Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The Teaser

This is just a teaser. The real thing won't be shot until next month.

History repeats itself

Last year, it was during Lach's show on a Thursday night.

This year, it was during Terry's show on a Wednesday afternoon. Apparently, Terry had his facts wrong and said I was a UK student.

UK Senior Night

Thank you to:
Lukasz "Woo" Obrzut
Bobby Perry
Sheray Thomas

Time to get ready for dinner and the 6:30 PM pregame show. The sun shines bright...

Not much going on here...

Taking a quick break from studying to update the blog.

Senator Edwards apologized for his vote in 2002 to authorize the use of force in Iraq.

The lesser known candidates in 2008 are going to have to speak up in order to get their message across. The joys of the media making this a two person race.

Some Purim tidbits from AISH dealing with tomorrow's Fast of Esther.
1) The fast begins at dawn ("Alot Hashachar") and ends after nightfall ("Tzait Hakochavim").

2) No eating or drinking is permitted. Though other aspects -- like wearing shoes and washing -- are permitted.

3) Since this is not a major fast, pregnant or nursing women are exempt from the fast, as are moderately ill people. If one is otherwise healthy but has a headache and finds it difficult to fast, he may eat, but is obligated to "make up" the fast another time. In all cases, a competent rabbi should be consulted.

4) If the 13th falls on Shabbat, we don't fast that day, due to the honor of Shabbat. The fast is not even held on Friday, since this would adversely affect Shabbat preparations. Rather, we observe the fast on Thursday, the 11th of Adar.

5) It is customary to extend the fast until after the Megillah is read. (Except in walled cities, where the Megillah is read on the night of the 15th.)

6) During the afternoon Mincha prayers, the paragraph of Aneinu is added to the silent Amidah, during the blessing of Shema Koleinu. In both Shacharit and Mincha, the chazan inserts Aneinu as a separate blessing between Geulah and Refuah.

7) As on other public fasts, the Torah reading of Vayechal Moshe (Exodus 32:11-14, 34:1-10) is read both at Shacharit and Mincha.

8) If a Brit Milah falls on the Fast of Esther, the Seudat Mitzvah should be be postponed until the evening. The father, mother, and Sandek may even eat during the afternoon of the fast day, since it is considered like their "holiday." (Sha'ar HaTziun 686:16)

9) Avinu Malkeinu is said only in Shacharit, but not in Mincha. (An exception is if Purim falls on Sunday and the fast is observed on Thursday, then Avinu Malkeinu is in fact said in Mincha.)
Make sure to sign this petition dealing with keeping the pressure on Iran!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Indiana Jones 4 to start shooting this summer

The movie, to be directed by Steven Spielberg, is a long time overdue. I've been waiting a long time for this film and I hope that both George Lucas and Steven Spielberg are wise and have another Star Wars alumnus cast...Natalie Portman as the daughter of Indiana Jones 4. I can wish. Her name has been rumored to be a part for some time. Spielberg has confirmed that the movie will shoot this summer.
the ever-so-swanky Governors Ball on Oscar night, the Eastwoods took up the hottest position in what is a huge ballroom, with Steven Spielberg, Kate Capshaw and Francis Ford Coppola.

The Oscar cast’s writer Bruce Vilanch proudly told me after the show, “The three directors —Spielberg, Coppola, George Lucas — got real laughs.”

Coppola, who’d been nervous on the red carpet, admitted he had good comic timing after all!

Dina Eastwood raised a champagne glass at the Governors Ball.

“I’m not bitter,” she said. “But winning is better!” Everyone laughed.

Spielberg, who produced Clint’s extraordinary “Letters From Iwo Jima,” was effusive in his praise for his friend.

“No one ever tried to do anything like it before, to make the two movies [the other, 'Flags of Our Fathers'] about the same issue, and to tell the story from the Japanese side,” Spielberg said.

Spielberg, by the way, tells me that production on “Indiana Jones 4” begins June 18.

Other news...

While I've been busy working on another script, taking a nap, and answering some questions at other blogs today, I haven't had as much time to really post here--hence the late night post last night.

I do not find myself in agreement with Senator Edwards with regards to a treaty with Iran.
"I wouldn't give away anything until it became clear what the intent of Iran was, that they've given up any nuclear ambition, that they would no longer sponsor Hezbollah, Hamas and other terrorist organizations," Edwards told ABC News, in an interview to be broadcast on "Nightline" Monday night. "So there would be huge jumps and these things would all have to be verifiable. We'd have to be certain that they were occurring in order to get to that stage. But I think we would consider all of our relations on the table."

Edwards' willingness to pursue a nonaggression pact with the Iranian government could put him at odds not just with President Bush, but also with his Democratic rivals, none of whom has gone as far in advocating an alternative to the administration's increasingly confrontational stance toward Tehran. But Edwards' statement could win him support of many Democratic primary voters, who are deeply mistrustful of the president's policies and motives and deeply concerned about the possibility of another war in the Middle East.

In the "Nightline" interview, Edwards also specifically refused to say whether, as president, he would be willing to use military force to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.
As a centrist Democrat, I would tend to agree with this assessment with regards to the party.
"It really limits our choices," says a prominent Democratc organizer who had close ties not only to Vilsack, but also to two other centrists who decided not to run -- Indiana Senator and former Governor Evan Bayh and former Virginia Governor Mark Warner.

An additional problem is that the Democratic front runners are all veterans of Washington and have no experience actually running a government. Clinton and Obama are senators, and Edwards is a former senator. In recent years, it has been governors who gave the Democrats their White House successes -- former Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton in 1992 and 1996, and former Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter in 1976. Party insiders say New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson could fill the bill, but he lags far behind the front runners in national and state polls, and apparently in the money race.
In other news dealing with Iran, here's what Senator Chuck Hagel had to say.
Hagel, the most strident anti-Iraq war critic in the Republican Party and a potential presidential candidate, addressed the Jewish Council for Public Affairs plenum in Washington on Monday.

“By refusing to engage with Iran, we are perpetuating dangerous geopolitical unpredictabilities,” Hagel said.

“Our refusal to recognize Iran’s influence does not decrease its influence, but increases it.”

The Bush administration, backed by much of the pro-Israel community, rejects deep engagement as long as Iran does not come clean about its nuclear ambitions.

Hagel was well received at the plenum, which formulates Jewish community policy through national consensus.


I just want to state, for the record, that I still support Tubby Smith as the head coach of the men's basketball program at the University of Kentucky. While these losses are heartbreaking for all of us fans in Big Blue Nation, we have to accept the fact that recruiting could have been better. We should have recruited Lofton instead of Rondo.

I'm no public figure....

But I'm no dork either. Please excuse me for a second while I go look up the definition of libel and slander...

The One Year Anniversary

It's the one year anniversary of the release of the worst video ever.

Here is my note published on facebook:
Tuesday, February 27, 2007, marks the one year anniversary of the most controversial video ever released in history!

There's a whole question as to whether or not there will be a sequel. To be honest, I don't know. I've not given it much thought and to be honest, I don't want to go near an editing machine.

In the past year, a bunch of folks have asked, "Solzy, when are you doing stand-up again?"

They get the same answer. "I don't know."

Then I get the most frequently asked question: "Will there be a sequel?"

I don't know. If I do one, I won't edit it and I would have to make sure it was well-rehearsed to the point where we aren't reading off the script like in the one scene of the video...and to be honest, I didn't even write that stanza!!

Would I like to do a sequel? I guess so, maybe, I don't know. It's a matter of timing and finding the time to write a good script, rehearsing, and shooting while taking 18 hours in a semester and still having to CLEP another 3 hours in principles of marketing in order to graduate on time.

I love filmmaking but for the life of me, I will never touch an editing machine!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Say a prayer

I hope that should there be a fund set up for the Crawford family that it would not be in violation of any NCAA rule.

The Cincinnati Post reported on it today which could explain Crawford's play as of late.
The family has been relocated temporarily to a hotel and Sylvia believes it will be several months before they can move back into their home.

Crawford wasn't available to speak to reporters after the game.

"He took it a lot harder than I realized," Sylvia said. "He wasn't there.

"He was just as devastated as everyone else. He has been calling a few times a day to check on us. But we're fine. We feel truly blessed because we weren't home when it happened and no one was hurt."

The rooms of all three of her sons were destroyed, however, and Sylvia said the family was going to try to get replicas of Crawford's basketball plaques, trophies and memorabilia that had been burned.

"We lost every single award that he ever had," Sylvia said. "That is the most devastating part about it.

"He said he's fine if we just have some pictures, but I'm going to try to contact each organization such as the McDonald's All-America people to see if we can get a copy."
The blaze occured on February 17, the day that UK lost to Alabama.

Steve Pence endorses Northup

Lt. Governor Steve Pence has endorsed former Congresswoman Anne Northup for Governor.

Are you kidding?

Seriously, has it really been one year? I still get a laugh out of all that drama created.

Vas nu?

While the early polls for president may be unpredictable, they are important with the fact that they have shown some clues in the past.
For at least three decades, Republicans have been far better than Democrats in early polls at getting behind the candidates who end up winning the party's presidential nomination.

Note that Edmund Muskie in 1972, George Wallace in 1976, Ted Kennedy in 1980, Gary Hart in 1988, Mario Cuomo in 1992 and Joe Lieberman in 2004 were early front-runners among Democrats. None won the nomination.

Republicans have picked the early front-runner in seven of the past 10 elections, according to Gallup polling. In the other three elections, Republican incumbents cruised to re-election.

Democrats nominated a former vice president, Walter Mondale, in 1984, and a sitting vice president, Al Gore, in 2000. For those elections, the early polls were more predictable at picking the front-runner.
Here's this:
Gallup polling over the past three decades shows Republican front-runners usually win their party's nomination, but Democrats do not. Some elections:
February 1971: Edmund Muskie, 26 percent; Edward Kennedy, 25; Hubert Humphrey, 21; John Lindsay and George McGovern, each at 5.
McGovern won the nomination and lost the general election to President Nixon.
February 1975: George Wallace, 22 percent; Humphrey, 16; Henry Jackson, 13; McGovern, 10; Muskie, 9. Jimmy Carter was at 1 percent with 10 candidates in front of him. Carter won the general election, defeating President Ford.
March 1975: Gerald Ford 34, Ronald Reagan 22, Barry Goldwater 17.
February 1979: Kennedy, 60 percent; Carter, 28.
Carter lost the general election to Reagan.
February 1979: Reagan, 31 percent; Ford, 26; John Connally, 12.
April 1983: Walter Mondale, 29 percent; John Glenn, 23; Gary Hart, 4.
Mondale won the nomination and lost the general election to Reagan.
January 1987: Hart, 30 percent; Lee Iacocca, 14; Jesse Jackson, 13. Michael Dukakis was at 1 percent with seven people in front of him.
Dukakis won the nomination and lost the general election to Vice President George H.W. Bush.
January 1987: Bush, 33 percent; Bob Dole 16, Howard Baker and Pat Robertson, each at 6.
February 1991: Mario Cuomo, 18 percent; Jackson, 12; McGovern, 9; Richard Gephardt, 8. Bill Clinton was at 2 percent with 10 people in front of him.
Clinton won the nomination and beat Bush in the general election.
February 1995: Dole, 38 percent; Dan Quayle, 17; Newt Gingrich and Phil Gramm, each at 7.
Dole won the nomination and lost to Clinton in the general election.
January 1999: Al Gore, 47 percent; Gephardt, 13; Bill Bradley, 12; Jackson, 11.
January 1999: George W. Bush, 42; Elizabeth Dole, 22; John McCain; 8; Quayle, 6.
Bush beat Gore in the general election.
January 2003: Joe Lieberman, 17 percent; John Kerry, 16; John Edwards and Gephardt, each at 13.
Kerry won the nomination and lost to Bush in the general election.
Mid-February 2007: Hillary Rodham Clinton, 41 percent; Barack Obama, 21; Gore, 14; Edwards, 13. Other candidates' support was less than 5 percent.
Mid-February 2007: Rudy Giuliani, 40 percent; McCain, 24; Gingrich, 9; Mitt Romney, 5. Other candidates' support was less than 5 percent.
The WaPo looks at six degrees of former Senator Tom Daschle.

Here is an interesting tidbit on Al Sharpton and Strom Thurmond.
The Rev. Al Sharpton, the prominent civil rights activist, is descended from a slave owned by relatives of the late senator and one-time segregationist Strom Thurmond, a genealogical study released Sunday reported.

"It was probably the most shocking thing of my life," Sharpton said of learning the findings, which were requested and published Sunday by the New York Daily News. He called a news conference to respond publicly to the report. "I couldn't describe to you the emotions I have had...everything from anger to outrage to reflection to some pride and glory."[...]

The newfound knowledge that his great-grandfather was a slave, Sharpton added, gave him a new perspective on his life.

"You think about the distance that you've come, you think about how brutal it was, you think about how life must have been like for him. And then you start wondering whether or not he would be proud or disappointed in what we have done," Sharpton said, with his eldest daughter, Dominique, 20, at his side.

The revelation was particularly stunning for the juxtaposition of the two men's public lives.

Sharpton, known for his fiery rhetoric and a tendency to intervene as an advocate in racially charged incidents, ran for president in 2004 on a ticket promoting racial justice. Thurmond made his own bid for the presidency in 1948, promising to preserve racial segregation, and in 1957 he filibustered for more than 24 hours against a civil rights bill.

After his death in 2003, though, it became clear that Thurmond had a complicated history with issues of race. A 78-year-old retired schoolteacher, Essie Mae Washington-Williams, revealed that she was the offspring of his extramarital relationship with his family's black housekeeper.

"In the story of the Thurmonds and the Sharptons is the story of the shame and the glory of America," Sharpton said Sunday.
While we're on the subject of geneology, I am able to trace my family back to biblical times while skipping many generations.

Lindsay Beyerstein writes about why she refused to blog for John Edwards.

2008: Al Gore for President

The best thing that would benefit the Democratic Party right now would be for former Vice President Al Gore to come out of retirement and just make the announcement that he is in the race.

My short list is getting shorter and shorter all the time by candidates dropping out or shooting themselves in the foot--that's why I'm no longer backing Senator John Edwards in 2008.

Al Gore was a former Senator and elected Vice President in 1992 and 1996. He won in 2000 but the court appointed George Bush as president.

I hope Gore does run. I'd support him over whoever is running so far.

After all, he would be the only candidate who starred in an Oscar-winning documentary (An Inconvenient Truth).

Sunday, February 25, 2007

79th Annual Academy Award (Oscar) Winners

Live-blogging will commence shortly...
ACHIEVEMENT IN ART DIRECTION: Eugenio Caballero, Pilar Revuelta (Pan's Labyrinth)
Gordon E. Sawyer Award: Ray Feeney
(Will Ferrell and Jack Black have a musical act and John C. Reilly joins in the fun)
ACHIEVEMENT IN MAKEUP: David Martí, Montse Ribé (Pan's Labyrinth)
BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM: The Danish Poet (Torill Kove)
BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM: West Bank Story (Ari Sandel)
(Hollywood Sound Effects Choir)
ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND EDITING: Alan Robert Murray, Bub Asman, Letters from Iwo Jima
ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND MIXING: Michael Minkler, Bob Beemer, Willie D. Burton, Dreamgirls
(Ellen pitches a script to Martin Scorsese)
(James Taylor and Randy Newman perform "Our Town" from Cars. Melissa Etheridge performs "I Need to Wake Up" from An Inconvenient Truth.)
(Al Gore announces that he is just there for the movies and talks about the climate crisis. For the first time, the Oscars have gone green. The vice president recieves a long and loud applause. Vice President Gore announces that he will take the opportunity to announce "my attentions to" and he then gets cut off by the music.)
ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: William Monahan, The Departed
ACHIEVEMENT IN COSTUME DESIGN: Milena Canonero, Marie Antoinette
The Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award: Sherry Lansing
(Clint Eastwood is now jealous that she has no script for him. She wants a photo for her myspace. Steven Spielberg takes it of them.)
ACHIEVEMENT IN CINEMATOGRAPHY: Guillermo Navarro, Pan's Labyrinth
ACHIEVEMENT IN VISUAL EFFECTS: John Knoll, Hal T. Hickel, Charles Gibson, Allen Hall, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
(A look at the last 50 years of foreign language films.)
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM OF THE YEAR: The Lives of Others (Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck)
(George Clooney does not think that former Vice President Al Gore is running for president.)
BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT: The Blood of Yingzhou District (Ruby Yang, Thomas Lennon)
(Ah, Jerry Seinfeld. He talks about the movies being overpriced and the lack of people picking up their own garbage.)
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: An Inconvenient Truth (Davis Guggenheim) (Al Gore was not a producer of the film but a star. Climate crisis is not a political issue but a moral issue.)
Academy Honorary Award: Ennio Morricone
(When did Jack Nicholson shave is head?)
(Academy president Sid Ganis talks about the Academy is under a minute.)
ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Michael Arndt, Little Miss Sunshine
ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC WRITTEN FOR MOTION PICTURES (ORIGINAL SONG): Melissa Etheridge, "I Need to Wake Up" (An Inconvenient Truth)
ACHIEVEMENT IN FILM EDITING: Thelma Schoonmaker, The Departed
(Tribute to those that have died in the past year.)
(Ellen forgets that the show isn't over.)
(Ellen vacuums the carpet.)
PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE: Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland)
(Forest appears a little bit on the nervous side which is completely understandable. Was there anyone he didn't thank?)
(Three very talented directors Steven Spielberg, Francis Ford Coppola, and George Lucas present the nominees for best director. George never won an award. Lucas says it is better to give and recieve.)
ACHIEVEMENT IN DIRECTING: Martin Scorsese (The Departed)
(Scorsese is overwelmed and moved that his old friends presented the award. I'm glad for Marty. He deserved it. This was a film that I regret not seeing yet but if it's on DVD, I hope to see it next week.)

Here's my original predictions for this year's awards. Here's how well I did: 8/24


What is going on with the state of Kentucky basketball? This season is already starting to become a disappointment! So much for the omen of all my favorite teams least from a professional standpoint!!

The University of Kentucky Wildcats men's basketball program is supposed to be a tradition unlike any other. What has happened to that in the past couple of years?!? Recruiting hasn't helped much. Smith went after Rondo knowing all he wanted was to go pro. To Derrick Jasper, when will you take a shot--47 out of 70?!? Only 3 made three pointers out of 12 attempted?!? This does not add up.

Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson has kicked off his campaign for re-election as mayor.

Stumbo has hurt his political career.

While I'm not actively supporting Edwards as much as I did lately, I thought I would relay his statement upon Vilsack dropping out.
"Tom Vilsack is a terrific human being and one of the genuine treasures of our Party, so it is our loss more than his that he has chosen to end his campaign for president. His record as a leader on critical issues including education, health care, and energy independence makes one thing very clear: Tom has never forgotten where he came from or the people he serves. He is a powerful voice for the people of Iowa and America, and I am proud to call him a friend. Elizabeth and I wish Tom, Christie and their entire family the very best life can offer and look forward to working with them in the years ahead to build a country that lives up to its great promise."
Former Sen. Daschle will consider a slot for Vice President in 2008.

Democratic candidates for governor are, thankfully, voicing support of expanded gaming in the commonwealth.

Crowley takes a look at the candidates for governor.

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barack recently spoke at SLU.
However, Barak said during peace talks at Camp David in 2000, he found little willingness from Palestinian leaders to seriously negotiate. He said peace between Israelis and Palestinians would remain elusive until a strong Palestinian leader comes forward.

"I think we have not choice but to wait for a leader to emerge on the Palestinian side with the character of [the late Egyptian President Anwar al] Sadat," Barak said.

During a short question and answer session after his talk, Barak was asked if Israel's need for security outweighed Palestinians' rights.

"We fully recognize the right of Palestinians to have an independent state. I jokingly call them the Jews of the Arab world. But as a society, their leaders are either blind or haunted by their hatred of Israel," he said.

"You have to look with open eyes at the situation. What Palestinian leaders are interested in is not correcting '67, but '47: the founding of the independent Jewish Zionist State," he said.

"We will never be apologetic about our ability to protect ourselves from terrorism," Barak said.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Shavuah tov!

There will be light blogging in the next week due to midterms.

Thank you for understanding!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Vilsack quits the race

In a shocking announcement, it appears that former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack has decided to end his bid for president in 2008. I'm not surprised as it's really become a three way race between Obama, Edwards, and Clinton.
Former Iowa governor Tom Vilsack, who was the first Democrat to announce his candidacy for president in 2008 but has found it difficult to raise the money needed to compete against his better-known rivals, will quit the race today, according to several campaign officials.

Vilsack's abrupt decision underscored the financial challenges facing lesser-known candidates as they try to compete for contributions against New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Illinois Sen. Barack Obama and highlighted how the intense start to the 2008 campaign has dramatically escalated the cost of running even in the opening months of competition.

"This is a nomination process on steroids," said a Vilsack adviser, who asked not to be identified in order to let the former governor speak publicly about the decision to quit the race. "It started earlier than anybody expected and it's requiring more money than ever before."

The adviser said the former governor would not endorse any of the other candidates today but would not rule out an endorsement later. His decision to quit the race will intensify the competition in Iowa, whose precinct caucuses are scheduled to start the nomination process next Jan. 14.
ETA: Governor Vilsack sent this message out to his mailing list:
Dear Friends,

I am very fortunate -- blessed in love, family, friends, job, and by this campaign.

I have the boldest plan to get us out of Iraq and a long-term policy for energy security to keep us out of future oil wars. Our campaign has built the strongest organization here in Iowa, with almost 3,000 supporters among Democratic caucus goers. We are organizationally positioned to win the caucuses in January 2008. We have everything to win the nomination and general election.

Everything except money.

That is why this morning after discussing with my wife Christie and our sons Jess and Doug we have decided to end our campaign for the presidency.

Thousands of you have given so generously of your time, energy and money. And together, we've built a campaign that has stood up and taken courageous stands on the issues that our country must face. In just the past few weeks, we've shaped the debate on the Iraq War and laid out an aggressive plan to achieve energy independence and security.

I firmly believe that our leadership on these issues ­ -- the defining issues of our time ­ -- will be recognized for years to come.

In recent weeks, just as our message has begun to resonate with voters and pundits alike, our fundraising has suffered. The fact is, each hour I spend with voters, press and policy experts is an hour taken away from our campaign paying bills.

More than any other race in history, this presidential campaign will require candidates to commit more time, energy and influence raising money than developing ideas. I worry that this process, involving hundreds of millions of dollars, holds our democracy hostage to insiders, influence and establishment when we are so in need of just the opposite.

But this is a fact I cannot change with this campaign.

I am leaving one campaign, but I am not saying goodbye. I will continue to fight for outsiders and underdogs who are the backbone of the Democratic Party and our country. Our work is far from over. Because here in Iowa ­where the first caucus will be held in less than 11 months ­ and all across this great country, voters are longing for bold leadership, big ideas and courage from our elected officials.

We want the war to end ­ -- today.

We want a real plan to provide universal access to healthcare ­ -- today.

And we want policies to keep us secure and environmentally sound by ending our addiction to oil, both foreign and domestic.

Again, thank you for everything you've done. It has been an inspiring few months and I know that, with your continued support, our work is not over.

With great appreciation,

Tom Vilsack

First, they went after Bill Scheft...

SI canned Bill Scheft a while back and now they decided to get rid of Steve Rushin.

This doesn't look good on the part of Sports Illustrated to get rid of my favorite writers. Once they decide to can Rick Reilly and it will be the end of SI as we very well know it.

I miss reading the weekly jokes by Bill Scheft and now I'll miss Rushin's weekly column.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Late Night with Jimmy Fallon?

From the New York Times, I've learned that NBC is seriously considering former Saturday Night Live actor Jimmy Fallon as a prime candidate for the Late Night spot. A while back, I read that Robert Smigel's name was being considered. Of course, there's the chance that they could go with an unknown comedian but who really knows.
NBC may be quietly looking to put some possible late-night reinforcements in place for its big transition two years from now when Conan O’Brien replaces Jay Leno as host of The Tonight Show.

One move is expected to involve signing Jimmy Fallon, a former star of NBC’s Saturday Night Live, to what is known as a holding deal. It would bring him back to the network and put him in position to be a prime contender for Mr. O’Brien’s job as host of NBC’s Late Night show, at 12:35 a.m.

Executives aware of the negotiations said NBC had been in talks with Mr. Fallon and his representatives for a deal that would make his television services exclusive to the network. One of those executives, who did not want to be identified because the deal has not yet been signed, said the deal could include a crack at the “Late Night” host role, though it was by no means guaranteed.

As with all job openings in the late-night arena, names emerge as stars (and their agents) begin positioning themselves. NBC already has an in-house candidate, Carson Daly, who since 2002 has been the host of another successful late night show, Last Call, which follows Late Night, at 1:35 a.m. Mr. Daly has said he would like to be considered for that show.
If NBC is smart, they would choose Jimmy Fallon over Carson Daly. I refuse to watch Carson Daly even if I am up that late to watch it occasionally.
Such a deal would essentially secure Mr. Fallon for future, unspecified television work. He could, for example, develop other shows for NBC, like a situation comedy, and not move into the network’s late-night lineup.

But having a familiar comic star like Mr. Fallon available to take over Mr. O’Brien’s show would be consistent with the pattern NBC has established in previous late-night lineup changes. In the early 1980s, before NBC produced a 12:30 show, it signed David Letterman to a holding deal that retained his services after the morning show for which he was the host failed. Mr. Letterman was then available when NBC decided to expand its late-night programming with a new show in February 1982.

Not every holding deal has led to a spot in late night. In the early 1990s with Johnny Carson’s retirement nearing, NBC signed deals with several comics, including Dennis Miller (who like Mr. Fallon had been a Saturday Night Live star) and a well-regarded stand-up named Jerry Seinfeld. Mr. Seinfeld got a deal to develop a sitcom, though the network was mainly interested in him as a potential late-night star.

Later NBC offered Dana Carvey, another former Saturday Night Live star, a job that would have placed him in the Late Night chair after Mr. Letterman left for CBS. Mr. Carvey ultimately turned down the offer.

That’s when NBC turned to Mr. O’Brien, who was not a comic but a comedy writer. He too had connections to Saturday Night Live, where he had served as a writer before moving on to The Simpsons.
It does help Jimmy Fallon's resume that he is still close with Late Night's executive producer Lorne Michaels.
Mr. Fallon, 32, fits the pattern of late-night host-in-waiting in several respects, beginning with his work, from 1998 through 2004, on “Saturday Night Live,” which made him familiar to millions of late-night comedy viewers. He emerged as a breakout star when he was made the co-host of that show’s “Weekend Update” segments with Tina Fey.

By all accounts Mr. Fallon remains close Lorne Michaels, the executive producer of “Saturday Night Live” and an executive producer “Late Night,” who was instrumental in choosing Mr. O’Brien for that show. Mr. Michaels will be deeply involved in choosing a successor to Mr. O’Brien. Mr. Michaels has said he is still “a big fan of Jimmy’s.”
We're a few years away so who knows what will happen.

Stumbo threatens unions

Greg Stumbo has threatened two unions that refuse to consider endorsing the Lunsford-Stumbo ticket. Perhaps Stumbo should have thought about this before he decided to end his political career by joining a ticket with Bruce Lunsford.
He said he was upset with the unions and thought it was unfair of them to exclude his ticket from the endorsement process.

The allegations were made by Steve Earle, a lobbyist for the United Mine Workers union, and Charles Wells, executive director of the Kentucky Association of State Employees.

The UMW and the state employees’ association both announced in the past week that they would not consider endorsing Lunsford for governor.

Another group of labor unions announced Monday that they would “aggressively educate” their members about the “sins” of Bruce Lunsford, who dropped out of the Democratic gubernatorial primary in 2003 and later endorsed Republican Ernie Fletcher, the eventual winner, in the general election.

Earle said Stumbo called him Monday after the UMW sent out a press release announcing its decision not to consider endorsing the Lunsford-Stumbo ticket.

Earle said Stumbo told him, “You stabbed me in the back, and now I’m going to stick a knife in yours.”
It seems a bit too early to be making presidential endorsements but it appears that former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle has decided to endorse Barack Obama for president.

California has moved their primary to February 2008.

The state house has passed an increase in minimum wage. This is, by far, a good move.

Back to Obama, it appears that there is a feud between his campaign and that of Senator Hillary Clinton. I'll sit back and watch how that plays out.
The back-and-forth between the two campaigns has largely been fodder for political insiders. Yesterday, however, David Geffen, the music and film producer who is one of the party's most prominent donors, made the fight more public. In an interview with New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, Geffen said that Clinton is "the easiest to beat" of the Democratic field and skewered her unwillingness to apologize for her 2002 vote to use force in Iraq. "It's not a very big thing to say 'I made a mistake' on the war, and typical of Hillary Clinton that she can't," Geffen said.

Geffen, who was a co-host of an Obama fundraiser Tuesday night in Los Angeles, saved even sharper criticism for former president Bill Clinton, to whom he was close before a falling-out over the pardoning of financier Marc Rich at the end of Clinton's second term. "I don't think anybody believes that in the last six years, all of a sudden Bill Clinton has become a different person," Geffen said in an oblique reference to questions surrounding the former president's private life.

After seeing the comments yesterday morning, the Clinton campaign immediately issued a call for Obama to disavow Geffen's remarks and return his $2,300 donation, arguing that they were contrary to Obama's pledge to run a positive campaign.

"A day after Barack Obama goes out and eschews the politics of slash-and-burn, his campaign embraces the politics of trash," said Phil Singer, Clinton's deputy communications director, referring to a speech Obama made Tuesday in Las Vegas.

Obama communications director Robert Gibbs took a markedly different course. After refusing to get in the "middle of a disagreement between the Clintons and someone who was once one of their biggest supporters," Gibbs pointed out that Hillary Clinton had recently praised Robert Ford, another South Carolina state senator who endorsed her and said the Democratic ticket would be in serious trouble if Obama was the nominee because of the color of his skin. Clinton distanced herself from that remark, and Ford later apologized for it.

Obama weighed in later. "It's not clear to me why I would be apologizing for someone else's remarks," he said in Iowa, where he had gone instead of the candidates forum because of a prior commitment. "My sense is that Mr. Geffen may have differences with the Clintons, but that doesn't really have anything to do with our campaign."
Why should Obama apoloogize for remarks made from someone else? Seriously, why? It makes no sense to me.

Miller-Maze to release finance data

The Miller-Maze slate will voluntarily reveal their campaign finance data tomorrow.
The Miller-Maze campaign will voluntarily disclose campaign finances for the 90-day pre-election period tomorrow afternoon, Friday, February 23, 2007 . During a January 25 press conference outlining the candidates’ plan for restoring trust in government, Jonathan Miller and Irv Maze proposed a 90-day and 60-day pre-election report for disclosure of campaign finances.

Miller and Maze said they would voluntarily disclose for those periods this primary election, and tomorrow’s disclosure will provide information on the 90-day period ending today at midnight.

The Miller-Maze Administration will return responsible government to the people of the Commonwealth. The people of Kentucky deserve to be able to trust the people who serve them in state government. To do that, we must implement reforms in campaign finance and lobbying, and ensure accountability and openness in government.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Runoff on shelves

The bill to repeal the gubernatorial runoff looks to be shelved for a little while.
Wilkey, a member of House Democratic leadership, said deliberations on whether to abolish the runoff provision was not based on politics. And Richards has stayed out of the debate, Wilkey said.

"I know it's hard to believe, but this is really not a decision that's being driven by the politics," Wilkey told reporters. "It really is not."

Talks have hinged on the cost factor, and whether it was fair to change the election rules during the race, Wilkey said.

Grayson, Kentucky's chief election official, said one gubernatorial candidate called him in November asking about the runoff rules. That candidate, whom Grayson would not identify, entered the race partially based on having the runoff intact, he said.

"That's part of why all along I felt like you shouldn't change the rules in the middle of the race, because I saw very clearly - at least for this particular candidate - that it made an impact in his decision-making process," Grayson said.

Franklin County Clerk Guy Zeigler said he would oppose the runoff even if the state picked up the tab. There would be little time for election officials across the state to prepare for a runoff in that amount of time, Zeigler said.
For a party that claims to be of the big tent, this is a bit on the embarrassing side. I am a registered Democrat but I'm also more of a moderate Democrat. For a long time, I have advocated against the infighting. If we want to take back the White House, we won't be able to if we are advocating taking out some of our own.
The anti-Tauscher backlash illustrates how the Democratic takeover has energized and emboldened the party's liberal base, ratcheting up the pressure on the party's moderates. That pressure is also reaching House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), a San Francisco liberal who recognizes that moderate voters helped sweep Democrats into the majority. Pelosi has clashed with Tauscher in the past, but she's now eager to hold together her diverse caucus and to avoid the mistakes of GOP leaders who routinely ignored their moderates.

So far, Pelosi and her leadership team seem determined to protect Tauscher and her 60 New Democrats -- up from 47 before the election. In fact, the day after Working for Us, the new progressive political action committee, targeted Tauscher, Pelosi sought her out at a caucus meeting and assured her: "I'm not going to let this happen." House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) spent 20 minutes complaining to Working for Us founder Steve Rosenthal, who swiftly removed the hit list of "Worst Offenders" from the group's Web site.

Said Pelosi spokesman Brendan Daly: "We want to protect our incumbents. That's what we're about."

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Kentucky vs. LSU

The Wildcats will take on Louisiana State University, the first of two remaining games this season at Rupp Arena. The Wildcats are 18-8 this season and have been struggling lately in the SEC where they are (7-5). The LSU Tigers come in with a 14-12 record overall and 3-9 in the conference.

The Wildcats lead the series 76-22 and are 38-4 in Lexington. A win tonight would bring the Cats to a 400-50 record at Rupp Arena.

The last time the Cats lost 4 in a row was in 1990. Let's hope that feat doesn't happen again in Wildcat history.

Where you can hear/watch:
Big Blue Sports Network (Radio): Dave Baker, Oscar Combs, Tom Leach, Mike Pratt
ESPN (TV): Brad Nessler, Jimmy Dykes, Heather Cox

2007 UK Football Schedule

The schedule for the University of Kentucky Wildcats' 2007 football season was released today.

Sept. 1. Eastern Kentucky
Sept. 8 Kent State
Sept. 15 Louisville
Sept. 22 at Arkansas
Sept. 29 Florida Atlantic
Oct. 4 at South Carolina (ESPN)
Oct. 13 LSU
Oct. 20 Florida
Oct. 27 Mississippi State
Nov. 10 at Vanderbilt
Nov. 17 at Georgia
Nov. 24 Tennessee

About yesterday...

Due to working a basketball game and myself being completely exhausted, I did not blog yesterday.

State Treasurer Jonathan Miller recently spoke at a NFTY convention and made an appeal to preserve the environment.
“Today we issue our declaration of independence,” Miller told participants in the Reform youth movement’s 2007 convention Sunday night at the Constitution Center in Philadelphia.

Speaking under the flags of the 50 states, Miller, former president of the Reform youth movement, the North American Federation of Temple Youth, and a candidate to become the first Jewish governor of Kentucky, called for greater independence from foreign oil suppliers and for treating environmental stewardship as a sacred calling.

“We know as Jews that the environment is not a scientific issue,” Miller said.

“It is a moral issue."
With the new session beginning last month, legislation has once again been introduced in Congress dealing with global warming.
Sens. John McCain and Joe Lieberman, an Arizona Republican and a Connecticut independent, have introduced legislation that would require caps on carbon emissions. Lieberman predicted that a U.S. measure requiring cuts in greenhouse gas emissions would be law by late 2008 or early 2009.

They were among other legislators, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat with longstanding environmental credentials, who addressed a World Bank-sponsored global forum on climate change last week.

Their talk of mandatory U.S. emissions limits got a warm response from participants from the Group of Eight industrialized nations, as well as developing countries China, India, Brazil, Mexico and South Africa.
Union after union are going to be campaigning against turncoat Bruce Lunsford. This all goes back to the fall of 2003 when Bruce Lunsford, who ran in the primary as a Democrat, decided to endorse Ernie Fletcher for governor.
Kentucky’s largest labor federation said Monday it will “aggressively educate its members on why Kentucky working families cannot afford Bruce Lunsford as governor of Kentucky.”

At a news conference at Teamsters Local 783 Union Hall, a group of labor leaders gave their reasons for opposing Lunsford in the May 22 Democratic primary for governor.

Steve Neal, chairman of a coalition of seven unions called Change to Win — Kentucky, said Lunsford has given about $60,000 to Republican candidates and committees during the past 10 years. Neal noted that after Lunsford dropped out of the Democratic primary for governor in 2003, Lunsford supported Republican Gov. Ernie Fletcher’s campaign.

Neal also said Lunsford worked on a task force for Fletcher that advocated the elimination of the state Labor Cabinet.

Neal said he would not be able to support Lunsford for governor even if Lunsford wins the primary.
Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson will not run for Governor.
To put Democratic interest in Schellinger in perspective, consider this: Gregg is also a potential candidate for the party's nomination. Despite his own interest, Gregg says Schellinger is the party's "fresh face."

"I've got to be candid," he said. "His decision would make mine a lot easier."

Many other Democrats agree. It's easy to see why. Schellinger is president of a successful company (CSO Schenkel Shultz), and while he lives in Indianapolis, he has Northern Indiana connections as a South Bend native. He's tight with Peterson and U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh. He's not well-known, but most challengers aren't 21 months out.

On Monday, Schellinger said he "is looking at (the race) real seriously." He didn't criticize Daniels but said, "I just think we can do better." Expect a decision "sooner than later."

Meanwhile, Indiana Senate Democratic leader Richard Young Jr. already has formed a gubernatorial campaign committee. He wants the nomination, but it's hard to find many Democrats who think the low-key senator could beat Daniels.
HB 184 is a bad idea and I hope that it doesn't get passed. Chances are, it probably will.

Good move by UK. Having students produce and write their own shows will help with getting the hands-on experience that most jobs in that industry usually prefer that applicants have.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Debate distracts from 2008 campaign

But will it really be any different than the first campaign?
About the runoff, I certainly don't think that it should be repealed for this year. Certainly for the next election but not this election. Al Cross takes a look at who it helps and who it does not help.
It's a problem for current Senators running for president but they have to do their job if they want votes. It will be interesting to see what happens over the next year and a half. All I know is that I don't want the names Obama and Clinton to be shoved down my throat. I like Edwards and all but his campaign has already suffered a strike against him by not properly vetting the bloggers he hired.
There is a strong chance that Senator Evan Bayh could still be the Vice Presidential nominee. I wish it had been the other way around though given the strange turn of events.
"I love being in the Senate, and I'd like to make a difference here," Bayh said. "But you know, if you're president or vice president, I think you have an even greater opportunity to help our country, and that's what I'm all about."

Bayh decided in December not to run for president himself, after concluding the odds of getting the nomination were too slim. If he had stayed in the race, Bayh said he would've had to spend 80 to 90 percent of his time raising funds.

Bayh said a typical day would've been "a fundraising breakfast, getting on the phone to call people who could be potential supporters, a fundraising lunch, back on the phone, fundraising reception or dinner and then because of the three-hour time change to the West Coast, you can still call those folks out there."

Bayh's fundraising network, along with the $11 million he built up in his Senate account in anticipation of a potential presidential bid, increases his appeal as a running mate.

Email server acting up...

As a result, light blogging until it's resumed. You can still send emails but apparently, it's fine on one campus LAN but not on the other campus LAN.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Gerstein has it right.

Nothing like a C-A-T-S cheer breaking out in the chambers of the State House.

Gubernatorial candidates have pledged to run positive campaigns.
"I fully understand the ramifications of personal, negative attacks toward Democratic candidate during the primary election cycle and I recognize that such campaign tactics have the potential to damage all candidates ... and divide the party," the pledge states.[...]

But Carol Andrews, spokeswoman for Miller's campaign, noted that Lunsford made a similar promise in 2003 to stay positive. “I don’t know whether any such pledge was signed but he did make public statements that he would back the nominee and stay away from personal attacks and he did neither,” she said.

Andrews said Miller takes the pledge seriously. At the same time, contrasting records in government and business are important to allow voters to make their choice, she said.
In some other news, after giving it much thought following a scandal that recently hit the Edwards campaign, I've decided to going back and remain uncommitted for 2008. If Edwards' campaign was wise, they would have actually vetted these people rather than just recruit them based on popularity within the blogosphere. Take a look at what Dan Gerstein recently said.
If the liberal blogs want to understand why so few people outside their narrow echo chamber take them seriously, and what it will take to gain the broader credibility they crave, they should look no further than their handling of the recent flap over John Edwards’ foul-mouthed blogger hires.

This ugly morality tale - which mercifully concluded Tuesday with the second of the two offending online staffers resigning from the Edwards campaign - revealed the Kossacks in all their angry adolescent glory: impudent, impotent, unreflective and unaccountable.

Throughout the course of the controversy, the left’s bigger digital diatribers never stopped to address the substance of what the Edwards bloggers actually wrote before joining the campaign. Had the bloggers done so, they might have found the postings were widely deemed by Democrats and Republicans alike as bigoted and patently offensive to many Christians, not just devout Catholics or evangelicals.

Nor did they ever stop to think how hollow and hypocritical it sounded for the same people who ravaged George Allen, for his “macaca” moment in last year’s Virginia Senate campaign to cry “free speech” when confronted with a far more nasty, vulgar, and hurtful display of prejudice from two of their own.

Instead, right until the bitter end, most liberal bloggers responded in their familiar mode – by lashing out at their critics and trying to marginalize them. This was, in their eyes, purely a manufactured controversy by the “right-wing smear machine” and a cynical attempt to silence and marginalize the Netroots.
Oy vey.

In some sad news, former Congressman Gene Snyder passed away over the weekend.

Friday, February 16, 2007

The weekend is here!

Though having two snow days off in the week makes it feel like two weekends...

Ken Blackwell has a new job.

Amanda Marcotte comes clean as to why she left the Edwarsd campaign.

Apparently, the Jews are responsible for evolution...
A Jewish organization is demanding an apology from a Georgia lawmaker after a memo using his name claims that evolution was a myth propagated by an ancient Jewish sect.

The Anti-Defamation League, an organization that battles anti-Semitism, sent a letter to state Representative Ben Bridges on Thursday chastising him for writing the highly offensive memo, which attributes the Big Bang theory to writings in the Kabbalah, a Jewish text.

Bridges has denied writing the memo, although one of his closest political allies, Marshall Hall, said the legislator gave him the approval to draft it.

The memo asks readers to challenge the evolution monopoly in the schools by logging onto Hall's anti-evolution Web site,

Hall, a 76-year-old former high school teacher whose wife ran Bridges' election campaign, said neither the site nor the memo is anti-Semitic. I think they tar people with that brush a little too readily, he said.

The Jewish group, however, is unconvinced and asked Bridges to immediately apologize.
Apparently, there are more Jews in America than originally thought.

Have a good weekend.

Steve Henry...yep, he's ^%&%&*^%$#

I think that it is safe to say, after reading the latest, that former Lt. Governor Steve Henry is screwed in his latest attempt to run for Governor. Henry was caught red-handed using an off-the-books account. How will this play in a gubernatorial campaign? Not so well...and we saw that when he said in June or so that he was in the race but, well, it took til about the deadline to find a running mate.
Democrat Steve Henry, who is running for governor, collected more than $170,000 in donations and spent funds last year out of an off-the-books campaign account aimed at laying the groundwork for a possible run for federal office.

While so-called "testing the waters" accounts are allowed by federal law for people considering running for Congress or U.S. Senate, Henry's use of that fund has come under scrutiny, especially now that he's opted to run for governor instead.

State laws no longer allow for "exploratory committees" for candidates to run for governor.[...]

But documents obtained by the Herald-Leader show that Henry accepted at least four contributions from companies -- which is not allowed under federal or state laws -- as well as nine checks for $4,000 or more, which is above federal campaign donation limits.

Henry said his understanding of the law was that he could accept contributions from corporations and individuals of any amount for the account but would have to refund them if he became a candidate.

"If you do not become a candidate, you're not under the same guidelines," Henry said, adding that Federal Election Commission officials told him he could collect an unlimited amount from a donor. Contributions to such funds aren't required to be reported unless the person becomes a federal candidate.
If Steve Henry is smart, he'll quit the race sooner rather than later.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Bayh on fundraising...

Tuition hikes across the state might be a problem...

Virginia Governor Tim Kaine is backing Barack Obama in his bid for the presidency.

Senator Evan Bayh, a former candidate for president, spoke recently about what it takes to run a campaign, especially the behind-the-scenes fundraising.
People who want to run for president have to resign themselves to spending up to 90 percent of their time raising money, said Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind. He said the daily routine of begging for cash starts with early morning breakfasts with possible donors and ends late at night with calls to the West Coast.

In an interview on NPR this week, Bayh talked about his decision to drop out of the Democratic competition late last year, just two weeks after establishing a presidential exploratory committee.

He also said the trend of scheduling primaries early in a presidential election year – especially primaries in states with large populations – will lead to the de facto selection of a nominee before most people in most states have met the candidates.

Bayh told NPR that the struggle to raise enough money – the figure for the 2008 race has been estimated at $100 million per candidate – wasn’t what caused him to pull the plug on his campaign. But he described a fundraising process that’s grueling and relentless.

“I am not exaggerating to say that for a non-celebrity candidate, 80 to 90 percent of your time revolves around the fundraising aspect, which I think is lamentable, but it’s a fact of life,” he said. “And if you don’t get to that critical mass of resources where you’re taken seriously as a candidate, then you just kind of wither on the vine. You never, you just don’t ever really get in the contest.”

Bayh said candidates’ fundraising prowess is especially important as more states schedule primaries early in the year. He said that takes the focus off of meeting people – actual voters – and puts it on wooing people with deep pockets. He said front-loading the primaries with states that have large populations also leads to primaries in “one or two early states and then a national election. So it makes it even harder for that romantic model where sort of the Mr. Smith who wants to go to Washington can get out there in the living rooms and the coffee shops and emerge and make that happen, as we’re brought to believe. The vast sums of money and the contributors make that harder than ever to do.”

Bayh said he’s concerned that the front-loaded primary schedule – by Valentine’s Day next year, 16 states will have conducted primaries or caucuses – will overemphasize candidates who have mountains of cash or who are already well known. He didn’t mention Sens. Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama by name, but they are considered the Democrats’ celebrity candidates.
As we get into the next half month, you might notice a lack of blogging. That's because midterms will be getting underway in the next few weeks. Factor in Spring Training and March Madness and you'll understand why.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Lake Cumberland to drop some more...

Lake Cumberland is expected to drop another 30 feet above sea level to fix a dam.

The governor's campaign has been utilizing all that is Facebook.

Daniel Pipes will be appearing before the Middle East subcommittee in the House of Representatives. However, his appearance at Brandeis University is on hold.

David Hawpe has an article up on the meet and greets in the 2007 campaign.

Jewish Democrats and Republicans are at odds over the location that Mitt Romney has chosen to announce his candidacy.

This is...interesting.

What's next...

Oh, I don't know. Maybe they should ban divorces while they are at it.

Steve Henry is screwed

Bluegrass Report uncovers some more of Steve Henry's problems.


Gotta love that snow...NKU was closed two days in a row. That's in addition to the classes cancelled last week because of that storm.

Factor in the refreeze overnight and classes might be delayed tomorrow.

Blogging will be light today on this start of Spring Training--something's not right as it's all white outside.

Al Franken makes it official

Al Franken, a comedian and radio commentator, made it official today on his radio show. You can view the transcript here.
Hi, I’m Al Franken. I'm running for the United States Senate here in Minnesota.

I'd like to talk to you about why I'm running.

I’m not a typical politician. I’ve spent my career as a comedian. Minnesotans have a right to be skeptical about whether I’m ready for this challenge, and to wonder how seriously I would take the responsibility that I’m asking you to give me.

I want you to know: nothing means more to me than making government work better for the working families of this state, and over the next twenty months I look forward to proving to you that I take these issues seriously.

Today, however, I want to take a few moments to explain to you why I take these issues personally.

My family moved to Albert Lea from New Jersey when I was four years old. My dad never graduated high school and never had a career as such, but my mom’s father, my grandpa, owned a quilting factory out East and gave my dad a chance to start up a new factory in Albert Lea. After about two years, the factory failed, and we moved up to the Twin Cities.[...]

Middle-class families today struggle with that feeling of insecurity—the sense that things can fall apart without notice, outside of your control.

Your government should have your back. That should be our mission in Washington, the one FDR gave us during another challenging time: freedom from fear.

Americans have never backed away from challenges. And Minnesotans have always led the way. Our state has sent strong, progressive leaders to Washington—from Hubert Humphrey to Walter Mondale to Paul Wellstone, and now to Amy Klobuchar. Minnesota's public servants might not always look and sound like typical politicians, but they stand by their principles and lead by their values.

That's the kind of leader I think we need more of these days, and that's the kind of Senator I'll be.

President Clinton used to say that there’s nothing wrong with America that can’t be fixed by what’s right with America, or, as I would add, by what’s right with Minnesota. We can lead the fight against global warming and dependence on foreign oil by developing new sources of renewable energy—and create good Minnesota jobs in the process. We can lead the nation in finding life-saving cures by harnessing the potential of stem-cell research. We can lead the nation by sending someone to the Senate who’ll be a voice for a strong and responsible America, one that uses its relationship with our allies to create a better and more secure world for ourselves and for future generations.

My political hero is Paul Wellstone. He used to say, “The future belongs to those who are passionate and work hard.” I may be a comedian by trade, but I’m passionate about the issues that matter to your family because they mattered to mine, too. And I’m ready to work as hard as I can to help us build a better future together.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

As an FYI

I interviewed Dan McLaughlin, a St. Louis Cardinals broadcaster on FSN Midwest.

A tradition unlike any other...

What has happened to all that is the University of Kentucky basketball in the past couple of years is beyond me.

This is an embarrassment. Kentucky used to be a program that can win...not be down 15-20 points in the second half of a game.

Walkin' in a Winter Wonderland...

Northern Kentucky got another bad storm overnight and it will not be stopping anytime soon. It was bad enough to completely close the university and postpone the NKU-Bellarmine basketball game. As such, it's a snow day so I expect to get some other stuff done today so blogging shall be light today.

Deep pockets are needed if one is to run for the White House.

The deposition of Governor Ernie Fletcher has been ordered to be put on hold.

In the meantime, have a good day and if you are in areas affected by the ice storm, please remember to drive safe.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Duke: The AP Poll streak is over

The most recent Associated Press poll for men's college basketball was released today and ESPN favorite Duke University was nowhere to be found. College basketball fans across the nation rejoiced as a result.

Here's an excerpt from, of all places, the AP.
Duke's Top 25 streak is over.

Saddled by its first four-game losing skid in 11 years, Duke fell out of The Associated Press poll Monday for the first time since the end of the 1995-96 season. The Blue Devils had been in the media poll for 200 straight weeks -- the second longest streak behind UCLA.

The Bruins' run lasted 221 weeks, from the 1966-67 preseason poll to Jan. 8, 1980. North Carolina is third all-time with 172 straight weeks from the 1990-91 preseason poll to Jan. 17, 2000.

"If you do it for a long period of time, it means you've been good that long," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said of his team's streak that began in the 1996-97 preseason poll. "We never bring it up. It's a nice stat thing."

UCLA and Memphis are now tied for the longest active streak at 34 straight weeks in the Top 25.

Duke was No. 8 two weeks ago before losing in the final seconds to Virginia and Florida State. The Blue Devils lost to then-No. 5 North Carolina 79-73 on Wednesday and fell 72-60 at Maryland on Sunday for their first four-game losing since Jan. 3-13, 1996.

"We travel a narrow road between winning and losing," Krzyzewski said. "We were in a position to win, you have to make sure the kids know that. They are doing a lot of things to put themselves in a position to win."

Duke received 150 points, falling just eight short of No. 25 Alabama.

The Blue Devils will try to end their slide Wednesday against Atlantic Coast Conference leader Boston College. The Eagles (18-6, 9-2) are finally back in the poll at No. 21 after falling out in week 3.

Remembering Abraham Lincoln

Rather than do a whole blog posting on the life and times of President Abraham Lincoln, I thought I would share these photos from my trip to Springfield, Illinois, from the summer of 2005.

Old State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois

Lincoln Tomb

Lincoln Tomb

Lincoln Tomb

Lincoln Musem

Lincoln home

Lincoln Depot

Senate honors Colts

Illinois Senator Barack Obama is coming to Cincinnati for a fundraiser. I've been told that he is also coming to Louisville as well for a fundraiser.

A resolution in the United States Senate has honored the Indianapolis Colts, winners of the most recent Super Bowl. It also was passed unanimously.
The resolution, sponsored by Indiana Sens. Richard Lugar, a Republican, and Evan Bayh, a Democrat, recognized the Colts “for winning the right way, with dignity and professionalism.”

“Special recognition should be given to Tony Dungy as the first head coach of African American descent to lead his team to victory in the Super Bowl,” Lugar said in a statement. “I have enjoyed following Coach Dungy’s remarkable leadership and appreciate the example he sets for all Hoosiers.”

Bayh said in a statement that it is “rare in today’s sports world that an organization carries itself with such character and class — on and off the field.”

“Throughout the year, the Colts battled week after week, fighting uphill, and never buckling under the pressure,” he said. “Their conduct this season should be an example for all other teams — not an exception. Tony Dungy, with his historic win, along with Peyton Manning, Jim Irsay and the entire Colts team and organization are a testament to what professional athletes should be.”
There's a big question regarding the 2008 senate election in Virginia. Just how many Warners will there be?

Obama aside, a few other candidates have ties to Illinois, including John Edwards.
U.S. Sen. Barack Obama isn’t the only Democratic presidential candidate with local ties. Bloomington resident Patsy Bowles attended high school with U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton in the Chicago suburb of Park Ridge, where the two formed a life-long friendship.

Bowles celebrated with Clinton in New York six years ago when the former first lady won her first term in the U.S. Senate.

Bloomington trial lawyer Dave Dorris, meanwhile, is a long-time friend of John Edwards, the North Carolina Democrat who ran for vice president on the John Kerry ticket in 2004. Edwards visited Dorris’ rural Downs home on Monday for a private fundraiser and will be back, Dorris said.
Here's an update on renaming I-65 in Kentucky.
Kentucky lawmakers are poised to rename a stretch of Interstate 65 after slain civil rights leader the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

A pending proposal would rename one of Kentucky's busiest stretches of highway the "Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Highway."

"The United States of America owes him and will owe him a great debt of gratitude," Senate President David Williams, R-Burkesville, said of the deceased civil rights leader.

Williams said he expected his chamber to approve the resolution on Monday.

The King highway would stretch along the interstate from the Indiana border south through Louisville to Bullitt County.
Dan Seum has also proposed a bill to rename the rest of I-65 after Kentucky native and late president Abraham Lincoln.

History has shown that Southern candidates are favorite for president--at least for the Democrats.
It's a fact known to any avid student of politics. Not since John F. Kennedy in 1960 has the nation elected a Democratic president who didn't hail from the South.

So while Democrats debate Iraq war policies and health care plans, there is sure to be plenty of talk among party faithful about simple geography. Only former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards can call himself a son of the South.
Honest Reporting takes a look at the the media and debunks the myths about what's going on at the Temple Mount.

Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee is a potential candidate for president. You might be surprised by some of his views. Granted, since he's from Arkansas, he is a fan of the St. Louis Cardinals (When will baseball be back on KMOX so I can listen to games again?). But what I don't get are his musical tastes.
Among his musical favorites are the Rolling Stones, John Mellencamp, and the Beatles.

Miller unveils energy, environment, and health care plans

The campaign has sent out the following press release.
Calls for Real Change in Alternative Energy Production; Mountaintop Removal Mining; Energy Efficiency and Biotechnology
FRANKFORT – Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jonathan Miller and running mate Irv Maze today unveiled the campaign’s fourth major policy initiative in as many weeks with their plan to empower Kentucky as a world leader in energy security, environmental protection and health care, bringing good jobs and real progress to the Commonwealth as part of the bargain. “We can do so by use our state’s greatest assets – natural beauty, resources and brainpower -- to enable Kentucky to become a world power,” Miller said.

Today, the candidates launched a discussion based on using our natural resources, innovation and technology to enable Kentucky to help the nation gain energy independence from the Middle East, while protecting the Commonwealth’s environment, boosting economic development, and finding ways to make healthcare more affordable and accessible. Their proposals include:

*Establishing Kentucky as the clean energy capital of the world through the development of zero-emissions clean coal and bio-fuel technologies to harness energy from Kentucky agriculture and natural resources;
*Reforming the practice of mountaintop removal mining to protect Kentucky’s rivers and streams and preserve natural habitats for hunting, fishing and hiking;
*Launching a statewide program promoting energy efficiency and conservation through government initiatives and partnerships with the private sector and faith-based institutions; and
*Using Kentucky biotechnology and e-health initiatives for health care solutions.

“Every community in Kentucky can be a player in this effort,” Miller said. “From our sportsmen and women to coal miners to health care providers to entrepreneurs to farmers to technology companies – everyone can play a vital role and everyone has something to gain. That is why we are calling on people across the state to share their ideas with us as we travel Kentucky working on solutions for real change.”

Miller and Maze will travel across Kentucky meeting with experts and people in our communities to develop more detailed plans. Citizens are encouraged to share their ideas via email by logging onto the campaign Web site at and clicking the “Real Change” button.

Miller believes it is our moral responsibility to be good stewards of the environment. A former deputy chief of staff for the U.S. Department of Energy, Miller worked extensively on renewable energies to help America become more energy independent while protecting our natural environment.

Stop Troop Escalation

The following video from aired in several different markets on Super Bowl Sunday:

There is a campaign underway right now encouraging people to donate to so that an advertisement can be aired in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Duke Blue Devils: Four straight losses!

The Duke Blue Devils have just suffered their fourth straight loss in conference play, the longest losing streak since 1996.

As a fan of the Kentucky Wildcats, and I can imagine everyone across the nation agrees, it's always nice to see Duke lose. With Kentucky losing over the weekend, one can only wonder as to whether UK will be ranked higher than Duke when the polls come out tomorrow.

I believe it is safe to say that, given their bias in favor of Duke, everyone at ESPN must be on a suicide alert.

How soon before the Duke boosters call for Coach K's head?

The last time that Duke failed to make the NCAA Tournament was 1995-96 when they finished the season with a 13-18 record. However, in the 1995-96 season, Coach K only coached 10 games before taking the rest of the year off for back surgery. At the time, their record was 9-1. If you discount that season, it would have been the 1982-83 season during Coach K's third year.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

What a game...

Taking the #1 team in the nation to the final seconds with no outside shooting!

With thirty seconds remaining to go, I gave up on the game only to come back to see the replay of the Louisville 3!

The way I see it, the Wildcats will likely stay put or move up barely in the rankings.

I would have preferred the win though.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Steve Henry and the FEC

Former Lt. Governor Steve Henry has gotten into some hot water with the Federal Election Commission.

Mark Hebert originally reported the following this morning:

Hebert later added the following:

Here is the June letter. No 2006 year end report was filed either.

Kudos to Stumbo

I must have missed the news when legislation was shot down but I am certainly glad that the Attorney General has issued an advisory dealing with some folks that have no respect for grieving families. If they truly believed in what they preach, they would not protest at a funeral. Instead, they would mourn those who passed away.
Attorney General Greg Stumbo told law enforcement officials in Bardstown that protestors who plan to demonstrate at a funeral Saturday for 10 fire victims could be subject to arrest.

A group from the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan., plans to come to Bardstown to express their belief that the family’s deaths are God’s punishment for a nation that condones homosexuality. The group has protested at funerals across the country, often those of soldiers killed in Iraq.

In September, a federal judge ruled that peaceful funeral protests are allowed and barred enforcement of a law passed by the Kentucky legislature that would prohibit such protests.

But Stumbo issued an advisory today that reminds law enforcement officials that by law no person may block access to any funeral, engage in violent or threatening behavior, make unreasonable noise or create any other hazardous or offensive condition within 300 feet of a funeral home, memorial service or cemetery during a funeral or burial.

“It is critical that the rights of grieving families and communities are protected,” Stumbo said.

Other goings on...

Sen. Evan Bayh is targeting counterfeiters.

The American Prospect recently spoke to John Edwards.

Rally for Higher Education

I was unable to make it yesterday due to weather conditions. Anyway, here are some of the articles published in the paper as well as the speech delivered by State Treasurer and gubernatorial candidate Jonathan Miller.

The Herald Leader notes that Jonathan Miller got the biggest cheers despite the governor calling for more student aid.
Miller, one of seven Democrats running for governor, delivered a brisk speech that quickly set up a rousing call-and-response between Miller, 39, and his audience of twentysomethings.

Miller told his listeners that they had the power to do something about their issues, including high tuition.

"The time is now, the place is here and the moment is ours," he called out and continued to repeat as he spoke. The students picked up the words and the rhythm, sending their enthusiastic chant echoing up and down the Capitol Rotunda.

"I loved his speech," said Emily Wells, 18, a first-year student in police studies at Eastern Kentucky University. "He really got into our culture."

She was referring, in part, to Miller's urging that the students go to, a popular Web site, and "tell everybody that you're a friend of Jonathan Miller."

Kyra Kendrick, 19, a sophomore psychology major at the University of Louisville, said Miller "seemed more sincere."

"He came up and shook hands with everybody before they spoke," she said.

Chris Seals, 20, a U of L junior majoring in psychology, called Miller "inspirational" and "innovative."

"He was moving," Seals said.

Saying "this state cannot afford any more of its old-time politics," Miller told the students that higher education has been hurt by the elimination of the Bucks for Brains matching-funds for the universities. He named no villains, but he said the constant rise in tuition is putting a heavy burden "on the backs of those who can least afford it."

Earlier, Fletcher said that tuition at the state's universities had gone up 145 percent during the last 10 years and he wants to see legislators address this issue in their current session and in 2008.
Perhaps someone should ask Governor Fletcher as to why he denied new dorms in the state budget last year.

Secretary of State Trey Grayson also addressed the crowd in attendance.
Republican and Secretary of State Trey Grayson also addressed the crowd of students, telling them they must remain engaged with lawmakers all year long – and not just one day each year while lawmakers are in session – if they want to have an impact on higher education costs and accessibility.

“Contact your legislators and urge them to support higher education,” Grayson said, and he said they must do that all 365 days of the year. “This doesn’t stop today – it begins today.”
The Kentucky Kernal also had a write up on the rally.

Edwards' statement

Senator Edwards' issued a statement on his blog regarding the comments made by some of his campaign bloggers.
The tone and the sentiment of some of Amanda Marcotte's and Melissa McEwan's posts personally offended me. It's not how I talk to people, and it's not how I expect the people who work for me to talk to people. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but that kind of intolerant language will not be permitted from anyone on my campaign, whether it's intended as satire, humor, or anything else. But I also believe in giving everyone a fair shake. I've talked to Amanda and Melissa; they have both assured me that it was never their intention to malign anyone's faith, and I take them at their word. We're beginning a great debate about the future of our country, and we can't let it be hijacked. It will take discipline, focus, and courage to build the America we believe in.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Sports Justice

There is justice in the world tonight.

The University of Kentucky Wildcats won. Granted, they gave up like 60 somewhat points in the second half. The Georgetown Hoyas beat the Louisville Cardinals. The University of North Carolina Tar Heels beat Duke. Granted, I hate both Duke and UNC but UNC is the lesser of two evils in my book.

Should the Cats knock off Florida this Saturday on ESPN, I would expect that the Wildcats would be ranked higher than Duke in the AP rankings on Monday.

Duke has not lost three in a row since the 1995-96 when they lost four in a row to open conference play in the the ACC.

Quote of the Day

"Mr. President, let me say that there are many Members on my side who would argue we should not be having this debate this week at all. I hope none of those watching this on C -SPAN or any people in the gallery are confused."
--Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Iraq Debate on the Senate floor, February 5, 2007

(This was featured last night on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.)

Response to State of the State, Miller's education proposal

For those at NKU with no classes after 12, it's a certified snow day!

Now, moving on to political news of the day, State Treasurer Jonathan Miller, a gubernatorial candidate, responds to the State of the Commonwealth.
"I didn't hear much bipartisanship in terms of addressing the real needs that the commonwealth faces. I just hear the same sorts of financial games that I think the people of Kentucky are tired of hearing." is live once again and as usual, they respond to the State of the Commonwealth and debunk what Fletcher had to say.

State Treasurer Jonathan Miller presented a plan for affording colleges today at the rally for higher education--of which I missed due to the weather. Here is the press release sent out.
FRANKFORT – Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jonathan Miller and running mate Irv Maze today offered their plan to provide the opportunity of higher education to every child born in Kentucky, and to put an end to taxing families with double-digit tuition hikes year after year. Miller outlined the plan during a rally for higher education funding in Frankfort today.

Miller said the under-funding of our colleges and universities by Governor Fletcher and the General Assembly has resulted in tuition hikes well into double digits for three consecutive years amounting to "nothing short of a higher education tax on Kentucky families."

“We will stop double digit tuition increases that are crippling opportunity for Kentucky students,” Miller said.

Building on the work Miller has done as state Treasurer, the Miller-Maze plan calls for implementation of the “Cradle to College” proposal for a 529 college savings account for each child born in Kentucky. In a bipartisan effort with Secretary of State Trey Grayson in 2004, Miller helped develop the proposal. Grayson and Miller recommended the initiative to members of the General Assembly.

In addition, during his first few months as Treasurer, Miller worked with legislators for the unanimous passage of Kentucky’s Affordable Prepaid Tuition (KAPT) program, which now shields 9,000 Kentucky families from the tuition tax.

“Cradle to College helps overcome traditional obstacles to higher educational opportunity. The financial incentives would ensure that some form of higher education will be affordable for every Kentucky family,” Miller said. “Instead of giving up home for a college education, our families will assume at their child’s birth that higher education is a part of their future.”

With a modest initial deposit provided by the state, Cradle to College would provide tuition at any of the state's excellent community and technical colleges. Parents or grandparents, and even private employers could contribute additional money to grow the accounts to pay for tuition at Kentucky's universities.

Students would repay the state for the opportunity, he added. “Every high school senior who uses his or her Cradle to College account to attend college must first provide a year of full-time community or military service in Kentucky. Through their work, these young people will ‘pay back’ the money the state has provided for their higher education. More importantly, this service experience will give these young people a greater sense of civic responsibility,” Miller said.

“Cradle to College is not a new entitlement, but a hand up that provides hard-working, community-minded children an opportunity to reach their higher education dreams.”

Miller said all of Kentucky will win with the Cradle to College program. “The state wins because a higher-educated workforce will attract more tax-paying businesses and industries. And communities win with more of their youth participating in community-service projects, both by filling gaps left by scarce public resources, and by instilling a greater sense of civic engagement in our next generation of leaders.”

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Impeach Greg Stumbo?

I'm not taking sides on this issue either but like The Hillbilly Report, I also would like to ask House Speaker Jody Richards to treat these allegations seriously.

Anway, there's video over here dealing with the situation that's been going on.

Also, be sure to check out Truth is Crucial.

NKU will not be at the rally...

Unless there's folks willing to brave the cold temperatures and traffic conditions, NKU will not be represented at the rally. The following email was just sent out to students:
Student Government Association Bus Trip to the State Capitol in Frankfort, Kentucky on Wednesday, February 7th has been cancelled.
In addition, all classes after 3 PM today are cancelled.