Wednesday, May 21, 2008

To throw in the towel or not to throw in the towel?

If you remember from here, I said I would have a major blog announcement today. I don't have any political scoop for you and that was never the case.

This primary has taken a toll on me, especially in the stress related departments. Factor in the whole no live music until after Lag B'Omer and you can understand that all the stress has been building up overtime...and with nowhere to go (and that's on top of this horrid economy right now, which begs me to wonder if I'll be moving to Chicago with or without a job later this year).

So, the announcement? I'm getting there. Patience, young padawan. Patience.

Over the 2000 years of the 2008 presidential election, I've put in my time of blogging with numerous hiatuses, some of which were self-imposed due to fear of saying something that could come back to bite me later. You know how I said I was in Florida after the whole internet fell in love with the worst comedic music video in the world? I wasn't. I never was. It was a cover-up.

I need a break. I'm sure most of us do. That's usually how it is with campaigning...and that's why I have no plans to run for office. Not now, at least. I have to see how Al Franken does first, although I am nowhere near as liberal as he is. Back to what I was saying, I'm taking a break for a few days at the least. My plan, originally, was to shut down for good today while keeping all the archives up but face it, I'm not going down without a fight. If there is any breaking news, sure, I may be posting from time to time with my thoughts and opinions but I need a break from blogging right now.

It's official

Hillary Clinton, John McCain, and Barack Obama are running for president, vice president, and middle president per reports.

Bruce Lunsford's Victory Speech

As prepared for delivery to supporters at the Downtown Marriott in Louisville

Thank you. Thank you.

I appreciate the excitement and the celebration tonight. But I will not stand here tonight and tell you our mission is accomplished. Our mission will not be accomplished until we defeat Mitch McConnell in November.

And even more importantly, our mission will be accomplished only when we redeploy our troops out of Iraq, make universal health care happen, we’re no longer dependent on foreign oil, and we turn our economy around.

Until we repair the damage done by President Bush and his chief architect in the Senate – Mitch McConnell, our mission is not accomplished!

Over the past several minutes, I have received phone calls from the other Democratic candidates in the primary including Greg Fischer.

I want to congratulate my opponents in this primary for running spirited campaign, Dr. Michael Cassaro, James Rice, Kenneth Stepp, David Williams, David Wylie, and especially Greg Fischer, who was particularly spirited.

I’ve known Greg’s dad George since my days in the John Y. Brown administration. The Fischers are a fine family and I look forward to having Greg, his family, and his supporters join us in working to defeat Mitch McConnell in November.

First, I want to thank the Democratic voters of Kentucky for trusting me with this important mission.

I want to thank all of my supporters for helping us achieve this victory tonight. I particularly want to thank those Labor organizations representing over 175,000 Kentucky working families who gave me a chance to make my case and supported me, the Change to Win coalition and the AFL-CIO and their members, including:

The Teamsters
Bakery, Confectionary and Tobacco Workers
Operating Engineers
Letter carriers
Plumbers and Pipefitters
Sheet Metal Workers
United Mine Workers
United Steelworkers

For a former Fortune 500 CEO like me to earn the support of Labor means a lot and is a real example of the kind of collaboration that is needed to bring change and improve our sagging economy.

I also want to thank our volunteers and campaign staff, who have worked tirelessly for months to get us to this spot.

And I especially want to thank my family. My three daughters, Amy, Cindy and Brandy. I’m really proud of them. And my three beautiful grandchildren…it is their future at stake here.

This election is about change.

To bring change, we will need the support not only of Democrats, but also independents and Republicans who have had enough of George W. Bush and Mitch McConnell and who want to change Washington and change the course of this great country.

I think everyone here has heard that I’ve crossed party lines once or twice. I’ve taken some flak for those decisions when they were mistakes and that’s ok, I’ll admit my mistakes. But Mitch McConnell won’t. Politicians like McConnell refuse to admit their mistakes and that’s just another reason nothing gets done in Washington.

Change won’t come easy and it won’t come entirely from one side. People need to work together to make it happen. And as long as corporate special interests like the oil companies are feeding Mitch McConnell, he will continue to stand in the way of change and Kentuckians have had enough!

I’ve been fortunate in my life. I’ve had the opportunity to live the American dream. I grew up on a farm without indoor plumbing for six years, cut tobacco and laid blacktop through college.

My dad would tell me, “Son, if you work hard and take your education seriously, you can go from the outhouse to the penthouse.” That opportunity to get a quality education right here in Kentucky helped me start a business with three employees and grow it into a Fortune 500 company with 62,000 employees.

Every child in Kentucky should have that same opportunity. The failed policies of George W. Bush and Mitch McConnell have taken that opportunity away from too many children. It is time we change that!

Mitch McConnell has been in Washington 24 years. The baggage of his record would weigh down the Titanic. Now he says this election is not about the last 24 years, it is about the next six? Let me tell you something, if the next six years are like the last six, we’ll be in a hole we can’t dig ourselves out of.

When Mitch McConnell was reelected in 2002, average price of gas was $1.45/gallon. It is crossing $4 now. What would we have six years from now under McConnell, $10/gallon gas?

Kentuckians have it tough enough already. Just a few weeks ago I was working at Jack Coleman’s lumber yard as part of the On the Job with Bruce tour that will continue through November, and I heard it from everyone I worked with. They’re having a hard time making ends meet while paying for gas to commute to work and Jack’s small business is having to pay more and more in fuel costs during deliveries.

After 24 years of Mitch McConnell, it is time for a change.

Now Mitch will throw everything he can at us to try and stop change. He will call me every name in the book. But it won’t stop me and it won’t stop us. I don’t care what he calls me, because when it is all said and done, he will be calling me Senator and we will have someone in the Senate who listens to working families for a change!

Tonight I want to make a promise to Kentucky – to Democrats, Independents, and Republicans who want change – that I will work as hard as I can, travel to as many Kentucky towns and cities as I can, and talk to as many Kentuckians as I can – until our mission really is accomplished and we bring Mitch McConnell back to Kentucky for good.

We can do it. We’ve got a lot of work to do. I’m ready for it. Are you ready?

Are you ready?

Let’s get to work!

Thank you.

Israel and Syria to discuss peace

Israel and Syria will be talking to each other. Here's the press release from Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's office:
Syria and Israel have started indirect peace talks, under the auspices of Turkey.

The two sides stated their intention to conduct these talks in good faith and with an open mind. They decided to pursue the dialogue between them in a serious and continuous way, in order to achieve the goal of comprehensive peace in accordance with the Madrid Conference terms of reference for peace.

Both sides thanked the Prime Minister of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and Turkey, for their role in this process and their generous hospitality.
Here's additional information from JTA:
Israeli-Syrian talks were last held in 2000 but collapsed over a demand by Damascus for the full return of the Golan Heights, which were lost to Israel in the 1967 Six Day War.

Assad has signaled no flexibility over the Golan. Olmert, in turn, has preconditioned peace on Syria first disengaging from Iran and ending its support for Hamas and Hezbollah terrorism.

The disclosure that new negotiations are in the works looked likely to stir up right-wing Israeli ire against Olmert, who has already been weakened domestically by a police investigation into his finances.
Losing the Golan Heights would be huge since right now, it serves as an Israeli border and is helpful to Israeli defense in the event of a possible attack. It would not surprise me to see people speak out against Olmert soon enough. He is looking weaker every day and the financial investigation does not help him at all.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Photos from the Clinton Party at the Marriott

Sen. Hillary Clinton's Speech to Kentucky Supporters at Victory Party

Delivered at the Downtown Mariott in Louisville, KY

Thank you, Kentucky. Thank you all very, very much. I am so grateful for this victory. And I am so appreciative, because tonight I am thinking about why we are all here. It is not just to win a primary, or even just to win an election; what propels us is the struggle to realize America’s promise. A nation where every child can achieve his or her God-given potential, where every man and woman has a fair chance, where we fulfill the ideals our founders pledged their lives to defend and our nation was born to uphold.

I want to say a special word this evening about someone who has spent his whole life dedicated to realizing the promise of America. Senator Ted Kennedy is one of the greatest progressive leaders in our party's history, and one of the most effective senators in our country's history. He’s my friend, and he’s my inspiration. More than that, he is a hero to millions of Americans whose lives he has fought to better.

I am proud to have stood side-by-side with Ted Kennedy to increase the minimum wage, to extend health insurance to millions of children, to help stop insurance companies from discriminating against the sick. But the privileges that I have had and so many others have had because of the battles we have fought side-by-side with him are just a mere handful of what he has done during his entire public service; five extraordinary decades devoted to America.

And as a lifelong champion for social justice and equality, his work has made the path easier for me, for Senator Obama, and for countless others. He has been with us for our fights and we're with him now in his. And I know he is going to fight with all of his legendary might, supported by his wonderful wife Vicki and his entire family against this latest challenge. And we wish him well and send our thoughts and prayers to him.

Tonight we've achieved an important victory. It is not just Kentucky bluegrass that is music to my ears. It is the sound of your overwhelming vote of confidence even in the face of some pretty tough odds. Some have said your votes didn't matter, that this campaign was over, that allowing everyone to vote and every vote to count would somehow be a mistake. But that didn't stop you. You’ve never given up on me because you know I’ll never give up on you.

This is one of the closest races for a party's nomination in modern history. We’re winning the popular vote and I’m more determined than ever to see that every vote is cast and every ballot counted. I commend Senator Obama and his supporters and while we continue to go toe-to-toe for this nomination, we do see eye-to-eye when it comes to uniting our party to elect a Democratic president in the fall.

But I need your help. Your support has made the difference between victory and defeat. Though we have been outspent massively, your support has helped us make our case on the air and on the ground, and your help will keep us going. We’ve made it this far together, so please go to and together we will make history. And I can't do it without you.

Now, you know that the stakes are high. After all this country has been through the past seven years, we have to get this right. We have to select a nominee who is best positioned to win in November, and someone who is best prepared to address the enormous challenges facing our country in these difficult times. That is what this election is all about.

Now, I’m told that more people have voted for me than for anyone who has ever run for the Democratic nomination. That is more than 17 million votes. Now, why? Why do millions keep turning out to vote in the face of naysayers and skeptics? Because you know that our political process is more than candidates running, or the pundits chattering, or the ads blaring. It is about the path we choose as a nation and whether or not we will solve our toughest problems. Whether or not we will have a president who will rebuild the economy, end the war in Iraq, restore our leadership in the world and stand up for you every single day.

The people I meet along the campaign trail don't always make the headlines; the nurses and teachers, the truckers and soldiers, the waitresses and firefighters, the police officers and coal miners, the college students and line workers. The men and women who get up every single day, work hard to make a difference for their families. The people struggling to make ends meet, to find a good job, to pay the bills, to have a shot at the American Dream.

For too long, too many Americans have felt invisible in their own country. Well, you've never been invisible to me. I’ve been fighting for you my entire life.

And I want you to remember, we are in this race because we believe that every single American deserves quality, affordable health care, no exceptions. We are in this race because we believe everyone deserves a shot at the American Dream, the opportunity to work hard at a good job to get ahead, to save for college, for a home, for retirement. To fill the gas tank and buy the groceries with a little left at the end of each month; to build a better life for you and your children. We are in this race because we believe this new century poses new challenges to meet and new opportunities to seize, if we only had a president ready, willing and able to lead.

To turn the climate crisis into an energy revolution and create million of new jobs; to turn the risks of the new global economy into the rewards of new prosperity shared by all of our people. We are in this race because we believe it will take a Commander-in-Chief with the strength and knowledge to end the war in Iraq safely and quickly, and a president with experience representing the people of the United States in more than 80 countries to restore our leadership and moral authority in the world.

And yes, we are in this race because we believe America is worth fighting for. This continues to be a tough fight. And I have fought it the only way I know how — with determination, by never giving up and never giving in.

I have done it, not because I wanted to demonstrate my toughness, but because I believe passionately that for the sake of our country the Democrats must take back the White House and end the Republican rule. This country needs our combination of strength and compassion to help people struggling with their bills, living the hard reality of everyday life, in need of our leadership on issues from health care to energy to Social Security. That’s why I’m still running and that's why you're still voting.

And I’m going on now to campaign in Montana, South Dakota, and Puerto Rico. And I’m going to keep standing up for the voters of Florida and Michigan. Democrats in those two states cast 2.3 million votes and they deserve to have those votes counted. That's why I’m going to keep making our case until we have a nominee, whoever she may be.

It is especially sweet tonight because Kentucky has a knack for picking presidents. This state delivered two terms to a president named Clinton. And it’s often been said, as Kentucky goes, so goes the nation.

Neither Senator Obama nor I have won the 2210 delegates required to secure the nomination. And because this race is so close, still separated by less than 200 delegates out of more than 4,400, neither Senator Obama nor I will have reached that magic number when the voting ends on June the 3rd.

So, our party will have a tough choice to make. Who is ready to lead our party at the top of our ticket? Who is ready to defeat Senator McCain in the swing states and among swing voters? Who is ready to rebuild the economy and the war in Iraq and protect our national security as Commander-in-Chief? Who is ready on Day One to lead?

There are so many Kentuckians that I want to thank. I am so honored by your support and hospitality to me, to Bill and to Chelsea, and I want to thank Jerry and Charlotte Lundergan and my entire Kentucky Steering Committee, including former Governors Wendell Ford, Julian Carroll, John Y. Brown, Martha Layne Collins and Paul Patent. I want to thank Speaker Jody Richards and his wife Neva, former Attorney General, Greg Stumbo, Majority Leader Rocky Adkins and Tina Ward-Pugh, and Terry McBrayer, Joetta Wickliffe and Loretta Bosley.

I want to thank my friends in labor for standing by us every step of the way. I am grateful to the Kentucky Veterans for Hillary and honored by your support and your service. I want to thank my chairman, Terry McAuliffe, and my family. I am so grateful to the outstanding staff, volunteers and supporters in Kentucky and in Oregon and across America who have worked so hard.

Now, I have one more request to all of my supporters tonight, to the people I’ve met along the campaign trail, to everyone who has knocked on doors and volunteered and put up signs and donated to this campaign. Keep working. Keep fighting. Keep standing up for what you believe is right, because that is exactly what I’m going to do.

People ask me all the time, how do you keep going? Well, it is you who keep me going. And tonight, I’m thinking about all of the women I’ve met who were born before women could vote. Just this week, I met 89-year-old Emma Hollis, an African-American woman, she has seen so many barriers crumble and fall in her lifetime, but she is not finished yet. She has been volunteering out of our campaign office in Covington to help our campaign break the highest and hardest glass ceiling in the land.

I’m thinking about Andrea Steagall, a strong and composed young woman, 20 years old, who drove across Kentucky to meet me. Her husband, Justin, is deployed in Afghanistan. And she told me how important it is that we have a president who will always stand up for our veterans. And I am honored by her support, and by her family's service and sacrifice.

And I’m thinking again about Dalton Hatfield, the 11-year-old from Kentucky, who sold his bike and his video games to raise money to support my campaign. And then he asked others to give, too, and he was able to really give me a boost. And this week, I finally had the chance to meet him in Prestonsburg and to say, Dalton, thank you so much .The $422 you raised helped carry the day in Kentucky.

That’s why I’m in this race, to fight for your future, and that's why whatever happens, I’ll work as hard as I can to elect a Democratic president this fall. The state motto of Kentucky is, “United we stand, divided we fall.” Words that have a special place in our history. They inspired American revolutionaries to unite the colonies, to defy an empire and create a new nation, to invent a new form of government, of the people, by the people, for the people. And they have bound our nation together in service and sacrifice, even in our darkest hours.

We will come together as a party, united by common values and common cause; united in service of the hopes and dreams that know no boundaries of race or creed, gender or geography. And when we do, there will be no stopping us. We won't just unite our party; we will unite our country and make sure America’s best years are still ahead of us. Thank you, and G-d bless you and G-d bless America.

Mazel Tov, Mel!

Mel Brooks: It's Good to be a Jew.
"It’s good to be an American." With those words Mel Brooks, one of only a few people to win an Emmy, an Oscar, a Tony, and a Grammy, accepted another award on April 17 at Ellis Island: The 2008 Ellis Island Family Heritage Award in entertainment. Presented by The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, the annual award recognizes Ellis Island/Port of New York immigrants or their descendents who have made their mark on American life.
Mazel tov!

Gore undecided

It's nice to see that he's staying out of the mess that is the Democratic Primary in the race for President.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Indiana Jones and another sequel?

Is it true? Could it be possible? Steven Spielberg, at a press conference during the premiere, commented that there's the possibility of yet another sequel in the Indiana Jones franchise.
Steven Spielberg has said he is happy to make another Indiana Jones movie if fans enjoy the long-awaited fourth film, Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

The director joined stars Harrison Ford, Cate Blanchett and Shia LaBeouf at the film's premiere in Cannes.

Asked at a press conference if he wanted to make another film, he said: "Only if you want more.

"That's why we made this Indiana Jones. We'll certainly have our ear to the ground to hear what happens."

Spielberg added: "That'll decide were we go from here."

The film attracted the likes of Natalie Portman, Sean Penn, Goldie Hawn, Salma Hayek, Dennis Hopper, Christian Slater, Billy Zane and Kelly Brook to its showpiece screening.

The BBC's Mark Savage said it was "very much in the style of the first three films. The set-piece stunts are second to none.

Jurassic Park 4 imminent?!?

It seems to be Jurassic Park 4 will be happening in the next few years. Why not? It's been seven years since Jurassic Park 3 was released. With Steven Spielberg revisiting the Indiana Jones franchise, it makes sense. Spielberg, I think, will likely be producing it as opposed to directing the dinosaur movie but you never know what will happen.
Every couple of months or so, talk of a fourth outing is kicked up. And last summer was certainly a healthy time for prehistoric reports which stated Laura Dern would return in a meatier role (larger than her turn in part three). The actress, who plays Dr. Ellie Sattler in the series, recently gave TV Guide Magazine an update...

"It's a while away but my understanding is it's happening and my character is very involved. I know [director] Steven Spielberg is looking forward to [getting it together] over the next year."
Dern had a small role in the third one. I would love for the fourth to have much of the old cast in it but I highly doubt that all will return.

New Promo Unveiled

The latest promo for Rob Kutner's new book, APOCALYPSE HOW, which is now in stores. So why are you still reading? BUY IT NOW!

Clinton weekend roundup

Hmmm...a sign that there is a further divide within the Democratic Party....
NARAL Pro-Choice America affiliates in key swing and primary states are openly distancing themselves from the decision by NARAL Pro-Choice America to endorse Illinois Sen. Barack Obama over Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton to be the Democratic nominee for president.

Since yesterday's announcement, NARAL groups in Pennsylvania, Missouri, Oregon, Washington, Texas and New York -- Clinton's home state -- have issued statements signaling their continued neutrality in the Democratic race and emphasizing that the national group did not speak for them on this matter. These groups represent nearly a quarter of NARAL's state chapters.
Clinton outlined her economic plan this weekend at a Kentucky stop.

Did you miss me?

Yours truly was out of town this past weekend...and had to stay away from the commercial breaks before they got to me!

Jonah Hill is looking to update 21 Jump Street.
According to Variety, the Superbad star is in negotiations to develop an updated version of 21 Jump Street for Columbia Pictures.

The project will be produced by Neal Moritz along with Stephen J. Cannell, who co-created and executive produced the TV version of the property, which aired on FOX from 1987-91.

Johnny Depp was one of several Tiger Beat friendly stars whose careers were launched by the original 21 Jump Street, which focused on a group of cops who were young enough to work undercover at high schools and colleges.

The trade paper says that Hill would develop the screenplay, executive produce and potentially star in the modern-day 21 Jump Street.
Republican presidential candidate John McCain appeared on Saturday Night Live this weekend. Unlike his 2002 appearance, McCain did not sing Streisand. Here's a roundup:
"I ask you, what should we be looking for in our next president?" McCain said. "Certainly, someone who is very, very, very old."

The certain Republican presidential nominee appeared in a phony campaign ad in which he promised to put an end to runaway government spending, claiming he had never sought money for his home state, Arizona.

"Controlling government spending isn't just about Republicans or Democrats," he said. "It's about being able to look your children in the eye. Or in my case, my children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-great-grandchildren and great-great-great-grandchildren, the youngest of whom are nearing retirement."

"I have the courage, the wisdom, the experience and, most importantly, the oldness necessary," McCain said. "The oldness it takes to protect America, to honor her, love her and tell her about what cute things the cat did."
Appearing on The Daily Show, John McCain appears to have decided on a running mate.
The all-but-certain Republican nominee did reveal a few tidbits. His Secret Service code name, he thinks, "is 'jerk,'" and his choice for a vice presidential running mate is Dwight Schrute, a character on the NBC sitcom, "The Office," played by Rainn Wilson.
Rainn Wilson responded shortly thereafter.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Kentucky for Hillary steering committee announced

I just got this sent to me via email and it's not up on the main site yet.

State Chair, Former Kentucky Democratic Party Chairman, Jerry Lundergan

State Co-Chairs
Former Governor and Senator Wendell H. Ford
Former Governor John Y. Brown
Former Governor Paul Patton
Former Kentucky First Lady Judy Patton
Former Governor Jullian Carroll
Former Senator Dee Huddleston
Former Lt. Governor Steve Henry
Former Miss America and Community Activist Heather French Henry
Former Kentucky First Lady Phyllis George
House Speaker Jody Richards
Former Attorney General and State Rep. Greg Stumbo
Majority Floor Leader Rep. Rocky Adkins
State Rep. Joni Jenkins

1st Congressional District
Rep. Fred Nessler
Rep. Brent Yonts
Rep. John Arnold
Rep. Will Coursey
Marshall County Judge Executive Mike Miller
Henderson County Judge Executive Sandy Lee-Watkins
Calloway County Judge Executive, Larry Elkins
Carlisle County Judge Executive, Greg Terry
Hickman County Judge Executive, Greg Pruitt
Hopkins County Judge Executive, Donald E. Carroll
Logan County Judge Executive, Logan Chick
Community Leader Evelda Stearsman
Muhlenberg County Judge Executive, Rick Newman
Todd County Judge Executive, Arthur Green
Community Leader Perry Stokes
Union County Judge Executive, Jody Jenkins
Webster County Judge Executive, Jim Townsend
Community leader Bonita Chandler
Henderson County Sheriff Ed Brady
Lyon County Judge Executive Jimmy Campbell
Metcalfe County Judge Executive Greg Wilson

2nd Congressional District
Larue County Judge Executive, Tommy Turner
Spencer County Judge Executive David Jenkins
Rep. Dottie Simms
Rep. Larry Belcher
Warren County Sheriff Jerry "Peanut" Gaines
Nelson County Judge Executive Dean Watts
Bullitt County Sheriff Donnie Tinnell
Hancock County Judge Executive Jack B. McCaslin
Community Leader Becky Reska
Community Leader Gary Bagby
Marion County Attorney Joe Mattingly
Marion County Jailer Barry Brady
Ohio County Judge Executive David Jones
Meade County Judge Executive Harry Craycroft
Meade County PVA Mark Straney
Spencer County Commissioner Bill Drury
Community Leader Sandy Drury
Taylor County Judge Executive Eddie Rogers
Washington County Judge Executive John Settles

3rd Congressional District
Metro Councilwoman Tina Ward-Pugh
Metro Councilwoman Judith Green
Sen. Denise Harper-Angel
Rep. Mary-Lou Marzian
Rep. Tim Firkins
Rep. Steve Riggs
Rep. Tom Burch
David Nicholson- Circuit Court Clerk
Tony Lindaur- PVA
Dave Stengel- Commonwealth's Attorney

4th Congressional District
Rep. Robin Webb
Boyd County Judge Executive William "Bud" Stevens
Gallatin County Judge Executive, Kenny French
Greenup County Attorney Michael C. Wilson
Pendleton County Judge Executive Henry Bertram
Nicholas County Judge Executive Larry Tincher
Community Leader Joan Morris
Bracken County Judge Executive Gary L. Riggs
Carter County Judge Executive Charles Wallace
Carter County Attorney Robert W. Miller

5th Congressional District
Sen. Ray Jones
Rep. John Will Stacy
Rep. Leslie Combs
Rep. Keith Hall
Rep. Rick Nelson
Pike County Judge Executive Wayne T. Rutherford
Pike County Sheriff Fuzzy Keesee
Community Leaders Bill & Rose Deskins
Community Leader Bobby Combs
Floyd County Judge Executive R D Marshall
Floyd County Attorney Keith Bartley
Community Leader Lois Combs-Weinberg
Letcher County Judge Executive Jim Ward
Owsley County Judge Executive Cale Turner
Letcher County Magistrate Archie Banks
Letcher County Magistrate Keith Adams
Whitesburg Mayor James Wiley
Fleming-Neon Mayor Susan Polis
Jenkins City-Council Mayor Carol Ann Litts
Jenkins City Council Member Rebecca Terrill-Elswick
Whitesburg City Council Member Jimmy Bates

6th Congressional District
Rep. Harry Moberly
Majority Caucus Chairman Rep. Charlie Hoffman
Rep. Carl Rollins
Rep. Don Pasley
Former Lexington Mayor Teresa Isaac
Fayette County PVA Rene True
Fayette County Coroner Gary W. Ginn
Fayette County Commissioner Karen Shrader
Fayette County Commissioner Jim Ballard
Fayette County Magistrate Carol Stephenson
Fayette County Magistrate Frances Esenbrock
Woodford County PVA Becky Wilson
Franklin County PVA Patsy R. Conway

Fischer puts Indiana before Kentucky

The latest from a Lunsford press release:
Greg Fischer says he’s a Kentucky businessman...
Greg Fischer has described himself as a Kentucky businessman on the campaign trail as well as in a mailing sent out in late March 2008 and in a press release announcing his campaign. [Fischer mailing, 3/22/2008]

...but he took tax breaks to move jobs out of Kentucky.
Fischer took tax breaks to move jobs out of Kentucky and train new workers in Indiana. One of Fischer’s companies, Medventure, which appears in his 60-second TV commercials, took $4.3 million in incentives to move from Louisville to Jeffersonville, Indiana, as well as an additional $300,000 in incentives from the State of Indiana to train new Indiana workers. [Associated Press 7/19/2005]

Fischer registered his ice machine company in Kentucky yet headquartered it in Indiana. Even though SerVend International was registered as a corporation with the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Fischer kept the business operating in Indiana. The business was operating out of a garage with two employees in Sellersburg, Indiana, when his dad bought the company. However, when it came time for the company to expand, on two separate occasions, the company built large plants in Jeffersonville and Sellersburg instead of building those plants in Kentucky. [Business filings from the Kentucky Secretary of State; Business First of Louisville, 7/1/1985 and 8/20/1990]

Fischer chose to create Indiana jobs and even though a small amount of his employees may have commuted fromLouisville, his companies were providing tax revenue to Indiana instead of Kentucky. In a time when Kentucky is in desperate need of revenue as services are being cut and tuition is going up at public universities, these Greg Fischer companies are sending money to Indianapolis to help keep Indiana services running and Indiana tuition low.

Can Indiana Businessman Greg Fischer be trusted to put Kentucky first?

2008 FOX Fall and 2009 Spring Schedule

FOX announced both their spring and fall schedules.

FALL 2008
8:00 The Sarah Connor Chronicles
9:00 Prison Break

8:00 House
9:00 Fringe

8:00 Bones
9:00 Til Death
9:30 Do Not Disturb

8:00 The Moment Of Truth
9:00 Kitchen Nightmares

8:00 Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?
9:00 Don't Forget The Lyrics!

8:00 Cops
8:30 Cops
9:00 America's Most Wanted

7:00 The OT
8:00 The Simpsons
8:30 King Of The Hill
9:00 Family Guy
9:30 American Dad

8:00 Dollhouse
9:00 24

8:00 American Idol
9:00 Fringe

8:00 House
9:00 American Idol Results Show
9:30 TBA Comedy

8:00 Hell's Kitchen
9:00 Secret Millionaire

8:00 Bones
9:00 Til' Death
9:30 Do Not Disturb

8:00 Cops
8:30 Cops
9:00 America's Most Wanted

7:00 Comedy Encores
7:30 Comedy Encores
8:00 The Simpsons
8:30 King Of The Hill/Sit down, Shut up
9:00 Family Guy
9:30 American Dad/The Cleveland Show


Former Governors endorse Hillary Clinton

Four former Kentucky governors have announced their endorsement of Sen. Hillary Clinton.
After a landslide victory in West Virginia, the Clinton Campaign today announced that former Kentucky Governors Wendell Ford, Paul Patton, John Brown, and Julian Carroll are endorsing Hillary for President. The endorsements demonstrate the widespread support Hillary continues to receive throughout the Bluegrass State.

"The Presidency is the hardest job in the world and the American people deserve a leader who can rise to the challenge," said former Governor Wendell Ford. "In the thirty years I have known Hillary, she has consistently proven she can deliver results. Whether fighting to reform our nation’s health care system or offering a responsible solution to ending the War in Iraq, Hillary has proven time and again she has what it takes to get the job done."

"The people of Kentucky need a President who has the strength, experience, and leadership to lead on day one," said former Governor Julian Carroll. "My friendship with Hillary goes back more than 30 years and I know she'll make a fine President. Hillary is the leader that Kentucky needs and I look forward to helping deliver victory for her on Tuesday."

"I am proud to support Hillary today," said former Governor John Y. Brown. "I had the opportunity to serve with President Clinton and I got to know Hillary as a person. With the complex problems that have been created over the last eight years, I would feel most comfortable with Hillary because she has the skills and experience to handle them."

"I am honored to have the support of these distinguished Kentucky governors, and look forward to working with them to jumpstart the economy and rebuild the middle class," Clinton said.
And a statement from Terry McAuliffe:
"We respect John Edwards, but as the voters of West Virginia showed last night, this thing is far from over."

The End of an Era

Jim Edmonds has signed a contract with the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs. The frickin' Chicago Cubs. You know...the team that plays in the North Side and has not been to a World Series since 1945 and has not won the World Series since 1908.

This sickens me in my stomach very much. He's a Cardinal. You're not supposed to play for the arch-rival. I'll let John Mabry and Jason Marquis slide by...they are not as beloved as Jim Edmonds was. Edmonds is a member of the MV3. Well, he was until this past season with Albert Pujols and Scott Rolen before he requested a trade.

Jim Edmonds will always be a Cardinal in my heart but nothing makes me as sick than seeing the big C on his chest.

Why, Jimmy, why?!?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

2008 CBS Fall Schedule

CBS has unveiled their fall schedule with not one but two nights of comedy.

8:00 The Big Bang Theory
8:30 How I Met Your Mother
9:00 Two and a Half Men
9:30 The Worst Week
10:00 CSI: Miami

8:00 NCIS
9:00 The Mentalist
10:00 Without A Trace

8:00 The New Adventures of Old Christine
8:30 Project Gary
9:00 Criminal Minds
10:00 CSI: NY

8:00 Survivor: Africa
9:00 CSI
10:00 Eleventh Hour

8:00 The Ghost Whisperer
9:00 The Ex-List
10:00 Numb3rs

8:00 Primetime Saturday
9:00 Primetime Saturday
10:00 48 Hours

7:00 60 Minutes
8:00 The Amazing Race
9:00 Cold Case
10:00 The Unit

Shark, Moonlight, and Cane are out. Harper's Island and Rules of Engagement will be the midseason replacements. Sunday nights as usual will be delayed due to NFL programming going late and 60 Minutes is protected and must air in its entirety.


2008 CW Fall Schedle

8:00 p.m. Gossip Girl
9:00 p.m. One Tree Hill

8:00 p.m. 90210
9:00 p.m. Surviving the Filthy Rich

8:00 p.m. America's Next Top Model
9:00 p.m. Stylista

8:00 p.m. Smallville
9:00 p.m. Supernatural

8:00 p.m. Everybody Hates Chris
8:30 p.m. The Game
9:00 p.m. America's Next Top Model Encore

Midseason: Reaper

The CW outsourced Sunday night programming to Media Rights Capital, which is expected to schedule two comedies and two dramas. There is a strong fan push to see to it that Mooonlight is one of those shows. Life is Wild will not be returning


Israel and the Olympics

Israel looks at making a bid the 2016 Olympic Games while you can learn the untold story of their bobsledding team!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Is this a typo or did Obama seriously screw up?

I was cool, man. Jaded Political Observer. No screaming, just observing. Cool. Right up until about one minute into Obama's speech, when he asked who in the crowd had seen him at the rally he headlined at the Papa John's stadium in 2006.
I don't know where to begin. Obama never held a rally at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. It was LOUISVILLE SLUGGER FIELD.

I pray that this is a typo from the person who wrote this on Bluegrass Roots. Please say it is! Otherwise, this is a major mistake on Obama's part. Does he really not remember the name of the stadium he spoke at in 2006?

2008 ABC Fall Schedule

You can view NBC's 2008-09 schedule here. Here is the 2008 Fall schedule for ABC.

8:00 Dancing with the Stars
9:30 Samantha Who?
10:00 Boston Legal

8:00 Opportunity Knocks
9:00 Dancing with the Stars - The Results Show
10:00 Eli Stone

8:00 Pushing Daisies
9:00 Private Practice
10:00 Dirty Sexy Money

8:00 Ugly Betty
9:00 Grey's Anatomy
10:00 Life on Mars

8:00 Wife Swap
9:00 Supernanny
10:00 20/20

8:00 Saturday Night College Football

7:00 America's Funniest Home Videos
8:00 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
9:00 Desperate Housewives
10:00 Brothers & Sisters

Opportunity Knocks and Life on Mars are the only new shows appearing on the schedule. Oprah's Big Give won't return and this is the final season of Boston Legal. Scrubs will make it's ABC debut during the midseason.

Other midseason shows include: According to Jim, The Bachelor, Lost, The Goode Family, and Primetime: What Would You Do?.

Gillispie Recruiting Mania

I hate linking to Jerry Tipton articles these days but I'm too lazy to do a google search at the moment.

Apparently, Billy's done it again. He's got another recruit to verbal. It begs me to wonder...what will they think of next?

As the propriety of recruiting younger prospects gets debated nationwide, Kentucky has offered a scholarship to another high school freshman.

On Sunday, UK offered a scholarship to Jeremiah Davis III, who is completing his ninth-grade year at Muncie (Ind.) Central High School.

"I was honored," Davis said Monday about the offer. "I don't know if I'm going to take it yet. I'm still a freshman."

Indiana, Ohio State and Tennessee are among the schools that also have expressed a recruiting interest in Davis. None has yet offered a scholarship, the player's father said.

UK Coach Billy Gillispie saw Davis play in the same recent Akron, Ohio, basketball event that led to commitments from eighth-grader Michael Avery and ninth-grader Vinny Zollo. Davis played on the same AAU team, Indiana Elite.

Davis said he was not sure whether or when he might accept the UK scholarship offer. When asked whether college seemed far off into the future, he said, "Pretty far, right. I still have to go through high school first."

But his father, also named Jeremiah, said the offer would be the subject of a serious family discussion.

"When you have something great, you don't want to let it go," the elder Davis said. "He's a freshman. To get something like that from Kentucky, the University of Kentucky, there's not many universities bigger than that, if any."

The player's father described his reaction to the offer as a mix of surprise and feeling flattered by UK's interest.

"Kentucky, you can't get much bigger than that," the elder Davis said. "It can't get much bigger. ... I don't have the words to say how excited (the family is)."

Davis, a 6-foot-3 point guard, averaged about 10 points, four or five assists and three or four rebounds as a freshman last season, said Muncie Central Coach Matt Fine.

"He's strong, athletic (and) very skilled for a player of his age ... ," Fine said. "He's a great kid, too. A top-notch kid from a top-notch family.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Some must reads...

Alan Dershowitz covers just about everything in a must-read interview.

As the State of Israel turned 60, it's very saddening to still see anti-Zionist bias in the media.

Is Britain learning?

I feel sorry for the United Kingdom. No, really, I do. Especially the subscribers of The Telegraph after they listed their countdown of The 50 Most Influential US Political Pundits.
The liberal host of the Daily Show on Comedy Central mixes comedy and political satire, but it is his serious moments that have carried him into the realm of punditry. A frequent of critic of George W Bush, he also embarrassed his friend John McCain for speaking at Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University, having previously denounced the preacher and his ilk as “agents of intolerance." McCain was forced to concede that he was descending into the “crazy base world” of politics.

His show gets more serious as it endures, with guests such as Howard Dean and Harry Reid in the space of a week. A relentless critic of combative pundits, he is widely judged to have humiliated Tucker Carlson, formerly of CNN and MSNBC, and Chris Matthews during on-air jousts.
Colbert comes in at #11.
It is often said that Fox’s Bill O’Reilly is the model for Stephen T Colbert, the self-indulgent, bombastic and inaccurate character who chairs the Colbert Report on Comedy Central.

Colbert’s id has been described as a "well-intentioned, poorly informed high-status idiot." Through show’s the phony news and election coverage, his mainly young audience nonetheless feels it is getting the spiritual truth about the campaign.
The Top Ten in order:

I have to disagree with their pickings of both Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert because they are comedians...not political pundits!

It's not Apatow until the critics say so

John Mayer has a new video and it's gone viral. It's actually directed by Judd Apatow. Here's a brief article:
In "Makin' Music with John Mayer," the 30-year-old artist takes the viewers behind the scenes of his songwriting process.

The video, with cameos from Kristen Bell and Apatow regulars Martin Starr and Steve Banos, features Mayer as he supervises a team of songwriters to pen him his song. According to the short film, he employed a coke addict to snort drugs for him as he wasn't really into drugs but needed the depression for a great song. He enlisted the help of his songwriters to write a track about something everybody can relate to, "when you're f*cking one supermodel to make the other ones jealous," and the finish process was presented over to a focus group, which includes one baby in a stroller.
You can view it here.

In Natalie Portman news, she has pulled out of Wuthering Heights.

SNL veteran Kristen Wiig is being hailed as the next Dan Aykroyd. She's up there, for sure.
It was meant as a compliment and Kristen Wiig was genuinely flattered.

"Oh, thank you," Wiig said when it was suggested to her that when comparing the current Saturday Night Live cast, of which Wiig is a member, to the classic SNL casts, she is the new Dan Aykroyd.

Not in the looks department, of course. Akroyd? . . . well, we love him, but we recall Homer Simpson proudly proclaiming at one point that he and Dan Aykroyd share some physical attributes. 'Nuff said.

Anyway, the heart of the compliment was based on talent.

Back in SNL's early days, John Belushi's characters always were sort of like John Belushi, and Bill Murray's characters always were sort of like Bill Murray. Not that they weren't hilarious, but those larger-than-life comedians always tended to play versions of themselves.

Aykroyd, on the other hand, was the guy who had to become different people. He never seemed to be playing a version of himself. And that versatility allowed the skits to go in all kinds of different directions.

These days, Wiig has grown into that role on SNL.

She joined the cast in 2005, but in the past two seasons she has gone from someone you saw occasionally to someone who seems to be in just about every skit.

Wiig is that kind of blank-slate comedian who changes in every skit and never merely is drawing upon her own persona.

News of the, well, I don't have a word

Don McNay:
Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson and Louisville attorney Bonita Black are both Harvard-educated (Bonita was a Kentucky undergrad and Harvard Law School; Trey was the opposite) and have heavy books on their reading list. However music is controlled by their children.

Bonita is listening to “Dora the Explorer” (a favorite of mine) while Trey is serenaded by Hannah Montana on the “Enchanted” soundtrack and “High School Musical 2" soundtrack.

When Trey seeks another office, he is a cinch to get the Disney lovers’ vote.
Perhaps it would be a good time to remind Secretary of State Trey Grayson that High School Musical 3 is due out October 24, 2008 while the Hannah Montana movie is supposed to be filming right now in Nashville, if not next month.

In Wildcat action...

John Clay offers his take on the new era of basketball recruiting at the University of Kentucky.
To win games, Gillispie needs players. To get players, it doesn't hurt to be first, and it doesn't hurt to have the name of your school in the public eye, just as Kentucky's name has been out there in the news after accepting a commitment from Michael Avery.

Two weeks ago, no one knew the name Michael Avery. Now that's changed. Avery is an eighth-grader who lives in California. He plays basketball. He's not the next LeBron James, or even a home-state hero like Damon Bailey. But he caught Gillispie's eye during a travel-team tournament in Ohio. Fearing USC might offer Avery a scholarship first, as Coach Tim Floyd has done before, Gillispie beat the Trojans to the punch. Avery accepted.

A national debate erupted. Southern Cal offers an eighth-grader a scholarship and people see it as a Trojan publicity-grab in a UCLA-dominated town. UK does it and, as Andy Staples of Sports asked, "How could Kentucky -- college basketball royalty -- stoop to offering a scholarship to an eighth-grader?"

The key word there is "stoop."

Gillispie put up his best defense Saturday during a 30-minute news conference with local reporters. He said recruiting is "very, very competitive." He said evaluations have to be made earlier. He said there are no guarantees, just as there is no guarantee an 18-year-old senior will have his high school game translate to college competition.

Asked if he thought this new trend was good or bad for the sport, Gillispie said, "It's just different."
Eric Crawford offers his take as well.

Patrick Patterson and Jodie Meeks are recuperating.
Patrick Patterson exceeded expectations on the court as a UK freshman. Now it seems his recuperaton from stress-fracture surgery is exceeding expectations as well.

The 6-foot-8 forward averaged 16.4 points and 7.7 rebounds before a stress fracture in his left ankle forced him to miss the Wildcats' last five games last season. But doctors had reason for optimism when they removed Patterson's cast last week, coach Billy Gillispie said.

"They say that they looked at the X-rays after they took the cast off, and they didn't expect there to be a great deal of healing at that point, but there has been much more healing going on than what they expected," Gillispie said. "They're really encouraged by that, really excited about it."

Patterson now is moving around with the aid of a walking boot in place of his cast. He'll wear that protective boot for 4-6 weeks.

Catching up on all things Hillary

You may have noticed that of all the bloggers posting about Friday's fundraiser, I did not. Here's why...I was out of town for a family simcha. Furthermore, I wouldn't have gone anyway since it was, of all things, on a Friday night.

North Carolina Congressman Heath Shuler, following up on his pledge to support whoever won his congressional district, has announced his support of Hillary Clinton. I wonder if John Yarmuth and Ben Chandler will do the same.

Clinton has been counted out more than once but she came back. I have a little faith left that my party will do the right thing and elect Clinton. I'm off the mindset, like many of my fellow Dems, that Obama just cannot seal the deal and beat McCain.

The Charleston Daily Mail endorsed Hillary for President.

Chris Carney announced his support of Clinton as well after she overwhelmingly won the 10th district.

This letter went out to many Democrats.
Dear Fellow Democrat,

We are writing to you because of our shared belief in our Party’s principles and our commitment to ensuring that we have the strongest possible nominee to lead our ticket against John McCain and the Republicans in November.

The decision about who to support to be our Party’s nominee is not one that any of us should take lightly. We haven’t. But, after giving this important decision a great deal of thought, we are convinced that Hillary Clinton has the vision, skills and commitment to make the changes our country needs. As Democrats who have run and won in competitive Congressional districts and battleground states, we believe that Hillary is best positioned to successfully lead the Democratic ticket in districts and states like ours around the country.

As you know, Hillary has racked up victories in bellwether states like Ohio, Pennsylvania and now Indiana that are absolutely vital to winning the White House and maintaining our Congressional majority in the fall. Hillary has won the big battleground states by connecting with voters whose support we must have to win the general election. Her victories in Pennsylvania and Indiana were all the more impressive after being outspent by as much as two or three to one.

Pennsylvania was not just a victory for Hillary Clinton. It was also a wake- up call for superdelegates, forcing us to ask ourselves two essential questions: 1) Which candidate can carry the magic 270 electoral votes to win in the fall? 2) Which candidate is most likely to help our fellow Democrats in down-ballot races? We believe the answer to both of these questions is Hillary Clinton.

On the first question, Hillary has shown she can win the all-important battleground states like Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida even while being outspent. This speaks to her ability to connect with voters we must deliver in the fall, including blue collar Democrats who can sway this election as they have in the past.

On the second question, Hillary has won rural and suburban districts which we as Democrats must carry to maintain our edge in Congress. Of the fifteen districts rated “toss up” by the Cook Political Report, Hillary has now won ten. Of the 20 districts we picked up in 2006 that had gone for President Bush just two years before, Hillary has now won 16. She is strong in the places we must win to hold and expand our majority.

This is a historically close race. The candidates are separated by a mere percentage point or two and the path to victory for each candidate is the same: win in the upcoming states and secure enough pledged and automatic delegates to get to the number required to win the nomination.

The race now turns to the remaining six contests where the focus will be squarely on the economy. Voters in our states and across the country are voting on issues that affect them, their communities and their children’s future. We believe that they will decide that Hillary is the candidate who best understands those issues and has the best solutions to address them.

We Democrats are justifiably proud of both of our candidates, and if Senator Obama is our Party’s nominee, we will enthusiastically support him. But our responsibility is not to choose simply to support the eventual nominee; it is to help select the nominee who is best for our party and best for our country. Our choice is clear: Hillary Clinton is that candidate. We believe she should be your choice as well.

Thank you for consideration.

Rep. Michael Arcuri (NY-24)
Rep. Shelley Berkley (NV-01)
Rep. Marion Berry (AR-1)
Rep. Henry Cuellar (TX-28)
Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand (NY-20)
Rep. Gene Green (TX -29)
Rep. John Hall (NY-19)
Rep. Darlene Hooley (OR-5)
Rep. Kendrick B. Meek (FL-17)
Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (OH-11)
Rep. Silvestre Reyes (TX-16)
Rep. Mike Ross (AR-4)
Rep. Joe Sestak (PA-8)
Rep. Ike Skelton (MO-4)
Rep. John Tanner (TN-8)
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-20)

Friday, May 09, 2008

Clinton, Anchorman 2, and other news...

Obama is wrong on the gas tax. It worked in Illinois, only he denies that it worked.
CBS News says Obama voted for the temporary lifting of the tax three times in the state Senate. The tax holiday was finally approved during a special session in June of 2000, when Illinois motorists were furious that gas prices had just topped $2 a gallon in Chicago. The moratorium lifted the state's 5 percent sales tax on gasoline through the end of 2000.

Obama told constituents that gasoline prices would drop: "Gas retailers must post on each pump a statement that indicates that the state tax has been suspended and that this temporary elimination of the tax should be reflected in the price per gallon of gas."

During one state Senate floor debate, Obama joked that he wanted signs on gas pumps in his district to say, "Senator Obama reduced your gasoline prices."

Now, running for president, Obama says the tax reduction was a complete failure, and that "the oil companies, the retailers" ended up benefiting most because they raised prices by the entire amount of the tax cut.

"I voted for it, and then six months later we took a look, and consumers had not benefited at all," Obama said. Having learned this hard economics lesson from his Illinois "mistake," Obama now argues that a federal tax holiday also will fail for the same reason -- the oil companies will take it all.

But Obama is wrong. He did not learn this lesson. In fact, the only scientific study done on the pass-through of the tax holiday savings to Illinois consumers (and those in Indiana, as well, whose citizens enjoyed a similar holiday) found that it actually worked to a large extent.
In Judd Apatow news, Dateline Hollywood has recieved word that he plans to have a movie released every week!
Luckily that won't be the case next year. Dateline Hollywood has learned that Apatow has come up with a foolproof way to have a new movie EVERY WEEK next year: just give all his friends camcorders and film whatever ideas pop into their heads.

"At first, Judd was really worried about well revised scripts with lots of planning and preparation, but 'Sarah Marshall' proved you could just throw together a few of Judd's buddies with a vague idea and out pops a movie that people will pay to see," said the source.

So now Judd has bought top-of-the-line Sony camcorders and given them to Rogen, Segal, and other members of his burgeoning "crew" (some of whom are pictured together above), like Jonah Hill, James Franco, Paul Rudd, Martin Starr, and even his toddler daughter Sadie, who we have to admit was pretty damned funny as baby Sadie in "Knocked Up."

"Just hang out with your buddies and if you feel like it, shoot something that kinda looks like a movie," Apatow said in a note accompanying the camcorders. "If it's at least 80 minutes long, Universal will release it in 2009."
Don't worry, I know it was pure satire!

Is Anchorman 2 on the way?
Adam McKay: I'm looking to do another movie, I might do this other movie called Channel 3 Billion which is kind of this science fiction/Brazil type comedy. Then after that, Will and I are like let's do Anchorman 2…so you're talking like 2 years maybe we'll do it. But we're going to do it, for sure.

Collider: That's like 100%?

Adam McKay: Yeah, yeah, yeah. We're dying to do it. Unless we can't get the cast together, which is always kind of a tricky thing. But, I think, with that cast we're all friends, so yeah, we want to do it.
Sixty Years of Israel in Sixty seconds.

Race heated, why are we still talking about the fallout?

Interesting article over in the NY Times although I found it on MSNBC. Is the Clinton era, sadly, coming to an end? I was an Evan Bayh supporter from the get go and reluctantly found myself supporting Hillary Clinton for President, feeling that she was the best candidate left after Bayh, Warner, et al pulled out. Here's a quote from Bob Kerrey:
“It’s going to be hard,” said Bob Kerrey , a former senator from Nebraska, and a supporter of Mrs. Clinton. “Part of what I’ve seen in this campaign is how difficult it is to unite this party: To unite voters in West Virginia with Democratic voters in South Central Los Angeles. That is what he has to do and what is going to be hard.”

“He has to learn to set aside grievances; and there are going to be plenty of them,” Mr. Kerrey said. “Can we disagree without being disagreeable? The answer is, no. We get disagreeable. And this has been a disagreeable primary.”
It will definitely be hard. Take Kentucky, for example. We're a state that votes on values. Chandler was somehow tied to Patton for, well, you know. Gore lost because Clinton couldn't keep his pants down. Fletcher was problematic but somehow won his party's nomination but he was unable to see daylight afterwards.

The problem now is, will the Democratic Party be able to get united by November? I highly doubt that it will. Here's another excerpt that reflects that this party has a lot to work to do in the event that Obama is the nominee:
One example of the political environment Mr. Obama faces could be found in the fact that nearly 50 percent of Clinton supporters in Indiana said they would vote for Senator John McCain , Republican of Arizona, or stay at home if Mr. Obama was the candidate, surveys of voters leaving the polls said on Tuesday.

History suggests that that response reflects the emotion attendant to such an intensely fought campaign, and Democrats said that they were confident the majority of these voters would return to the fold as the differences are drawn between Mr. Obama and Mr. McCain on issues like the Iraq war and the merits of the Bush administration.

“These people are not going to vote for John McCain — I don’t care what they say now,” Mr. Hart said.

Still, even a mild defection of Democrats could prove critical if the country undergoes another presidential election as close as the last two, and Mr. Obama’s advisers said they were well aware of that as they prepared for the months ahead.
Indiana, a state that was considered to be in play if Bayh were on the ticket, is now looking like it will be a solid red state come November.

It's too early to tell for Kentucky but given that most Democrats in the state, I'd say, are conservative, it could flip either way.

But what is to be said of Florida? Will they vote for the Democrat that didn't fight for their delegates or will they go McCain? You lose Florida and you likely lose the White House.

But the Democratic race has been much more heated. Just read this article from a month back.
O'Brien said, "With straight white male progressive friends, I feel something that makes me viscerally angry and afraid -- the viciousness of the rebuttals to the suggestion that [Obama's and Clinton's] policies are roughly equal or that Clinton's have some benefits to them, the outright dismissal of any support of her, the impossibility of having a nuanced conversation ... The whole 'Hillary Clinton is a monster' theme is so virulent."

Alex Seggerman, a 24-year-old art history Ph.D. student at Yale and an Obama voter, said, "I don't think anyone in my peer group, including my parents and my friends, would be comfortable saying, 'I'm not ready for a woman president.' They would be ostracized. Saying, 'She's had plastic surgery' or 'Her attitude is off-putting' are fine. But these are really expressions of some deeper issues with the fact that she's a woman."[...]

Valenti continued, "Because their friends were not being specifically sexist, or saying something that was tangibly misogynistic, they were having a hard time talking about the sexism of it." Valenti confirmed that this "Feminine Mystique"-y problem that has no name was familiar to her. "I spoke to a guy friend who said, 'You're being ridiculous. I'm not not voting for her because she's a woman; I'm not voting for her because she's a bitch!' He could not see the connection between the two things at all." Valenti said he explained away his comment by declaring, "I mean 'a bitch' in the sense that she's not good on this or that issue."
Hat tip to Jewschool.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Bad Journalism in the Commonwealth

Thanks to our friends at A Sea of Blue, we have leaned that Lexington Herald-Leader columnist Jerry Tipton is very unethical when it comes to speaking to the families of Kentucky recruits. If you don't have time to read the article in full, here is the cliff-notes version:
The facts of the case, as best I can glean them from Maggard's website, his interviews with Avery and Zollo's parents, and reading the numerous threads about the subject are these:

1. Jerry Tipton interviewed the parents of Zollo and Avery about their commitments to UK. In them, he asked the usual questions about why committing so early, why Kentucky, etc. The sort of stuff that one would figure newspaper reporters would normally ask.

2. In addition to 1 above, Tipton apparently asked both parents (and we do not know the wording of these questions) something along the lines of, "Are you concerned about the fact that Gillispie is considered to be arrogant and hard to play for?" and asked Avery something along the lines of, "There have been injuries at UK that some have attributed to the more difficult and numerous practices Gillispie holds, does that concern you?"

3. Tipton allegedly mentioned or asked a question to Zollo's mother about "rumors" surrounding the coach, apparently including his two earlier arrests for suspicion of DUI. This allegation is a bit fuzzy in the recorded record, but Marc Maggard has insisted that Zollo's mother was more candid with him off the record about this subject, and even included an intimation that Lexington was a bad place to live.

4. Mr. Avery explicitly denied that Tipton ever mentioned any drinking or womanizing rumors, or discussed Lexington's suitability.

5. Both parents suggested that potentially negative aspects of Coach Gillispie's personality were discussed -- i.e. how "hard" he was on players, that he was arrogant, etc.

6. Both parents stated that they were "uncomfortable" with some of Tipton's questions, ostensibly because of their perception of them as negative. Both of the parents declined to discuss the Tipton interview in detail, citing a desire to keep most of the details private.
KSR will have a post up later but Marc Maggard has posted that Jerry Tipton is UK enemy #1!

Zimmerman foul ball lands in Mitch McConnell's potatoes

I know it's The Onion but can't you give McConnell a break? Seriously, the man does a lot of things like unite divide the Kentucky Democratic party between two candidates and doesn't get the credit for it!
An 8,976-foot foul ball off the bat of Washington third baseman Ryan Zimmerman crashed through the U.S. Capitol Building rotunda Sunday afternoon, prompting both the Nationals and the opposing Pittsburgh Pirates to gasp, turn to each other in shock, and immediately run full speed out of Nationals Park.

"As soon as I hit it, I knew it was headed straight toward Capitol Hill—I just kept saying to myself, 'Not the dome, not the dome, not the dome,'" Zimmerman said. Both teams, all four umpires, and the 32,457 fans in attendance winced in horror, however, as the ball kept carrying, made a loud smashing noise, and left a gaping hole in the rotunda's neoclassical architecture.

"We are so dead," Zimmerman added.

As the teams grabbed the bases and scrambled out of the stadium, the Pirates yelled to the Nationals that they were in "big trouble." The Nationals refuted that claim, screaming that "if [Pirates left-fielder] Jason [Bay] could run at all, he would've tracked down the ball and caught it" before it struck the 200-year-old structure, which stands 1.7 miles from the ballpark.

However, as soon as the teams heard the Capitol Building's front door swing open, they put their differences aside and sped frantically back to their hotel rooms.

"Congress is going to be so mad," said Nationals first baseman Nick Johnson, peering out his window, expecting to see the 535 members of the House and Senate pull into the hotel parking lot. "This was the worst time to do it, too, because they're already in a bad mood, what with the election stuff and the war and the recession, and all."

"Aw, man, we're never gonna get that ball back," Johnson added.

The team, however, has urged outfielder Lastings Milledge to dress up in a suit, sneak into the Capitol Building, retrieve the ball, and make the necessary repairs on the shattered sandstone walls of the dome before anyone notices.

According to eyewitnesses in the Capitol, the ball smashed into the dome at about 3:35 p.m., tore through the Apotheosis Of Washington—a 150-year-old, 4,664-square-foot fresco painted on the inside of the rotunda—and broke the arm off of a National Statuary Hall sculpture of William Jennings Bryan. The ball then bounced into the Senate Chamber, where it interrupted a vote on a $542.5 billion defense authorization bill, and landed directly in the mashed potatoes of early-dinging Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), covering him with gravy and prompting him to exclaim, "Zimmer-maaaaannnn!"

Although McConnell had no evidence at the time that Zimmerman was responsible for the damages, he was the chief suspect, as he is the only National able to hit the ball farther than 300 feet. Furthermore, Zimmerman dented McConnell's 1998 Buick LeSabre last week when he overthrew first base by 15,000 feet on a routine grounder.

"This is unacceptable—Capitol rotundas don't just grow on trees, you know," read a statement drafted by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi following the event. "Not only are these damages going to cost a fortune—a fortune—to repair, but we specifically told the Washington Nationals baseball organization a thousand times before the season started to be extra-careful and to try not to hit the ball to left field."

The statement went on to demand that the Nationals pay for all the damages, which total over $400 million—more than five times the entire team payroll. Because of this, players are expected to either find part-time jobs to cover the cost or work off the expenses by taking positions as congressional aides in the offseason.

The Pirates have promised to chip in $5, claiming that is all they have right now.

"This stinks," said Zimmerman, who attempted to persuade local resident Henry Adelson, a Nationals season-ticket holder and D.C.-area insurance claims adjuster, to take the rap for him and say he was the one who hit the ball. "We shouldn't have to stop playing just because the lousy U.S. Capitol got in the way. And also hitting the Capitol Building should be an automatic home run."

On Tuesday, Congress announced an initiative to move the Nationals franchise from D.C. to Oklahoma City, Portland, or anywhere far enough away that a batted ball or errant throw will not cause significant damage to American landmarks.

However, President Bush has called such actions "unnecessary" and "too harsh," saying that all will be forgiven if the players come down from their hotel rooms, say they're sorry, promise to be more careful, and allow Bush to participate in team batting practice every day from now through the 2016 season.

Israel at 60: Statements

Here are various statements that have been made by candidates, elected officials, etc.

Senator Hillary Clinton
I offer my heartfelt congratulations to the people of Israel on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the establishment as a state and homeland for the Jewish people, and I join all the friends of Israel who celebrate today with joy and pride.

Emerging after the tragedy of the Holocaust, the Jewish State was reborn after two thousand years, fulfilling the biblical prophecy of a return to Zion. Since then, in just three score years, Israel has welcomed Jewish exiles from Europe, the Arab world, Africa, and the former Soviet Union.

From my first trip to Israel in 1982 to my most recent visit in 2005, I have seen for myself Israel’s achievements – and its challenges. The people of Israel, proud and free and always triumphing in the face of adversity, have built a strong and vibrant democracy, a diverse and rich society, and an innovative and thriving economy.

Yet today, even as we celebrate all that Israel has achieved, we know that the Jewish state is still not safe. In every generation, Israel faces serious challenges to its security and threats to its existence. And just as the United States recognized Israel at birth, and has always stood by Israel when its survival and well-being were challenged, so too do the American people stand by Israel today, united by shared values and strong bonds of friendship.

As President of the United States, I will be proud to continue and strengthen these bonds, so that the State of Israel will continue to grow, from generation to generation, in security and peace.

Am Yisrael Chai! (the people of Israel live!)

John McCain
"I join all Americans in offering my heartiest congratulations to the Israeli people on the 60th anniversary of their state's founding. When President Harry Truman recognized the new State of Israel 60 years ago, he formalized a deep and enduring relationship between two great peoples. In so doing, President Truman undoubtedly knew that the Jewish state would face great challenges in its early years, and he signaled American partnership in the face of these threats.

"Yet those tests were not confined to the early years after Israel's independence. Challenges to Israel have perhaps been the norm, rather than the exception, and its people have been tested in the crucible of conflict time and again. Those threats continue, and it is incumbent upon all free people to stand by Israel in her defense of our common values and ideals. Survival in the face of these enduring trials would be impressive; flourishing would seem out of the question. Yet Israel has thrived, and her people have built a nation that is an inspiration to all those who cherish freedom.

"The close and enduring U.S.- Israel relationship has thrived as well, and I am proud to support the vital ties between our two countries. Our bond will be of great importance in order to continually fulfill that aspiration sounded so eloquently in the HaTikva: 'to be a free nation.' As Israelis celebrate 60 years of independence, let no one doubt that, while the challenges will continue, Israel will survive and it will flourish. There will always be an Israel, and there will always be a vital bond between our two peoples."

Barack Obama
This week marks the 60th anniversary of the fulfillment of a dream -- the independence of the State of Israel. Throughout many centuries, Jews held fast to the hope of returning as free people to the land of their ancestors. Blessed with visionary leaders like Theodore Herzl and David Ben-Gurion, in the 20th century they began to take the practical steps necessary to build a modern state. Against all odds, and overcoming obstacles from international indifference, to hostile opposition in the region, to the murderous crimes of the Nazis, the leaders of the Zionist movement declared the establishment of the State of Israel in May 1948. In their moment of triumph, they were immediately plunged into a war for their new nation's very survival. Because of the courage and commitment of its people, Israel did survive. While threats to its existence have endured, Israelis have built their nation into a strong, vibrant democracy, with a prosperous economy, a rich cultural life, and a deep friendship with the United States that benefits both our peoples in so many ways. Even in hard times, Israelis have so much to be proud of. As the Jewish State continues to grow and prosper, the United States will always stand with Israel to ensure it can defend itself against threat of terrorism and violence, from as close as Gaza and as far as Tehran. We must never waver in our unshakeable commitment help Israel achieve its goal of true security through lasting peace with its neighbors.

On this happy occasion, I send congratulations and warm wishes to President Peres, Prime Minister Olmert, and the Israeli people, and I join with Jews and friends of Israel everywhere in celebrating Israel's 60th Independence Day.

Greetings from President Shimon Peres on the Occasion of Israel's 60th Anniversary

Jerusalem, May 2008

Dear Friends,

As we stand poised to celebrate Israel's 60th Anniversary, we can only but look back on our achievements with a great deal of pride. From its inception, practically rising from the ashes of the unspeakable horrors of the Holocaust, Israel has had to fight for its survival through 7 wars and relentless attacks on its very existence. Yet we persisted in turning the vision of a homeland for the Jewish people into reality. We have created a model democracy, an independent judiciary system and set ourselves at the forefront of fields such as science and technology, hi-tech, agriculture and medicine, to name but some of the areas in which Israel excels.

But we should not allow ourselves to rest on our laurels. We must seek to educate our younger generation for leadership roles in our 3 Tomorrows:

The Israel Tomorrow, The Jewish Tomorrow and The Global Tomorrow. We must bridge the growing social gaps in our country. We must cultivate stronger ties with the Jewish Diaspora and engage the young in these communities to connect with Israel. We must initiate breakthroughs in spheres such as nano-technology, desalination to alleviate water shortages, find alternative sources of energy, green the desert and make inroads in ever more sophisticated medical applications. During these years, we have made peace with Egypt and Jordan and hope that the peace negotiations with the Palestinians will bear fruit.

We must be true to the values dictated by our Prophets, a legacy that has united the Jewish people through the ages and that must continue to serve as our beacon for the generations to come.

As Israel celebrates 60 years of independence I wish the citizens of our country, the Jewish people and our friends throughout the world a peaceful and prosperous anniversary year.

Shimon Peres

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's Message to Diaspora Communities on the Occasion of the State of Israel's 60th Yom Ha'Atzmaut

Jerusalem, May 2008

Dear Friends,
It gives me great pleasure to send you warm greetings from Jerusalem - the vibrant and beating heart of the Jewish people and the eternal capital of the State of Israel - on the occasion of the State of Israel's 60th Yom Ha'Atzmaut.

As we celebrate this milestone in the history of the State of Israel, this is an excellent time not only to look back as the tremendous accomplishments of the past 60 years, but also to look ahead of what the future holds in store for Israel and for the Jewish people.

Over the past 60 years, Israel has developed into a modern, vibrant country - one with a strong and stable economy; one which is a world leader in agriculture, science, hi-tech and medicine; one which welcomes and absorbs Jews from around the world and which embraces the diverse cultures from which they came.

Even with all these achievements, we still have much to accomplish. We must exhaust all possibilities for peace with our Arab neighbors, while always safeguarding the security of our citizens. We must work to ensure a more just and equal society; one which rejects all forms of discrimination and bias. We must ensure that the State of Israel fully embraces the challenges and wonders of the 21st century, to assure its status as a "light among nations".

Our greatest natural resource and our best chance to guarantee the future of the State of Israel and the Jewish people are our children. We must invest in Jewish-Zionist education, develop programs which strengthen the affinity of Diaspora youth for the State of Israel and work to strengthen Jewish identity and continuity.

To this end, we must strengthen the historic partnership between our brothers and sisters in the Diaspora and the State of Israel. For it is only together - striding forward shoulder-to-shoulder - that we can secure our common future, become stronger as a people and as a nation and fully realize the promise of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic country.

Chag Sameach.


Ehud Olmert

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's Message to Diaspora Children

Jerusalem, May 2008

Dear Friends,
It gives me great pleasure to send you warm greetings from Jerusalem - the vibrant and beating heart of the Jewish people and the eternal capital of the State of Israel - on the occasion of the State of Israel's 60th birthday.

Sixty years ago, brave Jews from all over the world fought for the independence and freedom of the State of Israel - and won. Since then, the State of Israel has become a modern and vibrant democracy.

Some of you may wonder why the State of Israel should be an important part of your lives. There are many reasons. The modern State of Israel ties us to our proud history in our Land - from the glorious days of the Kings of Israel, through the ancient height height of our civilization and to the heroic stand of the Maccabees. The modern State of Israel serves as a safe haven for Jews across the world and embraces and absorbs their cultures - beginning with the Holocaust survivors of Europe, the Moroccans, Yemenites, Russians, Ethiopians, and Jews of every color and speaking 110 different languages. The Jewish people, wherever they may be, belong to each other - we are truly brothers and sisters - and we must ensure that we always have somewhere to come home to, even if we live in different places.

I invite you to become part of Israel - learn our shared history and language and come visit us. We need each other to ensure our future as a people and as a country, and I call on you to play a role in this important mission.

Chag Sameach.

Ehud Olmert

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Yom Ha'atzmaut

Yom Ha'atzmaut is the Israel Independence Day. It almost always falls on the 5th of Iyar as well celebrate the declaration of the state of Israel by David Ben-Gurion in Tel Aviv on May 14, 1948 (5 Iyar, 5708).

In tribute, here are some pictures my from incredible journey to Eretz Yisrael last June. After that, Hatikvah and other songs.

Independence Hall

Photo of David Ben Gurion

A photo on the wall, showing the room in 1948

Jeremiah 31:8

Isaiah 35:1

The Declaration Room

Theodore Herzl quote

Amos 9:14

The Kotel aka Western Wall

Kol od baleivav p'nimah
Nefesh y'hudi homiyah
Ulfa'atei mizrach kadimah
Ayin l'tziyon tzofiyah
Od lo avdah tikvateinu
Hatikvah bat sh'not alpayim
Lihyot am chofshi b'artzeinu
Eretz tziyon viyrushalayim

As long as in the heart, within,
A soul of a Jew is yearning,
And to the edges of the East, forward,
An eye gazes towards Zion,
Our hope is not yet lost,
The hope of two thousand years,
To be a free nation in our land,
The land of Zion and Jerusalem.

כל עוד בלבב פנימה
נפש יהודי הומיה,
ולפאתי מזרח קדימה,
עין לציון צופיה,
עוד לא אבדה תקוותנו,
התקווה בת שנות אלפים,
להיות עם חופשי בארצנו,
ארץ ציון וירושלים.

David melech Yisrael chai chai vekayam
Am Yisrael Chai, Od Avinu Chai

Lu Y'hi (Let It Be)
Words: Naomi Shemer

There's still a white sail bravely gleaming,
Though the clouds are black and low,
Everything we wish let it be.
And when at evening by the window,
Sabbath candles softly glow.
Everything we wish let it be.

Let it be, let it be,
Only let it be,
Everything we wish
let it be.

I hear the sound of people singing,
Bugle notes that fill the air,
Everything we wish let it be.
Above the fanfare and the music,
Let them hear my silent prayer,
Everything we wish let it be.

Let it be, let it be...

Within a green and quiet village,
Stands a house with open door,
Everything we wish let it be.
The summer's ended and the journey,
Bring the soldiers home once more
Everything we wish let it be.

Let it be, let it be...

And when a distant star in heaven
Lights our darkness from above,
Everything we wish - let it be.
Oh, give them strength and give them quiet,
Those we cherish, those we love,
Everything we wish - let it be.

Let it be, let it be...

By Kenny Karen

I am the sun, Jerusalem,
You are a painted sky
I am a bird, Jerusalem,
You have the wings to fly
You are the father of my dreams,
I am a gift of time
I am your child, Jerusalem,
Jerusalem is mine
You are an orchard in the sand,
I am the fruit you bear
You are the glove that warms my hand,
I am the smile you wear
You are the music of the hills,
I am the words that rhyme
I am your song, Jerusalem,
Jerusalem is mine

You are the cradle of freedom,
and I am the harvest of springtime
You are the dawn of a new day,
I am tomorrow, you are forever

You are my shelter from the storm,
I am your guiding light
You are a book whose leaves are torn,
I am the page you write
You are the branches of a tree,
I am a clinging vine I am your prayer, Jerusalem,
Jerusalem is mine
I have come home, Jerusalem,
Jerusalem is mine

Oseh Shalom
Oseh shalom bimromav Hu ya'aseh shalom aleinu V'al kol Yisrael V'imru, v'imru amen.
May the One who makes peace send peace to us and all of Israel, and let us say, Amen.

Im Tirtzu
Ein zo agada
Lih-yot am chofshi b'artzeinu
B'eretz tziyon virushalayim

I you will it, it is not a dream
To live as free people in our land
In the land of Zion and Jerusalem