Monday, October 31, 2005

The Press Screws Up

Almost like "Dewey Defeats Truman." Nope, but just the same as ESPN and the AP reported earlier in the morning that Epstein agrees to contract as GM of Red Sox. It was just reported that Theo Epstein resigned from the team (hence he quit) and will not be back as the General Manager of the Boston Red Sox. I thank him for his service to the team and wish him the best of luck in future endeavors.
With the deadline for his contract looming, Theo Epstein and the Red Sox agreed to a three-year extension, the Boston Globe reported.

Epstein, 31, is believed to have agreed to a deal worth close to the compensation he was seeking, multiple league sources told the paper.

The contract is expected to be announced early this week, though no news conference was scheduled as of Sunday night, the Globe said. Epstein's current contract was to expire at midnight Monday.

Epstein reportedly rejected a three-year deal worth $1.2 million annually, triple his previous salary. The youngest general manager to build a World Series-winner, he was reported to be seeking something closer to the $2.5 million a year the Red Sox offered Oakland Athletics GM Billy Beane before Epstein was hired.

Epstein became the youngest general manager in baseball history when the Red Sox hired him five weeks shy of his 29th birthday in 2002. He signed a three-year contract that paid him about $350,000 a year.

During Epstein's tenure, the Red Sox reached the postseason in three straight years for the first time, and in 2004 they won their first World Series title since 1918. In 2003, they lost in the seventh game of the AL Championship Series to the New York Yankees. This year, they were swept by the Chicago White Sox in three games in the AL division series. is accurately reporting that Theo is out as the general manager.
In a stunning development, Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein has declined the club's offer of a three-year extension of his contract, and will leave the organization.

The Red Sox announced this evening that Epstein will continue to work with the club for several days "to assist in an orderly transition and to prepare further for the upcoming GM meetings and other off-season activities."

The three-year deal Epstein signed in 2002 expires at midnight tonight.

Today’s Boston Globe reported that Epstein and the Sox had agreed to an extension that would pay him close to $1.5 million a year, but it appears that is no longer the case.

According to WBZ-TV, Epstein has already packed his office and left Fenway Park.

It is not known who the leading candidates are to take Epstein’s place, but the team will likely move quickly to replace him.
Thoughts? The media had it wrong this morning.

In other news, Jack Conway will make an official announcement next week as to his decision. In other news, he is getting married next May. Mazel Tov! Jack has my support for a 2006 run.

State Representative Dennis Keene makes a good point about the merit probe.
But Rep. Dennis Keene, D-Wilder, doesn't think continuing the investigation would interrupt the General Assembly.

"It will operate the same as usual," he said. "It won't be any different just because this is going on."

The Bayh Speech

I have a transcript of the speech as delivered so those of you wanting a copy, please email me and I will send it to you.

Stop Judge Samuel Alito

Judge Samuel Alito must be filibustered.

I applaud the fact that he upheld a Jewish citizen's right to observe Shabbas. That is the only positive thing going for him. Judge Alito must be filibustered by the United States in the Senate. We have to pick our own fights as people constantly tell me.
In Abramson v. Patterson College in 2001, Alito strongly supported the prevailing opinion upholding an Orthodox woman’s complaint that faculty meetings held late on Friday afternoons constituted harassment. In a concurring opinion, he wrote that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act "does not permit an employer to manipulate job requirements for the purpose of putting an employee to the cruel choice between religion and employment."

Liberal Jewish groups, concerned about Alito’s conservative positions, particularly with regard to abortion rights, are strategizing how to react to the nomination.
Obviously, that last paragraph is a good statement. How will Jewish groups react?

Think Progress has the facts on Judge Samuel Alito. I'm relisting much of them here but that page is a must read.

Judge Alito favors overturning Roe v. Wade even though 66% of Americans oppose overturning the landmark decision. (Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, 1991)

Judge Alito ruled that the Family Medical and Leave Act was unconstitutional. His ruling was reversed by the Supreme Court. (Chittister v. Department of Community and Economic Development, 2000)

Judge Alito favors the allowing of race-based discrimination. (Bray vs. Marriot Hotels, 1997)

Judge Alito is in favor of disability-based discrimination. (Nathanson v. Medical College of Pennsylvania, 1991)

Judge Alito ruled in favor of unauthorized strip searches. (Doe v. Groody, 2004)

Not to be outdone, but Judge Alito has acted hostile towards immigrants. (Dia v. Ashcroft, 2003; Ki Se Lee v. Ashcroft, 2004).

Read that page and also go ahead and read what the Bull Moose and New Donkey have to say on the matter.

One more from Daily Kos. Judge Alito overturned a "public school district policy that prohibited harassment against students because of their sexual orientation or other characteristics" and said it was unconstitutional. (Saxe v. State, 2001)

The National Jewish Democratic Council released a statement this afternoon on the nomination:
"This morning's nomination of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court of the United States is just the latest chapter in the deepening commitment by George W. Bush and today's GOP to appease the far-right," said National Jewish Democratic Council Executive Director Ira N. Forman. "With his approval ratings sagging into the thirties, the president this morning demonstrated yet again that he and the GOP have never been more dependent on the far-right wing for support. This president could have appealed this morning to the vast majority of Americans, but he did not. Instead, he chose to placate the most extreme conservative elements of his party -- to the detriment of the great majority of this country.

"In replacing retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who cast key deciding votes in favor of a woman's right to choose and the separation of church and state, George W. Bush opted not to nominate a highly-qualified woman -- nor did he choose to appeal to most Americans by nominating a moderate conservative. Instead, he selected a nominee to appeal to the far-right wing; one need only listen to the glowingly positive reaction of the most extreme elements of the conservative coalition to determine this.

"The Senate must now ask some hard questions of Judge Alito to find out where he stands on a wide range of core constitutional issues -- issues such as a woman's right to choose and the separation of church and state, which are supported by the vast majority of American Jews," Mr. Forman added.
Here is another NJDC link to read.

Samuel Alito must be filibustered. He is not the right person for the Supreme Court.

Please sign this petition

Questions and answers

Everyone keeps asking me if I am related to Russ Salsman. The short answer is no. I'm not related to the doctor either.

The Little Green Blog appears to be in agreement with me on the topic of Senator Evan Bayh and charisma. Check out their post as it is worth the read.

Are you a Kentuckian for Bayh? That's a yahoo group I operate so if you back Senator Evan Bayh for president in 2008 and you live in Kentucky, please consider joining.

Being what today is, and I don't celebrate it, look at the Top Ten that has come up with:
Top Ten Reasons Why Jews Don't Celebrate Halloween
10. Its only a month after succah-hopping and a Jewish mother would never let her kid be such a schnorrer again so soon.
9. Jewish kids get home too late from Yeshiva and have too much homework to go trick-or-treating. And its a bitch to get out of mishmar.
8. How can you waste perfectly good eggs on a "trick?"
7. Jewish kids would never be satisfied with a "fun-sized" chocolate bar. And what’s so damn fun about about 2 bites of chocolate anyway? Remember those huge candy bars you could get at Hershey Park? Now that’s what I call fun sized!
6. Orange really does not look good against our Semitic skin.
5. Jews don’t eat pumpkin. They just don’t. (note: Butternut Squash or Tzimmes is as fluorescent as we get)
4. We are haunted by guilt, not ghosts.
3. Jews have Purim, anyway. And I’ll take booze over candy any day.
2. Rugelach and apple strudel don’t travel well in those plastic jack-o-lanterns.
1. We just scare way too easily.
Pete McCloskey, a Republican, may be challenging Congressman Richard Pombo (R-CA) if he cannot find a Republican to run against him. McCloskey helped write the Endangered Species Act and reports say he is furious with Richard Pombo for ruining the landmark legislation. McCloskey retired from Congress in 1982 and made an attempt for the presidency in 1972 against Richard Nixon as an antiwar candidate.

Senator Chuck Hagel makes his first appearance to Iowa since the November 2004 elections and said the United States needs to take a regional role with the Iraqi security.

The Kentucky Colonels may not be playing this season. Deputy Mayor Rick Johnstone said that they owe money to Louisville and won't be allowed until they are in good standing.

Evan Bayh seems to be getting questioned a lot about a particular Senate vote. I was against going the way we did but I have long favored ousting Saddam. I feel that George should have gave it to the United Nations because he did not even want to use diplomacy. Now, we've lost 2,000 United States troops because of it.
"It turned out some of the most important information we relied upon at that time just was not accurate," he said. "There were no weapons of mass destruction. The administration has proven to be terribly incompetent in the way they've carried this out...Of course, we'd make different decisions based upon different facts as we know them today."
Neil Young's Bridge school benefit concert went well over the weekend. One can only imagine how much rockin' I would do had I been there (playing guitar since 1999).
John Mellencamp was a bit preoccupied with President George Bush during his brief five-song set. Sitting surrounded by string-plucking bandmates, Mellencamp talked politics, played "Crumblin' Down" and "Jackie Brown," and talked some more politics. The acoustic format was great for Mellencamp, country-frying his songs and minimizing the noise so he could stretch his voice. He went a bit overboard in the anti-Bush department, even if the crowd mostly sang along about the "Texas Bandito," and doing "Back to Washington" before closing with "Pink Houses." Though far from offensive, Mellencamp has way too many good songs to tackle his short set like a campaign rally.

The feeling carried over some for headliners Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, though it was a more somber, anti-war vibe that took on real power. Though they bobbed through their collective and solo careers, the best moments came during a chunky and methodical version of the Buffalo Springfield anti-war classic "For What It's Worth." They played an intense "Ohio," like they really meant it, with David Crosby bellowing at the end, "How many more?" and "I wanna know why." Watching Stephen Stills and Young play together and counter each other's parts with noisy solos took on a bit of urgency Saturday. There was a greater focus between the four that they haven't shown in some time. Even on "Teach Your Children," which doubled as the annual all-star sing-along with the other artists, seemed a bit more pointed. For guys who started out nearly 40 years ago with blazing anti-war lyrics, Saturday was a good time to shake off the dust.
Samuel Alito is the new nominee for the Supreme Court of the United States. Apparently, his nickname is Scalito. Can we please find a female nominee in the mold of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor?

Today is my "international meeting" day so I'll be back in the early afternoon and gone until the early evening.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

White Sox Manager Al Lopez dies at 97

ESPN is reporting that the last manager to lead the White Sox to the World Series has died at the age of 97. Al Lopez, the former catcher, will be missed and my condolences go out to his family and all those affected by his life.
Al Lopez, a Hall of Fame catcher and manager who led the Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox to American League pennants in the 1950s, died Sunday at 97.

Lopez had been hospitalized in Tampa since Friday, when he suffered a heart attack at his son's home, Al Lopez Jr. said.

Lopez was the oldest living Hall of Fame member, Hall spokesman Jeff Idelson said.

Lopez hit .261 with 51 homers and 652 RBI during a 19-year career in which he was one of baseball's most durable catchers and set the record for most games caught in the major leagues at 1,918. The record was later broken by Bob Boone, then Carlton Fisk.

Lopez was best known for being the only AL manager to lead teams that finished ahead of the New York Yankees between 1949-64. He helped the Indians to the 1954 pennant and, until last week, was the last manager to lead the White Sox to the World Series -- their 1959 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

"We're saddened by the news," White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said through a spokesman Sunday. "Al lived a long and good life. We're so pleased we were able to win the World Series this year and that he was able to see it before he died."

The two-time All-Star's first full season in the majors was 1930, and he played 18 seasons for Brooklyn, Boston, Pittsburgh and Cleveland. He managed the Indians from 1951-56 and the White Sox from 1957-65 and 1968-69.

Every offseason, Lopez returned to Tampa, where he was born in 1908.

"They've treated me real nice here," Lopez said in a 1994 interview. "They've given me parades, they've given me banquets, they named a ballpark after me. Now they tore the ballpark down, so they named a park after me and put up a statue.

"I say, 'Why are you doing this? I was just doing something I liked.' "

Lopez caught Bob Feller, Dizzy Dean and Dazzy Vance, but never forgot working as a teenager with Walter Johnson, who won 417 games and possessed a legendary fastball. During spring training in 1925, the Washington Senators hired the 15-year-old Lopez to catch batting practice for $45 a week.[...]

Lopez also recalled the time as a manager that he was thrown out of an exhibition game in Tampa after umpire John Stevens blew a call on the first day of spring training.

"I hollered, 'John, are you going to start out the year like that? First play we have and you miss it. Are we going to have to put up with you all spring?' " Lopez said.

"He said, 'One more word out of you and you're gone.' I said, 'You can't throw me out of this ballpark. This is my ballpark -- Al Lopez Field.' He said, 'Get out of here.' He threw me out of my own ballpark."

Though baseball players got bigger and stronger through the decades, Lopez still revered the players he knew, his son said.

"I don't think he thought there were any players today that were better than Babe Ruth, the old-timers he played with," said the 63-year-old Lopez Jr.

Although he held the record for most games caught until Bob Boone caught his 1,919th game in 1987, Lopez was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1977 as a manager with a .581 winning percentage.

The Indians won a then-AL record 111 games in 1954, and his 1959 "Go-Go" White Sox won Chicago's first AL pennant since 1919. His teams finished second to the Yankees every other season that decade.

"He was very fair," said Jim Rivera, a center fielder for the '59 White Sox. "If you did something good he would compliment you. If you struck out or made an error, he wouldn't say a word, as long as you hustled and worked hard."

Lopez's second stint as manager of the White Sox ended May 2, 1969, when he resigned for health reasons with a career record of 1,422-1,026.

"Al was a Hall of Famer in every sense of the term," Idelson said. "He carried himself with great class and he was incredible contributor to the game."

With Lopez's death, former New York Yankees shortstop Phil Rizzuto, 88, becomes the oldest living member of the Hall.[...]

Lopez had lived alone in Tampa since his wife, Connie, died in 1983. He is survived by Lopez Jr., three grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
May he rest in peace. He got to see the Chicago White Sox win the World Series again.

Sunday Update

I hope everyone remembered to set their clocks back 1 hour. Anyway, the reason this update is so late is because I had to work this morning.

Ernie Fletcher should take a note from John Cornyn.
Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said it was premature to discuss a presidential pardon because no one has been convicted in the investigation.

"People who actually were trying to use this, of course, to the president's political disadvantage, I think, are going to be disappointed by the fact that this appears to be limited to a single individual," Cornyn said.
Senator Harry Reid has called on the president and the vice president to apologize to the American people. They should apologize. What they did was wrong and they should be ashamed of themselves with what they did.

The home paper of Jerry Kilgore's birthplace in Scott County is endorsing Lt. Governor Tim Kaine for Governor. Yep, the Bristol Herald Courier has endorsed a Democrat to suceed Governor Mark Warner.
The best candidate for the office, Gov. Mark Warner, is prohibited by an arcane state law from running again. Warner’s accomplishments are well known. He inherited a state in fiscal crisis, but turned the state around with the help of a bipartisan group of state lawmakers. The resulting budget reforms included modest increases in the sales and cigarette taxes, along with a grocery tax cut and elimination of the marriage tax penalty. The move kept the state from losing its AAA bond rating and led to its recognition as one of the best-governed in the nation.

Kaine is the best man to keep the state moving along that same sensible, centrist path. Kilgore opposed the unpleasant, but necessary, tax increases.
The Washington Post has an update on the DNC commission to change the primary calendar.

It's nice to be mentioned in the paper but even referring to me is great, too (and some friends of mine were referred to). Pat Crowley writes, again, about the state party fundraiser last weekend. The state party raised $150,000, which isn't bad at all.

While I won't be liveblogging on Tuesday when Senator John Edwards is up here, I will most definitely be posting a recap about it.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Wildcats win!

What a great night for homecoming weekend down in Lexington.

Kentucky 13
Miss. State 7

Great job, Wildcats!

Also sports related, Senator Birch Bayh recieved the Ford Award from the NCAA due to his work with getting the Title 9 legislation passed. I congratulate the Senator on this award.
The NCAA has named Birch Bayh, former United States Senator from Indiana and the "Father of Title IX," and John Wooden, legendary UCLA men’s basketball coach who won 10 national championships, co-recipients of the NCAA President’s Gerald R. Ford Award.[...]

"As we begin the celebration of the NCAA Centennial here in Indiana, it is only fitting to have two native Hoosiers who have made significant contributions to intercollegiate athletics and the goal toward equality for all people," Brand said. "Both Senator Bayh’s creation of Title IX and Coach Wooden’s unprecedented coaching accomplishments based on sound principles of scholarship and citizenship have positively impacted the college sports world."

Bayh, often called the "Father of Title IX" for his work with Title IX to the Higher Education Act, sponsored and co-authored the landmark 1972 legislation Title IX of the Educational Amendments. The legislation provides equal opportunity for men and women in all federally funded programs and activities including sports.

Born in Terre Haute, Indiana, Bayh graduated from Purdue University in 1951, Indiana University School of Law in 1960 and received an honorary degree from Indiana University, Bloomington in 1995. He served in the Indiana House of Representatives from 1954 to 1962. While in the House, he rose to the position of Speaker and in 1961 was admitted to the Indiana Bar. From 1962 to 1980, Bayh served as a U.S. Senator from Indiana. Bayh, the only lawmaker since the Founding Fathers to author two amendments to the U.S. Constitution, authored the 25th Amendment on presidential and vice presidential succession and the 26th Amendment, lowering the voting age from 21 to 18 years of age.

He also was co-author of the Bayh-Dole Act, which revitalized the nation’s patent system, and was chief architect of the Juvenile Justice Act, mandating the separation of juvenile offenders from adult prisoners. Bayh has also served as a member of the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

Among other leadership roles within the Senate, Bayh was chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence from 1977 to 1980 and he served as chairman of the National Institute Against Prejudice and Violence from 1984 to 1994. He continues to practice law with the Washington, D.C., firm Venable LLP, and is often invited to speak about his landmark work with Title IX.

Bayh is the father of former Indiana Governor and current Indiana U.S. Senator Evan Bayh.

Evan Bayh: Restoring the Promise of America

I just thought of a great slogan for Senator Bayh's campaign in 2008, assuming he is running, and that slogan is: Restoring America's Promises. It's a play on one of the terms he will use tonight in his speech. I haven't seen the transcript yet, but only excerpts until it is aired live at 6:45 PM. I will be blogging my thoughts during and after the speech. If we get lucky, he'll announce his candidacy tonight, but I think he'll be likely to do that after the midterm elections (and G-d willing, I will be there in Indianapolis or wherever he announces). Okay enough rambling, I'm watching the speech on C-SPAN right now.

It's 6:45 PM right now and they are currently playing the weekly radio address from President Bush and the Democratic response. Representative John Dingell (D-MI) spoke about Rosa Parks and the energy crisis problem. After Rep. Dingell's speech ended at 6:53 PM, they went to New Hampshire.

Currently, Democratic Chairwoman Kathy Sullivan introduced Governor Lynch. Lynch is up for re-election in 2006. It's a shame that New Hampshire State Representative Peter Sullivan, a candidate for Congress, is not there but he is at his sister's wedding. Susan Bayh is at her husband's site. From the shots of the crowd, it looks like there are about 600 Democrats there. I'm guessing Governor Lynch will speak for about 10 minutes. Standing ovation for Lynch. Will he introduce Senator Bayh? Nope, looks like Kathy Sullivan will.

Evan Bayh's introduction gets a standing ovation. Kathy stuck to the script just like the script in Colorado. I think that line will be in every speech. Tennessee's Governor at the time (1994 or so) didn't realize Evan Bayh was governor and thought he was the coat-taker. New Hampshire was the only state that turned blue last time.

Evan Bayh paid tribute to Gov. Lynch. Since Bayh was a governor, he knows from experience how to govern. Bayh applauded him on handling the floods. "John Lynch could teach George Bush and FEMA a thing or two about responding to emergencies." That's a very great line.

He introduced Susan Bayh. Now, he goes on to remark about the end of the Bush era in three years. Evan Bayh is having a conversation with regards to what America should be. We need to embrace the four values he spoke of. Unfortunately, I didn't catch all that. But we can get the job done like Evan Bayh said.

Bush has divided this nation, and the Senator will unite us. Evan Bayh will provide the leadership that this nation needs. "America has a common heritage...and it's about time we start behaving that way."

We can do better than the Fortune 500 companies that have created a net gross of 0 new jobs (something like that). Education is a responsibility and every one deserves it.

His education plan in the state of Indiana moved them from 40th to 9th--and it got heavy applause. "He called me governor, John, I still like that." A young African-American thanked him last year and that person was a 21st century scholar (applause). All our problems were on Bush's watch. "The intelligence was''s clear there was never a plan for the aftermath." "That's not strength, it's irresponsibility, and those in charge should be held accountable." (heavy applause)

Bayh speaks about energy independence. "We, as Democrats, will provide the leadership to do better."

Now speaking on his governorship. They created more job in his 8 years than any other. "We insist upon real fiscal responsibility...Occasionally Congress needs adult supervision but under this administration, the children have been home alone."

We need to do better than the Bridges to Nowhere. "George Bush carried Indiana by 21% but the same day, with the same group of voters, I was honored to be re-elected by 24%." We'll suceeed in all 50 states.

Bayh finishes by quoting President John Kennedy and gets a standing ovation.

Kathy Sullivan recognizes all Congressional candidates including Peter Sullivan. She thought Peter was there but he's in Virginia this weekend.

I like how C-SPAN has kept the coverage on. It's so nice watching the individual conversations. I hate to steal a line from Senator John Kerry, but Evan Bayh is the REAL DEAL.

Evan is on his way to the presidency. Even Mark Nickolas thought Bayh can play in Iowa and New Hampshire.
Tonight, I walked away believing his message, experience and not-too-slick demeanor might actually translate well in places like Iowa and New Hampshire. Only time will tell.
Other blogs commenting on it: Right Left Story, San Antonio Politics, Bluegrass Report, GoBlue, Left of Centrist, BayhSupporter, Little Green Blog, Political Views

Press: The Union Leader, Boston Globe, Indianapolis Star, Boston Globe (2nd)

MA: Ted Kennedy for Senate 2006

This is an obvious endorsement of Senator Edward Moore Kennedy for re-election in 2006. The senior senator of Massachusetts has been in the Senate since his brother resigned to take the Presidency. He served in the Senate at the same time as another brother, Bobby Kennedy, did.

Senator Kennedy is a fighter. He's been standing up for democratic values since, well, before I was born. Just recently, Senator Kennedy has been posting in the blogosphere and I appreciate that.

We may not have Jack and Bobby living with us anymore but we still have Ted, and for that I'm grateful. It was in 1980, in a speech that Bob Shrum helped write, that Senator Kennedy coined the phrase: "The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dreams shall never die."

Go get 'em, Teddy!

Correction: A reader points out that Senator Kennedy was properly elected in November 1962 to serve out his brother's term and was not appointed as I had previously thought.

More news on indictments and such

Heads up, this is a very lengthy one. I've got a feeling that Saturday has truly been turned into a rerun night as Tom Dorsey wrote the other day. It would be nice if shows such as Hack and The District had not been cancelled. After the Bayh speech at the New Hampshire Jefferson-Jackson dinner, it looks like I will be watching DVD's or the Ted Kennedy speech that follows. I have yet to make a decision. I could watch the Star Wars saga but since that DVD comes out on Tuesday and it doesn't look like I'll be getting it until Chanukah, that's out of the picture.

The DLC writes about raising the bar on public service. The bar should be raised. There is no room in public service for criminals. I say this before the flame war begins: While I believe in what the DLC does and agree with most, if not all, of the platform, I appreciate what Jeremy Horton and Change for Kentucky are doing. He's a great guy and I hope to meet him some day. Don't know if he reads this that often but I hope to see a guy like him run for office in the future. There are great Young Democrats in the Commonwealth that have great futures. I'm not going into names right now but they probably know who they are. We need energetic Democrats at the grassroots level.
We care too much about the office of the Presidency to wish indictments upon anyone. For the same reason, we believe that for the sake of that office, President Bush should not wait for Patrick Fitzgerald to tell Karl Rove to go. Whether or not he was criminally involved in the Valerie Plame leak case, there's no doubt Rove is openly and notoriously involved in an ongoing effort to create a politics of maximum partisan polarization, infecting every institution of our democracy.

From that perspective, it's beside the point that Rove may well escape a long vacation in one of our fine federal correctional institutions. If he truly wants to clear the air, the president should direct Rove to take a permanent vacation from the White House. Let him practice his dark arts at the Republican National Committee or some other venue far from official policymaking circles, and let him be accompanied by the other permanent-campaign warriors who have infested the people's institutions.

Public service is a public trust, and until such time as we re-establish standards for choosing and holding public servants accountable for their qualifications, integrity and performance, public trust in government will continue to decline, to the peril of our country's strength.
In baseball news, it appears that what I feared the most has happened: St. Louis Cardinals' starting pitcher Matt Morris has filed for free agency. I hope that Walt Jocketty tries his best to keep Morris with the team.

Virginians have until November 8, 2005, to decide on who to vote for in the election between Tim Kaine and Jerry Kilgore. Tim Kaine is the only man that should be getting that job. I trust the Virginia voters to vote him in to the Governor's Mansion.

Mike Martz is most likely done with the St. Louis Rams. He is out for the season with a heart infection and it does not look like his contract will be extended. As to questions about who I root for? The Indianapolis Colts. Also, the article talks about Cardinal ownership on the next season.
Interviewed on KSLG (1380 AM) this week, Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt said ownership will probably keep the player payroll at 2005 levels, around $90 million, for 2006. That's despite home attendance of 3.5 million this season and the revenue generated by the selling of Busch Stadium seats and memorabilia...Giles has filed for free agency, and the San Diego Padres will try to keep the outfielder, but he is interested in playing for the Cardinals if it doesn't work out - that according to a source close to agent Joe Bick, who represents Giles.
Hillary Clinton was recently seen in Maine raising money for the 2006 elections. Governor John Baldacci is up for re-election this year. I wish him the best of luck.
New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton came to New England on Friday to raise money for two governors and for herself at events in Maine and Massachusetts while avoiding setting foot in New Hampshire, the state with the first presidential primary.

During a fundraising luncheon for Gov. John Baldacci at a downtown hotel, Clinton attacked President Bush for adopting tax cuts while running up the deficit, for failing to create jobs and for cutting social programs. She also blamed the "right wing" for a lack of bipartisanship and for bringing down the Supreme Court nomination of Harriet Miers.

"We have to stand against this radical right-wing agenda in Washington," Clinton said to a roar of approval from more than 200 Democrats who paid $500 apiece to hear her speech.[...]

Before the luncheon, she attended a closed-door fundraising event at the Cumberland Club for the Maine Democratic Party where 100 people paid between $1,000 and $5,000 each. The hotel luncheon afterward pulled in $100,000 for Baldacci.

Baldacci is unopposed for the Democratic nomination; several Republicans are vying for the chance to try to unseat him next year.

Clinton, who also is up for re-election next year, had nearly $14 million in the bank for her 2006 re-election campaign as of Sept. 30, the last reporting period. She also has found time to raise money on behalf of Democratic governors and senate candidates.

After finishing up in Portland, Clinton flew to Boston for an event at the Harvard Club, where she was to raise money for New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch.

Friday evening, she was expected to attend another event at the Fairmont Hotel on behalf of herself and three other Senate candidates seeking re-election: Dianne Feinstein of California, Debbie Stabenow of Michigan and Maria Cantwell of Washington.

Arkansas Sen. Blanche Lincoln, chairwoman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee's Women's Senate Network, was speaking to the group.

Clinton, who leads national polls of the party's potential 2008 presidential candidates, has made speeches across the country but she has studiously avoided New Hampshire, home to the first-in-the-nation primary.

On Friday, she flew into airports in Portland and Boston. The two cities are 105 miles apart.
She will be coming to Kentucky but I don't have the specifics on that event just yet. While every potential 2008 presidential candidates has come to New Hampshire by now, Senator Clinton is the only one to have not given a speech there since the presidential elections. So is she out of the running for that? I don't know.

Is Maureen Mahoney in line to replace Associate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor?
Mahoney, like Miers, has no prior judicial experience. But Bradley said that should not hinder her chances, noting that several good Supreme Court justices -- including Rehnquist -- had not been judges before joining the court.

Bradley added that he expects the next nominee for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s spot to resemble Roberts, "which lends some credibility to the Mahoney rumor."

"In the broadest strokes, she resembles Roberts," Bradley said. "I’m sure that once more comes out, the differences will emerge, but I personally don’t know what they are."

Bradley, however, expressed skepticism about Mahoney’s ability to satisfy the hard-right of the Republican Party, which loudly disapproved of Miers’ nomination.

"I seriously doubt that she has published anti-Roe v. Wade views, for example," Bradley said.

Perhaps a bigger problem might be Mahoney’s role in a landmark affirmative action case she argued before the Supreme Court in 2004.

Mahoney was widely lauded for her representation of the University of Michigan, which won the case, upholding the constitutionality of considering race as a factor for admission.

"I would think that might make her unacceptable to a lot of conservatives," Bradley said. "But, like Roberts, the fact that she represented a client does not mean she holds those personal views."
Al Franken talks about religion and politics.
QUESTION: Do you think evangelical Christians are more comfortable with a religious, even non-Christian, Democrat like Joe Lieberman than with a secular Democrat?

ANSWER: I think Christian evangelicals probably liked Joe Lieberman more than they would like most Democrats because he did talk about his faith. He felt comfortable talking about it.

But what's a secular Democrat? In terms of the way the government works, we're all secular. We're a secular society, and I think Joe Lieberman would be the first to say so. Theocracy is when you look at Iran or someplace like that.[...]

QUESTION: Are you still considering a Senate campaign in Minnesota?

ANSWER: It's a possibility. We are moving to Minnesota [from New York City] in January. I'm an empty-nester now. I grew up in Minnesota, and always went back and forth because of my parents, so now I'll be back there.

QUESTION: Wouldn't you have to sacrifice your comic edge if you became a senator?

ANSWER: To some degree. There's a certain kind of language that I've used in my comedy that probably wouldn't be a good idea on the stump. It's just not appropriate.

But I don't think I have to change that much in terms of being frank and honest.
I disagree with state Senator David Williams. The hiring inquiry must go on because this corrupt Governor-for-now Ernie Fletcher has messed with the wrong people. He has messed with the wrong legacy.
But House Speaker Jody Richards, D-Bowling Green, said the grand jury needs and should have sufficient time to finish "its important work."

"The jury needs time to be sure justice is meted out," said Richards. "More time doesn't bother me, and I don't think it will bother the legislative session.

"We will perform our duties in a way the public expects, even though the governor's power will be diminished somewhat."[...]

Stumbo, through Deputy Attorney General Pierce Whites, said of Williams' comments: "The people deserve honest government."

Even with the investigation ongoing, the 2006 General Assembly "will not be a do-nothing session," said Richards, the House Speaker.

"The General Assembly has strengthened itself over the years," he said. "We stumped our toes when we couldn't agree on a budget but I think those days are over. We will act in a responsible way."
I applaud Attorney General Greg Stumbo for his leadership in this. That said, I believe State Auditor Ed Hatchett would have done the same if he were elected in 2003 to the post. Look at this, even Kentucky Progress is ashamed of David Williams. Are we on the bus to crazy town? I don't believe what I just read over there!

Ben Chandler spoke about the indictments.
"When an official of any administration is indicted for obstruction of justice and lying, it's a sad day for America."
It is a sad day. America will be America again. I have faith in the voters to do the right thing in the next few elections. I think most of us are thinking a like in that yesterday was a sad day in American history. Look what Senator Joe Lieberman said:
"When the Chief of Staff to the Vice President of the United States is indicted in a criminal case, it is a sad day in the history of our government," said Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn. "The public's confidence in government has been damaged by this matter and it must be restored. For this reason, Mr. Libby's resignation is appropriate and necessary."
Democrats will be traveling to Northern Kentucky on Tuesday and will be loud and proud. Okay, maybe not as loud, but definitely proud. The article leaves of WKU as one of the schools with members coming. By the way, thank you to my readers at Western. They recently declared me a hero.
Senior Jennifer Perry, who serves as president of the Student Government Association, also believes it beneficial for NKU.

"It's an awesome experience," she said. "It gets the students exposed to other aspects of life - business and politics.

"When we bring two gentlemen like this to campus, it brings NKU more respect and raises our esteem in the eyes of the community."
Evan Bayh is going to be campaigning tomorrow with Manchester Mayor Bob Baines.

Thoughts on Iran

The foreign ministry of Iran has distanced itself from their president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. I may be Jewish but I WOULD NEVER call on destruction of the Arab states. However, the Arab countries do need to take care of the militant terrorists, many of which are homicide bombers.
Iran said on Saturday it stood by its U.N. commitments not to use violence against another country, responding to international criticism over remarks by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad vowing to destroy Israel.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran is committed to its U.N. charter commitments," a Foreign Ministry statement read. "It has never used force against a second country or threatened the use of force."

Ahmadinejad on Friday stood by his controversial stand that Israel should be "wiped off the map."[...]

The United States said Ahmadinejad's remarks underscored its fears that Tehran is pursuing nuclear arms. Tehran denies the charge.
I've yet to read about American reaction to this latest comment but both China and Turkey have condemned the comments.
China's Foreign Ministry released a statement criticizing the comments by Ahmadinedjad.

"This kind of opinion violates the principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and intensifies tensions in the Middle East and goes against the interests of the Middle East region and its people," said the statement, which was in response to a media request for comment.

"China feels unease regarding this opinion," it said, but did not elaborate.

Turkey, the only Muslim country to have close security ties with Israel, added its voice on Friday to the international condemnation of Ahmadinejad's remarks.

"Turkey believes that regional conflicts can only be solved through dialogue and peaceful methods," Foreign Ministry spokesman Namik Tan said in a statement.
To add to all that, Israel has made the call that Iran be expelled from the United Nations. With the comments by Iran's president, they probably should be expelled. I am pleased that the Iranian Foreign Ministry is distancing itself from the president's remarks.
The Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Gillerman, asked the rotating president of the UN Security Council to expel Iran from the world body. Gillerman wrote in a letter that Ahmadinejad's comments require a strong and decisive response from the international community, Israel Radio reported. He said no country that calls for violence and destruction should be allowed membership in the UN.

Sharon said at a meeting Thursday with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that a country which calls for the destruction of another people cannot be a member of the UN. "Such a country that has nuclear weapons is a danger, not only to Israel and the Middle East, but also to Europe," Sharon said.

Senior Foreign Ministry officials convened Thursday to decide on the best policy for handling the issue. Some of the officials expressed reservations about the diplomatic offensive, saying it would be better for Israel to keep a low profile; however, this position was rejected.

The Iranian foreign ministry called on its ambassadors in Europe to adopt countermeasures in response to their summoning by European foreign ministries. It called on the Iranian diplomats to present their "serious protest" against the European ignorance of "crimes committed by the Zionists and suppression of the Palestinian nation."
What did Secretary-General Kofi Annan have to say about all this?
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan reprimanded Iran's president Thursday for calling for the destruction of Israel. Annan expressed "dismay" over Ahmadinejad's comments in a statement released in a special bulletin by his spokesman.

"Israel is a long-standing member of the United Nations with the same rights and obligations as every other member," Annan said in a statement. The UN Charter is opposed to threats or use of force against the territorial integrity and political independence of any state, he said. Annan said he plans to visit Iran in "the next few weeks" and would put the Middle East peace process and the right of all states to live in peace and safety within secure borders at the top of his agenda.
I join in condemning the Iranian president's remarks on Israel being wiped off the map.
"Iran’s ferocious hatred of Israel is now out in the open," said StandWithUs national president Esther Renzer. "There can no longer be any confusion or ambiguity about what they've been saying privately for decades because now they are calling for it publicly; the complete annihilation of another country - Israel. Anybody who supports freedom and democracy should be repulsed by this expanding form of dangerous global hate speech."

C-SPAN TV Advisory

I don't post on Shabbas usually but I thought I'd pass this one on. The program starts at 6:45 PM.
New Hampshire Democratic Party Event
Democratic Party, New Hampshire
Evan Bayh, D, Indiana
John Lynch, D, New Hampshire
The beginning and end of this live program may be earlier or later than the scheduled times.
I may or may not be live-blogging this but I will definitely be watching. It's slated to end at 8 PM.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Senator Kennedy blogs

Senator Edward Kennedy has blogged a diary at dkos today.

Kennedy is one of my favorites. Only time will tell before Senator Evan Bayh registers over there.
Today's an ominous day for the country, a new low since Watergate in terms of openness and honesty in our government.

This indictment is far more than an indictment of one individual. It's an indictment of the lengths to which Administration officials were willing to go to cover up their failed intelligence. It's an indictment of their distortions about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and their serious blunders taking us to war and their vindictive efforts to discredit anyone who challenges their misrepresentations.
We need answers and not cover ups.

Thank you, Senator Kennedy, for your continued service to our party.

Weekend Open Thread

Kenton County Judge-Executive Ralph Drees will likely have no opposition. Commissioner Adam Koenig will likely face opposition. There will likely be a candidate in the seat that is open with Barb Black retiring.

I know that Dick Murgatroyd resigned in 2004 to work for Ernie Fletcher but why did he file with the Kentucky Registry of Election finance for next year's primary? Seems like, after checking, that he has not filed a report since the end of last year.

Contribute to Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley's campaign for governor in Maryland.

Check out this article to read some more press on Sen. Bayh's trip to New Hampshire this weekend.

All America PAC and it's blog appear to be down. Is it my machine or their server? Most domain names are usually up for at least a year so I'm hoping it's just a server issue.

ABC's the Note has a write up on Senator Bayh's speech tomorrow. I've been hearing some great reviews and would definitely like to obtain a copy of it.
According to excerpts of remarks prepared for delivery and obtained by The Note, Sen. Bayh say, "So, as tempted as I am to spend the next half hour telling you how angry I am about the failings of this administration - the incompetence, the misplaced priorities, the needless polarization - that would not be enough. Instead, I want to have a conversation about our future, what comes next, and the leadership we need to forge a better and more secure tomorrow. We have the opportunity - and the responsibility - to be the generation that Restores the Promise of America."

More prepared remarks: "But our success in Indiana by embracing Unity, Opportunity, Security, and Accountability is a path to meeting the challenges of our time, restoring the Promise of America's and building the majority we need to govern."

One Granite State insider tells us that 60 members of Sen. Bayh's national finance committee are expected to attend the dinner.

Bayh spokesman Dan Pfeiffer says: "The All America PAC periodically has meetings around the country and this one is being held in New Hampshire, since it provided an opportunity for the leadership to see the Senator speak at a Democratic Party event."
Let it state, for the record, that I am not on the finance committee. I'm not that rich. Rest assured, I will work my butt off for Senator Evan Bayh as we pave the way to 2008. Will this speech be live on C-SPAN?

Have a good weekend. I'll be back tomorrow night.

Libby Indicted

Libby got indicted and resigned.

Senator Bayh did release a statement today on the indictment of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby.
"This is a sad day for America. There is no joy in seeing a top government official indicted for serious crimes. The legal system must run its course to determine if crimes were committed, but this is about more than legal and illegal. It is about right and wrong. The President should demand a higher standard of conduct in his White House than ‘its ok as long as it isn’t criminal.’

"Launching a campaign to smear political opponents is not something top officials should be engaged in, especially when we have so many serious challenges facing our country. I hope the President will take this opportunity to tell the American people that the politics of personal destruction will no longer be conducted in his White House. We need to put an end to the type of politics that has divided our country so profoundly."
The press conference begins soon. Any other press statements out there?

Libby was indicted on five counts (2 for committing perury, 2 for making false statements, and 1 for obstruction of justice). Shame on all the reporters for even bothering to publish about Valerie Wilson working for the CIA. Shame on the Bush administration for outing a CIA agent who was working undercover.

Senator Joseph Lieberman also released a statement on the indictments like many leading authorities have been doing today. Unfortunately, the text is not on the page.

80,000th All-Time Hit

It appears to have come from somewhere in Oregon.

Non-Fitznukah/Fitzmas thread

I guess the title makes sense for a day like this.

The latest on the student government controversy at the University of Kentucky. This issue has been very hot recently. For the sake of my friends at UK, I sincerely hope everything works out on this matter.

Jon Stewart's old apartment in New York finally has a new owner. Stewart and his family now live in the same building as Mike Piazza.

Coldplay's next single issued will be "Talk." One of Rob Thomas's influences will Seymour, Indiana native John Mellencamp. Chances are I will see Mellencamp play live in due time.

Cream has hung up for good, most likely. Unless it's an impromptu jam session, don't expece Eric Claption, Jack Bruce, and Ginger Baker to be performing together in the near future. The band, which released four albums in two years, has called it quits again. I will say, however, that they had the opportunity to reunite. I can't say that about my favorite band, The Beatles.

Rob Corddry will be in Syracuse on November 6, 2005.

Expect Brian Giles to join the St. Louis Cardinals. He rejected the San Diego Padres' three year offer of $21 million. He won't be able to talk with other teams until November 11th.

Did you want to know how Yoda made it to Dagobah? That's a deleted scene that will be on the DVD of Star Wars: Episode 3 -- Revenge of the Sith. But there still remains nothing of Yoda speaking with Qui-Gon! I will get this DVD most likely since I have the other 5 DVD's. Probably in December when I am home and then I can have me a nice long marathon of Star Wars films.

Take a look at how George Wendt's nephew, Jason Sudeikis, made it in comedy.

Kentucky rounds out the ESPN/USA Today top ten for basketball.

The World Series had the lowest ratings in years. But here comes the bad news for that: they were the highest rated program on each day.

Patrick Fitzgerald Press Conference at 2 PM

It's Fitznukah or Fitzmas day! This was the press release sent out earlier today:

U.S. Department of Justice Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald will hold a press conference at 2 p.m. EDT today, Friday Oct. 28, regarding the status of the special counsel's criminal investigations.

WHO: Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald, FBI Special Agent-in-Charge John C. Eckenrode

WHAT: Release of public information and press conference

WHERE: Department of Justice, 7th Floor Conference Center, 950 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20530

NOTE: 7th floor access to reporters at 11 a.m. EDT

Cameras allowed access at noon EDT

Cameras must pre-set by 1 p.m. EDT


Thursday, October 27, 2005

Breaking News: Karl Rove not charged??

Fitzgerald has zeroed in on Lewis Libby, chief of staff for Vice President Dick Cheney, and Karl Rove, President George W. Bush's top political adviser. Both spoke to reporters in June and July 2003 about the operative, Valerie Plame.

Libby appeared likely to face indictment on Friday on charges of making false statements to the grand jury, lawyers involved in the case said.

But The New York Times, citing people briefed officially about the case, said Rove would not be charged on Friday but would remain under investigation.

Other current and former administration officials may also be charged.

Indictments in the case could trigger an immediate shake-up at the White House, already on the defensive over plummeting poll figures, soaring gas prices, opposition to the Iraq war and the withdrawal of President George W. Bush's nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, Harriet Miers.

Attorneys representing some of the potential defendants have been making final appeals to Fitzgerald to try to avoid indictment, raising the prospect of last-minute plea agreements, according to one lawyer involved in the case.

When asked whether Fitzgerald has told Rove he will be indicted or whether Rove was trying to negotiate to a lesser charge, Rove's attorney, Robert Luskin, responded: "False."[...]

Asked to describe Bush's mood, White House spokesman Scott McClellan said: "The president is continuing to focus on the work we've got to get done."

Fitzgerald's spokesman, Randall Samborn, said no announcements were expected on Thursday, leaving any legal action for Friday, when the grand jury hearing the case is scheduled to meet for the last time. Court officials had said Fitzgerald was unlikely to seek an extension, but The Times reported that an extension was now likely to allow the panel to focus on Rove.

Fitzgerald spent the day in Washington with his deputies as he prepared to wrap up the two-year investigation.

The prosecutor, who has joked about not looking good in photos, took a short break to walk to a barber shop near the White House, where he got a shoe shine.

"He was very friendly and he looked happy. He was very relaxed," one of the shop's owners said, adding: "The shoe shine guy doesn't ask questions. Customers have a right to privacy."

A few blocks away, both Rove and Libby reported to work as usual, officials said.
Karl Rove should not be allowed to walk (in terms of from an indictment) after everything he's done such as organizing the smear campaign against the great Senator Max Cleland.

Your moment of zen or something like it

Patrick Ruffini's website linking to the Kentucky Democrat

Ruffini is the former webmaster for the Bush-Cheney 2004 campaign. Recently, he was named the eCampaign Director for the RNC, I believe.

The indictments

The hours are growing closer to when we find out who the federal grand jury decides on who gets indictments and who does not.

Scooter Libby was involved. As was Karl Rove. The President was asked as to whether or not he would fire anyone that was involved and he said yes. Those involved have yet to be fired. Why has the President not fired anyone involved?

I'd be worried about a Dick Cheney resignation. That would put another person in VP slot that may be turned into the Republican frontrunner for the presidency. I'd be especially worried if it were someone that could draw Democrats in a general election. Unless Cheney does get indicted and subsequently resigns, I don't think we have to worry about resignations of the cabinet or the Vice President.

What I do not want to see come out of this are presidential pardons. We have a mess here in Kentucky which we have had for quite a while. Governor Fletcher was wrong to pardon those that he subsequently fired. He should have fired them to begin with.

In other news this evening, it appears that Kenton County Democratic Chairman Kathy Groob is not in the running for Vice-Chair. She's a great leader in Northern Kentucky and would have made a great State Senator had she won the campaign against Jack Westwood last year.

In Texas news, Nick Lampson is running against Tom Delay. Contribute to Lampson's campaign as he'll need as much help as he possibly can get. View his campaign site here.

Tom Gogola supports a John Edwards/Evan Bayh ticket in 2008.

Speaking of Evan Bayh, how does he feel about Harriet Miers' nomination being withdrawn?
Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN) is hoping that the president will resist the pressure to nominate an ideologue to appease those who were so dissatisfied with the Miers nomination. He is talking about people like Curt Smith.[...]

Bayh, meantime, has already recommended another Hoosier to the White House: Indiana Chief Justice Randall Shepherd. In a statement, Bayh said that a consensus choice from the mainstream will unite the country.
I know there is a Draft Prado movement out there.

Bonus Quote of the Day

"The radical right wing of the Republican Party killed the Harriet Miers nomination."
--Senate Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid, October 27, 2005

Quote of the Day

"The way Harriet Miers has been treated is disgraceful."
--Senator Arlen Spector on Harriet Miers, October 27, 2005

Sen./Gov. Happy Chandler

The next few weeks shall be fun. I'm writing a paper on the late governor but I think that's old news. I just checked out his autobiography today and will review that later on. I wish I had the chance to meet him but he had passed away by the time I really got involved with politics. I believe he died in 1991 and I was born in 1984.

Kentucky sure has a niche for electing Governors to the Senate and Senators to the Governor's Mansion. Look at Governors Wendell Ford and Julian Carroll. Both were elected afterwards to the Senate, albeit Gov. Carroll was elected to the state, not the US, Senate.

If there is anything that I know about Governor/Senator Happy Chandler is that he always led the crowd in the singing of "My Old Kentucky Home."

In my opinon, in terms of governors, Gov. Chandler and Gov. Ford are the most prominent names to have ever held that office. If I recall correctly, Gov. Happy Chandler ran for president in 1956. Maybe we'll get another Chandler elected to the Senate again or even see another one run for the Presidency (this is my opinion). I am currently in the process of reading "Heroes, Plain Folks, and Skunks: The Life and Times of Happy Chandler." I imagine that I'll have a book review or something up later on.

Other Governors that have served as Senators: John Adair, John J. Crittenden, Lazarus W. Powell, John Crepps Wickliffe Beckham (first Senator elected by a popular vote), and Earle C. Clements.

KY-3: Jack Conway for Congress 2006

Per the Bridge this morning, it looks as if Jack Conway will be in the race. I hope so. The numbers will be better this time around. Northup must be beat as she has ties to Fletcher, Delay, and Bush. Look at the voting history, Jack Conway came the closest. He can win and I know it!

I posted my unofficial endorsement over here. Now that it is looking official until he officially announces and files the paperwork, I think we can say hello to Congressman Jack Conway come 2006 (yes, this is an endorsement for Jack Conway)! Conway is a candidate that I'd describe as charismatic. I volunteered for him last time around and would do the same thing when I'm home this summer depending on 1 summer class and an internship required to graduate from NKU.

Campaign site biography from 2002:
Jack holds an undergraduate degree in public policy studies from Duke University. While in college, he studied abroad at Cambridge University in England. Jack then graduated with honors from the National Law Center at George Washington University. While in Washington, D.C., he worked in the U.S. Attorney’s office on criminal justice issues and for the House Banking Committee.[...]

During his time in Frankfort, Jack also played an important administrative role. He served as deputy chief operating officer for Kentucky State Government – a job in which he helped coordinate the activities of the 14 executive branch cabinets and provided policy direction to the state agencies that employ more than 33,000 people full time with a $12 billion budget.
Let's go Jack! I know it's not official yet but this is my official endorsement post.

No Indictments Today

No indictments today from Patrick Fitzgerald. Maybe on Friday? We should know soon enough. Take away Libby and Rove, and Bush loses his brain.

Was that a great World Series or what? I'd hate to see my Cards swept for a second time. But the fact that Houston has no African-Americans on their team remains troubling. I know that there may be some in their minor league system but not on their 25-man roster?!?

Cashman will stay as GM. Hmm, another losing season, I guess. Or a season where they win the division and lose in the playoffs.

Congrats, again, to Steve Martin for the Mark Twain Prize for Humor. The show will air in November.

Be sure to catch C-SPAN this weekend. Evan Bayh will be featured at the Jefferson-Jackson state party fundraising dinner. They expect 600. I hope New Hampshire State Rep. Peter Sullivan has the chance to share the stage with him.

Harriet Miers withdrawn. Now, can we select a moderate nominee who is better qualified?

I'll be back after 3 PM since I now have to write this major speech.

Chicago White Sox win series in 4-0 sweep

The last time the Chicago White Sox was the world series before this past evening was in 1917 when:
John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Harry Carey was born
Woodrew Wilson was president
Sixteen (16) teams were in Major League Baseball
A stamp was three cents

But what can I say about tonight's game:
Juan Uribe?!? What can I say?!?

Those were some great plays and this series is over. Congrats to the White Sox. As to the Astros, just like my Cardinals and the Boston Red Sox, there is always next year. Congrats on a great year in baseball.

But Juan Uribe with the foul ball in the stands. WOW.

That's two curses reversed in the past two seasons. The Red Sox won exactly one year ago today. What are the odds that two curses would be broken exactly one year from each other?

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Sparta, NJ school censors blogging

A private and religious institution has ordered their students to stop blogging.
Students at Pope John XXIII Regional High School in Sparta appear to be heeding a directive from the principal, the Rev. Kieran McHugh, to remove personal postings about the school or themselves from Web sites like or, even if they were posted from the students' home computers.

Officials with the Diocese of Paterson say the directive is a matter of safety, not censorship. But constitutional experts say the case raises interesting questions about the intersection of free speech and voluntary agreements with private institutions.
I feel safe blogging or using Heck, even facebook!

While the school feels it is a matter of safety, it is clearly censorship.
"There was a student who thought he was talking to another teen, and that was not the case," said Marianna Thompson, a diocesan spokeswoman. "Young teens are not capable of consenting to certain things, especially when they're being led along by adults."
You think I'm stupid? I know better. There are always fakes on Myspace and Facebook. You just have to think realistically.
Kurt Opsahl, a staff attorney at the San Francisco-based Electronic Frontier Foundation, which champions the rights of bloggers, said there have been several attempts nationwide by private institutions to restrict or censor students' Internet postings.

"But this is the first time we've heard of such an overreaction," he said. "It would be better if they taught students what they should and shouldn't do online rather than take away the primary communication tool of their generation."

Thompson said such a ban has been on the books at all four of the diocese's regional high schools for five years, but is being strictly enforced now. It does not restrict their Web surfing or writing about other topics, she said.

McHugh referred inquiries to the diocese.
No one will censor me EVER. I happen to plan on going to law school after college. Yes, law school. I was asked a few days ago if I plan on a career in comedy. The off year is nice but my heart says to follow my passion and my passion is in politics.

Don't Mess with Education!

Congress wants to save $18 billion in savings. Here's an idea: End that war and don't screw around with education funding. An education is valuable. A war with no exit strategy will get you nowhere at all.
House Republicans voted to cut student loan subsidies, child support enforcement and aid to firms hurt by unfair trade practices as various committees scrambled to piece together $50 billion in budget cuts.

More politically difficult votes — to cut Medicaid, food stamps and farm subsidies — are on tap Thursday as more panels weigh in on the bill. It was originally intended to cut $35 billion in spending over five years, but after pressure from conservatives, GOP leaders directed committees to cut another $15 billion to help pay the cost of hurricane recovery.[...]

The House Education and the Workforce panel, for example, was told to generate $18 billion in savings over five years. On Wednesday it approved squeezing lenders in the student loan program and raising premiums to employers for government insurance of their employees' and retirees' pension benefits.

It also imposes new fees on students who default on loans or consolidate them and higher fees on parents who borrow on behalf of their college-age children. California Rep. George Miller, the senior Democrat on the panel, called the package a "raid on student aid."

The Ways and Means Committee approved on a party-line vote a plan by its chairman, Rep. Bill Thomas, R-Calif., with so many difficult-to-swallow provisions that lawmakers and aides whispered about whether the intent was to make it hard for GOP leaders to win its passage in the full House.

It includes $3.8 billion in cuts to child support enforcement. Rep. Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D., charged that Republicans were appealing to the "constituency of deadbeat dads."[...]

The House Resources Committee approved a controversial plan to raise $2.4 billion in lease revenues by permitting oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Minority Democrats opposed virtually everything that was done, saying Wednesday's actions are part of a broader GOP budget blueprint that also calls for $106 billion in new tax cuts over the next five years.

"They are targeting programs for poor people to pay for tax cuts for rich people," said Rep. David Obey, D-Wis. Once those tax cuts are passed, Obey added, deficits will be increasing again.
California: Please field a candidate against Bill Thomas.

In a related note, Congressman Ron Lewis (KY-2) is a co-sponsor for H.R. 609, the College Access and Opportunity Act of 2005. This bill will have a big effect on at least 5 million students, if not more.

Vas nu? Open Thread

That's Yiddish for "what's new?" I'm staying out of the MLB roof issue but would prefer that the DH get abolished. Also, how about having the all-star game not decide home field advantage.

Matthew Leach believes that Morris will take a better offer. I say he'll sign for less.

Rudy Guiliani is on the stump for Kilgore? Frightening. Very frightening.
He also found time to lament the absence of his beloved New York Yankees in the World Series.
Tim Kaine MUST win Fairfax Co.

Anything on your thoughts or mind?

Please clarify...

I just want to state right now for the record that I am seriously beginning to question what exactly is going on in Lexington. I appreciate the hard work going on at headquarters.

I'm not one to attack Democrats but you don't run a Democrat against a Democrat who has held the seat for a long time. You just don't. Sure, the country is all about democracy but you don't just run against someone because you've been hand-picked by the party to run. You run because you know what is best in your heart, not because you're hand-picked. You run to help the constituency.

I'd like to know right now from my Lexington and Frankfort readers, what in the heck is going on with the state party that I have to continually read online from a Democrat who appears to be bashing fellow Democrats. It is one thing to bash a Democrat who is running a Republican's campaign but to bash those that work in the state party?!? I have friends that are staffers there. I've met nice people there. But I am continually amazed to read some of Mark's writings bashing party leadership.

That said, I endorse Don Blevins for re-election and ask that Fayette County Democratic Party Vice-Chair Carol Angel withdraw from that election. I just don't want to read another word about Democrats bashing Democrats. I refer to the 11th commandment: Thou Shalt Speak No Ill of Another Democrat. Now, as to party staffers that read this blog, I'm interested in your opinions. The same goes for those that sit on the FCDP Executive Committee and the KDP Executive Committee.

Audrey Haynes and Kathy Groob were my candidates of choice for the State Party Chairman back in January. Joe Graviss was another selection as well. Or even Jack Conway or Jerry Abramson.

I don't want to appear as bashing any other Democrat. I'm sorry if I do but as one executive committee member told me back in January: "I support the party (and, therefore, the chair)." I agree with that person (I hope they know who they are--if they wish to have their name instead of remaining anonymous, email me ASAP). The party works bottom-top. That's the way elections will be won. We have to work together, not against each other.

I'm a staunch Democrat and am loyal to the party. I vote straight ticket. I always have. I will never vote for a Republican. Never have, never will.

Rest assured, as a Louisville resident, I will be running for an Executive Committee seat in Jefferson County as soon as I am able to.

EDIT: I would have voted against Jerry if I had been on the committee. But that's old news because I also support the party.

EDIT #2: I'd also point out that I retract my endorsement until I see a campaign website for both. A person wishing to remain anonymous points out Mark fails to mention Fayette Chairman David O'Neill, Fred Johnson, Susan Westrom, Judge Keller all donated to Carol Angel's campaign. However, Mark doesn't mention them at all.

Statement on Jerome Armstrong's Decision Today

I was saddened today to hear that Jerome Armstrong was going to stop blogging at due to working for political campaigns. Jerome has done a lot of work for the blogosphere.

For a time, my blog had been serving as the Kentucky analysis for before that was handed over to Bluegrass Roots. I'm okay with that though as of late, I feel that there are a slew of Democratic blogs that could take care of that.
I'm not going to be posting or blogging here any longer while working campaigns. There's no upside and the downside of posting personal opinions, where it's easy to mark it as a political ploy by the opposition, is plenty. If you do see me blogging, it will be with the campaigns or committees sites or blogs I'm working.

And for the umpteenth time. None of the political consulting I do is associated with Markos, which we stopped with the end of the '04 cycle. I'm still working campaigns, with a contracting staff of usually 6 others, at least into '08. Though I thought I could personally blog my opinions while openly disclosing my work-related interests, that seems unrealistic given the competitive situation. So, see you on down the road.
Farewell, Jerome. Your presence shall be missed.

Sorry for the late posting

My Monday, Wednesday, and Friday schedule make it such to where the first time I am able to post is right after lunch. Sorry to keep some of you in anticipation. First, the good news: this blog is very close to hitting 80,000 hits alltime (using the Sitemeter statistics). Now for the bad news, Governor Fletcher is still in office and no one in the Bush administration has been indicted just yet.

Veteran's day is coming up soon. So contact your legislatures and have them support the Military Veterans Bill of Rights. State Rep. Mike Weaver has introduced the bill. Read the Hopkinsville Era for more info.
"Our Bill of Rights is an initiative to provide support and relief for military families -- active duty, Guard, and Reserve -- and veterans," said Kentucky Treasurer Jonathan Miller, who helped develop the legislation.

"It is only right that we help provide financial security for the families of those brave men and women who are providing for our national security."
It is nice seeing Senators supporting increased public library funding. I read books and am a fan of the public libraries. That reminds me that I need to pick up Happy Chandler's autobiography from the library here on campus.
Bayh's statement Monday said he is a strong believer in the educational importance of libraries. He wants Congress to increase funding for a grant program that helps public libraries expand their Internet access, and that funds programs for libraries to target poor families and inner city residents. That bill is being debated in the Senate this week, according to his office. Indiana libraries received $3.3 million in this program in 2005, as well as some grants to universities and museums.

He also wants Congress to increase funding for a grant program in the Department of Education for school libraries. It was cut slightly from 2004 to 2005, and was at $19 million this year. No Indiana schools won money from the program in 2005, according to the department's Web site.
Apparently, Republicans don't understand the word, "No." Jeb Bush said no to 2008, and so did Condi Rice. However, they are still holding the grassroots movement getting them to run. I hope Senator Bayh says yes to 2008. I expect he'll announce sometime after the midterm elections. Hmm, after reading that article, I suppose Americans for Bayh will have to get state chairmen, of course, I am the main leader in all this. But we're a team and we're all in it together. All for one, and one for all.

Theo Epstein has rejected an upgraded offer of $1.2 million each for the next three years. His contract expires this week or next.
The latest Sox proposal is well above the three-year deal averaging $850,000 a year that the club is believed to have offered Epstein as part of its original proposal, and would more than triple the $350,000 salary Epstein is believed to have received in 2005, the last year of a three-year deal for just under $1 million.

Epstein, who turns 32 on Dec. 29, was the youngest GM in baseball at the time he was hired and in 2004 became the youngest GM to win a World Series.

The Sox proposal would place Epstein in the upper echelon of GM pay in the majors, in a group that includes Brian Sabean of the Giants, Walt Jocketty of the Cardinals, and Brian Cashman of the Yankees, although Cashman, who just finished his eighth season as GM of the Yankees, is also at the end of his deal and reportedly is mulling a three-year, $5 million offer to remain in New York.

John Schuerholz, architect of the Atlanta Braves team that has won 14 consecutive division titles, reportedly is paid $1.6 million, the highest salary paid anyone who is exclusively a GM (Dave Dombrowski, president-GM of the Detroit Tigers, reportedly is paid $2 million a year).

Red Sox ownership raised the bar for executive pay when it made a five-year offer averaging $2.5 million to Oakland GM Billy Beane before hiring Epstein.[...]

Red Sox players will not be happy with the club's unexpected decision to fire physical therapist Chris Correnti, who joined the organization in 1994, has been with the big-league club in his current role since 2001, and is widely credited for creating the exercise program that allowed Pedro Martinez to thrive despite shoulder trouble. Pitcher Mike Timlin called it a ''tremendous loss."

Correnti, who was informed of the decision several days ago, was blindsided, and numerous players have contacted him expressing their dismay, according to club sources.
Rosa Parks will lie in Montgomery, Alabama, before going to Detroit for burial.
Tuskegee, Ala., Mayor Johnny Ford said he would order flags in the town where Parks was born as Rosa Louise McCauley on Feb. 4, 1913, to be flown at half-staff from Tuesday until after her funeral.
Parks will return to Detroit, where her body will lie Nov. 1 at the Museum of African American History from 6 a.m. to midnight.

Her funeral will be Nov. 2 at Greater Grace Temple in Detroit. Parks, whose Dec. 1, 1955, arrest for not giving up her seat to a white passenger sparked a bus boycott, died at her Detroit home Monday night of natural causes. She was 92.
Greater Grace holds 4,000 seats. I expect it will be standing room only because of her leadership in the Civil Rights movement.

John Kerry has called for less troops.

While I don't know the political affiliation of The American Thinker, I believe that my fellow Democrats need Israel in the top 5 priorities, if not the top 10. Iran just called called for the destruction of Israel. I will not let that stand at all!!
Among Republicans, support for Israel is growing and passionate. For many Democrats, Israel, and foreign affairs in general, are well down their list of priorities. The last few years, trashing the President has often seemed the highest priority for many Democrats, both in and out of Congress. There are of course some strong Democratic proponents of Israel- Tom Lantos of California, Eliot Engel of New York, Steny Hoyer of Maryland, Joe Lieberman.

The great majority of America’s Jews live in blue states, and in congressional districts represented by Democrats. What is remarkable is that some of Israel’s strongest supporters in the Congress are Republicans who have almost no Jews in their district- like Indiana’s Mike Pence, or Missouri’s Roy Blunt or Senators in states with very few Jews such as Sam Brownback of Kansas, or Richard Shelby of Alabama. When the foreign aid bill is considered, or resolutions which support Israel, 5 or 6 Republicans will vote no, and 40-50 Democrats will vote no, a growing number of them African American Congressmen.
I am appalled by that. I am ashamed of those Democrats that continually vote against Israel.

The White Sox won game 3. I expect they will clinch tonight in game 4.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Quote of the Day

"In it, I don't make the decision until 2007."
--Al Franken on running for Senate in 2008 against Norm Coleman, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, October 25, 2005

I have to buy that book...or at least check it out at the library.

From Jeff Noble

(This originally appeared as a comment over at The Bluegrass Report. He would love to respond to his fellow committee members on his "well-intentioned" thoughts or to the 3rd CD person over there. He tried posting replies over there tonight but Typepad has been acting up tonight. If you have questions, please comment and I'm sure that Jeff will gladly reply.)

First, as with the emails from Mr. Housh a few weeks ago, they are astonishing in their presentation. I am glad he has resigned. He should have. I was prepared to address my fellow members of the State Central Committee if he didn't. I do not know Mr. Housh, but I do know Eddie Jacobs and agree with Mr. Housh that Eddie is a good man and a good campaigner. Eddie was a good Fayette County chair, and a good Executive Director at HQ in Frankfort. Neither do I know your Sheriff or her opponent Mr. Flynn. I wish her well though.

As to Chairwoman Groob from Kenton County, I only met her last Friday night at the cocktail party at Chez Nora in Covington. I have seen comments in this blog placing her every where on the political spectrum from right to left. I have no idea where she is and do not care, as I am of the belief she is contributing to the overall success of the Democratic Party in her region, which in turn, contributes to the overall success throughout the Commonwealth. I do know she is well aware of the Vice Chair vacancy, as another northern Kentuckian, Millie Diehl, serves on the State Central Committee Nominations Committee which is actively trying to find a woman to serve in that post. Mark, whether or not the party would "be that smart" first requires Ms. Groob, or any other female to express an interest, or have someone nominate her, after first confirming with her she has an interest. I have been approached by only one woman expressing an interest, and she has reservations, although they aren't based on anything having to do with Chairman Lundergan.

I agree with you that there has been an resurgence in the Democratic Party and I will suggest, at known peril, that is has coincided with Lundergan's ascension to the chair, although I am sure it will be pointed out to me he is not responsible for it. I will add that while you have repeatedly ridiculed the "good ol' boys" over at HQ, in this post you praise two members of the State Central Committee, Mr. Johnson and Ms. Nowland-Curry, both of whom serve as members from the 6th CD. There are others of merit, and some who may not be, but wholesale criticism is both inaccurate and unhelpful. I am pleased to finally see in this post that you are not against the Party, but against what you call the loud minority who are in it for themselves. I wholly agree, even though I have been a Lundergan supporter, probably the most liberal supporter he has on the Committee. But he came with a plan certain, and slowly, he has begun to put that plan in place, to the chagrin of those who opposed him and to the delight of those of us who supported him and caught hell for doing so I, which I for one did. As an aside, one of the county chairs I met at the Friday night event at Chez Nora said to me they were pleasantly surprised at Lundergan and what he has accomplished in the ten months he has served as chair. I am not sure to what this person was referring, and I know the two successes I have seen, the Family Day event, and Senator Biden's visit on Saturday, received no positive play here, one person calling the latter a pseudo-successful fundraiser. I am not quite sure what the means, unless the $40 and $100, and other dollar tickets were paid for with Monopoly money.

I have called before for action, not words, from the bitchers and moaners, and I hope more people do take action. But there must be a system or process, and in this state, that process is vested in the local parties and ultimately the State Party. There is a reorganization from bottom to top every four years, the last one in 2004.

The solution is to back good candidates and issues and local parties, according to you Mark. I agree. Most of the members of the State Central Committee come from, or serve simultaneously on their local committee in their home county. Amazingly, every fourth year, very, very few people participate. I know this for a fact and I challenge those who are yelling the loudest to do things, 1) participate, and 2) yell louder and longer than the minority Mark insists is in control of the party.

Jeff Noble
3rd CD Elected Member
State Central Committee

Remembering Paul Wellstone (1944-2002)

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I was reminded late this evening that it has been exactly 3 years since we lost a great senator named Paul David Wellstone. Senator Wellstone also held a Ph.D. in political science and was a professor at Carleton College in Minnesota before running for the United States Senate in 1990 against Rudy Boschwitz. Tragically, he died in a plane crash.

Paul's wife, Sheila, who also died three years ago in that tragic plane crash was a student at UK while he was at UNC (Interesting). She would be in North Carolina after their freshman year as they married in 1963.

You can view Senator Wellstone's biography at his website.
In 2002, Wellstone sought a third term to the Senate, and was targeted by the White House’s political operation as a top target for defeat. Despite taking a politically unpopular vote against the impending war in Iraq, polls showed him with a solid lead going into the final two weeks of the campaign. Then on October 25, 2002, Paul and Sheila, their daughter Marcia and three campaign staffers – Tom Lapic, Will McLaughlin, and Mary McEvoy – were traveling to campaign events in northern Minnesota when their plane crashed near the Eveleth airport. There were no survivors. Paul and Sheila Wellstone are survived by their two sons, Mark and David.
I have his book The Conscience of a Liberal in my bookcase. You can buy it through the blog through my Amazon links.

In high school, we had to write letters to leaders in the community or nation. My brother wrote to Sen. Paul Wellstone in 2002 for that class. Unfortunately, my brother never heard back as the Senator passed away tragically. The day that Senator Wellstone died, I called up Waldenbooks to place an order for his book. Sadly, somehow, the publisher cancelled it and I ended up ordering it via Amazon. I highly recommend it.

Paul, we miss you still. We hope that Al Franken decides to run for your seat in 2008. To say that the world would be a better place with you still in it would be an understatement. Paul, you were a conscience of the Senate.

Jack Buck Statue almost Stolen

St. Louis Post Dispatch:
A thief at Busch Stadium tried to pry loose the bronze bust of Buck, the legendary Cardinals broadcaster, police said Monday. The mooring held tight, although the microphone got broken off the likeness of Buck, hand cupped at his ear, announcing a game.

Buck broadcast 47 years of Cardinals games. He died in 2002 at age 77.

The tribute to Buck sits along the west perimeter of the stadium and was dedicated in 1998.

Cardinals officials told police the bust will be moved from the stadium, which is about to be demolished for it replacement, and refurbished. The team did not respond to a call from a reporter.

Police said the apparent attempted theft happened late Saturday or early Sunday, while private guards were on the premises.

When the baseball season ended for the Cardinals last week, many fans took souvenirs that included cup holders fastened to seat backs and mustard dispensers, police said.
I can understand some of the looting but to try and pry loose the bust of the great broadcaster we all know as Jack Buck is just wrong and uncalled for. I hope the almost-thief has enough honor to turn himself or herself in and admit wrongdoing.

In other baseball news, Game 3 is tonight in Houston. The big question is: what is the status of the roof?

Warner speaks, KDP Press Conference

Governor Mark Warner speaks about the governor's race in Virginia.
In particular, he criticized Republican Jerry Kilgore's death penalty ads as being "over the top."

Warner discussed the race between Kilgore and Democrat Tim Kaine on WTOP radio.

The governor says he hopes the candidates will get back to more important issues such as transportation, education and keeping communities safe. He says issues such as the death penalty are important, too, but take up only a tiny portion of a governor's time.

In TV ads, Kilgore has attacked Kaine over his opposition to the death penalty. Kaine's ads say he will carry out the death penalty if elected governor. Warner says he trusts Kaine to carry out the death penalty if elected.

Warner says as governor, he's tried to make it less about Democrats and Republicans and more about what can you get done, and that he believes Kaine will "get things done."
After the election, expect me to take down the Kaine logo and replace it with one for Mayor Martin O'Malley of Baltimore.

Anyone have any information about today's press conference at party headquarters?

The Democratic party has the priorities straight. Unfortunately, today's press conference was not a candidacy announcement, rather, it was sending a message to Anne Northup.
Democrats Can Do It Better
Kentucky Democrats have an agenda that would take the country out of the hands of special interests, lobbyists, and corporate interests, and puts it back in the hands of the American people.

The citizens of Kentucky want a change in direction, and a change in leadership.

The Kentucky Democratic agenda is about putting our people first and turning the House of Representatives from the Auction House back into the People's House.

Our top priorities are lobbying and ethics reform, tax reform, retirement security, making higher education more affordable.

Detail - Our Top Priorities are:
>Lobbying Reform - The Tom Delay "back office system" has corrupted congress. It has been facilitating cozy relationships, favors and an array of all-expenses-paid "fact-finding" trips, and golfing vacations.

Social Security/Privatization/Retirement Security -- 28 million households have no retirement plan outside of Social Security. We need a three-legged retirement stool.

Providing Economic Opportunity & Tax Reform -- Our current system already weighs heaviest on working families, and it would be unfair to add to that burden.

In Closing:
Later today we will dispatch one of our staff members to deliver this rubber stamp to Kentucky Republican Headquarters down on Capitol Avenue. This stamp is an object lesson to remind third district voters that Ms. Northup is no more effective in Washington than this stamp would be. Either Ms. Northup or this rubber stamp in the hands of President Bush or Tom Delay will yield the same result. A result that does not represent Kentucky interests.
Shame on Anne Northup.