Web Osi Speaks!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tom Eblen: "Without The Civil War, Who Knows When Lexington's Slave Trade Might Have Ended?" Probably NEVER!

Tom Eblen: Without the Civil War, who knows when Lexington's slave trade might have ended?
By Tom Eblen

Above: Slave ad from the Lexington Observer & Reporter newspaper of May 22, 1841. The girl was being sold by Thomas McGowan, who dealt in slave in addition to being the city jailer. Below: Newspaper ad by Lexington's most notoriuous slave trader, Lewis Robards, who was taken to court several times because he sold unhealthy slaves without disclosing their conditions. He also dealt in "fancy women" who were sold into sexual slavery.

A century and a half ago, the Civil War began to reach Kentucky and bring an end to one of Lexington's most thriving businesses: the sale of people.

Slave labor built the prosperous hemp and tobacco plantations and stock farms of the antebellum Bluegrass. Whites also owned black slaves to cook their food, clean their homes and care for their children.

As Black History Month begins, it is worth noting that from the 1820s until the Civil War, Lexington was one of America's largest slave markets. Geography, demography and economics "put Lexington right in the center of this activity," said Gerald Smith, a University of Kentucky history professor.

By the 1820s, Virginia, Maryland and Central Kentucky had a surplus of slaves just as the Deep South's expanding cotton, rice and sugar plantations needed more labor. Much of that surplus ended up in Lexington to literally be "sold down the river." Listen to the words of the state song, My Old Kentucky Home; that is their story.

When the Civil War began, Lexington had more than 10,000 slaves — almost half the total population — and about 1,700 slave owners. Still, many slave owners looked down on slave traders as cruel beasts — perhaps not wanting to acknowledge the full picture of their own "peculiar institution."

Some sales were conducted privately at the several slave jails along Short Street. The largest of those jails were Megowan's at Short Street and Limestone, Pullum's on Broadway just north of Short, and Robards' on Short between Broadway and Bruce Street.

But many slaves were sold at public auction at Cheapside. The auction block was on the southwest corner of the Fayette County courthouse. On the northeast corner was the slave whipping post — a locust log 10 feet tall and a foot in diameter. It was installed in 1826, and when it wore out in the 1840s, it was replaced by a nearby poplar tree.

"It was an embarrassment for many Lexingtonians to have this slave trading going on downtown," Smith said. "It didn't conform with the cosmopolitan image they wanted to cultivate."

When future President Abraham Lincoln visited his wife's family in Lexington for three weeks in the fall of 1847, five slaves were sold at Cheapside to settle a judgment that her father, Robert Todd, had won against their owner, John F. Leavy, according to William Townsend's book, Lincoln and the Bluegrass.

Several controversial laws tried to prohibit traders from bringing slaves to Kentucky from other states to be sold. An 1833 law, one of the toughest of any slave state was widely ignored. But after a pro-slavery state constitution was adopted in 1849, Kentucky's slave trade flourished. More than 15 percent of Kentucky slaves were sold south from 1850 to 1860.

Smith said that, more than any slave-trading city except New Orleans, Lexington was known for its "fancy girls" — light-skinned, mixed-race young women who were sold into sexual slavery. The best-known dealer was Lewis Robards, who kept his "choice stock" in parlors above his Short Street office.

Not all of these deals were conducted behind closed doors. The most infamous case involved a beautiful young woman named Eliza — said to be just 1⁄64 black — who was sold at Cheapside in May 1843 to satisfy the debts of her deceased master and father.

Abolitionist accounts of the sale tell of a hard-hearted auctioneer who exposed Eliza's breasts and thighs to encourage bidders, much to the horror of the assembled crowd. The bidding came down to a Frenchman and the Rev. Calvin Fairbanks, who had come to Lexington for the purpose of buying Eliza and setting her free. Fairbanks won with a bid of $1,485.

Without the Civil War, who knows when Lexington's trade in black men, women and children might have ended? Most whites 150 years ago were content to look the other way — unless slavery's victims looked too much like them.

"Several of these fancy girls, if you didn't know any better, you would have thought they were white," Smith said, adding that Eliza's story added steam to the abolitionist movement. "It was as though a white woman was on display, and people were not going to stand for that."

Read more here:

Labels: ,

Thomas Sowell: Real Issues Facing America Are Hidden By The Mud." YEP!

Real issues facing America are hidden by the mud
Written by Thomas Sowell

The Republican candidates’ circular firing squad now seems to be using machine guns. Whoever the eventual “last man standing” turns out to be, he may not be standing very tall or very steadily on his feet — and he may be a pushover for Barack Obama in the general election, thanks to fellow Republicans.

Whether you are a Democrat, a Republican or an independent, this is a very serious and historically crucial time for the United States of America. What Mitt Romney did or did not do when he was with Bain Capital, or what Newt Gingrich did or did not say to his ex-wife, are things that should be left for the tabloids.

With the economy still faltering and Iran on its way to getting nuclear bombs, surely we can get serious about the issues facing this nation. Or can we?

Mitt Romney’s boasts about what he did at Bain Capital are as irrelevant as Newt Gingrich’s demagogic attacks on Romney’s role there. Romney is not running to become head of Bain Capital.

While Gingrich backed away from his demagoguery about Bain Capital, Romney is continuing to press ahead with his charges that Gingrich was a lobbyist for Freddie Mac. As someone who has been a consultant, but never a lobbyist, I know the difference.

As a consultant, I have offered advice to people in government and in private organizations, both businesses and non-profit organizations. But I have never gone to a government official to urge that official to make a decision favorable to those who were paying me, or to those for whom I did free consulting.

It takes two to tango, and lobbying requires not only a lobbyist but also someone who is being lobbied. With more than 500 people in Congress alone who could have been lobbied, and additional officials in the bureaucracies, if Romney cannot find even a single person to say that Gingrich lobbied him or her, then it is long past time for him to either put up or shut up.

On the other hand, if Romney just wants to sling a lot of mud in Newt’s direction and hope that some of it sticks, then that should tell the voters a lot about Romney’s character.

So much of what has been said by various Republican candidates, as well as by the media, has been in the nature of unsubstantiated, peripheral or irrelevant talking points for or against particular candidates, rather than serious statements about serious issues confronting the nation.

So common has this approach become that even some conservative writers have come to the defense of John King, the CNN reporter who opened the South Carolina debate with a question about Newt Gingrich’s former wife. These writers have declared that question “legitimate,” in some undefined sense.

If all that “legitimate” means is that John King was not doing anything that many other reporters would have done in the same circumstances, that is making common practice a substitute for our own judgments about what is and is not relevant in a given context. Neither the audience in that room nor the millions watching on television were there to find out about Newt Gingrich’s marital problems. If it is a common practice for the media to focus on such things, so much the worse for the media — and for the country.

“The politics of personal destruction” — as Bill Clinton called it, and as he himself practiced it — is not the way to solve the nation’s problems. It has already poisoned the well of political discourse this season and claimed Herman Cain as its first victim, on the basis of unsubstantiated accusations by women with checkered pasts of their own.

Whether Herman Cain was good, bad or indifferent as a candidate, and whether his chances of winning the Republican nomination were substantial or non-existent is not the issue. Nor is this the issue as regards Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney or any other candidate.

Poisoning the well of political discourse may be one of the reasons why we see such unsatisfactory sets of candidates for political office in both parties, not only this year but in previous election years as well.

Many able and decent people are understandably reluctant to subject themselves and their families to a mud-slinging contest or to media “gotcha” questions. The creeping acceptance of such practices is hardly a justification, but is itself part of the degeneration of our times.

The time is long overdue to get serious.

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, Palo Alto, Calif. He writes a column for Creators Syndicate.


GOP Presidential Race, AS Seen By Mike Luckovich. YES, I'm ROTFLMAO!


Monday, January 30, 2012

"Open All Child Abuse Cases To The Public". WE Couldn't Agree More.

Open all child abuse cases to the public
By Richard Wexler

At issue | Jan. 15 Herald-Leader article, "Summit on child-abuse deaths recommends more transparency from Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services"

Much has been written about the iron curtain of secrecy that allows the state to cover up mistakes when caseworkers investigate allegations of child abuse and neglect.

But instead of seeking true transparency, most advocates are seeking far too little. They want to replace the iron curtain with a funhouse mirror.

Demands that records be released only in cases where a child dies or nearly dies distort the system's failings, leaving the impression that the only mistake workers make is leaving children in dangerous homes.

In fact, child-welfare systems are arbitrary, capricious and cruel. They routinely err in all directions, leaving some children in danger even as many more are taken from homes that are safe or could be made safe if families got the right kinds of help.

A rare chance to see the full story came in 2007 when the Cabinet for Health and Family Services Inspector General released a scathing report on the Department for of Community Based Services office in Hardin County. The report exposed needless removal of children and contempt for families. Among the findings:

"Statements reflecting personal bias against clients were used in documenting incidents and situations in the files. ... DCBS staff complained that other staff made comments reflecting racial stereotypes. ... Social service workers have laughed at parents as they advised them they were removing their children and during the removal process. Social service workers have called clients indecent names."

This report came a year after the Herald-Leader exposed the scandal of "quick-trigger adoptions" — children torn from everyone they know and love and rushed to termination of parental rights so the state could collect what amounts to bounties from the federal government.

In 2010, Kentucky took away children at a rate more than 30 percent above the national average and double the rate of states widely regarded as, relatively speaking, models for keeping children safe — even when rates of child poverty are factored in.

The problem of children left in abusive homes and the problem of children torn needlessly from everyone they know and love are not opposites that need to be "balanced." Rather, they are directly related.

We've all read the stories about caseworkers overloaded with 50 or 60 cases each.

A lot of what is overloading those workers are cases of children needlessly removed from their homes. But it's hard to see that when looking at the system through a funhouse mirror.

Kentucky needs real transparency. That means:

■ A strong rebuttable presumption that all court hearings in child-welfare cases are open to the media and public. More than a dozen states already do this. Not one state to open these hearings has closed them again.

That's because all the fears of opponents proved groundless. All over the country, onetime opponents of open courts became converts after they saw how well it worked.

■ A strong rebuttable presumption that most documents are public not only in death and near-death cases, but in all cases. Where a particular document's disclosure might harm a child, a lawyer for that child or the parents should be able to ask a judge to seal it, with the judge making the final decision.

■ Give the Department for Community-Based Services the right to comment on specific cases. Agencies like it have this right in a few states. This won't stop the agency from stonewalling, but at least agency officials wouldn't be able to hide behind a law that supposedly prevents them from discussing a case.

That might make reporters more willing to publish the stories they hear over and over from families whose children have been taken needlessly.

Judge Paula Sherlock declared: "Once the obituary is written, the gloves come off. We need to take a clean look at what happened."

But if the goal is fewer obituaries, the gloves need to come off a lot sooner.

Read more here:

Labels: ,

Words To Live By, Words Of Wisdom And Words To Ponder EVERYDAY Of Our Lives, As Fair Minded Patriots.

"History affords us many instances of the ruin of states, by the prosecution of measures ill suited to the temper and genius of their people. The ordaining of laws in favor of one part of the nation, to the prejudice and oppression of another, is certainly the most erroneous and mistaken policy. An equal dispensation of protection, rights, privileges, and advantages, is what every part is entitled to, and ought to enjoy... These measures never fail to create great and violent jealousies and animosities between the people favored and the people oppressed; whence a total separation of affections, interests, political obligations, and all manner of connections, by which the whole state is weakened."

-- Benjamin Franklin, Emblematical Representations

Labels: , ,

GOP: Is That All We Got?


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Her Man "9-9-9" Cain, Looking For A Job He Doesn't Need, Has Endorsed Newt Gingrich Tonight For GOP Presidential Nod.

Read more here and 9-9-9!

Labels: ,

Might As Well Laugh Today.


Friday, January 27, 2012

Federal Judge Sentences "Barefoot Bandit" Colton Harris-Moore To 6 And Half Years In Prison. Watch Video.

In Florida At GOP Presidential Debate, Newt Gingrich And PHONY Mitt Romney Chase Latino Vote. LOL.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Andy Barr To File Declaration Of Candidacy With Office Of The Secretary Of State, Raised Almost Half A Million Dollars For Campaign.


January 26, 2012

Contact: (859) 806-8683


Andy Barr To File Declaration of Candidacy with Office of the Secretary of State *Barr to report having raised over $425,000 for the 2012 campaign*

Andy Barr will officially file his paperwork to be the Republican candidate for the Sixth Congressional District at the Secretary of State’s office in Frankfort on Friday, January 27, 2012 at 10:00 a.m.

“I am running for Congress because the people of Central Kentucky want their representative to fight for more jobs, less debt and a return to the Constitutional principles which made our country great. Congressman Chandler has been part of the problem in Washington for the past eight years. I will work hard to be part of the solution to these challenging problems,” Barr said.

Next week, Barr will file his year-end fundraising report with the Federal Election Commission. That report will show that as of December 31, 2011, the Barr campaign had already raised over $425,000 for the 2012 election cycle.

In 2010, Barr came within 647 votes of replacing Chandler as the Congressman for the Sixth Congressional District in the third closest congressional race in America. “I am honored to have the encouragement and support of so many people from the Bluegrass Region. We are well ahead of my fundraising pace from 2010 and we are working hard to grow the organization already in place in each county of the District. Carol and I are looking forward to meeting new friends and supporters in this campaign,” Barr said.

To find out more about Andy Barr, visit


[ Paid for by Andy Barr for Congress ]


Jeff Hoover And Others Seek Injunction To Restrain The Enforcement Of Kentucky's Legislative Redistricting Efforts.

Read the plaintiffs' verified complaint here seeking the injunction, memorandum in support of the injunction, and the order the Plaintiffs proposed for the judge to sign.

I suspect the whole redistricting scheme, from what I read since I have not seen the plans, may be declared unconstitutional.

But we have to wait and see.

Labels: , ,

We Don't Always Agree With Lexington Herald Leader Either, But We Agree With Their Editorial: Return Voting Rights To Ex-felons.

Return voting rights to ex-felons

The Kentucky House of Representatives is once again acting favorably on a proposal (HB 70) by Rep. Jesse Crenshaw, D-Lexington, to amend the state constitution to automatically restore voting rights to non-violent felons who have paid their assigned debt to society.

Remarkably, each time in recent years this measure has passed out of the House it has stopped dead in the Senate.

This is a good year to change that pattern. We are, after all, witnessing one of the great political processes as the presidential campaign unfolds before our very eyes.

There is a lot of debate these days about the role of government in our lives, but does anyone really think it should be government's task to prevent people from voting?

Kentucky is one of only a handful of states in which a felony conviction carries with it a lifetime loss of voting rights.

Under our constitution, it's up to the governor to restore that right to people who have served their time. With most governors it's fairly routine to restore rights to people who ask after they've finished their time with the Department of Corrections.

But not always.

Former Governor Ernie Fletcher, for example, required people to write an essay and get three letters of recommendation before he'd even consider restoring an individual's voting rights.

Why, you might wonder, is this even an issue? Why not put a proposed amendment on the ballot and let those of us who can vote decide?

It's really basic political math. A 2006 Kentucky League of Women Voters study found that one in four Kentucky black adults is banned from the polls by this policy. Blacks are much more likely to vote for Democratic candidates and so the Republican-controlled Senate (and the former Republican governor) are not motivated to increase their numbers at the polls.

That's just wrong. Released felons are set free to participate in society, including paying taxes, and so they should be able to participate in one of the most fundamental of our citizenship rights — voting.

It's that simple.

Read more here:


Joel Pett Couldn't Resist The TSA/Rand Paul Incident.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

More On The Rand Paul/TSA Brouhaha. Watch News Video.


TSA Releases Video Of Rand Paul At Nashville International Airport. Watch.


What Did You Say? You Also Missed Republican Response Given By Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels? Watch It Here.

Labels: ,

So You Are Like Me And Missed POTUS Barack Obama's State Of The Union Speech? Well, No More. Watch It Here.

Democratic Former Alabama Artur Davis Urges Republicans To Draft Jeb Bush, And He Makes A VALID Point!

Draft Jeb Bush
A charismatic and accomplished governor can save the Republican party.
By Artur Davis

In the early months of the election year, a polarizing president with a lackluster approval rating bided his time as the opposition party unraveled. Its nominating fight dissolved into chaos as the establishment front-runner collapsed, and an insurgent with a talent for galvanizing his party’s base surged, despite persistent fears about his electoral appeal beyond the party’s hardcore. A protracted primary fight ensued, with the insurgent and the party’s resistant establishment eviscerating each other for months; by the time it ran its course, a president who seemed imminently beatable was ahead by double digits. The story ends with that same president winning by an historic margin over a party that rejected its recent past in favor of a dangerously uncertain future.

This is a recounting of the 1972 election season. If it has the feel of a premonition, it’s because Republicans look dangerously on the verge of repeating the demolition derby that so weakened Democrats that year. Mitt Romney may be a better-constructed front-runner than Ed Muskie, but he is still a flawed contender whose candidacy seems at odds with his party’s mood and whose own half-answers have made his wealth seem shadowy and amoral. Newt Gingrich may be a far better-known quantity than the hapless George McGovern, but he still seems, like McGovern, more suited to the task of revolution than political persuasion. Republicans are, and should be, very worried.

Enter the last dream date that Republicans may have at their disposal. His name is Jeb Bush, and this time, there is a feasibility around the idea that seemed unthinkable months ago.

To be sure, the Jeb scenario will need more instability in order to flourish. The likeliest path involves Gingrich’s momentum carrying him through Florida; the February races in Arizona and Michigan dividing between Romney and Gingrich; Romney rebounding in March in moderate-leaning midwestern states such as Illinois and Wisconsin; Gingrich winning easily in the Deep South on Super Tuesday and Texas in early April, with Romney proving equally strong in New York and the rest of the Atlantic coastline, while states like Ohio and Indiana fail to resolve the split.

Imagine that California’s ultimate showdown leaves Gingrich with the slightest of edges, but with Romney remaining viable and in possession of a broader geographic base, far more internal support from GOP leadership, and a substantial chunk of delegates. To stop Gingrich, Romney might have no practical choice but to offer to throw his support to Bush, whose popularity would also implode Gingrich’s slim plurality.

Not one bit of it is implausible. Arguably, a deadlock is an entirely realistic outcome in a race where Romney’s institutional edges are considerable, but his vulnerabilities and Gingrich’s raw campaign skills are more than enough to offset that advantage. It is also all too likely that the result of a protracted bout would be two candidates so bruised that neither remains competitive with Obama. If so, there will be a sense of panic, and it is not hard to conceive that Romney could come under intense pressure to sacrifice himself to avert a November catastrophe.

The less probable outcome is that Jeb Bush would abandon a year of disclaimers to accept a draft in a brokered convention. But there are two reasons he might. The first is that an Obama landslide would devastate conservatism enough that it might be irreparable for a generation. One doesn’t have to subscribe to Gingrich’s Manichean rhetoric to concede that an Obama sweep would, for the first time in 76 years, institute government-centered, redistributionist economics as the country’s central governing philosophy. It would be, after all, the agenda that Obama and congressional Democrats had campaigned on, in contrast to the deliberately muted, ideologically vague platforms that elected Carter, Clinton, and Obama in 2008; or the growth-oriented, business friendly liberalism that JFK and LBJ embodied.

Second, Bush would have a pathway to victory in November. His brand of reform-oriented conservatism might actually be his party’s only pathway: Unlike Romney, whose leadership of Massachusetts produced one signature achievement — a hodgepodge of a health-care law that he likely wishes he could take back — Bush’s legacy is an issue that Republicans ought to own but are ignoring, education reform. He also turned Florida into a national laboratory for controlling health-care costs and reining in medical tort liability, both soft spots in Obama’s record.

At the same time, Bush has revealed a capacity for coalition-building that has eluded Gingrich. He is a hero of the conservative base who has had remarkable electoral appeal to Jewish and Hispanic voters. He combines support for a modified version of the DREAM Act with backing stronger border security — a middle ground that is both tough-minded and assimilationist — and happens to be entering his fourth decade of marriage to a Hispanic woman. It goes without saying that Bush gives Republicans the best shot of removing Florida from the Democratic column, and winning states with a strong Latino presence such as Arizona and Colorado.

The fact is that Jeb Bush bent Florida, a famously interest-group-ridden state, in a rightward direction; that’s an accomplishment Romney can’t begin to claim vis-à-vis Massachusetts. Bush is not just an authentic movement conservative, but a groundbreaker on an array of issues that drive votes, such as accountability for teachers and reining in the costs of private health insurance. While his record has blemishes that Democrats would exploit, from his stint in the Eighties lobbying for southern-Florida business interests to his ill-timed tenure at Lehman Brothers in 2007, this Bush is an adept, articulate campaigner who is unlikely to be tied in knots defending his history. Also, the statute of limitations seems to have expired on the ugliest sentiments around the last Bush presidency.

Jeb Bush should measure his reluctance against the risks looming for his party and, potentially, his country. The fact is that his party could be staring at an unavoidable disaster unless, in the interests of saving it, its best candidate comes out of retirement.

— Artur Davis served four terms in Congress representing Alabama’s 7th district.


Are You Jealous Of PHONY Mitt Romney?


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Peggy Noonan: The NO-Obama Drama.

The No-Obama Drama
The Republican campaign is compelling, but it may prove to be damaging.

We have entered a new phase, the Republican primary as John Grisham novel. Secret offshore bank accounts, broken love, the testimony of anguished ex-wives: “He wanted an open marriage.” A battered old veteran emerges from the background and, in his electoral death throes, provides secret information—“I’m for Newt”—that he hopes will upend a dirty, rotten establishment. A vest-wearing choir boy turns out to have been the unknown winner of that case back in Iowa. And all this against the backdrop of a mysterious firm that moves in and destroys communities—”When Mitt Romney came to town . . .”—while its CEO pays nothing in taxes.

If you are a Republican who hates a mess, or if you are a member of that real but elusive and hydra-headed thing, the GOP establishment, you are beside yourself with anxiety and unhappiness. You think: “They’re losing this thing! They’re going to limp out of South Carolina, they’ll limp through Florida, they’re killing each other and killing the party’s chances. How will they look by the fall? What are independents going to think of the guy we finally put up? We all know politics ain’t beanbag, but it’s not supposed to be a clown-car Indy 500 with cars hitting the wall and guys in wigs littering the track!”

There’s been a lot of damage. We lose sense of it in the day to day, but in the aggregate it’s going to prove considerable.

Rick Perry didn’t have much of a following, but he had some points on the board, and a few points could make a difference. His endorsement of Newt Gingrich was timed for maximum assistance and maximum damage. As an early-afternoon story it might help diminish the impact of the revelations of Marianne Gingrich, whose testimony about her marriage to the former speaker would break on ABC that evening. Mr. Perry’s words of support would follow that story on all the networks, or be twinned with it. And the endorsement was given less than 48 hours before the polls opened in South Carolina, enough time to be fresh yet fully absorbed.

Mr. Perry’s speech was strong. He didn’t go out wan and sad but with impact, looking as if a burden had fallen away. It was a cliché within an hour, but only because it was true: If he had talked with that kind of fluidity, conviction and sincerity throughout the campaign, he’d be getting endorsements now, not giving them.

“I ran for president because I love America,” he said. “What’s broken in America is not our people but our politics.” Washington should be “humbler.” He has never believed “the cause of conservatism” is embodied in any one person. The mission for the GOP is “not only to defeat President Obama” but to elect someone who can make the changes that are needed. “There is no viable path forward for me,” but there is another candidate who is “a conservative visionary” who can “transform” our country. He’ll tell Washington interests “to take a hike.” He’s a conservative who means it. He’s Newt Gingrich.

This was a direct shot at Mr. Romney’s biggest vulnerability: Deep down, conservatives are not certain he is one of them. Deep down they’re not sure he has a deep down. While Perry was talking, a Rasmussen poll came out showing Mr. Gingrich in the lead in South Carolina for the first time in weeks. He had 33%, Mr. Romney 31%, Ron Paul 15% and Rick Santorum 11%.
Other polls have Mr. Romney in the lead, some solidly so. If Newt is rising, if he has real momentum, what are the reasons? One obvious answer: his strong debate Monday night. He was Good Newt—creative, bold, in command of the issues and of himself—and not Bad Newt, the whiny, slightly mad one. An obvious reason for Mr. Romney’s decline is the fallout from the attacks on Bain Capital, his old firm. Those attacks have not been ringingly answered, except by Dan Henninger in these pages. And there would be damage from the issue of Mr. Romney’s personal tax returns (why didn’t the Romney campaign see this coming?), the comparatively low income taxes he’s apparently paid, and revelations that he has kept offshore bank accounts in the Cayman Islands. None of these issues has been answered or explained at any length, and all are good news for the Obama campaign, whose 2012 themes will center on the rich versus the rest.

It’s possible that a solid week of pounding on these issues is dinging the main argument South Carolina Republicans give for supporting Romney: that he is the most electable candidate.

But everything shifts in this shifting race, and roughly a third of Saturday’s primary voters say they’re not certain how they’ll vote. And so a word on the Marianne Gingrich interview. Newt hit Mr. Romney hard on Bain, which became transmuted into a question of personal character, and now he is getting hit hard by his former wife. It has long been assumed within the political-media complex that the story of his second marriage is old news, that nobody’s interested. But to a lot of people—some of them evangelicals, some of them women, some of them young or newly interested in politics—it will be news. For them, the particulars of the story as she tells it have the potential to be explosive. The argument that Mrs. Gingrich already said most of it ago two years ago to Esquire is off point. She’s never said it on television, at a high-stakes moment, in her own way and in her own words. That will make it more compelling and dramatic. It will make it new. It is going to have an impact.

We close with two thoughts, one bleak. This space has long supported the existence of the GOP debates. They’ve done their job of winnowing, showcasing candidates’ strengths, allowing them to shine if they’re capable of shining. They’ve toughened each candidate, preparing the winner to meet the president in the fall. He’s just endured three years of constant deference and soft questions. It will be interesting to see him get in the ring on fight night with a guy who’s been there for a year. But I didn’t understand how valuable the debates had been until a longtime GOP operative told me her view: “Without the debates we’d have nothing but the Super PACs.” Without them, most voters would have nothing but information filtered through media, and propaganda from Super PACs. This from a woman who’s exactly the kind of person who contributes to Super PACs.

The bleak thought: Mr. Obama this week blocked Keystone pipeline, a decision that means tens of thousands of jobs lost, new energy possibilities rejected. It is a decision so bad, so political, that it amounts to a scandal. But it just sort of eased through the news, blurrily. All the cameras were focused on the Republicans, who were distracted by their own dramas. They did not, together, in one voice, protest, as they should have. Keystone happened while they were busy looking like the Keystone Kops.

What’s happening out there on the trail is a great story. But it’s not a good story. And the past few days it didn’t feel like a story that was going to end well.


We Don't Always Agree With Louisville Courier Journal, But We Join Their Editorial Decrying "Rank Partisanship" In Legislative Redistricting Efforts.

Editorial | Rank partisanship

Maybe the outrageous exhibition of partisanship that has played out in Kentucky’s most recent redistricting dance is not to be blamed on nursed grudges, rank protectionism or the growing rancor between political parties. Maybe it’s just part of our American heritage.

After all, Common Cause points out that “Patrick Henry drew his political foe James Madison out of a district to make it harder for him to be elected to Congress.” If the founders couldn’t rise above cut-throat politics in drawing districts, how can anyone expect more of House Speaker Greg Stumbo and Senate President David Williams, many generations removed from the giants of the nation’s history?

Well, Kentuckians should expect more. Make that demand more.

Every 10 years, after the latest U.S. Census data are released, electoral districts are reconsidered and redrawn if necessary to reflect population changes; that’s true for state House and Senate seats and judicial districts, as well as federal congressional districts which are supposed to accurately reflect racial and ethnic diversity and population shifts.

The fly in that otherwise reasonably sounding ointment is that in most states — including Kentucky — elected state officials themselves are responsible for doing the redrawing. And most citizens ought to recognize the conflict of interest in that setup faster than they can say “immortal incumbency” or “political payback.”

Last week’s exercise in the decennial task produced counties split into different districts, which defies the state’s constitutional outlines for redrawing, in the plan put forth by the Democratic-controlled House. The Republican-dominated Senate did a musical chairs number of its own, and by moving her district’s lines it left Sen. Kathy Stein, D-Lexington, a regular critic of Mr. Williams, without a seat — effectively tossing her out of office and ensuring she can’t run again for a few years. Gov. Steve Beshear signed the state plans so candidates would know which districts they were running for, but potential lawsuits that could be lodged against both plans might gum that up, too.

A small number of states use bipartisan or independent commissions to redraw districts, in order to take the bitter politics out of the process. Kentucky needs to adopt this approach, and a bill to propose doing that should pick up widespread support. Not just among legislators, but among citizens, too.

The worst part of this political gamesmanship is its arrogance. These offices don’t belong to the lawmakers moving their pieces around the electoral map. They belong to the people.


Kentucky Legislator Bill Farmer Pre-Files SENSIBLE Bill To Turn Over Legislative Redistricting To Independent Panel.


Michael Goins
Director of Communications
House Republican Leadership
(502) 564-4334


ATTENTION EDITORS AND BLOGGERS: Please credit video on your broadcasts and website posts to the Kentucky House Republican Caucus

Rep. Bill Farmer Files Bill Seeking to Turn Over Redistricting to Independent Panel
House Bill 304 would set up non-partisan group appointed by Kentucky Supreme Court

FRANKFORT, Ky. (January 24, 2012) – Rep. Bill Farmer, R-Lexington (88th District) announced today he has filed a bill for the 2012 Legislation Session that seeks to create a non-partisan panel that would handle the issue of redistricting in future sessions.

Under House Bill 304 the seven justices of the Kentucky Supreme Court would each appoint one person from his or her court district to serve on a panel tasked with handling all duties related to redistricting in both the House and Senate, including gathering population data and feedback from citizens throughout the Commonwealth.

To view a video interview with Rep. Farmer about House Bill 304 and the reasons why he filed the bill, click on the following link:

You can review House Bill 304 via the LRC website at this link:

Labels: ,

Kentucky's Legislative Redistricting Proves Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely.

Redistrict outrages may face redress
Written by Al Cross

FRANKFORT, Ky. — There is redistricting, and there is redistricting.

The latter is what went down in Frankfort last week, and it went down hard. We figured it would be bad, but not that bad. And things will probably get messier.

Not only did the House and Senate’s partisan majorities pass politically outrageous plans for their respective chambers, going beyond the usual majority protection and minority punishment, but the House plan was unconstitutional on its face.

That was clear — to anyone who knows the rules of redistricting and the rough populations of Kentucky counties — upon first glance. Or, as the lawyers might say, “Prima facie, baby. Let’s go to court!”

And it looks as though Republicans will do just that.

“We’re headed that way,” House Minority Leader Jeff Hoover of Jamestown told me Thursday afternoon, as the bill headed to Gov. Steve Beshear’s desk for signature into law. “Our plan is to seek an injunction and then proceed with the litigation.”

An injunction from a judge could block the bill from taking effect, forcing a delay in the Jan. 31 filing deadline for legislative seats, and perhaps in the May primary elections. And then maybe a special legislative session to pass a plan that meets constitutional muster.

All this because House Democrats thumbed their noses at Section 33 of the Kentucky Constitution, which says a county not large enough to make its own district can’t be divided by a district line. The House divided six such counties: Harlan, Lawrence, Letcher (three ways), Lewis (three ways), Mercer and Trigg.

The configuration of the state and its counties might require dividing two such counties (Bell, Calloway or counties adjoining them, such as Harlan and Trigg), according to a 1995 state Supreme Court decision. That was the ruling that revived the 1891 constitution’s rule against county division, which lawmakers thought had been nullified by the U.S. Supreme Court’s “one man, one vote” decisions.

The legislature complied with the ruling in 1996, but the next time the House drew districts, it backslid, dividing four counties that clearly had no business being divided, two of them (Rowan and Wolfe) in one district — that of Rep. John Will Stacy, D-West Liberty, who privately bullied the mapmakers into submission.

No one sued to invalidate that map, so perhaps House leaders thought they could get away with it again. But the latest map needs to be challenged in court because it is such a monstrosity — legally, geographically and politically — and only the courts can hold the legislature truly accountable.

In addition to the three-way splits of two counties, the House map creates bizarre districts that make a mockery of the basic redistricting principles that districts should be relatively compact and reflect communities of interest. Hoover said the map splits 246 precincts, which will cost local officials time, trouble and probably money.

The new District 80 of Rep. Danny Ford, R-Mount Vernon, runs from the Fayette County line through western Madison County to his home Rockcastle County, which is connected to Casey County by a narrow strip of Pulaski County, along the Lincoln County line.

Just to the east, the new District 89 of Rep. Marie Rader, R-McKee, connects her home Jackson County with McCreary County via a jagged strip through the middle of Laurel County, which is divided among five districts. Though Laurel and McCreary adjoin, they have no direct road connection.

The same is true of Russell and Cumberland, the middle counties in Hoover’s extenuated, new District 83. It is probably one of the five House districts that will have more than one incumbent, presuming a special election next month fills the unexpired term of Agriculture Commissioner Jamie Comer with another Tompkinsville Republican. There are three incumbents in the new 17th District, Butler and Edmonson counties and part of Warren County.

All the matched-up incumbents are Republicans, except Majority Floor Leader Rocky Adkins, D-Sandy Hook, whose new District 99 looks much more favorable to him than to freshman Rep. Jill York, R-Grayson.

The Senate map is probably constitutional, but even more politically objectionable.

More than a fourth of senators — 10 of 38 — will be in districts with other incumbents. Since Republicans control the Senate, it’s the Democrats who are getting it in the neck, probably killing their chances of regaining Senate control any time soon.

But the real political hit job is what the bill does to Sen. Kathy Stein, D-Lexington, a thorn in the side of Senate President David Williams. It moves her district number, 13, to northeastern Kentucky and gives her old district an even number. Only odd-numbered seats are on this year’s ballot, and there is a one-year residency requirement, so there is no Senate seat for which Stein can run this year.

Lexington’s urban core will be represented, at least theoretically, by Sen. Dorsey Ridley, D-Henderson, whose district number was moved there. Only one other Senate district, a suburban one, lies wholly in Lexington-Fayette, so the state’s second-largest city may not have a proportionate voice in the Senate for two years. If there is a constitutional flaw in the Senate map, this may be it.

Redistricting is always the most political of legislative tasks, and Kentuckians have become inured in the last decade to the legislature putting a priority on politics. Now it has again gone too far, and the courts must put things right. And legislators must think about giving the task to some independent, bipartisan body.

Redistricting is not just a game of inside political baseball; it goes to the fundamentals of our system of self-government. As Rep. Jim Wayne, D-Louisville, said in the final debate on the bill, “The long-term result is destruction of this democratic process.”

Al Cross, former Courier-Journal political writer, is director of the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues and an associate professor in the School of Journalism and Telecommunications at the University of Kentucky. His opinions are his own, not those of the university.

Labels: , ,

NEWT Gingrich. I'm LMAO!


Monday, January 23, 2012

Editorial: Judge Shepherd's Ruling.

Editorial | Judge Shepherd's ruling

John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton, better known as Lord Acton, and Phillip Shepherd, better known as Franklin Circuit Judge Shepherd, never met. One was a member of 19th Century English nobility; the other currently presides in a courtroom in Frankfort, Ky. Despite those differences, they share a great deal when it comes to their opinions — philosophical or legal — about the corrosive nature of secrecy.

Lord Acton is most famous saying that “absolute power corrupts absolutely,” but he was known to expound on all manner of topics, including: “Everything secret degenerates, even the administration of justice; nothing is safe that does not show how it can bear discussion and publicity.”

He wasn’t writing about the reflexive, over-reaching secrecy practiced by Kentucky’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services, as Judge Shepherd has in a recent series of strongly worded rulings against the state government agency charged with protecting children, but he could have been.

In legal wrangles stretching over two years, Judge Shepherd has channeled Lord Acton in his statements (and three rulings) involving openness over secrecy. The statements have come as three newspapers — The Courier-Journal, the Lexington Herald-Leader and the Todd County Standard — sought access to cabinet records relating to the deaths or near deaths of children due to child abuse or neglect, only to be stymied and stonewalled by state officials who balked despite court orders.

“The court must conclude that the (Cabinet for Health and Family Services) is so immersed in the culture of secrecy regarding these issues that it is institutionally incapable of recognizing and implementing the clear requirement of the law,” Judge Shepherd has said.

In ordering the release of records pertaining to 9-year-old Amy Dye of Western Kentucky, who was beaten to death by her adoptive brother after living in a home approved by the state, the judge said, “This case presents a tragic example of the potentially deadly consequences of a child welfare system that has completely insulated itself from meaningful public scrutiny.”

Last week, Judge Shepherd made two rulings about the records cases that further upheld the spirit and letter of the state’s open records law, which is in place to check government power and to protect the people.

He ordered the state to pay $16,550 in fines and $56,663 in legal fees to the papers for their drawn-out court fight with the cabinet.

He also said the state could not continue to heavily redact the information from the records they had started to release (Judge Shepherd noted the state was still trying “to blanket the operation of the child welfare system under a veil of secrecy”), and he outlined the limited information that could be removed before the records are made public.

In the Todd County Standard ruling, Judge Shepherd found that the cabinet willfully and intentionally violated the open records law with its attempts at “misdirection and obfuscation designed to prevent public disclosure” of the records requested by the newspaper.

In the Courier-Journal and Lexington Herald-Leader decision, the judge wrote, “In cases involving a death or near death of a child who the state agency has been charged with protecting, full public disclosure of such information is the rule. Full disclosure is often necessary to prevent such tragedies from recurring. The cabinet’s proposed protocol (of what information to release and withhold) allows the cabinet to keep a vast amount of this information private, without balancing the public’s right to know, the need to hold the cabinet accountable, and the necessity of policy changes to prevent such outcomes in the future.”

In ruling that the state must pay the costs of the legal battle with the news organizations, the judge noted the cabinet’s “intractable and unyielding” stance on the records, its unwillingness to modify its “policy of shielding these documents from public scrutiny without a protracted legal struggle,” its “legal strategy of protracting, delaying and subverting the implementation of the prior rulings of this court,” and the state law that authorizes the court to “award attorneys’ fees and costs to parties who successfully challenge the state’s assertion of secrecy.”

The judge’s continuing defense of greater openness over secrecy — and of the people’s right to know what their government is doing — ought to resonate with every citizen and taxpayer of Kentucky. After all, they have ended up paying for the cabinet’s illegal withholding of public records, and they are living with the consequences of the blanket of secrecy the cabinet is fighting to keep.

The defense of openness over secrecy also should be taken up by legislators who are considering several bills involving these issues and who should flatly reject any attempt to hobble or compromise the state’s open records act.

Though they come from different times and different places, Lord Acton’s “discussion and publicity” and Judge Shepherd’s “full public disclosure” are abiding tools in the defense of a free society.


Words To Live By, Words Of Wisdom And Words To Ponder EVERYDAY Of Our Lives, Liberty Loving Patriots.

"The Grecians and Romans were strongly possessed of the spirit of liberty but not the principle, for at the time they were determined not to be slaves themselves, they employed their power to enslave the rest of mankind." --Thomas Paine, The American Crisis, No. 5, 1778

Labels: , ,

Joel Pett (One Of The Very BEST Cartoonists In The Business) SLAMS Richie Farmer. If Ain't Laughing You're Dying!


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Arizona U. S. Representative Gabby Giffords Steps Down From Seat To Focus On Recovery From Gunshot Wounds. Watch Video.

Rep. Gabby Giffords will step down from Congress this week to focus on her recovery, she announced in a video message on Sunday afternoon. Giffords, who nearly died from a gunshot wound last year in an attack that killed six people in at a congressional event in Tucson, says she is getting better, "every day."

Watch video announcement below:


Former Penn State Littany Lions Football Coach Joe Paterno Passes Away At 85. May His Soul Rest In Peace.

Coach Joe Paterno was one of the good ones, but can anyone doubt that he died a heartbroken man, brought about by his IGNOMINIOUS firing after the Sandusky sex affair?

Watch video below:

May his soul rest in peace.

Labels: , ,

Friday, January 20, 2012

We Mourn The Passing Of Songstress Etta James. "At Last", She's At Peace.

Richie Farmer Returns More Missing Equipment. OK, This Is Not Funny Anymore!

Richie Farmer delivers more items to Ag Department
Written by Tom Loftus
and Joseph Gerth

FRANKFORT, KY. — Former Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer this week delivered more than just some missing computer equipment to the Department of Agriculture.

State Auditor Adam Edelen said Friday that Farmer returned items in addition to two laptop computers, a printer and a monitor that had been listed as missing on records that Farmer’s successor as commissioner, James Comer, released last week.

But Edelen declined to identify what else Farmer brought to the agency he had headed for eight years. His second term ended Jan. 2.

Edelen’s office is conducting a special examination of the Farmer-era Department of Agriculture. Comer requested the examination because of lingering questions over purchasing, personnel and management of the department under Farmer.

Because Edelen’s inquiry is continuing, the property Farmer delivered to his former department was turned over by Comer’s staff to the auditor.

Edelen confirmed Friday that he has since turned over some of that material to the Kentucky State Police for secure storage as his examination proceeds.

He also said the return of the additional items is among new developments that will cause his examination to take longer than originally expected.

“The facts are going to dictate the scope and length of this investigation, and the facts are such that I don’t believe we are going to complete the investigation in six weeks to two months like we had previously hoped,” Edelen said.

Holly VonLuehrte, general counsel for Comer’s agriculture department, said she could not discuss the additional items delivered by Farmer or comment on why they are not on the department’s missing property list.

“All we can say is there were other items delivered, and we’ll defer to Auditor Edelen regarding what those items were,” VonLuehrte said.

VonLuehrte said that neither she nor Comer was present when Farmer delivered the items. But she said she believed Farmer returned them some time Tuesday and that he was accompanied by his father, Richard Farmer of Manchester.

Neither Richie nor Richard Farmer returned phone messages Friday.

Last week the Department of Agriculture released lists of missing department property totaling $324,000 in response to Open Records Act requests from the news media. The missing items included computer equipment and other state property that had been assigned to Farmer.

Still missing on the department’s list are two additional laptops and two global-positioning devices that had been issued to Farmer.


Steve Beshear Signs Redistricting Bill Into Law, But Blames David Williams For Kathy Stein Ouster From Senate; David Williams Says He Should Not Have Signed Bill If He Didn't Like It.

Beshear signs into law redistricting plan that moves Stein's Senate district
By Jack Brammer

FRANKFORT — Gov. Steve Beshear signed into law Friday the controversial legislative redistricting bill that moves the district of Democratic Sen. Kathy Stein out of Lexington to northeastern Kentucky.

The bill, which has an emergency clause, takes effect immediately.

Beshear said the Republican-led Senate's decision to move Stein's 13th District "goes beyond partisanship" and reflects "personal vindictiveness."

Still, Beshear said he signed the bill because the Jan. 31 deadline for candidates to file to run for the Kentucky General Assembly is looming.

"I am signing House Bill 1 today so that all citizens interested in filing for any of these seats will know what House or Senate district they are in and have time to get their filing papers in order to file for office," he said in a statement.

Beshear blamed Senate President David Williams, R-Burkesville, for moving Stein's district.

"Redistricting is always a partisan process, and the current situation is no exception," Beshear said. "However, the action directed by the Senate President to move Senator Kathy Stein's district in Lexington to northeast Kentucky in order to keep her from being able to run for re-election, and moving western Kentucky Senator Dorsey Ridley's district to Lexington, goes beyond partisanship. It reflects a personal vindictiveness that should have no place in this process"

Beshear added that the situation with Stein "reinforces my belief that before redistricting occurs again in Kentucky, some type of non-partisan, citizen-based group should be created to participate in the process."

Williams, who was unsuccessful last November in stopping Beshear from a second, four-year term, said in a statement that the governor should realize the campaign ended in November.

"As with most legislative matters, he was not involved in the process and doesn't have any evidence to support his allegation," Williams said. "If the governor truly believed that HB 1 is such an egregious piece of legislation, he should have the courage of his convictions to veto the plan. As usual, though, he prefers to cast aspersions instead of taking responsibility for his own actions or inactions, thereby continuing to make Frankfort more partisan than it already is."

Senate State and Local Government Chairman Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, said Stein's district was moved to ensure that the people of northeastern Kentucky would not be left unrepresented.

Read more here:

Labels: , , , ,

Kentucky Seeks To Legalize Hemp.

Hemp would be a boon to Kentucky agriculture, lawmakers say
By Janet Patton

FRANKFORT — Kentucky farmers could be on the forefront of agriculture again with an age-old crop: hemp.

With the support of Agriculture Commissioner James Comer, Kentucky legislators filed a bill Thursday to put Comer at the head of the long-dormant Kentucky Industrial Hemp Commission and renew a push to bring the crop back.

Hemp, otherwise known as Cannabis sativa, is one of the world's oldest crop plants, but it has been outlawed for decades because of its association with marijuana, even though hemp has almost none of the chemical that gives users a high.

U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, has filed legislation to lift current federal restrictions that keep farmers from sowing the seeds of the hemp revolution.

Comer said that if House Bill 286 passes the General Assembly, he will petition federal authorities for a permit for Kentucky to grow hemp. The Kentucky Department of Agriculture would regulate state hemp permits, at least in the beginning, he said.

"It's symbolic," Comer said. "But this will send a message to Washington that we're serious about this in Kentucky."

Currently, only Hawaii has a permit, but no hemp is being grown there, said state Sen. Joey Pendleton, D-Hopkinsville.

Pendleton, who has long pushed for legalizing industrial hemp, joined Reps. Richard Henderson, D-Jeffersonville; Keith Hall, D-Phelps; and Ryan Quarles, R-Georgetown, in announcing the new legislation Thursday.

Several years ago, the University of Kentucky sought a permit, but the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency wouldn't issue one, Pendleton said. Now, he said, Washington might be more ready to listen.

"The time to act is now," he said.

Comer said he has had positive signals from several Kentucky lawmakers in Washington and has seen no backlash from Kentuckians or law enforcement for his support for hemp.

Pendleton and Phelps said they think farmers and others would line up to apply for state permits if the bill passes. And they see a big future for hemp products, including ethanol production, fiber, textiles, food, cosmetics and car parts.

Studies in the past have estimated that growing hemp could have a significant economic impact, particularly if processing centers also are built in the state.

"We could talk about the textile mills and the jobs that would be created. We could talk about the paper mills and the jobs that would be created," Henderson said. "We don't have any agenda other than we want to diversify our agricultural economy and create jobs."

Phelps said hemp could be a "gold mine." He said it would be perfect for mountaintop-removal mine reclamation projects, where it could be harvested for fiber or ethanol and would help repair environmental damage.

Comer said hemp could help replace the income lost in Eastern Kentucky as tobacco production moved west. "There's a void in many family farms," he said. "I believe that industrial hemp is a viable option for family farmers in Kentucky."

Craig Lee of the Green Coal Coalition has lobbied for hemp legalization since the early 1990s. He said he thinks the tide is finally turning.

"What's different now is the economy's in the tank," Lee said. Hemp provides the perfect opportunity for farmers, for job creation and for carbon-neutral energy creation all in one package, he said. "You can't truly be green without hemp."

Ironically, the recent death of Kentucky political figure Gatewood Galbraith, who campaigned for the legalization of marijuana and hemp, has given new life to the issue.

"I think it raised awareness of issues that were close to his heart," said Jonathan Miller, the former secretary of state who recently endorsed legalizing marijuana. Miller said he was a late convert to the cause but that Galbraith helped persuade him.

"I realized Gatewood was right," Miller said. "If his death has helped get the debate started again, I'm sure he's smiling down on this from above."

Read more here:


Rick "Brain Freeze" Perry And Newt Gingrich. I'm LMAO!


Thursday, January 19, 2012

In Case You Haven't Heard, Rick Santorum Won The GOP's Iowa Caucus And NOT the PHONY Mitt Romney. Watch Video.

At Last, Judge Philip Shepherd Does What I Have Been Advocating For A Long Time, Fines Cabinet For Health And Family Services Thousands Of Dollars Over Child Death And Abuse Records. I Wish Employees Responsible Will Pay Up, Rather Than Tax Payers!

Judge fines state agency $16,000 for withholding child abuse records
By Bill Estep

A judge has ordered the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services to pay penalties totaling more than $16,000 to three newspapers over of its handling of their requests for records about abused children.

Franklin Circuit Judge Philip Shepherd also ordered the cabinet to pay a total of more than $57,000 in attorney fees incurred by the three papers as they fought to get the records in court.

Shepherd entered his orders Thursday in cases involving the Lexington Herald-Leader, The (Louisville) Courier-Journal and the weekly Todd County Standard.

The three had sued the cabinet seeking access to records of children who were killed or nearly killed from abuse and neglect after having contact with child-protection workers in recent years.

Shepherd ruled that the cabinet had improperly withheld the records.

In the case involving the Todd County paper, Shepherd said the cabinet first said it had no records on a girl named Amy Dye, who was beaten to death last year by her adoptive brother. That was not correct. The cabinet had approved letting a Todd County woman adopt the girl and had received several reports of suspected abuse involving the girl.

The cabinet's response to the newspaper was a willful misrepresentation, Shepherd said.

Read more here:

Labels: , ,

Herman Cain To Deliver TEA Party State Of The Union Response To POTUS Barack Obama On January 24Th. It's 9-9-9. That's It. Y'all Hear Him Now? 9-9-9!


Sacramento, CA – Tea Party Express, the nation’s largest tea party political action committee, is announcing that Herman Cain will be delivering the Tea Party State of the Union response at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on the evening of January 24th, 2012.

Sal Russo, Chief Strategist of the Tea Party Express, said, “We are excited to have Herman Cain deliver the 2nd Tea Party State of the Union response next week. Americans are fed up with the Washington politics that fail to address America’s fiscal woes. The Tea Party Express has called for reducing the size, cost and intrusiveness of the federal government, and we have stood strongly for pro-growth policies to get the economy growing and job creation increased.

“We are enthusiastic that a successful conservative governor like Mitch Daniels of Indiana will be giving the Republican response. I know that both Governor Daniels and Mr. Cain will contribute important ideas for the future of our country.

“Herman Cain has been a steadfast advocate for the values of the Tea Party and the practical solutions needed to solve the problems that face our nation. By following President Obama, Cain will have an opportunity to square off with the failed policies of the Obama Administration. Whether it is a flat tax, a fair tax or a combination of the two, reforming the tax code must be a priority. Americans want straight talk and honest solutions, and Herman Cain will deliver a pro-growth message strongly and clearly,” Russo concluded.

The Tea Party Express hosted the first ever Tea Party State of the Union Response last year with Congresswoman Michele Bachmann.

To schedule an interview with Sal Russo or another representative of the Tea Party Express, please contact Shawn Callahan at 916-768-2686 or at


Former Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer Returns Some Missing Equipment, Others Still Remain Unaccounted For.

Read more here.


Father, Whose Son Steven Woods, Jr., Was Executed From Texas Deathrow, Tells Kids: "I Wasn't A Parent [To My Son], I was just Being A Friend Because I Wanted Them To Love Me For Something That I Wasn't".

Father whose son was executed warns kids about drugs and alcohol
Club Sponsor: ‘A real-life story is better than someone just telling a story’

Steven Woods Sr. of Bowling Green has delivered anti-drug talks around Warren County for 10 years. But he said a speech before a group of students at Warren East Middle School on Wednesday was the

hardest one he's given.

It was the first time Woods has spoken to a group since his son, Steven Woods Jr., was executed in Texas on Sept. 13 after a decade of being on death row. "The reality of what was going to happen actually happened," Woods said.

Woods Sr. visited Warren East Middle School to share his story with students in Club Pride, which aims to teach children about the consequences of drugs and alcohol and to help them make the right choices. It's important for students to learn firsthand about the reality of drugs, said Brenda Lawrence, the club's sponsor.

"A real-life story is better than someone just telling a story," Lawrence said.

The elder Woods told the group he began using drugs at age 13 because of peer pressure while he was growing up in Michigan. "I thought I wanted to be with the cool crowd," he said. "It's not the cool crowd. In my book, it's the dumbest crowd there ever is."

Woods Sr. said he used any drug he could get his hands on, including cocaine, heroin, LSD and marijuana. He introduced his children from his first marriage to drugs at a young age, he said.

"I wasn't a parent, I was just being a friend because I wanted them to love me for something that I wasn't," Woods Sr. said.

His oldest son, Woods Jr., followed much the same path as his father. As a teen, Woods Jr. began to hitchhike around the country in search of drugs and clubs that would let him in even though he wasn't yet of age.

When the younger Woods was 21, he was involved in a drug deal in Texas that went bad, resulting in the murders of two people. He was charged with capital murder and sentenced to die.

"He got his last high by the state of Texas when they injected that drug into him that slowly stopped his heart," the elder Woods said. After 10 years on death row, it took just 10 minutes for his son to die.

"Drugs will either kill you or put you in jail," Woods Sr. said. "And I can guarantee you that."

He showed the audience pictures of his son, including his mug shot.

"That mug shot right there - I want you all to remember that," Woods Sr. said. "I want you all to go home tonight and give the person you love the most a hug and tell them how much you love them, because I can never hug my son again."

Woods Sr. said he was clean and sober for more than nine years before he fell off the wagon a week before his son was executed.

"For just a little while, because of what was going on in my life, I thought I had the strength to handle it," he said.

He lost that strength but managed to pull himself back up, because he realized he wasn't doing himself or anyone else any good by falling back into his old habits, he said.

Woods Sr. said he knows many students in the audience have seen drugs, and he urged them to resist peer pressure.

"These people that you've seen do drugs - I think you should talk to them about it," he said. "Tell them what could happen in life."

He asked the students to think about their dreams, whether they want to become sports players, lawyers, doctors or anything else.

"Well, I'll tell you, if you get involved in drugs, you can forget about them dreams," he said.

Woods Sr. has another son, Patrick Woods, 13, who's in seventh grade at Warren East Middle School and a member of Club Pride.

Patrick said knowing his father's situation has helped him stay away from drugs.

"Where I used to live, I could have done drugs any time I wanted to, but I knew about my dad so I didn't," Patrick said.

Codey Stoll, 13, a seventh-grade member of Club Pride, said hearing stories such as that of the Woods family help him realize how bad drugs can be.

"What you think can't happen really can happen, and quickly," Codey said.

Editor's comment: This news should sound an ALARM to those "parents" who insist on being friends with their children and ABDICATING their GOD given responsibilities to PARENT their children instead!

Labels: , ,

Texas Governor Rick Perry Quits GOP Presidential Race and Endorses Newt Gingrich; Is Expected To Return To Nigg*rhead Ranch. Watch Video Announcement.

This post will be updated with a video announcement ASAP.

Watch video below:

Labels: , ,

Steve Beshear Delivers State Of Kentucky Address.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

It Is Worth Repeating: "Blacks Aren't The Enemy, GOP."

Blacks aren’t the enemy, GOP
By Merlene Davis — Herald-Leader columnist

Posted: 12:00am on Jan 12, 2012; Modified: 9:28am on Jan 12, 2012

In recent weeks, various contenders for the Republican presidential nomination, when surrounded by a crowd of white people, have taken potshots at black people.

Here are a couple of examples:

■ Newt Gingrich opined that inner-city families (read that as black) don’t have a work ethic, so he plans to put young inner-city (read black) students to work as janitors in their schools. Gingrich later said the work wouldn’t be hazardous.
■ At a recent political stop, Rick Santorum said, “I don’t want to make black people’s lives better by giving them somebody else’s money; I want to give them the opportunity to go out and earn the money.” Santorum later said he didn’t say “black.” He said “blah.”
■ Seeing Santorum steal some of his thunder and his potential votes, Gingrich last week said, “I’m prepared, if the NAACP invites me, I’ll go to their convention and talk about why the African-American community should demand paychecks and not be satisfied with food stamps.”
I don’t want to even go into Rep. Ron Paul’s alleged rants in his newsletter years ago, which he now says he didn’t write.
What is going on here? Doesn’t it seem like this political season is set in a Back to the Future sequel?

After all the sensitivity training we’ve sat through and all the years of attending school together, why are white politicians rolling back the years to an era when promoting a fear of black people was in vogue?

These are all intelligent people. Why has disparaging black people become the cornerstone of the Republican efforts to regain the White House?
Do they think characterizing black people as leeches will galvanize their base into a voting bloc that will oust a black president? I think they do.
Here are some statistics I’ve discovered: According to the 2010 census, some 26 percent of food stamp recipients are black, while 49 percent are white and 20 percent are Hispanic.

United States Department of Agriculture data gathered in fiscal year 2010 shows this ethnic breakdown: 35 percent of welfare participants are white, 22 percent black, 10 percent Hispanic, 4 percent Native American and 2 percent Asian.
So, why aren’t the Republican candidates talking about the white welfare recipients? I think we know why. We all know what’s happening here. These men are smart. They know the statistics. They are simply pandering to a set of voters who need to demonize a group in order to energize the masses.

By painting black people as a group that is taking what doesn’t belong to them, what hasn’t been earned, they can then perpetuate the belief that President Barack Obama is a poser as well.

That feeds into the birthers’ belief that Obama shouldn’t be in the White House because he isn’t really an American. He doesn’t have the right to govern this nation because he wasn’t born here.

And if black people are the enemy, so then is Obama.

Tell me another reason intelligent people, vying to be the president of the greatest country on this planet, would perpetuate the lies that blacks are shiftless and lazy and need white people to save us from ourselves.

It is a familiar strategy. Just wait. As the campaigns weave through the Southern states and more evangelical strongholds, gays will be added to the list of boogeymen. And, depending on who is in the lead, so will Mormonism.
For the life of me, I don’t understand why that has to be. Aren’t political issues enough to get you elected these days?

Editor's note: This piece written by Marlene Davis of the Herald Leader was originally titled "Blacks aren't the enemy, GOP" has now being re-titled "Merlene Davis: Republican presidential hopefuls should try to get elected on issues, not fear mongering.", and can be found by clicking on this link.

Labels: , , , ,

People Like Mitt Romney ... .


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Three GOP Incumbents In Warren County Area Blast Greg Stumbo's Redistricting Plan That Pits Them Against Each Other.

Three GOP incumbents blast proposal
DeCesare, Embry, Meredith would be placed in one district

Area lawmakers continue to direct harsh words at a legislative redistricting plan that, if the current map holds, will pit three southcentral Kentucky Republican incumbents against each other in the upcoming May primary.

Under the Democratic-controlled state House’s redistricting plan, state Rep. Jim DeCesare, R-Bowling Green, would be placed with state Rep. C.B. Embry, R-Morgantown, and state Rep. Michael Meredith, R-Brownsville, in the 17th District.

The redistricting plan has few fans among state Republicans, and DeCesare expressed his displeasure Thursday on the House floor.

“Let’s call this bill what it is,” DeCesare said. “It’s culling the herd. You’re wanting to cut our numbers.”

DeCesare continued for about three minutes, with anger apparent in his voice.

“This is a big-time election year, and I think you’re scared,” DeCesare said. “I think you feel like you’re in danger of maybe losing your majorityship in this body. And that’s fine, that’s the way our process works.”

The House passed the plan last week 63-34, largely along party lines. However, the proposal’s outlook in the state Senate appears bleak, according to news reports.

“Nothing done in this bill is an attempt at malice,” House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, told reporters last week, according to The Associated Press. “Nothing is done in this bill to be blatantly unfair to any person. Nothing in this bill is done to do anything other than we are charged to do.”

Meredith, who is in his first term as a representative, said he was angry when he first saw the House map.

“We all consider each other to be friends,” Meredith told the Daily News. “We work together on a lot of issues, we have for the last year and a half and many before that. It’s just really disappointing. It does make you angry the process comes out like this, when it could have been handled so much better.”

The map could also make history, according to Meredith, who believes it’s the first time three incumbents from the same party have been placed in the same district. Meanwhile, there are at least two, and possibly three, districts that do not have representation under the House proposal.

The proposed 21st District in northeastern Warren County and 53rd District in Hart and Green counties do not have a representative. Meredith also said it appears the proposed 19th District in Grayson and Hardin counties does not have a representative, although he hasn’t yet been able to confirm that.

“You put three of us together and create three open seats,” Meredith said. “That seems like a slap in the face to all three of us, quite frankly, that they went to that much work to put three sitting members together.”

Meredith said he has yet to sit down with DeCesare and Embry to have an in-depth conversation about the plan and its potential effects. He said there have been several brief conversations in passing, but nothing more.

“I don’t know that anyone has made a decision,” Meredith said, referring to the three legislators’ plans. “We’re all going to be friends throughout the whole thing and not say anything hurtful toward anyone, and when it’s all said and done support who the nominee is.”

DeCesare echoed those thoughts.

“We’re still going to be friends because we like each other,” DeCesare said. “We care for each other, we’re brothers.”

Meredith, who currently represents the 19th District, intends to run in this year’s election, but he’s not sure if he can legally file because of the unsettled status of the redistricting process. Embry filed in November to run in the 17th District, and DeCesare filed to run in the 21st District, which would become an open seat under the current plan.

“I’d be filing in a district I don’t currently live in,” Meredith said. “My filing wouldn’t be correct.”

Embry could not be reached for comment Monday.

DeCesare believes the proposal is the result of Democrats not believing they can defeat him in the fall.

“So what do they do? They carve up my county, and they carve up my district,” DeCesare said.

No Democrats have yet filed to run for state representative in the districts currently represented by DeCesare, Embry and Meredith.

Meanwhile, surrounding districts currently held by Democrats were largely undisturbed. The 20th District of Bowling Green’s Jody Richards remains similar, as does the 16th District of Martha Jane King of Lewisburg and the 22nd District of Scottsville’s Wilson Stone.

Under the House plan, Warren County would be represented by as many as six representatives, which some lawmakers think would be detrimental to the county.

“When there’s less of you, it’s easier to build a consensus,” said state Sen. Mike Wilson, R-Bowling Green.

Meredith agrees: “With six people in the game, it’s a lot harder to get everyone on the same page, obviously,” he said.

On the other hand, Richards said he believes there would be benefits to six-person representation.

“Having six has its advantages,” Richards said. “All six people will generally be for the welfare of Warren County. There will be strength in numbers, and from that standpoint, I don’t think it’s a negative.”

This is the fourth time Richards has experienced the redistricting process since he became a representative in 1976.

“There were better ways to do it,” Richards said. “Ways that would not have affected as many legislators and not had been as disruptive.”

Warren County Judge-Executive Mike Buchanon pointed out that representatives for Warren County could live far from the portions of Warren County they represent. For example, in the proposed 16th District, which reaches into southwest Warren County along the Logan County line, the representative conceivably could come from far western Todd County.

The proposal also creates problems for officials in Warren County and could potentially cost the taxpayer. According to the House-approved map, precincts would be split – meaning that rather than a precinct offering a single ballot, multiple ballots would be sent to polling places on Election Day.

Buchanon said split precincts would mean confusion on election days, prompting a need for greater education and communication with voters. The scenario also could cost the county for the additional printing of ballots.

“It will complicate things for the average resident in those particular precincts that have been split up along census lines,” Buchanon said. “It is difficult to see how you can take the position it is going to get us better representation. And it’s going to be confusing to the citizens.”

Labels: ,

We Wish FLOTUS Michelle Obama A Happy Birthday.

Leigh Anne Tuchy, Woman Portrayed In The Movie, "The Blind Side", Speaks Out Against Bigotry And For Doing Good. Amen.

Woman portrayed in 'The Blind Side' speaks out against bigotry and for doing good
By Cheryl Truman

You might not have met Leigh Anne Tuohy, but you probably know her voice from the silver screen.

It sounds just like Sandra Bullock interpreted it: a little bit Memphis, a little bit insistent, a whole lot of steel.

It's the voice that told her adopted son, Michael Oher, that football was like defending the family. If he had her back, she told him, he also needed to have the back of the team member whose blind side he was defending.

Bullock nailed that hard-driving Memphis lilt in her 2010 Oscar-winning role in The Blind Side, the movie that made Bullock a character-acting legend and Tuohy a force in national motivational speaking and fund-raising.

Tuohy and her husband, Sean, fast-food moguls, became famous after adopting Oher, a black teenage student who had suffered a calamitous home life. Oher went on to excel in high school football and at the University of Mississippi, which he attended with his sister, Collins Tuohy, and he now plays for the NFL's Baltimore Ravens.

Bullock had a dialogue coach to capture the distinctive rhythm of Tuohy's voice, "and they would worry the ever-living stew out of me," said Leigh Anne Tuohy, who's scheduled to make three speaking appearances in Kentucky next month, including at the Lexington Opera House on Feb. 4.

The movie caught all the details of Tuohy's style, "down to my fingernail polish."

Capturing Tuohy's lack of patience with bigots was another challenge. Tuohy still has little patience with those who see her family as anything other than a gift that keeps on giving to all its members.

"Give me a 'Stupid' stamp and let me just put it on peoples' foreheads," she said. "For the most part, we ignore it because we have seen it all."

After the success of The Blind Side — the movie made close to $256 million in the United States alone, according to the Internet Movie Database — Tuohy found herself known worldwide.

She decided to do something with all that name recognition. She acknowledges that "pay it forward" might be getting a big cliched, but she and her family — including Sean, Collins and son S.J. — decided to use all that publicity to do good. The family started the MakingItHappen Foundation ( which, Tuohy says, "tries to make things happen one person or one organization at a time."

The last year has been difficult in terms of deciding which people to help, Tuohy said. She has heard heart-rending recession stories from those who were being evicted from their homes: "It rips your heart out, the stories we heard."

How do they decide?

"We live by the popcorn theory," she said. "We truly live by what lifts up and hits us in the face."

Nonetheless, she said, she likes to see what good is done with the money dispensed — so she keeps up with those being helped.

The foundation sends a letter to those who donated and tells them what the money was used for during the last year, she said.

"I want you to know, when you give money to the foundation, what it went for. It's not there to collect interest. It's there to use. I really want people to know that their money is not going into a black hole.

"I'm amazed by when you help people how they turn around and help someone else," she said. "There's a lot of good people in this country. That's why I get so exasperated with the nightly news."

Her foundation and the giving she does through her church are separate, she said.

"Our faith, we've very committed to that," she said.

Tuohy estimates that she made 35 to 40 speaking engagements in 2011.

And still she is amazed that the story of how her family came to adopt Michael Oher, their third child, resonates years after The Blind Side became a book and then a movie.

"That young man has probably brought more joy into our home than anything we could have anticipated or imagined," she said.

Read more here: