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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

How In The World Did These Iraqi Terrorists Get Visas To Come To America, For Christ Sake?

2 Iraqis indicted on terrorism charges in Kentucky

Two Iraqis living in Bowling Green have been arrested and charged with conspiring to kill U.S. soldiers with improvised explosive devices in Iraq.

The pair also is accused of plotting to send Stinger missiles, cash, sniper rifles and rocket-propelled grenade launchers to Iraq.

They allegedly picked up the weapons, including machine guns, from a storage facility in Kentucky, believing that it would all be sent to insurgents supported by al-Qaeda.

In fact, it was all part of an elaborate sting set-up by a confidential informant, and none of the weapons ever had any chance of being shipped abroad.

Waad Ramadan Always, 30, and Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, 23, both former residents of Iraq who lived in Bowling Green, were charged in a 23-count indictment unsealed Tuesday for which they could be sentenced to life in prison.

They made their initial appearance Tuesday in a federal court in Louisville, where they both pleaded not guilty and were ordered detained.

Neither is charged with plotting attacks within the United States.

The arrests were jointly announced by the FBI, the U.S. attorney’s office, the Louisville Joint Terrorism Task Force and the Justice Department’s national security division.

U.S. Attorney David Hale said the indictment should send a message to terrorists.

“Whether they seek shelter in a major metropolitan order or in a smaller city in Kentucky, those who would attempt to harm or kill Americans abroad will face a determined and prepared law enforcement effort,” Hale said.

According to court records, the FBI began investigating Alwan in September 2009, a few months after he entered the United States.

The records indicate that a confidential source for the FBI secretly tape recorded him as he bragged about used IEDs hundreds of times against Americans in Iraq from 2003 until he was arrested by local authorities in 2006.

He also allegedly told the informant that he was very good with a sniper rifle, saying that his “lunch and dinner would be an American.”

Asked whether he’d achieved results from the various devices in Iraq, Alwan allegedly told the informant, “Oh, yes,” adding that his attacks had “f--- up” Hummers and Bradley fighting vehicles, according to court records.

FBI Special Agent Richard Green said in an affidavit that investigators discovered Alwan’s claims about his use of explosive devices were not idle boasts: The FBI identified two of Alwan’s fingerprints on an unexploded bomb recovered by U.S. forces near Bayji, Iraq.

Alwan also allegedly told the confidential source that he liked to use a particular brand of cordless telephone in constructing his IEDs, and his prints allegedly were found on a phone of the same brand, according to Green’s affidavit.

At the informant’s request, Alwan also drew diagrams of four types of IEDs that the FBI later determined would have produced workable devices.

The indictment says Alwan recruited Hammadi to help export weapons and cash to Iraqi insurgents, and that Hammadi also claimed to have experience deploying IEDs.

In one conversation with the informant, Hammadi allegedly said he had been captured by authorities after the car in which he was driving got a flat tire shortly after he and others placed an IED on the ground.

The criminal complaint filed in Kentucky against Alwan said that in November 2010 he allegedly picked up machine guns and other weapons from a storage facility and delivered them to a designated location, believing they would be shipped to Iraq.

He and Hammadi in January and February also allegedly delivered cash and additional weapons to a tractor trailer, believing it would also be shipped by the informant to Iraq. But the truck was owned by the FBI, and the weapons all remained in control of law enforcement, a news release said.

Alwan is charged with conspiracy to kill U.S. nationals abroad; conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction against U.S. nationals abroad; distributing information on the manufacture and use of IEDs; attempting to provide material support to terrorists and to al-Qaeda in Iraq, as well as conspiracy to transfer, possess and export Stinger missiles.

Hammadi is charged with attempting to provide material support to terrorists and to al-Qaeda in Iraq, as well as to transfer, possess and export Stinger missiles.

Alwan told the informant that he had come to the United States so he could get a passport to back to “Turkey, Saudi or wherever I want to.”

“I didn’t come here for America,” he said, according to the criminal complaint.

Hale stressed that the charges are not an indictment of any “particular religious community or religion,”

Elizabeth Fries, the FBI’s special agent in charge in Louisville, said the agency would “vigorously pursue anyone who targets Muslims or their places of worship for backlash-related threats or violence in the wake of these arrests.”

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Two Iraqis With Ties To Al Qaeda Living In Bowling Green, Kentucky, Charged With Terrorism.

Bowling Green Iraqis face terrorism charges
Federal indictment: Two Bowling Green residents involved in a conspiracy to provide support, weapons to al-Qaida


LOUISVILLE — Two Iraqi refugees living in Bowling Green were arraigned today on federal terrorism charges - including accusations of attempting to kill U.S. troops with explosive devices in Iraq.

Waad Ramadan Alwan, 30, and Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, 23, are charged in a 23-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Bowling Green on May 26. The men made their initial federal court appearance today in Louisville.

Alwan is accused of conspiring to kill U.S. nationals overseas, conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction against U.S. nationals overseas, distributing information on how to manufacture and use improvised explosive devices, attempting to provide material support to terrorists and to al-Qaida in Iraq and conspiring to transfer, possess and export Stinger missiles.

Hammadi is charged with attempting to provide material support to terrorists and to al-Qaida in Iraq, as well as conspiracy to transfer, possess and export Stinger missiles.

The men were arrested Wednesday in Bowling Green. The FBI set up a mobile command center behind the Bowling Green Police Department headquarters last week, where FBI agents in camouflage, body armor and suits could be seen moving between the mobile command center and the BGPD.

In September 2009, the FBI began investigating Alwan, according to a news release from the Department of Justice. The FBI later began using a confidential source to meet with and record conversations with Alwan in August and with Hammadi in January. In meetings with the confidential source, Alwan allegedly discussed his previous activities as an insurgent in Iraq from 2003 until his capture by Iraqi authorities in May 2006 - including apparent use of IEDs and sniper rifles to target U.S. forces, according to the release.

Each man could serve life in prison if convicted of all the charges in the indictment.

Their arrests stem from a two-year investigation. Neither is charged with planning attacks on sites in the U.S., according to a news release from the Department of Justice.

The men, through their attorneys, have asked for a detention hearing, which will be held sometime next week in federal court.

Two fingerprints belonging to Alwan were found on a component of an unexploded IED recovered by U.S. forces near Bayji, Iraq, according to the news release from the Department of Justice. IEDs have killed or injured thousands of American troops.

Alwan apparently recruited Hammadi to assist him in attempting to provide material support to al-Qaida, according to the news release from the Department of Justice.

The Department of Justice believes the men are the first people to date to be charged in federal court with attempting to provide material support to al-Qaida in Iraq.

“Over the course of roughly eight years, Waad Ramadan Alwan allegedly supported efforts to kill U.S. troops in Iraq, first by participating in the construction and placement of improvised explosive devices in Iraq, and more recently by attempting to ship money and weapons from the United States to insurgents in Iraq,” said Todd Hinnen, acting assistant attorney general for national security, in the news release. “His co-defendant, Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, is accused of many of the same activities.”

Alwan entered the U.S. in April 2009 and has lived in Bowling Green since his arrival. Hammadi entered the U.S. in July 2009 in Las Vegas and moved to Bowling Green in December 2009.

The men are part of a large refugee population living in Bowling Green. From April 30, 2010, to April 30, some 63 Iraqis have entered Bowling Green as refugees, according Becky Jordan, Kentucky state refugee coordinator for the Kentucky Office for Refugees.

“The filing of these charges in Bowling Green, Kentucky, underscores the readiness of federal law enforcement authorities and our partners in the joint terrorism task forces to effectively pursue and prosecute terrorists wherever in the United States they may be found,” said David Hale, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky, in the news release.

Both men entered the courtroom this morning in leg shackles and black-and-white striped prison uniforms. Alwan looked into the courtroom packed full of spectators of federal employees and then stared straight ahead. Hammadi sat in the courtroom smiling.

Editor's note: Read the press release here, Alwin Complaint, Hammadi complaint, and the joint indictment.

Yes, Al Qaeda is in all places, including Bowling Green.

That is scary. They most likely came across our borders without a second look.


How Gas Prices Are Determined, And It's NOT Funny..


Monday, May 30, 2011

Today, We Mourn Those "Who Gave The Last Measure Of Devotion" To Us And Our Beloved Peoples' Government.


Words To Live By.

"Every man who loves peace, every man who loves his country, every man who loves liberty ought to have it ever before his eyes that he may cherish in his heart a due attachment to the Union of America and be able to set a due value on the means of preserving it."

-- James Madison, Federalist No. 41.


Paul Ryan's Medicare Plan. ROTFLMAO!


Saturday, May 28, 2011

In Senate, Rand Paul Isn't Shy About Making His Principled Positions Known.

(Pictured: Father and son, Rand and Ron)
In Senate, Rand Paul isn't shy about making his positions known
By Jennifer Steinhauer

WASHINGTON — Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky did not come to this town to be quiet.

In the first six months of the freshman Republican's tenure, he has designed his own budget (something, point of fact, that Senate Democrats have not accomplished), flirted with running for president and tormented Obama administration officials at a hearing over the fact that his toilets, hampered by federal water-use regulations, do not function properly.

This week, Paul's parliamentary maneuvers nearly caused the USA Patriot Act to expire, and forced his hundreds of colleagues in both chambers of Congress to adjust their travel plans before a holiday weekend so he could fight for amendments to that bill.

In so doing, he managed to enrage Sen. Harry Reid, the Democratic majority leader, who suggested on the floor of the Senate that Paul might not mind if terrorists get armed to the teeth. Nor did he thrill Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Republican minority leader and fellow Kentuckian, when he urged supporters to email McConnell's office with a message to get out of Paul's way.

A senatorial peacock with a rust-colored crown, Paul stands out as someone who, at least for now, seems to be here less to make laws than points. His libertarian-leaning amendments — one would have made it harder for counterterrorism investigators to obtain firearms records and another would relieve banks from their duty to report suspicious transactions — failed by wide margins, even among Republicans.

Oh well. In the legislative spirit of his father — and who knows, potential rival one day for the White House — Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, sometimes it's more about the eggs than the omelets.

"I think there are victories and then there are symbolic victories," Rand Paul said in an interview Thursday. "And I think we had a symbolic victory here in the sense that we did get to talk about some of the constitutional principles of search and seizure and the Fourth Amendment."

His role in the Senate, he said, is to "draw attention to some important questions that get shuffled aside," he said, specifically constitutional questions that are of central importance to his libertarian base. "There aren't many other people that seem to be asking" his sorts of questions.

Paul appears to be modeling his style somewhat on people like Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., who once forced a Friday night procedural vote on an AIDS bill then failed to show up for it, or Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., who also often stymies legislation and sucks up time on his own doomed amendments.

"I love his courage," said Coburn, with the sort of alacrity reserved for parents who just saw their child get his first base hit. "I made a lot of mistakes as I was learning. I like what he is trying to do."

The people of Kentucky were not bait and switched by Paul, who decided to run for the Senate in 2009 when Sen. Jim Bunning — himself a thorn in the side of the Senate, though far more cantankerously so — decided to retire. Paul made no secret of his anti-tax zeal, his dislike of government intervention and his willingness to stand alone.

In his first remarks to the chamber once elected, Paul suggested that he would not be backing down from many of his passionately held views. "Is compromise the noble position?" he asked, not rhetorically.

Paul largely votes with his party but stood with more Democrats than Republicans in his opposition to the Patriot Act; he was alone in voting against a bill that would penalize people for aiming laser pointers at airplanes.

This week, by threatening to hold up voting on the Patriot Act, Paul managed to get his amendments to the floor even though one of his Democratic counterparts failed in his attempt to do the same and in spite of the fact that Reid and McConnell opposed them.

"At first we were fighting one leadership then the other," Paul said, "I don't think it came easy. I'm kind of worn out."

In the end his firearms amendment, which was not supported by the National Rifle Association, got a mere 10 votes; his bank-related one got only four.

Paul's impassioned floor speeches about civil liberties, and his gumption with his amendments, has won him fans.

"I think he's done a really good job of being bold," said Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who did not support either amendment. "Obviously he is passionate about this, and nobody holds this against him because he is so sincere."

McConnell voted for his budget plan, which also failed by a wide margin, because he said he had worked hard on it and "deserved my support."

Some feel less charmed.

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., when asked if Paul had made his mark, said, "Yes, he has. He has shown that." (Pause.) "He has stood out." (Longer pause.) "How do I say this? Let's just leave it at yes!"

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"A Different Kind Of Public Service" Is Another Reason To Like Rand Paul.

A different kind of public service
Man says Rand Paul saved his life with free cataract surgery


U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., walked the halls of Downing-McPeak Vision Center on Friday afternoon, consulting patients on various matters.

He wasn’t campaigning or fundraising, or even discussing legislative matters.

For Bowling Green resident Jerry Meredith, Paul was making a difference.

“It’s a miracle, he saved my life,” Meredith said.

On May 21, Meredith had cataract surgery performed by Paul, a Bowling Green ophthalmologist. He was already blind in one eye and could see only hand movements before the surgery.

“I got to see my grandkids for the first time,” Meredith said, leaning forward in his chair, trying to hold back tears. “He was excellent, Dr. Paul was. I’m grateful to him for doing what he’s done for me.”

Paul performed six surgeries May 21. Dr. Aaron J. Porter also performed surgeries that day. Downing-McPeak performs the surgeries annually as part of a nationwide program called “Mission: Cataract.” The program offers free cataract surgery to people of all ages who have no means to pay.

“I want to stay in practice so in case the voters decide they get tired of me, I have a job when I get home,” Paul said.

Meredith had been waiting about a year for the surgery and said he was depressed before the surgery. He couldn’t get around because of a lack of vision, and he also lost his job.

“I didn’t want to do anything,” Meredith said. “I just laid around, I was down in the dumps. I really didn’t care if I lived or died.”

Now, a week later, there’s optimism in Meredith’s voice as he speaks about his experience with Paul.

“I’m hoping to get back to work and just play with my grandkids and live the rest of it up,” Meredith said.

For Paul, it’s like living in two worlds, he said. Just a matter of days ago, Paul was on the Senate floor, filibustering against the USA Patriot Act.

“When I’m up (in Washington, D.C.), I’m in the middle of doing a filibuster and then I’m back home and my wife has a list of things I’m supposed to do in the yard,” Paul said.

Paul saw roughly half a dozen patients as he made the rounds around the office. Washington, D.C., didn’t come up - rather, he consulted about post-surgery matters, such as when to apply eye drops.

“I’d like to ask a lot of questions (about Washington, D.C.),” Meredith said. “I just haven’t gotten up the gumption.”

Paul is among just a few members of Congress who still occasionally provide medical services, such as U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla.

“It’s hard to find time,” Paul said. “Not all of them find the time to do them.”

Paul said he is looking for other opportunities to provide his services statewide in Kentucky.

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When Does Jared Lee Loughner Announce His Presidential Bid? If You Ain't Laughing You're Probably Dead! LMAO!


And Still More Kentucky Politics, As Steve Beshear Rolls Out More Names Of Republican Backers.

Beshear releases 2nd list of GOP supporters
Written by Joseph Gerth

For the second time in two weeks, Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear’s campaign has released a list of Republicans endorsing his re-election.

This time it’s headed by Owensboro Mayor Ron Payne, who praised Beshear for his economic development efforts in a campaign press release.

Beshear and his running mate, former Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson, face Senate President David Williams and Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer in the November election.

“I believe Gov. Beshear is the right leader for the job. He has done a tremendous amount to help this community. His jobs initiatives have helped with the creation and retention of jobs,” Payne said in the release.

In all, Beshear included 56 names on his list of Republican supporters, including Phoebe Wood, the former chief financial officer of liquor giant Brown-Forman. Last week’s list included the names of 70 Republican supporters.

Bill Hyers, Beshear’s spokesman, said the campaign hopes to release the names of more Republican backers later in the campaign.

The Williams campaign responded by trying to tie Beshear to President Barack Obama, and it promised to release endorsements of its own soon.

“Kentucky continues to suffer under the failed leadership of Obama and Beshear, and Kentuckians won’t stand for four more years of inaction and incompetence when it comes to creating jobs,” Williams’ political director Andi Johnson said in a statement.

“We are getting a tremendous amount of support from conservatives in both parties. We expect to roll out several coalitions that support David Williams for Governor in the coming weeks,” she added.

Meanwhile, the Williams campaign sent out a press release criticizing Beshear for furloughing state workers as part of the plan to balance the state budget.

Beshear ordered six days of furloughs for all state workers in the current fiscal year, which ends June 30. Friday was one of those furlough days.

But in a press release, Williams criticized Beshear, saying that had he managed the state properly, no furloughs would have been necessary.

“Furloughs are a budget gimmick. Twice I’ve insisted on budget language that would have truly balanced Kentucky’s budget with recurring cuts that included reductions in personal service contracts and political appointees.” Williams said in a release.

“Both times Governor Beshear vetoed that language. He cuts the salaries of hard-working state employees and instead fights for the jobs and contracts of his political friends,” he said in the release.

Hyers declined to respond.


On The Subject Of Kentucky Politics, Monroe County Man Sentenced To Home Confinement For Vote Buying.

Man sentenced in Monroe vote-buying scheme

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) -- A south-central Kentucky man who admitted conspiring to pay for votes in the 2006 general election in Monroe County has been sentenced to probation with six months on home confinement and fined $2,000.

The U.S. attorney's office says 53-year-old Gary M. Bartley of Tompkinsville admitted in February that he conspired with others between October and November 2006 to buy votes in the general election in Monroe County. Prosecutors said Friday that the scheme involved candidates that included the office of county judge-executive.

Former Judge-Executive Wilbur P. Graves was convicted in March of conspiring to buy votes during the same election to re-elect himself and is scheduled to be sentenced July 21 in Bowling Green.

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More From Gatewood Gailbraith Campaign, This Time It Has To Do With State Vehicles.


The Use of State Vehicles

Frankfort, Kentucky May 27, 2011 We are not above stealing a good idea when we see one. Gov. Jerry Brown of California has taken major steps to reduce the fleet of state owned cars. Kentucky would benefit from following his example.

In light of recent reports about the abuse of state vehicles, Gatewood Galbraith and Dea Riley promise to make these changes as soon as their administration takes office.
• Eliminate the assignment of Ford Crown Victoria, large SUV’s and other vehicles for the personal use of all elected officials, including the Governor and Lt. Governor, and all agency and department heads.
• A fifty percent reduction in the state owned fleet of automobiles.
• The conversion of all state vehicles to more energy efficient vehicles.
• Elimination of all reserved parking spaces at state owned buildings except for handicap and visitor spaces.

“If you are important enough to have a reserved parking space you should be at work early enough to get the best space in the lot and the state is going to quit pimping the ride you put in that space,” said Gatewood Galbraith.

Ralph Long

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Gatewood Galbraith Gets 5,000 Signatures Needed To Run For Kentucky Governor.

Galbraith gets 5,000 signatures for governor run

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) -- In a move that has helped to organize supporters, independent gubernatorial candidate Gatewood Galbraith said Friday he now has the 5,000 signatures needed to get his name put on the general election ballot in Kentucky.

Galbraith, a Lexington attorney, said he intends to collect another 5,000 signatures before turning them over to the secretary of state's office to officially enter the race against Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear and Republican nominee David Williams, just in case the opposing campaigns challenge the eligibility of some of the people who signed.

Last December, Galbraith filed paperwork declaring his intent to enter the race for governor. Under Kentucky law, independent candidates also must collect at least 5,000 signatures from registered voters, which, Galbraith said, isn't as easy as it may sound.

"There's no doubt; it's a burden," he told The Associated Press on Friday. "But I understand there needs to be a threshold so the ballot doesn't become overcrowded. That's the rule in place, and we're going to comply with it."

Galbraith said collecting the signatures has strengthened his campaign by energizing supporters and establishing grassroots organizations in the majority of Kentucky counties.

"It's a natural organizing tool," he said.

Early on, Galbraith differentiated himself from the other gubernatorial candidates by taking a strong stand against mountaintop removal coal mining, charging that it has caused "unsurpassed environmental damage" in Appalachia and should not be permitted to continue.

Both Beshear and Williams have called for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to ease restrictions that have made it difficult for coal companies to get governmental permission to open new mountaintop mines or to expand existing ones.

Galbraith had received an early endorsement from the United Mine Workers of America, only to have it rescinded later. Union leaders opted to instead support Beshear, who they believed had a better chance of winning the Nov. 8 election.

Mountaintop removal has long been a heated issue in Kentucky politics. Demonstrators have been sitting outside Beshear's office each Thursday to bring attention to the procedure, in which forests are cleared and rock is blasted apart to get to coal buried underneath. The leftover dirt, rock and rubble usually is dumped into nearby valleys. Coal operators say it is the most effective way to get to the coal, while environmentalists say it does irreversible damage.

Frankfort resident Angela Mitchell, a solitary protester who sat outside Beshear's office for two hours on Thursday, said she's a likely Galbraith supporter.

"I don't' feel like we're getting anywhere with the other two candidates, so maybe it's time for a change," she said.

Galbraith also stands apart from Beshear and Williams as a proponent of legalizing hemp and medicinal marijuana, positions that have marginalized him for mainstream Kentucky voters in four previous runs for governor.

Since announcing his interest in running again, Galbraith has downplayed the marijuana issue, saying it's only a minor part of his platform.

Galbraith said he believes he can win the general election against much better-funded candidates. Williams raised some $1.2 million for the primary election race that he won earlier this month. Beshear has raised about $5 million and is already on the air with the first television ad of the general election season.

"It doesn't make any difference how much money Gov. Beshear spends," Galbraith said. "If your vote's not for sale, it doesn't matter how much he spends."

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Friday, May 27, 2011

"Bishop" Eddie Long, Who Vowed To Fight The Lawsuit Against Him By Men Parishioners He Used As Sex Objects, QUIETLY Settles Lawsuits. Watch Video.

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Let's Send "The Master Of Hell", Ratko "The Rat" Mladic, Straight To Hell!

Watch video below:

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Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Read the piece below:
A master of hell

The arrest Thursday of Ratko Mladic, the Bosnian Serb general charged with orchestrating many of the worst massacres in the former Yugoslavia during the 1990s, should be applauded by all who want perpetrators of crimes against humanity held to account.

Mladic has been indicted by the U.N. war crimes tribunal in The Hague in the Netherlands, charged with the executions of thousands of Bosnian and Croatian men, mutilation and rape of women, and murder of children. A war crimes tribunal judge spoke during the 1995 indictment of a man forced to eat the liver of his own grandson.

Mladic now faces extradition to stand trial in The Hague, where he would face life imprisonment, if convicted of genocide and other crimes. Former Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic died while on trial before the tribunal, and the Bosnian Serb leader at the time of the civil wars, Radovan Karadzic, is now on trial in the Dutch capital.

Coming 50 years after the end of World War II and what Europeans believed would be the last mass murders on the continent, the savagery of “ethnic cleansing” in the Balkans especially shocked Europe. To make matters worse, the bloodiest atrocity — the 1995 massacre of as many as 8,000 Muslim men and boys in the Bosnian town of Srebrenica, under Mladic's direction — occurred in what was supposed to be an internationally guaranteed safe zone guarded by Dutch soldiers.

For Europe, Mladic's apprehension helps bring its nightmare to an end. For Serbia, the arrest eases the transformation from pariah state to a respected nation — and may clear the path for admission to the European Union.

For civilized societies everywhere, putting Mladic on trial would underscore that justice is the ultimate answer to despotic brutality.

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It Makes SENSE To Consolidate Kentucky's 120 Counties, But Making Sense Is EXACTLY What DOOMS Idea.

Consolidate for E. Ky. survival

As working-age people continue to leave rural Kentucky, causing the birth rate and population to shrink, the local tax base also shrinks — but not the number and cost of local governments.

This obvious inefficiency periodically receives a bit of attention from the legislature or some study commission.

Recently, the release of 2010 Census numbers, showing a population loss in most Eastern Kentucky counties, has reminded us of the drain on public resources from having too many counties, each with its own identical set of overhead expenses.

(Only three states — Texas, Georgia and Virginia — have more counties than Kentucky. In only two states — Virginia and Rhode Island — is the average size of counties in square miles smaller than here. Kentucky had the most counties per capita in 1994. We couldn't find a current study but doubt Kentucky has been surpassed on that dubious measure.)

Because the obvious solution to too many counties would require some elected officials and political bosses to give up all or part of their power bases, and because legislators are closely tied to local elected officials and political bosses, no one ever seriously expects anything to change.

If anything, the more the economic pie shrinks, the tighter those in control hold on to their crumbs.

In Harlan County, which lost 13 percent of its population in the 2000s, it has been a torturous struggle to create a water authority that would connect the water systems of nearby Cumberland, Benham and Lynch.

There's a powerful incentive for cooperation: a state grant from the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority.

Despite that and the obvious advantages from efficiencies of scale, it has been a challenge to reach an accord because some people are afraid of losing control and are suspicious of their neighbors.

The latest news, according to the Harlan Daily Enterprise, is that the cities have reached an agreement and the Tri-Cities Utilities Authority is moving forward.

That's a great development, especially if it can serve as a model for cooperation and other inter-governmental projects.

For one of America's most distinctive regions, Eastern Kentucky has an especially difficult time thinking and acting as a region or looking across county lines and seeing potential allies rather than rivals. (In this it's not unique; we could say much the same of Central Kentucky.)

The demise of the East Kentucky Corporation is a case in point. The Hazard-based economic development agency, created by the legislature in 1990, recruited 27 new companies with 4,130 jobs to 20 counties during its 13-year existence and raised more than $1 million in private funds for small-business loans.

But when then-Gov. Ernie Fletcher decided to end its state funding, there was barely a peep of protest from Eastern Kentucky legislators or local officials.

Because the agency had been scrupulously regional and non-political in its approach, it wasn't viewed as a political resource to parochial-minded politicians. Bereft of patrons, it went down without a fight.

Merging counties, or even merging county services, strains the imaginations of Kentucky politicians.

But imagination and radical change are probably the only way to turn the tide of decline in Eastern Kentucky.

The region's leaders should at least try to exercise their imaginations a little — for the sake of young people like Breathitt County High School valedictorian Emily Tackett, featured on Sunday's front page, who wants to live near her big, close family and raise a family of her own in a place she loves, but who already knows that, unless something changes, there's not much room for a bright young person's big dreams.

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It's Election Year, So Lexington Herald Leader Won't Quit "Nipping" At Richie Farmer's "Heels".

Emails raise questions about Richie Farmer's reporting of personal mileage
By John Cheves

Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer racked up 2,645 personal miles on his state vehicle during the past three years while his office was telling the state he drove it only for business purposes, according to public records.

Email exchanges as early as 2008 between the Department of Agriculture's payroll office and the state Personnel Cabinet raise questions about the explanation Farmer offered earlier this month for not reporting his personal use of a state-owned sport utility vehicle. The personal use is part of his compensation and is taxable.

Earlier this month, state Auditor Crit Luallen notified the U.S. Internal Revenue Service and Kentucky Revenue Department about Farmer's "failure ... to report fringe benefits." Luallen cited the lapse in three consecutive annual audits, including one released this year.

A spokesman for Farmer, who is the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor, said again Thursday that Farmer began to fill out personal mileage reports in 2008 after the Personnel Cabinet told him to. But a woman in Farmer's office failed to submit his reports until Luallen's most recent audit, spokesman Bill Clary said.

"As I've said before, there was a massive management and communications breakdown," Clary said.

With the reports now belatedly submitted, Farmer will get amended wage and tax statements for the last three years to include the value of his personal mileage, Clary said. He declined to say what its monetary value was determined to be, but he said it won't be enough to require additional tax payments.

However, Department of Agriculture emails obtained under the state Open Records Act indicate Farmer, when told about the personal mileage requirements three years ago, claimed he did not drive a state vehicle for personal reasons.

In a March 26, 2008, email, the Personnel Cabinet advised the Department of Agriculture that the commissioner, as an elected official, must report personal mileage for wage and tax purposes just like any other state worker.

Responding April 8, 2008, Farmer's payroll supervisor, Tina Keene, said Farmer was unhappy to learn this.

"Like I thought, he did not like the idea at all," Keene wrote to the Personnel Cabinet. "Jamie (another agriculture payroll employee) said he hasn't turned anything in regarding vehicle yet. Ohhh Welll!!!"

On April 21, 2008, Keene asked the Personnel Cabinet, "What do you do when they won't address the issue at all?"

On May 8, 2008, Keene told the Personnel Cabinet that "we received vehicle information from the commissioner (and) none of his mileage is used for personal use."

"Does he drive this vehicle to commute to and from work?" asked Yvonne Richmond, a Personnel Cabinet manager.

"Yes, I believe he does," Keene replied. "So those are considered personal and he has to count those. Danita (an agriculture personnel official) told him that, I believe. There is a typed-in statement at the bottom of the form, 'We are unable to determine any personal use of the subject vehicle for the time frame set out.'

"I believe someone on his legal staff looked into this for him. I don't know. They don't communicate with us."

Keene wrote to Richmond again on Nov. 10, 2009, saying the state auditor's office was asking questions about Farmer's personal mileage.

"Wondering what happened regarding the commissioner's vehicle usage," Keene wrote. "Do you know if anything else was sent out to him, etc., etc. I found emails from back in May of 2008 and we still haven't heard anything."

Richmond wrote Keene back the same day: "Your agency replied that they could determine no personal use. We understood that to be your agency's response."

This year, on Feb. 15, Keene wrote Richmond to say the state auditor's office was asking more questions about Farmer's personal mileage. As a result, the Department of Agriculture was preparing to report several years' worth of mileage for Farmer and subsequently amend his wage and tax statements, Keene said.

"LOLOLOLOL that is crazy laughter!" Keene wrote. "The last documents I processed for vehicle on a commissioner was in 2001."

Farmer was unaware of these exchanges, Clary said Thursday.

Keene misunderstood what actually was happening, which is that Farmer properly filled out his mileage forms, but they were not leaving his office because of an employee's mistake, Clary said. Farmer never refused to comply with the rules, he said.

"The communication between our payroll office and the commissioner's office, which is in a different building, obviously was not very great," Clary said. "That communications breakdown was not addressed until (Luallen's) management audit was done in 2011."

Keene did not return a call Thursday seeking comment.

Read more:

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Again, Nick Anderson Provides The Comic Relief For Today.


Thursday, May 26, 2011

I Gotta Post This Again. Is Justice Being Sold Where You Live? Watch Video.


Inspite Of Rand Paul's GALLANT And ADMIRABLE Efforts, CONgress Renews The UN"PATRIOT" Act Without Consideration Or Debate. BOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Read more from WSJ.

Update: Here's a link to the bill (It is .pdf).

I'm sure you all are curious who voted for the extension and who did not, right?

Well, click this link for the Senate (As you'd notice, Rand Paul voted his principles. Call, write to thank him); and click this link for the House members (As you'd notice, John Yarmuth also joined Rand Paul and voted his principles, so call, write to thank him).

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Hilda Legg Concedes Secretary Of State Election To Bill Johnson.

Legg concedes Republican Secretary of State primary to Johnson
By Beth Musgrave

FRANKFORT — After picking up only six votes in a recanvass in the Secretary of State's race, Hilda Legg on Thursday conceded the Republican primary to Todd County businessman and teacher Bill Johnson.

Johnson will now face Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes, a Lexington lawyer, in the November general election.

Legg asked for a recanvass after the May 17 primary when Johnson edged out Legg by less than 1,100 votes, or about 1 percent of the vote.

A recanvass — which is a retabulation of voting machine totals — was conducted Thursday morning. The recanvass showed that Legg picked up nine votes in Martin County and two votes in Pulaski County. Johnson picked up four votes in Martin County and one vote in Pulaski County, leaving Legg with a net gain of six votes.

According to unofficial results, Johnson had 66,444 votes compared to Legg's 65,336.

Legg, a consultant who has worked in education and held several key positions in the federal government, said Thursday that she has not ruled out another run for political office. And despite losing the election, she would like to continue to look at ways to encourage people to vote.

While campaigning, Legg said she was often shocked about "how little people value the privilege and value of voting." Legg said that she would support the entire Republican ticket this fall, including Johnson.

Legg out-raised Johnson nearly 6 to 1. According to the latest campaign finance reports, Johnson raised $24,000 while Legg raised $143,910.

Johnson has said that he had a better organization and grassroots support than Legg, which counterbalanced Legg's large checkbook. Much of that support came from the Tea Party and other groups, Johnson said.

Johnson will need a substantial war chest to compete against Grimes, who beat incumbent Elaine Walker in the Democratic primary. Grimes, the daughter of a former Democratic Party chairman, out-raised Walker nearly 3 to 1. The latest report shows Grimes raised $378,660 compared with Walker's $123,945.

Read more:

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George Will Sees The Electoral Map Favoring The GOP. Frankly, I Don't Know What Glasses He's Wearing.

Electoral math favoring GOP

FILE - In this Feb. 11, 2011 file photo, Gov Mitch Daniels speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington. Daniels said Sunday, May 22, 2011, he won't run for president because of family concerns. "In the end, I was able to resolve every competing consideration but one," he said, disclosing his decision in a middle-of-the-night e-mail to supporters. "The interests and wishes of my family, is the most important consideration of all. If I have disappointed you, I will always be sorry, " Daniels said. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)
FILE - In this Feb. 11, 2011 file photo, Gov Mitch Daniels speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington. Daniels said Sunday, May 22, 2011, he won't run for president because of family concerns. "In the end, I was able to resolve every competing consideration but one," he said, disclosing his decision in a middle-of-the-night e-mail to supporters. "The interests and wishes of my family, is the most important consideration of all. If I have disappointed you, I will always be sorry, " Daniels said.

Written by George F. Will

WASHINGTON — Asked three weeks ago whether he would like to run for president, Mitch Daniels replied, “What sane person would like to?”

His decision against running, following Haley Barbour's and Mike Huckabee's decisions, illuminates a political asymmetry: Liberals think government, and hence politics, should be life's epicenter; conservatives do not.

Days before Daniels decided not to sacrifice his family's happiness for politics, he was asked about possible running mates. He said he would like to pick Condoleezza Rice, who happens to favor abortion rights. This quickened fears that he is indifferent to social issues important to the Republican nominating electorate, and that he might restore Bush administration persons and policies. A Daniels candidacy would have been difficult.

Daniels was mentioned, as Mitt Romney is, as the choice of the Republican “establishment.” It, however, died even before its bulletin board, the New York
Herald Tribune, did in 1966. The establishment was interred in 1964, when Barry Goldwater was nominated.

Today, South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint is the closest approximation of a Republican kingmaker, because since 1980 the candidate who has carried his state has won the nomination, and because the tea party trusts him. In 2008, he supported Romney. Two months ago, according to what The Hill newspaper calls “a source close to DeMint,” the senator would “never consider” doing so again unless Romney renounced his Massachusetts health care law as “a colossal mistake.” Subsequently, Romney decided to do the opposite.

Daniels' and Romney's decisions have made May an accelerating month for Tim Pawlenty, former two-term governor of the only state to vote Democratic in nine consecutive presidential elections — arguably the most conservative governor in Minnesota's history.

To make the most of his momentum, he should stop criticizing Barack Obama's Libyan intervention as insufficiently ambitious. Sounding like a dime-store Teddy Roosevelt (the real TR was bad enough), Pawlenty recently told the Pittsburgh
Tribune-Review, “I would tell Gadhafi he's got X number of days to get his affairs in order and go or we're going to go get him.”

Such chest-thumping bluster is not presidential, and is not Pawlenty's real persona. He actually is a temperate Midwesterner, socially and fiscally conservative. He is, as were almost half the participants in the 2008 Republican nominating events, an evangelical Christian, well positioned to inherit much of this cohort, which made Huckabee the winner of Iowa's 2008 caucuses.

The nomination is well worth winning. Alex Castellanos, an astute Republican consultant, notes (in The Daily Caller) that in 2008, Obama “held the best hand of cards” dealt to a candidate in living memory — a discredited GOP, a too-familiar 72-year-old opponent, an economic meltdown and, especially, George W. Bush: Obama won all, but only, states where Bush's favorable rating was below 35 percent. Still, even then, when Obama was a relatively blank slate, he won only 53 percent of the popular vote. He cannot be a novelty and the nation's Rorschach test twice.

There are many paths to 270 Republican electoral votes. Of the 10 states that will lose electoral votes because of the 2010 Census, Obama carried eight in 2008. The states John McCain carried then had 173 electoral votes and now have 180. A Republican nominee who holds those and adds Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, Indiana, Virginia and Nevada has 272 electoral votes.

In Pennsylvania, which has voted Democratic in five consecutive presidential elections, a late-April Quinnipiac poll showed independents disapproving of Obama's job performance by a 20-point margin, 57 percent to 37 percent, with a majority of Pennsylvanians saying he did not deserve re-election. If he loses Pennsylvania, where Republicans gained five House seats last year, he is unlikely to win Ohio — Republicans also gained five seats there — or a second term.

June will be the 762nd month since January 1948, when the Bureau of Labor Statistics began calculating the unemployment rate. And June will be the 68th month since 1948 with the rate at 8 percent or higher — the 29th such month under Obama. So 43 percent of the most severe unemployment in the past 63 years has occurred in the last 21/2 years. No postwar president has sought re-election with 8 percent unemployment.

The recession ended in June 2009, yet a late-April Gallup poll showed 55 percent of Americans describing the economy as in a recession or depression. Hence 78 percent are dissatisfied with the country's direction.

In 1960, candidate John Kennedy's mantra was, “I think we can do better.” In 2012, a Republican can win by recasting that as a question: “Is this the best we can do?”

George F. Will is a syndicated columnist with The Washington Post. His email address is


Breaking GREAT News: U. S. Supreme Court Upholds Portion Of Arizona Law Punishing Businesses For Hiring Illegal Immigrants.


Click on the case name to read the opinion.

Here's how the Justices ruled:

ROBERTS, C. J., delivered the opinion of the Court, except as to PartsII–B and III–B. SCALIA, KENNEDY, and ALITO, JJ., joined that opinion in full, and THOMAS, J., joined as to Parts I, II–A, and III–A and con-curred in the judgment. BREYER, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which GINSBURG, J., joined. SOTOMAYOR, J., filed a dissenting opinion. KAGAN, J., took no part in the consideration or decision of the case.

NOW, believe it or not, this is the BEST way to combat illegal immigration, and all remaining 49 states should IMMEDIATELY jump on the Arizona's bandwagon and enact similar "punish businesses for illegal hiring" laws.

Did you hear: IMMEDIATELY!

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Kentucky GOP Calls For Investigation Of Steve Beshear Over Calls On Behalf Of Campaign Contributors With Pension Agency.

GOP wants investigation of calls by Beshear’s office to pension agency
By John Cheves

State Republicans called for an independent investigation on Wednesday into phone calls made by Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear’s office to Kentucky’s main pension agency to suggest meetings with political supporters working on behalf of private investment companies.

Meanwhile, Democratic State Auditor Crit Luallen will examine the matter as part of an ongoing audit of business practices at the Kentucky Retirement Systems that is scheduled for release next month, spokeswoman Janet Cantrill said.

Beshear spokeswoman Kerri Richardson suggested Republicans need to find “some real issues.”

“It’s obvious that the silly season has arrived when the Republican Party seeks to create something out of nothing,” Richardson said.

Steve Robertson, chairman of the Republican Party of Kentucky, said the Democratic governor’s office should not use the state pension fund to help his political backers.

“The people named in this scandal, they’re not investment experts, they’re political allies of the governor. Yet the governor’s office is pushing them onto the pension system,” Robertson said.

The Herald-Leader reported Wednesday that Mike Burnside, until recently the executive director of KRS, said he met with Beshear supporters Mark Guilfoyle and Jill Daschle only because the governor’s office called him and requested it.

Guilfoyle and Daschle represented Fort Washington Investment Advisors of Cincinnati and EnTrust Capital of New York, respectively, the companies confirmed this week. Neither firm won a contract to manage assets at KRS, which oversees about $13 billion for state and county government retirees.

Guilfoyle, a Northern Kentucky lawyer and lobbyist, is a longtime Democratic activist and donor who served on Beshear’s 2007 transition team. Daschle’s husband was executive director of the Democratic Governors Association, which spent at least $2 million to help elect Beshear.

Burnside said he met with them but referred them to his investment staff.

“I explained that everyone would have to go through the same due diligence process required of all agencies seeking to do business with KRS, including review and approval by the investment committee,” Burnside said.

Burnside was fired last month when Beshear appointees took control of the KRS board, two of them becoming chairwoman and vice chairman.

The Republican Party on Wednesday called for Attorney General Jack Conway to appoint an independent prosecutor to investigate the issue, because Conway, a Democrat, has his own ties to some of the people involved.

Conway’s former campaign manager, Mark Riddle, was an EnTrust Capital employee for two years, paid to introduce the company to officials at the Kentucky Teachers’ Retirement System. Entrust Capital managing partner Gregg Hymowitz gave $2,400 to Conway’s 2010 U.S. Senate campaign.

In response, Conway spokeswoman Shelley Catharine Johnson said: “It is the policy of this office to neither confirm nor deny the existence of an investigation.”

Luallen, the state auditor, did not know about calls made by the governor’s office to KRS on behalf of supporters, Cantrill said. Luallen “will look into the questions raised” as part of her ongoing audit, Cantrill said.

Robertson said he might file a complaint with the Executive Branch Ethics Commission, which could take administrative action against Beshear and his aides, but first he needs to do additional research.

The five-member ethics commission — appointed by the governor — has jurisdiction over the state pension agencies. But the ethics laws are open to interpretation. For example, the law says a public servant cannot “use or attempt to use his official position to secure or create privileges, exemptions, advantages or treatment for himself or others in derogation of the public interest,” but it offers no more detail.

In an attempt to clarify, the ethics commission has issued several opinions over the years advising the governor and his top aides to stay out of routine bureaucratic decisions, such as merit-system hiring, if political supporters are involved. Intended or not, a suggestion from the governor’s office can be seen to many in Frankfort like a command, the commission has advised.

“Because of the source of the recommendations, employees responsible for hiring may feel pressure or an obligation to place such individuals in positions,” the commission wrote in 2007.

Richardson, the Beshear spokeswoman, said there’s no evidence the governor’s office pressured anyone.

“No agencies are pressured to do business with anyone,” Richardson said. “In fact, apparently the KRS chose not to do business with these two groups.”


If You Ever Should Wonder Why We Voted For Rand Paul, Then Read This News On The Patriot Act. Rand Paul Is A REAL PATRIOT.

Rand Paul holds up anti-terrorism law over gun provisions
Written by James R. Carroll

WASHINGTON — Sen. Rand Paul is blocking the renewal of key provisions in an enhanced surveillance law — enacted after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks — because of a dispute with the Senate’s Democratic leader over gun rights.

With the provisions set to expire at midnight Thursday, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper warned that “the nation will be less secure” if they lapse even briefly.

In remarks on the Senate floor, Paul, R-Ky., said he objected to the extension of the PATRIOT Act provisions without debating the law’s merits and constitutional problems and without having an opportunity to amend it.

In particular, he said “there is no reason we should allow our government to troll through our gun (purchase) records.”

“The government has looked at 28 million electronic records,” Paul said. “They are just sifting through all of our records looking for things. … We need not be so frightened that we give up our liberty in exchange for security.”

But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., accused Paul of “political grandstanding.”

“At midnight tomorrow, the PATRIOT Act will expire,” Reid said. “Unless the senator from Kentucky stops standing in the way, our law enforcement will no longer be able to use some of the most critical tools they need to counter terrorists and combat terrorism.

“If they cannot use these tools — tools that identify and track terrorist suspects — it could have dire consequences for our national security,” the Democratic leader said.

Reid added that Paul “is fighting for an amendment to protect the right — not of average citizens, but of terrorists — to cover up their gun purchases.”

By Wednesday night it appeared the provisions were in real danger of lapsing unless Paul backed off his demand for a debate. Reid invoked an obscure procedure that could not be blocked using filibuster tactics, but Paul has insisted on using all of the time for debate allowed under Senate rules.

Reid said there would be a vote Thursday morning on cutting off debate, but it was unclear whether there would be enough time to prevent the provisions from lapsing at least briefly.

The language about to expire permits the government to conduct surveillance of non-Americans deemed “lone-wolf” terrorists; to obtain records for tracking bomb-making chemicals and vehicle rentals; and to conduct so-called roving surveillance of cell phones and e-mails used by terrorists.

The issue of government access to gun purchase records has been raised by the Gun Owners of America. The group told members on its Website that it’s possible the government could go to a “secret court” and “obtain an order to produce every (federal gun purchase record) in the country, ostensibly because a ‘terrorism investigation’ requires it.

The organization also raised concerns that the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is proposing rules to require the reporting of multiple sales of semi-automatic weapons and to compile a registry of such reports.

The Gun Owners contributed $58,680 to Republican lawmakers and candidates for the Senate and House in 2010, including $4,671 to Paul, records with the Federal Election Commission show.

Paul said during the Senate debate that Reid was accusing him “of wanting to allow terrorists to have weapons to attack America.”

“To be (accused) of such a belief when I'm here to discuss and debate the constitutionality of the PATRIOT Act is offensive,” he said. “I find it personally insulting. And I think it demeans the body.”

But Paul also said the Democratic majority is “petrified” of a vote on gun issues because most Americans agreed with him.

Reid said earlier that he had tried to work out an agreement with Paul to bring six amendments to a vote, four of them authored by the Kentuckian and two by Democrats. He said Paul rejected that arrangement.

Paul told his colleagues that Reid had abandoned his February promise to allow a debate on the surveillance law and amendments to it.

“Do we fear terrorism so much that we will not have a debate?” Paul said. “I think that’s a sad day.”

The Kentucky lawmaker also said the surveillance law wrongly allows banks to comb through customers’ records for suspicious activity without the approval of a judge. And, he added, there are no provisions for the destruction of records the government collects on people who are not suspected of any wrongdoing.

The freshman senator skipped a Tuesday speech to a joint meeting of Congress by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, staying in his Senate seat to keep the legislation from moving forward.

Paul won some praise from Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., who was a member of the House when the anti-terrorism law was passed after the terrorist attacks. Udall said “basically, everybody was told we just need to pass this.”

But there have been abuses, and court cases are raising constitutional issues, Udall said.

“We are at a point where we need deliberation,” he said. “I very much appreciate the senator from Kentucky speaking out on this issue.”

Clapper, however, urged the Senate not to allow any lapse in the law.

In a letter to Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Clapper said that with enhanced threats to the United States “the intelligence and law enforcement communities are working at a rapid pace to analyze and exploit recently collected intelligence to safeguard our national security.”

“The information obtained at the (Osama) bin Laden compound must be quickly analyzed for any indications and warning of terrorist plots and attack plans,” he added. “As part of this effort, we are using all our collection authorities to investigate and prevent terrorist attacks.”

McConnell did not get involved in Wednesday’s controversy.

“This is a disagreement between Sen. Paul and the majority leader,” McConnell spokesman Robert Steurer said in an e-mail.

McConnell said on Monday that the PATRIOT Act “is one of the critical tools for keeping America safe.”

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"NEXT Comic Relief"! LMAO!!


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Federal Judge Rules Jared Loughner, Shooter Of Gabrielle Giffords, Is Too Mentally Ill To Stand Trial. Heck, The Mugshot Tells The Story.

A federal judge ruled Wednesday that Jared Loughner, the man accused of attempting to assassinate Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and killing six other people, is too mentally ill to stand trial, opting to reevaluate his mental health in four months. The decision followed an outburst from Loughner that led to his temporarily being ejected from the courtroom by federal marshals.

To read more, follow

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BELATEDLY And Many Moons After The Fact, Gatewood Galbraith/Dea Riley Campaign "Apologizes" For Steve Beshear "Dissing" Potus Barack Obama.

An Apology to All Military Families

Frankfort, Kentucky May 25, 2011 On this Memorial Day, on behalf of the citizens of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Gatewood Galbraith and Dea Riley would like to apologize to all members of the military, veterans and their families for the recent actions of Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear.

Gov. Steve Beshear recently snubbed of the President, the Vice President and those special forces operatives at Fort Campbell who were responsible for the demise of Osama Bin Laden. Governor Beshear was too busy attending social events at Churchill Downs to honor the sacrifice of those wearing the uniform of this country.
Simply put, Beshear was afraid to be photographed standing next to the President because he thought it might cost him votes in Kentucky. His behavior was totally unacceptable for a Governor of Kentucky.

Once again, Beshear’s actions show he puts partisan political gain ahead of doing the right thing. Shame on you Governor, for putting your self-interest above men and women who risk their lives to defend this country.
A former Marine, Gatewood Galbraith promises that when it comes to supporting our troops and their families he will always stand with them and their Commander and Chief.

Some things are bigger than getting elected Governor of Kentucky.

Ralph Long


Tim Pawlenty's "Truth" (And Fibs).

Pawlenty's 'truth' (and fibs)
Written by Dana Milbank

WASHINGTON — It was Tim Pawlenty's moment of truth. Actually, several moments of truth.

“We're going to have to look the American people in the eye and tell them the truth, and that's what I'll be talking about,” the former Minnesota governor proclaimed to Erica Hill on CBS' “Early Show” on Monday as he formally began his quest for the Republican presidential nomination.

“President Obama unfortunately doesn't have the courage to look the American people in the eye and tell them the tough truth,” Pawlenty informed Matt Lauer on NBC's “Today” show. “I'll do that.”

In a phone interview with Hot Air blogger Ed Morrissey, he promised “a serious, tell-the-truth, courageous message.”

And in Des Moines, Pawlenty delivered an announcement speech, “A Time for Truth,” that contained 16 instances of the word “truth” in the prepared text.

But just an hour after unburdening himself of these truths in Iowa, the candidate went on Rush Limbaugh's radio show and told a bit of a fib.

The talk-show host, who serves as the unofficial gatekeeper to the Republican nomination, presented Pawlenty with a 2006 newspaper article in which he said that “the era of small government is over” and that “government has to be more proactive, more aggressive.”

The truth-teller beat a hasty retreat. He claimed that he had merely been referencing somebody else's words — “I didn't say those words myself” — that his political opponents had “pushed that falsely,” and that the newspaper was motivated by political bias and was forced to issue a correction.

To verify Pawlenty's truthfulness, I looked up the article, from the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and discovered that Pawlenty had taken some liberties with the facts.

The article is all about Pawlenty's efforts as governor to take on drug and oil companies and other practitioners of “excessive corporate power.” It includes his boast that many ideological Republicans “don't even talk to me anymore” because of his support for things such as the minimum wage.

“The era of small government is over,” Pawlenty told the newspaper. “I'm a market person, but there are certain circumstances where you've got to have government put up the guardrails or bust up entrenched interests before they become too powerful. … Government has to be more proactive, more aggressive.”

The newspaper did issue a “clarification,” but only to say that Pawlenty's quote about small government was “in reference to a point” made by the conservative writer David Brooks — one that Pawlenty, from his other comments, obviously agreed with.

For Pawlenty, truth-telling is an attractive theme, particularly now that he hopes to earn the support of conservative intellectuals who had been hoping for a Mitch Daniels candidacy. And, on his first day as truth-teller, he did offer up some straight talk. He took the brave position of telling the crowd in Des Moines that he would like to do away with ethanol subsidies, and he promised to tell Floridians that he wants to raise the Social Security retirement age.

But in the Republican primary race, the real risk comes from speaking truth to party orthodoxy, as when Newt Gingrich took issue with House Republicans' plan to turn Medicare into a voucher program. And Pawlenty, who as governor offended ideologues — particularly with his support of a national cap-and-trade program for greenhouse gases — now wouldn't think of it. After all, the same ideologues that he boasted about offending in 2006 now control the nominating process.

The 2006 article, which came out in the heat of Pawlenty's gubernatorial re-election battle, mentioned that he supported a ban on prescription-drug advertising and fought for reimporting price-regulated drugs from Canada. Pawlenty argued that “government has to step in” to prevent oil companies from “suppressing the development of alternative fuels.” The article called him a “latter-day trust buster, a reformer who is unafraid to challenge big business and wield government power.”

Limbaugh told Pawlenty that his quotes about small government and “aggressive government” sounded like those of “inside-the-Beltway Republicans” who “believe in an active, powerful executive, of an engaging government that's big enough to handle the requests and demands of the people.”

Pawlenty did indeed have such a message in 2006, when he was asking Minnesotans to give him a second term. But he surrendered immediately when Limbaugh challenged him. “That incorrect quote has haunted me, and I'm glad I had a chance in this big national forum on your great show to clarify,” he explained.

In the race for the Republican presidential nomination, some truths are just too hard to tell.

Dana Milbank is a Washington Post columnist. His email address is


Breaking News: Kim Kardashian Is Engaged To A "FOOL", New Jersey Nets Forward Kris Humphries, Who Deserves Our PITY!

Read more here, and try to pity the guy.

She's a whore, and this marriage is headed for DISASTER!

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Christian Group Targets Rand Paul, Paul Ryan And Other Republicans Over Love For Ayn Rand. And No, This Is Not A Play On Words. Watch Videos.

David Williams/Richie Farmer Campaign Replaces Campaign Manager Scott Jennings With TEA Partier, Luke Merchant.

Williams looks to tea party for campaign manager

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) -- A week after a lackluster win in Kentucky's gubernatorial primary, Republican David Williams replaced his campaign manager on Tuesday with a Florida tea party operative.

Luke Marchant, who served as political director in tea party darling Marco Rubio's successful U.S. Senate race last year in Florida, replaces Kentucky GOP insider Scott Jennings. Jennings will continue to serve as general consultant and senior policy adviser to Williams.

Jennings said the Williams campaign needed additional manpower, and Marchant's experience with the tea party made him a natural choice for a campaign against Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear and independent candidate Gatewood Galbriath.

"There's no doubt that Luke has a tremendous amount of experience organizing people who identify with the tea party," Jennings said. "Luke is a guy who has that very recent and very successful experience harnessing tea party activism and turning that into a very positive force in a campaign."

The Williams campaign termed Marchant's hiring a staff expansion, not a shakeup. Jennings said plans are to hire additional personnel to bolster what was a lean primary campaign staff.

"After meeting with Scott and Sen. Williams, I am more convinced than ever that this is the right ticket to get Kentucky's economy back on track," Marchant said in a statement. "They have the ideas and passion to deliver prosperity to Kentucky families, and I'm coming to help achieve that goal."

All three candidates have been reaching out to Kentucky's tea party groups since their favored candidate, Louisville businessman Phil Moffett, lost to Williams in a three-way race. That loss left some Moffett supporters bitter and threatening to support Beshear or Galbraith or to sit out the November general election.

Marchant previously served as political director for Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and as campaign manager for Texas Congressman Pete Olson.

"This will likely not be the last expansion of the campaign," Jennings said in a statement. "There is serious national interest in this race and people across the country have taken an interest in electing a solid, conservative ticket in Kentucky."

The Williams campaign had raised and spent $1.2 million for the primary race, and won with 48 percent of the vote against Moffett who spent only about $120,000 and received 38 percent of the vote and Holsclaw who spent about $30,000 and received 14 percent of the vote. Now Williams faces the well-funded Beshear, who has raised more than $5 million and, as of his last financial disclosure report, still had more than $3 million in the bank.

Jennings said Williams has been working to replenish his campaign bank account. Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour will be in the Lexington on June 16 to host a fundraiser for him.

During the primary campaign, Jennings, a longtime political consultant, had been involved in every aspect of the race, managing staff, handling press, even shooting photographs on occasion.

"It is a natural thing for successful primary campaigns to expand as they head into statewide general elections," Jennings said. "We are excited to get an operative with Luke's experience, talent and reputation to come here and add to what we have already built."

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Steve Beshear Sought To Help Political Supporters Working For Private Investment Companies With Kentucky's Pension Agency.

Beshear's office sought meetings for political allies at pension agency
By John Cheves

At least twice in recent years, Gov. Steve Beshear's office called the Kentucky Retirement Systems to suggest meetings with two of the governor's Democratic political supporters who were working on behalf of private investment companies.

The supporters were Mark Guilfoyle, a Northern Kentucky lawyer and lobbyist who helped lead Beshear's 2007 transition team, and Jill Daschle, wife of the then-executive director of the Democratic Governors Association and daughter-in-law of former U.S. Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle.

Guilfoyle worked with Fort Washington Investment Advisors, based in Cincinnati, although he said in an interview that he was not paid. Daschle is managing director of investor relations at EnTrust Capital, based in New York.

The companies wanted to manage part of the multi-billion-dollar pension fund for state and county government retirees, said Mike Burnside, KRS executive director until he was fired last month. Both companies were given meetings, although neither won a contract with KRS, Burnside said.

"The only reason I took the meeting (with Guilfoyle) is that I was called by the governor's office and asked to meet with Guilfoyle and his client," Burnside said. "I received a similar request from an aide to the governor to meet with Jill Daschle, (who) had a client trying to do business with KRS as well."

State Sen. Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, on Tuesday said he was "outraged" to learn that the governor's office was making calls to promote certain investment firms at the pension system.

"We have enough problems with our public pensions in Kentucky that we don't need Governor Beshear playing politics with them," said Thayer, chairman of the Senate State and Local Government Committee. "The governor has some explaining to do."

Asked why the governor's office would call KRS in these instances, Beshear spokeswoman Kerri Richardson said such calls are meant to be "referrals," not endorsements intended to pressure state officials on anyone's behalf.

"Every day, the governor's office receives requests for information or offers of services, which are then routed to the appropriate agencies," Richardson said. "The governor's ultimate objective for the retirement system is the protection and growth of funds for the benefits of hundreds of thousands of current and retired public employees."

Ultimately, KRS rejected Fort Washington's investment offer in 2009. But that same year, the company won a contract to manage $200 million in high-yield bonds for the state's other sizeable pension fund, the Kentucky Teachers' Retirement System.

Officials at KTRS said they chose the company through open competition, and they were not advised by the governor's office, Guilfoyle or any other third party. The governor appoints three members of the KRS board of trustees, including its current chairwoman and vice chairman, but he does not appoint any KTRS board members.

"Nobody recommended them. We did it on the basis of our own study, as we always do," said Robert Conley, who heads the KTRS board's investment committee.

Pension inquiries

In September, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission opened an "informal inquiry" into KRS' use of "placement agents," well-connected middlemen who help sell investment services to pension funds. A review last year disclosed $15 million in agent fees, angering several KRS board members, who called the fees unnecessary. But none of those agents appeared to have direct ties to Kentucky politicians.

State Auditor Crit Luallen is in the final stages of her own broad examination of KRS, including the role of placement agents, which is scheduled to be presented next month to Thayer's legislative committee.

Unlike those previously identified, Guilfoyle and Daschle both have ties to Beshear, his senior staff and other Kentucky Democratic politicians.

Guilfoyle, who was an aide to Democratic Gov. Brereton Jones, and his wife have given at least $61,000 in political donations since 1998, including checks to Beshear and the Kentucky Democratic Party. He has been a Democratic Party leader and campaign strategist.

In 2007, Guilfoyle led Beshear's transition team at the Finance and Administration Cabinet, where he got to know Burnside, the outgoing finance secretary under Gov. Ernie Fletcher, according to interviews with Guilfoyle and Burnside. Burnside then took charge of KRS.

Fort Washington had "been calling on KRS and their consultants since 2006. Mark Guilfoyle helped to facilitate a call with the executive director," said company spokesman José Marques. "Mr. Guilfoyle is not a placement agent, as Fort Washington does not use placement agents."

Guilfoyle said he called Burnside to schedule the meeting for Fort Washington, which he also attended. Guilfoyle said he does not recall asking anyone in the governor's office to get involved.

"The bottom line is, I charged nothing to arrange the meeting and I never had any expectation of compensation," Guilfoyle said. "People help out friends for free every day, or at least I do."

"On our behalf"

Daschle, at EnTrust Capital, did not return calls seeking comment.

Bruce Kahne, EnTrust Capital's senior managing director, said Daschle wanted to approach KRS, so she spoke to a friend of hers, Vince Gabbert, then Beshear's deputy chief of staff. Daschle and Gabbert knew each other from Democratic election campaigns. Daschle's husband, then-chief of the Democratic Governors Association, worked to get Beshear elected in 2007.

Gabbert called Burnside "on our behalf," Kahne said.

Gabbert, now a vice president at Keeneland, said Tuesday that he did not remember making such a call.

"I'm not disputing him, but I don't recall talking to Mr. Burnside about this specifically," Gabbert said. "I can tell you this, I have never encouraged anyone to do business with anyone that wasn't on the up and up."

From 2005 to 2007, EnTrust Capital employed another Kentucky Democratic political operative, Mark Riddle, Kahne said. Riddle, a Frankfort lobbyist, has helped run campaigns for U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler, Attorney General Jack Conway and other prominent Democrats.

In an interview, Riddle said he introduced EnTrust Capital to officials at KTRS, the teachers' pension system, but not KRS. EnTrust Capital did not win a contract, he said.

"It never led to anything. And I was never compensated for anything," Riddle said. "I made a thousand dollars a month for, like, a year."

KTRS did meet with EnTrust Capital "a few years ago" and gave it the thumbs down because "it wasn't an attractive investment opportunity," said Robert Barnes, general counsel for the teachers' pension system.

Also, unlike KRS, KTRS avoids working with placement agents, Barnes said.

"Very simply, we don't do business with vendors who do business with placement agents," Barnes said. "There's a potential that if some payment is being made to someone who can influence the investment decisions, then you at least have the risk of it looking like a conflict. We decided, why run that risk?"

Riddle was an EnTrust Capital employee, not a placement agent, Kahne said.

Read more:


Joel Pett's "Who's The Dude With The Goatee"? Funny.


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Bowling Green Woman Charged For Arranging Fight Between Juveniles, Broadcasts YouTube Video On Internet.

YouTube fight leads to charges
BG woman accused of letting teens physically settle dispute in her yard


When two female Greenwood High School students decided to take their war of words to the next level and throw punches, the fight landed a Bowling Green woman in jail and the two girls in juvenile court.

On Sunday, Warren County sheriff’s deputies charged Shannon Megan Omeallie, 52, 581 Shaker Mill Road, Bowling Green, with two counts of third-degree unlawful transaction with a minor. Omeallie was booked into the Warren County Regional Jail, where she posted a $2,000 cash bond, according to court records. She is scheduled to appear in court at 8 a.m. Friday.

Omeallie, who is not related to either girl, is accused of allowing the two teens, who are 16 and 17 years old, to settle their differences by physically fighting on her lawn in front of a crowd of onlookers. The fight was captured on video and uploaded to the website YouTube, where Omeallie can be seen smiling as she turned and looked at the camera, according to court records.

“It’s so disturbing when parents allow this to go on that we felt it necessary to pursue criminal charges,” Warren County Attorney Amy Milliken said. “That behavior is so unacceptable.”

The fight originated in the school cafeteria during breakfast May 13, when one of the girls reportedly called the other girl profane names. The two confronted each other but decided not to fight at school. Another Greenwood student, who is related to Omeallie, offered to let the girls settle the dispute at the Omeallie residence later that day, according to records. That student’s name was not available in court records.

At about 4:30 p.m. the girls met at the Shaker Mill Road home, where 16 GHS students had assembled to watch the rumble.

The two girls began to pull each other’s hair and punch each other in the face with their fists. Blood could be seen running from the mouth of one of the fighters, according to court records.

Omeallie is accused of not intervening in an effort to stop the fight and of not breaking up the crowd, records show.

Omeallie could not be reached for comment prior to press time.

The two girls accused of fighting are facing second-degree disorderly conduct charges in juvenile court. The Daily News does not release the names of juveniles charged with crimes unless they are being tried as adults.

The Warren County Sheriff’s Office opened the investigation after receiving an anonymous tip three days after the fight.

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JDD: Democratic Programs Add To Black Unemployment.

Democratic programs add to black unemployment
Written by John David Dyche

Dozens from some of west Louisville's predominantly black churches marched last week for more jobs for young adults. Their activism is understandable.

Nationally, black unemployment is 16.1percent, teen unemployment 24.9 percent and black teen unemployment 41.6 percent. These rates are either unchanged or worse since last year despite the deficit-bloating $814 billion Democratic stimulus package and the Obama administration's supposed “Summer of Recovery.”

In Kentucky, Steve Beshear, the incumbent Democratic governor, campaigns for re-election claiming his “top priority has been to act aggressively to create and retain jobs.” But Kentucky's 10 percent unemployment rate exceeds the national 9 percent rate, ranks 44th among the states and is worse than every bordering state's rate.

The 10.4 percent unemployment rate in Jefferson County, where Beshear's running mate, Jerry Abramson, was mayor until recently, is higher than the state rate. It is also essentially unchanged from April 2010.

The Louisville metropolitan area's 10.2 percent rate is higher than that of Columbus, Ohio (7.1percent); Indianapolis (8.1percent); Nashville, Tenn., (8.3 percent); Birmingham, Ala., (8.4percent); Lexington, Ky., (8.4percent), and Cincinnati (8.9 percent).

It will take more than mere marching to improve this depressing jobs situation. Change for the better will require different leaders and smarter policies.

African Americans seeking employment progress must first free themselves from 50 years of political thrall to the Democratic Party. Well-intended Democratic programs too often hurt the very people the party professes to help and who help put it in power.

Take the minimum wage, for example. In 2007, congressional Democrats attached an increase to $7.25 per hour to a “must pass” war-funding measure. Republicans added some tax breaks for small businesses. This hybrid bill passed with large bipartisan majorities, and President Bush signed it.

A study by economists William Even of Miami University and David Macpherson of Trinity University recently issued by the pro-business Employment Policies Institute makes a compelling case that this minimum wage increase damaged the job prospects of young black men even more than the recession did.

In his book Race and Economics: How Much Can Be Blamed on Discrimination?, conservative economist Walter E. Williams, an African American, argues that minimum-wage laws have discriminated against the employment of low-skilled people, many of whom are black teenagers.

Yet, President Obama would increase the minimum wage to $9.50 per hour and index it to inflation. This would hurt minority hiring just as his health care law is doing.

Congressional Budget Office director Doug Elmendorf admits that “Obamacare” will reduce labor force participation by 800,000 over the next decade. The conservative Heritage Foundation attributes this to Obamacare's higher costs on businesses and its expanded benefits and subsidies. Obamacare discourages both hiring and work.

Wes Johnson Jr., co-owner of Louisville-area Buckhead and Rocky's restaurants, says, “The very people Obamacare purports to help will instead be significantly harmed because employers will reduce hours and benefits in order to afford the mandated coverage.”

Illegal immigration also hurts black employment. Vanderbilt professor Carol Swain, another African American, recently told a congressional committee that, “The rapid influx of cheap labor from foreign countries creates an oversupply of labor that works against the interests of native workers. It depresses wages, and it reduces opportunities,” especially for blacks who have a high school education or less.

U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, says, “The best outcome for low-skilled citizen and legal immigrant workers is the removal of the illegal immigrant population. The very jobs that illegal immigrants occupy rightfully belong to out-of-work citizens and legal immigrants.”

Yet, Obama supports letting 11 million illegal immigrants stay in America by paying fines and taxes, learning English and passing background checks. His administration sued to strike down Arizona's law letting police verify the immigration status of people encountered during lawful stops or arrests. Beshear did not back a similar law state Senate Republicans proposed for Kentucky.

Republican presidential candidate and African-American businessman Herman Cain says, “We shouldn't be suing Arizona, we should be giving them a prize.”

Some attribute disproportionately high black unemployment to racism, others blame the black family's breakdown and still others assign individual responsibility. Perhaps these things contribute to the problem. But Louisville's marchers for more jobs ought first help trample out misguided Democratic policies that definitely do.

John David Dyche is a Louisville attorney who writes a political column on alternating Tuesdays in Forum His views are his own, not those of the law firm in which he practices. Read him online at; email:

Editor's comment: In this piece, what JDD is positing is that, like taxes on business, when you keep raising the costs of doing business, those businesses will pass the costs on to someone else (consumers) -- either by increasing the prices of goods or by cutting back on new investments, including new hires. Unfortunately, young (and old) people bear the brunt of that decision, and when you add racism to the mix, young black men are the FIRST (and maybe, ONLY) casualties. So I believe what JDD writes!