Thursday, January 31, 2008

Chris Thieneman drops bid, endorses John Yarmuth

Page One has more.

I'm shocked at this latest development but I guess Northup and McConnell put the pressure on him.

Now, the endorsement of Yarmuth comes as a surprise of sorts.

EDIT: Pol Watchers has more.
Chris Thieneman, who filed as a Republican candidate in Louisville's 3rd Congressional District, said this morning on WHAS radio that he's leaving the race and will switch parties to become a Democrat.

Thieneman repeatedly said he was tired of "career politicians" and felt like Republican leaders, such as U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, wanted him out of the Republican congressional primary.[...]

In addition to announcing to WHAS radio host Francene Cucinello that he was switching parties, Thieneman said he will endorse Yarmuth, the Democrat incumbent, for a second term.

"He hasn't done a bad job," he said of Yarmuth.
The Courier-Journal already has their article up. Joe Gerth notes the excerpts of a phone message played on the air.
As proof of that coercion, Thieneman played a voice-mail message on the radio from Larry Cox, McConnell's top aide in Kentucky, in which Cox urged him to call him.

That call came Monday afternoon, after Thieneman first appeared on WHAS radio and made similar claims about McConnell and Northup, who has since filed to run for her old House seat against Yarmuth.

"Obviously I have some concerns about this foolishness that went on this morning," Cox said in the voice mail. "I don't know who is stirring this pot and providing this misinformation. I'm pretty darn sure it's not you but I would really like to have a conversation with you."

Thieneman said he regarded that message as pressure from McConnell.
Don't forget to scroll down and read the blogterview with Greg Fischer!

Exclusive Interview with Greg Fischer

(Full Disclaimer: I am on record in support of Andrew Horne. I believe in a democracy where candidates are allowed to be heard and readers should have the opportunity to see what they have to say.)

Daniel Solzman: Thank you for joining the Kentucky Democrat today. How are things going in Louisville?
Greg Fischer: Fantastic. The reaction to my campaign has vastly exceeded the aggressive expectations we had set. Support from Democrats across the Commonwealth has been very energizing from Labor to precinct activists.

DS: When did you officially decide to run for Senate and what factored into that decision?
GF: January 16 was my announcement date. I had been seriously considering this opportunity for the past six months. One of the great aspects of this decision making process was the amount of family discussion that took place. It brought us even closer together as a family that is already very tight knit.

From a personal standpoint, I am just fed up with the direction of our country and the broken political system in Washington. There has been a complete failure of career politicians like Mitch McConnell to address the pressing issues of our day. I want to give voice to all the people of Kentucky who struggle to make ends meet. I have been a creator of thousands of American jobs and I look with dismay as a large part of our economy withers.

DS: How do you feel that the Iraqi situation needs to be handled? With our armed forces stretched so thin, what should happen in the event that America does something about Iran?
GF: Clearly the American people are tired of seeing our troops referee a civil war in Iraq. Our troops should return home safely and as soon as possible while we maintain adequate strike force capability in the region for those extremists who seek to destroy our principles of liberty and equality for all.

I am concerned that neither President Bush nor Mitch McConnell has learned from the Iraq debacle when I hear their saber rattling about Iran. We do have differences with Iran but differences that are best resolved through peaceful means in concert with our allies, both diplomatically and economically.

DS: Do you plan to outreach to bloggers or, as they are being called, the netroots? Do you have any thoughts on the way that blogs have revolutionized politics altogether?

GF: Blogging, and all modern forms of communication, will absolutely be critical components of our campaign. Blogs are great in that they provide real time dialog opportunities. I may not always like what I read but I love the passion of the net roots community. It gives me great energy.

The crafters of our Constitution would be pleased with the way that blogs have democratized and revolutionized American politics. Our forefather's goal was to distribute the power of the government to the people and blogging certainly serves this role. We often see bloggers leading MSM in breaking important news stories. Blogging is modern America's embodiment of the First Amendment.

DS: On that note, and I don't want to get off on the wrong foot here but it was bound to come up sooner, rather than later. Some Kentucky bloggers are trying to make the argument that you are Republican-lite because you donated money to some GOP candidates a few years back. What can you say in response to that?
GF: Thanks for letting me set the record straight on this. 97% of my political giving has been to Democratic candidates, causes and organizations. I was born and raised a Democrat and have been registered as a Democrat since age 18. My strong record of community service is a representation of my Democratic values. One thing is for sure, you'll never see me on YouTube with Mitch McConnell and Ernie Fletcher :)

DS: Do you feel that the state party is heading in the right direction?
GF: I am enthused by the dynamic new leadership of Jennifer Moore, Nathan Smith and their great team. The energy and passion they bring to their mission is changing the face of Kentucky politics.

DS: How about the national party given the perception in the commonwealth?
GF: Chairman Dean's 50 state strategy is paying off despite the initial skepticism and criticism of the Washington establishment. Kentuckians are independent people and will not allow their common sense judgment to be replaced by the conventional wisdom of Washington insiders.

DS: Do you think it's possible that the party will make more gains in the US Senate?
GF: Absolutely. The winds of change continue to blow across America in reaction to Bush/McConnell style politics. The Democrats will expand their Senate majority. With your help, we will defeat the Senate's number one obstructionist - Mitch McConnell.

DS: Several folks want to unseat Mitch McConnell. What is your plan for doing so?
GF: Kentuckians want a US Senator that they can trust. My entire life has been based on building great teams of people to make the community and Country a better place. Every decision I make as a US Senator will begin and end with considering with what is best for all Kentuckians, not special interests.

I will be well funded and seen as a fresh, common sense face to help Kentucky move forward. I am in the final stages of assembling a talented and experienced staff that knows and understands Kentucky. We will compete for every vote in every region and every community.

My lifelong reputation as a problem solver and team builder will be a welcome contrast to the obstructionism and political division that Mitch McConnell created and perfected.

DS: What do you believe should be the three most important priorities for Congress?
GF: First and foremost, Kentucky needs a US Senator that represents Kentucky values and will work for real solutions to address:
1-The economy/jobs -what I call the "assault on the pocketbooks" of working Kentuckians
2-Access to quality, affordable heath care
3-The war in Iraq / bringing our troops home safely

DS: Jon Stewart or Bill O'Reilly?
GF: Jon

DS: On that note, what is your stance on kittens and wood chippers?
GF: Appearances can be deceiving, depends on the kitten. Gotta go—Colbert is calling.

DS: Thanks for joining the Kentucky Democrat and keep up the good fight!
GF: Thank you - I enjoyed it!!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

On the filing deadline

I just caught wind of this. I am opposed to a later primary election but put me on record as being in favor of an earlier presidential primary where Kentucky voters finally have a say!
Senate President David Williams has proposed bumping back the candidate filing deadline from January to April and the primary elections from May to August, as well as moving Kentucky's presidential primary in 2012 and beyond to Super Tuesday.

But the measure barely passed the Senate state and local government committee by a 5-4 vote yesterday, with all four Democrats on the panel opposing it. That came as a surprise to Williams, who said he hadn't heard any opposition.

Sen. Ed Worley, the Democratic leader from Richmond, said the Democrats didn't support the bill because they believe the current filing deadline and primary system work well as they are and they haven't heard complaints from constituents about the system.

"It just doesn't need to be changed," he said. He added that the Democrats might be open to moving Kentucky's presidential primary date up to Super Tuesday and might have supported that part of the bill if it were by itself.
Ed, surely you must be kidding about the word "MIGHT." That shouldn't say might. That should say SHOULD!

Electile Dysfunction

This was sent by a cousin.

Electile Dysfunction : the inability to become aroused over any of the choices for president put forth by either party in the 2008 election year.

TA picks up on Seals' inflated credentials

Team America has picked up on the fact that Dan Seals inflated his resume and now, The Daily Herald has investigated into the story.
In the 10th Congressional District's Democratic primary campaign, candidate Dan Seals of Wilmette has touted his position as an adjunct professor at Northwestern University.

But he doesn't start that job until April.[...]

Political experts say candidates should consider what they say in public or claim in advertising to be part of an application they are submitting to their future employers -- the voters. That means they should be factual and accurate.

Kent Redfield, a political science professor at the University of Illinois' Springfield campus, said flagrant misstatements or resume-puffing can be costly to candidates at the ballot box. He said voters are more likely to look in that direction than toward candidates' positions on the issues.

"They understand about people telling the truth," Redfield said of voters. "If it turns out you fudged on some things, that becomes the issue."

Another problem with "stretching," Redfield said, is it can prompt opponents to look for other shaky claims and, if found, pounce on them for political gain.

Redfield and John Jackson, a political scientist and visiting professor at Southern Illinois University's Paul Simon Institute, evaluated the candidates' rhetoric and weighed in on how it could affect voters, who head to the polls Tuesday.[...]

But Seals doesn't begin his position as a part-time School of Continuing Studies lecturer until April, a Northwestern spokesman said. Shrugging it off as a miscue, Seals has started calling himself a lecturer in public forums, though as of Tuesday afternoon, his Web site still listed him as an adjunct professor.

"What it might show is I don't know what the proper terms are," said Seals, 36. "The idea that I'm trying to mislead or be deceitful is baseless."

Jackson said the difference between a lecturer and visiting professor isn't great, but Seals should have known better considering this is his second run for Congress. He added Seals should have been clearer about when his employment began at Northwestern.
I must add that we've seen what inflating your resume can do in the business of sports coaching. It should have the same effect in politics.

Clinton statement on John Edwards

Hillary Clinton:
John Edwards ended his campaign today in the same way he started it - by standing with the people who are too often left behind and nearly always left out of our national debate.

John ran with compassion and conviction and lifted this campaign with his deep concern for the daily lives of the American people. That is what this election is about - it's about our people. And John is one of the greatest champions the American people could ask for.

I wish John and Elizabeth all the best. They have my great personal respect and gratitude. And I know they will continue to fight passionately for the country and the people they love so deeply.

Former Senator John Edwards Drops Presidential Bid

MSNBC reported this morning that former North Carolina Senator John Edwards has dropped his bid for the White House. Edwards was not gaining much traction as the media was making this a two person race between Senators Barack Obama of Illinois and Hillary Clinton of New York.
Democrat John Edwards is exiting the presidential race Wednesday, ending a scrappy underdog bid in which he steered his rivals toward progressive ideals while grappling with family hardship that roused voters'sympathies but never diverted his campaign, The Associated Press has learned.
Yahoo, via the AP, has more.
The two-time White House candidate notified a close circle of senior advisers that he planned to make the announcement at a 1 p.m. EST event in New Orleans that had been billed as a speech on poverty, according to two of his advisers. The decision came after Edwards lost the four states to hold nominating contests so far to rivals who stole the spotlight from the beginning — Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama.

The former North Carolina senator will not immediately endorse either candidate in what is now a two-person race for the Democratic nomination, said one adviser, who spoke on a condition of anonymity in advance of the announcement.

Edwards waged a spirited top-tier campaign against the two better-funded rivals, even as he dealt with the stunning blow of his wife's recurring cancer diagnosis. In a dramatic news conference last March, the couple announced that the breast cancer that she thought she had beaten had returned, but they would continue the campaign.
This isn't surprising although I had hoped it would wait it out and decide after Super Tuesday.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A random fact by Jon Stewart

Dick Cheney smiled 12 times at last night's State of the Union.

He as 4 smiles left on the year.

Statement by Steve Beshear

The following is the statement released by Governor Steve Beshear on Bruce Lunsford's entry into the US Senate race.
"Last December, before any of the other Democratic candidates had decided to run, I called Bruce and asked him to consider running for the U.S. Senate. I felt that he had name recognition, the financial resources and the ability to appeal to a large cross-section of Kentuckians, Republicans, Democrats, and Independents alike, all of which would make him an exceptionally strong candidate. The other candidates may be able to develop those attributes, and I wish them well.

"While I am not endorsing any candidate in the Democratic Primary for the U.S. Senate at this time, I am pleased that Bruce has agreed to throw his hat into the ring."

Steve Beshear's state budget address

The following was sent out to voters via the KDP:
In spite of an unprecedented financial situation inherited by Governor Beshear, he has been able to create new opportunities for Kentucky - north, south, east and west.

*He protected from budget cuts Kindergarten through the 12th grade for all public schools.
*He protected the 722,000 Kentuckians who receive Medicaid coverage.
*He maintained the coal severance tax for coal counties.
*He protected the tobacco settlement fund.
*He added $50 million for higher education's "Bucks for Brains," which by law goes primarily to the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville but also goes to all other state universities in Kentucky.
*He provided funds for expansion of the Little Sandy Corrections Complex.
*He is funding restoration of the Glasgow State Nursing Facility.

In some areas of the budget, Gov. Beshear is pushing to restore programs the previous Governor vetoed: For example:

*Lake Malone State Park
*Louisville Zoo
*Pikeville Medical Center
*Animal shelters in many sections of the state
*Brooklawn Child and Family Services
*Murray State University Chemistry Building
*Carrollton Campus of Jefferson Community Technical College
*Licking Valley Campus of Maysville CTC
*Advanced technology center of Owensboro CTC
*Rowan County Campus CTC planning/design

Other projects have been opened up by Gov. Beshear for Western Kentucky University, the University of Kentucky, Eastern State University, the Council of Postsecondary Education, Department of Parks and the Kentucky River Authority.

Mike Weaver makes a comeback, Ron Lewis retires

Mike Weaver has filed to run for his old house seat.

Ron Lewis, on the other hand, is not running for re-election according to Pol Watchers. This bodes very well for David Boswell. However, Boswell must get through Reid Hare first.

The list of 2008 candidates on the sidebar has been updated to reflect the filings.

Israel attoning for 1965 error

Haaretz:
More than four decades after Israeli officials banned the Beatles from appearing at a scheduled 1965 concert, Israel on Monday extended an olive branch to the band, with an eye to having the two surviving members - Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr - perform at the 60th anniversary of the state's creation in May.

Army Radio reported that Israeli Ambassador to Britain Ron Prosor visited the band's hometown of Liverpool on Monday, where he met with John Lennon's sister Julia Bairdat at the Beatles museum.

Letters of reconciliation are to be sent to McCartney and Starr as well as relatives of late band member George Harrison, the radio said.

The Israeli embassy in London on Monday night told Haaretz that the letters represented an opportunity for "a second chance."

The Beatles had been booked to appear in Israel in 1965, but government
officials refused to grant the necessary permits, citing concerns that the tousled-haired British band and its strident, amplified music could corrupt the morals of Israeli youth.

The never-used tickets for the concert have long been a prized souvenir among Israeli fans of the group.

In Jerusalem, Foreign Ministry spokesman Arye Mekel confirmed that Prosor was to meet Baird and invite her to Israel for the gala marking Israel's
founding in May, 1948. But he said he had no knowledge of any letter or of invitations to Paul and Ringo to perform.
This would present an awesome opportunity for the remaining Beatles as Israel marks 60 years of independence.

A very strange comparison to say the least...

CQPolitics compares the IL-10 race in Illinois to that of the Obama-Clinton race. It's interesting to note though that Seals worked for Joe Lieberman and yet he mentions that at no point on his website.
His Democratic opponent in that contest, business consultant Dan Seals, is seeking a rematch after taking a respectable 47 percent of the vote — and holding Kirk to a subpar 53 percent — in his 2006 debut as a political candidate.

But Seals first must fend off the primary opposition provided by Jay Footlik, a former aide to President Bill Clinton, who has a background in international affairs, and who says that he is the more experienced and electable Democratic candidate.

The preponderance of the evidence suggests that most prospective Democratic primary voters in the 10th District want to give Seals a second try. Seals’ apparent edge owes to multiple factors. He has carryover name recognition from his 2006 campaign. He showed strong fundraising ability by amassing almost $2 million for his campaign that year, despite limited assistance from a national Democratic Party organization that was skeptical of the newcomer’s ability to upset an incumbent who had won with 64 percent in 2004.[...]

Seals’ front-runner status also is evident in how the two candidates are running their campaigns. Footlik has been more eager to draw attention to differences between himself and Seals. Conversely, Seals has been running more of a general election campaign, focusing much more on differences between him and Kirk rather than between him and Footlik.

The race will coincide with Illinois’ presidential primary election, in which the main contestants are Barack Obama of Chicago, the state’s other U.S. senator, and New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton , who grew up in the Chicago suburb of Park Ridge. That, in turn, will spawn much higher turnout for the state’s congressional primary contests, including that in the 10th: The Seals-Footlik primary will draw substantially more than the 33,000 voters who participated in the 2006 10th District Democratic primary, in which Seals defeated little-known Democrat Zane Smith by 71 percent to 29 percent.[...]

Footlik, though, is emphasizing experience in government — like Clinton, who has said she is ready to be president on day one. Footlik points to his extensive background in Middle East affairs. He specialized in that region’s politics and government as an assistant to President Clinton and as an adviser to the 2004 presidential campaign of John Kerry (who was narrowly favored over President Bush by 10th District voters). And he hopes this will be a major selling point in a district with a large Jewish constituency, of which he is a member.

Footlik also promotes his work with an organization that promotes energy independence.

“Anyone can talk about delivering change, and everyone is talking about it — every politician. He’s talked about it, I’ve done it,” Footlik said. “I can’t say I’ve changed the world, but I’ve certainly taken decisions and created organizations and worked on issues that have tried to make a difference and have actually produced tangible results.”

“I think there’s a big distinction there between someone who talks about it and someone who’s actually done it,” Footlik added.

Footlik also is emphasizing a personal background that includes growing up with a mother who once needed food stamps and welfare benefits, and attending college with the assistance of loans. “When I speak, I speak from a very, very personal perspective,” Footlik said, “and I think that they see that it’s genuine and sincere and personal, and I think they understand that’s a good combination and a good way to beat Mark Kirk.”

“And my primary opponent hasn’t done that,” Footlik added. “He’s already tried and failed.”

Libel Terrorism Protection Act

This comes from ACT for America and I felt the need to forward it on.

We are concerned with the bi-partisan "Libel Terrorism Protection Act," introduced in the New York Assembly and Senate by Assemblyman Rory Lancman (D) and Senator Dean Skelos (R). This bill has been introduced to protect New York authors who investigate and expose the enablers of terrorism from libel lawsuits filed in foreign courts.

Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld, author of Funding Evil: How Terrorism is Financed - And How to Stop It, was the target of one of those lawsuits. The wealthy Saudi who filed the lawsuit against Dr. Ehrenfeld in the United Kingdom has successfully silenced more than 40 authors and publishers, including many Americans. If these lawsuits are allowed to continue, the ramifications for our cherished freedoms of speech and the press are chilling and ominous. The sooner "The Libel Terrorism Protection Act," is signed into law, the sooner New York - the publishing capital of the U.S. and the free world - and New York authors will be protected from merit less and frivolous libel suits filed in foreign jurisdictions.

The "Libel Terrorism Protection Act" directly affects me. My first book, Because They Hate, was published by a New York publisher. My second book, scheduled for release later this year, will be published by that same New York publisher. Passage of this New York law will bring much-needed legal protection to the work I am doing. If you agree that this protection is essential to preserve the ability of authors like myself to speak out on matters of terrorism, please carefully read the action items below and then ACT! today. Thank you!

ACTION ITEMS
If the links don't work, please just Google to get this information!

1. For those of you who live in New York state, please contact your Assembly Member and State Senator today. Contact them either by phone or email or both. Tell them you are calling in support of the "Libel Terrorism Protection Act," bill number A9652, and ask for their support of the bill. The links below will take you to a listing of New York's Assembly Members and Senators

In addition, if you have time, contact the Chairperson of the Judiciary Committees in both the Assembly and the Senate. The bill has been referred to these committees. Ask for the chairperson’s support for the bill. The links below will take you to the chair persons of the Assembly and Senate Judiciary Committees:
Helene E. Weinstein (Assembly)
John A. DeFrancisco (Senate)

Write a short letter to the Editor of your local newspaper, explaining the background of the bill and why it's needed. Elected officials usually monitor letters to the editor as one way to keep their fingers on the local pulse.

2. For those of you who do not live in New York state, please contact the two Judiciary chair persons identified above. When you do, emphasize how important this bill is, that it is a model for other states and the federal government, and thus it has national implications - which is why you, a resident of a state other than New York, are contacting them. You, too, could send letters to the editor of New York newspapers. This would demonstrate to the press, public and New York legislators that “the nation is watching."

3. Forward this email to other people you know, using the forwarding link at the bottom.

It is critical that we help get this legislation passed. We cannot allow those involved in terrorism to succeed in silencing those who would expose their activities. Please ACT! today. And if you can financially help us make this nationwide grassroots lobbying effort successful, please click here.

Thank you for your support and your activism.
Brigitte Gabriel, Founder and President
Guy Rodgers, Executive Director

Friday, January 25, 2008

Fred Phelps: Go screw yourself, please

There should be a law about stupid people not being allowed to procreate. Look at this.
Reports that a homophobic church plans to picket the funeral of actor Heath Ledger is drawing criticism from a Jewish group.

Westboro Baptist Church, in Topeka, Kansas, insists that Ledger, the 28-year-old movie star who was found dead in his New York apartment on Tuesday, supported homosexuality because of his highly acclaimed performance in the film "Brokeback Mountain."

The Anti-Defamation League issued a statement slamming the church.

"Heath Ledger's funeral should be no place for haters," said the ADL's national director, Abraham Foxman. "It is outrageous that the Westboro Baptist Church would attempt to turn the untimely and sad death of a Hollywood celebrity into a homophobic spectacle."

Members of the churched gained national notoriety when they appeared at the funeral of Matthew Shepard bearing signs reading "No Fags in Heaven" and "God Hates Fags."
I side with the ADL on this one and I imagine others are siding with the ADL on this as well. Fred Phelps is nothing but a homophobic loser.

Quote of the Day

"You can do for me what Oprah's done for Barack."
--Senator John Edwards, The Late Show with David Letterman, January 22, 2008

Top Ten Barack Obama Campaign Promises

Thanks to The Late Show with David Letterman, here are Senator Barack Obama's top ten campaign promises as delivered right after 12:00 this morning.

Top Ten Barack Obama Campaign Promises presented by Senator Barack Obama

10. "To keep the budget balanced, I'll rent the Situation Room for sweet sixteens"
9. "I will double your tax money at the craps table"
8. "Appoint Mitt Romney Secretary of Lookin' Good"
7. "If you bring a gator to the White House, I'll wrassle it"
6. "I'll put Regis on the nickel"
5. "I'll rename the tenth month of the year 'Barack-tober'"
4. "I won't let Apple release the new and improved iPod the day after you bought the previous model"
3. "I'll find money in the budget to buy Letterman a decent hairpiece"
2. "Pronounce the word nuclear, nuclear"
1. "Three words: Vice President Oprah"

Thursday, January 24, 2008

This blog won't go negative

As you may very well know, the primary filing deadline is upon us next week. I want to mention a few ground rules as we go through what could very well be a nasty primary.

I believe in positive campaigns. This blog will not run any negative press release, email, ad, or youtube video in which it could possibly be percieved as negative during a primary. It's not right to give the GOP any fodder, if that is a word, for Novemnber for whoever the candidate may be come May.

I am currently supporting Andrew Horne for Senate and that is the first thing I will disclaim. Does this mean that I think negative of either Greg Fischer or Bruce Lunsford? No and no. I am just now researching where they stand on domestic and foreign policy. As for Lunsford, he asked us for our forgiveness last May. I don't know about the rest of you but I forgave him.

Since I interviewed Andrew Horne late last year, it is only fair that I do the same for both Fischer and Lunsford, should Lunsford decide to run. You may disagree there but every person is entitled to their own opinion and I respect that.

This blog will not be a tabloid for the United States Senate race. If there are issues to be discussed, they will be discussed. That's that and there's nothing more to it.

In closing, Gov. Steve Beshear was quoted as saying that he told Bruce Lunsford that he ought to consider the race. That's perfectly fine with me. Didn't a Florida columnist write that Billy Donovan ought to consider the Kentucky job?

If someone told me to consider a political race, I sure would consider it. But it doesn't mean that I would run in that race.

And now back to your regularly unprepared blogging...

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Jobs? What jobs?

The Education Cabinet just released the latest report on unemployment:
Unemployment rates rose in 74 Kentucky counties between December 2006 and December 2007, fell in 33 counties and remained the same in 13 counties, according to the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training, an agency of the Education Cabinet.

Fayette and Woodford counties recorded the lowest jobless rate in the commonwealth at 3.7 percent each. Other counties with low unemployment rates were Warren County, 3.8 percent; Jessamine County, 4.2 percent; Bourbon, Madison and Scott counties, 4.3 percent each; Franklin County, 4.4 percent; and Boone and Daviess counties, 4.5 percent each.

Jackson County recorded the state’s highest unemployment rate — 10.1 percent. It was followed by Magoffin County, 10 percent; Menifee County, 9.6 percent; Spencer County, 9.2 percent; Clay County, 9 percent; Harlan and Owsley counties, 8.9 percent each; Wolfe County, 8.8 percent; Morgan County, 8.2 percent; and McCreary County, 7.9 percent.

Bias in the BBC

Honest Reporting reports their findings on this.
Many of you wrote to the BBC asking for their reaction to our one year analysis that systematically and quantifiably demonstrated a clear bias against Israel in the BBC's reporting. So did the UK's Jewish Chronicle and Jewish News, who, along with our subscribers, were told by the BBC:

HonestReporting has a particular view of the conflict and cannot be seen as an independent arbiter of our output.

BBC News is committed to impartial reporting of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and an independent panel of inquiry into the impartiality of the BBC's coverage of the Middle East in 2006 found that there was 'no deliberate or systematic bias in our coverage of the conflict.'
Pathetic. Beyond pathetic. This is downright absurd.

Honest reporting noted the following in it's report:
*The BBC virtually ceased reporting on Palestinian rocket attacks but detailed numerous Israeli military operations in Gaza.
*The BBC's headline selection for stories about the conflict was inconsistent and favored the Palestinian side.
*Images accompanying articles of combat or terrorist attacks were heavily sympathetic to the Palestinian perspective by a ratio of three to one.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Good news for Jay Nixon

Matt Blunt is not a candidate for re-election. He decided against running when his name turned up in the Mitchell Report.
In a statement that shocked political leaders in both parties, Blunt released a TV address "announcing that having achieved virtually everything he set out to accomplish when he ran for governor, he will not seek a second term.

"In his address, Gov. Blunt cites among his accomplishments turning an inherited $1.1 billion deficit into three straight surpluses without a tax increase, cutting taxes, ending the education cuts of the past and providing budgets that will deliver $1.2 billion to universities, classrooms and students, rescuing the broken Medicaid system and transforming it into a network of care for vulnerable Missourians and helping turn record job-loss into nearly 90,000 new jobs.

Heath Ledger dead at 28

Breaking news:
Heath Ledger found dead in NYC
By TOM HAYS, Associated Press Writer

Heath Ledger was found dead Tuesday at a downtown Manhattan residence, and police said drugs may have been a factor. He was 28.

NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said Ledger had an appointment for a massage at the Manhattan apartment believed to be his home. The housekeeper who went to let him know the masseuse had arrived found him dead at 3:26 p.m.

A large crowd of paparazzi and gawkers began gathering Tuesday evening outside the building on an upscale block in SoHo, where several police officers guarded the door.

The Australian-born actor was nominated for an Oscar for "Brokeback Mountain," where he met Michelle Williams in 2005. The two had lived in Brooklyn and had a daughter, Matilda, until they split up last year.

He most recently appeared in "I'm Not There," in which he played one of the many incarnations of Bob Dylan — as did Cate Blanchett, whose performance in that film earned an Oscar nomination Tuesday for best supporting actress.

Ledger was to appear as the Joker this year in "The Dark Night," a sequel to 2005's "Batman Begins." He's had starring roles in "A Knight's Tale" and "The Patriot," and played the suicidal son of Billy Bob Thornton in "Monster's Ball."

Ledger grew up in Perth, and began doing amateur theater at age 10. At 16, he moved to Sydney to pursue an acting career, quickly landing TV movie roles and guest spots on Australian television.

After several independent films and a starring role in the short-lived Fox TV series "Roar," Ledger moved to Los Angeles and costarred in "10 Things I Hate About You," a teen comedy reworking of "The Taming of the Shrew."

Offers for other teen flicks came his way, but Ledger turned them down, preferring to remain idle than sign on for projects he didn't like.

"It wasn't a hard decision for me," Ledger told the Associated Press in 2001. "It was hard for everyone else around me to understand. Agents were like, `You're crazy,' my parents were like, `Come on, you have to eat.'"
May he rest in peace.

Fred Thompson: The Verdict is In

Senator Fred Thompson released the following statement:

McLean, VA - Senator Fred Thompson today issued the following statement about his campaign for President:

“Today I have withdrawn my candidacy for President of the United States. I hope that my country and my party have benefited from our having made this effort. Jeri and I will always be grateful for the encouragement and friendship of so many wonderful people.”


The verdict is in. Thompson has been sentenced to an end of his presidential campaign. There is no answer yet as to whether or not he will resume playing District Attorney Arthur Branch on the original Law and Order.

2008 (80th Annual) Academy Awards

Here are the nominees for the 2008 Academy Awards with my predictions in bold.

Performance by an actor in a leading role
George Clooney in "Michael Clayton" (Warner Bros.)
Daniel Day-Lewis in "There Will Be Blood" (Paramount Vantage and Miramax)
Johnny Depp in "Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" (DreamWorks and Warner Bros., Distributed by DreamWorks/Paramount)
Tommy Lee Jones in "In the Valley of Elah" (Warner Independent)
Viggo Mortensen in "Eastern Promises" (Focus Features)

Performance by an actor in a supporting role
Casey Affleck in "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford" (Warner Bros.)
Javier Bardem in "No Country for Old Men" (Miramax and Paramount Vantage)
Philip Seymour Hoffman in "Charlie Wilson's War" (Universal)
Hal Holbrook in "Into the Wild" (Paramount Vantage and River Road Entertainment)
Tom Wilkinson in "Michael Clayton" (Warner Bros.)

Performance by an actress in a leading role
Cate Blanchett in "Elizabeth: The Golden Age" (Universal)
Julie Christie in "Away from Her" (Lionsgate)
Marion Cotillard in "La Vie en Rose" (Picturehouse)
Laura Linney in "The Savages" (Fox Searchlight)
Ellen Page in "Juno" (Fox Searchlight)

Performance by an actress in a supporting role
Cate Blanchett in "I'm Not There" (The Weinstein Company)
Ruby Dee in "American Gangster" (Universal)
Saoirse Ronan in "Atonement" (Focus Features)
Amy Ryan in "Gone Baby Gone" (Miramax)
Tilda Swinton in "Michael Clayton" (Warner Bros.)

Best animated feature film of the year
"Persepolis" (Sony Pictures Classics): Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud
"Ratatouille" (Walt Disney): Brad Bird
"Surf's Up" (Sony Pictures Releasing): Ash Brannon and Chris Buck

Achievement in art direction
"American Gangster" (Universal): Art Direction: Arthur Max; Set Decoration: Beth A. Rubino
"Atonement" (Focus Features): Art Direction: Sarah Greenwood; Set Decoration: Katie Spencer
"The Golden Compass" (New Line in association with Ingenious Film Partners): Art Direction: Dennis Gassner; Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock
"Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" (DreamWorks and Warner Bros., Distributed by DreamWorks/Paramount): Art Direction: Dante Ferretti; Set Decoration: Francesca Lo Schiavo
"There Will Be Blood" (Paramount Vantage and Miramax): Art Direction: Jack Fisk; Set Decoration: Jim Erickson

Achievement in cinematography
"The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford" (Warner Bros.): Roger Deakins
"Atonement" (Focus Features): Seamus McGarvey
"The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" (Miramax/Pathé Renn): Janusz Kaminski
"No Country for Old Men" (Miramax and Paramount Vantage): Roger Deakins
"There Will Be Blood" (Paramount Vantage and Miramax): Robert Elswit

Achievement in costume design
"Across the Universe" (Sony Pictures Releasing) Albert Wolsky
"Atonement" (Focus Features) Jacqueline Durran
"Elizabeth: The Golden Age" (Universal) Alexandra Byrne
"La Vie en Rose" (Picturehouse) Marit Allen
"Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" (DreamWorks and Warner Bros., Distributed by DreamWorks/Paramount) Colleen Atwood

Achievement in directing
"The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" (Miramax/Pathé Renn), Julian Schnabel
"Juno" (Fox Searchlight), Jason Reitman
"Michael Clayton" (Warner Bros.), Tony Gilroy
"No Country for Old Men" (Miramax and Paramount Vantage), Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
"There Will Be Blood" (Paramount Vantage and Miramax), Paul Thomas Anderson

Best documentary feature
"No End in Sight" (Magnolia Pictures) A Representational Pictures Production: Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs
"Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience" (The Documentary Group) A Documentary Group Production: Richard E. Robbins
"Sicko" (Lionsgate and The Weinstein Company) A Dog Eat Dog Films Production: Michael Moore and Meghan O'Hara
"Taxi to the Dark Side" (THINKFilm) An X-Ray Production: Alex Gibney and Eva Orner
"War/Dance" (THINKFilm) A Shine Global and Fine Films Production: Andrea Nix Fine and Sean Fine

Best documentary short subject
"Freeheld" A Lieutenant Films Production: Cynthia Wade and Vanessa Roth
"La Corona (The Crown)" A Runaway Films and Vega Films Production: Amanda Micheli and Isabel Vega
"Salim Baba" A Ropa Vieja Films and Paradox Smoke Production: Tim Sternberg and Francisco Bello
"Sari's Mother" (Cinema Guild) A Daylight Factory Production: James Longley

Achievement in film editing
"The Bourne Ultimatum" (Universal): Christopher Rouse
"The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" (Miramax/Pathé Renn): Juliette Welfling
"Into the Wild" (Paramount Vantage and River Road Entertainment): Jay Cassidy
"No Country for Old Men" (Miramax and Paramount Vantage) Roderick Jaynes
"There Will Be Blood" (Paramount Vantage and Miramax): Dylan Tichenor

Best foreign language film of the year
"Beaufort" Israel
"The Counterfeiters" Austria
"Katyn" Poland
"Mongol" Kazakhstan
"12" Russia

Achievement in makeup
"La Vie en Rose" (Picturehouse) Didier Lavergne and Jan Archibald
"Norbit" (DreamWorks, Distributed by Paramount): Rick Baker and Kazuhiro Tsuji
"Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" (Walt Disney): Ve Neill and Martin Samuel

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)
"Atonement" (Focus Features) Dario Marianelli
"The Kite Runner" (DreamWorks, Sidney Kimmel Entertainment and Participant Productions, Distributed by Paramount Classics): Alberto Iglesias
"Michael Clayton" (Warner Bros.) James Newton Howard
"Ratatouille" (Walt Disney) Michael Giacchino
"3:10 to Yuma" (Lionsgate) Marco Beltrami

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)
"Falling Slowly" from "Once" (Fox Searchlight) Music and Lyric by Glen Hansard and: Marketa Irglova
"Happy Working Song" from "Enchanted" (Walt Disney): Music by Alan Menken; Lyric by Stephen Schwartz
"Raise It Up" from "August Rush" (Warner Bros.): Nominees to be determined
"So Close" from "Enchanted" (Walt Disney): Music by Alan Menken; Lyric by Stephen Schwartz
"That's How You Know" from "Enchanted" (Walt Disney): Music by Alan Menken; Lyric by Stephen Schwartz

Best motion picture of the year
"Atonement" (Focus Features) A Working Title Production: Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner and Paul Webster, Producers
"Juno" (Fox Searchlight) A Dancing Elk Pictures, LLC Production: Lianne Halfon, Mason Novick and Russell Smith, Producers
"Michael Clayton" (Warner Bros.) A Clayton Productions, LLC Production: Sydney Pollack, Jennifer Fox and Kerry Orent, Producers
"No Country for Old Men" (Miramax and Paramount Vantage) A Scott Rudin/Mike Zoss Production: Scott Rudin, Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, Producers
"There Will Be Blood" (Paramount Vantage and Miramax) A JoAnne Sellar/Ghoulardi Film Company Production: JoAnne Sellar, Paul Thomas Anderson and Daniel Lupi, Producers

Best animated short film
"I Met the Walrus" A Kids & Explosions Production: Josh Raskin
"Madame Tutli-Putli" (National Film Board of Canada) A National Film Board of Canada Production Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski "Même Les Pigeons Vont au Paradis (Even Pigeons Go to Heaven)" (Premium Films) A BUF Compagnie Production Samuel Tourneux and Simon Vanesse
"My Love (Moya Lyubov)" (Channel One Russia) A Dago-Film Studio, Channel One Russia and Dentsu Tec Production Alexander Petrov
"Peter & the Wolf" (BreakThru Films) A BreakThru Films/Se-ma-for Studios Production Suzie Templeton and Hugh Welchman

Best live action short film
"At Night" A Zentropa Entertainments 10 Production: Christian E. Christiansen and Louise Vesth
"Il Supplente (The Substitute)" (Sky Cinema Italia) A Frame by Frame Italia Production: Andrea Jublin
"Le Mozart des Pickpockets (The Mozart of Pickpockets)" (Premium Films) A Karé Production: Philippe Pollet-Villard
"Tanghi Argentini" (Premium Films) An Another Dimension of an Idea Production: Guido Thys and Anja Daelemans
"The Tonto Woman" A Knucklehead, Little Mo and Rose Hackney Barber Production: Daniel Barber and Matthew Brown

Achievement in sound editing
"The Bourne Ultimatum" (Universal): Karen Baker Landers and Per Hallberg
"No Country for Old Men" (Miramax and Paramount Vantage): Skip Lievsay
"Ratatouille" (Walt Disney): Randy Thom and Michael Silvers
"There Will Be Blood" (Paramount Vantage and Miramax): Matthew Wood
"Transformers" (DreamWorks and Paramount in association with Hasbro): Ethan Van der Ryn and Mike Hopkins

Achievement in sound mixing
"The Bourne Ultimatum" (Universal) Scott Millan, David Parker and Kirk Francis
"No Country for Old Men" (Miramax and Paramount Vantage): Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff and Peter Kurland
"Ratatouille" (Walt Disney): Randy Thom, Michael Semanick and Doc Kane
"3:10 to Yuma" (Lionsgate): Paul Massey, David Giammarco and Jim Stuebe
"Transformers" (DreamWorks and Paramount in association with Hasbro): Kevin O'Connell, Greg P. Russell and Peter J. Devlin

Achievement in visual effects
"The Golden Compass" (New Line in association with Ingenious Film Partners): Michael Fink, Bill Westenhofer, Ben Morris and Trevor Wood
"Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" (Walt Disney): John Knoll, Hal Hickel, Charles Gibson and John Frazier
"Transformers" (DreamWorks and Paramount in association with Hasbro): Scott Farrar, Scott Benza, Russell Earl and John Frazier

Adapted screenplay
"Atonement" (Focus Features), Screenplay by Christopher Hampton
"Away from Her" (Lionsgate), Written by Sarah Polley
"The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" (Miramax/Pathé Renn), Screenplay by Ronald Harwood
"No Country for Old Men" (Miramax and Paramount Vantage), Written for the screen by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
"There Will Be Blood" (Paramount Vantage and Miramax), Written for the screen by Paul Thomas Anderson

Original screenplay
"Juno" (Fox Searchlight), Written by Diablo Cody
"Lars and the Real Girl" (MGM), Written by Nancy Oliver
"Michael Clayton" (Warner Bros.), Written by Tony Gilroy
"Ratatouille" (Walt Disney), Screenplay by Brad Bird; Story by Jan Pinkava, Jim Capobianco, Brad Bird
"The Savages" (Fox Searchlight), Written by Tamara Jenkins

Letter from MLK III to Sen. John Edwards

I got this in my inbox and even though I support Sen. Clinton, I felt it was necessary to post it here.

January 20, 2008

The Honorable John R. Edwards
410 Market Street
Suite 400
Chapel Hill, NC 27516

Dear Senator Edwards:

It was good meeting with you yesterday and discussing my father's legacy. On the day when the nation will honor my father, I wanted to follow up with a personal note.

There has been, and will continue to be, a lot of back and forth in the political arena over my father's legacy. It is a commentary on the breadth and depth of his impact that so many people want to claim his legacy. I am concerned that we do not blur the lines and obscure the truth about what he stood for: speaking up for justice for those who have no voice.

I appreciate that on the major issues of health care, the environment, and the economy, you have framed the issues for what they are - a struggle for justice. And, you have almost single-handedly made poverty an issue in this election.

You know as well as anyone that the 37 million people living in poverty have no voice in our system. They don't have lobbyists in Washington and they don't get to go to lunch with members of Congress. Speaking up for them is not politically convenient. But, it is the right thing to do.

I am disturbed by how little attention the topic of economic justice has received during this campaign. I want to challenge all candidates to follow your lead, and speak up loudly and forcefully on the issue of economic justice in America.

From our conversation yesterday, I know this is personal for you. I know you know what it means to come from nothing. I know you know what it means to get the opportunities you need to build a better life. And, I know you know that injustice is alive and well in America, because millions of people will never get the same opportunities you had.

I believe that now, more than ever, we need a leader who wakes up every morning with the knowledge of that injustice in the forefront of their minds, and who knows that when we commit ourselves to a cause as a nation, we can make major strides in our own lifetimes. My father was not driven by an illusory vision of a perfect society. He was driven by the certain knowledge that when people of good faith and strong principles commit to making things better, we can change hearts, we can change minds, and we can change lives.

So, I urge you: keep going. Ignore the pundits, who think this is a horserace, not a fight for justice. My dad was a fighter. As a friend and a believer in my father's words that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere, I say to you: keep going. Keep fighting. My father would be proud.

Sincerely,

Martin L. King, III

Monday, January 21, 2008

Strike Wars

Indianapolis Colts head coach Tony Dungy to return for 2008

That answers the inevitable question.
Indianapolis head coach Tony Dungy will return to the helm of the Colts for the 2008 season, reports NFL Network's Adam Schefter.

The Colts have called a press conference for 4:30 p.m. ET today that will include Dungy, owner Jim Irsay, general manager Bill Polian and assistant head coach Jim Caldwell.

Dungy, the first black head coach to win a Super Bowl, pondered retirement for a third straight year before reaching his decision. The 52-year-old signed a three-year contract extension in September 2005, a deal intended to keep him with the Colts through 2009.

Dungy has said in the past he never intended to be a "lifer" in football and that he initially planned to retire by the time he was 50.

Dungy is 127-65 in 12 seasons as a head coach, finishing his six-year career in Tampa Bay as the franchise's winningest coach. He is the only Colts coach to get double-digit victory totals and earn playoff berths in six straight seasons. He led the Buccaneers to the NFC championship game in 1999 and has been to the AFC championship game twice with the Colts, following the 2003 and 2006 seasons.

In 2007, the Colts became the first team in league history to win at least 12 games in five consecutive years, and Indy has won five straight AFC South titles. Dungy also has been an assistant coach with Minnesota, Kansas City and Pittsburgh and spent three seasons in the late '70s playing for the Steelers and San Francisco 49ers.
Glad to have you back, Coach Dungy.

Bayh on MLK, Jr. and Rep. Carson

Evan Bayh:
Two Legacies of Inspiration
Today, we pause to honor two Americans of uncommon gifts and reflect on their extraordinary lives of accomplishment.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. transcended politics and breathed life into a civil rights movement that shined a light on racial injustice in America. He fought with words rather than bullets. He advocated for marches and sit-ins rather than riots and violence. And he proved to a nation and the world the power of peace.

Today, as we celebrate MLK Day and honor this special American healer, let us also pause to celebrate the legacy of one of Dr. King's greatest Hoosier acolytes, the late Congresswoman Julia Carson, who lost her long battle with lung cancer in December.

Much like Dr. King, Julia was a trailblazer who made history. In her life, she often faced daunting odds, but she never lost sight of her devotion to helping others. She inspired those around her with the belief that we could and should do more in the fight for what is right and just.

Tomorrow, on the first day that the United States Senate comes back into session, I will take the first step in enshrining a permanent reminder of her 35 years of passionate service on behalf of the people of Indianapolis.

With the support of Senator Lugar, I will introduce legislation that proposes renaming the Mapleton Station Post Office in Indianapolis the Julia M. Carson Post Office.

The facility is located at an address that already honors one of her heroes—2650 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street—a fitting location to remember a Hoosier public servant who left her home a far richer place as a result of her lifetime of service.

Horne on MLK, Jr.

Andrew Horne on MLK, Jr:
"Today, we remember a great American--a servant of G-d and his fellow man, whose voice of inspiration echoed across our country and ushered in a new civic awakening.

"Dr. King's life and legacy serve as proud testaments to the promise of this country and its people. We should strive every day to live up to his message of peace and justice.

"Though leaders like him come along too rarely and are with us for too short a time, as long as we continue to build on Martin Luther King's dream, he will live on forever."

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Super Bowl XLII: New England Patriots vs. New York Giants

My hatred of the New England Patriots comes natural being an Indianapolis Colts fan so I will be pulling for the New York Giants of the NFC in two weeks during Super Bowl XLII.

The game will be broadcast on FOX with play by play being handled by Joe Buck and the analyst, Troy Aikman.

Kick-off time: 6:18 p.m. EST

National Anthem: Jordin Sparks

Are blogs the new tabloids?

I feel that is where the blogosphere is headed. I don't want to read about Britney, Paris, or Lindsay. Make it stop.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Nevada Caucus

Former North Carolina Senator John Edwards needs to pull out before he further ruins whatever political career he has left. For what he was polling, today was extremely disappointing.

Mike Gravel and Dennis Kucinich, with their very low numbers, should also pull out as well.

This race is really between Senators Clinton and Obama. If you are for Edwards, I highly encourage you to switch support. Today was an embarrassment.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

WLUK in Green Bay drops Seinfeld

WLUK TV in Green Bay, Wisconsin has dropped a rerun of Seinfeld this Saturday. When asked for comment, sources said a show about nothing should have been cancelled along time ago.

In all seriousness, it's a jab at New York fans and Eli Manning himself.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Breaking News: Anne Northup for Congress?

We know. Trust me, we know.

WHAS-11 reporter Mark Hebert reports that Erwin Roberts is being called up to active duty.
Republican Erwin Roberts has been put on notice that he's being called to active military duty for 12 months, forcing him to put his congressional campaign on hold.

Roberts has already filed papers to raise money to run for congress in the 3rd district. The deadline for filing his candidacy papers is January 29th. He was hoping to unseat democrat John Yarmuth. But the release from Roberts' campaign says he will called to active duty by the U.S. Army Reserves. Roberts says "I took an oath to serve.....although there will be sacrifices to make, when called, I will gladly serve."
Hebert notes that Roberts raised $300,000 for his campaign.

Pol Watchers notes this email sent out to supporters:
After this November's election, I had hoped to have the honor of serving my country as the next congressman for the 3rd Congressional District of Kentucky. Instead, I will have the honor of serving my country in the U.S. Army.
Excerpt from a statement released follows:
Due to the fluidity of the situation, my campaign for Congress will be placed on hold pending further notice regarding my call to active duty. This is certainly a difficult situation, but one I hope will be resolved soon. While looking forward to a reasoned discussion on the issues facing America and specifically Kentucky's Third Congressional District, I must for now give my attention to the challenges ahead. As with all Reservists who receive notice of a call to active duty, my main focus is on my family and preparing to serve.
Joe Gerth reports that fromer Republican Congressman Anne Northup is seriously considering become a three-time loser in a three year period.
But when word of Roberts impending call-up began circulating among Republicans close to him over the weekend, Northup called longtime political adviser Ted Jackson and floated the idea of another race, Jackson said.

"She's giving it very serious consideration," Jackson said.

"She's been a constant and longtime supporter of Erwin Roberts and believed that he would be the candidate ... but you can't plan these things," Jackson said. "There is certainly not another person that would have the strength that Anne would have immediately if she ultimately makes a choice to do it."

Northup served as 3rd District Congresswoman for five terms before Yarmuth ousted her in 2006. Following her loss to Yarmuth, Northup jumped into a primary race against Gov. Ernie Fletcher, saying the Republican who had been tarnished by an investigation into his administration and was indicted on misdemeanor counts couldn't win reelection.

Northup won handily in the 3rd Congressional district but lost the Republican Primary statewide. Ultimately, she was proven right when Democrat Steve Beshear cruised to an easy victory over Fletcher in November.
Bluegrass Roots notes this statement from John Yarmuth:
"I doubt very seriously that this community wants to return to a representative who championed our disastrous policy in Iraq, voted us into a nine trillion dollar debt, and answers to the drug, insurance and oil companies that financed her campaigns," his statement said.

He also noted that Northup seems to be in perpetual campaign mode.

"This is what happens with a professional politician: they keep running no matter how many times voters reject them," Yarmuth's statement said.
Go ahead, Anne. Lose and you will be called a frequent or perennial candidate during your next election. Yarmuth has it right.

Rep. John Yarmuth questions Sen. Geeorge Mitchell

From yesterday's House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Hearing on Illegal Steroid Use by Major League Baseball Athletes:
YARMUTH: Thank you, Senator, for your testimony and for your report, although I must say, as the representative of Louisville, Kentucky, I'm disappointed the report didn't deal with the performance-enhancing qualities of the Louisville Slugger. I'm sure you will take that up at a further time.

MITCHELL: There's been a lot of publicity and speculation about bats in recent years, as you know.

YARMUTH: Yes. But I do want to focus on the issue of the concept of performance-enhancing, because you mentioned in your testimony, you say the players apparently believed -- they took HGH because they apparently believed that it enhanced their ability to recover from injuries and to combat fatigue.

And I think I'm focused, as some of the other members are, Congressman Cummings and others, on the impact, the influence on our young people and I'm sure that our young people are looking at this whole issue of performance enhancement and looking at Barry Bonds and some of the other players who have been named and saying "I could hit more homeruns, I can throw faster pitches."

And I'm sure you're familiar with the op-ed piece that was in the "New York Times" right after your report came out, a sociologist and a statistician analyzed all the players mentioned in your report and found out that there was no discernable statistical difference between their performance before and after they were identified as having taken these enhancement substances and, in fact, there was a slight drop-off, if anything.

So I'm wondering whether, in the course of your investigation, you felt that we really knew enough about what these substances really did, because in terms of providing education for our kids. If, in fact, there is no performance, I mean, in terms of batting average or ERA or those types of statistics, maybe the kids would be less prone to use them if we really found out that there wasn't any quantitative difference in their performance.

Would you comment on that, please?

MITCHELL: I believe that the subject is very complicated and as often happens in life, a phrase has entered into the universe of vocabulary of our society -- performance-enhancing substances.

If you look at and talk to the players who use them, you find that the motives, while they ultimately involve performance, don't always do so in an immediate sense. A lot of it is recovery time, recovery from injury, recovery from strenuous workouts, the ability to work out more often. A lot of it is psychological, "It made me feel good."

Each of us is familiar with that effect. When you walk in to give a speech before 5,000 people at a convention, if you're feeling good, you're going to do a much better job than if you're not. There is a huge placebo effect all throughout American medicine, not just in terms of athletes or performance-enhancing substances.

So I think the subject is more complicated than a simple phrase represents.

However, I think there is also, the other side, substantial evidence that in at least some individual cases, performance was enhanced as a consequence. It might have been psychological, it might have been recovery.

I happen to think, having tried to play baseball myself as a young man, that anybody who makes it to the major leagues is a highly talented person. You have to be a great athlete to get to the major leagues in any event.

So I don't think anybody who gets to the big leagues needs a steroid or some other drug to be able to hit or throw or field a baseball. What they were looking for was a competitive advantage in a highly competitive situation.

In my report, we quote one player who said one of the biggest gripes is "This other guy's taking steroids and he's taken my spot on the roster." And so I think it's more complicated than the phrase itself suggests and as so often happens in life, the motives of the individuals who take them are not always identical.

Indeed, some of them cite different reasons for taking different substances.

YARMUTH: Thank you, Senator.

I yield back.

Bonus Quote of the Day

"Let me ask you about Mr. Palmeiro (Editor's note: Shays kept saying Palmerry or Palmeree.). This case seems to describe to me a continued failure on the part of the commissioner and Major League Baseball to come to grips with this issue.

"Was he found to have taken drugs before he hit his 300th hit?"
--Republican Congressman Christopher Shays, a non-baseball fan from of Connecticut,
January 15, 2008

Sen. George Mitchell replied: "I'm sorry, before what?"

Quote of the Day

"In 1919, the Chicago BlackHawks scandal, you had eight players, you had a shortstop, two pitchers, two fielders, a first baseman, utility man, third base, when they tried to throw the Chicago White Sox playing Cincinnati Reds, and they were booted out for life."
--Republican Congressman Christopher Shays, a non-baseball fan from of Connecticut, January 15, 2008

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

No deal, no waiver for Academy Awards

No Waiver for Academy Awards:
In the wake of the cancellation of the traditional Golden Globe Awards ceremony, Writers Guild of America West president Patric Verrone reiterated Tuesday that he does not anticipate granting the Academy Awards a waiver unless the striking writers and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers reach a deal.

Without a waiver, it remains to be seen whether the Screen Actors Guild membership would skip the Oscars as it did for the Globes, not wanting to cross a picket line. That combination played a large role in the trimming of the ceremony to a brief press conference.

The WGA already turned down a request to use clips for the Academy Awards, and the WGA board of directors also voted in December to deny any future request for writers to script the ceremony.

Verrone said that while that request has not yet been made, the plan is still to deny it unless the WGA and AMPTP come to terms on a contract before the show. “[A deal] is certainly the most likely thing to make a difference,” he added.

Verrone also said the WGA had received a similar waiver request Tuesday for the Grammy Awards, but he offered little information other than to say that the board will vote on the request at a time yet to be determined.

Talk show-esque monologue joke of the day

Governor Steve Beshear, in his first State of the Commonwealth address last night, said that conditions of the state were "not acceptable." Also not acceptable was the Gooch's prime seat in the front.

Okay, so I didn't watch the address. If you don't get this, then start watching the late night talk shows

Monday, January 14, 2008

Ghandi disgraces Ghandi with anti-Semitic language

Arun Ghandi, grandson of the late Ghandi, has disgrace the Ghandi name.
Jewish identity in the past has been locked into the holocaust experience -- a German burden that the Jews have not been able to shed. It is a very good example of a community can overplay a historic experience to the point that it begins to repulse friends. The holocaust was the result of the warped mind of an individual who was able to influence his followers into doing something dreadful. But, it seems to me the Jews today not only want the Germans to feel guilty but the whole world must regret what happened to the Jews. The world did feel sorry for the episode but when an individual or a nation refuses to forgive and move on the regret turns into anger.

The Jewish identity in the future appears bleak. Any nation that remains anchored to the past is unable to move ahead and, especially a nation that believes its survival can only be ensured by weapons and bombs. In Tel Aviv in 2004 I had the opportunity to speak to some Members of Parliament and Peace activists all of whom argued that the wall and the military build-up was necessary to protect the nation and the people.[...]

Apparently, in the modern world, so determined to live by the bomb, this is an alien concept. You don't befriend anyone, you dominate them. We have created a culture of violence (Israel and the Jews are the biggest players) and that Culture of Violence is eventually going to destroy humanity.
As expected, the Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Committee have slammed his apology, which does not even bother going far enough.

The president of the University of Rochester, Joel Seligman, has issued a statement in response to the controversy.

What's the deal with the 10th?

Meeting candidates can be personal. As is evidenced here.
I have seen the future and it's Jay Footlik.

Up until recently, I considered myself a very strong Dan Seals supporter. On a whim, I went to a coffee to hear Jay Footlik and I was incredibly impressed.

Jay's experience working in the White House and living in the Middle East clearly sets him apart - but it's his familiarity and insight into a range of issues that really sold me.

Next to Jay, Seals' experience seems very weak and not what we need at a time of so much conflict around the globe.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

2008 Golden Globe Winners

The following are the winners of the 65th Annual Golden Globe Awards. Nancy O'Dell and Billy Bush hosted the Golden Globes Winners Special on NBC.

BEST MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA: ATONEMENT
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA: JULIE CHRISTIE — AWAY FROM HER
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA: DANIEL DAY-LEWIS — THERE WILL BE BLOOD
BEST MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL: SWEENEY TODD
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL: MARION COTILLARD – LA VIE EN ROSE
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL: JOHNNY DEPP — SWEENEY TODD
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM: RATATOUILLE
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY (FRANCE AND USA)
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE: CATE BLANCHETT — I’M NOT THERE
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE: JAVIER BARDEM — NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN
BEST DIRECTOR – MOTION PICTURE: JULIAN SCHNABEL — THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY
BEST SCREENPLAY – MOTION PICTURE: ETHAN COEN & JOEL COEN — NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE – MOTION PICTURE: DARIO MARIANELLI — ATONEMENT
BEST ORIGINAL SONG – MOTION PICTURE: "GUARANTEED" — INTO THE WILD
BEST TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA: MAD MEN (AMC)
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA: GLENN CLOSE – DAMAGES
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA: JON HAMM – MAD MEN
BEST TELEVISION SERIES – COMEDY OR MUSICAL: EXTRAS (HBO)
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES –COMEDY OR MUSICAL: TINA FEY - 30 ROCK
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES – COMEDY OR MUSICAL: DAVID DUCHOVNY - CALIFORNICATION
BEST MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION: LONGFORD (HBO)
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION: QUEEN LATIFAH - LIFE SUPPORT
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION: JIM BROADBENT - LONGFORD
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A SERIES, MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION: SAMANTHA MORTON - LONGFORD
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A SERIES, MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION: JEREMY PIVEN - ENTOURAGE

2008 Golden Globe Nominees

The following are the nominees of the 65th Annual Golden Globe Awards. They were announced on December 13, 2007. Of course, Seth Rogen, Judd Apatow, and Evan Goldberg were widely ignored for the success of the films of Knocked Up and Superbad.

My predictions, as is usually the case, are in bold.

BEST MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
AMERICAN GANGSTER
ATONEMENT
EASTERN PROMISES
THE GREAT DEBATERS
MICHAEL CLAYTON
NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN
THERE WILL BE BLOOD

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
CATE BLANCHETT — ELIZABETH: THE GOLDEN AGE
JULIE CHRISTIE — AWAY FROM HER
JODIE FOSTER — THE BRAVE ONE
ANGELINA JOLIE — A MIGHTY HEART
KEIRA KNIGHTLEY — ATONEMENT

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
GEORGE CLOONEY — MICHAEL CLAYTON
DANIEL DAY-LEWIS — THERE WILL BE BLOOD
JAMES MCAVOY — ATONEMENT
VIGGO MORTENSEN — EASTERN PROMISES
DENZEL WASHINGTON — AMERICAN GANGSTER

BEST MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
ACROSS THE UNIVERSE
CHARLIE WILSON’S WAR
HAIRSPRAY
JUNO
SWEENEY TODD

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
AMY ADAMS – ENCHANTED
NIKKI BLONSKY – HAIRSPRAY
HELENA BONHAM CARTER – SWEENEY TODD
MARION COTILLARD – LA VIE EN ROSE
ELLEN PAGE – JUNO

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
JOHNNY DEPP — SWEENEY TODD
RYAN GOSLING — LARS AND THE REAL GIRL
TOM HANKS — CHARLIE WILSON’S WAR
PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN — THE SAVAGES
JOHN C. REILLY — WALK HARD: THE DEWEY COX STORY

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
BEE MOVIE
RATATOUILLE
THE SIMPSONS MOVIE

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS AND 2 DAYS (ROMANIA)
THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY (FRANCE AND USA)
THE KITE RUNNER (USA)
LUST, CAUTION (TAIWAN)
PERSEPOLIS (FRANCE)

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE
CATE BLANCHETT — I’M NOT THERE
JULIA ROBERTS — CHARLIE WILSON’S WAR
SAOIRSE RONAN —ATONEMENT
AMY RYAN — GONE BABY GONE
TILDA SWINTON — MICHAEL CLAYTON

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE
CASEY AFFLECK — THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD
JAVIER BARDEM —NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN
PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN — CHARLIE WILSON’S WAR
JOHN TRAVOLTA — HAIRSPRAY
TOM WILKINSON — MICHAEL CLAYTON

BEST DIRECTOR – MOTION PICTURE
TIM BURTON — SWEENEY TODD
ETHAN COEN & JOEL COEN — NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN
JULIAN SCHNABEL — THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY
RIDLEY SCOTT — AMERICAN GANGSTER
JOE WRIGHT — ATONEMENT

BEST SCREENPLAY – MOTION PICTURE
DIABLO CODY — JUNO
ETHAN COEN & JOEL COEN — NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN
CHRISTOPHER HAMPTON — ATONEMENT
RONALD HARWOOD — THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY
AARON SORKIN — CHARLIE WILSON’S WAR

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE – MOTION PICTURE
MICHAEL BROOK, KAKI KING, EDDIE VEDDER — INTO THE WILD
CLINT EASTWOOD — GRACE IS GONE
ALBERTO IGLESIAS — THE KITE RUNNER
DARIO MARIANELLI — ATONEMENT
HOWARD SHORE — EASTERN PROMISES

BEST ORIGINAL SONG – MOTION PICTURE
"DESPEDIDA" — LOVE IN THE TIME OF CHOLERA
"GRACE IS GONE" — GRACE IS GONE
"GUARANTEED" — INTO THE WILD
"THAT’S HOW YOU KNOW" — ENCHANTED
"WALK HARD" — WALK HARD: THE DEWEY COX STORY

BEST TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA
BIG LOVE (HBO)
DAMAGES (FX NETWORKS)
GREY’S ANATOMY (ABC)
HOUSE (FOX)
MAD MEN (AMC)
THE TUDORS (SHOWTIME)

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA
PATRICIA ARQUETTE – MEDIUM
GLENN CLOSE – DAMAGES
MINNIE DRIVER – THE RICHES
EDIE FALCO – THE SOPRANOS
SALLY FIELD – BROTHERS & SISTERS
HOLLY HUNTER – SAVING GRACE
KYRA SEDGWICK – THE CLOSER

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA
MICHAEL C. HALL – DEXTER
JON HAMM – MAD MEN
HUGH LAURIE – HOUSE
JONATHAN RHYS MEYERS – THE TUDORS
BILL PAXTON – BIG LOVE

BEST TELEVISION SERIES – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
30 ROCK (NBC)
CALIFORNICATION (SHOWTIME)
ENTOURAGE (HBO)
EXTRAS (HBO)
PUSHING DAISIES (ABC)

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES –COMEDY OR MUSICAL
CHRISTINA APPLEGATE - SAMANTHA WHO?
AMERICA FERRERA - UGLY BETTY
TINA FEY - 30 ROCK
ANNA FRIEL - PUSHING DAISIES
MARY-LOUISE PARKER - WEEDS

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
ALEC BALDWIN - 30 ROCK
STEVE CARELL - THE OFFICE
DAVID DUCHOVNY - CALIFORNICATION
RICKY GERVAIS - EXTRAS
LEE PACE - PUSHING DAISIES

BEST MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
BURY MY HEART AT WOUNDED KNEE (HBO)
THE COMPANY (TNT)
FIVE DAYS (HBO)
LONGFORD (HBO)
THE STATE WITHIN (BBC AMERICA)

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
BRYCE DALLAS HOWARD - AS YOU LIKE IT
DEBRA MESSING - THE STARTER WIFE
QUEEN LATIFAH - LIFE SUPPORT
SISSY SPACEK - PICTURES OF HOLLIS WOODS
RUTH WILSON - JANE EYRE (MASTERPIECE THEATRE)

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
ADAM BEACH - BURY MY HEART AT WOUNDED - KNEE
ERNEST BORGNINE - A GRANDPA FOR CHRISTMAS
JIM BROADBENT - LONGFORD
JASON ISAACS - THE STATE WITHIN
JAMES NESBITT - JEKYLL

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A SERIES, MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
ROSE BYRNE - DAMAGES
RACHEL GRIFFITHS - BROTHERS & SISTERS
KATHERINE HEIGL - GREY’S ANATOMY
SAMANTHA MORTON - LONGFORD
ANNA PAQUIN - BURY MY HEART AT WOUNDED - KNEE
JAIME PRESSLY - MY NAME IS EARL

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A SERIES, MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
TED DANSON - DAMAGES
KEVIN DILLON - ENTOURAGE
JEREMY PIVEN - ENTOURAGE
ANDY SERKIS - LONGFORD
WILLIAM SHATNER - BOSTON LEGAL
DONALD SUTHERLAND - DIRTY SEXY MONEY

Friday, January 11, 2008

Photo Caption Contest



Photo by the Courier-Journal

Everybody's favorite thing to do...now go write a caption!

Nevada Caucus and the Jewish voters

Jewish Council for Public Affairs:
Separation of Shul and State: Observant Jews and Nevada's primary caucuses
January 19th is one of the most important contests in the Democratic and Republican quests for their parties’ nomination for the presidency. It is also Shabbat.

This year, the Nevada Democratic and Republican parties have decided to hold their primary caucuses on a Saturday, with citizens required to report by 11:30 and 9:00 AM respectively, right during morning religious services. When I called the political parties in Nevada to inquire as to whether or not there were measures being taken to help accommodate those observant Jews who wished to participate in the caucuses, I received mixed results. A young Jewish woman at the Nevada Democratic Party told me that they had tried to put caucus-sites near religious neighborhoods and synagogues so that people could walk; precinct captains would be educated about the need to write down information on behalf of observant Jews instead of asking them to sign-in and write themselves. A gentleman at the Nevada Republican Party told me that the party was not even aware of the problem, but promised to make an effort to educate precinct captains on the issue. Neither had an adequate answer as to why the caucuses had to take place on a Shabbat morning.

Nevada has one of the fastest growing Jewish populations in the country, and its 65,000-80,000 Jewish community members are expected to have a disproportionate impact on the results. I do not know how many of these Jews are observant enough to be effectively barred from participating in the caucus. I do not know how many of these Jews will be pushed into the uncomfortable position of choosing between attending synagogue and participating in a cherished American civic tradition. I DO know that it is highly unlikely that the state's political parties would choose to hold these caucuses on a Sunday morning during church services.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

You Must Read This

Tina Dupuy, a comedian, wrote the article I linked to. Anyway, that bigoted person known as Fred Phelps called her a whore. I'm offended at that because Fred Phelps is nothing but a self-hating American who has no right to protest at military funerals or any funeral for that matter. What kind of a sicko would protest at a funeral just because he hates gays and lesbians. You know, I may not agree with their lifestyle (the gays and lesbians) but that does not give this man any sort of f***ing right to use derogatory language towards him.

If Fred Phelps, if by any reason this is sent to him or found by him, reads this, all I have to say is the same words that Vice President Dick Cheney told Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy because Fred Phelps is nothing but a bigoted self hating American who is as bad as this administration.

Larry David endorses Newman for President

Okay, so the Seinfeld creator actually is on the stump for Obama but talked about Seinfeld in the process. The Forward has the scoop:
Though politics brought David to Dartmouth, the campus newspaper reported that he also fielded questions related to his day job. Asked which “Seinfeld” character would make the best president, he had a ready reply.

“Newman,” David answered, referring to the show’s conniving postman. “Because every time he would give a press conference and walk up to the podium, everyone would say, ‘Hello, Newman.’”

IL-10: Jay Footlik ready to lead

This email was sent out by the Jay Footlik congressional campaign:

Over the past six years, we have watched in shock and disbelief as the disastrous foreign policies of George Bush have tragically increased turmoil and chaos across the globe, endangering the fundamental security of the American people.

In the Middle East, our leaders’ penchant for relying on military force and a botched attempt to impose democracy, have made the situation there more dire than it has been in decades. The neglect of diplomacy threatens critical American interests throughout the region.

We must elect new leaders who understand today’s geopolitics and are prepared to discard the cowboy diplomacy that has marred the 21st century. We need leaders who have the sophistication to deal with complex affairs of state and the competence to create a constructive dialogue where necessary to ease tensions around the globe.

That’s why we are supporting Jay Footlik for Congress. Having worked with Jay in the Clinton White House, we know him to be a dedicated and talented public servant. He is committed to the highest values for which America stands and possesses the knowledge and understanding of current international issues that will allow him to be a productive force in the formulation of policy ideas in the United States House of Representatives.

Jay will take to Congress a unique background and practical experience that allows him to comprehend the root causes of the conflicts in the Middle East. He has a strong desire to get our country back on track – both in our dealings abroad and at home. In particular, Jay has unique insight into the most critical problems facing our country today – resolving the war in Iraq, dealing with the threat of an Iranian nuclear force, and reducing our dependence on oil.

Electing Jay Footlik will give the people of the 10th district of Illinois a representative who will put principle over self-preservation, and a patriot who will put what’s best for the country over the demands of private interests.

Sincerely,
Hon. Richard Holbrooke
Former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N.

Hon. Martin Indyk
Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel

Hon. Jim Rosapepe
Former U.S. Ambassador to Romania

Hon. Dennis Ross
Former Special Middle East Envoy

Hon. Marc Ginsberg
Former U.S. Ambassador to Morocco

Scratch that, Bloomberg research chances

CNN:
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has launched a research effort to assess his chances in a potential bid for the presidency, a source close to the mayor told CNN.

The source said data is being gathered but that the mayor -- who has been widely speculated as being interested in running for the White House as an independent -- has not yet begun analyzing that data, the source said.

The source, who is intimately familiar with the mayor's deliberations, said Bloomberg has set early March as a timetable for making a decision.

Bloomberg, a former Democrat who was elected to the mayor's office as a Republican, joined a panel of moderate current and former lawmakers earlier this week at the University of Oklahoma in Norman.

The group, made up of both Democrats and Republicans, called for a return to bipartisanship in government.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Bill Richardson ends presidential run

Not a surprise: Bill Richardson ends presidential bid.
New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson ended his campaign for the presidency Wednesday after twin fourth-place finishes that showed his impressive credentials could not compete with his rivals' star power.

Richardson planned to announce the decision Thursday, according to two people close to the governor with knowledge of the decision. They spoke on a condition of anonymity in advance of the governor's announcement.

The Richardson campaign would not comment on the governor's decision, reached after a meeting with his top advisers Wednesday in New Mexico.

Richardson had one of the most wide-ranging resumes of any candidate ever to run for the presidency, bringing experience from his time in Congress, President Clinton's Cabinet, in the New Mexico statehouse as well as his unique role as a freelance diplomat. As a Hispanic, he added to the unprecedented diversity in the Democratic field that also included a black and a woman.

But Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama dominated the spotlight in the campaign, and Richardson was never able to become a top-tier contender. He accused his rivals of failing to commit to bring troops home from Iraq soon enough.

He portrayed his campaign as a job application for president, and ran clever ads that showed a bored interviewer unimpressed with his dazzling resume. The commercials helped fuel his move to double-digit support in some early state polls, and advisers argued he was poised to move past former vice presidential nominee John Edwards for the role of third-place challenger.

But he was not able to build the momentum and came in a distant fourth place in Iowa and New Hampshire. Richardson didn't get quite 5 percent in the New Hampshire primary Tuesday and came in with just 2 percent in the Iowa caucus last week.

Richardson was born 60 years ago in Pasadena, Calif., after his American father sent his Mexican mother there to give birth and erase any doubts that his son would be a U.S. citizen. His father was an international banker from Boston, and Richardson spent his childhood in Mexico City before being sent to boarding school in Massachusetts, where he was a standout baseball player.

After graduating from Tufts University in 1971 with a master's degree in international affairs, Richardson worked first as a congressional aide and then for the State Department. He was a staffer for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee when he decided to leave Washington in 1978 to launch a political career.

Richardson settled in New Mexico partly because of the state's large Hispanic population, and he won election to the House. Richardson is a master negotiator, and put his diplomatic skills to work to rescue Americans held hostage abroad. He earned a reputation for a mix of patience, toughness and cultural sensitivity that served him well on mercy missions from North Korea to Cuba to Sudan.

President Clinton recruited Richardson to become U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, then secretary of Energy two years later.

He was easily elected to two terms as governor but will be forced from office by term limits in 2010. His closest advisers hope that even if his presidential campaign didn't bring him many votes, it built his reputation so that he'll one day be able to add even more to his resume.

Michael Bloomberg OFFICIALLY has ruled out presidential run in 2008

I recieved this email a few minutes ago from Mayor Bloomberg or one of his staffers:
Thank you for your kind words - but I already have a day job, and it's the greatest job in the world!

I very much appreciate all the support I've been receiving. That said, I plan to spend the next two and a half years leading the City in the same nonpartisan way I have since the beginning of my first term; an approach which has allowed us to find common ground on tough issues and achieve real solutions. That's why I was hired, and by continuing to work together, we can make New York stronger and safer than ever.

Thanks again for taking the time to write to me.

Sincerely,
Michael R. Bloomberg
Mayor
Plus, there is this New York Observer article following the conference in Oklahoma. Other conference members included:
David Boren - Former Governor and Senator of Oklahoma
Bill Brock - Former Senator of Tennessee and Secretary of Labor
Bill Cohen - Former Senator and Defense Secretary
Jack Danforth - Former Senator and U.N. Ambassador
Susan Eisenhower - Granddaughter of President Dwight D. Eisenhower
Bob Graham - Former Governor and Senator of Florida
Chuck Hagel - Former Nebraska Senator
Gary Hart - Former Colorado Senator
Jim Leach - Former Iowa Congressman and the John L. Weinberg Visiting Professor of Public and International Affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University
Sam Nunn - Former Georgia Senator
Edward Perkins - former US ambassador to the UN
Chuck Robb - Former Governor and Senator of Virginia
Christine Todd Whitman - Former New Jersey Governor and EPA Administrator.

34th Annual People's Choice Awards winners

Favorite Leading Lady – Drew Barrymore, Music and Lyrics
Favorite Competition Reality Show – Dancing with the Stars
Favorite Leading Man – Joaquin Phoenix, We Own The Night
Favorite R&B Song – “Shut Up and Drive,” Rihanna
Favorite Talk Show Host – Ellen Degeneres
Favorite TV Female Star – Katherine Heigl
Favorite Funny Male Star – Robin Williams
Favorite Group – Rascal Flatts
Favorite Country Song – “Stand,” Rascal Flatts
Favorite Female Movie Star – Reese Witherspoon
Favorite Independent Movie – Becoming Jane
Favorite Scene Stealing Star – Chandra Wilson, Grey’s Anatomy
Favorite Game Show – Deal or No Deal
Favorite Animated TV Comedy – The Simpsons
Favorite Threequel – Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
Favorite Action Movie – The Bourne Ultimatum
Favorite Movie - Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
Favorite Female Action Star – Keira Knightley
Favorite Reunion Tour – The Police
Favorite Male Singer – Justin Timberlake
Favorite Pop Song – “What Goes Around,” Justin Timberlake
Favorite Family Movie – Shrek the Third
Favorite Funny Female Star – Ellen Degeneres
Favorite Male Movie Star – Johnny Depp
Favorite Male Action Star – Matt Damon
Favorite Sci-Fi Show – Stargate Atlantis
Favorite Female Singer – Gwen Stefani
Favorite On-Screen match up – George Clooney and Brad Pitt, Ocean’s 13
Favorite Male TV Star – Patrick Dempsey, Grey’s Anatomy
Favorite TV Comedy – Two and a Half Men
Favorite Rock Song – “Home,” Daughtry
Favorite New Comedy – Samantha Who?
Favorite New TV Drama - Moonlight
Favorite Movie Comedy – Knocked Up
Favorite User-Generated Video - Shoes, Liam Kyle Sullivan
Favorite TV Drama – House