Sunday, September 18, 2005

Rounding out the weekend

Getting closer to the High Holidays in the calendar which means I will be on a short hiatus but that will be after the College Democrats of Kentucky hold their state convention.

The St. Louis Cardinals are 5 wins away from 100 wins this season, which would mean back to back seasons with 100 wins. Chris Carpenter starts today against Carlos Zambrano. The good news? No, I did not save money on my car insurance by switching to Geico: the game is on WGN so I am able to watch it. Albert Pujols needs some good pitches today as he is one shy of 200 home runs. Mark Grudzielanek is 4 RBI short of 500. Jim Edmonds is 7 shy of 1,000 RBI. Matt Morris is 3 K's shy of tying for fourth place all-time while playing for St. Louis.

Portland Sea Dogs, the AA affiliate for Boston, saw their season come to an end yesterday in the Eastern League Championship Series. Four starters for Boston are in double digits (Arroyo, Clement, Wells, Wakefield). Schilling is four wins shy. Chances are Curt won't get it.

Loggins and Messina are still going at it.
In short, you could say that Loggins and Messina and their first-rate six-piece backing band put on a clinic Saturday night at the Target Center. But not only for the jammers and the country-rockers, but also for those who have fallen prey to the separation of styles into market samples. For this duo mixed rock, folk, country, jazz, R&B, funk, soul and world music back in the day, and this concert offered a dose of liberation from the bonds of genre-specific programming.

But what made Saturday's show such an unqualified success was that this reunited duo played to their strengths so well. Loggins is still a terrific singer, with his high tenor as soulful and sensitive as you could wish, especially on a show-stopping extended version of "Piece of Mind" in which he seemed to be channeling Luther Vandross.

And then were Messina's exceptional arrangements and the lead guitar lines that brought the Bakersfield plucking of Buck Owens into the middle of this multi-genre mix. Throw on a guest appearance by his former Poco compatriot Richie Furay and a host of outstanding solos by two woodwind masters, and you have a show that no one had a right to expect would be this good.
Furay and Messina used to be in this band called Buffalo Springfield...which featured artists such as Stephen Stills and Neil Young. Need I say more?

Mark Warner rallies Democrats in Virginia. I honestly see him as a terrific VP candidate or one that will run for the Senate. In other Mark Warner news, it appears he will not be running against Sen. George Allen in 2006. I think he'll wait til John Warner steps down in 2008.

The Combat Meth Act has passed in the Senate.
A bill that proposes to limit the purchase of drugs used to make methamphetamine and provide at least $18 million for child services, law enforcement and addiction treatment passed Thursday in the U.S. Senate.

The Combat Meth Act, co-sponsored by Sen. Evan Bayh, would restrict the sale of pseudoephedrine products nationwide by requiring retailers to keep the drugs behind pharmacy counters. If passed by the House of Representatives, it would also restrict the sale of pseudoephedrine to 7.5 grams per month, about 250 30-milligram tablets.

The act is part of the Commerce Justice Science appropriations bill and must be approved by the House before it can be signed into law by the president.
The House better pass it.

What's in the Bayh Watch this weekend?
While complaining about "constant partisanship" in the country -- one of his regular themes -- Bayh used a term that could become a campaign catchphrase for him.

Bayh said leaders need to do a better job finding "principled compromises" to meet the challenges facing the nation. He didn't give an example of either a principled or unprincipled compromise.
I endorse this decision...but I don't endorse Republicans. It just proves to show who doesn't hold power any more in this state.

Democrats do it better in more ways than one.

Fletcher ratings:
Approve: 38%
Disapprove: 54%

Remember Dave Disponnett? He was a "volunteer" while at the Capitol while holding the position of GOP Treasurer. Guess what? He was no volunteer, he was being paid by the GOP to do what he probably did!
While Dave Disponett was working in the governor's office as a volunteer and influencing state hiring decisions, he was being paid $4,000 a month by the Republican Party of Kentucky, the party confirmed Friday.

Disponett is a confidant of Gov. Ernie Fletcher and served as co-finance chairman of his 2003 campaign for governor. After the election, Disponett was appointed treasurer of the Republican Party and worked for Fletcher as a volunteer.

Although Disponett had no state title, salary or job description, Fletcher gave him an office in the Capitol and assigned him a secretary who was a state employee. He has been mentioned frequently in Attorney General Greg Stumbo's investigation into whether the Fletcher administration hired rank-and-file employees on the basis of politics instead of merit.

E-mail messages and court documents indicate Disponett was involved in hiring decisions and in some cases interviewed candidates for rank-and-file jobs. As a volunteer, he wasn't subject to state ethics rules or laws that other state employees must follow.

"It is wrong for any officer of any political party to have an office in the governor's complex in the Capitol and to be making hiring decisions," said Jerry Lundergan, chairman of the Kentucky Democratic Party. "It makes it even more questionable when he was being paid a salary by the party. His office should have been at the Republican headquarters, not the Capitol."

Disponett quit volunteering in June and gave up his Capitol office. He continues to serve as party treasurer.

The party confirmed that Disponett had been paid $48,000 between April 2004 and April 2005. His salary ended the same month Darrell Brock replaced John McCarthy as party chairman.

Lundergan said the Democratic Party does not pay its treasurer.

Most members of the state party's executive committee apparently didn't know Disponett was being paid.
I think that's all for now. I'm updating the rumor mill today or tomorrow.

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