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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Tax Incentives Spur General Motors (GM) To Build Another Vehicle In Bowling Green.

GM gets tax incentives, might add new vehicle at Bowling Green plant
By Scott Sloan

The General Motors assembly plant in Bowling Green, which has assembled the Corvette since 1981, is being offered state tax incentives to add production of another vehicle there.

General Motors is considering a new vehicle for its Bowling Green assembly plant, and the state government stepped in Thursday to entice it with $7.5 million in tax breaks.

The automaker is mum on what vehicle it might be adding at the plant, which produces Corvettes, but the head of the local union there said he thinks it's the next generation of the Corvette, which GM is expected to begin manufacturing by 2013.

"We've been trying to work with (GM) in order to get the future product ...," said Eldon Renaud, president of United Auto Workers Local 2164. "You never know from one generation to another if you'll get the opportunity to build it."

GM told the state the new vehicle production could mean the addition of 250 jobs that would pay an average of $42 hourly, including benefits. The plant now employs about 500 hourly and salaried workers, said plant spokeswoman Andrea Hales.

"At this time, the company is exploring what incentives might be available for the potential project," she said. "We are making no announcements at this time and have no set time frame to make a decision."

Hales added that other plants are being considered for the new vehicle. She declined to address whether it's the next generation of the Corvette.

GM told the state the investment for the project would be more than $131 million. That was characterized primarily as a refurbishment of the plant, according to state documents.

Renaud said he's been told the plant would need a new body shop to produce the next generation of the Corvette, which has been assembled in Bowling Green since 1981.

The plant's recent history has been rocky, as it has seen employment dwindle from about a thousand. In 2007, a deal between the UAW and GM suggested Bowling Green could see more than 2,000 new jobs as it would build the Saturn Sky and Pontiac Solstice. But that plan was scrapped in 2009 when the company announced it would discontinue those brands. That year, it also stopped producing its second vehicle, the Cadillac XLR.

The plant, however, survived a wave of closings that affected other facilities.

A condition of the new tax incentives is that if GM picks Bowling Green for the vehicle, it must maintain employment of at least 449 people at the site.

Read more: http://www.kentucky.com/2011/03/31/1691431/gm-may-add-new-vehicle-to-bowling.html#ixzz1IDrvOPMD

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However, If You Are Like Me And Can't Ride A Motorcycle But You Are Epicurean, Come Check Out "Taste Of Bowling Green". OOHHH WEEEE!

Taste of Bowling Green expected to include items from 40 vendors
By ALYSSA HARVEY

The Kentucky Restaurant Association South Central Chapter will help make some children’s wishes come true with the 25th annual Taste of Bowling Green.

The event will be April 7 at the Sloan Convention Center. Doors will open at 7 p.m. Tony Rose of 100.7 SAM FM will be master of ceremonies, and Skip Bond and the Fugitives will perform.

Tickets are $40 in advance and $45 at the door and may be purchased from any Dream Factory board member, at Balloon-a-Gram or any Chuck’s Liquor Outlet. Ticket holders will get a wine glass with the Dream Factory logo and the KRA logo.

“We are so excited,” said event chairwoman Beth Lennan. “We have about 40 vendors from Bowling Green and the surrounding areas. A lot of new vendors are going to be participating as well.”

Proceeds benefit the Dream Factory of Bowling Green, a nonprofit organization that grants dreams to critically or chronically ill children ages 3 to 18. The event typically brings in enough funds to sponsor four to eight dreams for the local chapter. Last year’s Taste of Bowling Green raised about $15,000 for the organization, Lennan said.

Vendors will offer a variety of food and drinks for guests to sample, and there will also be door prizes and a silent auction. The auction will include six tickets to a suite at a 2011-12 Western Kentucky University Lady Toppers game of choice, spa gift certificate, a business suite at a Bowling Green Hot Rods game, items autographed by Franklin-based PGA Tour golfer Kenny Perry, original art from local artists, fashion jewelry and a trip to Gatlinburg, Tenn.

The good cause, wide variety of vendors and atmosphere keep people wanting a taste of Bowling Green, Lennan said.

“We are the original tasting event of Bowling Green,” she said. “People love coming to this event. The proceeds go to such a great organization.”

— For more information, call (270) 799-1529 or visit www.tasteofbowlinggreen.com.

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For Those Of You Who Are Motorcycle Riders, Come Help Out The Teddy Bear Run. It Is A Worthwhile Cause.

Teddy Bear Run will benefit child advocacy center
By ALYSSA HARVEY, The Daily News

Motorcycles will cruise Bowling Green this weekend to raise awareness of April as Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month and of services offered by the Barren River Area Child Advocacy Center with the 12th annual Great Teddy Bear Run.

“Preregistration has been particularly high this year,” said center executive director Dawn Long. “We’re expecting a large turnout.”

Registration will begin at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at the Warren County Justice Center, and the parade will leave at 11:15 a.m. The riders will be escorted by the Bowling Green Police Department along the 16-mile parade route, which will continue to Veterans Memorial Lane, Campbell Lane, Lovers Lane, Cemetery Road and Cumberland Trace Road to Harley-Davidson Bowling Green.

Cost to ride in the parade is $10 and a teddy bear or an additional $10 donation in lieu of a teddy bear per bike. Proceeds benefit the Barren River Area Child Advocacy Center, which provides support and services to victims of child sexual abuse and their nonoffending family members and caretakers in a child-friendly environment.

“We give teddy bears to children coming in for medical exams. We give them to siblings, who are often too young to understand what’s going on,” Long said. “We share them with social services and law enforcement for kids who are being removed from their homes.”

Last year’s Great Teddy Bear Run raised more than $15,000. Attendance was down a bit because of weather, Long said, but the funds are a great help to the center.

“Over the years we’ve come to depend on them as a huge part of our budget. We receive limited state funds,” she said. “We couldn’t remotely serve all 10 counties if we didn’t have the Teddy Bear Run or our new gala event that is in the fall.”

The money raised from fundraisers “covers anything and everything,” Long said.

“It’s paying for lab fees for a child’s exam to utility bills to supplies for exams and our other services we provide,” she said. “We want to keep our mission and services moving forward. If we have budget cuts, these are the funds we’ll have to live on.”

In the center’s fiscal year, which ends June 30, the center will have seen between 350 and 400 children, Long said. There have been years that the center has seen as many as 500 children.

“Kentucky continues to lead in child abuse statistics. We continue to see a large number of kids,” she said. “Outlying counties use the center just as much as Warren County. We’re very much a regional center.”

The local Sun Products Corp. is a new sponsor for the Great Teddy Bear Run. The company’s Snuggle Bear will be at the event. Holly Nesbitt, community outreach coordinator for the business’s Bowling Green location, said for the last couple of years, different Sun Products locations have picked charities in the community to support. Nesbitt’s mother, a social worker for many years, told her about the Barren River Area Child Advocacy Center.

“I got on the Internet and checked out the website,” she said.

Nesbitt said the event is for a good cause and appeals to Sun Products’ local employees.

“We have quite a few motorcycle enthusiasts who work here. This is really something good,” she said. “We can work with this group and help them out. I think this is something we’ll do every year.”

— For more information, call (270) 783-4357.

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I Join Bowling Green Daily News In Congratulating Our Local Police For A Job Well Done In Murder Case.

Police show diligence in murder case
By the Daily News

Homicide detectives’ jobs can’t be easy, even under the most simple circumstances.

And when evidence is scarce, that job becomes even more treacherous.

Police get to know relatives of murder victims, and the relationships they build with those people have to focus them even more on making an arrest.

Those relationships can be long-lasting. Investigations can drag on for years.

Almost six years ago, two people were gunned down at Willow Creek Apartments, 1029 Shive Lane.

There were no solid suspects.

Thankfully, a joint investigation by the Bowling Green Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives led to an arrest in the case. Gilbert Uccardia Holts Jr., 30, of 1708 Jennifer Road, B3, Lexington, has been charged with two counts of murder in the deaths of Jamaal Covington, 26, and Latasia Kirk, 21.

Covington died of multiple gunshot wounds to the head; Kirk died of a single gunshot to the head, according to the arrest warrant.

Holts is in the Warren County Regional Jail on a $1 million bond. There will be a preliminary hearing at 8:30 a.m. Friday in Warren District Court.

Certainly, no case is solved until there is a guilty verdict, and Holts is innocent until proven guilty.

However, with an arrest, there is at least some momentum toward solving the case and law enforcement authorities should be commended for their diligence in the investigation.

While there has been an arrest, the pain and suffering of those left behind is far from over.

Kirk’s aunt, Sharon Jones, told a Daily News reporter that she anticipated feeling some relief about an arrest being made.

But she said the arrest just brought the pain and the memories back fresh in her mind.

“I just felt like somebody just called and told me she died all over again,” Jones said.

Despite the length of time between the crime and an arrest, Jones said she remained confident in BGPD Detective Barry Raley.

She said Raley always told her that “‘Before I retire, this is a case I’m going to solve.’

“So I never doubted him.”

Brittany Kirk, a sister of Latasia Kirk, said she was thankful for the job Raley and the police department did in making an arrest.

“He put in his time and effort, and he kept his word,” she said.

We are thankful for the work law enforcement has done in this case and are understanding about how this family member feels.

We are hopeful this case is solved and are proud that our safety and justice are at the forefront of the minds of those who are hired to protect and serve us.

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Haley Barbour FINALLY 'Fesses Up, Admits America's Civil War Was About Slavery. But Will Others Intent On Rewriting History Join Him?


Haley Barbour, slavery and the Civil War
By ROBERT S. MCELVAINE

Haley Barbour, the Mississippi governor and likely 2012 Republican presidential aspirant, has recently made a series of missteps involving race and the Civil Rights Movement. He seemed unclear about basic historical points.

But he has now made a forthright declaration about the events swirling around what some Southerners still call the War of Northern Aggression. “Slavery was the primary, central, cause of secession,” Barbour told me Friday. “The Civil War was necessary to bring about the abolition of slavery,” he continued. “Abolishing slavery was morally imperative and necessary, and it’s regrettable that it took the Civil War to do it. But it did.”

Now, saying slavery was the cause of the South’s Lost Cause hardly qualifies as breaking news — it sounds more like “olds.” But for a Republican governor of Mississippi to say what most Americans consider obvious truth is news. Big news.

It’s significant for two reasons: First, it sounds like Barbour is indeed running for the GOP presidential nomination. Second, it suggests that Mississippi has changed considerably since the 1960s.

Since the President Richard M. Nixon’s first administration, the GOP’s “Southern Strategy,” has aimed to lure white voters away from the Democrats. Before that, white Mississippi delegations walked out of Democratic National Conventions in 1948 and 1964, in protest over advances in civil rights.

In 1964, after President Lyndon B. Johnson pushed through the Civil Rights Act, Mississippians, who had never before voted in significant numbers for any Republican presidential candidate, cast an astonishing 87 percent of their ballots for Sen. Barry M. Goldwater.

In 2002, Sen. Trent Lott said he was proud that Mississippi had supported arch segregationist Strom Thurmond for president in 1948. If Thurmond had been elected, Lott said “we wouldn’t have had all these problems over the years.” This list could go on and on.

Many white Mississippians—though not nearly as many as in the past—still insist that secession was about “freedom” and states’ rights, not slavery. Those people are part of the Republican base in Mississippi — and elsewhere in the South.

Fifty years ago today, white Mississippi staged an extravaganza, billed as the “Secession Day Centennial.” Gov. Ross Barnett, decked out in a Confederate general’s uniform, led the parade, followed by thousands of men, marching or riding horses, all wearing Confederate gray uniforms. (Gray still seems an odd color choice for people adamantly opposed to the mixing of black and white.) Also on parade were marching bands, majorettes and women in antebellum dresses sipping mint juleps. Tens of thousands looked on, many giving the Rebel yell.

It was described as the biggest celebration in Mississippi’s history — and the grandest of the events across the South to mark the anniversary of the dissolution of the Union.

Virtually all Mississippi’s political leaders took part. The world’s largest Confederate battle flag, which stretched across Capitol Street, was the principal object of veneration. Thousands of people watched an outdoor re-enactment of the secession convention. Four grand balls were held that night to honor the state’s decision to secede.

A substantial fraction of Americans still have this image of 1961 Mississippi etched in their minds Recent news stories from the state have only helped to confirm that stereotype.

Much attention, for example, has been given to the Mississippi Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans’ proposal to commemorate the Civil War sesquicentennial by issuing a license plate honoring Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest. He is notorious for ordering the massacre of African-American Union troops at Fort Pillow, Tenn., in 1864 and as an early leader of the Ku Klux Klan.

Meanwhile, Barbour, in a December interview (LISTEN) with the Weekly Standard, said that the White Citizens’ Council, which helped enforce segregation, had been an organization that helped to bring about peaceful integration. He later had to issue a statement that the council was “totally indefensible.” He also had to revise his comments that he just didn’t remember the Civil Rights era in Mississippi as “being that bad.”

When combined with his refusal to denounce Forrest or the proposed license plate—all those images of Mississippi as a land of unreconstructed racists pining for the bad old days are back in people’s minds.

Mississippi got that reputation the old-fashioned way: It earned it. NAACP President Roy Wilkins spoke the truth in 1963 when he declared: “There is no state with a record that approaches that of Mississippi in inhumanity, murder, brutality and racial hatred. It is absolutely at the bottom of the list.”

It is time to ask, 150 years after the Civil War and 50 years after the Civil Rights Movement, how much Mississippi has changed. Attitudes toward secession and the war can provide a rough gauge.

A comparison of the centennial celebration of the state’s secession in 1961 with this year’s marking of the sesquicentennial is telling.

“Here in Mississippi,” the Biloxi Sun-Herald noted, “observances of milestones in Confederate history—if any have taken place—have escaped public notice.”

The exception that proves that rule is that the principal commemoration of Mississippi’s secession, held in January at the Old Capitol Museum, site in 1961 of the play glorifying the secession vote, began with the reenactment of a fiery speech by delegate John Wood — against secession.

Two historians followed with academic presentations, pointing out the fact, as stated in the “Declaration of the Immediate Causes which Induce and Justify the Secession of the State of Mississippi from the Federal Union,” that secession was motivated entirely by the desire to maintain slavery.

The few neo-Confederates in the audience maintained their silence throughout. In stark contrast to the commemoration 50 years ago, no major public officials or candidates for statewide office were in attendance.

“We are continuing to move away from the old myths of the Civil War,” former Mississippi Gov. William Winter told me recently, “the myth that it was not about slavery, that it was about states’ rights and control by the central government.”

“If we know anything about history,” the former governor continued, “if we read about the background of secession, we know that, of course, it was about slavery. The Southern states at that point would not have seceded but for the issue of slavery.”

Now Barbour, the sitting governor, has dared to make a similar statement. In so doing, he is stepping away from a portion of his base at home in an attempt to go national.

The evidence that Mississippi has changed greatly over the past half-century is clear. The state House of Representatives passed is a bill designating the last Monday in April as “Civil Rights Memorial Day.”

And, finally, there is this: The large commemorative event planned in Mississippi this year is not for the 150th anniversary of the Civil War — but for the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Rides.

That fact says a lot more about how far Mississippi has come than does the attempt by a few neo-Confederates to honor a Klansman or the previous statements of the current governor. The latter, though, remind us about how far we still have to go.

Robert S. McElvaine is Elizabeth Chisholm professor of arts & letters and chairman of the History Department at Millsaps College, in Jackson, Miss. His books include “The Great Depression: America, 1929-1941.” He is now writing “OH, Freedom! — The Young ’ 60s.”

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0311/52026_Page2.html#ixzz1IBEzfdG8

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Blog Postings Are Going To Be Very Scarce Today; Early Professional Duties Take Over. Check Back Later. Thanks.

Yes, check back later. Thanks.

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Speaking Of Republican Presidential Aspirants, This Is How Joel Pett Sees Newt Gingrich And Rand Paul.

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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Liberal Group Is "PISSED" At POTUS Barack Obama, Wants Him To "Moveon" And Fire GE's Former Boss Jeff Immelt, Obama's Job Creator.

Dear MoveOn member,

According to The New York Times, last year General Electric (GE) made over $14.2 billion in profit, but paid NO federal tax.1 None.
In fact, thanks to the millions GE spent lobbying Congress, we American taxpayers actually owed GE $3.2 billion in tax credits.2
Now GE is slashing health benefits and retirement benefits for new employees among non-union workers and is expected to push unions to accept similar cutbacks3, while its CEO, Jeff Immelt, gets a 100% pay raise.4

What's worse? Immelt now sits as chair of the President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness (Jobs Council), representing corporate America to the President on matters like job creation and corporate taxation. That's a slap in the face to every hardworking, tax-paying American—especially GE employees.
That's why we're teaming up with Russ Feingold and his new group Progressives United today to call for Immelt to go. Will you join the call?

Sign the petition calling for GE CEO Jeff Immelt to step down as chair of the President's Jobs Council.

One of the chief ways GE avoids paying taxes is by shifting a large portion of its profits overseas, and jobs follow.5 Now GE's CEO is the person charged with helping the President create jobs here in America. That's just perverse.
And if the American people got back just the $3.2 billion GE took in tax credits, it would pay for the programs that House Republicans want to gut, like community health centers providing care to over three million low-income people6 and food and health care assistance to pregnant women, new moms, and children.7 We'd even have enough left to save the jobs of over 21,000 teachers across the country.8

The American deficit is being weighed down by hundreds of billions spent on bailing out major corporations. The tea party's plan is to make working families pay through devastating cuts, instead of making corporations with billions in profits pay their fair share.
But if we can hold Immelt accountable for GE's corporate irresponsibility, the nation will turn its attention to the injustice of corporate tax evasion in the face of the Republicans' budget-slashing attack on working families.

Make it all happen by signing the petition calling for Immelt to go. Just click below—and share this email with your friends, family, and social networks today.
http://pol.moveon.org/immelt_must_go/?id=26713-14371402-0OZBZex&t=2

Thanks for all that you do.

–Lenore, Tim, Marika, Kat, and the rest of the team


Sources:
1. "G.E.'s Strategies Let It Avoid Taxes All Together," The New York Times, March 24, 2011
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=207259&id=26713-14371402-0OZBZex&t=3
2. Ibid.
3. "After Paying Zero Income Taxes, GE Plans To Ask Its Union Workers To Make Wage and Benefits Concessions", ThinkProgress, March 28, 2011
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=207260&id=26713-14371402-0OZBZex&t=5
4. "UPDATE: GE Doubles CEO Immelt's Compensation, Shrinks Board", Smart Money, March 14, 2011
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=207261&id=26713-14371402-0OZBZex&t=6
5. "G.E.'s Strategies Let It Avoid Taxes All Together," The New York Times, March 24, 2011
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=207259&id=26713-14371402-0OZBZex&t=7
6. "NACHC Statement in Response to the Budget from the House Appropriations Committee," National Association of Community Health Centers website, February 9, 2011
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=206514&id=26713-14371402-0OZBZex&t=8
7. "Bye Bye, Big Bird. Hello, E. Coli.," The New Republic, February 12, 2011
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=206104&id=26713-14371402-0OZBZex&t=9
8. Based on an annual teacher's salary of $42,500, as noted in the Payscale website (updated March 19, 2011), accessed March 30, 2011
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=207263&id=26713-14371402-0OZBZex&t=10
Want to support our work? We're entirely funded by our 5 million members—no corporate contributions, no big checks from CEOs. And our tiny staff ensures that small contributions go a long way. Chip in here.

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Republican Phil Moffett Is Starting To Get Tea Party Backing For Kentucky Governor's Race.


GOP's Phil Moffett picks up tea party backing
Written by Joseph Gerth

Republican gubernatorial candidate Phil Moffett, who has raised less than $100,000 for the May 17 GOP primary, is getting new tea party backing that he hopes will jumpstart his campaign.

Moffett has been traveling the state since last year, trying to collect money and backers.

He’s still waiting for the payoff. The only public poll to date shows him trailing Gov. Steve Beshear by 25 percentage points, while his chief primary opponent, Senate President David Williams, is within 10 points of Beshear.

But over the weekend Moffett and his running mate, state Rep. Mike Harmon of Danville, won a straw poll conducted by the Northern Kentucky Tea Party.

Meanwhile, the leadership of the Bowling Green/Southern Kentucky Tea Party voted to endorse Moffett as well.

And on Tuesday the Louisville Tea Party announced that Moffett had won its straw poll. He finished with 82 percent of the vote while Jefferson County Clerk Bobbie Holsclaw got 14 percent and Williams, of Burkesville, got only 4 percent.

“Its timing is fortuitous because the message is getting out that David Williams is part of the establishment and part of the problem,” said David Adams, Moffett’s campaign manager.

Scott Jennings, Williams’ campaign manager, said he’s not certain if Williams was ever informed that he was competing in the straw polls and endorsement contests and that he didn’t have a chance to rally support.

The Louisville Tea Party’s endorsement paints Williams as someone who has only recently endorsed the group’s principles.

“When David Williams became Senate president, Kentucky had $3.5 billion in bonded debt and a $500 million surplus in public employee pension funds,” the group’s endorsement says. “Ten years later, Kentucky is quickly approaching $10 billion in bonded debt and $34 billion in unfunded pension liabilities.”

Williams has repeatedly defended his work in the Senate. He says he has stopped governors from spending more and recently battled Gov. Steve Beshear over Medicaid, trying to force budget cuts across state government in an effort to save $166 million. ...

Editor's note: to continue reading, click on the linked caption post.

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It Is A SHAME Bowling Green City Commissioners Denied Newspaper Requests For Applicants' Names, And The Attorney General Finds In Newspaper's Favor.

Commission Seat: AG says city was wrong to deny list
BG officials refused two open records requests for names of those seeking commission post

By ANDREW ROBINSON

The state Office of the Attorney General has ruled that Bowling Green city government was wrong in keeping secret the names of people who recently sought a vacant seat on the Bowling Green Board of Commissioners, the Daily News learned this morning.

The city denied two open records requests filed by the Daily News while the process was ongoing. The newspaper appealed those denials to Attorney General Jack Conway.

“Resolution of the issue presented in this appeal turns on the fact that the public interest in the identities of persons seeking appointment to elective office is often greater than that of the public interest in the identities of persons seeking public employment,” according to a written decision signed by Assistant Attorney General Amye L. Bensenhaver, which arrived by mail at the newspaper today.

“Although public employees serve the public, they do not represent the public in the manner of an elected official, and the public’s interest in them is, in general, reduced,” the decision continued.

In summary, the attorney general’s decision said the public’s interest in monitoring the selection process for an elective office outweighs the applicants’ privacy interests and that the latter must yield to the public interest.

The Daily News also submitted a third request for the names following the announcement March 3 of Melinda Hill’s appointment to the city commission.

The city responded to that request with a list of applicants - however, the names were redacted, with the exception of three people the Daily News had identified outside City Hall as they were being interviewed by commissioners on March 1. Those three people were Hill, Robin Baldwin and John Deeb.

The seat in question was vacated after former Bowling Green Mayor Elaine Walker was appointed Kentucky secretary of state by Gov. Steve Beshear earlier this year. City Commissioner Joe Denning first assumed duties as mayor pro tem, then was appointed mayor by the commission, creating the open seat.

Following the Feb. 15 deadline for resume submissions, the city said 18 applications had been received. The Daily News filed an open records request seeking the names of the 18 candidates.

On Feb. 21, Baldwin told the Daily News she had submitted an application. The Daily News then submitted its second open records request following Baldwin’s disclosure, arguing that because the public knew Baldwin was running, the public should also know who the other candidates were.

The city denied both requests. Upon receiving notice of the Daily News’ appeal to the attorney general, the city filed a response with the attorney general’s office.

“The public, including the applicants’ current employer, coworkers and others, have no right to view the unsuccessful applicants’ resumes and to allow such a review may work to prevent others from submitting resumes should this process be followed again,” the city argued in its response.

The attorney general disagreed with that position.

“Persons submitting resumes to the Board of Commissioners for consideration to fill Mayor Denning’s vacant seat therefore forfeited a greater measure of their personal privacy when they ‘threw their hats in the ring,’ ” the decision read.

Neither City Attorney Gene Harmon nor City Clerk Katie Schaller was immediately available this morning to comment on the attorney general’s ruling.

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Karen Sypher, "QUICK" Rick Pitino's Extortionist "15 Second" Fling, Ordered To Start Prison Next Week. Maybe, Now, She Can Close Her Mouth Shut!


Woman convicted in Pitino case has prison date set

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- The woman convicted of attempting to extort money from University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino has been ordered to report to prison in Florida next week.

James Faller of U.S. Justice Watch, which is part of Karen Cunagin Sypher's legal team, said in an email Tuesday that Sypher is to report April 6 to the federal prison at Marianna, Fla.

Sypher made another request Monday for a new trial. A judge has rejected two other attempts to win a new trial since her August conviction.

Sypher was sentenced in February to more than seven years in prison for extortion, lying to the FBI and retaliation against a witness. Prosecutors said she sought millions in cash, cars and a house from Pitino in 2009 to stay quiet about a tryst in a restaurant.

Editor's comment: And I mean the above caption BOTH literally and figuratively!

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America Needs To Abandon HELPLESS Dependency On Middle East Oil, Just As Its Southern States Abandoned INHUMANE Slavery.

OK, I think I get it now:

American economy is GREATLY dependent on Middle East oil, much the same way the American South was heavily dependent on cheap, but INHUMANE slave labor.

That is why every American President has acted either as a slave (think of the Bushes kissing the asses of the Saudis) or a master (think of the Bushes in Iraq and Obama in Libya bullying bullies) to those Bedouins over there.

The South swore it could not survive without slave labor, but it did.

Now we just have to do the same with the rest of America, by convincing Americans that they can survive without Middle East oil, and to do what it takes to get themselves there -- alternative energies, anyone?

I know, I know you will state "it's easier said than done", but again think of the South and its "peculiar way of life", which caused the South to find out that "war is HELL", thanks to General Tecumseh Sherman -- no more LEGAL slave labor!

Peace be unto you all.

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GOP's Stomach Churning Presidential Prospects.

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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

How Did I See Kenyucky's "Special" Session End, You Ask? I Saw Steve Beshear, Greg Stumbo And Democrats OUTMANEUVER Republicans, Period. Game Over!

Yes, that's how I saw it

Democrats got EXACTLY what they wanted; Republicans were left holding an empty bag, if you consider what Republicans actually wanted from the Mdicaid fix.

And so it goes.

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Jerry Abramson Chimes In And Rubs Salt Into The Gaping Wound That Resulted To Republicans From Kentucky's "Special" Session.

Dear ,

Last Friday, Governor Steve Beshear took a tough stand against the Republicans in the State Senate by working with a bipartisan group of state representatives to balance the Medicaid budget, without having to make unnecessary and dangerous cuts to education, job creation efforts and public safety. 


Governor Beshear's unwavering commitment to our Commonwealth values is why Kentuckians all across our state trust him to do what's right -- and it's why I am so proud to be his running mate.



Will you help show your support for Governor Beshear by clicking here to get a free Beshear/Abramson 2011 bumper sticker?



The attacks by Republican Senator David Williams on Kentucky's schoolchildren, teachers, seniors, veterans and law enforcement prove that he will say or do anything to try and deceive Kentuckians in an attempt to advance his harmful agenda.


No matter how many times the Republicans test our resolve, I know we will always stand up for Kentucky because of Governor Beshear's proven leadership and because of supporters like you.



I am proud to be part of this team because I know that with your support, we will be victorious in November and continue Governor Beshear's work to create jobs and deliver results for Kentucky taxpayers. 


Help show the strength of our grassroots movement for Governor Beshear by clicking here to get your free bumper sticker right now.



Thank you for everything you do.



Sincerely,



Jerry Abramson


P.S. Help us get the word out about our free bumper stickers by telling your friends and family to get one too!

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Governor Steve Beshear Understandably Basks In The Glory That's Due Him From Kentucky's "Special" Session.

Dear ,

Twice this month, Senator David Williams and his allies in the Republican-controlled State Senate demonstrated an unwillingness to work in a bipartisan manner to balance our state’s Medicaid budget. Their desperate and dangerous plans wasted taxpayer dollars and put the health and jobs of thousands of Kentuckians at risk.

Since this fight began, thousands of hard-working Kentuckians like you stood up to tell Senator Williams and his friends to stop playing political games with Kentucky's schoolchildren, teachers, seniors and law enforcement.

Thanks to your voices, a bipartisan majority of legislators stood up to Senator Williams and agreed to pass a bill in a manner that allows us to protect our critical priorities.

This afternoon, I fulfilled my promise to balance the Medicaid budget while protecting education, health care and public safety by line-item vetoing Senator Williams' unnecessary and dangerous cuts from House Bill 1.

The people of Kentucky elected us to make tough decisions, to protect the priorities of this state and to move this state forward.

With your help and support, we are doing all three.

Thank you for standing with me throughout the fight to protect vital funding for areas such as education, health care and law enforcement.

Sincerely,

Governor Steve Beshear

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"David Williams Brought Democrats Together".

David Williams brought Democrats together
Written by Joseph Gerth

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Democrats have long contended that Republican Senate President David Williams is the most divisive force in the Capital city.

But that couldn't be more incorrect today, just a few days after Gov. Steve Beshear, along with House Republicans and Democrats, worked together to turn Williams' Medicaid budget fix on its ear.

That's right — Williams did what George W. Bush boasted but could never really accomplish. He became “a uniter and not a divider.”

This wasn't necessarily an easy task.

If you recall, just a year ago, the 2010 legislative session ended with Democrats angry with one another.

Democratic House Speaker Greg Stumbo was saying such awful things about Beshear, a fellow Democrat, that some were wondering aloud if he would mount a bid to unseat him in this year's Democratic gubernatorial primary.

And if not him, maybe House Majority Leader Rocky Adkins would challenge Beshear, who some complained wasn't providing real leadership in Frankfort.

Among other things, Democrats, like Republicans, accused Beshear of abdicating his responsibility on the budget by proposing a spending plan that counted on hundreds of millions of dollars in expanded gambling revenue that had no chance of materializing.

The situation only got worse during a special session on the budget in early summer, when the House was ready to fight the Senate but Beshear undercut them by coming out in favor of the Senate plan, infuriating House Democrats.

But with a gubernatorial race on the horizon that early polls suggest will pit Beshear against Williams, the Frankfort Democrats have begun to rally together and work with Beshear.

The Medicaid budget is the most telling issue where Beshear and House Democrats have found commonalities.

They prevailed, in part, because Williams miscalculated on a couple of points.

The biggest was his demand that there be across-the-board budget cuts that included a small cut to education.

Three of the five Democratic House leaders were in the House when the Kentucky Education Reform Act passed two decades ago and were big supporters of the bill, especially Stumbo, who at the time was floor leader. ...

Editor's note: to continue reading, follow the linked caption.

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Larry Dale Keeling Saw Kentucky's Legislative "Special" Session "End With A Bang".

Special session ends with a bang

FRANKFORT — For most of a day in the middle of last week, the “Let’s drop the big one now” line from Randy Newman’s satirical Political Science kept running through my brain. It popped back into mind Thursday night when Gov. Steve Beshear and a bipartisan House of Representatives joined together to “drop the big one” — as in surprise — that blew up all over Senate President David Williams and members of his Republican caucus.

Instead of engaging the ever-obstructionist Williams in yet another useless, time- and money-consuming conference committee stare-down over the proper way to fill a gap in this year’s Medicaid budget, the House passed the Senate version of the fix on an 86-2 vote, trusting in Beshear to excise its unnecessary across-the-board spending cuts by making generous use of his veto pen. Then, the House adjourned sine die and went home, eliminating any possibility of those vetoes being overridden.

Beshear, who hasn’t always had the best of relations with lawmakers, honored the trust placed in him on Friday by using his vetoes to restore the legislation to something closely resembling the original House Bill 305 from the regular session, which passed the House 80-19.

House Democrats and House Republicans had Beshear’s back throughout the fight with the Senate over spending cuts — never more so than Thursday night. The House could have adjourned until some date after Beshear’s veto power expired. And some members of each party wanted to do so, rather than be seen as ceding any of their legislative power.

Minority Floor Leader Jeff Hoover, who led his caucus in putting statesmanship above partisanship on the issue of the spending cuts demanded by Senate Republicans, made a particularly strong plea in this regard.

“I don’t think we need to adjourn sine die, Mr. Speaker,” Hoover said in a floor speech. “It was wrong two weeks ago (when Senate Republicans ended the regular General Assembly session early). … It’s even more wrong now because we criticized it then.”

In the end, though, House members of both parties put their trust in Beshear. His vetoes justified their faith.

For his part, Williams was left to ponder the moral of the ancient Capitol proverb: He who lives by the gavel falling early dies by the gavel falling early.

Since Williams assumed the Senate presidency, lawmakers have gone home from even-year regular sessions three times without agreeing on a two-year budget — 2002, 2004 and 2010. This year, they went home from the regular session without fixing the Medicaid budget.

These failures occurred during the terms of three different governors and have involved two House speakers. Williams is the common denominator linking all four budgetary fiascos.

Three of these instances led to special legislative sessions. Former Gov. Ernie Fletcher operated state government without an enacted budget from the end of the 2004 regular session until the 2005 General Assembly produced a legislatively enacted spending plan. (A subsequent court decision greatly restricted a governor’s ability to repeat that practice.)

In 2002, the special session lasted 10 days (including weekend days, since lawmakers get paid seven days a week when in session) and still produced no budget. Former Gov. Paul Patton then set the precedent Fletcher followed by operating without a budget until one was enacted in 2003.

Last year’s special session on the budget ran six days, and this year’s Medicaid session ran 11 days for the House. Arguably, the Senate, which adjourned Thursday until April 6, remains in session.

A special session cost about $45,000 a day in 2002. The cost has risen to about $63,500 a day this year. If Williams is as concerned about saving taxpayers’ dollars as he claimed while trying to court the Tea Party crowd by insisting on unnecessary spending cuts as part of the Medicaid fix, perhaps he should quit letting his brinkmanship antics force the General Assembly into overtime so often.

Before consigning the regular and special legislative sessions to history, it’s worth noting for the record the hole appeared in this year’s Medicaid budget because legislative leaders — both Senate Republicans and House Democrats — last year made the faulty assumption that Uncle Sugar would give Kentucky $100 million more in Medicaid funds than we wound up receiving. At the time, Beshear warned lawmakers against making this assumption.

So (blush) did I, referring to it as “delusional in the extreme” in the wake of Democrats losing their U.S. Senate majority in a special election.

But who listens to me?

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Ronnie Ellis Sorts Out Winners And Losers From Kentucky's Special Session.

Sorting out winners and losers
By Ronnie Ellis

Frankfort — FRANKFORT — Both sides declared victory after a wild day in the General Assembly on Thursday. It’s easy to assess who won and lost on the immediate issue of how to structure a Medicaid bailout but harder to determine who wins in the long run.
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The Democrat-controlled House and Republican-controlled Senate had different plans. Democrats and Republicans in the House wanted to let Gov. Steve Beshear manage the Medicaid budget shortfall, trusting him to achieve large savings through managed care in its first year and avoid cuts to education. Senate Republicans wanted instead to implement across-the-board cuts to the rest of government — including education — to cover the shortfall. They couldn’t agree in regular session and as Thursday began it sure looked like they wouldn’t agree after two weeks of special session.

After the Senate passed its plan on a straight party line vote, House leaders huddled and then met with members in separate party caucuses. When they emerged, word leaked the House would accept the Senate plan, go home and allow Beshear to veto the cuts. The Senate was cornered, though Senate President David Williams said “our plan passed; it was the best result possible.” But it won’t last because Beshear will veto the cuts and other Senate provisions and the House won’t override the vetoes.

Williams, of course, is running in the Republican primary for the right to challenge Beshear in the fall gubernatorial election. And both Democrats and Republicans in the House have long resented Williams’ high-handed domination of the legislature. Not this time. House Republicans, led by Rep. Jeff Hoover, sided with Democrats on education. Just as importantly, they insisted on and won status as a relevant voting bloc by challenging Williams. House Speaker Greg Stumbo showed he’s Williams’ equal when it comes to strategy and surprise. Beshear gets the plan he wanted all along.

Earlier when Hoover worked out a deal with Stumbo on the House compromise plan, Williams fumed and proclaimed Hoover didn’t have the backing of the other 41 House Republicans. He said no less than 15 of them told him they didn’t support the compromise. But 37 Republicans voted for it, prompting one House Republican to quip: “It’s obvious we can’t afford to cut education because it’s obvious some people can’t count from four to 15.”

After Thursday night’s events, another said: “David Williams is no longer the smartest person in the room.” But if House Republicans are criticized as insufficiently loyal, they can say, “We voted for his plan.”

The initial reaction seems to be Beshear won and Williams lost. But Stumbo and Hoover were the biggest winners. Williams probably thinks Democrats handed him a ready-made issue for the gubernatorial campaign. He can say he held the line on fiscal accountability and even persuaded the House to pass his plan. He’ll say Beshear can’t manage government, doesn’t get along even with House Democrats, is only interested in winning re-election and subverted legislative will with his vetoes. Beshear will counter that he’s “balanced the budget eight times in three years” and prevented cuts to Medicaid providers without “balancing the Medicaid budget on the backs of our school children.”

The easy prognosis is that the argument will work for Williams in the primary but might be more difficult in the fall. But Stumbo’s gambit subtly undercuts Williams’ best argument to elect him governor: that he’s the most capable, knowledgeable person in Frankfort. It’s probably “inside baseball,” but after Thursday, some may wonder if Williams is still “the smartest person in the room?”

Ronnie Ellis writes for CNHI News Service and is based in Frankfort. Reach him at rellis@cnhi.com. Follow CNHI News Service stories on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ cnhifrankfort.

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POTUS Barack Obama And Libya.



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Steve Beshear Proclaims He Is "Standing Up For Kentucky [With Medicaid Fix]".

Steve Beshear | Standing up for Kentucky
Written by Steve Beshear

When the Kentucky House of Representatives gaveled sine die on Thursday, they effectively brought a merciful end to an unnecessary special legislative session that wasted hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayer money … that needlessly raised anxiety levels for everyone from health care workers to health care recipients to teachers to police officers … and that diverted energy and attention from ongoing efforts to create jobs, improve our schools and take care of our families.

It was a courageous vote.

I congratulate them — Democrats and Republicans alike.

By accepting the Senate Majority's stubborn and unconscionable rewriting of House Bill 1, so that the bill could come to my desk, the House enabled me to come forward Friday with my veto pen and restore common sense to the mission of rebalancing the state's 2011 Medicaid budget.

This mission started as a simple problem — a shortfall that came to light several months ago.

In November, we proposed a solution to that problem that was simple, reasonable and founded on programs that have worked in other states.

We proposed filling the shortfall in the 2011 Medicaid budget with money from the 2012 Medicaid budget, then filling the newly created hole with efficiency measures and with new managed-care delivery principles that many states have used to reduce their Medicaid costs.

It was a short-term fix with long-term gain.

But over the last few weeks, forces in Frankfort who do not share the same values as the people of this state escalated this problem into a momentous battle that jeopardized our very ability to educate our children, provide health care for our vulnerable populations and keep our streets safe.

Rather than solve the Medicaid problem with Medicaid money, the Senate Majority insisted on unnecessary across-the-board cuts to core services.

On Friday, however, I took decisive action to fill the shortfall and prevent those cuts.

In doing so we stood up for Kentucky's schoolchildren, teachers, state troopers, veterans, social workers and many others. ...

Editor's note: to continue reading, go to linked caption.

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Monday, March 28, 2011

POTUS Barack Obama Talks To The Nation About Libyan "Conflict", Rand Paul Responds APPROPRIATELY. I LOVE It. Thanks, Senator.

Watch POTUS below:




Watch Rand Paul below:

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Yesterday's "60 Minutes" Was One Of The Best In The Show's History. Watch It Below.

POTUS Barack Obama Is The "Antiwar Senator, War-Powers President". And I *SIGH* In Frustration.

Antiwar Senator, War-Powers President
Like all of his predecessors, this president has realized why the Constitution vested certain powers in the executive branch: Only it can act with dispatch.
By JOHN YOO

President Barack Obama has again flip-flopped on national security—and we can all be grateful. Having kept Guantanamo Bay open, resumed military commission trials for terrorists, and expanded the use of drones, the president has now ordered the U.S. military into action without Congress's blessing.

Imagine the uproar if President Bush had unilaterally launched air attacks against Libya's Moammar Gadhafi. But since it's Mr. Obama's finger on the trigger, Democratic leaders in Congress have kept quiet—demonstrating that their opposition to presidential power during the Bush years was political, not principled.

Mr. Obama's exercise of war powers in Libya is firmly in the tradition of American foreign policy. Throughout our history, neither presidents nor Congress have acted under the belief that the Constitution requires a declaration of war before the U.S. can conduct military hostilities abroad. We have used force abroad more than 100 times but declared war in only five cases: the War of 1812, the Mexican-American and Spanish-American Wars, and World Wars I and II.

Without any approval from Congress, presidents have sent forces to battle Indians, Barbary Pirates and Russian revolutionaries, to fight North Korean and Chinese Communists in Korea, to engineer regime changes in South and Central America, and to prevent human rights disasters in the Balkans. Other conflicts, such as the 1991 Persian Gulf War and the 2003 Iraq War, received legislative "authorization" but not declarations of war.

Since Vietnam, however, antiwar Democrats have sought to replace the Constitution's reliance on swift presidential action in war with a radically different system appropriate for peacetime: Congress makes policy, the president implements it. In 1973, they passed the War Powers Resolution to require congressional permission for any military intervention abroad, but no president has accepted the law's constitutionality.

President George W. Bush's campaign against terror upped the stakes in this contest. Opening the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, establishing special military courts for terrorist trials, ordering tough interrogation of al Qaeda leaders, and conducting warrantless wiretaps of electronic communications—all without congressional approval—fed the left-wing narrative of an "imperial presidency." Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and other prominent Democrats regularly attacked Mr. Bush for acting "above the law" and "cutting out Congress." Then-Sen. Joe Biden even opposed the Supreme Court nomination of Samuel Alito because he would not agree that Mr. Bush would need congressional permission to attack Iran.

Mr. Obama once agreed with his Democratic colleagues, saying in 2007 that "The president does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation." Fast forward four years: Last Monday, Mr. Obama notified Congress that he ordered military action in Libya "pursuant to my constitutional authority to conduct U.S. foreign relations and as Commander in Chief and Chief Executive."

For once, Mr. Obama has the Constitution about right. As Alexander Hamilton wrote in Federalist 74, "The direction of war implies the direction of the common strength, and the power of directing and employing the common strength forms a usual and essential part in the definition of the executive authority." Presidents should conduct war, he wrote, because they could act with "decision, activity, secrecy, and dispatch." In perhaps his most famous words, Hamilton wrote that "Energy in the executive is a leading character in the definition of good government. . . . It is essential to the protection of the community against foreign attacks."

The truth is that Mr. Bush's case for constitutional authority far outstrips Mr. Obama's. In 2001 and 2002, Mr. Bush won legislative approval for both the Afghanistan and Iraq wars even though he didn't need it.

A few usual suspects have piped up against Mr. Obama's switch. Rep. Dennis Kucinich is talking impeachment again, and fellow isolationist Rep. Ron Paul has suggested that Mr. Obama is acting "outside the Constitution." A few moderates, such as Sens. Richard Lugar and Jim Webb, have called for a congressional debate over a declaration of war—an idea supported by conservative pundit George Will. But don't expect Sen. Reid or former Speaker Nancy Pelosi to introduce legislation blocking the war in Libya. Don't wait for Mr. Biden to thunder forth about saving the Constitution from the president. They are just as silent now as they were when President Bill Clinton bombed Serbia in 1999 without congressional approval.

Real opposition comes from a different quarter: young congressional Republicans like Jason Chaffetz of Utah or Justin Amash of Michigan. Their praiseworthy opposition to the growth of federal powers at home misleads them to resist Washington's indispensable role abroad. They mistakenly read the 18th-century constitutional text through a modern lens—for example, understanding "declare war" to mean "start war." When the Constitution was written, a declaration of war served diplomatic notice about a change in legal relations between nations. It had little to do with launching hostilities. In the century before the Constitution, for example, Great Britain fought numerous major conflicts but declared war only once beforehand.

Matthew Kaminski of the editorial board explains America's role in the Libyan campaign.

Our Constitution sets out specific procedures for passing laws, appointing officers, and making treaties. There are none for waging war. The Constitution declares that states shall not "engage" in war "without the consent of Congress" unless "actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay"—exactly the limits desired by antiwar critics, complete with an exception for self-defense. But even these limits are absent when it comes to war waged by the president. The Framers wanted Congress and the president to struggle over war through the political process, not the courts.

Congress is too fractured, slow and inflexible to manage war. Its loose, decentralized structure would paralyze American policy while foreign threats loom. The Framers understood that Congress's real power would lie in the purse. During the 1788 Virginia ratifying convention, Patrick Henry attacked the Constitution for failing to limit presidential militarism. James Madison replied: "The sword is in the hands of the British king; the purse is in the hands of the Parliament. It is so in America, as far as any analogy can exist."

If Congress opposes action, it can reduce funding for the military, eliminate units, or freeze supplies. Congress ended U.S. involvement in Vietnam by cutting off funds for the war. Our Constitution has succeeded because it favors swift presidential action in war, later checked by Congress's funding power.

Unfortunately, Mr. Obama's desire to work through the United Nations has only substituted one source of delay and unaccountability for another. While he wasted weeks negotiating with the Arab League, NATO allies and finally the U.N. Security Council to win the international approval he so desperately seeks, Moammar Gadhafi reversed his battlefield losses and drove the rebels into one last holdout in Benghazi. The Constitution centralized the management of war in the president precisely to avoid the delays and mistakes of decision-making by committee. While Mr. Obama has done well to part ways with antiwar Democrats, he has shown that he still has to learn the ways of the executive.

Mr. Yoo, a law professor at the University of California, Berkeley and visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, was a Justice Department official from 2001-03.

Editor's comment: I wonder if the Nobel Peace Prize Committee can ask for its prize back from the POTUS, because it was IMPROVIDENTLY and PREMATURELY awarded to him.

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Jeff Hoover Asks Greg Stumbo To Call House Back To Override Steve Beshear's Vetos. House Republicans "GOT HAD" In "Special" Session, Folks!

House Republican Leader Jeff Hoover calls on speaker to bring lawmakers back for final day

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Republican Jeff Hoover is calling on House Speaker Greg Stumbo to reconvene lawmakers on April 6 to override some of Gov. Steve Beshear's vetoes of provisions in a Medicaid budget bill.

Hoover, the House minority floor leader, said in a statement Monday that Republican lawmakers are concerned about "numerous items" the governor vetoed.

That includes language that would stop furloughs of state employees, reduce personal service contracts and limit debt restructuring in the general and road funds.

Hoover said Beshear had "snubbed his nose" at a bipartisan group of lawmakers who passed the Medicaid budget fix last week and that he should be held accountable.

Editor's comment: no matter if you are a Republican or a Democrat, you've got to ADMIRE how House Democrats outmaneuvered their Republican colleagues over the Medicaid fix during the "special" session.

That move should make any political master tactician very proud!

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Pat Buchanan: "A Foolish And Unconstitutional War [In Libya]." I AGREE!

A foolish and unconstitutional war
By Pat Buchanan Syndicated Columnist

Washington — “The president does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.”

So said constitutional scholar and Senator Barack Obama in December 2007 -- the same man who, this weekend, ordered U.S. air and missile strikes on Libya without any authorization from Congress.

Obama did win the support of Gabon in the Security Council, but failed with Germany. With a phone call to acquitted rapist Jacob Zuma, he got South Africa to sign on, but not Brazil, Russia, India or China. All four abstained.

This is not the world’s war. This is Obama’s war.

The U.S. Navy fired almost all the cruise missiles that hit Libya as the U.S. Air Force attacked with B-2 bombers, F-15s and F-16s.

"To be clear, this is a U.S.-led operation,” said Vice Adm. William Gortney.

"In wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies,” said Winston Churchill. Obama is a quick study.

In his Friday ultimatum, he said, “We are not going to use force to go beyond a well-defined goal – specifically, the protection of civilians in Libya.”

Why, then, did we strike Tripoli and Moammar Gadhafi’s compound?

So many U.S. missiles and bombs have struck Libya that the Arab League is bailing out. League chief Amr Moussa has called an emergency meeting of the 22 Arab states to discuss attacks that have “led to the deaths and injuries of many Libyan civilians.” We asked for a no-fly zone, said Moussa, not the “bombardment of civilians.”

What caused Obama’s about-face from the Pentagon position that imposing a no-fly zone on Libya was an unwise act of war?

According to The New York Times, National Security Council aide Samantha Power, U.N. envoy Susan Rice and Hillary Clinton flipped him.

The three sisters feel guilty about us not invading Rwanda when Hutu were butchering Tutsi.

They did not want to be seen as standing by when Gadhafi took Benghazi, which he would have done, ending the war in days, had we not intervened.

While Obama is no longer saying Gadhafi must go, Hillary insists that has to be the outcome. No question who wears the pants here.

As U.S. prestige and power are committed, if Gadhafi survives, he will have defeated Obama and NATO. Hence, we must now finish him and his regime to avert a U.S. humiliation and prevent another Lockerbie.

The Arab League and African Union are denouncing us, but al-Qaida is with us. For eastern Libya provided more than its fair share of jihadists to kill U.S. soldiers in Iraq. And jihadists are prominent among the rebels we just rescued.

Yet, even as Obama was announcing U.S. intervention to prevent “unspeakable atrocities,” security police of Yemen’s President Saleh, using sniper rifles, massacred 45 peaceful protesters and wounded 270. Most of the dead were shot in the head or neck, the work of marksmen.

Had Mahmoud Ahmadinejad done this in Tehran, would U.S. protests have been so muted?

In Bahrain, 2,000 Saudi soldiers and troops from emirates of the Gulf have intervened to save King Khalifa, whose throne was threatened by Shia demonstrators in the Pearl roundabout in Manama.

The town square was surrounded, the Shia driven out, the 300-foot Pearl monument destroyed.

This crackdown on Bahrain’s Shia has been denounced by Iran and Iraq. Grand Ayatollah Sistani, most revered figure in the Shia world, ordered seminaries shut in protest. This is serious business.

ot only are the Shia dominant in Iran, and in Iraq after the Americans ousted the Sunni-dominated Baathist Party, they are heavily concentrated in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, where the oil deposits are located.

They are a majority in Bahrain, where the U.S. Fifth Fleet is based. Shia Hezbollah is now the dominant military and political force in Lebanon.

Riyadh must have regarded the threat to Bahrain a grave one to have so exacerbated the religious divide and raised the specter of sectarian war.

Yet, again, why are we bombing Libya?

Gadhafi did not attack the West. He faced an uprising to dethrone him and rallied his troops to crush it, as any ruthless ruler would have done. We have no vital interest in who wins his civil war.

Indeed, Gadhafi has asked of Obama, “If you found them taking over American cities by force of arms, what would you do?”

Well, when the South fired on Fort Sumter, killing no one, Abraham Lincoln blockaded every Southern port, sent Gen. Sherman to burn Atlanta and pillage Georgia and South Carolina, and Gen. Sheridan to ravage the Shenandoah.

He locked up editors and shut down legislatures and fought a four-year war of reconquest that killed 620,000 Americans -- a few more than have died in Gadhafi’s four-week war.

Good thing we didn’t have an “international community” back then.

The Royal Navy would have been bombarding Lincoln’s America.

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PEGGY NOONAN: "[The War In Libya] All Seems Rather Mad [For The United States] , Doesn't It?" Oh YES It Is MAD Alright!


The Speech Obama Hasn't Given
What are we doing in Libya? Americans deserve an explanation.

By PEGGY NOONAN

It all seems rather mad, doesn't it? The decision to become involved militarily in the Libyan civil war couldn't take place within a less hospitable context. The U.S. is reeling from spending and deficits, we're already in two wars, our military has been stretched to the limit, we're restive at home, and no one, really, sees President Obama as the kind of leader you'd follow over the top. "This way, men!" "No, I think I'll stay in my trench." People didn't hire him to start battles but to end them. They didn't expect him to open new fronts. Did he not know this?

He has no happy experience as a rallier of public opinion and a leader of great endeavors; the central initiative of his presidency, the one that gave shape to his leadership, health care, is still unpopular and the cause of continued agitation. When he devoted his entire first year to it, he seemed off point and out of touch.

This was followed by the BP oil spill, which made him look snakebit. Now he seems incompetent and out of his depth in foreign and military affairs. He is more observed than followed, or perhaps I should say you follow him with your eyes and not your heart. So it's funny he'd feel free to launch and lead a war, which is what this confused and uncertain military action may become.

What was he thinking? What is he thinking?

Which gets me to Mr. Obama's speech, the one he hasn't given. I cannot for the life of me see how an American president can launch a serious military action without a full and formal national address in which he explains to the American people why he is doing what he is doing, why it is right, and why it is very much in the national interest. He referred to his aims in parts of speeches and appearances when he was in South America, but now he's home. More is needed, more is warranted, and more is deserved. He has to sit at that big desk and explain his thinking, put forward the facts as he sees them, and try to garner public support. He has to make a case for his own actions. It's what presidents do! And this is particularly important now, because there are reasons to fear the current involvement will either escalate and produce a lengthy conflict or collapse and produce humiliation.

Without a formal and extended statement, the air of weirdness, uncertainty and confusion that surrounds this endeavor will only deepen.

The questions that must be answered actually start with the essentials. What, exactly, are we doing? Why are we doing it? At what point, or after what arguments, did the president decide U.S. military involvement was warranted? Is our objective practical and doable? What is America's overriding strategic interest? In what way are the actions taken, and to be taken, seeing to those interests?

Matthew Kaminski of the editorial board explains America's role in the Libyan campaign.

From those questions flow many others. We know who we're against—Moammar Gadhafi, a bad man who's done very wicked things. But do we know who we're for? That is, what does the U.S. government know or think it knows about the composition and motives of the rebel forces we're attempting to assist? For 42 years, Gadhafi controlled his nation's tribes, sects and groups through brute force, bribes and blandishments. What will happen when they are no longer kept down? What will happen when they are no longer oppressed? What will they become, and what role will they play in the coming drama? Will their rebellion against Gadhafi degenerate into a dozen separate battles over oil, power and local dominance?

What happens if Gadhafi hangs on? The president has said he wants U.S. involvement to be brief. But what if Gadhafi is fighting on three months from now?

On the other hand, what happens if Gadhafi falls, if he's deposed in a palace coup or military coup, or is killed, or flees? What exactly do we imagine will take his place?

Supporters of U.S. intervention have argued that if we mean to protect Libya's civilians, as we have declared, then we must force regime change. But in order to remove Gadhafi, they add, we will need to do many other things. We will need to provide close-in air power. We will probably have to put in special forces teams to work with the rebels, who are largely untrained and ragtag. The Libyan army has tanks and brigades and heavy weapons. The U.S. and the allies will have to provide the rebels training and give them support. They will need antitank missiles and help in coordinating air strikes.

Once Gadhafi is gone, will there be a need for an international peacekeeping force to stabilize the country, to provide a peaceful transition, and to help the post-Gadhafi government restore its infrastructure? Will there be a partition? Will Libyan territory be altered?

None of this sounds like limited and discrete action.

In fact, this may turn out to be true: If Gadhafi survives, the crisis will go on and on. If Gadhafi falls, the crisis will go on and on.

Everyone who supports the Libyan endeavor says they don't want an occupation. One said the other day, "We're not looking for a protracted occupation."

Protracted?

Mr. Obama has apparently set great store in the fact that he was not acting alone, that Britain, France and Italy were eager to move. That's good—better to work with friends and act in concert. But it doesn't guarantee anything. A multilateral mistake is still a mistake. So far the allied effort has not been marked by good coordination and communication. If the conflict in Libya drags on, won't there tend to be more fissures, more tension, less commitment and more confusion as to objectives and command structures? Could the unanticipated results of the Libya action include new strains, even a new estrangement, among the allies?

How might Gadhafi hit out, in revenge, in his presumed last days, against America and the West?

And what, finally, about Congress? Putting aside the past half-century's argument about declarations of war, doesn't Congress, as representative of the people, have the obvious authority and responsibility to support the Libyan endeavor, or not, and to authorize funds, or not?

These are all big questions, and there are many other obvious ones. If the Libya endeavor is motivated solely by humanitarian concerns, then why haven't we acted on those concerns recently in other suffering nations? It's a rough old world out there, and there's a lot of suffering. What is our thinking going forward? What are the new rules of the road, if there are new rules? Were we, in Libya, making a preemptive strike against extraordinary suffering—suffering beyond what is inevitable in a civil war?

America has been through a difficult 10 years, and the burden of proof on the need for U.S. action would be with those who supported intervention. Chief among them, of course, is the president, who made the decision as commander in chief. He needs to sit down and tell the American people how this thing can possibly turn out well. He needs to tell them why it isn't mad.

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Question: Will The United States (U. S.) Be Fighting In Libya If The Libyans Had Broccali Instead Of The Sweetest Of The Sweet Crude Oil? Watch Video.

Words To Live By, And Words To Ponder EVERYDAY Of Our Lives!

“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil. God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”

- Dietrich Bonhoeffer, German pastor executed by Nazi Germany in 1945

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Joel Pett Thinks Obama Is "BUSHED". LMAO!

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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Kentucky Wildcats And Coach John Calipari UNSHEATHE Their Claws And Scratch North Carolina Tar Heels Into DEFEAT! MEOW!!


Go 'CATS!

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Guest Op-Ed: Looking Into The Proposed EPA Budget Cuts.

Looking Into The Proposed EPA budget cuts
By Nicholas Scott

A recent proposal to cut even further from the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) budget is dividing lines and pitting a debate of health risks against increased employment and reduced gas prices. The proposed budget cut would eliminate around a third of the EPA’s 2010 budget. This would likely mean a cut down on some of the EPA’s major actions such as the Clean Air Act and examining water contamination regularly, amongst other issues. While those in favor of the cuts see business monetary gains and jobs as a result, members of the EPA see the cuts resulting in major health risks.

Some of the major reasons behind the backing of the budget cuts are flailing business, involving many factories and power plants. A large amount of big-time business leaders have been extremely outspoken on the fact that EPA regulations are costing them too much money. A major issue that many of these major business owners have with the EPA involves the plan to regulate gas emissions from plants, refineries, and factories.

By giving these companies more freedom with the emissions, there would likely be an increase in revenue, as well as more jobs being produced. Backers are even questioning whether or not these types of emissions are responsible for pollution in the first place. For example, Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma was quoted as saying “Carbon is not pollution no matter what the EPA says." He also went on to clear up that the goal is not to pollute, saying that “Nobody here is saying let's not have clean water and clean air.” Certainly the end goal of the backers of the budget cuts is to increase revenue and jobs for these types of businesses.

While employment could certainly see a rise with the budget cut, the EPA’s view of the health risks involved shouldn’t be taken lightly either. The Environmental Protection Agency’s administrator Lisa Jackson sees a major problem with the cuts, saying "Big polluters would flout legal restrictions on dumping contaminants into the air, into rivers, and onto the ground."

With a third of the budget cut and reduced resources for the EPA, the control of air pollution and air quality would certainly be at risk. Air quality and pollution are certainly two of the major initiatives of the Environmental Protection Agency at this time. An increase in pollution and bad air quality would likely see an increase in health risks such as mesothelioma, asthma, respiratory problems and other possible major health risks. A severe end result could even be risking lives. For example, mesothelioma life expectancy is usually only a year after diagnosis.

These proposed budget cuts should be carefully studied and calculated with the end result protecting and helping the people of America. Given where each side is coming from, it’s certainly a give and take issue that has merits to each side. While an increase in employment and reduced gas prices are certainly appealing to Americans right now, the possible long term health risks are also not to be taken lightly.

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Thomas Jefferson: "Religion Is About Doing Good, Not Abstract Theologizing". Who Can Quibble With That!?


Thomas Jefferson's Cut-and-Paste Biblehttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif
Our third president sought to separate the words of Jesus from the 'corruptions' of his followers.

By STEPHEN PROTHERO

Last November, in response to protest, the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery removed a video installation depicting ants crawling over a small crucifix. This coming November, the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History will exhibit a cut-and-paste Bible of a mere 86 pages. Were it the work of David Wojnarowicz (the artist behind the crucifix video) or Andres Serrano (of "Piss Christ" fame), this Bible would doubtless stir up a hornet's nest. But in fact, it was created by Thomas Jefferson.

During the election of 1800, Jefferson was denounced as a "howling atheist" and "a confirmed infidel" known for "vilifying the divine word, and preaching insurrection against God." But the Virginian also revered Jesus as "the first of human Sages" and was, according to one biographer, "the most self-consciously theological of all American presidents."

The book that the Smithsonian is preparing to put on display is actually one of two Jefferson Bibles. Jefferson produced the first over the course of a few days in 1804. Not long after completing the Louisiana Purchase, he sat down in the White House with two Bibles and one razor, intent on dividing the true words of Jesus from those put into his mouth by "the corruptions of schismatising followers."

The result was "The Philosophy of Jesus of Nazareth": a severely abridged text (now lost) that, like the apocryphal Gospel of Thomas, consisted entirely of Jesus' sayings. In this "precious morsel of ethics," as Jefferson put it, Jesus prayed to God and affirmed the afterlife, but he was not born in a manger and did not die to atone for anyone's sins.

In 1820, after retiring from public life, Jefferson produced a second scripture by subtraction—the book that is now being restored in D.C. In "The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth," he again sought to excise passages "of vulgar ignorance, of things impossible, or superstitions, fanaticisms, and fabrications." This time, however, he arranged his material chronologically rather than topically, and he included both the sayings and actions of Jesus. He also included passages in English, French, Latin and Greek.

To readers familiar with the New Testament, this Jefferson Bible, as it is popularly called, begins and ends abruptly. Rather than opening, as does the Gospel of John, in the beginning with the Word, Jefferson raises his curtain on a political and economic drama: Caesar's decree that all the world should be taxed. His story concludes with this hybrid verse: "There laid they Jesus, and rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulcher, and departed." Between these points, there are no angels, no wise men, and not a hint of the resurrection.

After completing this second micro-testament, Jefferson claimed in a letter to a friend that it demonstrated his bona fides as a Christian. "It is a document in proof that I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus."

That, of course, has been hotly debated from the election of 1800 to today, and Jefferson has been called an infidel, a Deist and more. What is most clear is that he was not a traditional Christian. He unequivocally rejected the Nicene Creed, which has defined orthodoxy for most Christians since 381. And he was contemptuous of the doctrine of the Trinity, calling it "mere Abracadabra" and "hocus-pocus phantasm."

None of that prevented Jefferson from claiming to represent real Christianity, or from dismissing his clerical despisers as "Pseudo-Christians"—imposters peddling a counterfeit faith. Religion is about doing good, he insisted, not abstract theologizing.

Americans have long been a people of the book. John Winthrop quoted from the Bible in his "city on the hill" sermon in 1630, and American political leaders have been quoting from it ever since.

But we craft new Bibles too, from the Book of Mormon of the Latter-day Saints to the Christian Scientists' "Science and Health with a Key to the Scriptures" and Elizabeth Cady Stanton's "Woman's Bible." Jefferson was out in front of all of these efforts. Here, too, he was a declarer of independence.

When the Jefferson Bible goes on display in November, Americans will have another opportunity to debate not only their third president's faith (or lack thereof) but also the religious character of the nation and the true meaning of Christianity. This seems as good a time as any to ponder whether the "sum of all religion" is, as Jefferson once put it, "fear God and love thy neighbor."

Mr. Prothero is a professor of religion at Boston University.

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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Libyan Rebel, Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi, Admits Al Qaeda's Helping Group. Here We Go Again: Getting Scr*wed -- AGAIN.!


Read more here.

To my fellow Americans, please watch this video very CAREFULLY:



What is the message that "The WHO" is trying to send us?

In case you missed it, it is:

"Don't get FOOLED AGAIN"!

Please listen, and take the advise.

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Geraldine Ferraror Has Died At 75. R.I.P. . Watch Video.

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POTUS Barack Obama Wants To Update You On The Events In Libya. Read And Watch, If You Have The Stomach For It. I Don't!

Good morning,

I'm writing today with an update on the situation in Libya, including the actions we've taken with allies and partners to protect the Libyan people from the brutality of Moammar Qaddafi. For further details, please take a moment to watch this morning's Weekly Address:



Sending our brave men and women in uniform into harm's way is not a decision I make lightly. But when someone like Qaddafi threatens a bloodbath that could destabilize an entire region, it is in our national interest to act. In fact, it’s our responsibility.

Our mission in Libya is clear and focused -- and we are succeeding.
Along with our allies and partners, we are enforcing the mandate of the United Nations Security Council. Working with other countries, we have put in place a no-fly zone and other measures that will help prevent further violence and brutality. Qaddafi's air defenses have been taken out, and his forces are no longer advancing across Libya.

As a consequence of our quick action, the lives of countless innocent civilians have been saved, and a humanitarian catastrophe has been avoided.

The role of American forces in this mission is limited. After providing unique capabilities at the beginning, we are now handing over control of the no-fly zone to our NATO allies and partners, including Arab partners like Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

The United States has also joined with the international community to deliver urgent humanitarian assistance. We're offering support to the Libyan opposition and have frozen tens of billions of dollars of Qaddafi's assets.
Our message to Qaddafi is clear: attacks against innocent civilians must end, his forces must be pulled back, humanitarian aid must reach Libyans in need, and those responsible for the violence in Libya must be held accountable.

The progress we've made over the past seven days demonstrates how the international community should work, with many nations, not just the United States, bearing the responsibility and cost of upholding international law.

Every American can be proud of the service of our men and women in uniform who have once again stood up for our interests and ideals. And as we move forward, I will continue to keep each of you fully informed on our progress.

Sincerely,

Barack Obama

President of the United States
P.S. On Monday evening at 7:30 p.m. EDT, I will deliver an address at the National Defense University in Washington, DC on the situation in Libya. You can watch the speech live at WhiteHouse.gov/live.

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And Bluegrass Institute's Jim Waters Thinks Governor Steve Beshear "Must Eat Crow" Over Medicaid Gudget Fix.

Beshear gets cranky, Medicaid session goes nowhere
By JIM WATERS

Kentucky politics never lacks a rough-and-tumble side.

In one sense, that’s good. I want policymakers to argue from the strength of their convictions, not just apply rubber stamps. But they must keep the heated debate centered on the issues.

Unfortunately, during the special legislative session dealing with how to balance the state’s Medicaid budget, name-calling has trumped substantive debate on issues - particularly, and somewhat surprisingly, name-calling from the Governor’s office.

Gov. Steve Beshear, despite my differences with him on policy, usually comes off as even-keeled and likeable, which serves him well. But the further we get into this year’s Medicaid-budget debate, the testier he gets.

The governor doubtless remains concerned about joining the ranks of the unemployed, a place where so many Kentuckians have found themselves during much of his administration.

On Louisville’s WHAS radio, the governor, ticked off about the Senate’s offer to balance this year’s Medicaid budget by cutting government spending across-the-board next year, lashed out: “Sen. Williams and all of those fat guys had plenty of time to talk about it, tell us the problems with it, whatever.”

Williams, who wants Beshear’s job, responded by calling the governor “weak.”

Later, the governor attacked the Bluegrass Institute on that same radio station, referring to its research as “a bunch of baloney” and the organization as “a right-wing think tank composed of one person that puts his blog up on the line all the time.”

That rant offends Oscar Mayer by besmirching one of its finest products and the first-rate editors who put this column on newspaper opinion pages. They don’t always agree with my position on the issues. But they understand the importance of substantive debate.

I also have the privilege of working with a great group of Bluegrass Institute colleagues.

Their work in filing a plethora of open records requests to determine the governor’s justification for his claims that nothing needs to be done to address the state’s $32 billion in-the-hole pension systems deserve better than to be dismissed as lunchmeat. Leave the pension funds alone, Beshear says. They will fix themselves in 15 years.

Meanwhile, the governor says he misspoke on the “fat guys” comment, claiming he was trying to say one word and then decided to say a second, different word and then a third one - altogether different - came out.

Perhaps that’s what happened with his comments on the pension problem. Perhaps he meant to say: “Kick the can down the road past the next election, and then we can shuffle the numbers around and spin our way up and out of this hole we currently find ourselves in, even as we keep deepening it.”

Perhaps on the Medicaid crisis, he meant to say: “Let’s not cut any spending until after the next election, then we’ll be able to cut and cut and cut, no matter how it impacts agencies relying on that money to help our most vulnerable residents.”

Perhaps concerning the Bluegrass Institute, he intended to say: “All these open records requests filed to find out whether my claims about spending cuts and the impact of my threat to reduce Medicaid reimbursement rates by 35 percent are really getting under my skin. I’m just not used to this sort of scrutiny.”

Perhaps the governor really wants baloney but instead must eat crow.

Editor’s note: Waters is vice president of policy and communications for the Bluegrass Institute, Kentucky’s free-market think tank.

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