Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Quote of the Week

"This is our tsunami."
--A.J. Holloway, mayor of Biloxi, Mississippi, August 30, 2005

Worse than Andrew

This hurricane did more damage than Andrew in my opinion. It's probably the opinion of many right now.

NBC Benefit Concert on Friday

I was wondering when the first concert would be.
Here Come the Hurricane Benefits
By Josh Grossberg

Recalling the star-heavy telethons organized to aid victims of 9-11 and last year's tsunami tragedy, NBC Universal is spearheading a benefit concert to aid the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

The media conglomerate announced Wednesday that the event, dubbed A Concert for Hurricane Relief, will air Friday at 8 p.m. on NBC, MSNBC and CNBC. The special will broadcast live in high-definition on the East Coast from NBC's New York studios in Rockefeller Plaza and air on tape delay in the West.

Among the artists slated to perform are New Orleans natives Wynton Marsalis and Harry Connick Jr., and Tim McGraw, who hails from Stark, Louisiana. Celebrities such as Leonardo DiCaprio will also be on hand to plead for donations to help those in the Gulf Coast region devastated by Monday's catastrophic storm. Today show host Matt Lauer will serve as emcee.

All funds raised will go to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, which will provide humanitarian relief in the form of potable water, food, counseling and shelter, among other necessities. Throughout the telethon, viewers will be encouraged to donate by calling 1-800-HELP NOW or via the Web at

"I am heartbroken by the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina in my home state. Like so many Americans I am watching the news reports with great sadness. But it's at times like these that each of us must work together to provide lifesaving aid to those in terrible need," McGraw says in a statement.

The singer also posted a letter on his Website asking fans to support the thousands of people left homeless in Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana by Katrina, as well as those imperiled by flood waters and the families of the dead, which may number in the thousands in New Orleans alone, according to the mayor.

"As a member of the American Red Cross National Celebrity Cabinet and native of Louisiana, I am writing to seek your support," writes McGraw.

"Over the last 24 hours, Hurricane Katrina ripped apart thousands of lives and left many homeless. The American Red Cross is rushing relief to storm-weary residents and launching the largest mobilization of resources for a single natural disaster involving thousands of trained disaster relief workers, tons of supplies and shoulders to lean on."

There are other benefits being organized in Katrina's wake. BET will team with the National Urban League and the American Red Cross for another telethon effort, set for Sept. 9. Marsalis and hip-hop heavyweights Russell Simmons and Jay-Z will be on hand to unveil details of the show at a press conference Thursday.

According to Billboard, the Dave Matthews Band has announced plans to hold a benefit concert of its own, adding a fourth show at Denver's Red Rocks Amphitheater on Sept. 12. Tickets will go on sale next week.

Also getting in on the act is Jive recording artist Bowling for Soup which held a benefit gig on Monday in Shreveport, Louisiana. Dozens of similar benefits are expected in the coming days.

On the TV side, former Night Court star and New Orleans denizen John Larroquette has recorded a PSA asking for donations. Sesame Street Workshop has updated its Website to provide parents with guidance and tools to help kids cope with the calamity. PBS stations will also re-air Sesame Street's hurricane series and related public service announcements starting Sept. 12.
Only time will tell before Sir Paul McCartney does something.

Evening Update

Everyone in the Superdome is being moved to the Houston Astrodome.

Jim Edmonds stole home on Sunday during the game. Jeff Suppan starts tonight against the Marlins' Jason Vargas. Tomorrow is an off day.

Tim Wakefield starts tonight for the Sox against the Rays' Casey Fossum
Apparently, there is a war among Democrats. I think I've noticed.
Today, though, the central argument is over how soon American forces should leave Iraq, and whether the United States should set a schedule for withdrawal. On one side are former presidential candidate General Wesley Clark ("It would ... be a mistake to pull out now, or to start pulling out or to set a date certain for pulling out") and some of the party's most prominent senators, including minority leader Harry Reid ("A timeline ... only empowers those who don't want us there"), Foreign Relations Committee ranking member Joe Biden ("A deadline for pulling out ... will only encourage our enemies to wait us out"), Hillary Clinton ("I don't think we should be setting a deadline"), Indiana's Evan Bayh ("To cut and run at this juncture would be a terrible mistake"), and Lieberman ("The coalition should not create an arbitrary timetable to withdraw forces from Iraq"). There is also former president Bill Clinton, who is perhaps still the most important politician in the Democratic party, and who as recently as Aug. 11 told CNN that, "whether it was a mistake or not, we are where we are, and we ought to try to make this strategy succeed."

From a friend from New Orleans: Dillard University students stuck on campus

I was just sent the following information from the Dillard University Sports Information Director:
I need to get the message out. There are over 200 students still at Dillard University, 2601 Gentilly Boulevard New Orleans. They are on the second floor of the Camphor Hall Cafeteria. I know that approx 600 students were evacuated earlier but as of yesterday morning their were still slightly over 200 students still there. Also the cell phone connection was bad but I believe that have little water to drink. I don't know who to report this info to. Please help send this message out.
Please tell the proper authorities.

EDIT: This is more than likely untrue.

Getting up to speed with things...

New Orleans is having a complete evacuation. This is not good news with the levee broken. If they can't fix the levee, you can wipe New Orleans off the map.

On August 26, 1939, Hall of Famer Larry MacPhail brought baseball to television. Today in 1945, Van Morrison was born.

Back to the monument news, Ben Chandler says the Chandler school is an ideal site.
Because the limestone monument rests only 11 feet from U.S. 60 just outside of Corydon and near his birthplace, a state Transportation Cabinet's U.S. 60 Corridor Safety Task Team has recommended that it be relocated.

According to published reports, Chandlers's grandson, U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler, is OK with that and believes nearby A.B. Chandler Elementary School would be an appropriate site.
Now that Gov. Fletcher has shown to be a wimp, the road is still open for possible federal involvement.
Attorney General Greg Stumbo is talking to FBI agents and U.S. attorneys about moving the case to federal court. Some rank-and-file House Democrats say they are pressuring cautious House leaders to open a committee investigation in January, when the General Assembly convenes.

However, two state agencies currently looking into Fletcher's merit hiring -- the Personnel Board and the Executive Branch Ethics Commission -- say they are hobbled by the governor's office, which refuses to provide additional money for their investigations.

Without the $100,000 it requested earlier this summer to hire an outside lawyer, the Personnel Board has assigned its executive director and staff attorney to investigate Fletcher's hiring, when they are not doing their regular duties.

"We obviously haven't moved at anywhere near the pace the grand jury has," said Mark Sipek, the board's executive director. "It's going to be difficult for us. We need help."

Without the $50,000 it requested, the Ethics Commission has assigned its staff attorney and a part-time investigator to the case, when they are not performing their regular duties.

"We're in worse shape than the Personnel Board, financially," said Jill LeMaster, the commission's executive director. "We don't really have what it takes to conduct this investigation."

Fletcher spokeswoman Carla Blanton said the governor could not give the agencies more money because a recent Kentucky Supreme Court decision regarding the state budget severely limited his authority to allocate money without legislative approval.
David Spade pokes fun at celebrities. He will be on Comedy Central very soon.
The new, weekly series poking fun at the entertainment industry and those who cover it is scheduled to premiere Sept. 15.
The Courier-Journal reports on what others are saying about the pardons.
Declining comment
The state's senior senator, Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., declined through a spokesman to comment.

U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler, who called for former Gov. Paul Patton to resign after pardoning several aides, also declined to comment. Chandler lost to Fletcher in 2003.

Lt. Gov. Steve Pence, who told The Cincinnati Enquirer in 2003 that the Fletcher administration would never issue pardons like Patton's, declined through a spokeswoman to be interviewed.

The pardons even drew the attention of Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean, who issued a statement accusing Fletcher of bringing a "culture of corruption" to Kentucky. A spokesperson for the Republican National Committee did not return a call seeking comment.

Rep. Mary Lou Marzian said a group of Democratic lawmakers plans to hold a news conference today to tell Fletcher: "Tell the truth about waste, fraud and abuse. Don't take the Fifth."

"My feeling is that this is something that we really can take advantage of, and show that there is a clear difference between the Republicans and the Democratic Party," said Marzian, D-Louisville.

Marzian said she and Rep. Kathy Stein of Lexington are researching the possibility of impeaching Fletcher.

But Richards said it's too early to discuss the prospect of impeachment, because the grand jury has not issued a final report on the investigation.

"I still think there are miles to go before this report is made, and I think that the report can give us a great deal of guidance as to what the other options are," Richards said.

Richards, D-Bowling Green, already has filed a bill to force the administration to restore hiring preferences it revised for veterans.

Other Democrats are talking about elevating the misdemeanor patronage crimes to felonies.
More on Daily Show alumnus Steve Carell who is a rising star.

The cleanup will the most expensive in history. Hence, the reason for organizing a benefit concert up here.

Paul McCartney was starstruck by Phil Everly when he met him back in the day.
Both McCartney and late Beatles bandmate John Lennon grew up listening to the Everly Brothersand together impersonated brothers Phil and Don.

McCartney says, "He was such a figure from my youth that I went all daft and said, 'Er, I used to be you...John was Don'...and all the most stupid things. He got very embarrassed."

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Keep New Orleans in your prayers

I know I am. I've signed up some bands for a benefit concert.

In other news, some SNL veterans join the cast for Richard Kelly's Southland Tales.
Saturday Night Live veterans Cheri Oteri, Amy Poehler and Jon Lovitz have signed on for Richard Kelly's indie film Southland Tales.

Already on board were Miranda Richardson, John Larroquette,Sarah Michelle Gellar, Seann William Scott and Dwayne The Rock Johnson, the Hollywood Reporter said.

Jill Ritchie, Will Sasso, Wood Harris, Bai Ling, Joe Campana and Wallace Shawn were also cast in the film currently shooting in Los Angeles.
Gwyneth Paltrow speaks out on Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt. While were talking about Gwyneth, her husband's band, Coldplay, is anxious to get back to the studio to cut a new album.
The Fix You stars enraged their label EMI, as well as eager fans, by taking a staggering three years to produce their latest effort, but now there's no stopping them.

Manager David Holmes says, "They are definitely hungry to get back in the studio to make another record. They've got a lot of material.

"So, for next year we are looking at building a tour around their recording schedule.

"Ultimately it could mean we end up releasing another record next year and continue to tour well in to 2007."
Hey, cut us musicians some slack. I might have lyrics down one day on paper and not have another song idea for a whole two weeks.

Speaking of musicians, Donovan says the British police treated the Beatles like superstars (except for drug busts).
The "Catch the Wind" singer recalls a policeman knocking on Sir Paul McCartney's door regarding an illegally parked car, but Donovan couldn't believe the constable's reaction upon seeing the superstar.

He recalls, "Paul came to the door and the policeman said, 'Oh, it's you, Mr McCartney. Is it your car, sir? A sports car?'

"Paul gave him the keys and the car was parked - by the starstruck policeman!

"A few minutes later he returned with the keys and saluted, would you believe."
Norm Coleman says Robertson's comments have fueled paranoia.

St. Louis lost but Boston won. Katrina rained out the Cleveland game.

New Orleans and other news

I am in the pre-planning stages of organizing a benefit concert for the New Orleans Hurricane relief fund. I'm thankful my friends and family down there are fine. Anyway, the 80% of the city is currently underwater. The picture below comes via MSNBC.
Image hosted by
The fallout from last night's press conference in Frankfort is being debated.
Northern Kentucky Democrats, however, said that although it's likely Murgatroyd will keep his job as Fletcher's deputy chief of staff, the episode likely has scuttled his political future.

"This is it for Dick Murgatroyd," said state Rep. Dennis Keene, D-Wilder, Ky. "He won't recover from this. There'll be a lot of them that won't recover from this and it won't just be Dick Murgatroyd."[...]

But Keene said Fletcher's move Monday had tainted himself as well as the defendants in the investigation.

"You saw it live and in living color," Keene said. "Not only has he committed political suicide, but he's also damaged a lot of Republican careers in the House and in the Senate. They'll all go down the tubes with him."

The governor expects the controversy to blow over before the next campaign season, said Barbara Bardes, a resident of Rabbit Hash, Ky., and an American politics professor at the University of Cincinnati.

"It's a very long time to the next election," she said.

Throughout the controversy, Kentuckians have remained relatively disinterested, Bardes said. She suggested that it could be because the charges of political favors the individuals were facing were "nothing new in Kentucky."
Judy Woodruff is teaching at Harvard. It is a part of Harvard University's Institute of Politics Visiting Fellows program, or maybe not.
Television journalist Judy Woodruff has been named a visiting fellow for the fall semester at Harvard University's Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy, the center announced Monday.

Woodruff, who has covered politics and other news for more than three decades at NBC, PBS and CNN, will lead a study group for students on contemporary issues in journalism.
Seinfeld is involved in a new show and Jessica Alba signs on to The Wake.

Neighboring communities are already helping New Orleans.
According to an Associated Press report, neighborhoods along part of Lake Pontchartrain were flooded, forcing residents onto their roofs.

It was too early to assess damage to Jewish sites in the area. Among sites of Jewish interest is New Orleans’ Touro Synagogue, which bills itself as the oldest Jewish house of worship in America outside of the original 13 colonies.

Jewish organizations in the region and beyond pitched in to help out those touched by Katrina.

A Jewish camp in Mississippi was opened to New Orleans residents fleeing the storm. Nearly 150 evacuees, including some disabled adults, took shelter at the Reform movement’s Henry S. Jacobs Camp in Utica.

Three Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries remained in New Orleans to help residents who couldn’t leave the city.

Among them was Rabbi Yossi Nemes. Nemes received a panicked phone call from a visiting Jewish family that had been evicted from their hotel, which was shuttering up against the storm, a Chabad spokesman told JTA.

The family couldn’t make it to the Superdome quickly enough to miss the storm and, concerned for its safety, contacted Nemes — who decided to stay in his own home and take in the visitors.
Paul McCartney's new single, "Fine Line," is finally out on CD.

St. Louis has had 11 straight winning months. Tony LaRussa is at 2,198 wins. Matt Morris starts tonight. Jeff Suppan starts tomorrow. Thursday is an open date.

Forty-six Red Sox players have played this season.

Tim Longmeyer has released the following statement on the behalf of the Louisville-Jefferson County Democratic Party:
As a preacher, Ernie Fletcher certainly learned of the importance of morality in guiding our daily lives. As a pilot, Ernie Fletcher surely learned the importance of well calibrated instruments in leading the way. As a physician, Fletcher must have learned the importance of following a doctor's advice. Yet, Ernie Fletcher seems to have forgotten these lessons. As a Governor, Fletcher has lost his moral compass and has ignored his own prescription for change in Frankfort.

Governor Ernie Fletcher has now joined legions of Wall Street embezzlers and organized crime thugs and taken "the Fifth" before a grand jury despite earlier promises by him to cooperate with the investigation into his administration's criminal abuse of the State Merit Employee system. Fletcher has now also done what no head of a crime family could ever do, he has pardoned his so-called "disciples" from the felonies and misdemeanors for which they were indicted. Despite campaign pledges to end corruption in Frankfort, Fletcher's administration has created a new version of corruption updated for the 21st Century through the use of e-mails and Blackberrys. Though Fletcher admitted mistakes were made, he failed to even say he is sorry.

Governor Ernie Fletcher has disgraced the laws of the Commonwealth of Kentucky and has abused the trust her citizens bestowed upon him. Fletcher and his administration are a national embarrassment for our Commonwealth made only worse by the hypocrisy of his campaign pledge to end the waste, fraud, and abuse in Frankfort. The politician who rode into the state capitol on a charging white steed now slogs through the mud dragging a bleeding elephant tethered to his heel. It is time for Fletcher to spare our great Commonwealth any further embarrassment, it is time for Fletcher to assure the families of all state employees that their livelihoods will not be jeopardized by partisan thugs, it is time for Fletcher to finally abide by his pledge to clean up the mess in Frankfort, it is time for Governor Ernie Fletcher to resign and to take his thugs and "disciples" with him.

Maybe then Ernie Fletcher can find his moral compass. Maybe then Fletcher will heed the words of the poet..."Physician, heal thyself."
To vote on the Herald-Leader poll, go here NOW. As of now: Do you agree with the governor's decision to pardon indicted current and former state employees?

Yes - 728 votes (28%)
No - 1878 votes (71%)
Don't care - 24 votes (1%)

2630 people have voted so far. Please vote! Another poll is at WBKO.

Steve Pence not in Frankfort last night

The Herald-Leader reports that he was attending the Mitch McConnell fundraiser in Louisville instead. Both steered very clear of the scandal during this summer. The honorable thing for Steve Pence to do, if he wants to make his campaign promise still hold, is to resign from the Fletcher administration. Steve Pence is the only sane Republican down there next to Secretary of State Trey Grayson if you asked me.
Few other Republican officials who were contacted yesterday -- including Reps. Hal Rogers, Anne Northup and Ron Lewis -- would comment publicly about the governor's move.

And, although Fletcher's executive cabinet and top aides walked into the Rotunda alongside the governor, there was one notable exception: Lt. Gov. Steve Pence.

Pence was attending a Louisville fund-raiser for U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, who also has stayed mum throughout the investigation.

Pence's spokeswoman, Jeanne Lausche, wouldn't say last night whether Pence supported the pardons. Instead, she released a brief statement from him.

"The power to grant pardons is a privilege the governor has every right to utilize," Pence said. "I am sure he feels, as most Kentuckians do, that it is time to get back to doing the state's business."
Here are the top movies starring alumni from Lorne Michaels' show.

According to singer Donovan, George Harrison was a true friend of his.

Chris Carpenter got his 19th win last night as the Cardinals beat the Marlins 6-1.

Ernie Fletcher makes the Times. New York, eh?

Satire has been restyled.

Move over, Jim Talent, you've got company. State Auditor Claire McCaskill intends to run for Senate.

Greg Stumbo weighs a court challenge. This will get interesting.

Steve Carell has finally made it. He'll be around for many years.

The Rolling Stones were recently interviewed by the Detroit Free Press.
Free Press: Every time you've toured for the past 15 years, it seems the press has stuck with the same old theme, so to speak: the band's age. So let's get it out of the way. What's the most common annoying question you have to keep fending off?

Jagger: "Is this gonna be your last tour?" I just started this one -- I can't even think about any other ones. (Laughs)

We still haven't done an indoor show yet (on this tour), so I'm working on the indoor show at the moment. The stage is a bit different, the prod is a bit different...set lists, lighting plots, all that.

Sweet Hypocrite

I'm in the mood for a song. Not a cover, not someone else's but an original tune that I compose. True, I hardly ever use my blog to compose lyrics but Ernie pardoning his gang has got me all down.

Here goes:
Sweet Hypocrite
Words and Music by Daniel Solzman

You came to Frankfort to clean up a mess,
You didn't know that you'd start one some day.

You know you're guilty, you pardon'd all them.
You pardoned all the gang now they're all free.

Playing with good ol' boys, it is your thing.
You have something goin' down in Frankfort.

Ernie, where's Bert when you need him the most?
He's not gonna be there when you're impeached.

You violated the state merit laws.
Fired everyone that didn't agree.

Fletcher is a liar
Fletcher is a crook
Fletcher disgraces everyone

Repeat Bridge


You'll be impeached, you know it all to well
Yes, sir, you'll be impeached by the state house

Copyright 2005 by Daniel Solzman
(that's a poor man's copyright but legal nonetheless.)

Monday, August 29, 2005

Today in History

August 29, 1958: George Harrison joins Paul McCartney and John Lennon in the Quarrymen.

The Quarreymen would then change names off and on but the nucleus of Harrison, McCartney, and Lennon would then go on to form the most popular band in rock history: The Beatles.

Ernie, I beg again for your pardon

Mark learned the following from a major attorney in this state this evening. It deals with Section 77, the one that Gov. Ernie Fletcher invoked during his press conference tonight.
Mark: Section 77 relates to retrospective acts only -- the Governor is empowered to nullfy punishment. This was the ruling (dicta) of the Kentucky Supreme Court in Anderson v. Commonwealth, 107 S.W.3d 193 (Ky. 2003) -- opinion by Johnstone -- all concur! In the opinion (p. 196) the Court looked to the US Supreme Court's decision in Schick v. Reed, 419 U.S. 256 (1974) for guidance from the English common law in construing a President's power to pardon under Article II. The Schick Court observed that the Constitution gives "plenary authority to the President to "forgive" the convicted person in part or entirely." Id. at 266. The Governor just has no authority to pardon indicted persons because there is no fine to remit, no sentence to commute and no punishment imposed from which to grant a pardon or reprieve. There sure as hell is no authority to pardon persons who "might" be indicted!
However, this brings us to another thing from what I read. Gov. Fletcher signed no applications if he's doing a blanket pardon. A reader of Mark's blog commented to him saying that the Governor "shall file with each application therefore a statement of the reasons for his decision thereon, which application and statement shall always be open to public inspection."

Ernie, you are in serious trouble. You said you were cleaning up a mess but you made your own instead.

Ernie, I beg your pardon

One if by land, two if by sea, nine if by Ernie, none if by me.

Apparently, the pardons are coming! The pardons are coming.

It is unprecedented of a Kentucky governor to pardon themself while in office. Heck, President Nixon couldn't pardon himself. Governor Ernie Fletcher will not get away with this. It is a crime and he knows it.

According to the Bluegrass Report:
Governor Ernie Fletcher has called a news conference for a major announcement regarding the merit hiring investigation. The conference is scheduled for 6 p.m. (EDT) tonight.

Reports from the media are inconsistent, but there is a consensus emerging that Fletcher is issuing pardons -- some say nine of them. Mark Hebert (WHAS-11 Louisville) and Bill Bryant (WKYT-27 Lexington) are both reporting online. Sources inside the investigation have told that they expect Fletcher will pardon himself as well.
Unfortunately, this will not be the lead story in the news as weather is always the big news (and with good reasons). Fletcher, if he pardons himself, should be impeached.

Can someone from the state legislature submit articles of impeachment soon? That would be a good thing to do! Ernie Fletcher will not get away with this.

I'd rather name that heading "%^$%&^%&^% You, Ernie!"

It is apparent that Governor Ernie Fletcher has no care for the legal system in this great commonwealth of Kentucky.

Mark now reports that the pathetic governor we have known as Ernie Fletcher has issued blanket pardons to any involved in the jobtrot scandal. The public will never know what happened because that dumb [EXPLETIVE} who is a son of a female dog has decided to say this, to paraphrase: Screw democracy and the legal system.

Anyone remember what Steve Pence said after Gov. Patton pardoned some of his folks:
"Things like that are not going to happen in a Fletcher-Pence administration," said Republican lieutenant governor candidate Steve Pence, a former federal prosecutor and running mate of Ernie Fletcher, the GOP candidate for governor.
Steve, that's ytter bullcrap and you know it!

To give the official Democratic response to this is Greg Stumbo.
CONTACT: Vicki Glass
August 29, 2005

WHO - Attorney General Greg Stumbo
WHAT - Press Conference: Remarks Regarding Pardons Issued by Governor Fletcher
WHEN - Monday, August 29th at 8:30p.m.
WHERE - Room 114, Capitol
Greg, I've never said this publically before but go get 'em today.

Mark reminds us who was charged and is now being pardoned by Ernie and Bert.
Darrell Brock, Kentucky Republican Party chairman and former commissioner of local development: one count conspiracy.
Dan Druen, former Transportation Cabinet commissioner: Two counts witness tampering, 20 evidence tampering; 10 counts political discrimination, two conspiracy, one official misconduct.
Richard "Dick" Murgatroyd, Fletcher's deputy chief of staff: 16 counts political discrimination, two counts violating the rights of state employees and one conspiracy.
Corey Meadows, executive director of transportation enhancement programs: five counts political discrimination, one count conspiracy.
Bill Nighbert, acting transportation secretary: one count political discrimination, one count official misconduct and one count conspiracy.
Jim Adams, deputy transportation secretary: one count political discrimination, one count conspiracy and one count official misconduct.
Basil Turbyfill, director of personnel and efficiency in Fletcher's office: one count conspiracy.
Bob Wilson, deputy personnel secretary: one count conspiracy.
Tim Hazlette, a transportation personnel official: one count conspiracy.
According to the Washington Post:
Democratic Attorney General Greg Stumbo said in a statement that Fletcher has "slammed the door on the public's right to know what wrongs his administration has committed."

Fletcher, a Republican, repeated his accusation that Stumbo has been carrying out a political vendetta and compared most of the charges that have been brought to minor violations of fishing laws.

Prosecutor Scott Crawford-Sutherland has said the grand jury's investigation will continue even if Fletcher issues pardons.

Fletcher's decision was criticized by Democratic state legislators, with Rep. Kathy Stein saying pardons would be grounds for the General Assembly to consider impeachment of Fletcher.

"He is showing a broad disrespect for the criminal justice system that every other citizen in the commonwealth must live with," Stein said.
Alright Kathy!

More on Ernie Fletcher's disgrace of power:
By pardoning everyone else -- all of whom had previously invoked 5th Amendment -- they will now be compelled to testify before the grand jury by Attorney General Stumbo and will not be allowed to take the 5th since they cannot face criminal charges. They would then be compelled to tell the whole truth and should they lie, Stumbo would go after them for perjury and if they refuse to testify, he'll get them on contempt and possibly obstruction of justice.

Assuming most would rather not have this legal nightmare continue for them -- especially the younger staffers -- they might instead implicate Governor Fletcher and make it all the more likely that he will be indicted for being the head of this criminal enterprise and conspiracy and for possible obstruction of justice for the way his administration has failed to produce critical e-mail evidence to prosecutors and the grand jury?
Democrats will impeach him, I'm confident. We control the house and Section 66 says that "The House of Representatives shall have the sole power of impeachment." Furthermore, Section 68 precisely says "The Governor and all civil officers shall be liable to impeachment for any misdemeanors in office."

Democrats will move for an impeachment. I'm confident of it.

The end of polarization?

Is it the end of polarization in our national political system? Take a look at this article:
This is most clearly the case on the Republican side. The consistent leaders in 2008 polls are John McCain and Rudolph Giuliani. Of the two, Giuliani is most sharply out of line with the cultural conservatives who have been the dominant force in Republican primaries and provided a large share of the Republican majorities racked up in 2002 and 2004.

Giuliani is pro-choice on abortion, opposes the partial-birth abortion ban and opposes a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. McCain's differences with the Republican right are more subtle. He has consistently opposed abortion rights, but doesn't seem comfortable talking about the issue. He has taken the lead on campaign finance regulation and on Kyoto-like responses to climate change, in opposition to most of his Republican colleagues. At a critical point in the 2000 campaign, he made a point of denouncing evangelists Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell.

As for the Democrats, Hillary Rodham Clinton is in significant ways out of sync with the Bush-hating left. She voted for the Iraq war resolution and for all the appropriations to fight the war, and she has shown no sign of apologizing for these stands. She spoke approvingly of the moderate Democratic Leadership Council at its most recent meeting -- and got attacked in the left-wing blog Daily Kos for it. From time to time, she has issued sharp partisan attacks on the Bush administration, but she has been careful to distance herself from Michael Moore- or Cindy Sheehan-type rhetoric. You will not catch her calling George W. Bush a maniac or a war criminal.

Of course, none of these three candidates has his or her party's nomination sewed up. But Clinton has to be regarded as the clear favorite in the Democratic race, and not only because over the last 40 years Democrats have won only when they've nominated candidates whose last names begin with C.

And while cultural conservatives clearly had veto power over Republican nominations from 1980 to 2000, it's not clear to me that that's the case any more. McCain and Giuliani enjoy great respect among Republican primary voters as strong leaders. Both supported George W. Bush wholeheartedly in 2004 and are in great favor with the Bush White House today. Potential opponents more in line with Bush's stands on issues, such as Sens. Bill Frist and George Allen, start off much less well known and have not been as visibly tested as McCain was in Vietnam and Giuliani was on Sept. 11.
Take a look at this slide show of Iowa politics. Looks like another attack on Sen. Bayh for the charisma issue.

The recent show at the Improv Olympic had many snafus, enough to be criticized by the Chicago Sun-Times.

Is the Fletcher administration anti-American or something? A soldier was found on that hit list! A soldier for Heaven's sake!
Jim Covany, former director of the Cabinet's division that manages state vehicles, landed on the April 18 memo under the category "completed actions" with a notation that he had accepted a "voluntary demotion." Just four days before the memo was written, Covany, a major in the Kentucky National Guard, received new orders: He was to head out with his unit to Afghanistan.

And that's where he was earlier this summer, leading an eight-member team assigned to train Afghan battalions, when he got word that the "hit list" considered him to be demoted.

"At no time was a demotion discussed and I would not agree to a demotion," he said in an e-mail to the Herald-Leader from Afghanistan. "I heard rumors about the hit list, but did not know I was on it until after my deployment."
Interesting. That's just wrong in my opinion. Before I forget, uh, Ernie Fletcher is in the spotlight.

Oasis's new single debuts at #1 in the British singles chart.
Oasis have jumped straight in at the top of the UK singles chart with "The Importance Of Being Idle," knocking teen group McFLY off the number one spot.

"The Importance Of Being Idle" is the second single from the latest Oasis album, Don't Believe the Truth, to reach number one in Britain. McFly's "I'll be OK" has fallen seven places from pole position to number eight.
State Auditor Crit Luallen will be up in the Northern Kentucky area soon for a forum.
Crit Luallen, Kentucky's auditor of public accounts, will be the featured speaker at the next government forum sponsored by the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.

Luallen will speak during a luncheon Sept. 9 at the Metropolitan Club in Covington. The event begins at 11:30 a.m. Tickets are $30 for members and $40 for non-members.

Luallen, who was elected in November 2003, has served as state budget director, secretary of the finance and administration cabinet, secretary of the Kentucky tourism cabinet, commissioner of the Kentucky department of the arts, and special assistant to the governor.

She also spent four years in Louisville where she served as the president of the Greater Louisville Economic Development Partnership.
The VMA's were so packed that some performers performed at hotels.
The Killers played live at Miami Beach, Florida's Hotel Victor, before dashing to the awards to pick up the night's Best New Artist Video prize, while Mariah Carey performed at South Beach's National Hotel.
How did they not have enough room?

It is that time of year again. College football starts this weekend. On Sunday, September 4, you can watch the University of Louisville play my Kentucky Wildcats in Commonwealth Stadium at 3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Chris Carpenter goes for his 19th win tonight. Carpenter has won 10 straight and should pick up #11 tonight. Tony LaRussa now has 2,197 wins. The starters have combined for 70 wins, the most in the MLB. The White Sox are in 2nd with 58. Statisically speaking, Albert Pujols is five short of 200 career home runs. Mark Grudzielanek needs nine more for 500 career RBI. Jim Edmonds needs to drive in 19 more players to join the 1,000 RBI club. Matt Morris needs 12 strikeouts to tie Jesse Haines for 4th place with 979 while playing for the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Red Sox have been sitting on top of the AL East for 41 days.

State Attorney General Greg Stumbo resigned today. He resigned as a member of the merit system taskforce.

Please keep the city of New Orleans and others affected by Hurricane Katrina in your thoughts and prayers. I'm thinking of putting on a benefit concert up here for the relief fund. It's just an idea right now.

Superdome Roof Blown Off

Parts of it did.

I have family in New Orleans so I hope they are okay.

Mobile, Alabama was flooded.

Winds are 105 mph. Gusts are 127 mph. The pressure is 940 MB. The hurricane is moving north at 17 miles per hour. They have downgraded the hurricane to a category 2. It slammed New Orleans when it was a category of 4. The eyewall is just west of Biloxi. The storm surge is 15-20 feet along the gulf coast.

I'll have my regular update later.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Hurricane Watch: Pray for New Orleans

For continuing coverage of the hurricane coverage in New Orleans.

Please keep the citizens of Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana in your thoughts and prayers.

Update 11:46 PM:
It's worse than Hurricane Andrew!
Katrina intensified into a Category 5 giant over the warm water of the Gulf of Mexico, reaching top winds of 175 mph before weakening slightly on a path to hit New Orleans around sunrise Monday. That would make it the city's first direct hit in 40 years and the most powerful storm ever to slam the city.

Forecasters warned that Mississippi and Alabama were also in danger because Katrina was such a big storm, with hurricane-force winds extending up to 105 miles from the center. In addition to the winds, the storm packed the potential for a surge of 18 to 28 feet, 30-foot waves and as much as 15 inches of rain.

"The conditions have to be absolutely perfect to have a hurricane become this strong," National Hurricane Center Director Max Mayfield, noting that Katrina may yet be more powerful than the last Category 5 storm, 1992's Hurricane Andrew, which at 165 mph leveled parts of South Florida, killed 43 people and caused $31 billion in damage.

Weekend Update

The San Francisco Chronicle takes a look to see what has happened lately with actress Rachel Leigh Cook. She's still acting, you just haven't seen her on the big screen lately, only at your local video stores.
"Mostly, I've made independent films that don't see the light of day," sighs Cook, who is on a round of publicity chats to promote her new film 11: 14, which co-stars Hilary Swank, Patrick Swayze and Barbara Hershey. "I've made about 30 -- I'm all over Blockbuster, but not in movie theaters."
Mark Warner talks 2008 at dinner in West Virginia. I like him as a candidate but not as much as I like Evan Bayh to run in 2008.
Warner was slated to be the Jefferson Jackson Celebration Dinner’s keynote speaker Saturday night. More than 1,200 Democrats from across the state were expected to attend the annual fundraiser.

Before the dinner, Warner spoke to the media about the importance of the party restoring the "sensible center."

"The Democrats can reclaim it," he said. Warner, the immediate past chairman of the National Governors’ Association, has not yet officially announced that he will run for the nation’s top governing spot.

Warner did announce that he had nominated Gov. Joe Manchin for the vice chairmanship of the Democratic Governors’ Association. Meanwhile, Manchin predicted that the next U.S. president will come from within the organization.
I beg to differ Gov. Manchin. The next president will be former member.

Brad Thompson picked up the win in today's St. Louis Cardinal game. Mark Mulder was out with a stiff neck. Cal Eldred did make his first start since 2001! Unfortunately, Albert Pujols was ejected for arguing a call.

Mike Timlin, with five more appearances, will be the first to make 70 appearances in three different seasons.
This hilarious email was sent to me today. Hope you enjoy.
Headlines from the year 2029!
Ozone created by electric cars now killing millions in the seventh largest country in the world, Mexifornia, formerly known as California.

White minorities still trying to have English recognized as Mexifornia's third language.

Baby conceived naturally -- scientists stumped.

Couple petitions court to reinstate heterosexual marriage.

Castro finally dies at age 112; Cuban cigars can now be imported legally, but President Chelsea Clinton has banned all smoking.

George Z. Bush says he will run for President in 2036.

Postal Service raises price of first class stamp to $17.89 and reduces mail delivery to Wednesdays only.

85-year, $75.8 billion study: Diet and Exercise is the key to weight loss.

Average weight of Americans drops to 250 lbs.

Japanese scientists have created a camera with such a fast shutter speed, they now can photograph a woman with her mouth shut.

Supreme Court rules punishment of criminals violates their civil rights.

Average height of NBA players now nine feet, seven inches.

New federal law requires that all nail clippers, screwdrivers, fly swatters and rolled-up newspapers must be registered by January 2036.

Congress authorizes direct deposit of formerly illegal political contributions to campaign accounts.

Florida voters still having trouble with voting machines.
Could the Beatles soon be appearing on British money?
Calls for Sir Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and the late John Lennon and George Harrison to be the first 20th century faces to adorn the monetary paper have been made to the Bank Of England.

Liverpool Culture Company's Professor Drummond Bone says the band "inspired a generation". A spokesman for the Bank Of England says the institution will "consider" the request.
It would be the British GBP20 note. Anyone know how much that is?

Charlotte Church is a musician I don't care for after the comments she made. She doesn't care for the Beatles, Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones, and even Coldplay?!? Oy, gevault.

Rep. Ben Chandler is concerned with China's economic power. Guess what? So am I.

Another email sent to me has a more important issue at hand.
How they vote in the United Nations:
Below are the actual voting records of various Arabic/Islamic States which are recorded in both the US State Department and United Nations records:

Kuwait votes against the United States 67% of the time
Qatar votes against the United States 67% of the time
Morocco votes against the United States 70% of the time
United Arab Emirates votes against the U. S. 70% of the time.
Jordan votes against the United States 71% of the time.
Tunisia votes against the United States 71% of the time.
Saudi Arabia votes against the United States 73% of the time.
Yemen votes against the United States 74% of the time.
Algeria votes against the United States 74% of the time.
Oman votes against the United States 74% of the time.
Sudan votes against the United States 75% of the time.
Pakistan votes against the United States 75% of t he time.
Libya votes against the United States 76% of the time.
Egypt votes against the United States 79% of the time.
Lebanon votes against the United States 80% of the time.
India votes against the United States 81% of the time.
Syria votes against the United States 84% of the time.
Mauritania votes against the United States 87% of the time.

U. S Foreign Aid to those that hate us:

Egypt, for example, after voting 79% of the time against the United States, still receives $2 billion annually in US Foreign Aid.
Jordan votes 71% against the United States and receives $192,814,000 annually in US Foreign Aid.
Pakistan votes 75% against the United States receives $6,721,000 annually in US Foreign Aid.
India votes 81% against the United States receives $143,699,000 annually.

Perhaps it is time to get out of the UN and give the tax savings back to the American workers who are having to skimp and sacrifice to pay the taxes.

Pass this along to every taxpaying citizen you know. And send to your congressman, who should be disgraced but couldn't care less.

No wonder the world has no respect for the US.
That's pretty saddening if you ask me.

Del Close would probably have had the last word during the Improv Olympic 25th anniversary celebration if he were still with us.
On Saturday, some of the performers spoke reverently of improv icon Del Close who joined the group in 1984.

Close, who died in 1999, promoted the idea that improv is an art that can be learned and watched by audiences, and not just used as a tool to create sketches.

"Once you had Del say that you were good, you were good," Meadows said. "To be able to make him laugh or impress him...once you got his respect, you were home free."

The beginning of Saturday's performance was delayed by 45 minutes because of a glitch with the microphones, but Halpern said Close might have approved.

"He always said, 'Don't worry about planning your future so much because what happens is going to be a lot more interesting than what you planned,'" she said.
See you later.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Peter and Gordon Reunite After 35 Years

Peter and Gordon reunited this year for the Mike Smith benefit concert. Peter Asher and Gordon Waller were joined by The Zombies, Billy J. Kramer and the Fab Faux. Ironically, two of those artists had hit songs written by a very popular duo who went by the names of John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Smith is a member of the Dave Clark 5. Peter and Gordon have been "called the Everly Brothers of the British Invasion."

How did I miss this big event? No idea.

It's Just Another Day

For those of you who regularly read this but aren't from the local area back home, it should be noted that this blog, the Kentucky Democrat, made the local paper back home for what I call a public service announcement when a friend was reported missing.
Sleepover star safe
Scout Taylor-Compton was returned to her family Thursday -- and that leaves one local fan breathing easier.

When Taylor-Compton, 16, went missing from her home on Aug. 12, Louisville resident Daniel Solzman, 20, posted information about the actress on his blog to help find her. "I thought it was important," he said.

Solzman said his efforts prompted phone calls from Entertainment Tonight and the New York Daily News late this week.

Taylor-Compton had been hiding out at a friend's house, where she apparently went after a family argument, Reuters reports.
ET contacted me via MySpace to contact them via phone.

Mark Mulder was scratched from today's start so Jason Marquis started instead. He picked up his tenth win this season so you know what that means: all five starters have at least ten or more wins this season. Tony LaRussa is in third place of all-time after passing former Reds manager Sparky Anderson. LaRussa now has 2,196 wins. John McGraw has 2,763. Connie Mack leads all time with 3,731. With a few more years, LaRussa will get to at least 2nd place. I don't know about first place. St. Louis is guaranteed to win over half of their games and finish over .500 this season.

The Boston Red Sox will be home for another 12 games in their 14-game homestand, the longest of this season. Boston has won 14 games at Fenway in a row as of this morning.

Actresses-turned-singers make up for their feud. Yep, both Lindsay Lohan and Ashlee Simpson are no longer feuding after going backstage at a Coldplay concert.
But the pair agreed to put their differences aside after spending quality time together backstage at the "Clocks" hitmakers' gig in Irvine, California.

Lohan's spokesperson adds, "They never really had such issues - it's all fodder."
Took Chris long enough but he finally gets his star in the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
"I think it's sweet that everyone still has a real nice place in their hearts for him, they still remember him," said actor-comedian David Spade, who appeared with Farley during his 1990-95 reign on the show.

"He goes down as one of the greats. And I still think about him every day," Spade said.

Fans, friends and family surrounded Farley's star, the walk's 2,289th, in front of the Improv Olympic West theater where the actor used to perform. Among other celebrities in attendance were SNL alums Chris Rock and Adam Sandler.

"I think every fat comedian owes him 80 bucks that's working today," Rock said.

Farley, whose physical comedy, wild antics and large appetite lent comparisons to another SNL alum, John Belushi, died on Dec. 18, 1997, from an accidental overdose of morphine and cocaine. He was 33.

Best known on SNL for his characterization of a slovenly motivational speaker named Matt Foley, Farley also drew laughs as an obsessed Chicago Bears football fan and a topless Chippendales dancer.
Chris is missed badly. David Spade just isn't the same unless he stars in a movie with the late comedian. Sorry, David, but that is the truth in my opinion. It's just like you can't have Hope without Crosby or Abbott without Costello.

Even though it's a long way away from making a formal announcement, that doesn't stop the Draft Warner campaign from grass roots campaigning. Myself, I believe Warner would make a fine VP for Sen. Evan Bayh.

Order! Order in the court, I said! Okay, some comic relief but that won't stop Dan Druen from being arraigned this Friday. He managed to postpone his arraignment hearing as a result of the Jobtrot scandal.

This is interesting. Who is Frances Fragos Townsend?
Just a little over two years ago, she had never met Bush and was viewed with suspicion by the inner circle of a tribalistic White House that does not easily accept outsiders. But the hard-charging Townsend has parlayed a succession of powerful patrons into one of the government's most important jobs. Along the way, in a city where partisan lines are rarely bridged, she has transformed herself from confidante of then-Attorney General Janet Reno to a confidante of George W. Bush.
Interesting company if you ask me.

The Daily Show's Bob Wiltfong suffers the ruthless interrogation. The page will probably be dead in the next month so here goes:
After 10 years (and a handful of Emmys), Bob Wiltfong gave up his career as a TV news reporter and anchor to take up comedy. These days, he's best known as a freelance correspondent for "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," but he and comedic partner Matt Oberg are moving into the realm of comedic career counseling. The team brings their POW (Professional Opportunities Workshop) to Louisville this week as part of the Louisville Improvisors' celebration of comedy, Improvapalooza 5.

Let's talk about career development. What are your qualifications to advise people on professional development?
I think everyone who has worked in the business world knows that there's one way to success in business, and I've certainly followed that path. … I'm definitely a good suck-up. I'm very good at making people in power feel like they're smart, and that I am very lucky to be employed by them. I don't want to spoil the workshop, but that is definitely a take-away from the workshop. If you don't make your manager or boss feel like, "Hey, I'm the smartest guy in the room," then you're not doin' your job.

If somebody moved your cheese, what kind of cheese would it be?
I'm a big fan of blue cheese, so I'm gonna go with blue cheese, because it's smelly but it tastes good. I like that combination of things.

Are you a connoisseur? Any particular kind of blue cheese?
I like my blue cheese from Costco. I don't want to talk over your head, but Costco is a very good label of blue cheese.

A lot of idealistic baby boomers decided some years ago that the best way to change the system was to work from within. Do you think it's possible to get ahead in business while staying true to your ideals?
It depends on your definition of ideals. My ideal is to make my superiors look good so I get better jobs. That's what I'm about, and I think that's what a lot of business people are about if we're really being honest. And that's what we're about in the POW show -- being honest about the realities of the business world. My job is to get promoted and make a lot of money so I don't have to work very much. … So all this other stuff about, "Oh, am I being a good worker?" or "Am I treating people fairly?" No.
Is the Courier-Journal mentioned a lot today, or what? They preview this fall's movies in today's scene. How many will I see? Who knows? I have no car.

According to State Rep. Perry Clark, a Bush official will soon be in the Ville.
Many of us have family members and friends who are being affected by changes in the federal Medicare program. To help these individuals answer questions relating to their prescription drug coverage, please make them aware of a community forum being held at 1 p.m., Friday, Sept. 2, 2005 at the Southeast Christian Church, 920 Blankenbaker Parkway, Louisville.

The event will feature Mike Leavitt, Secretary for the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, as well as other public officials who will be on-hand to discuss community-based resources that can help educate and enroll seniors and disabled beneficiaries.
Have a good weekend, expect a later update tomorrow since I have to work.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Hmmm, why did I not notice this?

This was brought to my attention. Unfortunately, the blog links to Senator Kerry's campaign site is no longer active but here is a copy of a statement that was issued over a year ago.
In light of the unacceptable statement about the death of Americans made by Daily Kos, we have removed the link to this blog from our website. As John Kerry said in a statement earlier this week, "My deepest sympathies are with the families of those lost today. Americans know that all who serve in Iraq - soldier and civilian alike - do so in an effort to build a better future for Iraqis. These horrific attacks remind us of the viciousness of the enemies of Iraq’s future. United in sadness, we are also united in our resolve that these enemies will not prevail."
Senator, Kerry, I don't blame you the least bit. The way Kos attacks those to the right of his positions, it's no surprise. It's sad when we lose Americans in war but there is not really much we can do but pray for their safe return and support them no matter what your position on the war is. For more, read the Jonathan Chait article below...somewhere below this post.

Here Comes That Rainy Day Feeling Again...

Yes, folks, it is raining very hard over here, or at least it was the last time I was outside. It's good for the summer-long drought we had but bad for those of us who continually have to walk across the campus...all year long.

The Chabad honors a champion in quest for sacred texts.
"These are more than just words on documents," said U.S. Senator Norm Coleman of Minnesota. "There is a very powerful and special meaning that they have. That’s why I’m so devoted to the cause of returning the Schneerson documents from Russia."

The Senator was speaking at an event honoring his leadership in the ongoing effort to regain the sacred Schneerson Collection. Senator Coleman addressed a group of 150 Chabad rabbis and students who had gathered in S. Paul’s Adath Israel Synagogue last week.

During the event, the Senator was presented with a replica of the encased mezuzah that is affixed to the entrance of the western wall of Jerusalem. The award came from Rabbi Moshe Feller, Director of Chabad Lubavitch of Minnesota, and Rabbi Boruch Shlomo Cunin, Director of the West Coast Chabad Lubavitch. Rabbi Feller is a longtime friend of the Senator and involved him in the struggle for the Schneerson Collection at the suggestion of Rabbi Cunin, who is part of the delegation appointed by the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, to recover the sacred texts.

"Chabad has been blessed to find many good friends in the Senate since the Rebbe sent us to launch our high-profile political and legal efforts to regain the Collection," said Rabbi Chaim Cunin, who joined Rabbi Yosef Cunin in representing their father at the event. "Over time, leaders from both parties on Capitol Hill have emerged as supporters of this important cause -- from Bob Dole, to Al Gore, to Joe Lieberman, to Claiborne Pell. And now, Senator Coleman has picked up the torch and carried it forward, and we are deeply grateful for his courage and determination."
Recovering the texts is a cause that I believe in, even if I am a Conservative Jew who is moderate-to-liberal when it comes to politics.

Congressman Ben Chandler has no pleasure in the hiring scandals and offers little sympathy to current Governor Ernie Fletcher. Chandler ran for Governor in 2003. I'd like to see him or Jonathan run for the position myself, but preferably Jonathan.
If Fletcher aides broke the state merit law by firing Democrats and hiring Republicans on the basis of politics, the governor should take responsibility for that, try to resolve it and move on before his administration is wrecked, Chandler said.

"You ought to have better things to do. There are more important issues to be dealing with on behalf of the public," said Chandler, a Democrat who represents Central Kentucky's 6th Congressional District.

Chandler said he was saddened and puzzled to learn that dozens of state employees were targeted by Fletcher aides for firing, demotions or other penalties because of their connections to him.

Handwritten notes and a so-called "hit list" seized by Attorney General Greg Stumbo's agents from the offices of Fletcher aides suggest that state employees who had the word "Chandler" written next to their names were going to suffer for it.

Chandler said he wonders why the Fletcher administration appears so obsessed with an election that Fletcher won decisively two years ago.

"I scratch my head about that," he said. "I don't remember ever criticizing anyone in the administration once the race was over. And quite frankly, I was always taught that when you win an election, you put out an olive branch to the people who were on the other side, and that helps you build up your support even greater."

Instead of taking responsibility for what happened on his watch, Fletcher seems less than forthcoming, Chandler said. The governor, who has been subpoenaed to testify Tuesday before a grand jury, has not ruled out invoking his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

"I feel sorry for the citizens of Kentucky, because they don't want this kind of petty behavior," Chandler said.

"I'm convinced that 90 percent of Kentuckians don't care if somebody is a Democrat or a Republican. And they don't care who somebody supported in the last election," Chandler said. "It isn't the way an administration ought to behave. Their minds ought to be on the business of the people."

Fletcher spokeswoman Carla Blanton dismissed Chandler's remarks.

"It's a sad development, and it just shows how political this issue has become," Blanton said.
It is a shame that taxpayer money is going towards defending the Fletcher administration rather than supporting our transportation and educational problems.
Under no circumstances should Fletcher pardon his nine current or former aides who are under indictment, Chandler said. The governor has said he leaves that option open.

As attorney general from 1996 to 2004, Chandler prosecuted aides to then-Gov. Paul Patton for alleged campaign-finance violations, and Chandler was angry when Patton pardoned them before trial.

"That's an abuse of power, to pardon your own cronies," Chandler said. "I called for Patton to resign because of it."

He denied ignoring violations of the merit law by Patton's Democratic administration, an accusation made in recent weeks by some Republican critics. Nobody came forward with a mountain of evidence the way Doug Doerting, a whistle-blower in the Transportation Cabinet, did for Stumbo in May, he said.

"I don't recall ever having any kind of -- let's put it this way, we were never presented with a 270-page stack of documents outlining merit system abuses," he said. "But we were investigating everything else in the world."

Aside from prosecuting Patton's aides on campaign-finance charges, Chandler also sued Patton's Economic Development Cabinet to open records in its tax-incentive program, and he prosecuted a high-ranking state House aide, popular among Democratic legislators, who ran a gambling and sex business out of his Capitol office.

"I went after members of my own party more often than I went after Republicans," he said.
As to Congressman Ben Chandler declaring a run for Governor in 2007:
"It would take something remarkable, something I frankly can't envision at this time, to make me do anything but stay in this office for as long as the people of Central Kentucky will have me," he said.
The Blues Brothers to be aired in 83 theatres nationally before it's release on DVD.

Former President Jimmy Carter is the target of a smear attack. President Carter was attacked for lobbying to save a base in Connecticut. The base would shift 3,000 plus jobs to Georgia if it closed. Carter used to serve at the base in Connecticut.
In his letter to the base closure panel, Carter said he feared that closing the Groton base would result in "a loss of some of the proud submariners heritage of our historic association with service and training in New London."

"I don't profess to speak for other active and retired submariners, but I believe that, overwhelmingly, the consensus would be that transferring the submarine forces from New London would be militarily deleterious," he wrote.

Connecticut officials were understandably overjoyed.

"I want to express my sincere appreciation to President Carter," said Sen. Chris Dodd. "As far as I know, it is entirely unprecedented in the 17 years of the BRAC process for a former commander-in-chief to write to save a particular military base from closure."

Fellow Democratic Sen. Joe Lieberman added: "We are thrilled that he has lent his support to our efforts to save the base."

The 80-year-old Carter, a former Georgia governor who still lives in rural Plains, didn't make his opinions known before visiting Kings Bay two weeks ago to dive in the new submarine USS Jimmy Carter. The sub was built at Groton's Electric Boat shipyards and commissioned at the Groton base. The sub ride came just days before Carter sent his letter to the panel.

"He was a great president and everything, but it's just pretty bizarre he would say that, being from Georgia," said Karen Landry, executive assistant at the Camden-Kings Bay Chamber of Commerce.
In a bad move yesterday, the federal base-closing commission decided to close the Walter Reed Army Medical Center
The federal base-closing commission voted yesterday to close the storied Walter Reed Army Medical Center and move more than 20,000 defense jobs from leased office space in Northern Virginia to military bases.

The closure of Walter Reed carries considerable emotional freight in the District, and the Virginia office moves could bring tremendous change to the region's economy, traffic, pollution and lifestyles as thousands of workers relocate from transit-friendly sites in Arlington and Alexandria onto bases in outer suburbs.

"I don't know if it is possible or appropriate to move all employees of the Department of Defense onto DoD facilities," said Anthony J. Principi, the commission's chairman. "At the same time, I think the [defense] secretary should have the management ability to manage his people."

Virginia officials, who accused the commission of exceeding its legal mandate in considering the office shifts, expressed disappointment in a decision that could leave acres of vacant commercial space in Arlington.

"We continue to feel leased space was improperly targeted at the start of this process, and we will continue to work with our Congressional and local partners to explore our options," Gov. Mark R. Warner (D) said in a statement.

But he and others said they were pleased that the panel chose to leave two sets of valued military researchers in place in Arlington: the Office of Naval Research and the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency, which represent about 1,700 jobs and are the linchpin for as many as 4,000 private consulting jobs.

"That's the intellectual engine," said Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.) "These are the areas that are generating the ideas. DARPA, for heaven's sake, invented the Internet."
A sad, sad day to see Walter Reed close.

In other news, it appears that the United Kingdom, otherwise known as home of the some of the greatest musicians in history, will soon be airing The Daily Show with Jon Stewart in days to come. This a great move in my opinion.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Ringo Starr on Soundstage

Ringo is appearing on Soundstage tonight, or at least it is a rerun. Ringo Starr is being backed by the Roundheads and the special guest performer is Colin Hay. The Soundstage concert was taped on Friday June 25, 2005.

The Roundheads include: The Roundheads include Mark Hudson (guitar), Gary Burr (guitar), Gregg Bissonette (drums), Mark Hart (keyboards), Steve Dudas (lead guitar), Matt Bissonette (bass).

Here is the set list:
1. With a Little Help From My Friends
2. It Don't Come Easy
3. Octopus's Garden
4. Choose Love -- His latest single from his new album of the same name.
5. I Wanna Be Your Man
Colin Hay introduced
6. Who can it be now?
7. Don't Pass Me By -- Ringo does the first part on piano and it sounds just like the original.
8. I'm the Greatest -- written for Ringo by the late John Lennon
9. Give me back the beat
10. Memphis in your mind
(Ringo takes his jacket off)
11. Photograph -- a song written by him and the late George Harrison. (I just noticed the bass on this song is a right-handed version of Paul McCartney's Hofner bass guitar)
12. Back off Boogaloo -- this is one heck of a rock and roll song. Great guitar solos in there as well.
13. Yellow Submarine
(audience gives tremendous applause for Ringo Starr and the Roundheads)
14. Act Naturally
15. With a Little Help from my Friends -- sounds like this is the last song but I'm hoping there will be an encore performance but Ringo walks off the stage. No encore performance.

Due to a recent surgery on his shoulder, Ringo will not be on tour this year but he hopes to tour next year (source: Daytrippin')

Ah, the good ol' days of rock and roll. At 20 years old going on 21 (come Yom Kippur), I prefer the classic rock music to most of today's stuff.

Tony LaRussa passes Sparky Anderson all-time

Congrats to Tony LaRussa who now owns 2,195 career wins all-time. Matt Morris got the win and Jason Isringhausen picked up the save.

Former Secretary Dan Glickman has some explaining...

Today's free feature in the Wall Street Journal reports that the former decretary has contributed more to the GOP candidates than to Democratic ones. How Santorum's office got money is beyond me...
When the Motion Picture Association of America hired Dan Glickman, an 18-year Democratic congressman from Kansas and a former member of the Clinton cabinet, as president and chief executive, it was viewed by many lawmakers here as the movie industry thumbing its nose at Republican leaders.

But in his first year, Mr. Glickman has staged an impressive role reversal: He has hired Republicans close to the congressional leadership. He has made campaign donations, from his own pocket and Hollywood coffers, to the conservatives who ousted him from Congress a decade ago. And he volunteered to help President Bush twist arms on a White House priority, the free-trade pact with Central America, that passed the House last month by just two votes.

The 60-year-old Mr. Glickman, who plays down his political affiliation and says that he was never much into partisan warfare, is an example of how to survive as a Democrat in a Republican-run town these days. "His Democratic credentials obviously caused some heartburn in the beginning, but I think he has been able to overcome that," says Rep. Mark Foley, a Florida Republican.

But Mr. Glickman's bigger challenge may be preserving a fragile association of media companies whose interests have diverged over the years, and who count making movies as just one piece of their empires. This gives movie studios less in common than before -- and Mr. Glickman has already had to keep one member, Universal Studios, from bolting.[...]

Earlier this year, Mr. Glickman personally wrote a $500 check to Mr. Santorum's re-election campaign. The MPAA sent another $2,000 to Mr. Santorum, who faces a strong re-election challenge next year. Since being named MPAA chief, Mr. Glickman has given 85% of his $10,000 in personal political donations to Republicans. In the previous 18 months, Mr. Glickman steered 95% of his $18,500 in contributions to Democrats, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. The MPAA's political action committee, meanwhile, has steered 77% of its contributions to Republicans this year.

"I use good judgment in terms of supporting our friends on both sides of the aisle," Mr. Glickman says. "I haven't changed parties. That wouldn't make me very happy."

Mr. Glickman says that even as a politician, he was no partisan warrior. "Being from Kansas, I represented the reddest of red states," he says.

He also has been on a Republican recruiting spree. Among his hires is John Feehery, the former spokesman for House Speaker Dennis Hastert who is now the MPAA's executive vice president for external affairs. Mr. Glickman also signed lobbying contracts with Barbara Comstock, a former Justice Department official who has helped defend Mr. DeLay against Democrats' allegations about ethics breaches, and Carl Thorsen, Mr. DeLay's former counsel. A few weeks ago, the MPAA hired the lobbying firm founded by former Sen. Don Nickles, the Oklahoma Republican.

Mr. Glickman faces tension from a powerful Republican lawmaker on an unrelated matter. Alaska Republican Sen. Ted Stevens has declined to meet with the new MPAA chief because he is upset that as Agriculture Secretary in the Clinton administration, Mr. Glickman barred new road-building in Alaska's Tongass National Forest five years ago. Mr. Stevens is chairman of the Commerce Committee, which handles many movie-industry issues.
In other entertainment-related news, a few Congressmen have decided to pull out of fundraisers at concerts of musicians who support the other party.
Rep. Michael McCaul's "family came first," Jack Hirschfield said a day after Knight Ridder asked about McCaul's participation in the Oct. 3 event. The Stones' upcoming album includes a number that makes many supporters of President Bush cringe. It's titled "Sweet Neo Con" and it begins: "You ride around your white castle, on your little white horse/ You lie to your people, and blame it on your war, of course."

Although Hirschfield said Thursday that the Stones' fund-raiser was taken off McCaul's schedule in June, Hirschfield hadn't been aware of it when a reporter had called earlier this week. The fund-raiser's organizer, Nancy Bocskor, said she first heard that McCaul was pulling out on Wednesday.

"Stuff came up and he needed to be with the kids," she said. "And his spokesman apologized."

The Stones concert was to have been a joint event for McCaul and Rep. Kevin Brady, another Republican from the president's home state. Late Thursday, Bocskor confirmed that the event would go ahead just for Brady. She bought 40 tickets, which she planned to sell for $2,000 each.

Brady's spokesman didn't return phone messages left over three days.

The Wall Street Journal, in an article earlier this month, included the McCaul-Brady event among several awkward encounters between liberal performers and conservative politicians seeking to raise money.

In another of them, Reps. John Shimkus, R-Ill., and Thomas Reynolds, R-N.Y., plan a fund-raiser at an Elton John concert Sept. 10 at the Nissan Pavilion south of Washington.

Both lawmakers voted for a national ban on gay marriage, which Congress rejected last year. The singer plans to marry his male partner this fall. Earlier this year, Sir Elton declared President Bush "the worst thing that has ever happened to America."

This didn't keep the singer from chatting amiably with the president at a Kennedy Center Honors ceremony at which Sir Elton received a special award for his contributions to American culture.

A spokesman for Shimkus, Steve Tomaszewski, said his boss's fund-raiser at the Elton John concert was neither an endorsement of the singer's politics nor a betrayal of Shimkus' stand on gay marriage. Shimkus won't attend himself, however, because of a scheduling conflict, Tomaszewski said.

Another House conservative, Rep. Richard Pombo, R-Calif., plans to carry on with a planned Stones fund-raiser Oct 3.

"I don't think that one song would dissuade potential donors from coming," said Brian Kennedy, Pombo's spokesman. "People enjoy Barbra Streisand's music whether they enjoy her politics or not."
At their Fenway Park concert, "Sweet Neo Con" was not a part of the set list. When you have a band that is still around 40 years later, you tend to play the greatest hits.

I don't think we have heard the full Ernie Fletcher saga yet. For more, see the Bluegrass Report on this. Mark has done a tremendous job on this.

According to Greg's Opinion, the Kos vs. DLC saga got The New Republic take on it. I'd say it is some good comic relief from Jonathan Chait.
NO, MR. KILGORE, I EXPECT YOU TO DIE!: Daily Kos is promising that it will unveil a super-weapon to destroy the Democratic Leadership Council. The threats appear to be growing ever more comically megalomaniacal:
Two more weeks, folks, before we take them on, head on.
No calls for a truce will be brooked. The DLC has used those pauses in the past to bide their time between offensives. Appeals to party unity will fall on deaf ears (it's summer of a non-election year, the perfect time to sort out internal disagreements).

We need to make the DLC radioactive. And we will. With everyone's help, we really can. Stay tuned.
Isn't this really James Bond Villain/Dr. Evil type stuff? From the insistence that he has a foolproof secret plan, to the macho predictions that the enemy will beg for mercy and be denied, right down to the metaphor ("make them radioactive"--Bwahahahahaha!)

I just think that after this build-up anything short of a giant laser gun aimed at the DLC offices is going to seem kind of disappointing.

--Jonathan Chait
I just want to state for the record that Democrats are the party of the big tent. We should not have intra-party feuding. The latest remarks from Kos, if this is true and I believe it is since I get flamed so much over there just for defending any member of the DLC (except Zell Miller since he no longer is a Democrat, at least he shouldn't be), is completely rediculous. Should not the Democrats be speaking up against Republican officials or campaigning for new elections.

Ralph Long, formerly the Last Sane Man, has been unusually silent lately. Did Mark still the spotlight from him?

Apparently, Pat Boone is still alive. Boone, best known for being a cover artist and not a rock legend, had the following words about Cindy Sheehan.
This lady (Sheehan) and the groups that have been demonstrating in front of the president's ranch in Crawford and following him around are the very same people that were the dropout, turn-on, anti-war peace activists back [in the Vietnam War era]," Boone said. "They still have this crazy notion that by just being peaceful and maybe toking up or something like that – it's like an ostrich with its head in the sand – maybe the danger and the bad guys will go away and leave you alone, which is not gonna happen."
I thought Pat Boone was dead.

Is someone in Cream about to die? reports that death is the reason that Cream reformed this year before reconcilation would be impossible.
British rocker Eric Clapton decided to reunite 1960s band Cream this year, because he was terrified death could strike one of the three members and make a future reconciliation impossible.

The 60-year-old star was also inspired by his happy homelife with second wife Melia McEnery and their three young daughters to return to the stage with Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker.

Clapton says, "That was very much a part of this album. It was born out of my home life, because what happened when I started to enjoy being a member of my own family was that I looked outside of it and thought, 'Where can I apply this?'

"And Cream are on the few bands from that era that can actually reunite because we are all alive and just about in good health."
Eric is right with regards to his last comment. Not too many bands from that era have all their members alive. Look at the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, The Who, The Beach Boys, etc. The list can go on and on.

In other Clapton news, he's devasted as to the truth about his father. No, it is not Darth Vader.
The "Layla" singer was raised by his grandparents and grew up believing his real mother Patricia was his sister.

He questioned her in 1997 over rumours his father was Ted Friar, a Canadian ex-serviceman who died in 1985, but was left disappointed when she refused to give a full answer.

Patricia died soon after meeting Clapton's wife Melia McEnery and before their first daughter Julie Rose was born.

Clapton says, "She was non-committal and much as I loved her, I don't know whether she wanted to tell me the truth.

"I didn't press it with her because I sensed I was treading on thin ice.

"And I don't know if this is my suspicious nature, but I wonder if anyone was telling the truth, or even if they really know."
I feel sorry for Eric because everyone should know the truth about their family. Fathers should be responsible for the decisions that they make.

Sullivan Calls on Bradley to Renounce Robertson

In a press release issued earlier today, congressional candidate and current New Hampshire State Representative Peter Sullivan has called on Rep. Jeb Bradley to renounce Pat Robertson.
State Rep. Peter Sullivan today called upon Congressman Jeb Bradley and New Hampshire Republican Party Chairman Warren Henderson to renounce statements made by Republican televangelist Pat Robertson calling for the assasination of the President of Venezuela.

"Pat Robertson is a foul blight on the American political landscape. His call for the assasination of Hugo Chavez is morally repugnant for a self-described clergyman, and diametrically opposed to the core values of the Christian faith", said Sullivan.

"Congressman Bradley and Chairman Henderson have a moral obligation to clearly and unambiguously renounce the lunacy of Pat Robertson. To allow his irresponsible remarks to go unchallenged is to tacitly condone their content."

"Hugo Chavez is a thug. There is no question about that reality. The challenge is dealing with him in a way that does not undermine American moral authority on the world stage. We should confront Chavez with the full range of diplomatic, political and economic options available to us. We must not allow ourselves to stoop to his level by condoning absurd options such as those proposed by Pat Robertson", concluded Sullivan.
As a Disney stockholder myself, I call on ABC to remove Robertson's show from future airings.

The St. Louis Cardinals are 12-8 against Central Division teams since the All-Star break. Tony LaRussa has tied Sparky Anderson with 2,194 wins. With Matt Morris starting tonight, he should pass Sparky for sole place in 2nd.

Curt Schilling returns to the starting lineup tonight for the Boston Red Sox. Schilling is 5-5 with a 6.43 ERA.

Congressman Ben Chandler will be in Boyle and Lincoln counties on Friday. He has secured money for expanding a stretch of U.S. 127 and U.S. 27.

The following press release was issued earlier by musician Brian Ray. Ray is soon to be on tour as a guitarist/bassist for former Beatle Paul McCartney.
When Brian Ray decided to record his first solo CD, he didn't have to look far for a supporting cast. The award winning songwriter for Smokey Robinson, guitarist and musical director for Etta James, now on tour as guitarist and bassist with Paul McCartney simply asked some of his mentors and friends to help him out.

When he asked the legendary blues singer Etta James if she would sing with him on the CD her answer was simple - and immediate - "I'll do anything for Brian." Not surprising considering the bond the two had developed over the years Brian had spent as her musical director and guitarist. "She's family to me, really," he explains. The rest of the players were a few more of his best friends - Scott Shriner from Weezer, Davey Faragher from Elvis Costello's band, Abe Laboriel, Jr., Wix Wickens and Rusty Anderson from Paul McCartney's band all appear on the album with Brian. The collaborators? Oliver Lieber, Adam Cohen, Tonio K.

The resulting album, Mondo Magneto, is filled with fresh, stylish songs whose lyrics and catchy melodies stay with you long after your first listening. It's a pop record that rocks and a rock record with pop radio sensibility. "What was really fun for me about making this album," Brian explains, "was that every person involved came into the studio and brought their own personality to the sessions. And that shows on the CD."
The CD, to be released on Ray's label, Whooray Records, is due out on November 1, 2005.

Also announced today, as I learned in my email today was that "the expanded and completely re-edited DVD version of Bruce Springsteen's historic solo VH1 Storytellers concert will be in stores September 6."

Breaking: Scout Alive and well

From Reuters:
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Teen actress Scout Taylor-Compton, who disappeared from her home more than two weeks ago, has been found at a friend's house, police said on Thursday.

Taylor-Compton, 16, star of the 2004 teen comedy "Sleepover," was last seen at her home in the Southern California community of Apple Valley on August 12 and was considered a runaway.

"We received a tip from the Apple Valley School Police that she was at a house in Apple Valley," San Bernardino County Sheriff's spokeswoman Robin Haynal said. "We sent a deputy over there, picked her up and took her to the station."

Haynal said Taylor-Compton, who lives with her father and stepmother, apparently left after a family disagreement. She was in good condition and cooperated with police.

"She was a runaway juvenile. She just didn't want to be found," Haynal said. "She hasn't been harmed at all and she appears to be fine."

Taylor-Compton's publicist said she had no further information on the young performer, who has also appeared in "Gilmore Girls" and "Hidden Howie" and worked in independent films and music videos.
I'm pleased to hear that she is okay. I'm gonna leave it at that for now as I had feared the worse.

Morning News Roundup

They're on a mission from G-d. Yep, those two mischievious brothers are back in action as they come out on DVD.
In what is being billed as one of the largest DVD premieres in history, the screening will be part of a program presented live via satellite from Mann's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood to 83 movie theaters from coast to coast by National CineMedia. In MetroWest, the special event will be shown at the Regal Cinema in Bellingham on Monday beginning at 9:30 p.m. The DVD gets released Tuesday.

A joint venture of AMC Entertainment Inc., Cinemark USA Inc. and Regal Entertainment Group, the program will feature a live question-and-answer discussion with director/writer John Landis and the film's co-star and co-writer Dan Aykroyd (who will join the festivities via satellite from Toronto). The discussion will be followed by a first-time screening of the film in High Definition and cinema surround sound.

Joining the panel will be actor Henry Gibson, singer James Brown and producer Thom Mount.

The event is being hosted by Hollywood's Master Storytellers, Universal Studios Home Video and National CineMedia.

"The Blues Brothers is one of the most popular musical comedies of all time," said Gordon Meyer, the creator and host of Hollywood's Master Storytellers. "It is a tremendous movie that combines performances by many of the greatest musical acts of all time with incredible comedy and mayhem."
Dustin Hoffman to join Natalie Portman in Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium.

Plastic lawn attracts The Daily Show.
Rob Corddry came to St. Petersburg to interview Greg Cooper, who not only has a plastic lawn but wants to sell the fake stuff to others. But plastic grass could be illegal under a city code that basically says lawns are supposed to be natural.
Fake lawn? Shouldn't lawns be natural?

The Kentucky Association of State Employees is boycotting Ernie (and Bert's) task force. Hmmm, I guess it is to divert attention from Ernie's problems and Ernie's problems just got worse.

We might have some problems of our own in the Democratic party. The new agenda plan to be promoted today at the state fair is called "Change for Kentucky Families" and the Democracy for America-affiliated group is called "Change for Kentucky." The way I see it, is, even if CFK is trademarked, how many people use that phrase everyday? I'm not ashamed to say I am a moderate-to-liberal Democrat. I just hope we don't have that big of an intra-party fight. We need to unite as one from the far-left Democrats to those that are conservative Democrats. I don't mean offense to anyone involved. But when you truly think about it, what other names could you use? You can't just say "Bring back our families to the days of Clinton," could you? Don't shoot me, I'm just the messenger.