Friday, September 16, 2005

Have a good weekend

The weekend graces us once again. I've just been in one of those moods lately where I want to just play my guitar all day long and release a solo album if I can't start a band. If need be, I'll pull a "McCartney" and play all the albums. This will happen. It's about the music and never has been about the money though some income is nice every now and then.

On to the news, Paul McCartney and his great touring band start the 2005 US Tour tonight in Miami, Florida.

Jerry Hall, the ex-wife of Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger, tells all. Okay, maybe not all...
She says, "He's a great father, he's very funny and we laugh together. We really like each other. He was just not a good husband.

"But I was kind of hooked. Basically we get on great, and in life that's not easy to find. I mean, we didn't fight, you know. We laughed our heads off, we had so much fun. So we got on great. Except he slept with other people, which was horrible."

She adds, "I tried (to ignore it) but basically I am very moral."
So Ernie's budget director got an unprecedented overtime pay? I guess so, according to the latest news from Frankfort.
Most pay for full-time state employees, except those working on special contracts like some physicians and others, is limited by a state law that specifies they cannot be paid more than the governor.

Fletcher's salary this year is $112,705, but the total compensation is valued at $130,705 when an expense allowance is included.

With overtime, Cowgill was paid about $165,000 in 2004.

The audit found there were questions about the additional payments early on, even from Cowgill.

It was an inquiry from state Treasurer Jonathan Miller that set a formal review moving.

Cowgill told auditors he did not know he would be getting the payments and they were not part of his original employment package. Cowgill raised a question about the additional pay with Fletcher's chief of staff, apparently Daniel Groves, when he began receiving the money. Groves, who has since left state government, told Cowgill, "the payment was allowable," the audit said.

Officials in the Finance Cabinet, which technically oversees the budget office, did raise questions about the payments, but were told "either by the Personnel Cabinet or the governors office, or both," that the payments should continue.

Overtime payments in state government are made after the accumulation of 240 hours of overtime in blocks of 50 hours.

"The state budget directors time sheets were not approved by anyone in the Governors Office or the Finance and Administration Cabinet, but by the directors deputies or were not approved at all," the audit said. No study was made about "the appropriateness of the number of hours worked."

"It's a terrible precedent," said Charles Wells, director of the Kentucky Association of State Employees. "Brad Cowgill ought to pay that money back."
An article from the Miami Herald dealing with the latest Paul McCartney album. They give it two stars.

Is it legal?!? Darrell Brock refuses to leave the post of GOP Chairman. He is defying Ernie "Where's Bert?" Fletcher. This just shows how weak and desperate Ernie Fletcher is at this point in his governorship. Maybe someone should request "Hound Dog" and dedicate to him?

Democratic National Chairman Howard Dean is on his way to Eretz Yisrael.

Paul McCartney is a mensch. He donated $5,000 to a Tampa school to support the music education program.

Jeff Suppan got the win last night as St. Louis clinched a berth in the National League Divisional Series. The Cards beat the Cubs 6-1. Tickets go on sale on Monday. Matt Morris takes the mound tonight. Mulder starts Saturday. Carpenter on Sunday. Monday is open.

Ernie says he's done nothing wrong. I call bullcrap on that one.
Fletcher draw laughs when, just as the speech began, his Blackberry communications device went off. Many of the incriminating e-mails that have surfaced in the investigation were sent among administration official via state-issued Blackberries.

"That thing is always getting me in trouble," Fletcher said after his Blackberry began loudly vibrating.

But Fletcher also appeared uncomfortable at times. He often lowered his eyes and his voice when talking about the investigation and Murgatroyd. And with his left hand he appeared to be fidgeting with a spot on the speaker’s podium.
More on Band-Aid.

Paul McCartney misses being in a band.
The singer now makes music on his own and he admits he misses the creative input of equals - as well as the camaraderie that comes with a band.

He says, "I miss company. I miss having a bunch of people around to tell jokes to and to hear jokes from. You do get a little bit like an absent-minded professor on your own.

"It's actually not a bad thing, but it's more marked when you're in the studio yourself, without a producer. You get stir crazy."
Richie Farmer worked to get a relative a job in the government. Okay, there's another office that might be investigate.

Stephen Stills has swapped torment for family bliss.
The man behind such tunes as "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes" and "Love the One You're With" started working with David Crosby and Graham Nash more than 35 years ago, and they still bring their close harmonies to the world's stages.

At 60, Stills says he loses 10 years when he walks out to perform, but the touring is "awful."

"If it wasn't for the audience, it wouldn't be worth doing at all," he said during a recent interview at a radio studio. "You can be in a $2 million bus, but after three days it's a bus."

Welcome to the difficult world of Stephen Stills, who has been described as "a tormented artist" and "his own worst enemy" by Neil Young, his longtime friend, frequent collaborator and occasional rival.

But with his first solo album in 14 years to promote, Stills is on his best behavior and even apologizes for a cold that has exacerbated the deafness in his left ear.

"I wish I felt better because we could joust a little better, the verbal swordplay," he said with a genial cackle.

He also effortlessly disarms any potential antagonists by noting that his 10-month-old son, Oliver, just took his first step earlier that day. How could anyone be so heartless as to give the proud papa a hard time?

Stills' album, "Man Alive!" (Pyramid Records/Universal), a typically eclectic effort that features collaborations with Young, Nash and jazz pianist Herbie Hancock, has been in the works for more than a decade. Songs destined for the album were often diverted to Crosby, Stills & Nash projects until Stills put his foot down. Far from having any lofty goals with the album, his aim was simply to "finish it," he joked.

The new, improved Stills is detailed on "Different Man," a traditional track with fresh lyrics in which he reveals, "I got young, though I'm older now/Fear and anger have no power over me." Young contributes guitar and harmony vocals.

Stills credits his third wife, Kristen, the mother of two of his seven children, with tempering his anger.

"I just don't have the energy for it anymore," he says. "You look at a picture of us back then, and I know that guy -- he's certainly more attractive -- but it's like I don't know that guy. We're larger and wiser people now."

He even gets misty-eyed and nostalgic on his other collaboration with Young, "'Round the Bend," which recalls their time together in Buffalo Springfield, the pioneering country-rock group they co-founded in 1966.

The partnership between Stills and Young is one of rock music's classic love-hate stories. Stills wrote Buffalo Springfield's biggest hit, the protest anthem "For What It's Worth," but his fight for control with Young tore the band apart by 1968.
Senators Joe Lieberman and Chris Dodd will take a first-hand look the devastation.
"It is essential that I get a first-hand look at the recovery work under way on the Gulf Coast and hear directly from those involved," said Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn.

Lieberman is ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee that has jurisdiction over the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The committee has launched an investigation into the government's response to Hurricane Katrina.

"This trip will inform our investigation. As elected leaders of this nation we need to reassure the victims of this terrible disaster — and the rest of America — that their government
There is nothing like relaxing to the Who's Ultimate Collection.

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