Friday, September 30, 2005


Albert Pujols has hit his 200th home run with a grand slam in the bottom of the 7th with two out. Pujols has hit 40 home runs this season.

Mark McGwire took down #3 tonight. Red takes it down tomorrow and Ozzie on Sunday.

What George Bush calls people...

Nicknames coined by Dubya:

Joe Allbaugh - Big Country
Fred Barnes - Barney
Max Baucus - Maxie
Tony Blair - Landslide
Barbara Boxer - Ali
Martha Brant - Martita
Michael D. Brown - Brownie
Frank Bruni - Pancho
George H.W. Bush - Poppy
George W. Bush - Dubya, Bushie
Laura Bush - Bushie
Carl Cameron - Camarones
Andrew Card - Tangent Man
Paul Cellucci - Cellooch
Dick Cheney - Big Time
Jean Chrétien - Dino (as in Dinosaur)
Susan Collins - Sweet Susan
John Cornyn - Corndog
Candy Crowley - Dulce
Mitch Daniels - The Blade
Tom Davis - T.D.
John Dickerson - Dick
Maureen Dowd - Cobra
Dianne Feinstein - Frazier
Barney Frank - Sabretooth
Bill Frist - Fristy
Rich Galen - Richie
Alberto Gonzales - Fredo
David Gregory - Little Stretch
Stephen Hadley - Hads
Dennis Hastert - Speak
Pete Hoekstra - Pedro
Karen Hughes - High Prophet, The Enforcer, Hurricane Karen
Tim Hutchinson - Hutch
David Jackson - Action Jackson
Lee Jackson - Action Jackson
Ted Kennedy - Senator
Pete King - Pedro
Mort Kondracke - Morton
Dennis Kucinich - Mayor
Dick Kyle - Stretch
Ken Lay - Kenny Boy
Larry Lindsey - Thunderbolt Lindsey
Mitch McConnell - Mitchie
Mark McKinnon - M-Cat
George Miller - El Grande Jorge
Ben Nelson - Nellie, Benny, Benator
Colin Powell - Balloonfoot
Vladimir Putin - Pootie-Poot
Condoleezza Rice - Guru
Karl Rove - Boy Genius, Turd Blossom
John Rowland - Johnny
Bill Sammon - Super Stretch
Olympia Snowe - The Big O
John Sweeney - Congressman Kick-Ass
George Tenet - Brother George
Tommy Thompson - Double T
Fred Upton - Freddo
Ann Veneman - Bullets
Paul Wellstone - Pablo
George Will - The Commissioner
Patricia Wilson - Outback Woman
Robert Zoellick - The Adding Machine

Shabbat Shalom

Anything not covered before I log off until tomorrow night will be added to this post before I log off.

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Richard Myers, has decided to retire.
Picked to be chairman in 2001, Myers had deep knowledge of the military and broad experience.

As a young fighter pilot, he flew combat missions over Vietnam.

He served two years as vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs, commanded the US Space Command, led US air forces in the Pacific, and worked as an assistant to General John Shalikashvili, chairman of the Joint Chiefs under president Bill Clinton.

The Pentagon's top priority when he was appointed chairman was transforming the Cold War military into a smaller, more mobile, high tech force.
Evan Bayh is a moderate Democrat like myself. I would have voted against the nominations. How hard is it for Republicans to accept that?

The NY Times has a nice profile of Fred Armisen. Armisen is a cast member of NBC's Saturday Night Live.

Did Hurricane Katrina sink the image of Louisiana?

The congressional Blue Dog coalition has sent a message that I believe most Americans would agree with. Kentucky's own Ben Chandler is a member of this delegation.
"Today, our nation's long term fiscal security is growing even bleaker with the addition of billions of dollars in emergency supplemental funds needed to rebuild the Gulf Region," writes the Blue Dog Coalition. "As such, members of the Blue Dog Coalition urge you to immediately call for an emergency bipartisan budget summit to get our nation's fiscal house in order."

"This country cannot continue to run trillions of dollars in debt without considering the consequences to future generations," said Blue Dog Rep. Marion Berry. "You don't have to be all broke out in brilliance to know that when you spend more money than you take in you eventually go broke. I think everyone agrees that we have a financial situation on our hands that deserves the attention of the President and every Member of Congress. We ask nothing short of an immediate budget summit to get this country back on the right financial track."
Unfortunately for us, we really don't know what the President learned at the business school he earned his MBA at.

Midnight Madness has returned to ESPN after a long absence. There will be five schools featured including the Kentucky Wildcats.

Both Boston and New York won last night. The Red Sox are one game out of taking over the AL East. They play three games with the Yankees this weekend.

Here is your weekend update. Missing from tomorrow night's premeire will be the head writer and co-anchor of "Weekend Update," Tina Fey.
He's also not sure about another key player: Maya Rudolph, 33, who is seven months pregnant. Lorne says he met with the comedian last week in Los Angeles, and she is awaiting her doctor's approval to travel to New York for the Saturday Night Live premiere.

"All I want is the audience to sort of get a glimpse of her so that everybody understands why when she disappears," he says. "She's such an essential part of the show that I can't imagine her not being there and Tina not being there. I'm just in denial about all of it."
John Roach, a member of the Kentucky Supreme Court now, has been implicated through emails in the Transportation Department. Will we see an indictment of John Roach and a possible resignation?

A Billy Goat Tavern will open up in DC.

Evan Bayh has Hoosier values.
How do you measure Hoosier values? One way might be to note that Bayh has never come close to losing an election in Indiana.

That's why national Democrats are interested in Bayh. They know now that the South is lost in presidential elections and the up-for-grabs battleground is the Midwest, where many large electoral states are decided by a point or two.

But mostly Bayh embodies exactly the Hoosier values The Star thinks he's lost. And those values may prove strong medicine if he does run for president in 2008.

Bayh once said, "I do think that whatever is right for the Democratic Party and right for the American people will be found in the center, both geographically and ideologically." That's an idea that deserves a test.
Derrick Jasper has committed to join the Kentucky Wildcats basketball team.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Bonus Quote of the Day

"Johnny, you're doing a heck of a job."
--Sen. Chuck Schumer, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, September 29, 2005

I should note that I've seen Sen. Schumer speak in person since they couldn't find anyone to run against him.

Quote of the Day

"TRMPAC, of course, named for Tupac's much skinnier brother..."

Jon Stewart, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, September 29, 2005

Early Afternoon roundup

You know, the Republicans are in trouble. Have any Democrats announced for Governor? Nope. Other than Charlie Owen...

Prarie Wind is getting soem good reviews. Apparently, Young's bandmate, Stephen Stills, was on The Tonight Show the same night as Jennifer Garner...

Of course, I am uncomfortable with the rising anti-Zionism in the Democratic Party. It saddens me, too, as a Democrat.
The rock the Jewish protesters faced was their impassioned opposition to the Iraq war, while the hard place was the vituperative anti-Israeli sentiment among some of their anti-war allies.

Between sermons, worshippers discussed which events to attend that weekend and which to avoid because of the likely presence of virulent anti-Zionism.

The service, a joyful melding of psalms and protest songs, offered Jewish protesters a way through, Waskow said afterward.

"We figured out a way to honor Shabbat and to celebrate the Jewish values of Israel and the Jewish values of ‘seek peace and pursue it,’" said Waskow, who heads Philadelphia’s Shalom Center.

It’s a dilemma that the national Jewish leadership may soon face as support for the war falls. In surveys last year, U.S. Jews opposed the war in even greater numbers than non-Jews, while recent surveys show that a majority of Americans oppose how the Bush administration is handling the situation.

Jewish officials say privately that they’re seeking an outlet for burgeoning anti-war sentiment at the grassroots level, but the problem is that some of the war’s leading opponents — such as Cindy Sheehan, a mother whose son died in the war — equate the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq with Israel’s occupation of the West Bank.

Some of the best-organized groups — and those likeliest to attend anti-war protests — do not stop at criticizing Israeli policy but reject Israel’s very existence. International A.N.S.W.E.R., a cosponsor of several of the weekend events, speaks of Israel as "within the borders of historic Palestine."

Jewish protesters spoke of their discomfiture at sharing space with placards accusing Israel of being the dog that wags the American tail.

Waskow avoided events associated with A.N.S.W.E.R. Rabbi Michael Lerner, of the San Francisco-based Tikkun community, joined those events, but told followers that he wished organizers had heeded his calls to distance the rally from A.N.S.W.E.R.

That company has kept many of the top Jewish groups silent since the war began in March 2003. Prior to the war, the Reform, Conservative and Orthodox streams each issued statements supporting its objectives — the removal of Saddam Hussein and weapons of mass destruction — but stopping short of endorsing the war outright. More than two years later that equivocation continues. Spokesmen for the Reform and Orthodox movements referred JTA to their prewar statement, and a Conservative movement official said there was little demand at the grassroots for an organizational position.

"We haven’t had any discussions recently as an organization," said Mark Waldman, director of public policy for United Synagogue.

Jewish defense organizations and pro-Israel groups by and large also expressed support for Bush administration objectives at the war’s outset, but stopped short of explicitly endorsing the war.

Recently there have been signs of a shift toward criticism. The Reform movement and the Anti-Defamation League noted with alarm revelations last year that captives in U.S. custody had been tortured.

Those images prompted Rabbis for Human Rights-North America to launch a rabbinic letter in January, citing Jewish teachings, to call on President Bush and Congress to end torture, inhumane treatment and degradation of captives. Administration officials say some of the conventions against torture do not apply to captives suspected of terrorism because they are not traditional soldiers in uniform.
Meanwhile, a trip to Israel has mended ties between Jews and Protestants.

Howard Dean blogs about his trip to Israel via NJDC.

John Roberts was confirmed as Chief Justice with a vote of 78-22.

The Red Sox trail the Yankees by one game and are tied with the Indians for the wild card. The Sox play the Yankees starting tomorrow to finish out the season.

Jim Host to resign...

Commerce Secretary Jim Host became the latest casualty of the Ernie Fletcher administration.
Commerce Cabinet Secretary Jim Host announced his resignation today. His resignation is effective Friday, October 14th. A replacement has not been named.

In his letter to Governor Ernie Fletcher, Host wrote, "I have tried to fulfill the commitment I made to you when you asked me to join your administration in November 2003 of two years. However, several issues cause me to leave before that time including personally dealing with my wife’s health as well as mine."

"Jim is an exemplary person and has done a tremendous job helping me move Kentucky forward," said Governor Fletcher. "His hard work in developing the 'Unbridled Spirit' brand to market our commonwealth, to developing the first comprehensive energy plan for Kentucky, to putting his heart and soul into bringing a new arena to Louisville are evidence of his great passion in improving the lives of all Kentuckians."

Host will continue to support the Governor in any way possible, including being involved in ensuring the success of the Louisville arena project. However, he has resigned his membership from other state boards and commissions.[...]

Host began his career as a sportscaster in 1957 and was a play-by-play announcer of University of Kentucky football and basketball for the Kentucky Central Sports Network and WVLK-Radio. He joined Procter & Gamble where he spent several years in marketing and sales. He returned to Lexington in 1964 and was involved with his own real estate, building and insurance companies until he entered politics in 1967.

At age 29, he became the youngest member of Kentucky Governor Louie Nunn's Cabinet as the commissioner of the Department of Public Information and then Commissioner of the Department of Parks where he worked to initiate the Kentucky Horse Park. He became the Republican Party's nominee for Lieutenant Governor, but lost in the general election. Host opened Jim Host & Associates in 1972. His first contract was with the Lexington Tourist and Convention Bureau, which led to the formation of the Lexington Center Corporation and the building of Rupp Arena. The company began rapid development in 1974 with two contracts, a basketball and football radio agreement with the University of Kentucky and an executive management relationship with the National Tour Association.

The company became nationally known for the administration of affinity, lifestyle, sports marketing and association management for universities, high school associations, collegiate athletic conferences, associations and corporations. It was named one of the top five sports marketing companies in the world by SportsBusiness Journal in May 2000.

Active in civic and charitable activities, Host has chaired many campaigns and has been associated with more than 40 organizations and boards. He has received a number of honors from myriad interests. Host, for example, in 2000 was named to the University of Kentucky Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame and the state of Kentucky's Athletic Hall of Fame. In 2001, he received one of Kentucky's top civic awards, Kentuckian of the Year by the Chandler Foundation. Host is past-chair of the Lexington Chamber of Commerce, and past-president of the Lexington Rotary Club and the Blue Grass Council of the Boy Scouts of America. He is also a member of the Travel Industry of America's Hall of Leaders and the National Association of Collegiate Marketing Directors Hall of Fame.

He is a graduate of the University of Kentucky and was awarded one of the University's first baseball scholarships. He played briefly in the Chicago White Sox system until an arm injury forced him to retire.
The Governor's office used bad punctuation that I had to fix since you don't put double quotation marks within a sentence that is already in quotation marks. Hence the 'Unbridled Spirit,' rather than the "Unbridled Spirit."

Is Louisville prepared?

Is my hometown of Louisville prepared for another flood like the one in 1937? Luckilly, we do have a man-made and natural floodwalls. In 1937, just about the whole town flooded east of the Highlands--and that is hard to believe since now, the only places that flood are Prospect and River Road.
"There is no reason to believe that the 1937 flood won't ever be surpassed," said Len Maz, a hydrologist with the National Weather Service's Ohio River Forecast Center in Wilmington, Ohio. "It's going to happen. Climatologically, it is remote. But it is expected, and it is probable. We just don't know if it will happen in a couple hundred years or next year."

The city built floodwalls and gates after the '37 flood, and they have worked flawlessly, officials said. For those walls to be overrun now, the river would have to crest three feet above the 1937 level of 52 feet, city officials said.

Bill Byron, a hydraulic engineer for the Army Corps of Engineers, said a flood large enough to breach the levees would only be possible if a number of worst-case weather scenarios converged.

"Something as large as the '37 flood would be rare. Based on the data we have kept, something like that would only happen once in 500 years," he said.

"But the biggest floods that occur on the Ohio River take place when heavy rainfall saturates the ground. It happens when a front comes and stalls out over the Ohio River basin and just won't move," he said.

When the floodgates go up, the city, like New Orleans, has no way of naturally draining water from rising creeks, sewers and lakes inside the walls.

A series of 16 water pumps do that by moving water into the Ohio River. And basins around the city also handle runoff from rain.

After 1997, when flooding occurred inside the floodwall, the city built new basins, so far proving enough to handle storms.

But some of the pumps are more than 50 years old and need $50 million to $60 million in repairs, said Bud Schardein, executive director of the Metropolitan Sewer District. Large areas of the city would be threatened if one or more of them failed, he said.
Happy Birthday to Jerry Lee Lewis (70) and a little green friend we all like: Kermit the Frog (50)

Michigan wants a fair Democratic primary calendar.

Let's hope it doesn't get nasty in Florida State Senate District 30. From what I read, the current state Senator is running for Congress.

Bon Jovi will open Britain's brand new Wembley Stadium.

That's it for now.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Bonus Quote of the Day

"What I'm also struck by is this big debate we have about federalism that's legitimate. But even Thomas Jefferson, who demanded that we amend the Constitution 10 times -- and he was a strict federalist and he didn't believe in big government or centralized government -- when he had the chance to buy the Louisiana Purchase, he jumped at it. Thank God.

"I have a sense that, if you were there, you wouldn't have bought it. And by that I mean this: We had a nonevacuation. Then what? Give up? That's what I feel you did.

"If there wasn't going to be an evacuation and you believed that potentially tens of thousands of people could lose their lives, I want to know what you did."
--Christopher Shays, Katrina response, September 27, 2005

Quote of the Day

"Tom Delay's been indicted, uh, I'll give you a moment to compose yourself (crys, laughs). You know why he was indicted? He's dirty."
--Jon Stewart, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, September 28, 2005

Fletchergate continues...

How did two Justice Cabinet officials manage to get by without being escorted? If the grand jury materials were there, then why were they without supervision?
Investigators yesterday scolded two Justice Cabinet officials for walking unescorted through the Attorney General's East Frankfort offices Monday evening and into a room containing confidential grand jury materials.

In a letter, filed in Franklin Circuit Court yesterday, Deputy Attorney General Pierce Whites wrote that the actions of the cabinet's general counsel Luke Morgan and Steve O'Daniel, executive director of the investigations office, were "inappropriate."

He wrote that the two men "convinced" a janitorial staff person to let them in, allowing them to roam the offices -- an assertion that Morgan denied yesterday.

"You proceeded to walk unescorted through the offices of the KBI and into a room containing grand jury materials," Whites wrote. "You were quickly escorted out of the room and into a conference room."

Whites added that Morgan and O'Daniel might have "raised issues regarding the security of these grand jury materials."

A special grand jury continues to investigate allegations of improper political hiring in Gov. Ernie Fletcher's administration.

Morgan, in an interview, took issue with Whites and noted that Whites wasn't present.

He called the letter "inflammatory" and "solely designed to attract publicity."

He said that he and O'Daniel -- who were both employees of former Attorney General Ben Chandler -- came to drop off a letter and were greeted warmly by several staff members who kept them in sight the whole time.

Specifically, Morgan said, Janet Graham, an assistant deputy attorney general, didn't indicate that they walked in on grand jury materials.

"She didn't jump up or anything. She just walked up to us," he said.

Graham disputed that.

"The minute they walked in the room, I said something to the effect of 'Whoa, you can't come in here.' And I even raised my voice a little bit," she said.

Neither Graham nor Morgan would discuss the contents of the letter that Morgan and O'Daniel dropped off. Graham said it was marked "confidential."

Justice and Public Safety Cabinet officials had largely remained out of the spotlight of the investigation until yesterday when Teresa Barton, director of the drug control policy, appeared before the grand jury.

Morgan said he was merely "extending a professional courtesy" by dropping off the letter in person.

Whites, in his terse admonition, told Morgan that he should do so during business hours or use a fax.

He added that it was the second time Morgan had "been found walking unescorted through the office."

"That's untrue," Morgan said. "That makes me sound like James Bond or something."
Pretty darn pathetic...

On to other news...

Man, it's been a very busy day. Between class, Tom Delay, and putting another interview up, I've been rather busy.

Chris Carpenter takes the mound tonight. Hopefully, it is not his last trip at Busch Stadium. St. Louis has a league-high 50 road wins. Last night helped St. Louis set a new attendence record. Part of that is due to the fact that this year is the last year for Busch Stadium. The old mark, set in 2000, was 3,336,493. The one that was set yesterday, and will increase, is 3,351,194. Mark Grudzielanek is one RBI away from 500 in his career. Jim Edmonds is 5 away from 1,000 RBI. Of course, Albert Pujols still needs his 200th home run!

The Boston Red Sox are one win away from 93 wins. Their next win means 93 wins in four consecutive seasons for the first time in club history. Today, in 1960, was Ted Williams last game as a member of the Boston Red Sox. He homered that day.

Storm, a puppy that was given to NBC prior to Hurricane Katrina, was given back to his rightful owner today. Storm will be missed by the NBC family but it is nice to know that the owner came back.

Not only are they cerifying the elections, but the Secretary of State's office will certify campaign websites.
In Kentucky, Democratic Congressman Ben Chandler was among the first to use it as a fund-raising tool in the special election he won in February 2004.

Grayson's office paid $7,600 to use ElectionMall's service through the 2007 election cycle, which will feature races for governor, attorney general, secretary of state, treasurer and agriculture commissioner.

Next year's elections will involve a record 4,000 state legislative, judicial and local government candidates.

Grayson said his office will start with individual candidates' sites, but could expand the protection to political party Web pages or other advocacy groups later.
Charlie Watts refused visitors when he was undergoing throat cancer.

The Kentucky Wildcats basketball team has lost a recruit to Memphis.
LEX 18 spoke Wednesday to the mother of Willie Kemp, rated the No. 6 high school point guard in country by She said that her 6'2" son has decided to go to Memphis after being recruited by UK, Arkansas, Tennessee and Memphis.

Tom Delay indicted!

Tom Delay, the House Majority Leader, has been indicted.
Texas grand jury on Wednesday charged Rep. Tom DeLay and two political associates with conspiracy in a campaign finance scheme, forcing the House majority leader to temporarily relinquish his post.

DeLay attorney Steve Brittain said DeLay was accused of a criminal conspiracy along with two associates, John Colyandro, former executive director of a Texas political action committee formed by DeLay, and Jim Ellis, who heads DeLay’s national political committee.

"I have notified the speaker that I will temporarily step aside from my position as majority leader pursuant to rules of the House Republican Conference and the actions of the Travis County district attorney today," DeLay said.
What would be best for the interests of our nation is for Tom Delay to resign!

Interview with New Hampshire State Rep. Peter Sullivan

DS: First off, thank you for agreeing to the interview with the Kentucky Democrat. How are things going in New Hampshire?

Peter Sullivan: Well, fall is the best time of year in New England, so of course things are going good. The Patriots just beat the Steelers, the Sox are in the middle of a hot pennant race, and the UNH Wildcats are the top football team in Division 1-AA. It's a great time of year!

DS: Since you're from New Hampshire, one of the first states to hold the primary election for the presidency, how do you feel about the current system changing the dates for each state?

PS: I believe that the NH Primary has served the Democratic Party well over the years. It has allowed candidates like Jimmy Carter, Gary Hart and Paul Tsongas to bypass the Beltway conventional wisdom and bring their message to a wider audience. Ultimately, that's good for democracy and for the party.

If other states want to move up, that's fine with me, so long as they wait until the day after New Hampshire!

DS: How is the campaign against Jeb Bradley going? Do you plan to run a positive campaign?

PS: The response has been overwhelmingly positive. A lot of people have grown fed up with a political culture that seems rooted in complacency and corruption. They want leaders who speak from the heart and offer solutions, who aren't cogs in a party machine. Jeb hasn't given them that leadership. As a state legislator, I have taken tough stands and stood by them. It doesn't always endear me to the old guard, but I really believe that those of us in public service have an obligation to do what we think is right, regardless of partisan pressure.

DS: You're one of the few politicians I've seen that has a personal blog. Do you find that as a positive mark for your campaign?

PS: I do. I think the blog gives me an ability to communicate with the public directly, to engage in a conversation that isn't filtered by the press or by the political wise guys. More importantly, by giving people a way to respond, I can learn a lot from the exchange of ideas. I learn to look at an issue in a way that I otherwise might not have.

DS: What prior candidates have or will influence the way that you will run your campaign?

PS: That's a good question.

I'll start by citing someone with whom I almost never agree on policy, former Senator Bob Smith. Smith and I have very little ideological commin ground, but he ran a grassroots, participatory campaign to be proud of. Every nook and cranny of New Hampshire had a Smith volunteer, someone who would write postcards, make a few dozen phone calls, and put up those infernal red and white signs. He beat more "established" candidates to win his seat, largely by outworking them and never giving up in the face of tough odds. I feel the same way about Paul Taongas and his 1992 presidential campaign. There weren't more than a handful of prominent NH Democrats with Tsongas, but he had a sharp, focused message, and ran a campaign that welcomed new blood, new ideas and new ways of doing business. It was fun, and incredibly, it worked, at least for a while.

DS: Do you have a campaign song yet? If yes, what is it? If not, I play guitar.

PS: Brush up on your Dropkick Murphys repertoire! I'm an Irish-Catholic thirtysomething from New England, so I love the DKMs Celtic populist punk.

DS: Do you expect a bloody primary?

PS: Bloody? No. Spirited? Yes. Gary Dodds and Peter Duffy will have their issues and their agendas. We will talk about the issues in a spirited way. If I think they are out to lunch, I'll say so without hesitation.

What I won't engage in is the politics of personal destruction. There are some so-called leaders in the NH political community who aren't happy unless they are smearing an opponent's sanity, credibility, or integrity with baselss whispering campaigns. We don't need that sort of garbage, and I won't be part of it.

DS: I know someone who headed up Students for Gore in 1988 named Jonathan Miller. Did you ever meet President Bill Clinton while you were at the University of Arkansas Law School?

PS: I guess that was a good career move for Jonathan!

I actually met Clinton a few times before my Arkansas sojourn. Growing up in NH has its benefits, after all. I first met Clinton at a ribbon-cutting at a Paul McEachern for Governor headquarters in Salem, NH in 1988. Strangely enough, the only time he visited the law school while I was there was during the last month of my third year. The President and Hillary quietly visited a historic marker outside of Watterman Hall (the law school building) with no notice or fanfare. They were gone before anyone realized what had happened!

During law school I did have the chance to campaign for both Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor. Blanche and Mark are terrific young senators who will be major voices in the Democratic Party in the coming years.

DS: What makes you feel qualified to be a United States Congressman?

PS: Ultimately, it will be up to the voters to decide whether I have the qualifications and the platform they are seeking in their congressman.

I believe that I offer a combination of legislative experience and political and personal independence that is in short supply. I am the only Democrat in this race who has turned ideas into law. I am the only candidate of either party with a record of working to create a political process that is less encumbered by special interest influence.

In addition, I believe that my New Democrat philosophy is a good match for my district. A Democrat who combines a sensible, fiscaly responsible, business savvy approach to economic issues with a traditional Democratic committment to social justice, who takes an approach to foreign policy that recognizes the importance of both military and moral strength, and who recognizes the importance of empowering people with the tools to better their lives can break through the stale political clutter of the last few years.

DS: Do you want the first national press interview you have to be with Jon Stewart of the Daily Show?

PS: I was afraid you were going to suggest Jerry Springer. Hey, if I ever had the chance to be on with Stewart, I'd jump at the opportunity!

DS: What are your thoughts on the current image of the national party?

PS: We are in flux at the moment. I am going to say something that might surprise some folks. I think Howard Dean is doing a good job at the DNC. He has kept the liberal base motivated, while at the same time he has reached out to Democrats who don't always meet every activist litmus test. That's the right approach.

I do think that both the New Dems and the progressive faction will have to focus on areas of commin ground. There's more than people realize. I think bloggers like Ed Kilgore and Josh Marshall have done a good job of drawing the wings of the party together by stressing a message of reform and accountability. It's a good place to start.

DS: What three issues in your opinion should be priorities?

PS: Expand the economic winner's circle while restoring fiscal responsibility. The current approach saddles future generations with mountains of debt while doing nothing to build a better future. That's fiscal child abuse. Part of this equation also involves developing new approaches to retirement savings, such as a universal, prtable penson system; and addressing the uncertainties too many Americans face as a result of the lack of affordable health care coverage.

Restore a sense of maturity to the foreign policy debate. The Bush Administration squandered an untold volume of good will by failing to act cooperatively with both our allies abroad and with the pposition at home. We need to return to the hard-nosed internationalism of JFK and FDR, which understood that force may sometimes be neccessary, but it is not a substitute for smart, effective diplomacy.

Achieve real energy independence. This requires a combination of tough fuel economy standards and a vigorous committment to investing in new renewable energy technologies. By lessening our reliance on foreign oil, we stengthen our position economically, environmentally and strategically.

DS: Thank you for your time and best of luck. Keep fighting the good fight.

PS: And keep up the good work on your blog!

Tuesday Morning Roundup

The regular season is slowly coming to an end. Busch Stadium tickets will be sold out this weekend, I'm confident of that. Last night's game started the final (sadly) homestand at Busch Stadium. Since opening the stadium in 1966, the Cardinals have played 3,164 games at Busch so far, winning 1,757. Their winning percentage so far is .555. During the 2000's, they have had a winning percentage of .631 (304-178). Brad Thompson has been named the Cardinals Rookie of the Year with a 3-0 record and 2.89 ERA in 38 games this season. Chris Carpenter starts tonight.

Bill Frist needs to be investigated if the SEC has yet to do so. He will, inevitably, join Martha Stewart as an insider trader. They would cause him to lose his seat (which he was anyway) and bring Sen. McConnell as Majority Leader. McConnell will lose in 2008. We will bring every Democrat here in 2008 to campaign for our candidate--no matter who we have.

What's going on in the lobbying world? Not much...

Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley will be giving a speech tonight at 5:30 PM in Patterson Park before going on a post-announcement tour. It's clear that the Mayor O'Malley is running and I wish him the best of luck. He'd have my vote if I was a Maryland resident (just like Rep. Ben Cardin)!

Both Connecticut senators will vote to confirm John Roberts. It's clear that our own party is divided on the issue.

Another article on Neil Young. Young is best known for his work with Buffalo Springfield and CSNY.

Matthew Tully's column today deals with Senator Evan Bayh's vote to not confirm John Roberts.

Steve Pence supports gambling AND the governor-for-now. He officially supports the governor's plan while favoring his own. Wait a minute, is that possible? He can be for it and against it at the same time? Oh, wait a minute, no, nevermind...

Carnival Cruise Line to be paid $236 million for helping victims of Katrina. Now, if it were me, I would be DONATING MY TIME AND SERVICES. We shouldn't turn a temporary thing into a long-term cruise. Though shocking, two Senators agree on the subject of this. The two Senators: Tom Coburn and Barack Obama.
To critics, the price is exorbitant. If the ships were at capacity, with 7,116 evacuees, for six months, the price per evacuee would total $1,275 a week, according to calculations by aides to Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.). A seven-day western Caribbean cruise out of Galveston can be had for $599 a person -- and that would include entertainment and the cost of actually making the ship move.

"When the federal government would actually save millions of dollars by forgoing the status quo and actually sending evacuees on a luxurious six-month cruise it is time to rethink how we are conducting oversight. A short-term temporary solution has turned into a long-term, grossly overpriced sweetheart deal for a cruise line," said Coburn and Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) in a joint statement yesterday calling for a chief financial officer to oversee Katrina spending.

Carnival's bid totaled $192 million over six months, plus $44 million in reimbursable expenses, such as port charges, fuel, food and docking costs. To Carnival executives, the contract will ensure only that the company breaks even when it pulls three ships from holiday operations. About 100,000 passengers had their vacations canceled to accommodate the government's needs, said J. Michael Crye, president of the International Council of Cruise Lines, who has been answering questions about the deal for Carnival.

"In the end, we will make no additional money on this deal versus what we would have made by keeping these ships in service," said Jennifer de la Cruz, a Carnival spokeswoman. "That has been our position from the outset, and it has not changed."

Government contracting officials defended the deal. "They were the market," Capt. Joe Manna, director of contracts at the Sealift Command, said of Carnival. "Under the circumstances, I'd say we're getting a pretty good value."

Coburn and Obama disagreed. "Finding out after the fact that we're spending taxpayer money on no-bid contracts and sweetheart deals for cruise lines is no way to run a recovery effort," they said in the statement.

The Carnival deal is only one of several instances in which a lack of FEMA preparation may have left federal taxpayers with an outsized bill. Despite its experiences with last year's busy hurricane season, FEMA found itself without standing contracts for standard relief items such as blue tarps to cover damaged roofs, according to Thomas A. Schatz, president of Citizens Against Government Waste.

"It is ridiculous that they can't have the supply on hand for these basics that you know you'll need in every instance," Schatz said.
Dan Druen altered the hit list.

Gwyneth Paltrow's life is like a sitcom!

Ronnie Wood, of the Rolling Stones, has given up alcohol. While Watts and Jagger are supportive, don't count on Keith Richards!

I'll be back with an interview.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Quote of the Day

"Reverend, with all due respect, you're on C-SPAN. I don't want to be rude here, America's not watching...clearly, many of you don't have jobs!"
--Jon Stewart, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, September 27, 2005

Commander in Chief on ABC

You know that vibe you get when you watch a new show? The vibe that says it will be on for the long-run and may very well be a hit. That's the vibe I got while watching Commander in Chief.

It may not be The West Wing. Geena Davis is a great actress. This show is here for the long run.

There were some good comic relief moments. Donald Sutherland appears to be a bad guy in the show but time will tell.

Next week's episode looks interesting.

Open Thread

I figured I need one of these every once in a while. Plus, it gives an idea of how large readership is these days so discuss amongst yourselves...

The Pennacchio-Casey Debates

First question, when will they be. Secondly, where will they be?

It's been a long time since I've written about Dr. Chuck Pennacchio, my candidate of choice for US Senate in Pennsylvania. If you recall, I had the chance to interview him earlier this year.

Here is Dr. Chuck's statement from September 9th.
Today I handed a letter to my fellow Democrat, Robert Casey, Jr., at a mutual campaign stop in Lehigh Valley. With respect and dedication to the highest ideals of our political process, I am calling for a series of seven to nine debates across our state. Like the Lincoln-Douglas Senate debates of 1858, the Pennacchio-Casey debates can help direct a state and nation in a time of crisis and exploration. The questions facing us today are no less important than those that confronted our nation in pre-Civil War America. Moreover, the answers to those crucial questions revolve around the same themes of economic opportunity, legal rights, and national security that enabled our country to emerge from one of the greatest tests -- civil war -- any society can endure.

The citizens of our Commonwealth deserve an honest, in-depth discussion that will let them see how Mr. Casey and I differ on issues of health care, the economy, education, equal rights, Iraq, global war, homeland security, and so many other challenges facing Pennsylvania and our nation.

While Bob Casey, Jr. and I have widely divergent positions on many issues, we share the solid conviction that Rick Santorum must be defeated this coming year. I am extremely confident that our cross-Pennsylvania debates will help to invigorate our democracy, energize more voters, and provide the necessary components for a Democratic Senate victory in November 2006.
If you are a reader from Pennsylvania, please send a letter to the editor at your local paper.

Bob Leeper for Senate

No, that is not an endorsement. However, State Senator Bob Leeper will be running for re-election as a Democrat.
State Sen. Bob Leeper said he's decided to seek re-election next year, this time as an independent.

Leeper entered the Senate as a Democrat in 1991 and changed to Republican in 1999, as the GOP took its first majority in the legislature.

He is now the only independent in the General Assembly, leaving the Republican Party during a heated disagreement this year over a contested state Senate election in Jefferson County.

Leeper had said he might ponder returning to the Republican Party but said he made his decision on what felt comfortable to him.

"As an independent, I won't have to fit into some mold created by a party," he told The Paducah Sun.

The only other announced candidate for the seat is Carroll Hubbard, a Democrat and former congressman who served a prison term for federal campaign finance violations.
However, I will add on that I wish the party could do better than a former congressman who had a term in prison. It doesn't look good for the Democratic Party especially when the Republican Governor here is having some problems of his own. We shouldn't be hypocrites if we do that...

I must add that I am running for a CDKY position so it looks like I will have no choice as to who I endorse but can't our party do better?

In order to take back the State Senate, we have to run better candidates that have a chance to win.

Now on to other news, I am lining up an interview with a candidate for Congress in New Hampshire.

Some John Grisham novels are now available on trade paperback. I have the first paperback editions of most of his novels. I've got some reading to catch up on this winter...

The Red Sox were rained out yesterday and will play a double header today with the Blue Jays. It was today in 2004 that the Red Sox clinched the AL Wild Card. The rest, as they say, is history.

Ken Ungar, the IRL official, has resigned.
Ungar was the first chief of staff of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, hired in January 1997. He was appointed to the board of the U.S. Auto Club in 2000.

Before joining the Speedway, Ungar served as deputy chief of staff for then-Indiana Governor Evan Bayh.
No! I disagree with this article. With the lack of a 50 state campaign, I just don't see it as a viable option for the Democratic party. I want a candidate that will campaign in all 50 states.

What? This article from JTA states that Washington rebuffed offers from Israel to help with New Orleans. Okay, someone at FEMA needs to get their priorities straight considering most of our resources are in IRAQ! And Brownie was rehired at FEMA? The guy ran an Arabian Horse Show! He does not qualify for any frickin' job at FEMA!!
Washington may have rebuffed Israeli offers of expert assistance in the days after Hurricane Katrina, but a team of Israeli rescue personnel managed to deploy in some of the worst-hit areas around New Orleans, JTA has learned.

The 18-member team — which included physicians, mental health professionals, trauma specialists, logistics experts and a special unit of Israeli police divers — arrived in St. Bernard Parish and Plaquemines Parish on Sept. 10 and spent a week and a half assisting fire department search-and-rescue squads and sitting in on daily planning meetings that included local leadership and a complement of FEMA, police, military and fire representatives, the Israeli team’s leader said.

Russ Salsman on Ernie Fletcher

Russ Salsman penned a nice editorial in the Courier-Journal. I keep up with Louisville politics online.
Lack of driver's license further burdened hurricane evacuees

A simple driver's license: It's amazing how important a license can be when you don't have one. Just ask one of the many Gulf Coast evacuees who relocated to Louisville recently. Without a picture ID or driver's license, these people, who have already had enough grief, pain and sorrow, can't cash a check, drive a car or open a bank account.

The Jefferson County Circuit Court Clerk's Office is one of many agencies assisting storm victims at Louisville Gardens. As chief deputy of that office, I know firsthand that many of the evacuees have lost virtually everything. If they have a credit card but no picture ID, they can't even check into a hotel provided by the Red Cross. To make their situation worse, many evacuees can't pay the $12 and $20 fees the state requires for an ID or license.

Staff members and I have pooled our money to pay the fees in some cases. But something more concrete needed to be put in place. That's why I called Gov. Ernie Fletcher's office in early September. Along with state Sen. Gerald Neal, I asked the Governor to create an executive order waiving the fees for the evacuees who need a license or picture ID.

Several days later, the Governor refused to waive the fees, citing concerns of fraud and abuse. That's hilarious coming from a Governor whose own office is accused of defrauding the state of Kentucky. Fletcher is more concerned about pardoning members of his own administration who were accused of breaking the law, than helping 2,100 Americans who lost their homes and virtually all of their belongings. These evacuees deserve better.

The Governor is a former preacher. He must have preached about compassion to his flock. He should get in the game and grasp the fact that it's about more than a simple driver's license.

Chief Deputy
Jefferson County
Circuit Court Clerk's Office
Louisville 40202
Another reason to show why Ernie Fletcher must be defeated.

Ben Affleck for Senator 2006 (Virginia?)

Ben Affleck may be running for Senate from Virginia in 2006. His name is one being tossed around by Virginia Democrats. The other name being tossed around is best-selling author John Grisham. Both are good choices and wouldn't have any problems with raising funds. Affleck, originally from Massachusetts, just married Jennifer Garner recently and they have been searching for real estate in Charlottesville recently.
That's the hot new idea being tossed around by Virginia Democrats, who are desperately searching for a big name to challenge the reelection bid of rising GOP star Sen. George Allen next year, now that outgoing Gov. Mark Warner has ducked out.

Why, who should happen to be pondering a move to Thomas Jefferson country but a certain square-jawed media magnet with a taste for liberal politics and millions to spend on it...Ben Affleck ! Star of Gigli and the J.Lo tab romance, now happily settled with "Alias" star Jennifer Garner .

The couple, expecting their first child, have been shopping for real estate around Charlottesville. British tabloids claim it's a done deal; we will only go so far as to report that they checked out at least one country estate a few weeks ago.

It was about that time that party officials started batting Affleck's name around. "It's spread pretty widely, at least in the political underground," University of Virginia professor Larry Sabato, Virginia's premier pundit, told Michael Shear, The Post's Richmond correspondent.

Another name on the wish list: blockbuster legal-thriller writer John Grisham . But the central Virginia farmhouse owner, who gives generously to Democrats and did a stint in the Mississippi legislature, has brushed off past overtures, sources say.

In truth, the Dems are less concerned with beating Allen than slowing him down. Both he and Warner are eyeing the 2008 presidential race.

Affleck spokesman Ken Sunshine said the rumors are baseless, though "he would be a superb candidate for public office in the future. Right now, he's very busy directing his first feature movie for Disney, Gone, Baby, Gone."
I think he would make a fine candidate. He stumped for John Kerry. Now, before the Republicans attack him by saying he's from Hollywood...I have one word for you: Arnold.

This article on Jon Stewart is rather old yet it just showed up in my Google alerts under News.

Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson is an optimist. We can and we will take back the rest of Indiana. This is a big excerpt but Mayor Peterson spoke a lot on how to win back offices in Indiana.
When Peterson came to the microphone, he said, "It's a lone time to be a Democrat in Indiana."

When Evan Bayh was elected governor, Peterson said it was then he discovered that it's a lot easier to build your party when you win the big race.

Democrats in Indianapolis won control of the city/county council in 2003 and won the sheriff and prosecutor elections by 20,000 votes.

Marion County, he said, is now looked at as a Democratic county.

"We need to be optimistic about the future of our state," he said.

"I'm confident we can win back the governor's office in 2008."

Of the recent agreement for the $920 million Indianapolis Colts stadium project, Peterson said it was worked out so that none of the cost is coming from Hoosier taxpayers.

At the groundbreaking, Peterson was called on to give what he wanted to be a memorable speech.

"Then they brought in a surprise guest and in walked Peyton Manning," he said. "Nobody will remember I was there."

Peterson touched on actions that have taken place since Republican take over of the state and the country.

On the state side, Peterson said after years of trying to lower property taxes, they are now going up because of the cut in the property tax replacement credit and the rewriting of the school funding formula.

In addition, efforts of trying to spread out government offices regionally are being undone with relocation to Indianapolis.

Nationally, focus is directed to wedge issues such as gay marriage and voter ID, he said.

"It's now harder to vote in Indiana than any other state in the U.S.," Peterson said.

Despite no evidence of voter fraud in the Hoosier state, Indiana voters have to have more identification than any other voter.

"They think it will reduce the number of Democrats who'll vote," Peterson said.

Of President George W. Bush, Peterson said. "He's a divider, not a uniter. ... And I am sick to death of division."

He noted that former President Clinton ran a budget with surpluses, but with Bush, "We now have the highest budget deficits ever."

He added that Republicans only need 51 percent - "just a little bit more than half" - to be satisfied with election wins.

The transportation bill, he said, was put on hold for three years. However, the Terri Schiavo case received a special session and Bush's return from Texas.

"They didn't care about Terri Schiavo," he said. "She was a pawn."

Peterson gave four actions Democratic Hoosiers must take to come back and win control of the state.

First, he said, Democrats must nominate candidates who can win instead of falling in love with a candidate's rhetoric, style and wit.

"Don't disqualify candidates because they can't pass a certain litmus test," he said.

Second, Democrats must be positive and take that positive message to the public.

"We need to talk about what we're going to do and achieve," he said.

"Don't use negative campaigning and don't sling mud."

Next, there must be a focus on pulling people together and appealing to everyone.

"Be inclusive, generous and throw away the 51-49 way of thinking," he said.

Finally, Democrats must be better organized than Republicans to take back Indiana, he said.

Despite the fact that the vast majority of people are Democrats, Peterson said, Republicans are much better organized.

"We have to want it more than they do," he said.

Peterson announced a summit called "Leaders on the Brink" his office is working on. It will be held in Indianapolis in November.

The summit is designed to teach younger people how they can become involved in government and how to win elections.

Democrats, he said, do have the potential to take back control of Indiana from Republicans.

"We're in position where we can go after them and show a positive alternative," he said.

"We can do it. We will be back."
This just in: Keith Richards is set to join Johnny Depp in The Pirates of the Caribbean sequel.

Dick Lugar was recently in the city of Louisville to speak at the McConnell Center. His colleague, Senator Evan Bayh, was in Louisville last August for a press conference with Jonathan Miller and Ben Chandler.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Robert Byrd for Senate 2006

Yes, he has some history in his past but he has since apologized for all that.

West Virginia US Senator Robert Byrd will formally announce what we have all thought for the last six years.
On Tuesday, September 27, 2005, U.S. Senator Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., will announce his 2006 re-election plans at an event in the Lower Rotunda of the State Capitol in Charleston.

While preparing to announce his decision about re-election, Byrd has continued to champion issues important to West Virginia, most recently leading the West Virginia Congressional Delegation's efforts to save the state's 130th National Guard Airlift Wing from closure, protecting the backbone of the West Virginia National Guard and preserving the more than 1,000 jobs at the airbase. Byrd recently completed a tour of the Veterans Medical Centers in West Virginia, after fighting to restore funding cuts that jeopardized health benefits for America's veterans.

Byrd currently is serving West Virginia for an unprecedented eighth consecutive six-year term in the Senate. His seniority is legendary, and has been a major factor in his ability to build a brighter future for the Mountain State -- to strengthen health care, improve education, and bring new jobs to West Virginia. In the month of August alone, Byrd announced that his work in the Senate is bringing 925 new jobs to the state.

Byrd had previously been scheduled to announce his re-election plans on September 7, but postponed the event because of the state's massive efforts to help victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Supporters are welcome to attend Senator Byrd's announcement.
I will not be there but I hope things run smoothly at the announcement.

Dennis Quaid makes a good gesture

IMDB reports:
Hollywood star Dennis Quaid has vowed to contribute to the economical rebuilding of New Orleans, by making his next movie in the hurricane-ravaged Louisiana city. The Day After Tomorrow star is making his big screen directorial debut, as well as writing and performing in Shame On You, which is set to begin filming later this year. After shooting was delayed following the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina last month, Quaid has put the movie on hold and has been in talks with New Orleans Police Superintendent Eddie Compass. During a relief mission in the city on Monday, Quaid asked Compass, "Can we get in here by January 1st? If there's any way we can do it here, I want to do it here. This is the place that really needs it." Quaid explains, "I've spent about a year of my life here between the four movies I've filmed. I can't imagine how devastated people must feel." Compass has begged Quaid for a walk-on role in the musical - which also stars Katie Holmes, saying, "Get me in there, brother, even if it's as an extra."

Repost on how to win Senate races

This comes via HST who commented at Greg's Opinion.
How do Democrats win Senate?

1) Hold Open Democratic Seats

Maryland (Congressman Ben Cardin looks like Democrats' best hope.)

Minnesota (Republican Congressman Mark Green will be formidable opponent for whichever Democrats wins nomination. None of the Democratic candidates has high name recognition. Too bad somebody like former Congressman Tim Penny or HHH's son, former State Attorney General, is not running. Mondale's Son, much more moderate than Dad, would also possibly have been a good choice, even though both he and HHH, Jr., bit the dust two gubernatorial elections ago. Pawlenty, current Republican governor, also lost to Ventura.)

New Jersey (Corzine running for governor. Half Democratic Congressmen see a Senator when look in mirror. Democrats could have trouble if former moderate Republican Governor Tom Keene's son wins Republican nomination.)

Vermont (Democratic candidate is self-proclaimed Socialist Congressman Bernie Sanders. Not my kind of Democrat. Could have some trouble if Republican Lt. Governor Brian Dubie runs, but Dubie may decide has better chance of taking Sanders' House seat. Unfortunate that Independent Senator Jeffords, moderate former Republican who caucuses with Democrats, has retired because of concerns over wife.)

2) Hold Seats facing potentially serious Republican Challenges

Florida (Things looking up for Bill Nelson. Katherine Harris is her own worst enemy)
Michigan (Stabenow, along with Cantwell, was supposed to be one of Democrats' weakest incumbents. However, Republicans having trouble fielding good candidate.)
Nebraska (Ben Nelson yet to get truly formidable Republican opponent.)
North Dakota (Kent Conrad praying Republican Governor Hoeven doesn't get into race. Would be fierce contest. Hoeven very popular, perhaps more so than Conrad.)
Washington (Cantwell was supposed to be in trouble, but so far polls showing her to be in pretty good shape.)
West Virginia (Byrd may have trouble against Republican Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito if she runs. Her Dad, a former governor and ex-convict, and the RSCC certainly want her to run. She is the Republicans' only hope. Her Daddy is hoping for ultimate political vindication. Thus far, polls matching Byrd against Capito show him winning, but he is old and many West Virginians think he is now "too Liberal.")

3) Win Six of the Following Seats, or More if Things Worse Than Hoped Above. Only eight seats listed below. Hardly seems likely, unless Democrats get further breaks.

Arizona (Pederson just entered race)
Mississippi (If Trent Lott decides not to run -- lost house in Katrina and most of net worth, Democrats would have very remote chance of pickup. Under those circumstances, following Democrats could run: former Congressman and Cabinet Secretary Mike Espy, State Supreme Court Justice James Graves, State Attorney General Jim Hood, former Governor Ray Mabus, ex-Attorney General Mike Moore, and Congressman Gene Taylor.)
Missouri (McCaskill taking on Talent. Nearly elected governor in 2004.)
Montana (Morrison and Tester competing to take on Conrad Burns. Under right conditions, Burns could have trouble, although currently running ten points or more ahead. Close ties to Abramoff.)
Ohio (No candidate yet. At this point, two Democratic gubernatorial candidates and no Senate candidates. Best current bet is if pugilistic Iraq veteran Paul Hackett gets in. Nearly won overwhelmingly Republican Seat in special election in/near Cincinnati.)
Pennsylvania (Pro-life, pro-gun and pro-Defense Casey giving Santorum the scare of his life)
Virginia (No candidate for Democrats yet. Best bet was centrist Governor Mark Warner but seems intent on running for President. Some rumors that Republican James Webb, former Navy Secretary, thinking of challenging Allen as either a Republican or Democrat. Webb is conservative and a Hawk, but was violently opposed to Iraq and has nothing but contempt for Bush. Doubt much basis to this hope.)
Rhode Island (Center-Left Sheldon Whitehouse and very Liberal Matt Brown competing to take on Chafee. Chafee also faces challenge from right. Moderate Democratic Congressman Jim Langevin would have given Chafee a real race for his money; however, womens groups and pro-Abortion groups ran Langevin out of the race. Democrats best bet is if right beats Chafee in Republican primary. Liberal Democrats doubtlessly cheering on Right-Wing Club for Growth in RI.)
This is not my analysis but someone elses.

Paul Hackett will run again

Paul Hackett has announced at a Brown County Democratic Dinner that he will run again, most likely for the US Senate seat against Senator Mike DeWine.
Former Congressional candidate Paul Hackett was also warmly received by the Democrats. Hackett announced, "I will run again." But he didn't know exactly what he will be running for – he has been rumored to be considering a run for U.S. Senate.

Afternoon news roundup.

The St. Louis Cardinals have an off day today.

The Boston Red Sox have 7 more games left this season. Schilling starts tonight.

Neil Young's new album, Prarie Wind, has a lot of country in it.

Rusty Anderson has a solo album out called Undressing Underwater.

Charlie Owen in 2007?

The Bridge reports that businessman Charlie Owen is considering a run for Governor in 2007. In prior years, Owen has run for Congress, Senate, and Lt. Governor.

Don't get me wrong, I like Charlie Owen and have met him Family Day. However, my dark horses are Congressman Ben Chandler and State Treasurer Jonathan Miller.

Great news

You can now show your support for the Kentucky Democrat by purchasing a blogad on the sidebar for one week, two weeks, a month, or three months.

Now for other news.

Hartford, CT, is being used as an example for evacuation plans. It would be bad as traffic can be congested in the afternoons.

Mitt Romney, you are no Henny Youngman.
The problem: Some people here in Massachusetts are not laughing. Political observers say Romney may have put himself in trouble for next year, when the "vegetarian convention" has another gubernatorial election scheduled.

"For an incumbent governor to make fun of the state seemed gratuitous," said Jeffrey M. Berry, a professor of political science at Tufts University in Medford, Mass. "I think people sort of felt he was flipping the bird to voters here."

Romney, 58, is a transplant from Michigan who raised his family here and gained prominence as a Boston businessman. He has an actor's good looks, ample charisma as a speaker and a résumé that includes turning around the scandal-plagued 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics.
Eric Clapton now has his own choice for guitar strings.

How Democrats are voting for John Roberts...
Democrats who have announced their support for Roberts (13):
Bill Nelson of Florida, Ben Nelson of Nebraska, Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Tim Johnson of South Dakota, Max Baucus of Montana, Robert Byrd of West Virginia, Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico, Kent Conrad of North Dakota, Patrick Leahy of Vermont, Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, Herb Kohl of Wisconsin, Ken Salazar of Colorado and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana.

Democrats who have announced their opposition (15):
Harry Reid of Nevada, Barbara Boxer of California, John Kerry of Massachusetts, Jon Corzine of New Jersey, Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey, Barack Obama of Illinois, Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, Evan Bayh of Indiana, Mark Dayton of Minnesota, Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts, Joseph Biden of Delaware, Dianne Feinstein of California, Charles Schumer of New York, Dick Durbin of Illinois and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan.
Take care.

This sums it up!

The Courier-Journal:
Put arena on high ground
Has it occurred to the arena task force members that the University of Louisville basketball season and the Ohio River flood season often coincide? It would seem that any ingress/egress advantage the Second and Main location has over other locations is reduced by the risk of River Road and other downtown streets being under water for days at a time.

Wouldn't a higher location be a better idea? In light of what's happening in Louisiana, I thought it would be a good idea to consider the effects of natural disasters before everyone going to the basketball games is ankle-deep in water in the parking lot.

La Grange 40031

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Spotlight Issue: Education

Jackson County to go 4 days a week. This is depressing if you ask me. When dollars should be going towards education, they go to the lawyers representing the Fletcher administration instead.

Fletcher's legal representation should by financed by his OWN pocket and not the state's budget. We have enough money in there for two new arenas, one in Northern KY, and the other in Louisville. Yet we don't have enough to adequately fund the educational systems in our state?!?

All I can say is, Ernie, give me a break.

Welcoming the Bridge...

The Bridge has been added to the blogroll. It's my understanding that it will serve as the blog version for the Louisville-based newsletter with political news from around the state.

It should be announced in a few days whether or not we know who our candidate for Congress is in the 3rd District. A poll is being conducted, or has been, to find out just how vulnerable Congresswoman Anne Northup is.

It has been announced that the Military Bill of Rights has been introduced in the State Senate. Rep. Mike Weaver has pre-filed legislation dealing with Veterans.
Rep. Mike Weaver, chair of the House Military Affairs Committee and the most prominent champion of Kentucky's military families for nearly a decade, has pre-filed legislation to provide hiring preferences in state government to veterans, as proposed in the MFBR. Other bills are expected to be filed soon to implement initiatives for military families that are not covered by the Senate bill.
The NY Times interviews Stephen Colbert. It's pretty hilarious.

In Indiana, winter heating bills will rise, but sadly, unless something gets done, assistance won't. What's sad is, while BOTH Indiana Senators signed a letter of request, Kentucky's own Senators have once again dissapointed.
Last year, the Congress sent $2.18 billion for heating assistance; this year, the proposal is to also spend $2.18 billion. In the energy bill, legislators recommended $5 billion be spent, but when it came time to find the money, the funding was the same. "All $5 billion could be put to good use," Ellerbrook said.

Indiana Sens. Dick Lugar and Evan Bayh and Illinois Sens. Barack Obama and Dick Durbin have signed a letter asking for another $1.2 billion for the federal Low Income Heating Assistance Program. They pointed out that damage to natural gas drilling from Hurricane Katrina is one factor driving up prices. Kentucky's senators did not sign the request.

"Hoosier families are already being squeezed by high gas prices," Bayh said in a statement. "To add the skyrocketing costs of natural gas to the mix is too much for many families to bear."
Paul McCartney is headed to Boston, playing the same stage that the DNC was at last year. Maybe not the same stage, but definitely the same venue.

Everybody except Virginians have an eye on the Kaine-Kilgore race for governor.

Taking a look at the Bayh watch, Senator Bayh appears to have a clean bill of health. This is great news. Let us not forget, he is a regular jogger.
"My cholesterol is a little high, but my good cholesterol is way high," Bayh said, "again probably because of the running."

Bayh does have to follow up on a few things, including getting checked out for basal cell carcinoma, a potential problem since he had "way too much sun as a kid."
Bayh also has to get his first colonoscopy in 10 years.

"They tell me I have to do that again, which I'm not looking forward to," he said. But "other than the normal wear-and-tear, so far so good."
Basal cell carcinoma is a common type of skin cancer.

Jim Bunning hates Alan Greenspan. Greenspan was appointed by Reagan. Reagan was a Republican. So why does a Republican hate another Republican? I happen to appreciate Chairman Greenspan's fine work for America.

Robert Klein gives props to Chicago. Chicago started his career.
In 1975, following the taping of Klein's first HBO special (a first for the young network as well), Seinfeld and a pal attended an after-party at Klein's apartment on 82nd and Riverside. "We were 22 years old at the time and just excited to be in something that was real show business," he recalls. "It was like being at Elvis' house."

Says Klein's friend and Second City mate Fred Willard, himself a lauded laughmeister, "I always say there's about five comedians that I would pay to see, and Bob is one of 'em. He is so bright, and he gets on this wavelength. And it's very disarming, 'cause he'll go along [for] a long time, and I'll say, Oh, Bob's lost his real zing. And all of a sudden, he'll pull something out, and I'll laugh."
It's amazing how much Second City has changed.

Both Senators Dodd and Lieberman are undecided with regards to John Roberts. My guess is that they have decided but refuse to make their vote public. We'll find out soon enough.

Mark Mulder picked up the loss last night against the Brewers. St. Louis just needs four more regular season wins to mark 100 wins in back to back seasons. Suppan starts tonight. Matt Morris will be the 4th 15 game winner for the Cardinals come Tuesday.

Boston became the first club this season to play in front of 3,000,000 (that's 3 million for you non-math people out there) this season.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

The Rumor Mill Again

I feel the need to update this again and will add it to the sidebar for future references. None of these have been confirmed and some is just pure speculation on my part.

I've updated it to be more accurate with the up to date news. Plus, I've gained a larger readership...okay, so this is now updated as of January 30, 2006.

2006 Midterms
Tom Barlow (Ex-Congressman, Businessman & Frequent Candidate) (IN!)
Jim Bloink (IN!)
Eric Streit (TV Producer, Comedian, Veteran)(IN!)

Mike Weaver (State Representative from E-town, Veteran) IN!
James E. Rice IN!

Col. Andrew Horne (Attorney, Retired Lt. Colonel) IN!
John Yarmuth (former LEO publisher) IN!
Burrel Charles Farnsley IN!
James W. Moore IN!

Ken Lucas (Former Congressman, Businessman, Veteran) IN!

Kenneth Stepp IN!
James W. Tapley IN!

Ben Chandler (incumbent) IN!

2007 Statewide
Crit Luallen (Auditor)
Jody Richards (Speaker of the House)
Charlie Owen (Frequent Candidate)
Jerry Abramson (Louisville Mayor)
Jack Conway (2002 Congressional candidate)
Dr. Steve Henry (Lt. Governor, 1995-2003)
Dr. Daniel Mongiardo (2004 US Senate Candidate)
Stan Curties (Founder of Kentucky Harvest)
Jonathan Miller?
Ben Chandler??
Rocky Adkins (House Majority Leader)
Ed Worley (State Senator)
Greg Stumbo (Attorney General)
Terry McBrayer (Former chairman)
John Y. Brown, Jr.
John Y. Brown, III.

Secretary of State
No idea

Atty. General
Greg Stumbo (incumbent)
Should Greg opt for Gov:
Jonathan Miller
Jack Conway

Steve Gold? (former Chairman)

Crit Luallen (incumbent)
If Crit is running for Gov or Lt. Gov:
Steve Gold? (former Chairman)
Jonathan Miller (per comments to this entry)?

Agricultural Commissioner
Billy Ray Smith since the law allows for a 3rd term
Steve Meredith (2003 primary candidate)

2008 US Senate
Ben Chandler
Jonathan Miller
Charlie Owen
Jerry Abramson
Paul Patton (former Governor)
Wendell Ford (People are saying, despite his age, that he's the only one that can beat Mitch McConnell)

2010 US Senate
Ben Chandler

I repeat this is all purely speculative based on statistics of prior elections and emails receieved. Leave your comments as you never know who reads this.

Your moment of zen

Dog registers to vote in New Zealand. This is the most interesting article I have ever read to date.
WELLINGTON, New Zealand - It was almost inevitable New Zealand's election would turn into a dog fight when you look at one of the country's 2.83 million voters -- Toby the Jack Russell terrier.

Toby became a registered voter when his owner, Peter Rhodes of Queenstown, completed an enrollment form in the dog's name, giving his occupation as "rodent exterminator" and his age as 28.

He signed the form with a squiggle and Toby's paw print before returning it to the Electoral Enrollment Center, the Otago Daily Times reported.

Rhodes, an aviation safety specialist who said he was making a humorous point about local government bureaucracy, was shocked to receive written confirmation of Toby's enrollment in the Otago electorate on New Zealand's South Island.

Voting is not compulsory in New Zealand and Rhodes said Toby had elected not to vote.

"The only roll he's interested in is a dog roll, not the electoral roll," Rhodes told the paper.

Electoral Enrollment Center manager Murray Wicks was more angry than amused that an application filed by a dog had slipped through the center's checking system.

"It's an offense, and whoever's done it will be in the hands of the police," he said.

Wicks said Rhodes could be charged with misleading a registrar of electors, making a fraudulent enrollment and making a false declaration, "to name a few" possible charges.

The outcome of the election remained in the balance Friday. The ruling Labour Party holds a one-seat, election-night majority over the opposition National Party pending coalition talks and the counting of absentee ballots, but neither of the major parties has an outright majority.
This will turn in to one heck of a, pardon the pun, dog fight.

In the Mailbag

President Bush and a giddy Jacques Chirac shake hands on the deal.

BATON ROUGE, LA. - The White House announced today that President Bush has successfully sold the state of Louisiana back to the French at more than double its original selling price of $11,250,000.

"This is a bold step forward for America," said Bush. "And America will be stronger and better as a result. I stand here today in unity with French Prime Minister Jack Chirac, who was so kind to accept my offer of Louisiana in exchange for 25 million dollars cash."

The state, ravaged by Hurricane Katrina, will cost hundreds of billions of dollars to rebuild.

"Jack understands full well that this one's a 'fixer upper,'" said Bush. "He and the French people are quite prepared to pump out all that water, and make Louisiana a decent place to live again. And they've got a lot of work to do. But Jack's assured me, if it's not right, they're going to fix it."

The move has been met with incredulity from the beleaguered residents of Louisiana.

"Shuba-pie!" said New Orleans resident Willis Babineaux. "Frafer-perly yum kom drabby sham!"

However, President Bush's decision has been widely lauded by Republicans.

"This is an unexpected but brilliant move by the President," said Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. "Instead of spending billions and billions, and billions of dollars rebuilding the state of Louisiana, we've just made 25 million dollars in pure profit."

"This is indeed a smart move," commented Fox News analyst Brit Hume. "Not only have we stopped the flooding in our own budget, we've made money on the deal. Plus, when the god-awful French are done fixing it up, we can easily invade and take it back again."

The money gained from 'T'he Louisiana Refund' is expected to be immediately pumped into the rebuilding of Iraq.

KDP on Fletcher-Pence

First off, I'd like to know why I am not recieving these in my inbox. As a political blogger, I believe bloggers should get the press releases in their inbox rather than reading it at another blog.

Also, I believe Senator Johnny Ray Turner should be removed from his leadership post. We should not be hypocrites.

For Immediate Release:
Press Release/Commentary by Chairman Jerry Lundergan
Kentucky Democratic Party
For Immediate Release
September 22, 2005

Not a Word on Fletcher-Pence Scandal
As the Waste, Fraud, Abuse and Cronyism Continues, Kentucky Representatives Lewis, Davis, Rogers, Northup and Whitfield Remain Silent

(Frankfort, KY) – When will the Kentucky Republican Congressional delegation stop hiding and speak up on the Governor Fletcher/Lieutenant Governor Steve Pence scandals here in Kentucky? Corruption in government, it turns out, is not just isolated in Washington, to Tom DeLay and his band of indicted brothers. We didn’t have to get a blood hound to find out how Congressman Ben Chandler felt about the Fletcher-Pence scandals. Wile Republicans are hunkered down in Washington, DC; here in Kentucky our government faces cronyism, waste, fraud and abuse. All while Congressman Ron Lewis, Congressman Geoff Davis, Congresswoman Anne Northup, Congressman Hal Rogers and Congressman Ed Whitfield have thus far said nothing about it.

Republican Governor Ernie Fletcher and Lieutenant Governor Steve Pence were taking a page out of DeLay’s book and giving out key government posts to cronies and firing those that didn’t play along. Both state government and Kentucky Republican Party members are now coming under an intense cloud of speculation but so far not a word from the Kentucky Members of Congress. At election time these same folks spout their Washington, DC fed slick rhetoric to appeal to Democratic voters who want clean, honest and decent government. The problem is, the Republican rhetoric is empty and dishonest.

"Fletcher and Pence ran on a clean government platform. They said they would put an end to waste, fraud and abuse. They specifically pledged not to issue pre-emptive pardons. Now that they are in office they have hired, fired and pardoned with total disregard to merit. They have sanctioned their crony’s law breaking and even threats of physical violence directed toward a female employee."

"Only Senator Jim Bunning has expressed his support for Fletcher and Pence. Maybe he didn’t get the GOP memo. Do Representatives Lewis, Northup and Whitfield also support what is going on in Kentucky? Where is Mitch McConnell? How long do the families that those three Members of Congress represent have to wait before their leaders speak up?"
Also, State Auditor Crit Luallen in your thoughts and prayers. She will be going through 6 weeks of cancer treatments.


This is being posted after the Kentucky-Florida game, which was on CBS today so I'm depressed at the results of it. We did a good job but it was not good enough.

Hurricane Rita slammed along the gulf coast this morning at 3:30 AM. The results were not pretty. It's hard to say what the political fallout will be but I can safely assume that global warming caused this. The waters have been very warm this year, and it's warmer then before.

They voted to make felonies crimes before they voted against it. Sound familiar? Anyway, I now know what has happened to former Secretary of State John Y. Brown III. Anyone know if he might be running again in the future?
Former Secretary of State John Y. Brown III, a member of Kelly's governance subcommittee, said merit violations should not be made into civil offenses.

Brown said he "was caught off guard" by the change in course.

But Kelly argued that removing the criminal aspect of the law would make it easier for prosecutors.

Defining exactly what behavior constitutes a criminal offense in this area "is very difficult," he said.
Two words about Darrell Brock, Jr.: Job Brokerer.
Darrell Brock Jr., the state Republican Party chairman, brokered Transportation Cabinet and even some Commerce Cabinet positions while he was a key aide to the governor, e-mail records show.

Specifically, Brock worked on-and-off for four months to secure a promotion for the son of a Republican state representative even though transportation personnel officials challenged the son's qualifications.

E-mails, obtained yesterday by the Herald-Leader through an open-records request, show for the first time that Brock was actively involved in job candidate recruitment and hiring across state government.

Only last weekend, Brock dodged an attempt by his former boss, Gov. Ernie Fletcher, to oust him as party chairman. The governor's office wouldn't say yesterday whether Brock's e-mails were part of the reason Fletcher wanted Brock removed.
Doug Doerting was questioned about another state worker being denied a promotion.

Sad news for St. Louis yesterday. Chris Carpenter got his first loss since June. He picked up the loss against the Brewers' Chris Capuano. Mark Mulder starts today. Jeff Suppan starts on Sunday while Monday is an open date. Albert Pujols could still be the 2nd fastest to 200 career home runs.

The Boston Red Sox lead the MLB with 863 runs. Manny Ramirez has joined David Ortiz and Yaz in the consecutive 40 home runs club. Ortiz has set the club record for two consecutive seasons with 87 home runs.

A review from Paul McCartney's concert in Philadelphia.

Commander in Chief debuts this upcoming week on ABC at 9:00 PM.

Governor-for-now Ernie Fletcher is, well, on his own. Sure, Steve Pence may be saying he supports him but he's probably getting ready to make his own for governor which ultimately screws Secretary of State Trey Grayson's plans to run for Governor in 6 years or so. I like Trey but I know I cannot vote for or endorse him as I will abide by Section H of the state party by-laws unlike somebody I know...(inserts reminder that the Cats performance in addition to an alarm clocking going off this morning has led this to a bad day).
Rep. Geoff Davis, the Hebron Republican, has said he believes the investigation into Fletcher's hiring practices was politically motivated. But Davis declined to discuss the executive committee's decision to keep Brock as chairman. "We will support the decision of the executive committee," said Davis spokeswoman Jessica Towhey.

Rep. Anne Northup, the Louisville Republican who is often mentioned as a possible challenger to Fletcher, had no comment, her office said. Spokesmen for the state's other three Republican congressmen didn't bother to return a reporter's phone call.

Even Rep. Ben Chandler, the Versailles Democrat who lost the governor's race to Fletcher in 2003 and was later elected to Fletcher's old seat in Congress, has refused to speak publicly about the mess he has made in Frankfort. What's the point in trying to bring down an old foe when he's crashing on his own?
Alan Rosenberg is the new president of the Screen Actors Guild.

Sunday News Shows:
Meet the Press Guests: Federal, state and local officials on hurricane recovery efforts.

This Week Guests: Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, and John McCain, R-Ariz; Donna Brazile, Democratic strategist; David Gergen, former presidential adviser.

Face the Nation On hurricane activities. Guests to be announced.

CNN Late Edition Guests: Sens. David Vitter, R-La., Mary Landrieu, D-La., Susan Collins, R-Maine, Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., and John Cornyn, R-Texas; American Red Cross President Marty Evans; New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson; American Petroleum Institute President Red Cavaney.

Fox News Sunday Guests: Sens. David Vitter, R-La. and John Cornyn, R-Texas; golfers Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player.
I'm all hurricaned out myself.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Please for the hope of Kentucky!

To Rep. Ben Chandler, Treasurer Jonathan Miller, State Auditor Crit Luallen, or anyone out there listening:
We need a candidate to announce NOW that they are running for Governor in 2007!

I am getting sick and tired of reading about Governor-for-now Ernie Fletcher. Democrats need to step up an announce their candidacies as soon as possible.

Hope is on the way. Maybe not today, but hopefully, soon...

We need a strong candidate for Governor that can win in the state.

Don't blame me, I VOTED for Ben Chandler and Charlie Owen. I'm prouder than ever to say that.

Bayh says No to John Roberts

Evan Bayh will vote NO on John Roberts, the Supreme Court Chief Justice nominee.
Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh said Friday he will vote against the nomination of Judge John G. Roberts Jr. to be the next chief justice of the United States because not enough is known about how Roberts will act.

"I cannot (conclude he'll be a great justice) because so much essential to reaching a considered judgment about this nominee remains unknown," Bayh said in a statement. "And that is not enough for a lifetime appointment to our nation’s highest court, a court from which there is no appeal, a court that is the ultimate arbiter of our most basic rights and freedoms."
This news is pleasing considering as little as I know about John Roberts because not many papers are being released. Plus, Roberts' records on equality issues like civil rights does not look so good. Here is the statement in full, of what was not on the Indy Star website:
Statement of Senator Bayh on Judge John Roberts

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Evan Bayh today released the following statement on the nomination of Judge John Roberts to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States:

"The outcome of John Roberts’ confirmation process is not in doubt. He will be the next Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. Like all Americans regardless of party, I hope and pray that he will be a great Chief Justice. Time will tell.

"But I am troubled that I must hope and pray for that result and cannot conclude it with greater certainty. I cannot because so much essential to reaching a considered judgment about this nominee remains unknown. And that is not enough for a lifetime appointment to our nation’s highest court, a court from which there is no appeal, a court that is the ultimate arbiter of our most basic rights and freedoms.

"It did not need to be this way. When I introduced Judge Roberts at his confirmation hearing, I said that I looked forward to a full and clarifying discussion of his views. Regrettably, that did not happen.

"A more forthcoming process - one in which the White House released all important, relevant documents and one in which questions were answered forthrightly - could have filled in the empty spaces, resolved doubts and warranted my support. The nominee was not well-served by a process designed to maintain ambiguity rather than resolve it. Voting to confirm a nominee to the Supreme Court must be more than an act of faith.

"Much of my thinking involves what it means for the Senate to "advise and consent," who bears the burden of proof and how to resolve ambiguity and address the unknown.

"‘Advise and consent’ must mean more than ascertaining collegiality and strength of resume. Those things are essential, but not enough. More important are a nominee’s beliefs. On this score, in too many important areas, we can only speculate.

"John Roberts had less than two years on the Court of Appeals and issued very few opinions to shed light on his approach as a judge to significant constitutional issues.

"Prior to that, he was a lawyer in private practice. A successful lawyer, but according to his own testimony, the beliefs he represented were his clients, not his own. So there’s little to be learned from that time in his career beyond what we already know - he’s an effective advocate for others’ beliefs. The question is, what are his own?

"And then we get to his public service.

"His statements on equal rights and discrimination against woman while serving in the executive branch are extremely troubling. For example, he argued that a high school student who was sexually harassed by a teacher had no remedy under Title IX-the Supreme Court disagreed with him in a unanimous decision.

"Unlike some, I don’t believe that Judge Roberts’ statements as a young lawyer must reflect his views today. My views have certainly evolved since my twenties, and I assume that Judge Roberts’ have as well. However, all we can do is assume, because when presented with the opportunity to disavow the positions in his memos, Roberts refused. His answer, that he was a lawyer arguing the position of the Administration, doesn’t address these concerns. For a lifetime appointment to the nation’s highest court, assumption alone does not meet the burden of proof.

"Nor has this burden been met by someone who seeks to resolve doubt by generalities such as, ‘I will follow the rule of law.’ Surely, more is needed. But in too many instances, this is all we have.

"So, as an American and fellow Hoosier, I wish soon-to-be Chief Justice Roberts well. I hope he will strike the right balance between the role of the judiciary and the other branches of government, between the role of the executive branch and the legislative branch, between the role of the federal government and the states, and between individual rights enshrined in our Constitution and the rights of the majority as determined by election, between the need for dynamic change in the law and the importance of stability. I hope. I hope, because based on the record before us, it is impossible to know.

"Regrettably, therefore, I cannot vote to confirm, not because I oppose John Roberts, but because we simply do not know enough about his views on critical issues to make a considered judgment. And that is the standard that must be met for a lifetime appointment to our nation’s highest court."