Monday, April 30, 2012
Newt Gingrich To Drop Out Of GOP Presidential Race. LOL!
Saturday, April 28, 2012
This Here Cartoon is Funny, Too.
Friday, April 27, 2012
United States "Secret Service" Issues New Policies To Remind Agents Who They Need To Be Providing Services For. Watch Video.
George Zimmerman, KIller Of Trayvon Martin, Made $200,000 In Online donations, Judge Will Be Asked To Increase Bail As His Claim Of Indigency Is UNTRUE. Watch News Video.
Kentucky Supreme Court: Exigent Circumstances Did Not Exist For Police To Enter "Wrong" Apartment Without A Search Warrant.
The decision is not only a victory for Hollis Deshaun King, whose 2006 conviction on various drug charges was canceled by a previous Kentucky Supreme Court decision, it is a victory for the public against unreasonable searches and seizures, said Jamesa J. Drake, the public defender who represented King. The case dates to Oct. 13, 2005, when King was entertaining two friends at his Centre Parkway apartment. No one disputes that there was marijuana and a small amount of cocaine in the apartment. But police might never have known were it not for a nearby undercover operation in which an informant bought crack cocaine from a dealer. When the dealer entered King's apartment building, the police moved in to arrest the dealer.
Police heard a door slam in a breezeway but did not see which apartment the suspect had entered. As it turned out, their suspect had entered the door on the right. The police went to the door on the left, after smelling pot coming from that door. After they knocked and announced themselves, the officers said they heard noises they thought might indicate that evidence was being destroyed. They kicked in King's door and. finding the drugs, arrested King and his friends. King eventually pleaded guilty to drug trafficking, marijuana possession and being a persistent felony offender, but he reserved the right to appeal a circuit court's denial of his motion to suppress evidence. The Kentucky Court of Appeals affirmed the circuit court's judgment. But in 2010, the Kentucky Supreme Court threw out the evidence against King and vacated his conviction, ruling that police did not have cause to burst into his home without a warrant. The state court said police may not rely on "exigent" or urgent circumstances they themselves create to enter a home without a warrant. But in its May 2011 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court held that police may rely on urgent circumstances so long "as the police did not create" the emergency by engaging or threatening to engage in conduct that violates the Fourth Amendment protection from unreasonable search and seizure.
Because the police did not engage in such conduct, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the Kentucky Supreme Court. But the U.S. Supreme Court held that any question about whether urgent circumstances actually existed were better addressed by the state supreme court. That issue was addressed in Thursday's seven-page opinion written by Justice Wil Schroder. Under the Fourth Amendment, police can't conduct a warrantless search in a private home without probable cause (the smell of marijuana provided the undisputed reasonable cause in this case) and urgent circumstances. Any other search is unreasonable. The state attorney general's office originally argued that the warrantless entry was justified by the "hot pursuit" of a fleeing suspect and the imminent destruction of evidence. The U.S. Supreme Court denied review on the issue of hot pursuit, so the state Supreme Court on Thursday reaffirmed its original opinion that "there was no hot pursuit justifying the warrantless entry of the back left apartment." On the issue of imminent destruction of evidence, the Kentucky Supreme Court concluded that the commonwealth "failed to meet its burden" of demonstrating urgent circumstances justifying a warrantless entry. During a Fayette Circuit Court hearing in which King sought to suppress evidence, Lexington police officer Steven Cobb repeatedly referred to the "possible" destruction of evidence. Cobb said that he heard people moving inside the apartment and that this was "the same kind of movements we've heard inside" when other suspects have destroyed evidence. Cobb never articulated the specific sounds he heard that led him to think evidence was about to be destroyed.
Thursday's opinion said the sounds "were indistinguishable from ordinary household sounds, and were consistent with the natural and reasonable result of a knock on the door. Nothing in the record suggests that the sounds officers heard were anything more than the occupants preparing to answer the door." Finally, the opinion said that urgent circumstances "do not deal with mere possibilities, and the commonwealth must show something more than a possibility that evidence is being destroyed to defeat the presumption of an unreasonable search and seizure." Chief Justice John D. Minton Jr. and Justices Mary Noble, Daniel Venters and Lisabeth Hughes Abramson concurred in the majority opinion. Justice Bill Cunningham dissented because he said the officers acted under urgent circumstances, and Justice Will T. Scott joined in that dissent. Allison Martin, communications director for the state attorney general's office, said Thursday's decision was under review there. "Our attorneys have 20 days to determine whether or not they will ask for a rehearing at the Kentucky Supreme Court," Martin said. In addition, the attorney general's office has 90 days to seek a review by the U.S. Supreme Court, Martin said.
Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/2012/04/26/2165923/state-supreme-court-rules-against.html#storylink=omni_popular#wgt=pop#storylink=cpy
Editor's note: check out the opinion here.
This here Cartoon Is FUNNY, right There!
Thursday, April 26, 2012
Kentucky Supreme Court Rules Universities CANNOT Ban Guns In Glove Compartment Of A Car Parked On University Grounds, But May Do So Elsewhere.
Editorial: Acrimony Poisons Session And Sstate
Despite itself, the General Assembly ended the 2012 special legislative session with mission accomplished.
Lawmakers finally funded the state road plan and passed the so-called “pill mill bill” Friday after both measures died a lingering death in the final hours in the regular session. That prompted Gov. Steve Beshear to recall the legislature to Frankfort to finish the job.
And they did — promptly passing in five days what they failed to do in 60. Lawmakers even completed their work just after 5 p.m. Friday, avoiding the pointless exercise of grinding fruitlessly away until midnight, as they have done in the past.
None of this bodes well for next year.
Kentucky’s needs are urgent and well-documented.
In a state with an aging population, increasing numbers of low-income seniors go on waiting lists for basic services such as Meals on Wheels.
Health indicators are miserable, ranging from high rates of cancer, diabetes and heart disease to deplorable rates of tooth decay and disease, starting with toddlers and ending with toothless adults.
Students at public colleges and universities are enduring repeated hikes in tuition at a time when college degrees are no longer optional for meaningful employment.
And most state agencies that serve the public will face another round of budget cuts this year as lawmakers refuse even to consider tax reform that could bring the state desperately needed revenue.
Williams is fond of advising others in Frankfort to take a deep breath and calm down.
Maybe he could join them in that effort as they consider how to put the state ahead of their own petty grudges and goals. Maybe they could exhibit vision, leadership and, while they’re at it, statesmanship.
And maybe the next legislative session could end with a landmark accomplishment or two that have been sorely missing from recent legislative sessions.
And perhaps they could achieve all this in a regular session, so the taxpayers don’t have to fund special sessions at a cost of $60,000 a day.
As a result, funds will continue for Kentucky’s road projects, including critical funding for the Ohio River Bridges Project.
Kentucky now has a bill meant to crack down on the flow of addictive prescription drugs in a state where overdose deaths have reached an estimated 1,000 people per year and where the scourge of addiction is tied inextricably to crime, violence and child abuse deaths and injuries.
Gov. Steve Beshear signed House Bill 1, the pill mill legislation, Tuesday. It takes effect July 12.
And Kentucky and its citizens likely are free from further legislative mischief until lawmakers return in January.
That’s the good news.
The bad news is that this year’s regular session and the special session both ended in the partisan acrimony that has poisoned the General Assembly in recent years.
The regular session collapsed on the final day at 11:59 p.m. amid bickering between leaders in the Senate, controlled by Republicans — chief among them Senate President David Williams — and Gov. Steve Beshear, a Democrat.
Beshear, the Democrat who beat Williams in last year’s governor’s race, accused Williams of “rank partisanship” and greed over his failed attempt to stuff extra road construction projects into his district.
Williams, in turn, called Beshear a “a small, petty, vindictive individual.” Williams closed the special session in his typical, gracious way with an angry speech, calling House Democrats “saps.”
Wal-mArt In Mexico. Now That Is Funny!
Monday, April 23, 2012
Former GOP Presidential Candidate Jon Huntsman Compares Republican Party To Chinese Communist Paty. Watch News Video.
Alecia Webb-Eddington Gets Huge Endorsements From Former U. S. Senator Jim Bunning, And Congressman Geoff Davis.
Written by Roger Alford
COVINGTON — Republican congressional candidate Alecia Webb-Edgington has picked up key endorsements from two of Northern Kentucky’s best-known political figures, one of them the man she’s seeking to replace in the 4th District.U.S. Rep. Geoff Davis and former U.S. Sen. Jim Bunning threw their support to Webb-Edgington, a state lawmaker, on Monday during an appearance in Covington.
The endorsements are expected to be a campaign boost for Webb-Edgington, a retired state police major and former head of the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security,
Webb-Edgington is among seven GOP candidates seeking to replace the retiring Davis. The others are Boone County Judge-Executive Gary Moore, Lewis County Judge-Executive Thomas Massie, Crestwood teacher Brian Oerther, Fort Mitchell business consultant Tom Wurtz, Erlanger lawyer Marc Carey and Crestwood building contractor Walter Christian Schumm.
Today Is The Last Day To Register To Vote In Kentucky's Primary. So Go Do It!
Breaking News: George Zimmerman, In Jail For Killing Trayvon Martin, Is Released After Posting Bail. Watch Video.
Peggy Noonan: America's Crisis Of Character.
Words To Live By, Words Of Wisdom, Words To Ponder.
Sunday, April 22, 2012
Happy Earth Day.
Happy Earth Day.
Saturday, April 21, 2012
Newly Passed Kentucky Transportation Budget Includes Needed Road Projects In My County Of Warren, Governor Steve Beshear Should Sign It Into Law.
Labels: General information
More Secret Service Secrets.
Friday, April 20, 2012
Cal Thomas: The Absence Of Self-Discipline.
In The FEUD Between Steve Beshear And David Williams Over Vetoed Projects In His District, Beshear Appears Victorious And Kentucky's "Annual Special" Session Ends.
Meanwhile In Kentucky, Let's "Try a Little Therapy For Special Session."
Labels: News reporting
We Applaud Florida's Republican Governor, Rick Scott, For Appointing A Task Force To Review The State's "Stand Your Ground Law". The Same Governor Appointed The Special Prosecutor In The George Zimmerman Killing Of Trayvon Martin Case.
Martin, an unarmed black teen, was returning from a convenience store in a gated residential community in Sanford where he was staying with his father when he was spotted by Zimmerman, a white Hispanic.
Prosecutors allege that Zimmerman profiled Martin, disregarded police instructions, and confronted and then killed Martin with a single gunshot to the chest.
Zimmerman told police that he was acting in self defense. He was not initially charged with a crime.
Martin's death has caused a national uproar and debate over racial profiling, guns and similar laws now in place in more than 20 states.
The governor has called for calm as the case proceeds.
"I am a firm supporter of the Second Amendment and I also want to make sure that we do not rush to judgment about the 'Stand Your Ground' law and any other laws in our state," Scott said. The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees the people's right to bear arms.
Breaking News: Florida Judge Sets Bail For George Zimmerman For Killing Trayvon Martin At One Hundred And Fifty Thousand Dollars. Watch Live Coverage Of Bail Hearing.
Frankfort Beware Of Abraham Lincoln's Adage: You Can't Fool All The People All The Time.
Two national news stories prove the truth of Lincoln's adage and might serve as a warning for self-absorbed politicians here in the Bluegrass State as they bicker over an ever-diminishing reservoir of public trust.
Despite the best efforts of well-funded lobbies, spin-meisters and disingenuous politicians, the public eventually gets the drift.
For coal-favoring Kentucky politicians (is there any other kind?) who have balanced perilously on the fence about climate change despite overwhelming scientific evidence, a recent poll suggests you should just give it up if you think you're fooling voters.
A poll released Wednesday showed that two-thirds of those surveyed believe recent extreme weather has been caused by global warming and that human activities are a primary cause of that warming.
A very different kind of public opinion barometer was the shareholders' vote this week to deny Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit a $15 million payday. According to the New York Times, shareholders turn down executive pay packages only about 2 percent of the time.
Observers said these rejections may become more common, though, as shareholders tire of seeing executives richly rewarded while profits and stock prices languish.
In Kentucky, facts and experiences mount up on one side while elected leaders look the other way.
Although employment has improved, too much of it is in low-paying service and retail jobs. Cheap electricity carries with it huge environmental and health costs. Political cronies and family members get cushy, well-paid state jobs while hard-working nobodies struggle. New ashpalt is abundant in the home districts of leaders of the parties in power but dangerous roads go untended.
As Lincoln said, you can and you have, fooled all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time, but don't think you're home free.
So, please pass a road budget and quit trying to pave your own backyards or psychoanalyze your opponents.
And keep in mind another Lincoln aphorism: "It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt."
U. S. Military Discipline.
Thursday, April 19, 2012
In Answer To My Previous Post Regarding Who PHONY Mitt Romney Should Pick As Veep Candidate, New Poll Suggests It's Chris Christie. Do You Agree -- Or Not!
A new survey shows that with Christie on the ticket, Romney would be at 47 percent.
By MACKENZIE WEINGER
If Mitt Romney chooses New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for the Republican ticket, he’d find himself in a tie with President Barack Obama, according to a poll released Thursday.
Christie would boost Romney to 47 percent, the same as Obama, the new Public Policy Polling survey shows. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush pulls Romney within one point of the president, with the Obama and Vice President Joe Biden ticket scoring 48 percent to Romney-Bush’s 47 percent. And having either Mike Huckabee or Rick Santorum as a running mate gets Romney two points away from the president — 46 percent to Obama’s 48 percent.
The poll also revealed a number of Republicans who would hurt Romney in November: Ron Paul, Rep. Paul Ryan, Sen. Marco Rubio and Sarah Palin. Although the percentages drop only slightly, a Romney-Paul ticket would give Obama a four point edge, at 48 percent to 44 percent, while a Romney-Ryan ticket would put the Republican ticket five points away, at 48 percent to 43 percent.
A Romney-Rubio ticket would garner 43 percent to Obama-Biden’s 49 percent. The senator’s presence, however, would only cut Obama’s lead among Hispanics one point from 68 percent to 67 percent.
And Palin as the vice presidential nominee would increase Obama’s lead even more, giving the Democratic candidates 50 percent to 43 percent at the polls.
The poll surveyed 900 people from April 12-15. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.3 percentage points.
Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0412/75373.html#ixzz1sWghTt8p
Editor's comment: If I use the same criteria I used to evaluate Sarah Palin 4 years ago, which I am using today for everyone else, and which is: will I feel comfortable having this person as acting President when the President is unable to perform the duties of the office, then the answer is "yes" for Chris Christie, while back then it was a resounding "NO" for Sarah Palin!
Senate Panel Votes To Restore Road Projects In David Williams' District Vetoed By Steve Beshear, Full Senate To Follow Suit; What Will The House And Steve Beshear Do Next?
By Beth Musgrave
FRANKFORT — The Senate budget committee added about $50 million in road projects to the Transportation Cabinet's operating budget Thursday for Senate President David Williams' Southern Kentucky district.
If the changes become law, which seems unlikely, they would reverse Gov. Steve Beshear's decision Wednesday to veto the road projects from a different bill that contains the state's two-year road plan.
The committee approved House Bill 2, the Transportation Cabinet's operating budget, but added Williams' road projects as an amendment to the bill. The bill will be voted on Friday by the full Senate.
Sen. Robert Leeper, I-Paducah, said the measure was an amendment and could be defeated in the full Senate without killing the bill. The House also could choose not to accept the amendment. Or, if the House approves the changes, Beshear could again veto the projects.
Leeper, who sponsored the amendment, said that an article in Thursday's Lexington Herald-Leader showed that Democratic House leaders' districts received more money per capita in the road plan than Williams' district did.
Before Beshear vetoed the projects, a Herald-Leader analysis showed that Williams' six-county district would have gotten $1,017 per person in road spending, compared to $2,411 per person in House Speaker Greg Stumbo's district and $5,259 per person in House Majority Leader Rocky Adkins' district. After the vetoes, Williams' district will get roughly $700 per person, Williams said Wednesday night.
Adding the vetoed road projects into the transportation budget seemed fair, Leeper said. He said Williams did not urge him to sponsor the amendment.
The transportation operating budget, HB 2, was one of two pieces of legislation that the General Assembly is considering during the special legislative session, which began Monday at a cost of $60,000 a day to taxpayers.
Beshear called the special session after the Republican Senate refused to pass the transportation operating budget on April 12, the last day of the regular 60-day law-making session. Williams wanted Beshear to sign the two-year road plan before the Senate voted on the operating budget. Beshear refused to sign the two-year road plan on the 12th, saying he needed more time to analyze the 400-page document.
Beshear signed the road plan Wednesday, but not before line-item vetoing several projects in or near Williams' district.
Sen. Gerald Neal, D-Louisville, said after Thursday's vote that the legislature appeared to be heading in the wrong direction as an institution.
"I can't say this is our finest hour," Neal said. "I am hopeful that we don't extend this any more than it's already been extended."
Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/2012/04/19/2157209/senate-panel-puts-williams-vetoed.html#storylink=cpy
With PHONY Mitt Romney Likely GOP Pick, Who Will He Pick For Veep: Condi Rice, Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan, Or Who?
By Catalina Camia
With the battle between President Obama and Mitt Romney now joined, attention has turned to possible Republican vice presidential picks.
New polls are offering likely GOP nominee Romney plenty of ideas -- from oft-mentioned names like New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida to some out-of-the-box choices such as Condoleezza Rice.
A Quinnipiac University survey out today has Christie, Rubio and House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., leading the running-mate wish list. A third of independent voters, the bloc that often decides presidential elections, say Christie is a "good choice."
Rice, the former secretary of State, tops a poll released Wednesday by CNN/ORC International with support from 26% of Republicans and GOP-leaning independents.
Romney said this week that he's tapped longtime aide Beth Myers to conduct his search for a running mate, and hopes to name someone before the Republican National Convention in August.
Rice has emphatically said she has no intention of seeking elected office and doesn't want to be Romney's running mate. She would also pose a challenge for Romney, in that she is best known for her tenure in George W. Bush's administration and he remains unpopular.
Christie and Rubio have also been firm in saying they don't believe they'll be on the GOP ticket.
In both polls, name recognition appears to be a factor, which is why between now and the day Romney announces his choice Christie and Rubio will be repeatedly mentioned as possibilities.
Rick Santorum, Romney's chief rival for the GOP nomination until he dropped out last week, comes in behind Rice in the CNN/ORC poll. He's followed by Christie and Rubio.
In the CNN survey, Rubio is the favorite when supporters of the Tea Party movement are isolated in the VP findings. The freshman senator was elected in 2010 with support from the small government, anti-tax movement.
The Shuttle. LOL.
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
MAUREEN DOWD: Phony Mommy Wars.
By MAUREEN DOWD
Ann Romney is a good mom.
She’s also a good pol.
And though her people skills are far superior to Mitt’s, it turns out that Ann is just as capable as her husband of turning an advantage into a disadvantage.
After the liberal strategist Hilary Rosen clumsily mocked Mitt Romney for relying on Ann to tell him what issues women care about when “his wife has actually never worked a day in her life,” Ann smashed that lob back.
Blasting out her first tweet, she said: “I made a choice to stay home and raise five boys. Believe me, it was hard work.”
Shaken Democrats dived for cover and threw Rosen under the campaign bus. The media, worried about being perceived as favoring President Obama, jumped in on the side of the maligned Ann.
She pressed her advantage, scolding Rosen on Fox News. “She should have come to my house when those five boys were causing so much trouble,” Ann said. She alluded to her brave battles against breast cancer and multiple sclerosis: “Look, I know what it’s like to struggle.”
But at a fund-raiser at a private home in Palm Beach, Fla., on Sunday, the night before her 63rd birthday, Ann made it clear that she wasn’t really aggrieved. She was feigning aggrievement to milk the moment.
“It was my early birthday present for someone to be critical of me as a mother, and that was really a defining moment, and I loved it,” a gleeful Ann told the backyard full of Florida fat cats, sounding “like a political tactician,” as Garrett Haake, the NBC reporter on the scene, put it.
It’s important when you act the martyr not to overplay your hand. If you admit out loud to a bunch of people — including Haake, who was on the sidewalk enterprisingly eavesdropping — that you’re just pretending to be offended, you risk looking phony, like your husband. (It also doesn’t fly to tell Diane Sawyer that your dog “loved” 12 hours in a crate on top of the car or that it’s “our turn” to be in the White House.)
The candidate, meanwhile, continued to look phony by presenting a completely different side of himself to the wealthy Palm Beach donors who came in fancy cars to eat snapper and hear a snappier Mitt.
Rather than making bland pronouncements or parsing patriotic songs, as he usually does, Mitt gave a more specific vision of a Romney White House, including the possible elimination of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which his dad once led, and vivisecting the Department of Education. He also talked about ways he might close tax loopholes for the affluent — another matter he hasn’t been too detailed about — to pay for his cuts in tax rates.
Mitt offered a different view of the value of working parents in January when he talked about how he changed welfare rules as governor of Massachusetts:
“I said, for instance, that even if you have a child 2 years of age, you need to go to work. And people said, well, that’s heartless. And I said, no, no, I’m willing to spend more giving day care to allow those parents to go back to work. It will cost the state more providing that day care, but I want the individuals to have the dignity of work.”
So the dignity of work only applies to poor moms?
This latest kerfuffle is piffle, but it is another instance of Republicans dragging women back to the past to re-litigate issues they thought were long settled.
Just as women had assumed their contraception rights were safe, they had considered the tiresome debate about working moms versus stay-at-home moms over. My mom stayed home to raise five kids, and she is my feminist role model.
For the most part, nobody’s casting aspersions on anybody else’s choices, which are often driven by economics. Women have so many choices that they’re overwhelmed by the stress of so many choices.
The real issue is whether Mitt, a tycoon who has been swathed in an old-fashioned cocoon, understands the plight of working mothers and the rights of 21st-century women.
When the Romneys got married and moved to Boston in 1971 so Mitt could attend Harvard, they set up house in a suburb, befriended other young Mormon couples and kept to their cloistered, conservative, privileged, traditional, white, heterosexual circle.
Campuses were roiling with change — feminism, civil rights, antiwar demonstrations — but the Romneys were not part of that. They were throwbacks.
“The parental roles were clear,” Michael Kranish and Scott Helman write in “The Real Romney.” “Mitt would have the career, and Ann would run the house.”
We will see if these affluent, soon-to-be owners of a car elevator in La Jolla and members of the horsey set can relate to the economic problems of regular people.
Given how secretive and shape-shifting Mitt Romney is, we’ll probably have to keep eavesdropping to find out.
Labels: General information
But In Kentucky Despite The Veto Pen STAB, Money For Other Democratic Leader's Road Projects PALES In Comparison To David Williams'.
By John Cheves
Gov. Steve Beshear blamed Senate President David Williams' "greed" last week after Williams added tens of millions of dollars in spending for his district to the state's two-year road plan. Meanwhile, Williams criticized Beshear for not signing the plan into law hours after legislative leaders hammered out a compromise version and delivered it to the governor.
A week after the regular legislative session ended in failure because of this impasse, the facts don't entirely support either man.
Though Williams, R-Burkesville, did try to fatten short-term road spending in his district, which includes six rural counties along the Tennessee state line, what he awarded himself pales in comparison to the asphalt anticipated by House Democratic leaders, who get first crack at the governor's road plan and share the governor's party affiliation.
From 2012 through 2014, the road plan the legislature approved last Thursday would have spent $115 million in Williams' district, or $1,017 per person. Floyd County, home of House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, would get $95 million, or $2,411 per person. Elliott County, home of House Majority Leader Rocky Adkins, D-Sandy Hook, would get $41 million, or $5,259 per person.
By comparison, Fayette County would get $248 million, or $839 per person.
"They sprinkled money everywhere, and then the governor picked me out to try and demonize me," Williams said Wednesday.
"Coming out of the House, this plan had $93 million for Greg Stumbo in Floyd County. My entire Senate district — that's six counties with more than 100,000 people — I had $70 million in real money," Williams said. "It's very unfair to say that I was greedy, as if I was going to personally benefit from this."
Stumbo said most of Floyd County's money will go to build one project that has lingered in the road plan since 1996. The Minnie-Harold Connector, linking Little Mud Creek Road to nearby communities, will get $79 million.
"It is something that our residents have long needed," Stumbo said. "As projects like this move to construction, it can appear that some legislators benefit more than others in a given budget cycle, but that is not a true apples-to-apples comparison."
Williams added one project for his district: $770,000 to build an access road for the Whitley County Industrial Park. Otherwise, he moved projects ahead by several years on the Transportation Cabinet's schedule, or he changed their funding sources to guarantee they would get a higher priority.
With his vetoes to the road plan on Wednesday, Beshear eliminated Williams' changes to funding sources. That could bump some projects, such as reconstruction of U.S. 127 in Clinton County, for which Williams had arranged federal money, back into line behind many other competing projects around Kentucky. Projects forced to rely on regular state construction money often find themselves in limbo for lack of funding.
Meanwhile, Williams' criticism that Beshear should have signed the road plan Thursday, thus eliminating the need for a special legislative session, is dismissed by aides to the governor and Democratic lawmakers.
Six of the 138 legislators, including Williams and Stumbo, finished negotiating the plan early Thursday morning. Beshear got it hours later, around the time the House and Senate voted on it.
"I had to trust the people who were running it that it was OK, that Fayette County's projects were OK," said state Sen. Kathy Stein, D-Lexington. "It's a complicated damn document. I think government works more efficiently if people actually know what they're doing before they do it."
Officials at the Transportation Cabinet this week said they needed days to study the final version of the 254-page plan and its hundreds of projects, each of which covers three fiscal years and lists one or more of two dozen possible state or federal funding sources. Simply switching a funding code from "SP" to "SPP" for a $10 million project in one town puts it on the fast track and possibly dooms projects elsewhere, officials said.
"I will not ignore the due diligence I owe our citizens to review legislation, and in this case, I'm particularly glad we combed through the bill," Beshear said Wednesday, announcing his vetoes.
Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/2012/04/18/2156149/money-for-roads-in-williams-district.html#storylink=cpy
In Kentucky, Steve Beshear STABS David Williams In The Eye With His Veto Pen.
By Beth Musgrave
FRANKFORT — Gov. Steve Beshear late Wednesday nixed nearly $50 million in funding for road projects in Senate President David Williams' south central Kentucky Senate district.
Beshear said Williams had added $152 million for road projects in his district when the Senate passed the two-year and four-year road plans during the regular session, which concluded Thursday. Williams' district includes Clinton, Cumberland, McCreary, Monroe, Wayne and Whitley counties.
By doing so, Williams shifted money away from worthy road projects in other areas of the state, Beshear said Wednesday.
"Sen. Williams has essentially moved all his district's road projects to the front of the line, forcing other projects that the Transportation Cabinet and other legislators considered high-priority to wait until additional funding becomes available," Beshear said in a written statement. "It's unfair to the citizens and it's unfair to the rest of the lawmakers whose districts will suffer."
The state's roads are built using a variety of funding sources. Beshear's original two-year road plan contained $99 million for road projects in Williams' district that had reliable funding sources. Beshear essentially removed the stable funding sources for the remaining $49.7 million for the other projects.
Beshear called on the Senate on Wednesday to pass the two-year Transportation Cabinet operating budget, the reason why Beshear had to call legislators back to Frankfort on Monday for a special legislative session.
Senate Republicans failed to pass the Transportation Cabinet operating budget last Thursday, the 60th and final day of the regular legislative session. Williams said he wanted Beshear to sign the road plan before providing the funding for it.
Beshear said he needed more time to review the 400-page document. He has 10 days to issue a veto.
Williams has said that he doesn't believe that Beshear had the authority to line-item veto the road plan since it is not an appropriations bill. But House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, said Wednesday that he believes that Beshear does have that authority.
The issue might ultimately be decided by the courts.
Beshear said the Senate can pass the transportation operating budget and a bill aimed at curbing "pill mills" in Kentucky by Friday.
"The House has again met their obligations by passing the transportation budget this morning, there is no reason for the Senate to delay passing that budget and the prescription drug bill right away and end this costly special session on Friday," Beshear said.
Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/2012/04/18/2155737/kentucky-house-approves-road-budget.html#storylink=cpy
Florida Circuit Judge, Jessica Recksiedler, Recuses Herself From Trial Of George Zimmerman Second Degree Murder Of Trayvon Martin.
We Mourn The Passing Of New Year's Eve Celebration Icon And "American Bandstand's" Dick Clark. RIP.
Read Email Message From Tracy Martin And Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon Martin's Parents.
We are still devastated by the loss of our son Trayvon Martin, and nothing can bring him back. But we are heartened to tell you that justice may finally be served for Trayvon.
Florida State Attorney Angela Corey announced that she will charge George Zimmerman with 2nd degree murder, weeks after he confessed to killing Trayvon -- and now he's in custody.
For weeks after Trayvon was killed, authorities refused to arrest Zimmerman. We couldn't believe that in 2012, public officials would turn a blind eye to our son's killing. We couldn't let that happen.
More than 2 million people joined our call for Zimmerman's arrest. We are so much closer to justice with the decision to bring charges against our son’s killer. We feel less alone knowing that so many people stood with our family during this impossible time.
When Trayvon was just nine, he ran into a burning house to save his father's life. He may be gone, but he is still our hero. We are so thankful to all of you who fought to honor his memory.
Thank you for standing with us, and with Trayvon.
- Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton
U. S. Supreme Court Rules UNANIMOUSLY Only Individuals Can Be Sued Under Under Torture Victim Law.
The Supreme Court has ruled unanimously that organizations may not be sued for claims they aided in torture or killings abroad under a law aimed at helping torture victims.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote the court's opinion Wednesday dismissing the lawsuit filed by the family of an American who died in the custody of Palestinian intelligence officers in Jericho in 1995. The family wanted to sue the Palestinian Authority and Palestine Liberation Organization under the Torture Victim Protection Act.
Sotomayor said the 1992 law's use of the word "individual" is persuasive evidence that only people may be sued over claims they took part in torture. ...
Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/2012/04/18/2155514/high-court-limits-suits-under.html#storylink=cpy
Editor's comment/note: The case is Mohamad v. Palestinian Authority, and you can read the Court's opinion by clicking on the case name link.
Labels: U. S. Supreme Court
PHONY Mitt Romney's Taxes. LOL.
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
We Congratulate University Of Kentucky's Starting Five Basketball Players, Anthony Davis,Terrence Jones, Doron Lamb, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, And Marquis Teague, On Entering The National Basketball Association (NBA) Draft, As SOLID FIRST Round Draft Picks. Watch Video Conference.
U. S. Supreme Court Extends "Qualified Immunity" To Private Lawyers Working For Government.
By David G. Savage
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court has shielded private lawyers and possibly others working for cities, counties and school districts from being sued for violating the rights of citizens and employees.
A UNANIMOUS 9-0 decision in the case announced Tuesday blocks a lawsuit against a Southern California attorney who was accused of ordering an illegal search of a firefighter’s house.
A judge had shielded the fire chief of the Inland Empire city of Rialto and two fire department inspectors from being sued for the allegedly illegal search under the rule that gives public employees a “qualified immunity” from suits when they are doing their jobs. But the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said that this governmental immunity did not extend to Steve Filarsky, a private lawyer who advised the city on conducting internal investigations.
Disagreeing with the 9th Circuit, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said it made no sense to expose private lawyers working for the government to personal liability when public employees doing the same job are shielded. He said many small cities like Rialto cannot afford to have lawyers on their staffs and must rely at times on private attorneys.
“This case is a good example: Filarsky had 29 years of specialized experience as an attorney in labor, employment and personnel matters, with particular expertise in conducting internal affairs investigations,” the chief justice wrote. “The City of Rialto certainly had no permanent employee with anything approaching those qualifications.”
Shielding private lawyers from almost all personal liability is necessary for “ensuring that talented candidates are not deterred from public service,” Roberts said.
The case arose when Nicholas Delia, a firefighter in Rialto, became ill after responding to a toxic spill in 2006, and he missed several weeks of work. The city became suspicious of his extended absence and hired a private investigator to check on him. The investigator observed Delia buying rolls of fiberglass insulation from a home improvement store, and city officials suspected he might be doing construction work at home when he was supposedly recovering.
Filarsky questioned Delia about the building supplies. The firefighter admitted he bought the materials, but had done no work.
In order to put the suspicion to rest, Filarsky recommended the fire chief tell Delia he must show the materials to fire inspectors. Delia objected, and his attorney averred that such a forced search of his house would violate the 4th Amendment’s ban on unreasonable searches.
Undeterred, the fire chief ordered Delia to put the rolls of insulation on his front lawn. Delia did as ordered. The fire inspectors thanked him and left. Delia and his attorney then followed through with their vow and sued the fire chief, the inspectors and Filarsky claiming his constitutional rights had been violated.
A federal judge threw out the claims and ruled all the city officials were immune because they did not violate a “clearly established constitutional right.” In Tuesday’s decision, the Supreme Court said Filarsky deserved to be immune as well.
Editor's comment: read Filarsky vs. Delia by clicking on the link.
Labels: U. S. Supreme Court
John David Dyche Finds "Frankfort Stooges Don't Entertain During Sessions", But I Reject His Call For David Williams' Overthrow!
Frankfort Stooges don't entertain during sessions
Written by John David Dyche
Kentuckians can be forgiven if they conclude that the latest Frankfort fiasco featuring Gov. Steve Beshear, Senate President David Williams and Speaker of the House Greg Stumbo is a publicity stunt to promote the new “The Three Stooges” movie that opened last Friday.
The leadership trio that began the 2012 regular legislative session by producing a blatantly partisan and unconstitutional redistricting plan concluded that session with a puerile personal spat that prevented passage of a transportation budget and a pain pill bill.
This state’s citizens have been poked in the eye, hit on the head and slapped silly so many times by this triumvirate that it really is not funny anymore. How long will we put up with this slapstick act? Unfortunately, we are stuck with Beshear for a while, but prompt change is possible, and indeed essential, with the other two.
Beshear’s motives in bringing on the end-of-session breakdown are patently political and perfectly transparent. His strategy is to focus maximum attention on the unpopular Williams in hopes of ousting the Burkesville Republican from the Senate presidency. By doing so, Beshear believes, he can complete his quest for the Holy Grail of expanded gambling.
The Governor’s call for a special session that will probably cost taxpayers at least $300,000 is without doubt one of the shabbiest, sorriest and most unworthy state papers in Kentucky political history. In vintage Beshear fashion, the Governor accepts no responsibility for his own leadership failures and instead fills the proclamation with empty rhetoric, excuses and inappropriate personal attacks on Williams.
There is, however, a method in Beshear’s mendacity. The Democrat hopes to hang the albatross of Williams around the necks of Republican senators and Senate hopefuls who are up for election this fall. If they fear being linked too closely to the unpopular Republican leader, the Governor’s thinking goes, perhaps they will finally force Williams out of his post.
The Governor has tried and failed in other such anti-Williams gambits, but Senate Republicans deserve what he is trying to do to them. They had the chance to change leadership after Beshear “whooped” Williams by almost 21 percentage points in the 2011 gubernatorial election. For whatever reason — fear, loyalty or just plain lack of political skill — the Senate GOP stuck with Williams. Now they must ride out this confrontation with him as the party’s face and voice.
There is admittedly an aspect of Greek tragedy to Williams’ situation. He is, after all, right on most matters of policy. And unlike Beshear and the Democrats, he has a smart reform agenda for a better Kentucky. But the bitter and often abusive Williams has made many more enemies than friends along his path to power, even among his fellow Republicans. The press has, of course, demonized him beyond rehabilitation.
Despite being a rascal in his own right, the wily Stumbo rules over the House relatively free from the kind of critical media scrutiny that has mortally wounded Williams. Stumbo does his dirty work with a smile, a wink and a folksy anecdote that disarms critics and turns his listeners into his co-conspirators.
House Republicans have been in the minority so long that they sometimes display symptoms of Stockholm Syndrome toward their Democratic captors. The GOP needs a net gain of 10 seats to change that this fall. It is possible, but even if Republicans do take the House if Williams is still in charge in the Senate he will fight with them every bit as bitterly as he now does the Democrats.
Voters should still give Republicans a chance to run the lower chamber. It is impossible to imagine how things could get any worse. The electorate should also demand a leadership change in the Senate as a condition for supporting any Republican candidate there.
As for Beshear, a single stooge cannot do nearly as much damage as three of them can. But voters must beware of any plan for 2015 to substitute Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson for Beshear. That would just be replacing Curly with Shemp.
John David Dyche is a Louisville attorney who writes a political column on alternating Tuesdays in Forum. His views are his own, not those of the law firm in which he practices. Read him online at www.courier-journal.com; email: email@example.com.
Labels: General information
Gary Moore, Boone County Judge Executive, Is Leading GOP Fundraiser In Kentucky's 4Th District. Y'all Know I'm With Gary, Right!?
Republican Gary Moore was the top GOP fundraiser in Kentucky's 4th District congressional race in the first three months of the year, documents filed with the Federal Election Commission show.
Moore, now serving as Boone County judge-executive, filed a campaign finance report Sunday showing he raised $238,000 between Jan. 1 and March 31, and that he still has nearly $200,000 in the bank.
His closest competitor, Lewis County Judge-Executive Thomas Massie, reported nearly $153,000 in donations and an $80,000 personal loan, bringing his total to $232,000. He reported $157,000 cash on hand.
Alecia Webb-Edgington, a state lawmaker from Fort Wright, reported $116,000 raised and $100,000 cash on hand. And Crestwood building contractor Walter Schumm reported $29,000 raised and a $10,000 personal loan. He reported $14,000 still in the bank. The FEC didn't have fundraising reports for three other candidates in the race.
University of Louisville political scientist Dewey Clayton said the Moore campaign will likely get a boost from the fundraising reports.
"Whether warranted or not, you get the frontrunner sort of moniker when you're the top fundraiser," Clayton said. "That helps with additional fundraising."
However, Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul endorsed Massie on Friday, generating a flurry of campaign contributions over the weekend.
Massie campaign chairman Phil Moffett said the tea party darling received more than 200 contributions totaling $12,000 from 47 states since Paul encouraged tea party activists to get involved in the race on Friday.
Paul's endorsement is expected to fatten the Massie campaign's bank account heading into the final weeks before the May 22 primary.
Paul, the father of Republican U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, released a statement Friday saying Massie "deserves your support right now."
"Thomas Massie has been a part of our revolution for years," Paul said in the statement.
"And he was invaluable to my son Rand when he ran for office, taking an early interest in Rand's race, helping him meet folks in his area, raising money, campaigning," Ron Paul said in the statement. "You name it; Thomas did it for Rand's race in 2010."
Labels: General information
Secret Service Secret Deals. LOL.
Monday, April 16, 2012
Did You Miss CBS' 60 Minutes' Tribute To The "Heart And Soul Of This Broadcast", Mike Wallace? "Why?" Now Watch It Here -- NO Excuses!
Labels: Fitting tribute
Joseph Gerth: In Frankfort, Plenty Of Blame To Go Around. YEP.
Written by Joseph Gerth
FRANKFORT, KY. — Before the House had even adjourned late Thursday, people were already pointing fingers.
Senate President David Williams assembled weary reporters in his Capitol office to tell them it was Gov. Steve Beshear who had caused the 2012 Legislative session to fall apart in the last hours and that the House leadership was untrustworthy, too, because they refused to override vetoes.
About a half-hour later, the governor had the same group of reporters into his office to assure them it was, in fact, the Senate president’s fault that we would all be back for a special session today, and that he had, in fact, “whooped” Williams last November.
Furthermore, he essentially blamed Williams for the death of people addicted to prescription painkillers because legislation to crack down on doctors who over-prescribe died in the Senate. And, he also implied that Williams doesn’t even live in his Southern Kentucky state Senate district but lives “here in his home in Frankfort.”
That prompted Williams, who once called Gov. Paul Patton a mouthy drunk, to summon reporters to his Capitol Annex office just before 1 a.m. to decry the sort of personal attacks Beshear had engaged in moments earlier and to further emphasize it really was Beshear’s fault that a special session to pass a highway construction budget was needed.
Later Friday afternoon, it was more of the same.
There was a Beshear press conference to say bad things about Williams and to blame him for stopping the road budget, and there was an unprecedented proclamation calling for a special session in which Beshear mentioned Williams by name three times.
And then another Q & A session in Williams’ office in which Williiams again decried Beshear’s impolitic words, blamed him for the impasse and said that Beshear’s words were putting him in fear for the safety of his wife and children.
And he blamed Beshear for the deaths of children who died on a stretch of highway that was slated for rebuilding in his disctrict before Beshear came into office in 2007 and nixed the project.
Just another fun day in Frankfort.
There are a few things we can make of this.
First, Beshear and Williams really don’t like each other.
Second, the state and the people of Kentucky are paying for this toxic relationship.
And third — and we can’t emphasize this enough — Beshear and Williams really don’t like each other.
Groundwork for the impasse really began two weeks ago when the House and Senate couldn’t pass a highway construction plan in time to leave on a 10-day hiatus, which would have given time for Beshear to veto the plan before legislators returned for a final day of the session.
That way, legislators could have voted to override the veto when they returned for their final day on Thursday.
But the House and Senate couldn’t come to terms after the Senate stuffed millions of dollars worth of road projects into Williams’ Senate district and changed the funding mechanism for the Ohio River Bridges Project.
They worked on the plan over the recess and came back on the last day of the 2012 Session and passed a plan they had finally negotiated the night before.
But the session broke down when Beshear refused to sign the state’s transportation plan, which is more than 300 pages long and spends more than $4 billion, before he had an opportunity to study it.
Williams contends that if the legislature sent Beshear the transportation appropriation bill before he signed the road plan into law, he could have then vetoed the road plan and spent the highway money however he wished.
Williams also claimed that Beshear was trying to force the Senate to pass a bill raising the dropout age by holding up the road plan, which he said the Senate was not going to go along with.
Beshear contended that he wouldn’t have been doing his job properly if he signed the bill before it had been fully vetted.
Like last year, when Beshear and House Democrats outflanked Williams and the Republicans on a plan to shore up the state’s Medicaid budget, Williams appears to have been outmaneuvered again.
While there’s plenty of blame to go around, in the end, it was the legislature’s fault we got to this point when they couldn’t pass the road plan during the first 59 days of a 60 day session.
Moreover, the funding plan was in possession of Williams and the Senate when the clock expired at midnight Thursday.
And as we know, possession is nine-tenths of the law.