mostly protected Yarmuth and his nonsensical votes.

Props to John Rott for the awesome photo.


SURVEYUSA poll finds that ONLY John McCain can beat Hillary Clinton, IF THE ELECTION WAS HELD TODAY ...

... but the poll TOTALLY IGNORED Fred Thompson.

Read the cross tabs.

Hence, the pollsters need to go back to the drawing board.

Until then, the poll tells me that the so called "experience" factor may be influencing the poll respondents. For me, though, I've got to ask the next question: What kind of experience are we talking about, for there is a difference between the GOOD experience and the BAD one for the country?

What about you?


Thursday, December 20, 2007

Mitt Romney continues to hit Mike Huckabee. Eventually both of them will follow Rudy Giuliani off the presidential stage.

Yep, you heard it here FIRST, and this won't help Huckabee.


Edmonson County Kentucky Sheriff, B. J. Honeycutt, indicted on felonies.

Here's the information:

(FRANKFORT, KY) - A Madison County grand jury has indicted Edmonson County (Ed. Note: more info.) Sheriff Billy Joe Honeycutt on one count of Providing Incomplete Firearms Training and one count of Misrepresentation of Having Conducted Training Courses. Each charge is a Class D Felony, which carries a possible prison sentence of one to five years for each offense.

The charges are a result of an investigation by the Kentucky State Police stemming from a complaint from the Kentucky Dept. of Criminal Justice Training in Richmond regarding Carrying Concealed Deadly Weapon classes taught by Honeycutt.

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I always felt that President Bush will give James Holsinger a "recess" apponitment. I wasn't alone in my thinking ...

... as it turns out that Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, thinks so, too. That is why he is NOT allowing a Senate recess this time.

Smart move on Senator Reid's part, especially as he wants to be an obstructionist.

My question is: Why won't the Senator allow a simple "up or down" vote on the Doctor from Kentucky?

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Well, it appears not everyone will "roll over" for "the fix".

Read more here see how "the fix" may NOT be happening -- or will it?


Governor Steve Beshear makes more personnel appointments, Janie Miller and Steve Nunn appointed.

Here's the announcement:

Governor Steve Beshear Appoints Secretary to the Health & Family Services Cabinet.

FRANKFORT, KY (December 20, 2007) – Governor Steve Beshear today announced the appointment of Janie Miller to the position of Secretary of the Health and Family Services Cabinet and former Rep. Steve Nunn as Deputy Secretary of the Cabinet.

Janie Miller, 52, has more than 31 years of experience in various public administrative and regulatory roles including 21 years in development and administration of health care programs for the state. She also served approximately 17 years in the Cabinet for Human Resources.

Miller was appointed to the position of Deputy Director of Budget Review for the Legislative Research Commission (LRC) in November 2004. In this position, she was responsible for assisting legislators in developing and facilitating the development of budget bills for all three branches of government. Before that appointment she served as a staff economist in the LRC Chief Economists Office.

Under Governor Paul Patton, Miller served as Public Protection Cabinet Secretary from April 2002 to November 2003. She remained Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Insurance while serving as cabinet secretary. She has also served as Commissioner of the Department of Insurance and as Deputy Commissioner of Health Insurance in the Department of Insurance.

"Janie has a wealth of knowledge and experience in all branches of state government," said the Governor. "I am confident that her vast budget experience will be an asset to the citizens of the Commonwealth."

As Deputy Secretary, Steve Nunn, 55, brings 16 years of experience on the House Health and Welfare Committee where he served as Vice Chair for 10 years. Nunn has also served on the House Appropriations and Revenue Committee, as well as the appropriation and Revenue Budget Review Subcommittee on Human Resources.

Throughout his legislative career, he has served on the Subcommittee for Families and Children, the Kentucky Multidisciplinary Commission on Child Sexual Abuse, the Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault and the Kentucky Taskforce on Adoption. He also was on the E-Health and Tele-Health Boards as well as the HB 144 Commission which he and Representative Jimmy Lee sponsored and passed. It ultimately directed an additional $50 million into the Mental Health - Mental Retardation budget to enhance the programs and reduce the waiting list for persons with disabilities. Representative Nunn also has 10 years experience working in the private sector as a physician recruiter and advisor for T.J. Sampson Hospital in Glasgow.

"Steve's strong knowledge of the Cabinet and excellent working relationship with individuals with disabilities, child advocacy groups, public health departments, health care providers and other advocacy groups will allow him to serve this administration well in his new capacity," said Beshear.

I congratulate Janie Miller and Steve Nunn on their ocassions of their deserved appointments.


As I predicted, Tom Tancredo's presidential aspiration has "Tanc"ed. Who is next, you ask?

As I predicted earlier that Tom Tancredo will follow Sam Brownback, who earlier Brown"Back"ed out of the presidential race.

Who's next, you ask?

On the Republican side: He who holds the Keyes or one who goes hunting.

On the Democratic side: Haul some Gravel or consider him a Dodd.

Oh, BTW: "Tanc"redo is endorsing Mitt Romney -- a rather futile gesture, if you ask me.

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Beyond flip flops: Mitt Romney claims he saw his dad marching with the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. . The PROBLEM? NO such event EVER took place.

Read some more here and here and here.

And here's a cache of stories.

Then there was the "crying shame". Read more, and more.

Another reason to throw away that "Mitt"!


We urge Governor Steve Beshear to look into this ...

... Yep, this, because we do have ourselves a SERIOUS problem.

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Which one of the two has more "CHARACTER"?

Which one of the two has more "CHARACTER", Caracter or Pitino?


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Time chooses Vladimir Putin as its Man of the Year. Who will be OsiSpeaks! Person for the Year (in Kentucky and World)? Stay tuned.

Time chooses Vladimir Putin its Man of the Year.

Good pick or awful one?

Runners up (Al Gore; J. K. Rawlings; Hu Jintao; and, David Petraeus):

Next? Who will be OsiSpeaks! Person for the Year?

We'll know soon enough -- before year end. Meanwhile, any suggestions are welcomed.


What happened in Las Vegas REFUSES to stay in Las Vegas, as Jonathan Miller tries to explain his way out of Ms. Brooke Parker.

What the video, as Jonathan Miller tries to explain away Ms. Brooke Parker (Hat tip to Page One).

The good news is that the Personnel Cabinet has started to correct some of the nearly 400% raise Ms. Parker got gifted.

This issue calls for a new label: Inquiring minds want to know!


"Shooting up to BULK up"!

"Shooting up to BULK up". (Click image to enlarge it).

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The two great "never happens again" in presidential politics are the Electoral College/House finale and the "brokered" nominating convention where the delegates actually go in not knowing who will win.

We have come close lately though, on the first count, with the contested 2000 election, which almost qualified- George Bush didn't get the majority of the raw vote, and then one elector from DC bailed out on Gore.

But we have not had a truly "up for grabs" convention in either party since 1976 and the Reagan/Ford contest.

This time around I expect the Democrats will quickly decide on either Hillary or Barack and their convention will be a snoozer.

For a Republican convention to be wide open, there needs to be a bunch of candidates hanging around and picking up delegates, but not taking charge. With Rudy Giuliani and his big swoon of late, I don't see that happening. He doesn't have any chance to win a primary soon, or even do well until too late in the process. That said, we will see a quick winnowing out. If Romney holds off Huckabee in Iowa, he cruises into New Hampshire and Michigan, then South Carolina, and the race is between him and whoever his nearest rival is there. If Romney is bumped off in Iowa and then McCain wins New Hampshire, he's out and again, it's the top two guys in South Carolina. (Thompson might at least come in second in South Carolina in some scenarios).

No matter how it plays out, I think it comes down as it did 8 years ago to South Carolina, and then Super Tuesday voters will be looking at just the two top vote getters.

Some pundits have said it would be constructive to have a wide open convention- it would be a sort of coming out party for the new blood of activists in the GOP. I see just the opposite. There doesn't seem to be a new generation of Republicans emerging yet. Much of that has to do with the Bush family and how it hasn't opened up positions to young Republican leaders. The VP position has been wasted on the goofy Dan Quayle and the tough minded Dick Cheney,an insider with no further ambitions. The most well known cabinet appointments, Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice, were RINO bureaucrats never interested in running for office. And there are simply too many Alberto Gonzales/Harriet Miers people running around the Bush White House.

Congressional Republicans have not been much better. If you are a hotshot Senator or Representative, instead of sitting in your Beltway comfort zone you should set aside your safe seat and get a civilian appointment to Iraq or Afghanistan and make a difference (and get noticed!). But that, of course, is not going to happen as we have too many careerists and not enough leaders. Things may start changing, but not anytime too soon.

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Greg Stumbo won't challenge Mitch McConnell for his Senate seat. No surprise there, as he did not want to feel the "Boulder". The surprise? Read on...

... (Don't know about the "Boulder"? Then read about it here).

Oh yea, the surprise? Well, it turns out that Freshman Representative occupying the seat now, Brandon Spencer, decided yesterday to resign immediately after "prayerful consideration."

Sounds to me like "the fix is in" over there, doesn't it?


"Don't mess with Texas"?

"Don't mess with Texas"?


Anne Northup: The Courier Journal's David Hawpe is "abusive and dishonest".

Anne Northup is calling out the C-J's David Hawpe. She calls him "abusive and dishonest".

Here are excerpts:

The truth is, David Hawpe is obsessed with defeating strong Republicans who have conservative values, especially ones with competitive races. After 10 years of being one of those people, I can attest that he is abusive and dishonest. In his crusade against me, his focus stopped being about issues, the best interests of our community or fair play. It became an obsession about getting me, a conservative Republican, out of office. ...

His dishonesty was apparent in Sunday's column, [Editor's note: you can read the column here] "Our endorsements haven't undermined GOP's mental well-being." Make no mistake: David Hawpe is not fair to Republicans, and he wasn't fair to me. He never wanted to endorse me for Congress. The one endorsement I received in six congressional races was in 2004, when I was 20 points ahead in the polls and my opponent was so weak and uninformed that the newspaper would have lost all credibility if it had endorsed him, and Hawpe knew it. I'm sure it just about killed him.

After that 2004 race, Hawpe realized he could not just wait for a campaign to develop against me; he had to actually become part of the recruiting process. In one case, he wrote an unforgivable column against Jack Conway, peeved because Conway had decided not to run against me in 2006 and full of "code" words questioning Conway's sexuality because of it. In another column, he complained that my early opponents were not strong enough, and called out others to get in the race. He said that strong, competitive races were good for the voters and the democratic process.

Sound familiar? Those are the same themes he is making in his latest columns against Sen. McConnell. Is it personal and obsessive? Well, you don't see him begging a strong Republican who can self-finance to get into the race against John Yarmuth or Ben Chandler.

Any thoughts?

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Governor Steve Beshear makes appointment to Justice Cabinet.

Here is the announcement:

Governor Steve Beshear Appoints Deputy Secretary of the Justice & Public Safety Cabinet

FRANKFORT, KY (December 19, 2007) – Governor Steve Beshear today announced the appointment of Charles Geveden, age 67, as Deputy Secretary for the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet. Geveden has spent the last three years as the Executive Director of the Office of Criminal Appeals at the Attorney General’s Office.

"Charles’ qualifications and distinguished career in state government will make him a tremendous asset to the Cabinet," said Beshear. "He has spent most of his career devoted to public service and I know he will continue to serve the people of the Commonwealth well assisting Secretary Brown in the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet."

Geveden served 17 years in the Kentucky General Assembly representing House District 1, covering Ballard, Carlisle, Fulton, Hickman and McCracken Counties. During his service as Representative, he chaired the State Government Committee and was a member of the House Judiciary Committee and the Economic Development Committee. Geveden, who practiced law for 36 years in Wickliffe, served as Commonwealth’s Attorney for the First Judicial District prior to his years in the Legislature.

"Charles Geveden’s extensive background, leadership and experience make him the ideal choice for this position," said Justice and Public Safety Cabinet Secretary J. Michael Brown. "As a member of the Judiciary Committee in 1996, he was instrumental in the passage of House Bill 117, which established the Department of Juvenile Justice. I am confident he will continue to serve the Governor and this Cabinet well."

"I am honored to be selected for this key role in Governor Beshear’s administration," said Geveden. "I appreciate the opportunity to serve as the deputy secretary for the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet, looking forward to working with the staff to make Kentucky a better and safer place to live."

Geveden received a Bachelor of Arts from Vanderbilt University in 1962 and then his JD degree from University of Louisville School of Law in 1968. He resides in Frankfort with his wife Patricia.

More personnel announcements are expected to be made tomorrow, Thursday, December 20, 2007 at 2 p.m., in Room 110, State Capitol, Frankfort.


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Three join Steve Beshears' Transportation Cabinet.

Here is the announcement:

Transportation Secretary Joe Prather makes key appointments in the Transportation Cabinet

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Dec. 18, 2007) - Transportation Cabinet Secretary Joe Prather announces various key appointments in the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. These professionals have the necessary experience and knowledge to provide crucial leadership for the cabinet.

Gilbert Newman has been appointed to serve as the cabinet’s State Highway Engineer. Newman formerly served as State Highway Engineer from 1988 to 1991. Newman holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Kentucky. He has held various engineering and executive positions throughout the industry, most recently as Regional Manager and Vice President for the Cincinnati Office of ENTRAN.

Bobby Russell has been selected to serve as Executive Director/General Counsel for the Office of Legal Services. Russell previously served the cabinet as Inspector General from 2002 to 2004. During his tenure with the cabinet, he also served as Deputy Commissioner for the Department of Vehicle Regulation. Prior to that, he served as Madison County Attorney for 13 years. Russell has also served as Assistant County Attorney and General Counsel for the Kentucky River Authority. Russell has been associated with the law firm of Coy, Gilbert and Gilbert in Richmond. Russell holds a BA from Eastern Kentucky University and received his law degree from the University of Louisville.

Chuck Wolfe, a new face to the cabinet, will serve as Executive Director for the Office of Public Affairs. Wolfe comes to us from the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet, where he was deputy executive director for communications. He joined state government in 2004 after a 28-year career with The Associated Press. Wolfe holds a BA in journalism from the University of Kentucky.

"These gentlemen truly bring a wealth of experience," Prather said. "I am confident they will provide great leadership and vision to the cabinet."

All appointments are effective immediately.


As investigators close case, we have to ask: Did someone or some people get away with murder?

It sure sounds suspiciously like someone or some people did, doesn't it!

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The Beshears will host first official holiday party tomorrow.

Governor Steve Beshear & First Lady Jane Beshear Invite State Employees to Holiday Party at the Governor's Mansion, tomorrow, Wednesday, December 19, 2007 from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.

When is the party for the rest of Kentucky, I wonder?


Relgious Fascism

"When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."

This Sinclair Lewis quote was mentioned by Ron Paul in his interview with Fox & Friends today regarding Huckabee's Christmas "floating cross" ad. (See ad below).

I find it very offensive when politicians use their religion to promote their agenda! I fear that the power of the religious right in the United States may bring forth a nation whose totalitarian repression could dwarf that of Nazi Germany in the 1930s.

We should all fear "religious fascism" and any politician who wraps himself in the flag and his Christian faith to the exclusion of other faiths!!

Does the thought of a religious fanatic running our country not scare you?


Governor Steve Beshear makes Commerce Cabinet appointments.

Read the information below:


Link to Deputy Secretary, Atwood to Executive Staff Advisor

Frankfort, KY – Commerce Cabinet Secretary Marcheta Sparrow announced a series of appointments today to the Kentucky Commerce Cabinet.

Jamie Link has been appointed as the Deputy Secretary of the cabinet. Link has worked in state government for 22 years. Most recently he was the Deputy Executive Director at the Kentucky Horse Park. Before that he spent 12 years in various positions at the Finance Cabinet including Executive Director of the Office of Administrative Services, in the Office of the Secretary. He began his career in the Kentucky Department of Parks in 1985, working there for nine years. Link has also been appointed interim Parks Commissioner. Jamie is married and lives in Versailles.

Lindy Casebier has been appointed as Executive Director of the Office of Arts and Cultural Heritage. Casebier is a former Band Director and Music Supervisor for Jefferson County Public Schools and assistant to the Superintendent with the Oldham County Board of Education. Casebier served 18 years in the Kentucky General Assembly including seven as Chair of the Senate Education Committee. Casebier lives in Jefferson County

Mike Cooper has been appointed Commissioner of the Department of Tourism. Cooper is a 21 year veteran of state government. He worked for the Department of Parks for seven years and spent 14 years in what is now called the Department of Tourism, including time as the assistant director of marketing and advertising. He has extensive domestic and international tourism experience. He is a Travel Marketing Professional, receiving his certification from the southeast tourism Society Marketing College. Mike is married and lives in Lexington.

Barbara Atwood has been appointed as an Executive Staff Advisor. She previously worked in the Kentucky Department of Tourism from 1980 to 2004. Atwood has spent the last two years working as the Continuing Education Coordinator for the Kentucky Tourism Council. Barbara is married and lives in Frankfort.

All appointments are effective immediately.


Monday, December 17, 2007

Congratulations go out to Daviess County Sheriff, Keith Cain.

Our congratulations go out to Daviess County Sheriff, Keith Cain, who will be president of the Kentucky Sheriffs' Association starting next year (in 2008).

Send Keith a congratulatory email, if you can.

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Is New Jersey about to become a Bellwether state?

The state of New Jersey today became the 14th state to abolish the death penalty, substituting in its place a sentence of life without the possibility of parole.

Considering the finality of the sentence and the human factors involved in the decision who gets to be executed, compounded by issues of race, class, gender and wealth, is New Jersey about to become a Bellwether state?

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Correction: Ron Paul ACTUALLY raised over $6 million in one "Boston Tea Party" day, surpassing previous record held by John Kerry! WOW!! ...

... maybe, now, just maybe, the MSM will take notice.


Words to live by.

"No government ought to be without censors & where the press is
free, no one ever will."

-- Thomas Jefferson (letter to George Washington, 9 September 1792)


Sunday, December 16, 2007

Justice or just us: Fletcher's "last minute" commutation draws ire of prosecutor.

One of the "last minute" commutations granted by Fletcher was to to Harrison Yonts. Yonts is the son of state Rep. Brent Yonts, D-Greenville, who was sentenced in February to 20 years after being found guilty of murder, driving under the influence, tampering with evidence and leaving the scene of an accident in Nadia Shaheen's death. Fletcher commutation reduced Yount's sentence from 20 years without a chance of parole for 17 years, to eight years and the possibility that he'll be eligible for parole after serving 18 months.

Read about it here.

Fletcher's actions have drawn the ire of the prosecutor in the case.

Though the young Yonts has NOW stated that "[b]ased on the evidence, I accept responsibility for Ms. Shaheen's death, and the loss the family now feels," ... "I will live with sorrow and regret for the rest of my life", and his dad has concluded that "(He) was made an example of because he is the son of a state representative," McCracken Commonwealth Attorney, Tim Kaltenbach, is asserting that Yonts "received special treatment from Fletcher because of his father's role in state government".

Kaltenbach said he'll send letters to the Kentucky Parole Board and the Kentucky Department of Corrections arguing that Yonts, who was convicted of a violent crime like wanton murder, must first serve at least 85 percent of his sentence before becoming eligible for parole.

As such, Yonts would be required to serve at least six years and eight months before becoming eligible for parole under the reduced sentence.

Stay tuned as I suspect this may end up in court before it's all over. Remember, Fletcher appointed many members of the Parole board, including the chair, who was appointed as Fletcher was turning of the lights in the Capitol -- NO kidding!

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Ron Paul continues to surprise folks, as he reports another $4 million fundraising day.

Follow the ticker, and donate, if you wish.

Nearly ALL of Ron Paul's contribution came from his web traffic. If you are intrested in how ALL the candidates are doing in web traffic visits, click here.

Ron Paul is a fellow TRUE STRICT Constitutionalist, so I surmise he is someone our country TRULY needs. He has a lot of supporters out there, and he has true connections to Kentucky (his son is my eye doctor), but I wonder about his chances of winning, since the MSM seems to be so STRONGLY biased against him, because he doesn't have the campaign money that they CRAVE.

Maybe, his supporters can get him the kind of support he needs to be a serious contender for a Veep spot, in case his Presidential aspirations come up short, and show the MSM that they are NOT King Makers, if they ever imagined themselves as such.

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Is the I-66 road building project a boondoggle or a worthwhile project? You be the judge.

Do you want to know where our REAL Conservative leaders are?

Read the announcement to find out:

Thompson Campaign Announces Kentucky Leadership

Broad state legislator support demonstrates strength of Thompson's team

McLean, VA - The Fred Thompson Campaign today announced its Kentucky leadership team, spearheaded by Representative Jamie Comer (R-Tompkinsville) and State Senator Julie Denton (R-Jefferson). The esteemed group of legislators includes five Kentucky State Senators and the majority of Kentucky Republican State Representatives, including Senate Majority Whip Carroll Gibson and House Minority Leader Jeff Hoover.

Representative Jamie Comer, a farmer and businessman, will serve as the Kentucky Executive Director of the Fred Thompson campaign. Representative Comer is currently serving his fourth term in the Kentucky House of Representatives. "I am proud to serve as the Kentucky Executive Director of Fred Thompson's presidential campaign, said Representative Comer. "He is exactly the kind of consistent conservative leader our country needs from his pro-life voting record to his strong positions against illegal immigration."

State Senator Julie Denton, a former small business owner, will serve as the Kentucky Women for Thompson Chair. Senator Denton currently is the Chairman of the Kentucky Senate Health and Welfare Committee and the Vice-Chairman of the Kentucky Senate Banking and Insurance Committee. She said, "I am proud to chair the Kentucky Women for Thompson coalition. His consistent support for small businesses through smaller government and lower taxes affirm that Fred Thompson is exactly the right man for the White House."

"I am grateful to have such strong support from my fellow Southern friends", said Senator Fred Thompson. "The strong support of these distinguished legislators will help lead me to victory in the Kentucky primary and in the Republican nomination for the presidency of the United States."

The Kentucky leadership team includes five State Senators and twenty State Representatives who will serve as Kentucky State Co-Chairs. These distinguished leaders are:

State Senator Carroll Gibson

State Senator Julie Denton

State Senator Gary Tapp

State Senator Elizabeth Tori

State Senator Richard "Dick" Roeding

State Representative Sheldon Baugh (Russellville)

State Representative Kevin Bratcher (Louisville)

State Representative James Comer (Tompkinsville)

State Representative Tim Couch (Hyden)

State Representative Ron Crimm (Louisville)

State Representative Jim DeCesare (Bowling Green)

State Representative Myron Dossett (Pembroke)

State Representative C.B. Embry (Morgantown)

State Representative Bill Farmer (Lexington)

State Representative Danny Ford (Mt. Vernon)

State Representative Jeff Hoover (Jamestown)

State Representative Russ Mobley (Campbellsville)

State Representative Brad Montell (Shelbyville)

State Representative Lonnie Napier (Lancaster)

State Representative Marie Rader (McKee)

State Representative Steven Rudy (West Paducah)

State Representative Charles Siler (Williamsburg)

State Representative Tommy Turner (Somerset)

State Representative Ken Upchurch (Monticello)

State Representative John Vincent (Ashland)


Clinton and McCain garner Des Moines Register endorsements; Boston Globe endorses Obama and McCain, Sen. Joe Lieberman set to endorse McCain.

After much cajoling and arm twisting by the Clinton folks, the Des Moines register bows to pressure and endorses Hillary Clinton's campaign. The paper also endorses John McCain's candidacy.

What does the Des Moines Register mean for Clinton? Hard to tell considering that Five of the six members of the Register's editorial board are women -- a fact that suggested they would be persuaded to go for Clinton. And here's what the Board had to say about Clinton and Obama:

"Readiness to lead sets her apart from a constellation of possible stars in her party, particularly Barack Obama, who also demonstrates the potential to be a fine president," the newspaper's editorial said. "He can be more inspirational than Clinton. Yet, with his relative inexperience, it's hard to feel as confident he could accomplish the daunting agenda that lies ahead."

Not a rousing endorsement, is it? In fact, one can argue the newspaper issued a joint endorsement!

The Board's endorsement of John McCain sounds more GENUINE:

"McCain is most ready to lead America in a complex and dangerous world and to rebuild trust at home and abroad by inspiring confidence in his leadership. In an era of instant celebrity, we sometimes forget the real heroes in our midst."

So do the Boston Globe (a newspaper that influences caucus goers in New Hampshire -- which caucuses next to Iowa) editorial board's endorsements of both Obama and McCain.

For Obama, the paper wrote that Obama fulfills America's need for "a president with an intuitive sense of the wider world."

And for McCain, the paper wrote that he "has done more than his share to transcend partisanship and promote an honest discussion of the problems facing the United States."

In another related development, Independent U. S. Senator, Joseph Lieberman, who was on the national Democratic ticket in 2000, will endorse John McCain's candidacy tomorrow.

Which begs the question, is the Maverick, tell-it-like-it-is John McCain back, because if he is, that will GREATLY warm my heart?


Saturday, December 15, 2007

NKY Republicans select Webb-Edgington to run for Draud's seat, but can a fractured Republican party win it?

It should be clear that Northern Kentucky Republicans -- or should I call them Fletcherites -- won out and selected former Homeland Security Director, Alecia Webb-Edgington, to run to replace Jon Draud, who is the new Education Commissioner, even though she made a last minute (late October) "switcheroo" to save her job, by having her husband make a poltical contribution to Steve Beshear -- she must have played it safe, knowing that Ernie Fletcher would NOT find out until it was too late and he was defeated.

It should also surprise NO one that the selection was fractured enough that some Republicans will do to her, what was done to Fletcher -- stay home or vote for the other guy.

With that in mind, and keeping also in mind that Governor Steve Beshear carried the district, can Republicans hold that seat?

You do the math with the facts -- and employ non-partisan logic to figure this one out for yourselves.

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