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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Next Up, Harold Rogers.

Here is the press release:

WASHINGTON, DC.--U.S. Rep. Harold "Hal" Rogers (KY-05) released the following statement regarding the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008:

"Today, the citizens of Kentucky face an economic crisis. A crisis created by Wall Street fat cats, who were enriching themselves while the rest of us suffered. Their greed has put a lot of Kentuckians at risk.

"However, as mad as I am at how we got here, we are here, and the sad reality is our country lies at an economic precipice. Our banks face a serious credit crunch, limiting our people's ability to borrow money for everyday needs. Everything from buying groceries or supplies, to buying a car or home, from sending your kids to college, or saving up for your retirement -- all could be put in serious jeopardy.

"With this threat, it was either vote for a plan I didn't like, or do nothing. This is not a gamble I was willing to take. I feared that doing nothing could put this country into its deepest financial recession in a generation.

"The bill I voted for ensured that Wall Street would pay their fair share, protected taxpayers' investments, eliminated fat cat golden parachutes, and protected struggling homeowners from foreclosure.

"With this bill's failure, Congress now must go back to the drawing board to get a bill that can pass, and remain in session until a solution to preserve our economy is reached."

Editor's comment: A "thumbs down" is in order here.

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And Then Those Who Kissed The Pig -- Lipstick And All. First Up, Ron Lewis.

Below is a press release from Ron Lewis:

"Just over a week ago, the Administration requested that Congress act on a proposal to address a growing and comprehensive financial crisis. The House of Representatives responded with the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. While far from being an ideal bill I believe some modifications made over the weekend improved the Treasury's plan. In the end, I voted for the legislation. Now that the proposal has failed, it is more important than ever that we work together to develop a plan to address the existing crisis with the strong bipartisan support of Congress. As we move forward, my priorities remain unchanged: protect Kentucky taxpayers and ensure that irresponsible practices on Wall St. do not imperil the investments and savings of hardworking, responsible citizens on Main St."

Editor's comment: I like Ron Lewis, but he does not get a "high five" on this one. A "thumbs down" is more like it.

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And Next Is John Yarmuth.

Again from the Arena:

Rep. John Yarmuth, D-3rd District, was among the lawmakers who voted against the financial rescue plan that was rejected by the U.S. House.

The congressman told reporters a short time ago that the plan was "much too much targeted at Wall Street firms and not as much on keeping just the credit flowing throughout the country."

In addition, Yarmuth said, "we were giving unprecedented power to one person, the secretary of the treasury, with absolutely no way to intervene in whatever he did, unless we could prove that what he was doing was unconstitutional."

"We were basically creating an economic czar, someone who comes out of the same segment of the economy that got us into this problem to begin with," he said.

As for the role of politics in lawmakers' decisions, Yarmuth said: "When you get the magnitude of responses that most of us have gotten from their constituents, whether it's election season or not, you're going to give that special attention...we all were getting overwhelming opposition to this bailout plan. We've gotten calls this afternoon, saying thank you for doing that even though people have been watching the stock market go down and seeing some of the value of their investments go down..."

"I never heard so many people in the course of the last week say, 'If this vote costs me my job, so be it.' Without question, people understood the gravity of this situation and the magnitude of the problem, and nobody put politics above what they considered their sincere concern for what was the best course of action."

Yarmuth said that among those who have contacted his office, 965 people were against the plan, with 60 for it.

"Most said, 'Don't reward those people on Wall Street. Don't bail them out,'" Yarmuth said.

The Louisville lawmaker said he would like to see more help for homeowners in a rescue plan.

"The only thing under this bill that the government had the power to do was to encourage lenders to renegotiate mortgages with people who were in trouble - but there was no mandate, no mechanism for doing that," Yarmuth said.

He also wanted a provision that would allow bankruptcy court judges to change the terms of mortgages. That is now allowed under existing law.

Yarmuth also wanted to create automatic fees on securities transactions to make sure the rescue plan did not cost the taxpayers money.

On what happens next with the plan, Yarmuth said "there is a way to save it...I am confident that the government will do something...I think the government does need to act."

"My primary concern is to make sure that the credit markets are flowing, so that small businesses and individuals have access to the credit they need, whether it's buy a car, buy a refrigerator or, a small business, to borrow money for inventory and make payroll," Yarmuth said.

Editor's comment: Another Congressman deserving of another "high five".

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Next Up, Ben Chandler.

From the Arena:

Rep. Ben Chandler, D-6th District, was among those who voted against the financial rescue plan today in the U.S. House.

The case wasn't made for it, Chandler told me just a few minutes ago.

"Nor was it proved that this plan was the proper antidote for whatever crisis we do face," the lawmaker said.

"There's real doubt as to how great a crisis this is, and real doubt as to whether this is the antidote," Chandler said. "To pass such a measure, to the tune of $700 billion, in a turnaround time of 10 days, when you haven't even had the opportunity to hear from people who have alternate solutions to the problem is a pretty hard sell."

The rescue plan is being considered "in a climate where it's referred to as a bailout for fat cats on Wall Street, and this was a measure that was viewed by many as just that."

A $700 billion rescue package looks like Wall Street's "irresponsible behavior" will be rewarded, Chandler said.

"Some of these people probably ought to be in jail," he said, referring to Wall Street CEOs. "'Let the party roll on,' that's the message that it sends."

President Bush didn't lay the groundwork for establishing that there is a crisis, Chandler said.

"In order for the Congress to do something, the public has got to feel like it should do it," he added.

"To come up here and say out of the blue that there's a crisis and it needs to be solved by the very next day, and to have it go on for a week, and not have a crisis develop and the sky fall - the president has no credibility in my view whatsoever," Chandler said. "You can't tell me the president and his people didn't see the warning signs of this earlier and didn't tell anybody."

Chandler said he believes there is still time to work out a legislative answer.

"I think the American people, if they want something done, if they are determined to have something done, they'll let us know," he said, adding that his office has received 930 communications from constituents against the rescue plan, but only 70 for it.

"I want to do what's right, and I want to find out what is right and I'm getting conflicting information," Chandler said.

He's seen 400 economists opposed to the plan, not to mention the Kentucky Bankers Association voicing its opposition, he said.

Editor's comment: Another "high five" for Ben Chandler.

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Yesterday, I Highlighted Ed Whitfield's "NOE" Vote For The Pig With Lipstick, But Failed To Mention Other Patriots. So Here We Go With Geoff Davis.

Here's the release from Congressman Davis' office:

Today, Congressman Geoff Davis voted against H.R. 3997, the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. The 110-page legislation failed to pass in the House by a vote of 205 to 228.

Congressman Davis stated, "This bill did not adequately protect taxpayers in Kentucky and across the nation. It is not the taxpayer's responsibility to pay for mistakes made on Wall Street. While the legislation that was considered in the House today was an improvement over the unacceptable three-page proposal offered by Secretary Paulson, it still would have given the Treasury Department unprecedented authority to intervene in the private markets.

"As your Congressman, it is my responsibility to uphold the Constitution and represent the will of Kentuckians in the Fourth District. Over the past week, I have received an overwhelming number of calls, emails and letters from constituents who demand that I oppose the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act. After weighing the final proposal and its potential ramifications carefully, I was not convinced that a $700 billion taxpayer-funded government purchase program would be the right way to help the economy nor was I convinced that it would do what we have been promised. Most importantly, it was not in the best interests of my constituency or the overall financial well-being of our nation.

"Congress must remain in Washington to examine alternatives that would provide greater protections to Americans in the heartland. Unfortunately, this proposal did not accomplish that result."

Editor's comment: When you see Congressman Geoff Davis, you give him a "high five", will ya?

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While We Spend Time Talking About The Pig With Lipstick, Let's Not Forget About The Alberto "Gonzo" Gonzales Special Prosecutor Story.

Read more at WAPO and prepare for a HUGE fallout.

You can also watch the news video below:

Heck, some people will DEFINITELY lose their licenses to practice law, and others may end up in jail.

Stay tuned.

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I Plan On Going To St. Louis For The Vice Presidential Debate. I'm STILL Searching For Tickets, In Case ANYONE Has A Way To "Hook Me Up". Thanks.

Yes, thanks in advance.

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Maybe, We Should Not Laugh At This One.


BREAKING News: President Bush Makes Rare Appearance To Address The Nation About The Economic Crisis. Watch Below.

Does the President Bush get it?

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Barack Obama Makes Keith Olbermann's "Worst Person In The World" List.

Special Pig With Lipstick Bailout Words To Live By.

“If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people, under the pretence of taking care of them, they must become happy.”

— Thomas Jefferson


Ed Whitfield, Who Did Not Kiss The Pig With Lipstick, Explains Why. Thank Him, If You See Him.

Read the email below:

WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Ed Whitfield (KY-01) released the
following statement today after voting against the Financial Markets
Stabilization package.

"Today, I reluctantly decided to oppose the Financial Markets
Stabilization package proposed by President Bush and Secretary of the
Treasury Henry Paulson for the following reasons:

1. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) in its most
recent quarterly report indicates that there were 8,451 banks in
America and 98.4% are well capitalized. In other words, only 1.6% of
our nation's banks have a financial problem.

2. The legislation grants unprecedented authority to the
Secretary of the Treasury. For example, he may buy securities at
prices he deems appropriate. Having financial institutions sell the
loans to the government at inflated prices so the government can turn
around and sell the loans to well heeled investors at lower prices
strikes me as good for everyone but U.S. taxpayers.

3. The executive compensation restrictions are too weak. Although
the legislation bars golden parachutes for executives working for
companies whose assets the Treasury purchases, there is not a limit on
overall executive compensation. The only restriction is that a company
may only deduct business taxes up to $500,000 of compensation paid to
the executives.

4. The new bureaucracy created to oversee this buyout will be
overly complex and still will not provide a mechanism to clarify the
real values of the mortgage based securities that have caused the

5. The cost of the program, $700 billion, would be the most
expensive bailout in the history of our country. The federal debt in
August was $9.6 trillion, 65% of GDP, and the government has committed
to spend $54 trillion more than it would take to keep the budget
deficit at the 2007 levels over the next 25 years. This bailout would
weaken our government's financial status.

"Having listed my reasons for opposing this bill, I do believe, after
lengthy discussions with banking leaders around the country, that
President Bush and Secretary Paulson can take immediate and less
costly steps to solve our current financial crisis.

1. We should approve a "net worth certificate" program
similar to what Congress enacted in the 1980's to solve the savings
and loan crisis. It was a success. The FDIC resolved a $100 billion
insolvency problem for a total cost of less than $2 billion. The
certificates from the FDIC were placed as assets on the balance sheet
of the institutions so that they met federal guidelines.

2. We should temporarily suspend accounting rules that
the Financial Accounting Standards Board and the SEC put into place 15
years ago. Those rules dictate that financial institutions holding
financial instruments available for sale (such as mortgage – backed
securities) must value those assets at market rates. This sounds
unreasonable, but because of the collapse of a market for these
securities, they must be listed at a severely depressed price that
causes the institutions to be placed at risk of failure.

3. There should also be an additional infusion of
funds from the Federal Reserve Board.

"These steps alone would stop the bleeding and give us time to solve
this crisis in a more deliberate time frame. We do not need to make
decisions of this magnitude with incomplete information and under

"I hope Speaker Pelosi will call Congress back into session this week
or next week to solve this problem. "

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Monday, September 29, 2008

Update On Congress' Rejection Of The Pig With Lipstick: Hal Rogers And Ron Lewis Kissed The Pig; Ben Chandler, John Yarmuth & Geoff Davis Said NO!

Below are the names of United States' Congressmen and women who voted on the bailout PIG with lipstick. Those who voted NOE deserve your call of THANKS; those who voted YES, deserve your finger wagging and tongue lashing. So go get them:

(Democrats in roman; Republicans in italic; Independents underlined)

H R 3997 RECORDED VOTE 29-Sep-2008 2:07 PM
QUESTION: On Concurring in Senate Amendment With An Amendment
BILL TITLE: To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide earnings assistance and tax relief to members of the uniformed services, volunteer firefighters, and Peace Corps volunteers, and for other purposes

Ayes Noes PRES NV
Democratic 140 95
Republican 65 133 1
TOTALS 205 228 1

---- AYES 205 ---

Bishop (GA)
Bishop (NY)
Bono Mack
Boyd (FL)
Brady (PA)
Brady (TX)
Brown (SC)
Brown, Corrine
Camp (MI)
Campbell (CA)
Cole (OK)
Davis (AL)
Davis (CA)
Davis (IL)
Davis, Tom
Edwards (TX)
Frank (MA)
Hall (NY)
Hastings (FL)
Inglis (SC)
Johnson, E. B.
King (NY)
Klein (FL)
Kline (MN)
Larsen (WA)
Larson (CT)
Lewis (CA)
Lewis (KY)
Lofgren, Zoe
Lungren, Daniel E.
Mahoney (FL)
Maloney (NY)
McCarthy (NY)
McCollum (MN)
Meek (FL)
Meeks (NY)
Miller (NC)
Miller, Gary
Miller, George
Moore (KS)
Moore (WI)
Moran (VA)
Murphy (CT)
Murphy, Patrick
Neal (MA)
Peterson (PA)
Price (NC)
Pryce (OH)
Rogers (AL)
Rogers (KY)
Ryan (OH)
Ryan (WI)
Smith (TX)
Smith (WA)
Van Hollen
Walden (OR)
Walsh (NY)
Wasserman Schultz
Weldon (FL)
Wilson (NM)
Wilson (OH)
Wilson (SC)

---- NOES 228 ---

Barrett (SC)
Bartlett (MD)
Barton (TX)
Bishop (UT)
Boyda (KS)
Braley (IA)
Broun (GA)
Brown-Waite, Ginny
Burton (IN)
Davis (KY)
Davis, David
Davis, Lincoln
Deal (GA)
Diaz-Balart, L.
Diaz-Balart, M.
Edwards (MD)
English (PA)
Franks (AZ)
Garrett (NJ)
Green, Al
Green, Gene
Hall (TX)
Hastings (WA)
Herseth Sandlin
Jackson (IL)
Jackson-Lee (TX)
Johnson (GA)
Johnson (IL)
Johnson, Sam
Jones (NC)
King (IA)
Kuhl (NY)
Lewis (GA)
McCarthy (CA)
McCaul (TX)
McMorris Rodgers
Miller (FL)
Miller (MI)
Moran (KS)
Murphy, Tim
Peterson (MN)
Price (GA)
Rogers (MI)
Sánchez, Linda T.
Sanchez, Loretta
Scott (GA)
Scott (VA)
Smith (NE)
Smith (NJ)
Thompson (CA)
Thompson (MS)
Udall (CO)
Udall (NM)
Walz (MN)
Welch (VT)
Whitfield (KY)
Wittman (VA)
Young (AK)
Young (FL)

---- NOT VOTING 1 ---


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So Who Won Friday Night's Presidential Debate? Can You Spell B-A-R-A-C-K O-B-A-M-A? Read More Below.


There were two debates last night: the first half on the economy, the second half on foreign policy. Barack Obama won the first half; John McCain won the second.

But it was not a draw - because the economy is the most important issue right now.

Plus, a great many people watched only the first half of the debate. Unlike a horse race, it is the opening, not the finish, that is the most important.

Obama entered the debate ahead in the polls, and scored at least a draw - so he's likely still ahead.

McCain has lost a golden opportunity, and Obama has survived the first debate. So, in the ultimate test of who comes out of this debate ahead, Obama won.

Obama's performance was glib, direct, specific and substantive. He showed a familiarity with the issues and a capacity for direct answers that has eluded him previously. He has raised his game since the primaries.

McCain's performance put the age issue aside: He was energetic, alert and specific; he did better as the debate progressed.

He scored especially well in mocking Obama's failures on foreign policy and projected how naive and unprepared he is on key foreign-policy issues.

But the economy is front and center these days. And on the economy, McCain lost.

He entered the debate after "suspending" his campaign and announcing that he would not attend the debate. The nation wondered why: Was it a stunt, or the start of a carefully thought-out plan to go to the core of this emergency and emerge with a victory and a deal?

By attending the debate, McCain had an obligation to explain himself and to show what he has achieved in suspending his campaign. He struck out totally in this key area.

And he sounded just like Obama in calling for a bipartisan approach. He did far too little to differentiate his position from Obama's. He did nothing to hammer home the fact that he's not going to use tax money but rather insurance and loans to finance the rescue package.

We're left wondering why McCain acted as he did - and suspecting him of just being impulsive, desperate and quirky.

So the taller, younger, better-looking, more articulate man won last night. Obama showed a level of concern for the average American that McCain - who undoubtedly feels that concern - failed to project.

McCain, for his part, did nothing to differentiate himself from Obama on the rescue. And, while he was effective in speaking about reductions in spending, McCain failed to project a concern for "Main Street."

Nor did he do nearly enough to pin the "big taxer" label on Obama. The Democrat did a far better job of attacking the Republican tax cuts for what he calls the "rich."

Stylistically, McCain talked to moderator Jim Lehrer while Obama talked into the camera. So we viewers watched McCain debate and Obama speak directly to us. The stylistic difference left us with a sense that Obama is the more focused and compelling candidate.

McCain scored points by pinning the naive label on Obama and warning about the danger of his policies, but that impression was counteracted by the seeming knowledge and seriousness of Obama's approach. He didn't look or sound like a naif.

Advantage: Obama.

Editor's comment: I agree with Dick Morris (who, incidentally, is a John McCain person -- he has stated publicly he will vote for John McCainin November!), though John McCain did very well, too.


BREAKING NEWS: SANITY Prevails In Congress, As Patriots Wipe Off Lipstick On The Bailout Pig, Smell It As It Squeals And Butcher It.

Watch the video:

Thank goodness that the House busted the pig.

Watch Speaker Nancy Pelosi blame President Bush's "failed economic policy" for the mess, while vowing that "the party is over":

Watch some Republicans react to the "slaughter". Are you "puking" yet?:

Democratic leadership speaks:

I will update this post with a tally, especially to see how our Congressional delegation voted.

Stay tuned, folks.

Update: Do you want to know what the bailout pig reads like before its slaughter?

Read the text here.

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Here's Your Monday ONLY Redbox Promo Code. Enjoy.

Here's your Redbox Monday Promo code:




Please Look Around You And "High Five" Your Neighbor, As We Applaud The Federal Bureau Of Investigation (F. B. I.).

The Pig Has On Lipstick, But Can It STILL Pass The Smell Test!?!

Watch the news video:

Read more from the Los Angeles Times, or WAPO, or below:

Bailout would come in stages that Congress could halt
By Kevin G. Hall

WASHINGTON — Congress and the Bush administration reached tentative agreement early Sunday on a sweeping $700 billion rescue plan to take bad assets off the books of banks and other financial firms. The deal is expected to be put on paper in the course of the day and sent to legislators for debate and a vote later in the week.

The two sides were racing a self-imposed deadline to get a deal by 6 p.m. Eastern time before Asian financial markets opened for business. A deal was announced in the wee hours by tired, puffy-eyed lawmakers that had been working almost around the clock to reach accord.

As lawmakers neared the tentative deal, staff members had their phones confiscated to prevent leaks in what had become a heavily politicized negotiation. Lawmakers pledged to post a copy of the deal online later Sunday for an angry American public to take a look at the compromise ahead of a congressional vote.

A tentative deal had been announced last Thursday, only to have House Republicans balk. The new compromise gives Democrats more restrictions on the pay of Wall Street execs and a taxpayer stake if the program actually makes money. Republicans tacked on a parallel insurance plan that can work as an alternative to taxpayer funding and killed provisions that would have let federal judges modify distressed mortgages.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson have warned repeatedly that absent an urgent response, credit markets could collapse this week, punishing Wall Street and Main Street alike.

"“The deal should go a long way to stabilizing financial markets and putting the financial system on what will be a long road to recovery," said Mark Zandi, chief economist of economic forecaster Moody's

Both Democrats and Republicans won language that they will trumpet on the campaign trail in weeks ahead, and the White House can breathe easier that a financial collapse may be averted, for now at least.

"Nobody got everything they wanted," said Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee and one of the architects of the compromise, in a C-Span appearance Sunday morning.

Specifically, the proposed compromise envisions:

-- $700 billion in a taxpayer rescue of Wall Street, with $250 billion available immediately, another $100 billion upon report to Congress and the final $350 billion available only upon action by Congress.

-- Money will be used to buy mortgage-backed securities and other troubled assets, taking them from investment banks, commercial banks, smaller community banks, pension plans and even local governments.

-- Government can use its power as the owner of the troubled mortgage bonds to facilitate modifications for the mortgages themselves.

-- Bipartisan oversight commission will monitor the program. If after five years there is a net loss to the taxpayers, president will have to submit legislative proposals to recoup funds from beneficiaries.

-- Democrats won new, unspecified restrictions on CEO pay and executive compensations for participating companies.

-- Republicans won language creating a parallel insurance program that companies can choose instead of giving up their bad assets.

-- Creation of warrants, which allows any windfall coming to participating companies to be shared with the government, thus the taxpayers.

-- Actions by Treasury will be posted online in real time.

--Judicial review of Treasury’s actions.

The presidential campaigns welcomed the compromise on the Sunday talk shows and took credit for it – even though Senate staffers say neither candidate was instrumental in getting a deal done.

In a statement, Democrat Barack Obama said it met the four core principles he laid out – independent oversight, treatment of taxpayers as investors, measures to keep homeowners in their homes, and rules to prevent rewarding Wall Street CEOs from cashing in on the rescue.

"While I look forward to reviewing the language of the legislation, it appears that the tentative deal embraces these principles," said Obama. He later echoed that in an appearance on CBS's Face the Nation.

Republican John McCain, speaking on ABC's "This Week," said, "This is something that all of us will swallow hard and go forward with."

Staffers warned Sunday that while they are confident the deal will pass, it's no certainty. House Republicans must be convinced that taxpayers will not somehow wind up paying billions to executives. The real test of the package's strength is likely later Sunday when GOP leaders, who have been a thorn in their president's side, present it to members.

While House Republicans do not have enough votes to scuttle the package — Democrats have a majority of House seats — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said she wants about 100 GOP members to vote for it. Not only would that give the plan a bipartisan sheen, it would also give the Democrats political protection.

Should the financial market meltdown worsen despite passage of the rescue plan, Pelosi does not want Republicans pointing fingers and saying the Democratic plan sought by the White House was responsible.

Rep. Frank acknowledged the vote is unlikely to be wildly in favor of the rescue plan.

"I think it will get a majority, but it won't get a huge majority because this is not an easy thing to do," said Frank. He noted that from the standpoint of a lawmaker, doing the right thing will not get an angry public off their back. "In politics, if you keep something from getting worse, you don't get a lot of credit for it."

Editor's comment: I will post more details of the bailout plan, as details emerge.

Stay tuned.

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Words to live by.

"Our own Country's Honor, all call upon us for a vigorous and manly exertion, and if we now shamefully fail, we shall become infamous to the whole world. Let us therefore rely upon the goodness of the Cause, and the aid of the supreme Being, in whose hands Victory is, to animate and encourage us to great and noble Actions - The Eyes of all our Countrymen are now upon us, and we shall have their blessings, and praises, if happily we are the instruments of saving them from the Tyranny mediated against them. Let us therefore animate and encourage each other, and shew the whole world, that a Freeman contending for Liberty on his own ground is superior to any slavish mercenary on earth."

-- George Washington (General Orders, 2 July 1776)

Reference: Washington, General Orders, July 2, 1776.



The introduced resolution is House Joint Resolution 5, according to available information (Cut salary of Bobby Sherman).

It was "introduced by Rep. Jody Richards on January 6, 2009, to retroactively reduce the salary of the Executive Director of the Legislative Research Commission to where it was on August 31, 2008 and force him to repay any money received in excess of that previous salary. The resolution also states that "drastic measures" are necessary "to ensure sound fiscal stewardship" of the state and the nation."

I am interested in finding out how this all plays out come next Legislative session.

Maybe, Jody Richards has found an issue to run on, against Greg Stumbo, for the Speaker's post.

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Breaking News: The Economy Is Still In Our Heads, As Wachovia Bank Gets "Whacked" And Taken Over By Citigroup.

Read more here.

Clear your heads, people, to stop this economic mess!


Joel Pett Causes Us To Laugh.


Breaking News Gallup Poll: Latest Post Presidential Debate Poll Has Barack Obama Up By 8% Points (50% To 42%) Against John McCain.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Lexington Herald Leader Editorial: Want Access? Got Money?

Want access? Got money?

Related Content
Invitation to Davis' Kentucky Derby reception
Davis invitation to dinner
Invitation to "Intimate breakfast"
Davis' July events email
Pricey, private Davis events with finance industry fill war chest

We know Congress is a pageant, but must members parade their lucrative committee assignments with as much abandon as beauty queens once vamped their measurements?

Rep. Geoff Davis flashes his Washington committee assignments with the same flirtatious promise as bathing beauties strutted their 36-24-36 on Atlantic City's boardwalk in the days of yore.

Financial services and armed services! Intimate gathering! Wowzers! Don't miss the chance to sidle up. Write your check and join the fun.

In a story that pulled the covers back from the grimy world of political influence in Washington D.C., reporter John Cheves provided a close-up of how Davis, a Republican from Hebron who represents Kentucky's 4th district, sells his wares to fill up his campaign war chest.

Fund raiser Mike Gula, who works with Davis, sent an e-mail to interested parties early this summer outlining the opportunities. "We want to keep these events small so you can get some good time with Geoff." It should be a good time, the "suggested contribution" for three of the four events on the list was $1,000 per PAC (political action committee) or $500 per individual.

For the fourth event, a dinner at the Capital Grille ("limit 5 attendees") the fare doubled. If none of those work, "I can get you some 1-1 times," Gula wrote.

It doesn't take much imagination to see that this is a simple money-for-access equation. And unless that access is likely to lead to a favorable vote someday soon, no one would pay the money.

Davis, who has only token opposition for re-election this year, has refused to comment on the Herald-Leader report. In a campaign-finance report, he reported raising almost a quarter of a million dollars in May and June. About 40 percent of that was from out-of-state donors in the financial industry.

So, what is Davis thinking as he contemplates the current financial crisis and the debate over the bailout plan?

Is he worrying about homeowners and small business people back in his district or do his thoughts turn to the people who have given him big checks so they could share intimate evenings?

On second thought, maybe it's not beauty queens these money-hungry members of Congress resemble but strippers who dance for the dollars satisfied patrons toss their way.

Editor's comment: Let's have some "fair and balanced" coverage, please.
If you can pick on Republicans, pick on Democrats, too.

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Mike Allen: Obsession With 'More' Destroying Us.

Obsession with 'more' destroying us
Mike Allen

What do high obesity rates, the prevalence of sexual brokenness, and our current financial crisis have in common?

They are all symptoms of our primary disease as Americans, a decades-old malady that is only now revealing its full toxicity.

The affliction is pornographization, a made-up word for a real condition that extends beyond the erotic to our overall societal ethos. Just as pornography provides a short cut to counterfeit pleasure, pornographization as defined here describes our broader tendency to promote and embrace instant gratification in all areas without paying the requisite price.

Consider three of our legitimate human needs — food, sex, and money — and imagine the impressions any amateur anthropologist would have about how we Americans satisfy these basic appetites.

Take food, for starters. Drive Richmond Road and count the chain restaurants within your field of vision, each offering a fast and cheap taste of pleasure. Or spend 30 minutes in a grocery, especially the aisles for chips, soft drinks, and cereal. Yet we still fund studies seeking the "root cause" of American obesity.

Let's face it — we're fat because we won't say no, because we like food and we can get it quick, cheap, and tasty, without having to plow a field, weed a garden or slaughter a steer. And unfortunately, sometimes it takes a heart cath or adult diabetes to show us that the meals we acquired had a delayed cost.

Then there's sex. Watch television, surf the Internet, listen to the radio or walk a checkout aisle and see lust normalized and sex presented as recreation. Yet we wonder why so many teenagers have a sexually transmitted disease, or why a million babies are aborted annually, or why sexual addiction abounds.

Let's face it — we're promiscuous because we won't say no, because we like sexual pleasure and we can get it quick, cheap, and easy, without having to get married, support children, or even have a conversation.

And unfortunately, sometimes it takes rampant sexual and familial brokenness to teach us that the pleasure we acquired had a delayed cost.

Now, let's talk money. Flip through your mailbox and see the credit-card solicitations with invitations to transfer balances from one card to another, thus freeing up more space to charge. See the ads urging us to buy now and pay in 2010, and the payday lenders offering instant loans with exorbitant interest.

For years, adjustable-rate mortgages enabled families to buy more house than they could afford, with today's average home 250 percent bigger than in 1950. Yet we ask why the typical family has thousands in high-interest debt or why millions of people are losing homes to foreclosure.

Let's face it — we're debt-ridden because we won't say no, because we like to buy stuff and we can get credit quick, cheap, and easy, without having to make do with less or wait until the money is earned.

And unfortunately, sometimes it takes a banking crisis or a Wall Street meltdown to teach us that the credit we acquired had a delayed cost.

Sadly, signs abound that we are slow to learn.

We still consume fattening food with abandon and eat the largest meal portions in the world. Researchers work for new food developments that will allow us to satisfy our cravings without consequence.

We mock sexual abstinence before marriage, which is — along with marital fidelity — the only certain path to sexual health. I suppose we think pre-marital sex is the one destructive behavior teenagers can't control.

Imagine any adolescent health expert saying, "Kids will smoke anyway, so let's inform them about filtered cigarettes so they'll at least smoke more safely."

And despite our over-consumption and credit addiction, we act righteously indignant at the institutions seeking bailouts, even though we helped build this house-of-cards economy.

If you're like me, for example, you gladly received your stimulus check earlier this year while turning a blind eye to our debt-ridden government.

So while we seek accountability for the pilots of this financial wreckage, we must not ignore our complicity in knowingly getting on board.

And until we learn the collective virtue of self-control and reject the short-cut pornographization culture, we'll be facing more long-term bills in the future.

Mike Allen of Lexington is director of family life ministries for the Catholic Diocese of Lexington. E-mail him at



Almost no one in Congress understands Wall St., central banking or the money markets. The people we pay to actually know about this stuff, like the SEC chairman, know not much more. Our Treasury Sec'y is acually a mole for the liberal Democrat swindlers in NYC. That's why I deeply fear what is going on right now. Realize a few things-

1) Goldman Sachs is at the center of this whole thing. Goldman is not a legitimate business, it is a massive criminal conspiracy. It has been engaged in Ponzi schemes and insider dealing since the 1020s. It pays off politicians right and left to get business. John Corzine, Robert Rubin, Hank Paulson are the bagmen. For a small amount of campaign dough, one of their guys is always inside the White House. They have reaped billions.

2) Goldman is supremely greedy, they seem to have bid up these bad mortgages, then bid up oil this year. Lehman and other firms have done the same thing. Warren Buffet says he didn't make such stupid and risky investments, and is going to finance Goldman. Don't believe him. He is a liar and another liberal Democrat greed head. He's part of what's going on.

3) Commercial credit and money market funds are fine. So are most banks. The ones in trouble, WAMU and Wachovia, were the idiots who went whole hog on bad mortagages. Fannie and Freddie are in the the hands of the government. If they are simply badly but prudently run, most of the their mortgages will be paid back as housing comes back in a year or two. Oh, and since we already have taken them over, thats most of the supposedly bad mortgages Paulson is now saying we have to buy again.

4) So why the crisis? I think there are many fat cats on Wall St. who have lost their personal fortunes trading stupid mortgages and bidding up oil to $150. Paulson, and his best buddy, Chuckie Schumer, are trying to use another trillion in tax money to bail them out. Oh, and since its their game, no pathetic Congressional oversight is going to catch on when Warren and Hank and Bob get their billions and millions.

5) It will look fairly routine and, of course, the last people in the world to understand the rip-off going on will be the FBI and DOJ. If you are a moron druggie bank robber watch out, these guys may catch you. But if you walk in the front door of the Congress and throw some campaign money around, you can stick up the federal reserve bank for a trillion dollars and look like a hero! Poor Willie Sutton and his ilk never new just what amateurs they were!

Eugene Robinson: John McCian, Too Ready For His Close-up?

Eugene Robinson: Too ready for his close-up?

WASHINGTON -- John McCain is rapidly making his temperament an inescapable issue in the presidential campaign. Does the nation really want so much drama in the White House?

McCain's performance in recent days has been, to put it charitably, erratic. In an attempt to show leadership on the financial crisis, he has called Americans into ranks -- long after hostilities already began. Meanwhile, back in much-reviled Washington, the generals with cooler heads and a clearer picture of the battlefield are doing their jobs, minus all the histrionics.

Thus far, an objective observer would have to say that Congress has behaved well in the days since Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson delivered a three-page ransom note that said, and I paraphrase, "Give me $700 billion, or I'd hate to see anything bad happen to that nice economy of yours."

Our elected representatives took seriously the urgency of the crisis. They did not fall into partisan bickering. A rough consensus began to emerge: It is important to act expeditiously but not to panic. It is unwise to give this administration -- or any administration -- a blank check with absolutely no oversight, as Paulson had sought. Paulson, the White House or somebody should explain why this plan will work and why some other plan wouldn't work better. And the corporate executives who put their companies at risk and then turn to the government for a bailout should not be rewarded with multimillion-dollar compensation packages subsidized by the taxpayers.

Negotiations between a Democratic Congress and a Republican administration on these and other points seemed to be proceeding at lightning speed, given the usual pace of such things in Washington. But then, for reasons known only to himself, in charged McCain to rescue the unimperiled. Said Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., who has been the lead negotiator for the Democratic majority in the House: "Now that we are on the verge of making a deal, John McCain airdrops himself in to help us make a deal."

At face value, McCain's sudden "suspension" of his campaign and his call to delay the first presidential debate can be seen as pure politics. Lately, McCain has been sliding in the polls and Barack Obama has been rising. The Wall Street crisis markedly accelerated these trends. Late September is not the time to let your opponent widen his lead.

Changing the subject, which the McCain people have raised to an art form, wasn't an option this time -- the public is hardly in the mood for another Paris Hilton ad -- so the campaign had to try to somehow get out in front of the crisis. Given McCain's initial assessment that the fundamentals of the economy are strong, that wasn't going to be easy.

The solution was to try to make it look as if McCain were leading the heroic effort to save the American way of life. To do this, he had to portray the negotiations over a rescue plan -- which had been making orderly progress -- as stalled and in shambles. "We must meet as Americans, not as Democrats or Republicans, and we must meet until this crisis is resolved," McCain said, calling on everyone to "temporarily set politics aside."

But in trying to put himself at center stage, McCain managed to insert politics into the situation. The first issue all week on which congressional Democrats and Republicans split along party lines was whether McCain's noisy intervention demonstrated boldness or bluster.

The surest way to derail any prospect of a timely rescue plan would be to have Obama and McCain get involved in the nit and the grit of the negotiations. The reason is obvious: The two major-party presidential candidates would never really abandon the campaign with less than six weeks left before the election. They'd just be shifting it to a venue where it could do maximum damage. The anodyne joint statement from the two campaigns Wednesday highlighting the urgency of the situation was about the most constructive thing Obama and McCain could do, next to staying the hell out of the way.

McCain succeeded in focusing attention on himself, but not necessarily in a good way. Voters may see this not as an illustration of brave leadership but as another example of McCain's "ready, fire, aim" approach to dealing with any crisis. Putting himself at the center of events -- making any situation all about him -- is more than a political tactic for McCain. It's his nature, and I wonder if most Americans won't be unnerved at the prospect of electing a president who's always so ready for his close-up.

Eugene Robinson is a Washington Post columnist. His e-mail address is


David Hawpe: "A Nation Of Whiners?"

No whining, please … bailouts only for big givers
Coddling Wall Street is nothing new for Mitch McConnell.

In 1999, McConnell and the rest of the Kentucky congressional delegation voted to deregulate Wall Street banking and investments. They -- and most of other members of Congress -- ignored the warnings that this hands-off approach could create financial institutions so big the federal government simply could not afford to let them fail.

Well, those warnings were well-founded. Wall Street is on its knees, and it's in everyone's interest for Big Government to drag the financial system back to its feet. But the question is, why a helping hand only for Wall Street? Why no help for ordinary people who find themselves in financial trouble and in danger of losing their homes?

Follow the money. The campaign money.

The Center for Responsive Politics calculated last year that the credit card and commercial banking industries had given $224 million to candidates in federal races and to the major political parties: 62 percent to Republicans and 38 percent to Democrats.

The same group noted that McConnell had collected more than $4.3 million in donations from the financial sector in the last two decades.

The Lexington Herald-Leader pointed out that McConnell "has been individually feted in New York city by major banks, including a 2005 luncheon given in his honor by UBS and Citigroup, which raised at least $60,000 for his campaign fund. Former Sen. Phil Gramm, R-Texas, who sponsored the Wall Street deregulation bill and then left Congress to become an investment banker at UBS, helped organize that event and donated $4,000 to McConnell."

You remember Gramm. He said we're just in a mental recession. We're a nation of whiners.

Last week, President Bush called a meeting to urge quick passage of a $700 billion financial industry bailout plan, and, as usual, his friend and enabler Mitch McConnell was close at hand, seated at the bailout table.

McConnell wanted fast action.

In a typically sardonic bit of rhetoric, McConnell warned the Senate, "When there's a fire in your kitchen threatening to burn down your home, you don't want someone stopping the firefighters on the way and demanding they hand out smoke detectors first or lecturing you about the hazards of keeping paint in the basement." He said, "We know that there is a serious threat to our economy, and we know that we must take action to try and head off a serious blow to Main Street."

Fair enough. But why no urgency to help hundreds of thousands of Americans who -- usually as a result of job loss, medical bills or divorce -- find themselves in bankruptcy?

It was McConnell who led the floor fight to pass the Bankruptcy Abuse Protection and Consumer Protection Act, another Bush priority, which has made it harder for Americans to get out of debt -- in part by imposing a means test that was designed and intended to shove more folks into Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Earlier this year, it was McConnell who, as CNN described it, effectively killed "efforts to give bankruptcy courts more power to stave off home foreclosures."

Existing law allows bankruptcy courts to adjust the terms of mortgages for second homes and family farms. But under a proposal made by Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., primary residences would get the same treatment, saving as many as 600,000 families from foreclosure.

Mitch McConnell stomped on that idea.

As Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid of Nevada said at the time, "The people on Wall Street are high-fiving. They just won again."

Bush was happy, too. He had warned that helping those in bankruptcy "would be unfair to the millions of homeowners who make the hard choices every month to pay their mortgage on time…."

As fierce negotiations over the $700 million financial industry bailout have continued, mortgage help for those in bankruptcy has been one of the most contentious issues. At last report, McConnell and other opponents had been able to keep such assistance out of the plan.

Wall Street would be high-fiving, but it has its hands full at the moment.

U.S. bankruptcy Judge Samuel Bufford said in The Wall Street Journal that helping those in bankruptcy is "a matter of fairness." He argued, "The government is providing a trillion dollars in assistance to financial institutions to deal with the problem that people can't pay mortgages, so there ought to be something in the program to help people pay their mortgages."

McConnell and his allies see it differently.

They see the need to free Wall Street from regulation, and to bail out the big guys when things go terribly wrong. But they see no need to help ordinary people who are in financial trouble -- those trapped in bankruptcy and faced with foreclosure because they've lost their jobs, medical bills have overwhelmed them or divorce has ruined their financial plans.

You just can't understand that kind of callousness?

Don't be a whiner. Follow the campaign money.

David Hawpe's columns appear Sundays and Wednesdays in the Community Forum. His e-mail address is

Editor's comment: While David Hawpe's piece may be on point, it unfairly targets Senator Mitch McConnell, where others also needed mentioning.


Gallup Poll: Barack Obama Is Up 5% Points Over John McCain In Latest Poll.

You can read more about Gallup's latest poll here.


So After All The Candidates Spin, Who Do The Voters Say Won The Debate? Find Out Below.

Read more and see the poll.


Another View Of Sarah Palin.

The case for Sarah Palin
By Helen Alvare

Sarah Palin looks like what a lot of women aspire to be on their best day.

She clearly takes real pleasure and real strength from her family. Communicates pride as a son deploys to a war zone. Stands publicly by a pregnant teenage daughter. Uncomplainingly accepts a disabled child. Successful in her profession. Funny. Supremely confident.

Governor Palin is also pro-life.

She is the walking, talking, one-liner-delivering embodiment of the worldview that pro-life feminist women have labored to communicate for the last 35 years.

This worldview includes the idea that it is not only generous, but wise, to see children as "gifts," not "threats." It holds that women are capable of strength, not only when they assume roles formerly restricted to men, but when they rise to the challenge of protecting life -- even to the point of suffering and sacrificing on behalf of others. In this way, pro-life feminism sharply distinguishes itself from "your mother's feminism" which for the last several decades has personified women as "victims," because of their capacity to bear children.

Palin also embodies another idea that may pose an even more fundamental threat to late 20th Century feminism. This is the idea that women don't need to be told what to think about marriage and childbearing by largely well-educated, well-heeled "feminist leadership." Real women don't need to be told what freedom and happiness look like for the female half of the race. They can figure it out for themselves, thank you very much.

Women are too diverse today, too experienced both at home and at work, to buy the notion that happiness always takes the form of a full-time career alongside a minimalist domestic life. Today, as ever, the vast majority of women still marry, still hope for, and still eventually bear, children whom they love. Our mother's feminism made almost no room for these basic desires, for the cooperation with men they require, or for the questions about "ordering priorities" they provoke.

It's no wonder that self-ordained feminist leadership is reacting so virulently against Palin. She is a threat to their ability to dominate the airwaves every time the subject turns to the question of "what do women really want?" Because if the answer isn't "legal abortion," the aging feminist leaders really don't have much to say.

When abortion is the question on the table, Palin's whole career challenges the premise that caused older feminism to put abortion at the top of the list. I refer to the premise that women's ability to bear children and desire to care for them are intrinsic weaknesses.

That premise is false -- which Palin's life and experience fairly shout. And so nothing is left of the "feminist abortion rights" argument.

Pro-abortion feminists no longer use the argument that an embryo or fetus growing in a human mother is not a human life. How could they at this point in the development of genetic science? They can't honestly use the argument that abortion is necessary to safeguard women's medical health. How could they in light of the decades of abortion statistics testifying to the non-medical rationales for the vast majority of U.S. abortions?

As a result, nothing is left of abortion rights -- and maybe nothing is left of the feminism that made abortion its centerpiece -- when the argument that "women's freedom equals legal abortion" is gone.

Palin, as a governor and as a mother, represents what a lot of people want to be on their best day. For this reason, whether or not Palin is on the winning ticket in November, her public presence has already won a deep and long-lasting victory for a new and pro-life feminism in the United States.

Professor Helen Alvaré is an Associate Professor of Law at the George Mason University School of Law in Arlington, Virginia. She is part of Team Sarah PAC, a coalition of diverse women dedicated to advancing and defending Sarah Palin's Vice Presidential candidacy and motivating grassroots women to actively support the McCain-Palin ticket.


Is It Time For This Conversation Among Republicans?

For country's sake, Palin should get out
She is way out of her league

WASHINGTON -- If at one time women were considered heretical for swimming upstream against feminist orthodoxy, they now face condemnation for swimming downstream -- away from Sarah Palin.

To express reservations about her qualifications to be vice president -- and possibly president -- is to risk being labeled anti-woman.

Or, as I am guilty of charging her early critics, supporting only a certain kind of woman.

Some of the passionately feminist critics of Palin who attacked her personally deserved some of the backlash they received. But circumstances have changed since Palin was introduced as just a hockey mom with lipstick -- what a difference a financial crisis makes -- and a more complicated picture has emerged.

As we've seen and heard more from John McCain's running mate, it is increasingly clear that Palin is a problem. Quick study or not, she doesn't know enough about economics and foreign policy to make Americans comfortable with a President Palin should conditions warrant her promotion.

Yes, she recently met and turned several heads of state as the United Nations General Assembly convened in New York. She was gracious, charming and disarming. Men swooned. Pakistan's president wanted to hug her. (Perhaps Osama bin Laden is dying to meet her?)

And, yes, she has common sense, something we value. And she's had executive experience as a mayor and a governor, though of relatively small constituencies (about 6,000 and 680,000, respectively).

Finally, Palin's narrative is fun, inspiring and all-American in that frontier way we seem to admire. When Palin first emerged as John McCain's running mate, I confess I was delighted. She was the antithesis and nemesis of the hirsute, Birkenstock-wearing sisterhood -- a refreshing feminist of a different order who personified the modern successful working mother.

Palin didn't make a mess cracking the glass ceiling. She simply glided through it.

It was fun while it lasted.

Palin's recent interviews with Charles Gibson, Sean Hannity and now Katie Couric have all revealed an attractive, earnest, confident candidate. Who Is Clearly Out Of Her League.

No one hates saying that more than I do. Like so many women, I've been pulling for Palin, wishing her the best, hoping she will perform brilliantly. I've also noticed that I watch her interviews with the held breath of an anxious parent, my finger poised over the mute button in case it gets too painful. Unfortunately, it often does. My cringe reflex is exhausted.

Palin filibusters. She repeats words, filling space with deadwood. Cut the verbiage, and there's not much content there. Here's but one example of many from her interview with Hannity:

"Well, there is a danger in allowing some obsessive partisanship to get into the issue that we're talking about today. And that's something that John McCain, too, his track record, proving that he can work both sides of the aisle, he can surpass the partisanship that must be surpassed to deal with an issue like this."

When Couric pointed to polls showing that the financial crisis had boosted Obama's numbers, Palin blustered wordily: "I'm not looking at poll numbers. What I think Americans at the end of the day are going to be able to go back and look at track records and see who's more apt to be talking about solutions and wishing for and hoping for solutions for some opportunity to change, and who's actually done it?"

If BS were currency, Palin could bail out Wall Street herself.

If Palin were a man, we'd all be guffawing, just as we do every time Joe Biden tickles the back of his throat with his toes. But because she's a woman -- and the first ever on a Republican presidential ticket -- we are reluctant to say what is painfully true.

What to do?

McCain can't repudiate his choice for running mate. He not only risks the wrath of the GOP's unforgiving base, but he invites others to second-guess his executive decision-making ability. Barack Obama faces the same problem with Biden.

Only Palin can save McCain, her party and the country she loves. She can bow out for personal reasons, perhaps because she wants to spend more time with her newborn. No one would criticize a mother who puts her family first.

Do it for your country.

Kathleen Parker is a syndicated columnist who lives in South Carolina. Her e-mail address is

Editor's comment: While I love Sarah Palin's political philosophy and simple mindedness, I cannot help but wonder if Mrs. Parker is not asking a question that many voters have started to ask themselves.

I am one of them.

While I think Mrs. Palin is a worthy Vice Presidential candidate, I have gone further to ask about the possibility of her being President, and I am having mixed feelings about that possibility.

If that possibility arises, I'm afraid we could end up with a DUD, at a time when we need a REAL bullet!

I don't HONESTLY think I can say that about Joe Biden, though his mouth makes me nervous and his political philosophy makes me queasy.


Let's Laugh At John McCain's Ploy.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Next On The Spinning Wheel Is Barack Obama. On Monday, I'll Say Who Won -- No Spinning, Though.

Osi --

I just finished my first debate with John McCain.

Millions of Americans finally got a chance to see us take on the fundamental choice in this election -- the change we need or more of the same.

I will provide tax cuts for the middle class, affordable health care, and a new energy economy that creates millions of jobs. John McCain wants to keep giving huge tax cuts to corporations, and he offered no solutions for the challenges Americans are facing in their daily lives.

I will end the war in Iraq responsibly, focus on defeating al Qaeda and the Taliban, and restore America's standing in the world after eight years of disastrous policies. John McCain wants an unending commitment in Iraq and fails to recognize the resurgent threat in Afghanistan.

Let's be clear: John McCain is offering nothing but more of the same failed Bush policies at home and abroad that he has supported more than 90% of the time in the Senate.

Americans need change now, and I need your help to get the word out about this movement.

In the coming days, it's going to be up to you to organize locally and reach the voters that are going to decide this election.

Now's the time to make your voice heard.

Please make a donation of $5 or more right now to support this campaign for change:

Thank you for all that you're doing,


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Let The Spinning Begin: Read What The Candidates Said About Their Debate Performances. On Monday, I'll Have Mine. First Up Is John McCain.

First up is John McCain, who emailed out his message barely an hour after the debate ended:

My Friends,

Tonight, Senator Obama and I participated in the first debate of the general election. It was a spirited debate and I believe the difference between our visions for America were made very clear.

In a few hours, I will return to Washington to resume negotiations with the Administration and Congressional leaders from both parties to forge a bipartisan solution to our economic crisis. I am optimistic we will come to a final agreement soon. All voices must be represented in the final agreement, especially those of taxpayers and homeowners.

We cannot be interested in who would get credit for finding a solution and who would be blamed if an agreement cannot be reached. We must put our country first to solve this economic crisis. Because in the end, that's what leaders do in times of crisis.

Our next president and Congress will face challenging times that require selfless leadership. They must find solutions to issues like the economy, national security, and energy independence. I'm ready to work with Governor Palin and our Congressional allies to address the nation's most pressing challenges. Make no mistake, we are ready to lead and the Obama-Biden Democrats are not.

But, the truth is that we won't win without your support. We're less than 40 days away from Election Day and polls in races across the country are extremely close. In the final weeks of this campaign, we will need to fund crucial get-out-the-vote and grassroots activities that will assist our entire ticket, from the top to the bottom to secure victory on Election Day. I'm asking you to help us by making a contribution right now to McCain-Palin Victory 2008.

Your support is always deeply appreciated and I thank you for your generosity.

John McCain
P.S. There are major differences between our shared priorities for our nation and those of the Obama-Biden Democrats. Tonight's debate made this point very clear. Our entire ticket will always put your needs above our own. And that's why it is so important for you to get involved today. Please join our team for victory on Election Day. Thank you.


Because the McCain-Palin Campaign is participating in the presidential public funding system, it may not receive contributions for any candidate's election. However, federal law allows the McCain-Palin Campaign's Compliance Fund to defray legal and accounting compliance costs and preserve the Campaign's public grant for media, mail, phones, and get-out-the-vote programs. Contributions to McCain-Palin Victory 2008 will go to the Compliance Fund, and to participating party committees for Victory 2008 programs.

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Actor Paul Newman Is Dead.

Read more here, or this snippet:

The actor Paul Newman has died at 83 of cancer, his spokeswoman told The Associated Press. Mr. Newman, whose career spanned five decades, was also a prominent social activist, a major proponent of actors' creative rights and a noted philanthropist. He was nominated for Academy Awards 10 times, and won a best actor Oscar in 1987 for "The Color of Money".


On My Earlier Mitch McConnell Posting, I Suspected Mitch McConnell Will Release The "Boulder". Well, Watch The Start Of It Below.

In my post "Bruce Lunsford Releases New Campaign Ad Using John McCain to Target Mitch McConnell, Thereby Unwittingly Inviting "The Bolder", I said that I suspect[ed] it won't be long before we witness "the boulder".

Well, here comes the "boulder" already.

Watch below:

Expect many more of these.


Did You Watch The Debate? If Not, Watch It Here, And Watch The Reactions, Too.

Watch the debate:

Watch Keith Olbermann's take below:

Go here to watch Fox News' take on the debate.

Sorry, folks, it has gotten to that.

You watch Fox News to tell you what is WRONG with Democrats, and MSNBC to tell you what is WRONG with Republicans.

That is why I offer you an opportunity to come on my blog for NO "spinning" and "slanting" of the news to favor anyone or any political party!

How about that!!

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Laugh, If You Stll Can.


Talking About Preachers, Some Of Them Plan To Defy The IRS And Endorse Candidates. Showdown Looming.

Read more from the Monitor.

Stay tuned, and see whether the IRS or the Ministers will blink first at the "showdown".

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Friday, September 26, 2008

Another Pervert Preacher, Tony Alamo, Busted For Child Porn.

Senator Mitch McConnell Needs Your Help -- NOW.

Dear Supporter,

First, let me thank those who have written and called over the last few days in support of the campaign. I’ve received strong support from every area of the state.
But as I mentioned in my last email, I’m facing a tough challenge this year. And that’s why I hope you’ll stand by me by making a special end-of-quarter contribution right now.

The FEC reporting deadline is just four days from today. And I need each and every supporter to help me match my multi-millionaire opponent dollar for dollar.
Please take a moment to make a secure online gift of $25 or more right now.
Also, let me remind you of why your gift is so critical right now.

1) Hillary Clinton traveled across Kentucky to campaign for my opponent less than a week ago. The news media loves covering liberal Democrats, so my opponent got what amounts to several days of free advertising all last weekend and early this week.
Your gift will help me fight back and take our message directly to Kentucky voters on-air, online, and in the mail.

2) Chuck Schumer, Democrat Senate Campaign Committee Chair, has funneled $1 million from his liberal allies to the Kentucky Democrat Party for their use in my opponent’s campaign. This is unprecedented and shows that Washington liberals are serious about trying to defeat me.
Your contribution today will help me match this massive out-of-state political contribution and energize our efforts here in Kentucky.

3) The FEC reporting deadline is next Tuesday. As I wrote earlier this week, the press and my opponent’s campaign will pour over this report to determine how much support I have from friends like you. It is critical that we show our strength.
Please help me file a strong report by making a secure online contribution of $25 or more right now.

I will update you next week on the status of our campaign. In the meantime I thank you for your continued support.

Your Friend,
Senator Mitch McConnell

P.S. The end of the FEC reporting period is just four short days away. Please help me show the strength of our grassroots organization by making a secure online gift of $25 or more right now. Thanks again.


Breaking News: Senator Ted Kennedy Has Been Rushed By Ambulance To The Hospital.

We wish him well.

Stay tuned for more updates.

Update #1:

Update #2: Ted Kennedy is back home after mild seizure. Watch news video below:


Sarah Palin's "Foreign" Experience, And Other Matters. Watch..

Watch Part !:

Then watch Part 2:

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Kentucky House Speaker Jody Richards and Rep. Brent Yonts Aim To Burst LRC Director's Pay Bubble.

Bill would kill 47% raise to LRC director
Defenders contend he's well worth it

By Tom Loftus

FRANKFORT, Ky. -- House Speaker Jody Richards and Rep. Brent Yonts said yesterday they will file legislation to rescind the 47 percent pay raise given Wednesday to legislative staff director Bobby Sherman.

"This past year the General Assembly approved 1 percent raises for teachers and state workers because times are tight," Yonts, D-Greenville, said in a news release.

" … In just the last two days, there has been a tremendous outcry from citizens and legislators, all asking how we can seriously say we're trying to save money when we throw it around like this," he said.

The $62,160 raise increased Sherman's annual salary to $195,000.

The Legislative Research Commission, comprising all House and Senate leaders, approved the raise Wednesday in an 11-5 vote. Richards, D-Bowling Green, was among those voting no.

Amid growing criticism of the action among legislators and the public, Richards and Yonts released a statement saying they will prefile legislation to rescind the raise, retroactive to the date of its approval. It could not be considered until next year's session.

Richards said he had "nothing negative to say" about Sherman. But "this decision, which has received almost unanimous opposition across the state, should be reversed" as early as possible.

Sherman declined to comment.

Senate President David Williams, R-Burkesville, defended his vote to give Sherman the raise and called the news release from Richards and Yonts "ridiculous."

"This is a negotiated salary with a high-qualified individual, uniquely qualified in fact," Williams said. "And the vote was 11-5, not even close."

Williams said on Wednesday that Sherman was planning to retire without the raise. He said yesterday that the raise will actually save the state money because otherwise it would have to pay Sherman's retirement benefits of about $109,000 a year, plus the salary of at least $132,840 to a new director.

Sherman, 56, of Louisville, has been director of the LRC for nine years and a state employee for 27 years. In his current job, he oversees the work of a legislative staff of 400 employees that grows to about 600 when the General Assembly is in session.

Like other veteran state workers, Sherman faced a decision this year caused by a quirk in state law under which a generous retirement benefit for some will expire at the end of the year. Such employees face the choice of retiring this year with the benefit, or continuing working only to have their retirement pay reduced significantly.

Williams said the raise was a negotiated amount that will allow Sherman to afford to take the cut in retirement benefits by working into next year.

But Lee Jackson, president of the Kentucky Association of State Employees, said the raise "shows total disrespect for the state employees who got a 1 percent raise (this year). We're advising our members to contact legislators to see what can be done to rescind it."

Rep. Derrick Graham, D-Frankfort, said he was outraged by what he called "a shameful, unjustifiable waste of taxpayer money which sends a terrible message to our hardworking state employees."

Graham said state workers getting 1 percent raises "are struggling with the high cost of gas, groceries, health care and other necessities."

He called on Sherman to refuse the raise or "consider resigning his position in order to allow fresh leadership which could restore employees' faith and morale."

Sen. Julian Carroll, D-Frankfort, said he too was outraged by the move. "It sends the wrong message in these tight budget times," he said.

But Williams said Central Kentucky legislators are "pandering" to state workers with such comments.

And he said Richards, who is in a race for re-election as speaker against Rep. Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, "appears desperate to make it look like he's an effective leader."

Stumbo said that if he had been in leadership he would have voted against the raise.

"The raise sends a bad message," he said. "And I don't believe anyone is indispensable."

Like Williams, others who voted for Sherman's raise stood their ground.

"To be director of LRC you need to be a legal expert," said Senate Democratic Leader Ed Worley of Richmond. "You need phenomenal institutional knowledge. You need to be a master referee. … Bobby has those qualities, and I voted as I did because I believe it was for the good of the institution."

House Majority Whip Rob Wilkey of Scottsville, the only House Democratic leader to vote for the raise, echoed Worley's comments. And he said Sherman has endured unfair criticism.

"In my talks with him, Bobby said he'd love to stay but was happy if he had to go," Wilkey said. "The final vote was the result of an effort by most of leadership to find a way to keep him."

Reporter Tom Loftus can be reached at (502) 875-5136.

Editor's comment: I do not know much about the LRC job description, but I suspect that millions of people will like up to do the job at the current salary, if the job became open!

Update: Speaker Jody Richards seeks meeting to reverse the pay hike.

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Lexington Herald Leader Editorial: Untimely Insult From [Kentucky] Legislature.

Untimely insult from legislature

How they voted

Voting against the increase were:

■ Senate Minority Whip Joey Pendleton, D-Hopkinsville

■ House Speaker Jody Richards, D-Bowling Green

■House Speaker Pro Tem Larry Clark, D-Louisville

■ House Majority Leader Rocky Adkins, D-Sandy Hook

■ House Majority Caucus Chairman Charlie Hoffman, D-Georgetown

Voting for the increase were:

■Senate President David Williams, R-Burkesville

■ House Majority Whip Rob Wilkey, D-Scottsville

■ Senate President Pro Tem Katie Kratz Stine, R-Fort Thomas

■ Senate Majority Leader Dan Kelly, R-Springfield

■ Senate Majority Whip Carroll Gibson, R-Leitchfield

■ Senate Majority Caucus Chair Dan Seum, R-Louisville

■ Senate Minority Leader Ed Worley, D-Richmond

■ Senate Minority Caucus Chair Johnny Ray Turner, D-Drift

■ House Minority Leader Jeff Hoover, R-Jamestown

■ House Minority Whip Stan Lee, R-Lexington

■ House Minority Caucus Chair Bob DeWeese, R-Louisville

There are a lot of ways to assess Legislative Research Commission Director Bobby Sherman's 47 percent, $62,160 pay raise.

It can be interpreted as an insult to the multitude of state workers and public-school teachers who'll get a one percent pay hike this year, or to the University of Kentucky employees who'll get zero.

Social workers and public advocates struggling with unmanageable case loads could take it as a slap in the face. Families struggling to pay their bills in a hostile economy might see it as another sign that government is out of touch.

More than anything, though, it signals the dreary combination of incompetence and arrogance that has come to mark legislative leadership.

Sherman serves at the pleasure of the legislative leaders who hired him. It was they who, in an 11 to 5 vote Tuesday after 28 minutes of secret deliberation, voted his extraordinary raise.

He'll be making $195,000 a year, retroactive to the first of this month.

Senate President David Williams, R-Burkesville, defended the move. Saying Sherman's service had been "exemplary" and that he's "an indispensable person at this particular juncture in the institution," the raise was essential to keep Sherman from leaving and taking $9,000 a month in retirement pay.

Arrogance: So what's the message to all the other state workers, teachers, professors who are doing exemplary work with little or no pay raises? Work for the legislature and we'll reward you; deliver services to citizens and you get (fill in the blank.)

Incompetence: If his job is so important, why is there no succession plan? Anyone who could count certainly knew Sherman was close to a comfortable retirement, so why did our elected leaders allow themselves (and the taxpayers) to get backed into this compensation corner?

Senate Democratic leader Ed Worley said a search for a new director could take as long as two years. The current presidential campaign aside, who's ever heard of a two-year search?

Is there no one among the LRC's 205 full-time employees who might be groomed for the top spot? What if Sherman fell ill or died?

House Speaker Jody Richards, who voted against the raise, said Thursday he prefiled a bill to rescind it in the next session. Locked in a battle to keep his leadership job, Richards' motives are open to question.

Even if a legislature harassed by an outraged public does pull Sherman's raise, it won't solve the underlying problem.

Sherman's elected bosses, charged with steering state government, have done a lousy job managing their own staff and have insulted tens of thousands of hardworking public employees.

That's the problem.

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Is the bailout needed? Many economists say 'no'.

Is the bailout needed? Many economists say 'no'
By Kevin G. Hall

WASHINGTON — A funny thing happened in the drafting of the largest-ever U.S. government intervention in the financial system. Lawmakers of all stripes mostly fell in line, but many of the nation's brightest economic minds are warning that the Wall Street bailout's a dangerous rush job.

President Bush and his Treasury secretary, former Goldman Sachs chief executive Henry Paulson, have warned of imminent economic collapse and another Great Depression if their rescue plan isn't passed immediately.

Is that true?

"It's more hype than real risk," said James K. Galbraith, a University of Texas economist and son of the late economic historian John Kenneth Galbraith. "A nasty recession is possible, but the bailout will not cure that. So it's mainly relevant to the financial industry."

The Paulson plan will get some bad assets off the balance sheets of troubled Wall Street institutions and commercial banks. That may help thaw the lending freeze.

But it wouldn't reduce the crush of homes in or near foreclosure, said Simon Johnson, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. That's a problem that will surely grow worse if the U.S. economy enters recession, leading to greater job losses, which feed a vicious downward spiral of even more foreclosures and defaults on car loans and credit-card debt.

Americans are spooked by talk that financial Armageddon awaits.

The global financial system nearly melted down last week when investors pulled out en masse from money market funds and the short-term debt markets that help corporate America fund its day-to-day needs.

These traditionally have been viewed as safe investments for ordinary Americans, so the flight from them struck fear in the hearts of policymakers.

Few economists, including Galbraith, are willing to discount completely the chance of a financial collapse, given the turmoil in credit markets and banking.

"My sense is it will delay a disaster, given that you only have three months left in this administration. But it will not cure the problem in the (financial) industry or prevent the shakeout and downsizing of the industry," Galbraith said.

Many lawmakers also expressed skepticism.

Coming out of the White House on Thursday, the ranking Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, Alabama's Richard Shelby, held up what he said was a five-page list of economists opposing the rescue plan.

"This is not me. This is economists at Harvard, Yale, MIT, University of Chicago, our leading universities," an exasperated Shelby told reporters. He called the administration plan "flawed from the beginning."

Johnson, a former assistant director of research for the International Monetary Fund, said: "I think the main problem is what they have on the table is not truly comprehensive, and I think it's probably not decisive for that reason."

With the problems in money market funds and the fact that banks have stopped lending to each other except at high rates, the global financial system is as weak as it has been in modern times, he said.

"It's a very dangerous situation. I would not recommend doing nothing. The world financial markets were in cardiac arrest last week," Johnson said.

What Congress and the administration failed to do, Johnson said, is develop a mechanism to quickly modify distressed mortgages and prevent even more empty homes from being dumped into real-estate markets in freefall. The plan also doesn't help banks bring in new capital to boost lending; instead many are sitting defensively on their reserves to offset expected loan defaults.

"I think the rush that happened this week is unfortunate," Johnson said. "I don't think it is enough."

Another doubter of the Great Depression theme is Kenneth Rogoff, a Harvard University economics professor, who thinks the intervention may prevent or delay the necessary failure of weak financial institutions.

"It is time to take stock of the crisis and recognize that the financial industry is undergoing fundamental shifts, and is not simply the victim of speculative panic against housing loans," he wrote in a syndicated column. "Certainly better regulation is part of the answer over the longer run, but it is no panacea. Today's financial firm equity and bond holders must bear the main cost, or there is little hope they will behave more responsibly in the future."

Some analysts think the most important steps to avoid another depression may have already occurred without the $700 billion bailout.

"Last week we came real close to a financial economic meltdown because of the run on money market funds, resulting from the bankruptcy of (investment bank) Lehman Brothers, and I think insuring the money-market funds was enough," said Ed Yardeni, a veteran Wall Street analyst. Last week the Treasury announced a $50 billion insurance plan for money market funds, which restored confidence in them. "It wasn't necessary to move to Plan B."

Doubting the financial Armageddon scenario, Yardeni said another measure that could have the same effect as the $700 billion rescue plan is simply to change accounting rules for bad assets — mostly bonds with mortgages as their collateral.

Right now, banks and others with this toxic debt by law must write down losses every quarter. They are forced to put a present-day value on these assets. Yardeni thinks suspending this rule could do the job without taxpayer money.

"There are quite a few of us who think that could have stabilized the situation quite effectively," he said, adding, "I think it (the bailout) was rushed, and certainly we didn't give other reasonable, cheaper alternatives a chance. But at this point it is what it is, and we all have to pray that it works."