Monday, March 31, 2008

RIP: Bill Keightley, Mr. Wildcat

It is with great sadness and sorry that I make this post right now. I was just informed over the phone that Mr. Wildcat, Bill Keightley, fell out of a bus and tragically died today at the age of 81.

WKYT has confirmed the comments that my friend has made. The obituary is below:
27 NEWSFIRST & WYMT Mountain News have learned Keightley was going to the Cincinnati Reds opening game Monday afternoon, when he apparently fell in some sort of accident while getting off a bus at Great American Ballpark.

He was rushed to the University of Cincinnati Hospital where he died during surgery late Monday evening.

Keightley started working at UK in 1962, as the equipment manager.

In 2002, the university presented the first Bill Keightley award. It's given to the "individual who understands and exemplifies the pride, respect, and the positive attributes associated with being a part of the Kentucky basketball program."

Keightley had been on the UK bench for nearly 2,600 games, meaning he's played a role in about 57 percent of their games.

This past season was his 47th with UK.

The Lawrenceburg, Ky. native has his jersey retired in the rafters at Rupp Arena.
Mr. Keightley will be missed by all of the Big Blue Faithful. Our condolences to his family as well as the University of Kentucky Wildcats and all the coaches and players that have gotten to know him over the years.

Keightley was a surprise guest this past week at the Charlotte Bobcats Arena.
Longtime UK equipment manager and "Mr. Wildcat" Bill Keightley was a surprise guest among the U of L faithful in Charlotte Bobcats Arena on Thursday night.

"He's never going to like Louisville; it's just not his makeup," Pitino said. "But he understands what friendships and people are all about.

"And I really appreciate that, because guys like Bill Keightley, they're your friends for life. And a lot of guys I thought were my friends back in those (UK) days haven't been my friends."
Here's a link to a post I had back in 2005.

Here's the complete obituary provided by the Athletic Department.

Statement by Lee Todd:
President Todd on the passing of Bill Keightley
"For many Kentuckians, and, indeed, for much of the country, Bill Keightley was not only the face of UK Wildcat basketball, but the University of Kentucky itself. In his five decades with the university, Mr. Keightley represented UK and the Big Blue Nation with class, with devotion and with an abiding love for our players and fans. He was as much a part of the basketball program as any player or coach. He was 'Mr. Wildcat.' An entire state tonight – from Paducah to Pikeville -- is mourning his passing and, I'm sure, remembering his family in prayer along with Patsy and me. It's my belief that in heaven he's already helping organize a game or two and telling stories of Wildcat lore to anyone who will listen."
A Sea of Blue has a great round-up of articles and tributes.

Jerry Tipton writes on today's press conference in which Billy Gillispie and players reflect on Bill Keightley's passing. There is this tidbit:

Mr. Wildcat by the numbers
2: One of only two non-players or coaches to have his name hoisted into Rupp Arena rafters. The other was longtime broadcaster Cawood Ledford.
3: UK NCAA titles at which Keightley sat courtside.
6: Head coaches Keightley served under (Adolph Rupp, Joe B. Hall, Eddie Sutton, Rick Pitino, Tubby Smith, Billy Gillispie).
8: UK trips to Final Four at which Keightley sat courtside.
12: Southeastern Conference Tournament titles during his tenure.
19: All-Americans who have gone through UK in Keightley’s tenure.
24: Won or shared UK Southeastern Conference regular-season championships
48: Seasons as equipment manager on UK bench.
57: Percentage of games in the 105-year history of UK basketball in which Keightley worked.
1,113: Wins he witnessed from UK bench

Mark Story has a great article.

Former Kentucky Coach Tubby Smith issued a statement:
“Words can not describe what Mr. Keightley has meant to me and many others that have been involved with Kentucky Basketball. Mr. Keightley has been a confidant to so many coaches that have had the good fortune to sit along side him. That is what it has been, us sitting next to him, not him sitting next to us. No one will ever love Kentucky Basketball more than Mr. Keightley. A few years back, he began writing his book of stories about UK Basketball. For those who did not know him personally, hopefully his book of memoirs will allow them the opportunity to learn about his legacy, one that can never be replaced. In my years with him, he taught me so much about life. We have certainly lost a great treasure in his passing. He has always had a way of being able to pick you up when things were down. I know his spirit will continue to be with me and all Wildcat fans, players, managers and coaches. He is certainly loved by many, and will be missed by all.”

Bruce Lunsford leads the senate race, Hillary Clinton outpolls Obama in the the state

Survey USA:
In a Democratic Primary in Kentucky today, 03/31/08, 7 weeks till the votes are counted, businessman Bruce Lunsford has more support than his nearest 6 challengers combined, according to a SurveyUSA poll conducted exclusively for WHAS-TV Louisville and WCPO-TV Cincinnati. Today, it's Lunsford 42%, frequent candidate David Williams 11%, and 5 others in single digits. Lunsford receives no less than 39% of the Democratic vote in every region of the state. The winner of the 05/20/08 closed Democratic Primary advances to face Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader of the U.S. Senate, who is running for his 5th term.
Here's the update on the Democratic primary in Kentucky from SurveyUSA:
In a Democratic Primary in Kentucky today, 03/31/08, 7 weeks till the votes are counted, Hillary Clinton defeats Barack Obama 58% to 29%, according to a SurveyUSA poll conducted for WHAS-TV Louisville and WCPO-TV Cincinnati. Clinton leads narrowly in greater Louisville, but leads decisively in other parts of the state, including 4:1 in Eastern KY. Obama trails by 20 among men, trails by 37 among women.

Ignoring the obvious...

I've gotten email that Page One talks about here and from a campaign perspective, this is not pretty especially when the Fischer campaign chooses to ignore the obvious. This hurts Fischer more than it helps.

This is REALLY an embarrassment because nowhere in the MyDD posting does it say Matt Stoller wrote it or promoted it!

But wait...there's more. I'd copy and paste but you are better off clicking on the links.

The Fischer campaign is shooting themselves in the foot!

UPDATE: This does not help Fischer.

Is Horn to USC official yet?

Sources tell WIS News 10 that the board of trustees is meeting to approve the contract of Western Kentucky University Hilltoppers basketball coach Darrin Horn, who is expected to be the head basketball coach at USC.

USC is looking to replace former head coach Dave Odom, who retired at the end of the season.

The 35-year-old Horn led the Hilltoppers to the NCAA regional semifinals this season and a 29-7 record. Horn is 111-48 in five seasons at his alma mater.

Horn has three years remaining on his contract, which includes a buyout of $157,000 per year and a provision requiring Horn's new school to play four games against the Hilltoppers.
If this is true, this is a huge coup by the South Carolina Gamecocks and a great addition to the SEC.

The State breaks the news that Horn has been hired and reports, also, that the board is meeting to discuss the contract.
South Carolina has hired Darrin Horn as its new men's basketball coach, a source said Monday. Horn leaves Western Kentucky, his alma mater, after five seasons.

The USC board of trustees has been called for a meeting Tuesday at 11 a.m., and the subject is the basketball coaching situation.

Board chairman Herbert Adams confirmed to The State that the meeting, which will probably be via teleconference, is regarding the new basketball coach. But he wasn't aware who the coach would be.

Horn has the leading candidate, sources have said for several days. USC athletics director Eric Hyman called his Western Kentucky counterpart over the weekend to tell him he would be contacting Horn.
Meanwhile, for Western Kentucky University, they are playing the waiting game.
Selig said no other school has contacted him seeking permission to speak with Horn, who has three years remaining on his contract with a $200,000 buyout and a clause for his new school to play WKU in a four-year, home-and-home series.

As far as WKU’s chances of keeping Horn, Selig said, “I think they’re pretty good.”

He added, “I know we’ve been very aggressive with him over the years to support him and the program. (As an alumnus) he is one of us. That goes a long way.”

Elected Senators hate democracy

Only in a representative democracy will your representatives call for a candidate to drop out of the race. Here's the glitch. Without the superdelegates, no candidate will get over the hump. I wonder if Dodd and Leahy support revotes or seating delegates from Florida and Michigan. My guess is a likely no since they hate democracy that much (for our readers coming in via google or elsewhere, this is called having a sense of humor).

Sen. Chris Dodd said Thursday a protracted Democratic presidential race would be "devastating" to the party.[...]

Dodd, a former presidential candidate and current backer of Barack Obama's White House bid, told the National Journal he thinks it’s a forgone conclusion Obama will be the Democratic presidential nominee, and said he thinks it's about time party leaders bring the race to a conclusion.[...]

But Dodd said Thursday allowing the race to continue indefinitely would be "irresponsible."

"Allowing this sort of to fester over the months of June, and July and August, I think, are irresponsible," he said. "I think you have to make a decision, and hopefully the candidates will respect it and people will rally behind a nominee that, I think, emerges from these contests over the next month."
Sen. Patrick Leahy is suggesting that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton abandon her White House run.

"Senator Clinton has every right, but not a very good reason, to remain a candidate for as long as she wants to. As far as the delegate count and the interests of a Democratic victory in November go, there is not a very good reason for drawing this out..."
Obama is misleading the voters per this memo from the Clinton campaign.
False Advertising: New Obama Ad Falsely Claims He Does Not Accept Money From Oil Companies
Phil Singer, Deputy Communications Director: “It’s unfortunate that Senator Obama is using false advertising to explain why he can be trusted to do something about energy prices. Senator Obama says he doesn’t take campaign contributions from oil companies but the reality is that ExxonMobil, Shell and others are among his donors. I wonder if they’ll fix the ad.”

A new ad by Sen. Obama running in Pennsylvania falsely claims that Sen. Obama does not accept money from the oil industry. In the ad, Sen. Obama says, "I'm Barack Obama and I don't take money from oil companies or lobbyists and I won’t let them block change anymore."

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Sen. Obama has received over $160,000 from the oil and gas companies. Two major bundlers for his campaign -- George Kaiser and Robert Cavnar – are oil company CEOs. Sen. Obama has accepted money from Exxon, Shell, BP, Chevron and just about every other major oil company. Just last month, Sen. Obama accepted another $8,400 from ExxonMobil, $12,370 from Chevron and $6,500 from British Petroleum.

In 2005, Sen. Obama voted for the Dick Cheney energy bill, which was written in secret with the oil industry. Hillary Clinton opposed Cheney's energy bill, has a plan to eliminate oil industry tax breaks, and would require oil companies to contribute to a $50 billion strategic energy fund to jumpstart research and investment in clean energy technologies.
In the words of Bruce Springsteen: No retreat, baby, no surrender.
Hillary Clinton is being forced to adjust her stump speech this weekend amid her slide in the polls and calls from Vermont Sen. Pat Leahy and others to cut her losses and leave the race.[...]

Clinton even suggested in an interview that she is geared up for a floor fight at the Democratic National Convention in August. There is no reason to doubt her — at least not until we’ve heard from the voters in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Oregon and Indiana.

The politics of no retreat and no surrender is a rite of passage during the parties’ quadrennial pugilistic nominating season, to be sure. It’s also a political law of diminishing returns.[...]

Clinton isn’t listening to her detractors; she’s more likely listening to the crouching prophet in pinstripes, Yogi Berra: “It ain’t over until it’s over.”

Billy G pulling for Kansas and Bill Self

Any other year and we would have had the four most storied programs playing in this weekend's final four but it was a down year for the University of Kentucky Wildcats. Needless to say, I am pulling for Bill Self and the Kansas Jayhawks. Guess who else is? Billy Gillispie.
One of Self’s closest friends, Kentucky coach Billy Gillispie, is thrilled Self today is back in an Elite Eight contest.

“I’ll have my ears and eyes on the game,” Gillispie told the Journal-World in a phone interview, indicating he’d be here in person if not for the fact he has to work.

Coaches at places like KU and UK do not take many days off.

“As a friend, it’d be pure joy for me (if KU wins). Nothing against the opponent, but this would be very emotional for me. I will be pulling for him as hard as I can. This is like pulling for a brother trying to advance to the Final Four for the first time. He is absolutely the reason I’ve had any opportunities in coaching,” Gillispie added.

Gillispie said he’d make one of the happiest phone calls of his life this evening if KU comes out on top.

“I’ll leave a message alongside a million of his other friends. The love and respect...the friendship I have with Bill Self, it could be a very emotional day,” Gillispie said.

Israel Project releases poll findings

The Israel Project has released new poll findings after commissioning a poll that was done by Public Opinion Strategies and Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research. Some highlights:
80 percent agree that now is the time to toughen sanctions to compel Iran to stop developing nuclear weapons;
More Americans than ever believe the U.S. should take Israel's side in the conflict;
Fully 76 percent of U.S. likely voters consider Israel a vital ally of the U.S.;
Fully 89 percent believe Palestinian leaders must end the culture of hate that encourages children to become suicide bombers;
More highlights of the findings:
A new bi-partisan poll commissioned by The Israel Project (TIP) shows the percent of Americans who believe the U.S. should take Israel’s side in the ongoing conflict between Israelis and Palestinians is at an all time high: 71 percent in contrast to 8 percent who believe the U.S. should side with the Palestinians.

"The militant actions by Hamas and disarray among the Palestinians have moved Americans to side with Israel even more strongly than in the past," concluded Stanley Greenberg, Ph.D., of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research.

Among U.S. likely voters, 60 percent support Israel, while support for the Palestinians has fallen to 8 percent. Majorities voting for McCain (85 percent), Obama (62 percent) and Clinton (58 percent) all support America standing with Israel in the conflict. Additionally, 76 percent of U.S. likely voters consider Israel a vital ally of the United States, and more than two-thirds think U.S. foreign aid to Israel is a good investment.

American support for a two-state solution in the Middle East is at an overwhelming 84 percent. Nearly three-quarters of Americans believe that the establishment of a Palestinian state would help improve the economic future of the Palestinian people, and two-thirds believe it will make Israel more secure as a nation. Only 46 percent think that establishing a Palestinian state will bring lasting peace, and 93 percent agree Palestinians must stop their missile attacks before a two-state solution can bring peace to the region.

Americans see the Israeli government as committed to peace in the Middle East. In contrast, significant majorities do not believe the same about the commitment levels of the Palestinian Authority and Hamas. While 66 percent of Americans believe the Israeli government is committed to reaching a peace agreement with the Palestinians, 61 percent believe the Palestinian Authority, led by President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank, is not committed to reaching a peace agreement with Israel. Similarly, 70 percent believe that the Hamas-led Palestinian leadership in Gaza is not committed to reaching such an agreement.

According to 89 percent of Americans, Palestinian leaders must end the culture of hate that encourages children to become suicide bombers. In contrast, a strong majority of Americans believes Israel respects freedoms of religion, speech and press, as well as the rights of women and minorities.

Americans think the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians is more about religion and ideology (69 percent) than land (24 percent). To reach a two-state solution, 70 percent agree Israel should be allowed to trade land with the Palestinians to avoid forcing tens of thousands of Jewish citizens to move from the West Bank. A plurality disagrees that Israel must give up its West Bank settlements and divide Jerusalem for there to be peace.

Fully 84 percent of Americans agree Israel should remain a Jewish state and a homeland for the Jewish people. Nearly two-thirds believe that Jerusalem should stay entirely under Israel’s control because Israel ensures that all the Christian, Muslim and Jewish holy sites remain open and safe for all faiths. Only 20 percent believe that Jerusalem should be divided.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

This answers THAT question

Herald Leader:
The ad has been shown often during the NCAA basketball tournament -- fans from rivals schools get along, just because they are staying at a Sheraton hotel.

Fans from Duke and North Carolina share an umbrella, an Ohio State fan picks up a bag for a Michigan fan. And fans from the University of Louisville and Memphis share a computer screen.

What? The last two teams haven't played each other since 2005 when Louisville left Conference USA for the Big East.

The ad perplexed some University of Kentucky fans. How could an in-state rival and former home of Cards coach Rick Pitino be overlooked?

It turns out UK wasn't.

"They came to us first," UK assistant athletic director Jason Schlafer said of the Sheraton.

But UK passed because it had no prior relationship with the hotel.
I had wondered why it was Memphis and Louisville as opposed to Kentucky and Louisville.

And a USC and UCLA fan share an elevator ride.

Don't Boo the President at the Ballpark

Congrats to the Washington Nationals on their opening of Nationals Park. And congrats to President George Walker Bush on throwing out the first pitch, albeit a bit high over the plate. But, and here's where I get critical and break my own rule of speaking politics and sports, you don't boo the president when you attend a sporting event and he throws out the first pitch. I know he has low ratings and got us into a war with no exit plan but you pay good money for those tickets knowing that he would be throwing out the first pitch. Show some class.

I hate Barry Bonds* with a passion but I wouldn't boo him. That said, I wouldn't applaud him either.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

WKU coach Darrin Horn to speak with South Carolina

Per the Courier-Journal, South Carolina athletic director Eric Hyman will be speaking with Western Kentucky University basketball coach Darrin Horn about his replacing Dave Odom. If this does happen, Horn would be the second Sun Belt coach to jump to the SEC with the last being John Pelphrey moving from South Alabama to Arkansas. He would join his WKU predecessor, Dennis Felton, who currently coaches at Georgia. He would be the third Kentucky native of the current people coaching in the conference, with the others being Pelphrey and Rick Stansbury (Mississippi State).
Western Kentucky University basketball coach Darrin Horn will be speaking to the University of South Carolina about its job opening. Western athletic director Wood Selig said last night that South Carolina athletic director Eric Hyman left a message on Selig’s cell phone that he would be contacting Horn. Hyman did not leave a callback number. Selig added that Horn spoke to him yesterday and that the Western coach was interested in talking with South Carolina.

“(Horn) said he had been contacted by South Carolina and he expressed an interest in talking with them,” Selig said. “But before he spoke with them in detail he said he wanted to first notify me and let me know. That’s pretty much where we left it. I said ‘talk to them and find out what that’s all about. Let’s stay in touch throughout the process. We’ll take it from there.’”

Selig said he wasn’t sure when a formal interview would take place.

Horn was unavailable for comment yesterday.

The State, a South Carolina newspaper, reported on its website on Friday that Horn was believed to be the leading candidate for South Carolina. Selig said that South Carolina is the only school so far to notify him of an interest in Horn. He wouldn’t be surprised if other programs called.

“I’m sure there are probably many schools interested in coach Horn given the history of success he’s had at WKU and the march that we’ve just enjoyed through the tournament,” Selig said. “I’m sure he’s a very popular candidate right now.”[...]

The 35-year-old Horn has deep Kentucky ties. He is a native of Glasgow, a Tates Creek graduate and a Western alumnus. He was a sophomore guard on Western’s 1993 Sweet 16 squad.

NCAA Elite 8

North Carolina 83, Louisville 73

Kansas 59, Davidson 57

Memphis 85, Texas 67

UCLA 76, Xavier 57

Friday, March 28, 2008

The Southeastern Conference (SEC) and Kentucky

While I was trying to remember who Western Kentucky coach Darrin Horn had replaced, it led me to look what other ties there are to the state of Kentucky and SEC basketball.

That goes without saying that Billy Gillispie is the current coach of University Kentucky Wildcats...although he does come from the Adolph Rupp coaching tree given that he was an assistant to Bill Self (at Tulsa and Illinois) and Self was an assistant at Oklahoma State University under Leonard Hamilton. Hamilton was an associate head coach at UK under Joe B. Hall, who both played and served as an assistant for the Baron, Adolph Rupp.

Eastern Division
Billy Donovan (Florida) - served as an graduate assistant (89-90), assistant (90-93) and associate coach (93-94) for Rick Pitino at UK from 1989-94
Dennis Felton (Georgia) - former coach of Western Kentucky (1998-03)
Billy Gillispie (Kentucky) - see above
Dave Odom (South Carolina) - retiring and has no ties to the state
Darrin Horn - Glasgow native, Western Kentucky graduate (1991-1995) and former coach of Western Kentucky (2003-2008)
Bruce Pearl (Tennessee) - no ties
Kevin Stallings (Vanderbilt) - no ties

Western Division
Mark Gottfried (Alabama) - former coach of Murray State (1995-98)
John Pelphrey (Arkansas) - former player at UK from 1988-92, named Kentucky's Mr. Basketball in 1987
Jeff Lebo (Auburn) - no ties
Butch Pierre (LSU) - while he is not likely to keep his job as head coach next season, he was an assistant at Kentucky State (1986-88)
Rick Stansbury (Mississippi State) - Born in Louisville. Played for Meade County HS in in Brandenburg, KY. Played at Campbellsville College, now known as Campbellsville University (1977-81), and then served as a student assistant (1981-82). Served as a graduate assistant at Cumberland College, now known as the University of the Cumberlands, in Williamsburg, KY (1983-84)
Andy Kennedy (Ole Miss) - no ties

I'll update this again when LSU and USC name their new basketball coaches but out of the twelve programs in the conference, six have definitive ties to the state while one's coaching tree has Adolph Rupp in it.

UPDATE: I've updated this now that Darrin Horn is the new coach of USC.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

NCAA Sweet 16

North Carolina 68, Washington State 47
Louisville 79, Tennessee 60

Kansas 72, Villanova 57
Davidson 73, Wisconsin 56

Memphis 92, Michigan State 74
Texas 82, Stanford 62

UCLA 88, Western Kentucky 78
Xavier 79, West Virginia 75 (OT)

Presidential Primary Public Service Announcement

The following comes from Secretary of State Trey Grayson's office:
Grayson Announces Important Reminders for Voters about the Presidential Primary

Press Release Date: Thursday, March 27, 2008
Contact Information: Les Fugate, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State
Office of the Secretary of State

(Frankfort, KY) With many Presidential campaigns’ attention turning to Kentucky, Secretary of State Trey Grayson announced a number of reminders today for voters in Kentucky so that they can be prepared for the May 20th election. In particular, he reminded Kentuckians about a number of voter registration issues that citizens may encounter.

“Kentucky is already receiving attention from presidential campaigns, and that intensity will only increase after the Pennsylvania primary on April 22nd,” said Secretary Grayson. “Kentucky voters need to be aware right now about many issues that they may face before Kentucky’s primary in May.”

Grayson specifically called attention to existing state law that prevents voters from switching their party affiliation after the start of the new calendar year. Those voters will forfeit the ability to vote in either partisan primary. Other states allow voters to switch their party affiliation close to the primary. Many of these states are receiving a lot of national media attention because of accusations of “party raiding,” the act of voters switching political parties to vote in the upcoming primary election in an effort to sway the results of a particular election.

In Kentucky, if voters attempt to switch their party, they will actually lose some of their voting privileges, and Grayson is urging voters to pay particular attention to this issue. Since January 1, 2008, nearly 9,000 voters have switched their party affiliation and therefore have forfeited their ability to vote in partisan primaries in the May election. That number is already equal to the total number of party switches in 2007.

Grayson also reminded voters that if they have moved recently, they need to update their voter registration so that they are allowed to vote on election day. In particular, if a voter has moved from one county to another prior to the voter registration books closing and he or she does not update his or her voter registration, that voter will not be allowed to vote in the primary election.

Grayson also noted that many third-party registration groups are in Kentucky now and are trying to register voters. There have been some complaints to the State Board of Elections about some of these voter registration efforts. Grayson noted that most voter registration efforts are very helpful, but sometimes those efforts can confuse voters. For instance, one voter registration group has been sending voter registration cards and letters to citizens stating that they are not registered to vote, when in fact, many of those citizens are registered. Grayson asked voters to take the time to check their voter registration at at the Voter Information Center. He also noted that the easiest way to register is to simply visit your local county clerk’s office or to print out a voter registration card online and to send that to either the State Board of Elections or County Clerk.

Finally, Grayson noted to all current seventeen year-olds, that if they will be eighteen on or before the November 4, 2008 general election, they are eligible to register for the May 20 primary election.

“Unfortunately, many citizens only participate in elections in which the President of the United States is on the ballot. Because many citizens may not regularly participate in the elections process, it is important for them to pay close attention to some of the nuances of Kentucky election law so that they can properly prepare for the upcoming election,” said Secretary Grayson.

Voters have until April 21, 2008 to register to vote. To determine voter registration status, see a list of candidates, or to find more information about the upcoming election, please visit:

She's coming!

Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman in Kentucky says the Democratic presidential candidate will visit the state on Saturday.

Jerry Lundergan said Thursday that the New York senator's schedule will be released by her campaign later in the day.

Though it hasn't been made official, residents in Madisonville in western Kentucky have been gearing up for a possible visit by Clinton. Madisonville Mayor Will Cox says up to 3,500 people are expected to attend an annual Democratic dinner on Saturday night, in anticipation that Clinton will be the featured speaker. Cox says the usual turnout for the event is 300 to 500.[...]

The candidate's visit follows a campaign swing across Kentucky on Tuesday by her husband, former President Bill Clinton, who made stops across central and northeastern parts of the state.

Hillary Clinton has campaign events planned in Indiana on Friday and Saturday, including in New Albany, just across the Ohio River from Louisville.

Court throws out part of Michigan law

Here's what the Clinton camp released in a statement by Maggie Williams:
In the wake of today's court ruling regarding Michigan’s January 15th primary, we urge Senator Obama to join our call for a party-run primary and demonstrate his commitment to counting Michigan's votes.

Senator Clinton has consistently urged that the more that 600,000 votes cast by the people of Michigan be counted and if that is not possible, that a new election be held.

Michigan voters must not be disenfranchised and the Obama campaign must not continue to block Michigan’s efforts to hold a new vote. Rather it should move quickly to announce its support for a party run primary.

Michigan will be a key battleground state in November. Disenfranchising Michigan voters today will, in the heat of a general election, provide Senator McCain with a powerful argument to use against the Democratic nominee. We cannot allow this to happen.

The people of Michigan must be counted and their voices finally heard. What the people of Michigan need now is just action, not just words.
And what do we get from Obama's folks? This:
As we’ve said consistently, we think there should be a fair seating of the Michigan delegates. The Clinton campaign has stubbornly said they see no need to negotiate, but we believe that their Washington, my-way-or-the-highway approach is something voters are tired of.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

What the crap?!?!

No, seriously, What the Crap?!?!

Clinton outlines retirement plan

SEn. Hillary Clinton has outlined her retirement plan.
At a town hall in Greensburg, Hillary Clinton outlined her plan to help families in Pennsylvania have a secure retirement. Her proposals would help families save, strengthen defined benefit pensions, and strengthen Social Security and Medicare for future generations. Through her American Retirement Accounts Plan, Clinton would offer 3.4 million Pennsylvania families up to $1,000 in a matching tax cut to save. In addition, Clinton said she would shore up employer-sponsored pensions pledged to protect Social Security from Bush-McCain privatization efforts.

"When I’m President, privatizing Social Security will be completely out of the question. That's a big difference between Senator McCain and me. Senator McCain said something stunning the other day – he pledged to continue President Bush’s attempt to privatize Social Security," said Clinton. "He's already promised to continue George Bush's failed Iraq policy and to make permanent his tax breaks for the wealthy few. Now, he's taking up President Bush's assault on Social Security. In a nutshell, that’s John McCain's plan for America: four years more of the same. You don't need to look any further than Bear Stearns and Wall Street lately to know that our workers and seniors simply can’t afford the Bush-McCain privatization gamble."
Rasmussen has new polling results out. It looks great for the Senator.
Clinton is currently viewed favorably by 74% of Democrats nationwide, Obama by 67%. By way of comparison, McCain is viewed favorably by 83% of Republicans.
Watch Level:

Obama got fact-checked hard!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Massachusetts Miracle

Travis Ford played in for the Kentucky Wildcats in the Bluegrass Miracle against LSU on Tuesday, February 15, 1994.

Tonight, he was coaching Massachusetts in the NIT against the Syracuse Orangemen. At halftime, Syracuse led 43-24. Massachusetts came back, scoring 57 points in the second half, to win 81-77.

Oklahoma State AD Mike Holder wants Kansas Coach Bill Self

This doesn't make any sense. You don't chase coaches at some of the most storied programs in NCAA College Basketball history. That's why I don't think that Bill Self is going to go anywhere. Let's see what Seth Davis has to say on this:
On another Kansas-related note, I am still hearing that Oklahoma State athletic director Mike Holder is considering jettisoning Sean Sutton so he can make a run at Bill Self, an OSU alum. And if Holder can't get Self, word is he's deeply interested in Kentucky's Billy Gillispie. Why would Holder think he could pry away coaches from two of the most storied programs in college basketball history? Because he has Boone Pickens, the billionaire alumnus who donated $165 million to the Oklahoma State athletic department two years ago. I've heard some crazy contract figures being tossed around -- anywhere from 10 years, $30 million to five years, $20 million, which is tip money for Pickens -- but at the end of the day I have a hard time envisioning either Self or Gillispie leaving their current gigs. It would be a shame if Oklahoma State fired Sutton, who did a very respectable job this season under trying circumstances, all in a careless effort to buy a big-name coach who ends up turning them down.

August Surprise, anyone?!?

Mark Tomasik:
he does go, that will mean the Democrats still haven?t decided a nominee for the presidential election. And if neither Sen. Hillary Clinton nor Sen. Barack Obama has clinched the nomination by August, Mahoney says we may see a brokered convention, meaning the nominee could emerge from a negotiated settlement.

If it (the nomination process) goes into the convention, don't be surprised if someone different is at the top of the ticket, Mahoney said.

A compromise candidate could be someone such as former vice president Al Gore, Mahoney said last week during a meeting with this news organization's editorial board.

If either Clinton or Obama suggested to a deadlocked convention a ticket of Gore-Clinton or Gore-Obama, the Democratic Party would accept it, Mahoney said.
Please be Gore-Clinton if it comes to that!

McCain makes holiday goof...

No one is seeing Sen. John McCain make a goof like this is perfectly normal.
U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Purim is the Jewish version of Halloween during his Israel visit.

McCain was corrected by Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.), one of the Republican presidential nominee's chief supporters who accompanied him on the trip, according to MSNBC.

In a news conference Wednesday with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak following a tour of the besieged southern Israeli city of Sderot, McCain had noted the impact of continued rocket fire on the city's children.

"As they celebrate their version of Halloween here, they are somewhere close to a 15-second warning, which is the amount of time they have from the time the rocket is launched to get to safety," McCain said. "That's not a way for people to live obviously."

Lieberman at the news conference said the fault was his, as he had compared the two holidays in explaining its significance to McCain.

Monday, March 24, 2008

The Senate Endorsement

This is one of those internal debates that have been going on for quite some time and I've decided that I am going to just say it once and for all. I am endorsing Bruce Lunsford for Senate.

There. I said it.

I've decided to follow Change to Win in endorsing Bruce Lunsford as Kentucky's next Senator.
Change to Win is made up of the Teamsters, the United Food and Commercial Workers, the Jefferson County Teachers Association, the Service Employees International Union, the Laborers International Union and UNITE HERE.
And the AFL-CIO:
"We think he's got the best chance to beat McConnell," said AFL-CIO President Bill Londrigan. "It's important to focus on that goal. Mitch McConnell is not a friend of working families across Kentucky and across this country."[...]

But Londrigan said at Saturday's candidate interviews -- which included Lunsford and two of his opponents, Louisville businessman Greg Fischer and Prospect pain doctor Michael Cassaro -- that Lunsford showed that he supports labor on important issues, including legislation that would make it easier for workers to organize.

"We've had our differences," Londrigan acknowledged. "But this shows the resiliency of our efforts in politics and that we can come together for our common purpose."
While I originally support Andrew Horne's candidacy for the United States Senate and seeing as he is no longer in the race, I feel that Bruce Lunsford is our best bet to defeat Mitch McConnell in the fall. Many of you may disagree with me on my choice of who our next senator should be but at the end of the day, we are still Democrats.

You can read my interview from last month with our next senator here.
DS: What do you believe should be the three most important priorities for Congress?
BL: My three most important priorities for congress:
1. Getting our economy back on track and balancing the budget.
2. Bringing our troops home safely from Iraq.
3. Fixing the health care system so everyone gets covered.

2008 MLB Predictions

It's the start of a new baseball season and that means that it is time, once again, to stump the experts and make my predictions on who will win their division and who will go home with a postseason award.

NL East: Philadelphia Phillies
With the last two NL MVPs of Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins leading the way, the Phillies will be a contender and could very well break the curse of William Penn. Chase Utley is the premier second baseman out there right now and he will bring home the Phillies' third MVP in a row.

NL Central: St. Louis Cardinals
As a Cardinals fan, I have to do this. As unlikely as it seems, every season starts with a new slate. This is a year to rebuild or show that the Cards are the best.

NL West: Arizona Diamondbacks
You can't go wrong with Brandon Webb and Dan Haren.

NL Wild Card: Colorado Rockies
The Rockies will be a force to be reckoned with once again.

NLCS: Philiadelphia Phillies over the Arizona Diamondbacks

NL MVP: Chase Utley, Philiadelphia Phillies

NL CY YOUNG: Cole Hamels, Philiadelphia Phillies

NL ROY: Jay Bruce (Reds) or Colby Rasmus (Cardinals)
This will all depend on whether or not they play during the season and what their numbers look like. They are starting at AAA, unfortunately.

AL East: New York Yankees
Call me crazy but this is their year. Boston had all the fun and while I would like Toronto to win the East in my heart, I think that it will all come together for New York this season.

AL Central: Detroit Tigers
The D-Train plus Miguel Cabrera equals crazy delicious. You know what I mean. This team is going to be an all-around team with the caliber necessary to get to the postseason once again. This team has crazy power and they will finish with the AL pennant in hand.

AL West: Los Angeles Angels
I really like what I see in this club. Vladimir Guerrero, John Lackey, Torii Hunter, etc. will lead this team to the ALCS against the Tigers. Lackey is out for a while but he will come back healthy.

AL Wild Card: Boston Red Sox
This and the Yankees are interchangable but neither club will make it to the ALCS.

ALCS: Detroit Tigers over the Los Angeles Angels

AL MVP: Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers

AL CY YOUNG: Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers

AL ROY: Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay Rays
Longoria will make an impact once he hits the big leagues sooner rather than later.

WORLD CHAMPIONS: The Phillies are going all the way this year.

$2,500 a seat?!? $810,000 for a year?!?

Listening to Mike and Mike in the Morning, I found this out:
Those $250 box seats at Yankee Stadium will seem inexpensive in 2009.

The Yankees will charge $500 to $2,500 for seats near home plate in the first five to eight rows of their new ballpark - yet say they already have commitments for all 122.

The team's Web site touts the premium areas as offering "an exclusive experience for those with discerning taste who seek the very best that life has to offer."

Lonn Trost, the Yankees' chief operating officer, sent a letter to season-ticket holders on March 14 that outlined premium seating in the $1.3 billion ballpark-to-be and asked whether they wanted to upgrade.

Trost said yesterday that more than 3,000 fans - "a remarkable response" - had already said yes.

In the current Stadium's final season, the team has 162 Legends seats ringing the infield, mostly in two rows, with tickets priced up to $1,000 a game.

The new ballpark will have 1,800 Legends Field Suite seats in 25 sections ringing home plate and 20 feet closer to the infield than they are now.
$2,500 for a seat?!? Wow. That's $810,000 for a full season, almost anough for the ballpark to reap in what they make in a season and pay off the stadium costs while they are at it!

This from Peter Gammons (just do a Google search for a link):
It's one thing to dream about Johan Santana or Roy Oswalt. They are the Yankees, and in two years they'll be getting $810,000 for four season tickets behind home plate. It's another thing to drive the firing of Joe Torre because not winning the World Series is a failure, and because the story sells.

NCAA Sweet 16 and Elite 8 Times

North Carolina vs. Washington State, 7:27 PM
Tennessee vs. Louisville, 9:57 PM

Kansas vs. Villanova, 9:40 PM
Wisconsin vs. Davidson, 7:10 PM

Memphis vs. Michigan State, 9:57 PM
Texas vs. Stanford, 7:27 PM

UCLA vs. Western Kentucky, 9:40 PM
Xavier vs. West Virginia, 7:10 PM

Could CBS and the NCAA be any ruder to the state of Kentucky? Fanbases and viewing areas for Tennessee, Western Kentucky, and Louisville all overlap with each other.

Saturday's regional finals have been set for both 6:40 PM and 9:05 PM.

Sunday's regional finals are at 2:40 PM and 5:05 PM.

Neil Aspinall gravely ill dies, reports of new Beatles song

New York Daily News:
Sir Paul McCartney has flown to New York to be at the hospital bedside of the man known as "the Fifth Beatle," Britain's Daily Mail reported Sunday.

Neil Aspinall, 65, was the Beatles' business advisor and chief confidante for more than 40 years. He was also a close pal who took part in some of their notorious pranks, and even sang backup vocals on their hit "Yellow Submarine."

Aspinall is believed to be suffering from lung cancer and is in treatment at Manhattan's prestigious Sloan-Kettering.

A family friend told the Daily Mail of McCartney's recent visit. "I understand that Paul saw him in hospital in New York," the friend said. "Paul will be devastated if he doesn't beat this. They have been mates ever since they were schoolboys in Liverpool."

The friend said Aspinall used to smoke, but quit years ago.

Aspinall became friends with McCartney, George Harrison and John Lennon while attending school in Liverpool. The bespectacled accountant was a constant companion of the Beatles as their popularity skyrocketed.

In 1968 he began managing the band's business interests as the head of Apple Corps, a company set up for that purpose.

McCartney has lost several loved ones to cancer, including his first wife Linda to breast cacer in 1998, and bandmate Harrison to lung cancer in 2001.
Here is an update in that it is been reported that Neil Aspinall has passed away at the age of 66. May he rest in peace.

This comes from blog commenter Don Happy. I've heard reports of a new song for some time now. Take this for what it's worth:
You better keep reporting on this. There is more to this than you may have ever thought. The song is done by the way. I personally believe there are two songs. But I know for a fact the Now And Then is ready to go.There are some tracks from the sixties as well that have not been released. One is an experimental track called Carnival of Light Where lennon shouts Barcelona to a pastiche of Mccartney sound collages-there is another Harrison song done during the white album called Sour Milk Sea--There are others there is a great Lennon demo from 63 called Bad To Me. there are others but those are three of the good ones. There is a demo Of Mccartney doing WOMAN the song he gave Peter and Gordon in 66. There is a pretty good Beatle performance of Georges All Things Must pass--there are more. But Now And Then is number one by a mile--keep pushing its there believe me. Stay on top of this help get it out with public awareness--and there is more than I mentioned--but those are some of the highlights--there are also a few live impromptu cuts of George,Paul & Ringo-from the legendary Henley on Thames jam circa 95 when the "Threetles" played at Georges for the Anthology documentary footage--some of the footage is in the film--where they do Blue Moon of Kentucky--but there's quite a bit more live recordings from that day. Stay on top of it help get it released through public awareness. This is not a joke.What I told you is the real deal. Lets see what kind of Journalism you are capable of.nobody on the planet has the story soo why don't you get it.

Clinton and Obama to debate hours after stress levels decrease

CBS should truly be ashamed of themselves. I just saw this from the New York Times:
When two more Democratic debates were announced this month, both Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama quickly accepted the invitation to meet in Pennsylvania on April 16.

But Mrs. Clinton, unlike Mr. Obama, has not yet agreed to participate in a North Carolina debate on April 19.

That debate, sponsored by CBS News, would be the first opportunity for Katie Couric to perform hosting duties. And if it happens, it will highlight the importance of North Carolina, whose primary will be held May 6. Mr. Obama is favored to win there.

Phil Singer, a spokesman for Mrs. Clinton, hedged when asked about the debate in a conference call with reporters Friday, blaming a “scheduling conflict” and promising an answer in “a couple of weeks.”
Hmm. I need to check a calendar real quick. (Goes to look up calendar...) No, that date's not good. It's the first night of Pesach (that's Passover to all you Gentiles out there).

Media Bistro:
TVNewser is hearing one of the reasons Sen. Hillary Clinton may not accept CBS's invitation to the North Carolina debate is because it's planned for April 19, the first night of Passover. Political insiders tell us it could also be tactical: that agreeing to a North Carolina debate would de-emphasize the importance of Pennsylvania, just three days before PA voters go to the polls. Which is exactly why Sen. Obama did agree to it, figures the insider.
There is an ABC debate on April 16, moderated by Charlie Gibson, in Philadelphia.

Back into the political mode...

Sen. Hillary Clinton released a plan that would give a second stimulus package given the housing crisis.

Turning our attention to Michigan now. What is Barack Obama afraid of?
During her first campaign visit to Indiana, Hillary Clinton called on Barack Obama to support a re-vote in Michigan saying, “It is critical that we figure out a way for the people of Michigan and Florida to have their votes and their voices count.”

“I do not understand what Senator Obama is afraid of, but it is going to hurt our party and our chances in November. So I would call on him, once again, to join me in giving the people of Florida and Michigan the chance to be counted as we move forward in this nominating process,” added Clinton.[...]

“For the life of me, I don’t understand why Senator Obama seems to be afraid of letting there be a re-vote in Michigan, you’ll have to ask him. He comes up with all these legalistic answers, the people of Michigan and their legislature made it very clear that they would proceed with a re-vote, unfortunately, Senator Obama’s campaign said no. Two out of the three of us said yes, you’ll have to ask him what he’s afraid of?”
America Ferrara supports Sen. Clinton:
I grew up in a big family – one brother and four sisters – so my house was always a little bit chaotic. Everyone was always trying to talk over everyone else. I think it’s probably a little like that in households all across America. But every voice represents someone with unique needs, hopes, and concerns.

That’s one of the reasons I’m supporting Hillary, because I know that she’s listening to every single American, and working her hardest on all those issues that truly make a difference in their lives.
Ouch. Just because I do not support your candidate of choice does not make me a Republican. This is why many Clinton supporters have gotten turned off of Obama. To call me a DINO, wow, I am completely disgusted.

Take a look at Bud White's World, a pro-Hillary blog.

Bayh has it right

Until the electoral college is done away with, the popular vote doesn't elect the president. Speaking to Wolf Blitzer on CNN's Late Edition, Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh has it absolutely right.
Senator Evan Bayh of Indiana, who backs Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton for president, proposed another gauge Sunday by which superdelegates might judge whether to support Mrs. Clinton or Senator Barack Obama.

He suggested that they consider the electoral votes of the states that each of them has won.

“So who carried the states with the most Electoral College votes is an important factor to consider because ultimately, that’s how we choose the president of the United States,” Mr. Bayh said on CNN’s “Late Edition.”[...]

Asked how she could win the nomination, Mr. Bayh said: “Well, I do think the popular vote is important. But that’s a circular argument. It brings us back to Florida and Michigan.”

He said he would also factor in electability and momentum, then added: “But ultimately, you know, if you look at the aggregate popular vote, and as we all recall in 2000, to our, as Democrats, great sorrow, we do elect presidents based upon the Electoral College.”

The Clinton camp has argued that Mrs. Clinton’s having won the big states should be an important factor when considering her electability.

“Presidential elections are decided on electoral votes,” a spokesman for Mrs. Clinton, Howard Wolfson, said in an e-mail message.

But Mr. Wolfson said superdelegates would also be looking at the popular vote when determining which candidate to support.

Welcome back, state employees!

"We don't believe it is state government's role to distinguish between which news source is legitimate and which is illegitimate," said Jonathan Miller, secretary of the cabinet. "For the most part, we are leaving an open Internet."

Although state workers can access the sites, they are not allowed to comment on blogs during working hours and should only access blogs for work-related reasons while on the clock, said Jill Midkiff, spokeswoman for the Finance and Administration Cabinet.

Workers are free to look at any blog they like, provided it doesn't contain pornographic material or other banned content, during breaks and lunch hours, she said.

"We'll be sending out a new acceptable use policy for workers to sign," Midkiff said.
It's great to have you back.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

NCAA Second Round Scores

Washington State 61, Notre Dame 41

North Carolina 108, Arkansas 77
Tennessee 76, Butler 71 (OT)
Louisville 78, Oklahoma 48

Kansas 75, UNLV 56
Wisconsin 72, Kansas State 55

Villanova 84, Siena 72
Davidson 74, Georgetown 70

Stanford 82, Marquette 81
Michigan State 65, Pittsburgh 54

Texas 75, Miami 72
Memphis 77, Mississippi State 74

UCLA 51, Texas A&M 49
West Virginia 73, Duke 67
Xavier 85, Purdue 78

Western Kentucky 72, San Diego 63

Friday, March 21, 2008

Just words? Obama's camp desperate...

The following was sent out earlier:
MEMO: Obama Campaign: Just Words
To: Interested Parties
From: The Clinton Campaign
Date: March 21, 2008
RE: Obama Campaign: Just Words

At this point, it’s no secret that the Obama campaign is in political hot water given the news stories of the last few weeks and is desperate to change the subject.

The ground is shifting away from them and their response?

First, disenfranchise voters -- Prevent new votes in Florida and Michigan. Stop voting in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Oregon, West Virginia, Puerto Rico, Kentucky, South Dakota, Montana, West Virginia and Indiana.

Second, peddle photos of President Clinton shaking hands with Reverend Wright less than 48 hours after calling for a high-minded conversation on race. Well, President Clinton took tens of thousands of photos during his eight years as president. Stop the presses.

Third, accuse our campaign of having something to do with Senator Obama’s passport file being breached, a reckless charge that has zero merit.

Fourth, continue attacks on Senator Clinton’s character in an effort to implement what the Chicago Tribune called a full assault on her ethics.

Fifth, stonewall the press: no tax returns, no state records, no answers about the inconsistencies in the Rezko story.

So it’s not a pretty sight – it’s all part of a pattern of just words.

Senator Obama talks about voter participation while actively disenfranchising millions.

He calls for high minded debates while practicing lowdown politics.

He promises a different kind of campaign while attacking Hillary’s character.

He promises transparency while hiding basic info and stonewalling the press.

It’s no wonder that Americans are coming to see that for all of his lofty rhetoric, Senator Obama’s candidacy is really just words.

It’s no surprise that Americans are expressing serious doubts about his ability to answer the 3am call.

It’s no wonder that top journalists are calling the Obama campaign desperate, saying that it’s amateur hour in Chicago.

NCAA First Round: Friday Edition

"Everybody excited about March Madness... the big NCAA tournament? Here's how it works: It starts at 65, then 64, then 32, then 16. It's just like Bush's approval rating."
--David Letterman, The Late Show with David Letterman, March 14, 2006

North Carolina 113, Mount St. Mary's 74
Arkansas 86, Indiana 72
Oklahoma 72, Saint Joseph's 64
Louisville 79, Boise State 61
Tennessee 72, American 57
Butler 81, South Alabama 61

Villanova 75, Clemson 69
Siena 83, Vanderbilt 62
Georgetown 66, UMBC 47
Davidson 82, Gonzaga 76

Memphis 87, Texas Arlington 63
Mississippi State 76, Oregon 69
Texas 74, Austin Peay 54
Miami (Fla.) 78, Saint Mary's 64

Western Kentucky 101, Drake 99 (OT)
San Diego 70, Connecticut 69 (OT)

Brief break from college sports...

USA Today writes that Michigan and Florida voters deserve to have their voices heard.
Back in January, when Florida and Michigan held early primaries in violation of party rules, it didn't seem like a big deal.

Now, however, with Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton locked in delegate-by-delegate combat for the Democratic presidential nomination, the absence of legitimate elections in two large states further complicates the muddled situation. Both Florida and Michigan have floated plans for new primary elections later this spring, but at this point they appear to be failing.

That would be a shame.

The Democratic National Committee had little choice but to strip these states of their delegates after they defied party rules and held their primaries before Feb. 5. (The Republican Party docked both states half their delegates.) Yet nothing in the rules prevents the two states from holding new elections after that date.

Together, Florida and Michigan account for 9% of Americans and more than 8% of Democratic delegates. They could affect the outcome of the nomination race, and therefore the general election and the nation's future. To take their voice away because of the boneheaded decisions of legislatures to play chicken with the parties is a slap in the face of popular sovereignty.

While there is no constitutional right to vote in nominating contests, the two parties have essentially adopted this principle by choosing their nominees in primaries and caucuses, rather than smoke-filled rooms. Polls have made clear that Democrats do not want "super delegates" tipping the balance if Obama emerges from the primaries leading in pledged delegates and popular votes.

Given this desire for letting the people decide, would it not behoove the party to find a way to have revotes in Michigan and Florida? It's true that this might benefit Clinton, who was in Detroit on Wednesday appealing for a do-over. But if Obama (who wasn't even on the ballot in Michigan in January) wants the people to decide, should he not want to ensure that all the people are in on the process?[...]

These concerns, however, should not be so great as to outweigh the positive of finding a way to allow millions of people to go to the polls and have a say in the outcome.

Doing nothing would leave key decisions up to the party insiders on the Democrats' Rules and Bylaws Committee. Agreeing to seat some or all the delegates now, based on the lopsided "wins" in January for Clinton, would be grossly unfair. Seating them after one of the candidates has won, or splitting them 50-50 now, would give delegates a place at the convention but would deny voters a voice.

The way out of this mess is to vote over.
Hillary Clinton takes the lead in the Gallop Poll: 49-42

Thursday, March 20, 2008

NCAA First Round: Thursday Edition

"Everybody excited about March Madness... the big NCAA tournament? Here's how it works: It starts at 65, then 64, then 32, then 16. It's just like Bush's approval rating."
--David Letterman, The Late Show with David Letterman, March 14, 2006

Notre Dame 68, George Mason 50
Washington State 71, Winthrop 40

Kansas 85, Portland State 61
UNLV 71, Kent State 58
Wisconsin 71, Cal State Fullerton 56
Kansas State 80, Southern California 67

Michigan State 72, Temple 61
Pitt 82, Oral Roberts 63
Stanford 77, Cornell 53
Marquette 74, Kentucky 66

UCLA 70, Mississippi Valley State 29
Texas A&M 67, BYU 62
Duke 71, Belmont 70
West Virginia 75, Arizona 65
Xavier 73, Georgia 61
Purdue 90, Baylor 79

2008 NCAA Opening Round

Mt. St. Mary's 69, Coppin State 60

Chag Purim Sameach

As we embrace the start of the NCAA Tournament, here is a reminder for my fellow Jews that read this: today is Ta'anit Esther, the Fast of Esther (תַּעֲנִית אֶסְתֵּר). This means that Thursday night at sundown begins the minor Jewish holiday of Purim (פּוּרִים).
The primary commandment related to Purim is to hear the reading of the book of Esther. The book of Esther is commonly known as the Megillah, which means scroll. Although there are five books of Jewish scripture that are properly referred to as megillahs (Esther, Ruth, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, and Lamentations), this is the one people usually mean when the speak of The Megillah. It is customary to boo, hiss, stamp feet and rattle gragers (noisemakers; see illustration) whenever the name of Haman is mentioned in the service. The purpose of this custom is to "blot out the name of Haman."

We are also commanded to eat, drink and be merry. According to the Talmud, a person is required to drink until he cannot tell the difference between "cursed be Haman" and "blessed be Mordecai," though opinions differ as to exactly how drunk that is. A person certainly should not become so drunk that he might violate other commandments or get seriously ill. In addition, recovering alcoholics or others who might suffer serious harm from alcohol are exempt from this obligation.

In addition, we are commanded to send out gifts of food or drink, and to make gifts to charity. The sending of gifts of food and drink is referred to as shalach manos (lit. sending out portions). Among Ashkenazic Jews, a common treat at this time of year is hamentaschen (lit. Haman's pockets). These triangular fruit-filled cookies are supposed to represent Haman's three-cornered hat. My recipe is included below.

It is customary to hold carnival-like celebrations on Purim, to perform plays and parodies, and to hold beauty contests. I have heard that the usual prohibitions against cross-dressing are lifted during this holiday, but I am not certain about that. Americans sometimes refer to Purim as the Jewish Mardi Gras.

Purim is not subject to the sabbath-like restrictions on work that some other holidays are; however, some sources indicate that we should not go about our ordinary business on Purim out of respect for the holiday.
Want to know more about Purim?

I'm fasting but the NCAA tournament will, no doubt, make a tough decision for those wanting to listen to the Megillah reading tonight.
To those who are Jewish, Chag Sameach.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Floridians want primary to count, Murtha endorses Clinton

So says the poll that was taken recently.

St. Petersburg Times:
Not only do Florida Democrats say that the Democratic presidential contenders’ boycott of their primary had little effect, but an overwhelming plurality want the officially meaningless results to count, a new St. Petersburg Times/Bay News 9 poll finds.

A record 1.75-million Florida Democrats voted in the Jan. 29 primary, which Hillary Rodham Clinton won by 17 percentage points, but as punishment for holding the primary earlier than allowed by the national party, no delegates were at stake. Now, as a nomination stalemate looms, the candidates and state and national party leaders are struggling to figure out how and if America’s biggest swing state can have a voice in the Democratic nomination.

"If there’s one thing that this survey says is you have to acknowledge the Jan. 29 primary on some level," said pollster Tom Eldon. "You really can’t say the Florida primary was a non-event to voters. It was a non-event to Howard Dean according to the rules of the DNC.”

Twice as many Clinton supporters -- 56 percent -- want the Florida primary to count as do Obama supporters -- 27 percent. Still, even among Obama supporters, the idea of counting that primary is slightly more popular than holding a new election or dividing Florida’s delegates evenly between the two candidates.
And it looks bad for the Democratic party's nominee if Florida's delegates aren't seated:
More than three out of four Florida Democrats say it’s “very important” that Florida’s delegates count toward the nomination, and one in four said they would be less likely to support the ultimate Democratic nominee if Florida’s delegates don’t count.
John Murtha has endorsed Sen. Clinton.
The Johnstown Democrat’s announcement comes as both Clinton and Democratic front-runner Barack Obama set up shop in Pennsylvania in preparation for the state’s important April 22 primary.

“I’ve known Sen. Clinton for 15 years,” Murtha said in a statement released by his campaign committee.

“I know that she continually reaches out for opinions and ideas, not just from our nation’s leaders, but from all Americans.”

Murtha is one of the most powerful Democrats in the House, and his endorsement could carry weight in the 12th Congressional District, where he has served for 34 years.[...]

“In 10 months, President Bush will leave office. Our country is worse off today than when he took office over seven years ago,” Murtha said. “Senator Clinton is the candidate that will forge a consensus on health care, education, the economy and the war in Iraq.”

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Build an Ark

We're getting 2-4 inches of rain through Wednesday so stop reading and go build that ARK!

A flood warning is in affect for counties along the river.

The ground is already saturated thanks to the storm that comes through every week, whether it is severe, snow, rain, sleet, or hail.

What are you still doing, go build that ark!

IU fans can rejoice, WLKY to air game on digital

WLKY will air the University of Louisville/Boise State game at 9:40 p.m. Friday. However, because the Indiana game was scheduled for the same time, WLKY is currently working on a plan to make the game available to our viewers.

Right now, viewers will be able to see IU/Arkansas on WLKY Digital 32-2 and Insight Digital 515.

WLKY has been diligently working on finding other viewing options since learning of the conflict, and as soon as additional plans are finalized, we will let our viewers know.

Letter to DNC from Florida DNC Member

I got this via email and thought you should read it. It was sent to the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee.

Jon M. Ausman, Member
Democratic National Committee (Florida)

14 March 2008

Honorable James Roosevelt, Co-Chair
Honorable Alexis Herman, Co-Chair
c/o Democratic National Committee
430 South Capital Street, Southeast
Washington, D. C. 20003

Dear Alexis and James:

Enclosed are two (2) challenges and/or appeals regarding Florida’s delegates and alternates. These appeals can be summarized as follows:

1. Challenge Number One: Florida’s Democratic United States Senator, Democratic United States Representatives and Members of the Democratic National Committee ‘shall’ be delegates to the 2008 Democratic National Convention; and,

2. Challenge Number Two: When a ‘Violation of Timing’ occurs by a state party the number of pledged delegates shall be reduced by fifty percent (50%).

I am respectfully requesting that these two challenges and/or appeals regarding Florida’s delegates and alternates be scheduled before the next Rules and Bylaws Committee meeting for consideration and review. The affidavits attached contain material facts, argument and requested remedies.

If you have any questions please either email me at [REDACTED] or call me at [REDACTED].

With respect, I am,
Jon M. Ausman, Member
Democratic National Committee

I'd publish the two attachments that I recieved but it would be a pain to delete all the contact information.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Jewno goes viral

Major congrats to Rob Kutner et al for Jewno:

The Shushan Channel has been under Rob Kutner's direction for a few years now...and this video is just in time for the annual Purim celebration.

Clinton's speech on Iraq

The following are excerpts from Senator Clinton's speech on Iraq:

The mistakes in Iraq are not the responsibility of our men and women in uniform but of their Commander-in-Chief. From the decision to rush to war without allowing the weapons inspectors to finish their work or waiting for diplomacy to run its course. To the failure to send enough troops and provide proper equipment for them. To the denial of the existence of a rising insurgency and the failure to adjust the military strategy. To the continued support for a government unwilling to make the necessary political compromises. The command decisions were rooted in politics and ideology, heedless of sound strategy and common sense.

Fortunately, ten months from now we will have a new president, and a new opportunity to change course in Iraq.

Therefore, the critical question is how can we end this war responsibly and restore America’s leadership in the world?

I will start by facing the conditions on the ground in Iraq as they are, not as we hope or wish them to be. The lives of our brave men and women are at stake. Nearly 4,000 of them have, by now, made that ultimate sacrifice. Tens of thousands more have suffered wounds both visible and invisible to their bodies, their minds, and their hearts.[...]

Taking into consideration the long-term costs of replacing equipment and providing medical care for troops and survivors' benefits for their families, the war in Iraq could ultimately cost well over $1 trillion. That is enough to provide health care for all 47 million uninsured Americans and quality pre-kindergarten for every American child, solve the housing crisis once and for all, make college affordable for every American student, and provide tax relief to tens of millions of middle class families.

Our ability to win the war in Afghanistan is at stake.[...]

Finally, our leadership in the world and our ability to front global challenges, present and future, is at stake. From extremism in Pakistan, to nuclear ambitions in Iran and North Korea, to troubling antidemocratic trends in Russia and Latin America, to the threat of global epidemics and global warming and to the rise of China. The more the world regards us with suspicion rather than admiration, the more difficult it is to confront these challenges.

We simply cannot give the Iraqi government an endless blank check. Each passing month we stay in Iraq gives the Iraqi government more time to avoid the hard decisions on how to split the oil money and how to share political power.[...]

So it is time to end this war as quickly and responsibly as possible. That has been my mission in the Senate, and it will be my mission starting on day one as president of the United States.[...]

The American people don't have to guess whether I’m ready to lead or whether I understand the realities on the ground in Iraq or whether I’d be too dependent on advisers to help me determine the right way forward. I’ve been working day-in and day-out in the Senate to provide leadership to end this war.[...]

I believe what matters in this campaign is not just the promises we've made to end the war; what matters is what we've actually done when it came time to match words with action. Because more than anything else, what we've done is an indication of what we'll do.[...]

I have concrete, detailed plans to end this war, and I have not wavered in my commitment to follow through on them. One choice in this election is Senator McCain. He’s willing to keep this war going for 100 years. You can count on him to do that. Another choice is Senator Obama who has promised to bring combat troops out in 16 months, but according to his foreign policy adviser, you can't count on him to do that. In uncertain times, we cannot afford uncertain leadership.

Here’s what you can count on me to do: provide the leadership to end this war quickly and responsibly. Today I’d like to talk about how I will do that, how as president, I will bring our troops home, work to bring stability in the region, and replace military force with a new diplomatic initiative to engage countries around the world in helping to secure Iraq’s future.

Kentucky State hires former UK Coach Guy Morriss

Guy Morriss, the former football coach at the University of Kentucky and Baylor was named as the offensive line coach for Kentucky State University today.[...]

"To have the ability to bring Guy Morriss back to the Bluegrass and to Kentucky State University, with his knowledge and expertise, is a once in a career opportunity for me that I believe will have a positive impact for our entire university," Farrier said in a release, "and I cannot wait to add his insight into our decision-making process.

"This will be the first time in the history of the SIAC that a former BCS head coach has worked in our conference and I know he will help make us a better team and program.”
Welcome back to the state, Coach!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

2008 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament Pairings and Times

UD Arena in Dayton, Ohio
Tuesday, March 18
Coppin State vs. Mount St. Mary's, 7:30 ET on ESPN

EAST (Charlotte, NC)
Raleigh, N.C.
No. 1 North Carolina (32-2) vs. No. 16 Mount St. Mary's-Coppin State winner, 7:10 PM
No. 8 Indiana (25-7) vs. No. 9 Arkansas (22-11), 9:30 PM

Denver, Col.
No. 5 Notre Dame (24-7) vs. No. 12 George Mason (23-10), 9:40 PM
No. 4 Washington State (24-8) vs. No. 13 Winthrop (22-11), 7:20 PM

Birmingham, Ala.
No. 6 Oklahoma (22-11) vs. No. 11 Saint Joseph's (21-12), 7:25 PM
No. 3 Louisville (24-8) vs. No. 14 Boise State (25-8), 9:30 PM
No. 2 Tennessee (29-4) vs. No. 15 American (21-11), 12:15 PM
No. 7 Butler (29-3) vs. No. 10 South Alabama (26-6), 2:30 PM

Raleigh, NC: North Carolina—Coppin State-Mount St. Mary’s, Md. winner vs. Indiana-Arkansas winner, 5:10 PM

Denver, Col.: Washington State-Winthrop winner vs. Notre Dame-George Mason winner, 6:40 PM

Birmingham, Ala.
Tennessee-American winner vs. Butler-South Alabama winner, 2:30 PM
Louisville-Boise State winner vs. Oklahoma-Saint Joseph’s winner, 5 PM

Thursday, March 27
Charlotte Bobcats Arena in Charlotte, NC

Saturday, March 29
Charlotte Bobcats Arena in Charlotte, NC

MIDWEST (Detroit, MI)
Omaha, Neb.
No. 1 Kansas (31-3) vs. No. 16 Portland State (23-9), 12:25 PM
No. 8 UNLV (26-7) vs. No. 9 Kent State (28-6), 2:45 PM

Tampa, Fla.
No. 5 Clemson (24-9) vs. No. 12 Villanova (20-12), 9:40 PM
No. 4 Vanderbilt (26-7) vs. No. 13 Siena (22-10), 7:20 PM

Raleigh, N.C.
No. 2 Georgetown (27-5) vs. No. 15 UMBC (24-8), 2:35 PM
No. 7 Gonzaga (25-7) vs. No. 10 Davidson (26-6), 12:25 PM

Omaha, Neb.
No. 3 Wisconsin (29-4) vs. No. 14 Cal State Fullerton (24-8), 9:30 PM
No. 6 Southern California (21-11) vs. No. 11 Kansas State (20-11), 7:10 PM

Omaha, Neb.
Wisconsin-Cal State Fullerton winner vs. Southern Cal-Kansas State winner, 4:20 PM
Kansas-Portland State winner vs. UNLV-Kent State winner, 6:50 PM

Tampa: Vanderbilt-Siena winner vs. Clemson-Villanova winner, 12:10 PM

Raleigh: Georgetown-Maryland-Baltimore County winner vs. Gonzaga-Davidson winner, 2:40 PM

Friday, March 28
Ford Field in Detroit, MI

Sunday, March 30
Ford Field in Detroit, MI

SOUTH (Houston, TX)
Little Rock, Ark.
No. 1 Memphis (33-1) vs. No. 16 Texas Arlington (21-11), 9:40 PM
No. 8 Mississippi State (22-10) vs. No. 9 Oregon (18-13), 7:25 PM

No. 5 Michigan State (25-8) vs. No. 12 Temple (21-12), 12:30 PM
No. 4 Pitt (26-9) vs. No. 13 Oral Roberts (24-8), 2:50 PM

Little Rock, Ark.
No. 2 Texas (28-6) vs. No. 15 Austin Peay (24-10), 2:50 PM
No. 7 Miami (Fla.) (22-10) vs. No. 10 Saint Mary's (25-6), 12:30 PM

Anaheim, Calif.
Thursday, March 20
No. 3 Stanford (26-7) vs. No. 14 Cornell (22-5), 4:40 PM
No. 6 Marquette vs. No. 11 Kentucky, 2:30 PM

Little Rock, Ark.
Texas-Austin Peay winner vs. Miami-Saint Mary’s, Calif. winner, 2:15 PM
Memphis-Texas-Arlington winner vs. Mississippi State-Oregon winner, 4:45 PM

Anaheim, Calif.: Stanford-Cornell winner vs. Marquette-Kentucky winner, 6:45 PM

Denver: Pittsburgh-Oral Roberts winner vs. Michigan State-Temple winner, 9:10 PM

Friday, March 28
Reliant Stadium in Houston, TX

Sunday, March 30
Reliant Stadium in Houston, TX

WEST (Phoenix, AZ)
Anaheim, Calif.
No. 1 UCLA (31-3) vs. No. 16 Mississippi Valley State (17-15), 9:40 PM
No. 8 BYU (27-7) vs. No. 9 Texas A&M (24-10), 7:25 PM

Tampa, Fla.
No. 5 Drake (28-4) vs. No. 12 Western Kentucky (27-6), 12:30 PM
No. 4 Connecticut (24-8) vs. No. 13 San Diego (21-13), 2:45 PM

Washington, D.C.
No. 2 Duke (27-5) vs. No. 15 Belmont (25-8), 7;10 PM
No. 7 West Virginia (24-10) vs. No. 10 Arizona (19-14), 9:30 PM
No. 3 Xavier (27-6) vs. No. 14 Georgia (17-16), 12:20 PM
No. 6 Purdue (24-8) vs. No. 11 Baylor (21-10), 2:40 PM

Anaheim: UCLA-Mississippi Valley State winner vs. BYU-Texas A&M winner, 9:15 PM
Tampa: Connecticut-San Diego winner vs. Drake-Western Kentucky winner, 2:40 PM

Washington, D.C.
Duke-Belmont winner vs. West Virginia-Arizona winner, 2:10 PM
Xavier-Georgia winner vs. Purdue-Baylor winner, 4:40 PM

Thursday, March 27
US Airways Center in Phoenix, AZ

Saturday, March 29
US Airways Center in Phoenix, AZ

Alamodome in San Antonio, TX
National Semifinals
Saturday, April 5
Midwest champion vs. West champion
East champion vs. South champion

Monday, April 7
Semifinal winners

The CBS play by play and anaylysts for each site are as follows:
Anaheim - Dick Enberg, Carter Blackburn, and Jay Bilas
Denver - Gus Johnson and Len Elmore
Omaha - Kevin Harlan and Dan Bonner
Washington - Craig Bolerjack and Bob Wenzel
Birmingham - Verne Lundquist and Bill Raftery
Little Rock - Ian Eagle and Jim Spanarkel
Raleigh - Jim Nantz and Billy Packer
Tampa - Tim Brando and Mike Gminski

Thursday-Saturday games: Honda Center (Anaheim, California), Pepsi Center (Denver, Colorado), Qwest Center Omaha (Omaha, Nebraska), and Verizon Center (Washington, D.C.)

Friday-Sunday games: BJCC Arena (Birmingham, Alabama), Alltel Arena (Little Rock, Arkansas), RBC Center (Raleigh, North Carolina), and St. Pete Times Forum (Tampa, Florida)

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Clinton supporters on strike against Daily Kos

I just got word of this. I am in full favor of this strike and/or boycott against Kos and I went as far as dropping Kos from the blogroll when I wrote the GBCW diary.
This is a strike - a walkout over unfair writing conditions at DailyKos. It does not mean that if conditions get better I won't "work" at DailyKos again. As a regular contributor to the discourse in our community, I would certainly hope to take part in the conversation at DailyKos again some day if we ever get to the point where we're engaging each other in discussion rather than facing off in shouting matches. But not now. Writers need a safe place to reach out and exchange ideas, to communicate and challenge one another. DailyKos should be that place, but its tone, its essence has evolved into something ugly and destructive. Good writers can't survive in that kind of atmosphere. Democrats shouldn't have to put up with that from fellow Democrats.

Sadly, the majority of the administrators have allowed this hostile environment to develop in our online community for anyone who isn't planted firmly in the Obama camp. They've routinely ignored personal attacks and allowed disruptive, spam-like posts to go unchecked whenever anyone expresses support for Hillary or challenges something their candidate has said or done. There are however several front-pagers who have managed to avoid taking part in the attacks on Hillary and for that I'm grateful. But the site has grown to the point where they simply can't - or won't monitor it.[...]

Either way, is that the kind of behavior that Obama would be proud of? Do the venomous attacks and lies about fellow Democrats represent him and all he stands for in an accurate and fair manner? Does this spiteful and vindictive behavior reunite our party? Would outing this working mother represent hope? Would it bring about change? Would Obama encourage that sort of anger, bullying, intimidation and hate from his followers toward another Democrat and her supporters? Do those followers of his help his cause at the end of the day?

Marc Ambinder blogged about it. ABC News correspondent Jake Tapper comments on it.

Tom Watson nails it.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Addressing a major issue, then on to Clinton news

Because it's March Madness I am keeping postings to a minimum at best because college basketball will dominate this month in news.

I want to address an issue that I hate to have to address but because there are still schmucks in this universe that decide that they have to act like a mother f***er, I have to post this. Granted some are reasonable comments but a lot of it is Anti-Semitic filth. Click here to read comments from a post in December 2004! Good luck with your stomach not churning.

Now on to your regularly scheduled Hillary Clinton news. Tucker Carlson, um, makes a good point with this election:

Senator Clinton will be recieving two high profile endorsements from Pennsylvania politicians.
Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato and Pitttsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, two major Western Pennsylvania politicos who had yet to endorse, will come out for Hillary Clinton tomorrow, a campaign source confirms.
Did you think the debates were finished? I have some news for you. They aren't. Senator Clinton accepted an offer from ABC News to debate her Democratic opponent.
The Clinton campaign today announced that Hillary has accepted an invitation to participate in a primetime debate hosted by ABC. The debate will be held in Philadelphia, PA in advance of the April 22nd Pennsylvania primary. The debate will be broadcast statewide and nationally.

Hillary is prepared to show she has real solutions for the problems facing residents of the Keystone State.

Hillary is the only candidate with a plan to end the housing crisis and help people keep their homes. Hillary's plan takes bold action to stem the tide of foreclosures with a 90-day moratorium on foreclosures and a five year freeze on interest rates for subprime mortgages.

Hillary is also the only candidate with a health care plan that covers every American. Her plan allows for maximum flexibility while making sure health care costs are affordable for working families.

Hillary hears the voices of Americans concerned about their future and is focused on providing solutions to the problems they face.
Here's an update on military endorsements for Sen. Clinton.
More than thirty former admirals and generals, including two former Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and five retired officers at the four-star rank have endorsed Hillary Clinton to be our next Commander-in-Chief. Eighteen of these esteemed flag and general officers and other senior national security officials took part in a rare conference call with reporters earlier this month; eleven met in person with Senator Clinton last week in Washington for a private conversation about ending the war in Iraq and winning the war in Afghanistan; and to testify publicly for her leadership ability. In these testimonials below, these great Americans who have given so much to our country, say why they believe Senator Clinton is the best candidate of either party to be our next Commander-in-Chief.[...]

The full list of admirals and generals who have endorsed Senator Clinton to be our next Commander-in-Chief follows:

1. General Wesley Clark
2. General John M. Shalikashvili
3. General Henry Hugh Shelton
4. General Johnnie E. Wilson
5. Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Admiral William Owens
6. Lt. Gen. Joe Ballard
7. Lt. Gen. Robert Gard
8. Lt. Gen. Claudia Kennedy
9. Lt. Gen. Donald Kerrick
10. Lt. Gen. Frederick E. Vollrath
11. Vice Admiral Donald C. Arthur
12. Vice Admiral Joseph A. Sestak, Jr.
13. Major General Roger R. Blunt
14. Major General George Buskirk, Jr.
15. Major General Edward L. Correa, Jr.
16. Major General Paul D. Eaton
17. Major General Paul D. Monroe, Jr.
18. Major General Antonio M. Taguba
19. Brigadier General John W. Douglass
20. Brigadier General Michael Dunn
21. Brigadier General Belisario Flores
22. Brigadier General Evelyn "Pat" Foote
23. Brigadier General Keith H. Kerr
24. Brigadier General Virgil A. Richard
25. Brigadier General Preston Taylor
26. Brigadier General John M. Watkins, Jr.
27. Brigadier General Jack Yeager
28. Rear Admiral Connie Mariano
29. Rear Admiral Stuart F. Platt
30. Rear Admiral Alan M. Steinman
31. Rear Admiral David Stone
The Clinton campaign released the following memo on Obama's losing ground:
The path to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue goes through Pennsylvania so if Barack Obama can’t win there, how will he win the general election?

After setbacks in Ohio and Texas, Barack Obama needs to demonstrate that he can win the state of Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania is the last state with more than 15 electoral votes on the primary calendar and Barack Obama has lost six of the seven other largest states so far – every state except his home state of Illinois.

Pennsylvania is of particular importance, along with Ohio, Florida and Michigan, because it is dominated by the swing voters who are critical to a Democratic victory in November. No Democrat has won the presidency without winning Pennsylvania since 1948. And no candidate has won the Democratic nomination without winning Pennsylvania since 1972.

But the Obama campaign has just announced that it is turning its attention away from Pennsylvania.

This is not a strategy that can beat John McCain in November.

In the last two weeks, Barack Obama has lost ground among men, women, Democrats, independents and Republicans – all of which point to a candidacy past its prime.

For example, just a few weeks ago, Barack Obama won 68% of men in Virginia, 67% in Wisconsin and 62% in Maryland. He won 60% of Virginia women and 55% of Maryland women. He won 62% of independents in Maryland, 64% in Wisconsin and 69% in Virginia. Obama won 59% of Democrats in Maryland, 53% in Wisconsin and 62% in Virginia. And among Republicans, Obama won 72% in both Virginia and Wisconsin.

But now Obama’s support has dropped among all these groups.

In Mississippi, he won only 25% of Republicans and barely half of independents. In Ohio, he won only 48% of men, 41% of women and 42% of Democrats. In Texas, he won only 49% of independents and 46% of Democrats. And in Rhode Island, Obama won just 33% of women and 37% of Democrats.

Why are so many voters turning away from Barack Obama in state after state?

In the last few weeks, questions have arisen about Obama’s readiness to be president. In Virginia, 56% of Democratic primary voters said Obama was most qualified to be commander-in-chief. That number fell to 37% in Ohio, 35% in Rhode Island and 39% in Texas.

So the late deciders – those making up their minds in the last days before the election – have been shifting to Hillary Clinton. Among those who made their decision in the last three days, Obama won 55% in Virginia and 53% in Wisconsin, but only 43% in Mississippi, 40% in Ohio, 39% in Texas and 37% in Rhode Island.

If Barack Obama cannot reverse his downward spiral with a big win in Pennsylvania, he cannot possibly be competitive against John McCain in November.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

2008 SEC Men's Basketball Tournament Results

March 13-16
Georgia Dome
Atlanta, Georgia

March 13 (Thursday)
Game 1: [E5] South Carolina 77, [W4] LSU 73
Game 2: [E3] Vanderbilt 93, [W6] Auburn 82
Game 3: [W5] Alabama 80, [E4] Florida 69
Game 4: [E6] Georgia 97, [W3] Ole Miss 95 (OT)

March 14 (Friday)
Game 5: [E1] Tennessee 89, [E5] South Carolina 87
Game 6: [W2] Arkansas 81, [E3] Vanderbilt 75
Game 7: [W1] Miss. St. 69, [W5] Ala. 67 (OT)
Game 8: [E6] Georgia 60, [E2] Kentucky 56 (OT)

March 15 (Saturday)
Game 9: [W2] Arkansas 92, [E1] Tennessee 91
Game 10: [E6] Georgia 64, [W1] Miss. St. 60

March 16 (Sunday)
Game 11: [E6] Georgia 66, [W2] Arkansas 57

All games on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday will be televised on your local Raycom Sports affiliate. Sunday's championship game will be televised on ESPN 2 with a simulcast feed from CBS where Bill Raftery and Verne Lundquist will call the game.

Georgia is the first six seed since the tournament expanded to play in the league championship game.