Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Bonus Quote of the Day

"Jewiness per square inch"
--Jon Stewart, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, January 31, 2006

Dr. Alan Greenspan has a 59 JPSI.

Quote of the Day

"Here's why we're all unified tonight. All for one purpose: to celebrate a legend. Why?"
--Jon Stewart, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, January 31, 2006

Late Night Open Thread

May Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, Ph.D., enjoy his retirement. May he, at all costs, avoid any uncomfortable meetings with Sen. Jim Bunning.

A student writes in KOACH's latest newsletter about her feelings towards JFJ. At some point, you have to ask yourself without trying to offend the non-Jews, how many vegetarians do you know eat meat? Back to the subject, the writer brings up valid points. How could one call themself a Jew and accept a certain someone as their, well, you know...

Some Jewish humor if you care to read it...

The UN Security Council supports reporting the UN. This is good and I commend the five countries that did that.

A few Jews were nominated for Oscars.

Mrs. King was remembered by Jewish leaders.
King, the widow of Martin Luther King Jr., "continued her husband’s legacy of strengthening black-Jewish relations," said Rabbi Marc Schneier, president of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding.

She "fought for the civil rights of Jews, and she supported issues and concerns of the Jewish community," particularly the State of Israel. Schneier said Leah Rabin, widow of the late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, told him that the most comforting letter she got after her husband’s assassination was from King.
Kudos to Merril Lynch for pulling out of a discussion in London.

Nick Clooney had no comment on George Clooney's Oscar nominations. Will George be thanking Jack Abramoff?

Bayh TV Alert

For those that don't watch The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, you can
catch the Senator on The Charlie Rose Show at the same time on PBS.

Coretta Scott King

May Coretta Scott King rest in peace.
Bayh Statement on Passing of Coretta Scott King
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Evan Bayh today released the following statement regarding the passing of civil rights leader Coretta Scott King:
"This morning, America learned that it has lost a true hero, in the passing of civil rights leader Coretta Scott King. Through times of danger and tremendous loss, including the assassination of her husband, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Coretta Scott King worked to keep the dream of equality alive and strong for generations of Americans. Millions of people from around the world – men and women, black and white – have been inspired by her stoic fight for justice and peace. I join all Americans in keeping her family in our thoughts and prayers."
I have sent in a request to the KDP for a statement. I also have sent in a request to Congressman Chandler's office for a statement.

As of 4:22 PM, I have an update from Rep. Ben Chandler's office. He did not release a statement but is a sponsor of of resolution to honor her memory.

As of 5:10, it looks like Gov. Fletcher has ordered flags to be at half-staff in Mrs. King's memory.
Flags are to be lowered until the eve of the day of her funeral.

"After the tragic death of her husband, Coretta picked up the banner of equality and continued to carry forth Dr. King’s legacy and, in so doing, created a legacy of her own. America, indeed the world, is a better place because of her commitment to justice, peace and democracy. The King family is in our thoughts and prayers. She will be truly missed."
Yet Jerry Lundergan has yet to issue a statement? Something is not right here. Even Howard Dean issued a statement.

Interview with Former State Chair Steve Gold

Danielle Solzman: First, thank you for joining the Kentucky Democrat for an interview today. How are things going in Western Kentucky?

Steve Gold: Thanks for having me, Danielle. It was great to meet you at the YD event in Northern Kentucky a while back. I love reading your blog. Please keep up the good work.

Things are going quite well for me and my family. Parts of the Henderson area are still not completely over the devastating tornado that struck the area a while back. I want to thank all of the folks who called and e-mailed checking on my family and me. We were fine, though some extended family lost their homes entirely. I would urge everyone to have a weather radio and a disaster plan just in case something like this hits your area.

DS: You are a former party chairman, do you think the state party is heading in the right direction in order to take back the state senate and keep control of the house?

SG: I want to stress the fact I was merely an Interim Party Chair and my primary job was to convene a nominating committee to find a permanent chair. It was one of the most interesting experiences and biggest honors I've ever had in my life. I only the position for a little over two months (from shortly after the 2003 general election to the end of January, 2004), but it was when things sure were a mess. The coffers had been raided for the coordinated campaign, there was serious debt, no fundraising, no clear elected leader for the first time in 32 years, and the huge issue of a special election in the 6th Congressional District! I couldn't imagine doing it long-term under those circumstances, especially from Henderson. I have a great deal of respect for anyone willing to do it without pay long-term. Regardless of what people may think of them personally, both Bill Garmer and Jerry Lundergan are owed a debt of gratitude for stepping forward and providing a service to the Party in a time of great need.

Now, to your question.

I'm very concerned about the future of the party, both locally, state, and nationally. Until we, as Democrats, can both A.) articulate a solid, concise message that resonates with the general public and B.) become comfortable talking about the role of faith in our lives when the issue comes up, we will continue floundering about hoping for Republicans to keep screwing up, as they have shown a clear propensity to do.

We have allowed ourselves to be considered the anti-faith party by many. This ground has been ceded at the national level and has affected party success in Kentucky. Frankly, I think we should not write-off the legions of moderate and liberal people of faith in America. Many of them are uncomfortable with the policies of the Republican leadership, but the national Democratic Party seems to either not know how to speak to them without pandering or is all too happy to write them off as a lost cause.

But please understand clearly, I'm not advocating constant sermonizing or using faith as an electoral tool, by any means. If you're not religious, certainly don't try to be; if you are, you sure shouldn't act like you aren't. We must, though, be honest with voters and ourselves that our beliefs, both religious and otherwise, shape who we are and inform our views on political issues. I am merely stating that many Democrats are people of faith, but our candidates seem to run away from faith and values issues or get a "deer in headlights" look when these issues come up.

We need to broaden the conversation when it comes to faith. There are lots more "values" out there for people of faith than what the right would have you believe. I'm a Christian and I believe in a Holy Bible that has about thousands of verses dedicated to the poor and vulnerable - fighting poverty and making sure others have adequate health care are moral values to me. Being good stewards of our environment, the ethics of war, treatment of children and elderly members of society, fair labor laws - these are all issues that are rooted in our core value system for many of us.

By candidates of faith speaking about these issues in such terms to people with similar feelings, we take the conversation away from the focus on one or two narrow issues to an overall world view that resonates with people much more than the mean-spirited, "greed is good" dogma espoused by the right.

DS: What about the image of the national party?

SG: Of course, much of what I've just said has to begin at the national level by not ceding this territory and identifying the right speakers, like Sen. Barack Obama, who are comfortable talking in such terms and putting them out there talking to other people of faith.

I've been speaking particularly about reaching people of faith because that has been on my mind a lot lately, but I think Democrats also need to work on how they speak to the electorate as a whole. Just recall the Presidential debates, George Bush had a theme/mantra each time - "compassionate conservative" and "I'm doing the hard work of the Presidency". Al Gore and John Kerry had wonderfully developed, mature and nuanced stances. Unfortuntely, it took them ten minutes of setup and qualifying just to get to their main points, which nobody really remebers except it had something to do with Social Security "lockboxes".

We need someone who can "call 'em like they see 'em" and speak in plain english. In general, people vote for the candidate more often than they vote for their 100 page policy paper. If they trust that the person is honest and competent, they have faith that the candidate will do the right thing. Again, I'm not saying to dumb-down campaigns or to do away with the policy papers, but don't be so quick to recite boring policy wonk material to people that aren't policy wonks. Do that stuff on C-SPAN, not "Good Morning, America".

DS: With all the mess going on in Frankfort, is it safe to say that Ernie is one-and-done?

SG: Sadly, not necessarily, but he should be. Right now, I'd put the odds at him winning his party's nomination at even money, at best. If he does, he's probably 6:5 (54.5%) to win re-election. If he doesn't get the nomination, the GOP is probably 3:2 (60%) to keep the mansion. Of course, this is all speculation and there are lots of things Democrats can do to move the odds into their favor - 1.) stop all in-fighting, 2.) focus on winning legislative races this year with a strong message, 3.) have an aggressive communications team articulating a real vision in the current legislative session, 4.) revitalize the county organizations, 5.) recruit good candidates for every House and Senate seat and support them with organization and money, and 6.) field a credible slate of candidates top to bottom in '07.

All of that is much easier said than done, I know. But if we don't get working on those things now, we won't win and probably don't deserve to. I hope people like you, your readers and myself can begin doing that work now to make those odds turn in our favor over the next few months.

DS: Have you heard anything about Governor Julian Carroll's plan for 2007? If so, do you endorse it?

SG: Honestly, I only know what I've seen in the papers and heard anecdotally, so I don't think I can say much on that topic. I would say that if we don't win in '06, plans for '07 are pretty much moot.

DS: Is it too early to start focusing on 2007? Should we be focusing on midterm elections first?

SG: Of course, everyone wants to look ahead to the state-wide constitutional office races, but I think doing so is premature for everyone except the potential candidates and their families. It is all pie-in-in-the-sky specualtion now and armchair quarterbacking isn't that productive. The successes and failures in the legislative session, continued proof out of the Republican leadership that it is out of control and the Democratic response (or lack thereof), and state and national events will render any definite plans anyone makes a house built upon quicksand. Sure, I'll admit it is fun to speculate about the "horse race" aspects of it on occasion, we just need to remain focused on the tasks at hand.

DS: I know 2008 is a few years away but are any potential candidates that you see having a good chance to reach the White House?

SG: Like you, I like Evan Bayh's solid record, but I've been a little concerned about some of his performances on the Sunday political shows the last couple of times I've seen him. He'd make a heck of a VP choice, though.

I've always liked the way Joe Biden comes across, but he seems to be trying to get headlines and momentum for the primaries by saying outrageous things.

On the Republican side, a McCain-Rice ticket would be formidable.

DS: Jon Stewart or Bill O'Reilly?

SG: No question about it - Jon Stewart all the way. "America - The Book" was one of the best gifts I received last year.

DS: How's the political consulting going? Any friendly rivalry with Emmons and Co.?

SG: It's going great! Our company, Winner's Circle, has been blessed with quite a few candidates this cycle and that is keeping us very busy.

There's no real rivalry with Emmons & Co. as the services we provide are somewhat different and I've always gotten along really well with Dale and Jamie. Since my partner and I are both practicing attorneys with families, we don't usually "run" a particular campaign as the day-to-day manager. We are general consultants with a focus on teaching people how to run their own campaign covering issues such as media relations, organization, fundraising, message development, internet strategies and "old-fashioned politickin'," as I call it. This allows smaller campaigns (judicial races, county-wide races, etc.) who wouldn't usually be able to have any professional help to get on-on-one "coaching" and training from us with lots of follow-up.

We are basically doing what we were doing before we formed an official company. We meet with people and their families, get them ready, train them and their "inner circle" to run a well-organized, modern campaign and then keep in touch regarding message, ad design issues, etc., as things progress. Eventually, our quite lovely and very understanding spouses got a little tired of us going all over the place doing this for free, but they have been placated a little bit by the fact we charge a small fee now.

DS: What three issues in your opinion should be priorities especially for the candidates that the party fields for Congress? What about for the state legislators?

SG: Something has to be done about health care at both the state and national level, but it has to start at the top. We have shoved off the responsibility of subsidizing health care for American workers on employers for far too long and it is no longer sustainable. Just look at GM and Ford. They are having major problems competing because they are having to add a lot of cost to the price of a vehicle for health care. Before you say that I'm just another Democrat spouting the pro-labor line, I don't see this is just a worker's issue. I also see it as a business development issue. I think the time is right for a good plan to take this burden off the nation's employers. If we come up with a workable plan, I think we will be amazed at the business support that it receives.

Health care coverage issues are also causing many individuals to go under. I've represented lots of folks in bankruptcies that are good, hard working people who had an illness in their family and did not have insurance. These are the people filing for bankruptcy protection, not the small percentage of slackers and scammers that the credit card lobby would have you think. The recent changes to the bankruptcy code only treated the symptom of more filings, rather than the root causes - poverty, a broken health care system, and out of control lending. It is also a shameful example of the current "coin-operated" Republican Congress at work - selling out the people in favor of a big business that should be forced to reform its own predatory lending practices.

Another national issue that needs to be addressed are the multitude of problems with the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit that just went into effect. Legislators on each side rushed to pass something with that title that what came out was a budget-busting behemoth of a plan that, so far, hasn't turned out to be all that helpful to the seniors I've spoken to about it.

DS: Any updates on the search for a vice-chair?

SG: I'm not on that committee, but I know there are some great names that have been floated. I can tell you it is a very hard position to fill. Two years ago, I was the one making the calls to all of the people the nominating committee came up with (both men and women at that time) to get a sense of their level of interest. Some of the names are the ones people are floating now and there wasn't as much willingness from those high-profile folks.

I think we are best when we have someone that may not be well known, but has a track record of solid service to the party.

If I had a magic wand and could name the Vice-Chair, I'd pick Jennifer Moore, my law school classmate and superstar of the Woodward/ Stephenson case.

DS: What do you think our chances are of taking at least 4 CD's in the fall?

sg: Very long odds, there. I sure like how you think, though. A lot depends on what happens nationally, but I'd say realistically that two is likely and three is a distinct possibility. The more people that catch "Bush Fatigue" and get fed up with the culture of greed and deceit pervading the current administration, the more likely some of the less well-heeled candidates will benefit. What we need is for the DCCC to learn that Kentucky is winnable and to really target some of these jokers for defeat.

DS: Do you think that the state party should start outreaching to bloggers?

SG: Yes and no. Yes, the party needs to reach out. In fact, it needs to reach out to a lot more people in general. The problem is how to do it. Blogs, especially the comments sections, often have inflamatory comments, anonymous unfounded personal attacks, and sometimes espouse policies that downright scare mainstream parties' bases. Hey, that's why they're fun to read! But, it's also why the National Enquirer or the Weekly World News are not preferred media outlets of most parties. Official party statements on blogs may lend credence to the comments and could be used by others to unfairly tie the party to the comments. (i.e., imagine the field day FOX News would have reporting that Howard Dean issued a statement to a blog where someone in an anonymous comment said all German shepherd puppies should be beaten as retibution for the Holocaust or something else as asinine as that.)

Frankly, I also don't see what bloggers would get out of it. The "blogosphere," for lack of a better word, seems to operate best when it is outside of official structures and not constrained by what the party may or may not want published. I think there can be some synergies between the two and they can work hand in hand, but maintaining some semblance of independence and autonomy is a key element if they are to maintain any credibility as a "watchdog."

DS: I know you have a hectic schedule so my final question is: will you announce live on this blog that you're a candidate for office in 2007?

SG: You flatter me, Danielle! In fact, I've probably blown any chances of elective office by much of the tough talk for Democrats that I've said in this interview. Hmmm ... "Tough Talk for Dems" sounds like a self-help group or pubilc service announcement!

Seriously, you are right that I've had a great deal of encouragement from friends all around the state, but I think it's entirely too early to make any final decisions one way or another. I guess I'm not definitely ruling anything out, but I really enjoy helping other people get elected - it's a lot more fun and less stressful. Like I've been saying for months, if Democrats don't win in '06, it won't matter who they put up in '07.

DS: Thanks again for joining the Kentucky Democrat for this interview and keep fighting the good fight.

Other news this morning

I'll have an interview posted right after this post.

Just in from IMDB:
US presidential drama Commander In Chief has been temporarily pulled from the ABC TV schedule because network executives are unhappy with the show's low ratings. The drama has received critical acclaim and Academy Award-winning actress Geena Davis, who plays president Mackenzie Allen, won a Golden Globe for her performance earlier this month - but that isn't making the show a hit. Network executives say the series will return later this spring, insisting it's not unusual to take a show off the air and try another new show in its time slot.
Scrubs in the meantime? Or catchup on 7th Heaven during that time?

Mark Warner and George Allen joined teams to work for Virginia colleges.

Congrats to Gov. Tim Kaine on being named DLC Dem of the Week. He'll give the party's response tonight.

Coretta Scott King has died at the age of 78. May she rest in peace. We are losing a lot of civil rights pioneers.

The tri-state area is a battleground.

At 10:25, Sen. Obama will discuss the SOTU with Brian Williams on NBC.

And the Oscar nominations go to...

I'll link to this again when it is March 5th...and that's going to be a busy weekend with the Ford Dinnner and then Senior Day. I'm not going to italicize all the titles but I will bold all my predictions.

And the nominees are:
Philip Seymour Hoffman - CAPOTE
Terrence Howard - HUSTLE & FLOW
Joaquin Phoenix - WALK THE LINE
David Strathairn - GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK.

George Clooney - SYRIANA
Matt Dillon - CRASH
Paul Giamatti - CINDERELLA MAN

Felicity Huffman - TRANSAMERICA
Keira Knightley - PRIDE & PREJUDICE
Charlize Theron - NORTH COUNTRY
Reese Witherspoon - WALK THE LINE

Amy Adams - JUNEBUG
Catherine Keener - CAPOTE
Frances McDormand - NORTH COUNTRY
Michelle Williams - BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN












"In the Deep" - CRASH
"It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp" - HUSTLE & FLOW
"Travelin' Thru" - TRANSAMERICA









Monday, January 30, 2006

Late Night Open Thread

Okay, so this is mainly to recap news that I have yet to update on.

I think this is a review of Second City's latest review.

Oprah Winfrey's feeling pretty duped from what I've seen. What about Dr. Phil? I couldn't resists that. How powerful is Oprah anyway?!?

Demetri Martin, a comedian, is making the rounds on the late night shows in some sort of capacity. He has a show called "These are Jokes."

Gerda Weissmann Klein addressed the United Nations. You can watch that here.

Indiana Senator Evan Bayh announced he would vote against Judge Alito, and yes, he would support a filibuster as well.
Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh said today that he could not support the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito and would back an effort to block a final vote.

"There is too much ambiguity and vagueness in his record in the important areas of presidential authority, individual and civil rights and whether he will serve as an all-important check to ensure the balance our Founders intended," Bayh said today.
The effort to block a final vote was being led by Massachusetts Sens. John Kerry and Ted Kennedy.

While Bayh called Alito’s judicial career "more than respectable," he said his biography was not enough to go on when considering a lifetime appointment.

"The burden of proof lies with the nominee to show that he or she will be an impartial jurist and will not bring an ideological agenda to the court," Bayh said. "Meeting this burden is more onerous since the president implied that he intended to nominate individuals acceptable to his most extreme supporters."

Bayh also called the confirmation process a "partisan Kabuki theater" in which the nominee says as little as possible to avoid saying anything controversial.
If my party gets it's way in the Senate, then seniors will get the prescription drugs that they need.

UMass's The Daily Collegian profiles an alumnus of their own, Rob Corddry.

The DSCC will unveil a new medicare advertisement tomorrow.

Quote of the Day

"I didn't have to talk during that, did I?"
--Jon Stewart, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, January 30, 2006

Website Redesign Update

I was just sent this email by Barry Welsh's campaign and I'd wait til later but I have a night class. Here goes:

Hi! I'm the Kentucky Democrat and I am with the Barry Welsh for Congress Campaign. We are proud to announce that our new website www.barrywelsh.org is making it's World Premier this evening. We ask you to visit the website, and take a look around. Barry will be blogging live, beginning at 7 p.m. on the site. We invite you to join the conversation. We are also proud of the Pledge to the People of the 6th District. A media blitz in underway in the district to announce this important document.

Barry's campaign is intent on telling the truth about how Congressman Mike Pence has voted, where his financing comes from, and his out-of-touch, right-wing extremism. More importantly it is about ideas that will improve life in Indiana's 6th District. Visit www.barrywelsh.org to see the complete text of Barry's Pledge to the People of the 6th District.

Tomorrow night is the State of the Union Address. No matter what President Bush says about it, we know the reality of the State of the Union. We live it, and breath it, and now have to fight for it, because it is under threat.

Our U.S. House of Representatives HAS NOT BEEN in session since December and is still out of session as of this writing. The Senate has been back. Why has the House not been doing the people's business? The answer is: Corruption and Cronyism. The Republican leadership has kept the House closed, first in hopes that former Majority Leader, Tom DeLay, would beat the indictments against him, and then in a struggle to name a new Majority Leader. But the truth is: Tom Delay is going to have to face trial, and the Republican leadership is putting party politics above the interest of the people, as they always do.

Join the Barry Welsh for Congress campaign in putting PEOPLE BEFORE PROFITS and visit the brand new website at www.barrywelsh.org. While you are there, drop a contribution into the grassroots fund. Every dollar is important and every contribution appreciated. We also look forward to reading your comments and ideas.

Visit www.barrywelsh.org and be amazed at the animation, analysis, and attitude.

Welsh for Congress Committee www.barrywelsh.org: Taking the CON out of

KY-3: Yarmuth IS IN

We will have a primary between Col. Andrew Horne and John Yarmuth. It has been in a while since we've had a primary but it will be a spirited campaign, I'm sure. There is actually a third candidate, Burrel Farnsley, I think, but I don't know if that person has a legitimate chance.

According to the Bluegrass Report, Yarmuth is definitely in.
Just got off the phone with LEO founder and former publisher John Yarmuth (D) and he decided that he's in and filing his candidacy papers tomorrow to take on Rep. Anne Northup (R)! Folks, we got ourselves another race.
I am in the process of trying to arrange another blog interview, this one with John Yarmuth.

Many people have asked me who I support. I'm waiting til tomorrow's filing deadline to officially make an endorsement.

I do have a statement from Dan Borsch:
After taking a hard look at the race, I am not going to run this time. I am going to dedicate my energies to helping elect John and to strengthening the Democratic Party. I am quite confident that John is the best candidate and that he will finally hold Northup accountable for her votes in Washington. Thank you very much for your support of my campaign, it means a great deal that you were willing to support me. Hopefully someday soon you will have an opportunity to start another Draft Dan site!!!

For what it's worth, rather than decide tomorrow, I'll give you my endorsement right now: John Yarmuth!

For Immediate Release: "Lazy Tuesday"

"Lazy Tuesday," the Southeastern response to "Lazy Sunday" is officially in pre-production. Lyrics are being worked on and should be finished by the end of the week. Shooting is expected to start very soon and editing very soon thereafter.

The Southeast, especially the Commonwealth of Kentucky, will be represented very well in this response to "Lazy Sunday."

Having produced a short photo tribute to Busch Stadium, The Night Show with Daniel Solzman will once again present this digital short. All I need is an editor and a camera person and this thing is a go. Music will be recorded though it may not be as professional as I would like. Shooting will be as professional as it can get.

A group in the midwest has produced the Midwestern response, "Lazy River."

This will be a very low-budget budget project. If you would like to support this project, please consider making a donation. You may even get a DVD out of this. That's not a promise. At least not yet.

Interview with Late Night's Brian Stack

I had the chance to participate in a Q & A with Late Night with Conan O'Brien's Brian P. Stack, an alumnus of The Second City.

Danielle Solzman: What advice can you offer to the aspiring comedian/comedy writer? For example, is there anything that would prepare me for Second City?

Brian P. Stack: I'm hesitant to give any specific advice since circumstances and opportunities change so often and in such unpredictable ways, but based on my own experience, if you're interested in working at a place like Second City, the best advice I could give is to do get up and do improv or sketch stuff whenever you can with the kind of people you really love working with.

I would also strongly consider taking some acting classes. I had no formal acting training when I started at Second City (just improv performance experience) and ended up learning a lot of basic acting things the hard way later on--things I really should've been familiar with already.

Also, I would worry less about Second City (or anything else) as your ultimate goal and just treat the work you're doing as an end in itself. I know that's a lot easier said than done (and I was always very obsessed with working at Second City myself someday), but almost all the people I know who worked at Second City were out doing work they loved when they got hired by Second City. They were having a good time with people they got along with, it showed in their work, and Second City noticed them as a result.

I think that what Patton Oswalt said about finding a community of stand-ups that were all on the same wavelength as him is exactly how I feel about improv and sketch stuff. I've never done stand-up in my life, but I related to everything he said about that.

DS: Will the studio move to CA or stay in NYC when Conan takes over Tonight?
BPS: I don't know for sure where the new show wll be done, but I tend to think it may very well move out to LA since that's where The Tonight Show has been done for so long now. I really have no idea what the final decision will be, though.

DS: How does writing for Late Night differ from writing for Second City?
BPS: Well, at Second City, we developed our sketches mostly through improvisation. We would improvise scenes every night after the regular show, and when something seemed to work well, it would be brought back on other nights, new things would be tried, and the improvised scenes would eventually be honed into some kind of set, written sketches. Some sketches we did there were never actually set into final script form, though. For example, I did one scene in Second City ETC with my wife, Miriam, and Neil Flynn in which they played a crazy old couple. Every night, they said completely new crazy things to me just to try and crack me up. One night, Miriam improvised a song on the organ with the words, "I've got the whole wor-rld in my pants!" Without missing a beat, Neil turned to me and said, "That's not far from true." One night, in another scene, he looked out into the "yard" and said, "That badger's still out on the lawn. It's high time HE stopped running our lives!" God, that guy always killed me and he still does. I just wish we saw him more often.

At Late Night, there is certainly an "improvisational" quality to the writing, partly because there are several former improvisers on staff, but mainly because we collaborate with each other a lot and bounce ideas off each other, almost like we're improvising a scene with each other. The way ideas get heightened and expanded sometimes reminds me a lot of working back at Second City.

DS: What did you think of Steve Carell last night? Is that really his last appearance?
BPS: I thought he was hilarious as always. I've been in complete awe of him since I first saw him onstage in Chicago about 15 years ago. And I very much doubt that it was his last appearance here. Conan just made that joke because Steve was pretending to be hurt and angry after Conan punched him.

DS: Any idea who will take over LN when Conan goes to Tonight?
BPS: I have absolutely no idea, sorry.

DS: When will the State of the Union monologue be? Tuesday or Wednesday?
BPS: I think it'll be Wednesday, but sorry, I'm not totally sure.

DS: Thanks again, Brian. So if it is on Wednesday, that's good. It means I can watch it thanks to the way I scheduled my classes this semester.
BPS: I hope this year's "State of the Show" is worthy of your schedule-juggling. I also wish I knew when the hell we were doing it.

DS: What did you think of "Lazy Sunday?"
BPS: I thought it was very funny and very original.

DS: Have you seen the West Coast response from Mark Feuerstein called "Lazy Monday?"
BPS: No, I haven't. I hadn't even heard of that, actually.

DS: Is there any specific book that you would recommend for comedy writing?
BPS: I wish I knew if there were any really good books out there on that subject. There may very well be, but I'm sorry, I really don't know.

Based on my own experience, the best training for comedy writing is watching a lot of comedy (seeing what works, what doesn't, seeing stuff you love yourself that doesn't really "work" with an audience, finding out what makes you laugh and the kind of stuff you'd actually like to write yourself) and, of course, through actually writing. As with performing (and I've heard this from countless stand-ups, musicians, improvisers, and sketch performers), there's simply no substitute for getting up (or sitting down) and actually doing the work. Training can be very helpful, of course, but you learn so much more by actually doing it. As Levon Helm said in "The Last Waltz," "You get up there, get your ass kicked, go wait 'til it heals up, and go back. Eventually, you'll fall right in love with it." He was talking about performing in New York City, but I think what he said applies to performing or writing in general.

DS: What about the format of writing for TV?
BPS: There are a lot of books out there about "How to Write a Sit-Com Spec Script" or whatever, but TV shows tend to vary a lot in terms of the kinds of submissions they ask for from writers. Sit-coms, I believe, usually ask for a sample spec script. I've heard (but I'm not sure about this) that it's best to wite a spec script for a show other than the one you're actually submitting to. For example, if you were submitting to Scrubs, you might write a My Name Is Earl script or vice versa. I'm fairly certain that shows like SNL or MADTV usally ask for a packet of sketches you've written, or in the case of Weekend Update writers, a packet of sample "news" jokes. Our show typically asked for 12 to 15 ideas for the show in short paragraph form. I don't know exactly what The Daily Show,Colbert Report and other shows ask for.

One thing to keep in mind, I think, is not to second guess yourself too much when you're writing ideas. Don't worry so much about other people will like, or what any one specific person or group of people is going to like. I would write the kinds of things you'd like to see yourself if you were watching. You can never please everybody (and comedy is obviously such a subjective thing) so you might as well write what you think is funny yourself. Some people might not go for it, but you probably wouldn't be happy working for them anyway. Some of the funniest writers I know have had miserable experiences around people who just didn't "get" their stuff or had a completely different opinion of what's actually funny.

Good luck!

Basketball: Week 13 Rankings

ESPN's poll has UK recieving 4 votes. The AP poll for Week 13 has not been updated yet.

We'll find out soon enough if the Lady Cats made it in the Top 25.

Other news this afternoon...

Honest Reporting is the Israeli site similar to Media Matters. HR commended the AP and Reuters for getting the facts right this time. They note that the Guardian took a different approach.

I might have an interview posted today or tomorrow with a writer from Late Night with Conan O'Brien.

Hamas wants foreign aid to not be affected by their win? I'm sorry but America doesn't give aid to terrorists.
The Bush administration has called for aid to the Palestinian Authority to be halted until Hamas revokes its charter calling for Israel’s destruction and renounces violence.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is visiting Israel, said the European Union should follow suit.
I commend the President and the German Chancellor. I believe that the EU shouldn't give aid either.

Like I just said, we don't deal with terrorists or terrorist governments. I choose no deal. We aren't pulling out so deal with it.

Kudos to filmmaker Steven Spielberg with regards to Munich.
Speaking as part of a roundtable in the latest Newsweek magazine, Spielberg said criticism leveled at him and screenwriter Tony Kushner over the depiction of Israel’s hunt for the Palestinian masterminds of the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre is unfair. Some American Jews, he said, "have grown very angry at me for allowing the Palestinians simply to have dialogue and for allowing Tony Kushner to be the author of that dialogue. Munich never once attacks Israel, and barely criticizes Israel’s policy of counterviolence against violence," he said. "It’s the most questioning story I’ve ever had the honor to tell. For that, we were accused of the sin of moral equivocation. Which, of course, we didn’t intend — and we’re not guilty of."

The controversy, Spielberg added, "made me feel a little more aware of the dogma, and the Luddite position people take any time the Middle East is up for discussion."
I never saw any criticism of Israel when I saw Munich at the start of the year.

KY-4: Ken Lucas for Congress

I'm sure a website will be setup soon or unveiled this week but retired Congresman Ken Lucas made it official this morning. He will be a candidate for the 2006 election.
Lucas, 72, a conservative Democrat who often aligned himself with Republicans, said he was lured back to politics by the bruising partisanship and "widespread public corruption" in Congress. Lucas tried to link Davis to both in announcing his candidacy for the 4th District, which has been a traditional Republican stronghold.

"I'm disappointed that Geoff Davis has done nothing to separate himself from many of the figures involved in those scandals," Lucas said in a statement.

He added that Davis has voted in lockstep with the GOP House leadership "at the expense of bipartisan cooperation and good will."

Lucas said he can work across party lines, noting his support for President Bush's efforts on homeland security and the economy, including tax cuts. Bush easily carried the 4th District in 2000 and 2004. In 2000, Lucas distanced himself from Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore.

Lucas, a longtime financial adviser and former judge-executive in Boone County in the populous Cincinnati suburbs, entered the race when supporters dropped off his filing papers at the secretary of state's office at the Capitol.

Lucas' return to politics sets up a rematch with Davis.
I give Ken Lucas the edge on this one and he recieves The Kentucky Democrat's endorsement for this year's election.

Fastblog returns

Better this than to have 90 new emails await me.

Mike Piazza signs a $2 million deal with the San Diego Padres. As old as he is, he should have went to the AL because of how long he has been a catcher. He really should DH.

I hope the Dems don't bash me on this but Condi is right. Terrorist governments will never get United States aid.

Aish.com has a new 90 second movie called The Jar of Life.

Mark is stirring up things as usual. Just read what Chairman Lundergan said about that press release.
Lundergan said the search for a woman to be vice chairman is ongoing and probably won't be resolved at the next executive committee meeting, Feb. 27.

It has been slow because the position doesn't pay and it requires lots of time and travel, he said.

"Women are mainly mothers and have their own careers, so it's kind of hard to find someone who would be effective," Lundergan said. "They just can't drop their careers for something they won't be reimbursed for."

But he wouldn't address Nickolas' other charges.

"I have no comment on Mark Nickolas," he said. "I don't recognize him as part of the Democratic party. He's not one of us."
Not a surprise but actress Natalie Portman is ranked in the top 10 of AskMen.com's dream girlfriends. I wish someone had told me about this poll earlier because I would have voted for her. Jessica Alba was chosen by readers as the number one choice.

The window is closing for filing. That deadline is TOMORROW, JANUARY 31, 2006

Sunday, January 29, 2006


After three days of searching, I CANNOT find my College Democrats of America button.

This cannot be good...

Looks like this will be a three dollar expense that I wasn't looking to make but I'm left with no choice.

Covering the bases...

I'm listening to the post game right now but I thought I'd catch readers up on other news.

First and foremost, my thoughts and prayers are with the ABC family as co-anchor Bob Woodruff and a cameraman were seriously injured in Iraq today. That's one of the downsides of being embedded with the troops. You never know what will happen over there.

When it comes to lobbying reforms, mutual support will be needed.

Some headlines from the late night shows.

South Dakota Senator Tim Johnson's decision to vote in favor of confirmation for Judge Samuel Alito has riled the Democratic base in South Dakota.
Johnson’s political army takes differing attitudes on his Alito vote.

It was either the safe way out, further cushioning himself from a tough re-election battle in 2008, or it was doing what he believed was the right thing.

Johnson explained his support this way: "... I must conclude that Judge Alito possesses a high level of legal skill, is a man of solid personal integrity, and that his views fall within the mainstream of contemporary conservative jurisprudential thinking. At the conclusion of Senate floor debate, I will oppose any effort to filibuster his nomination, and I will vote to confirm Judge Alito’s nomination to the Supreme Court."

Jennifer Duffy, Senate analyst with the Cook Political Report, says Johnson is smart – he understands the implications and risks that come with being a Democratic senator from South Dakota in this political environment.

"It’s hard to think of a reason for him not to vote for Alito. He is qualified. He did well in the hearings, and a vote against him simply looks partisan," Duffy said.

Everything Johnson does is viewed through 2008 model glasses now.

"Every vote he makes is relevant. This is a high-stakes vote. Every vote plays into the re-election," she said.
Lexington native Austin Kearns is staying put and will not be traded.

Twenty-three days remaining until the St. Louis Cardinals report to Jupiter, Florida for spring training.

Sheray Thomas was the radio player of the game while Patrick Sparks was the CBS Chevrolet player of the game. Sheray Thomas or Randolph Morris would have been my choices even though Patrick Sparks made some key assists.

The Jackson Sun has a nice article on Carl Perkins the muscian as opposed to Carl Perkins the Kentucky Congressman.

It's Saturday. The filing deadline is on Tuesday. No one seems to know if Ken Lucas will run for office. Kathy Groob thinks that he may run.
"We're all just on pins and needles and anxiously awaiting the official word," said Kenton County Democratic Chairwoman Kathy Groob. "We're still very hopeful and believe strongly that he (Lucas) is the right person and this is the right time for him to return to public office. We need him now more than ever."

Groob said she's received e-mails and letters encouraging Lucas to run and has forwarded those to Lucas.
Why didn't anyone inform me of this meeting? Rahm Emanuel, a member of Congress who chairs the DCCC, was spotted at Chez Nora meeting with Alice Sparks, Kathy Groob, and Milly Diehl. My cousin used to live in Rahm's congressional district.

In sports news, the St. Louis Billikens, in their past 21 games, have alternated their wins and losses.
At times, they've won against the odds. At times, they've stunk up the joint. Most of the time, they've seemingly done whatever it has taken to keep this oddity alive.

"It doesn't have a life of its own," coach Brad Soderberg said after the Billikens' 42-point second half produced a 64-54 victory over Fordham. "You guys can write about it. But it's been weird."

It's the longest streak of its kind in NCAA sports, and longer than any in major league baseball or the NFL, although the school is unsure about the NBA. The 1974 Philadelphia Phillies and 1981 Los Angeles Dodgers each alternated wins and losses for 16 games, and the 1994 Indianapolis Colts did it for 12 games.

Saint Louis, then, stands alone in its consistent inconsistency. The school is 10-9 overall, 4-3 in the Atlantic-10 and without one shred of momentum, positive or negative, heading into Wednesday's game at Rhode Island.

"It's the craziest thing I've ever been around," coach Brad Soderberg said. "I've never been on a team, coach or player, where this has happened. I just hope we can take the positives to Rhode Island and see if we can play good basketball again."
This is definitely a record even if it is a weird one.

Kentucky vs. Arkansas

The University of Kentucky Wildcats play host to the University of Arkansas Razorbacks in Rupp Arena. The Cats are 13-6 with a 3-2 SEC record. Arkansas is 14-5 and they bring a 3-3 SEC record with them to Lexington, KY. The Cats lead the series 19-7 and are 8-2 at Rupp Arena.

My best guess is that Tubby Smith will once again start Central City native Patrick Sparks at point guard. Currently, there is a three-way tie for 2nd in the SEC East between the Cats, Florida and Vanderbilt (as of when I checked the standings). Both Patrick Sparks and Ravi Moss are shooting close to 50% in conference play from beyond the arc. Moss has had a 3 pointer in seven straight games now. Tubby is 11-9 against the Razorbacks and is 9-3 since coming to UK. This will be the 297th game for Tubby Smith from the Wildcat's bench. Patrick Sparks has started in 100 straight games and today's game will move him to 101 straight games. Over the past four seasons, the Cats are 100-21. They will move still be in third after tomorrow's game since Duke won yesterday. The Cats have played 594 consecutive games with at least 1 three-pointer.

CBS airs the game on TV at 1 PM while the Big Blue Sports Network will take care of coverage on the radio with pregame coverage starting at 11:30. It's 11:30 AM and that means it is time for the Texas Roadhouse Countdown to Tip-Off Show with Dave Baker and Oscar Combs.

It's going to be key to keep Randolph Morris out of foul trouble. Oscar says we need to win by 15-20 points, and not in the final two minutes. Morris has to get some rebounds. One caller doesn't think we have chemistry and doesn't like the way that Tubby substitutes. He must be in the LOD. Oscar thinks that a loss will hurt NCAA chances and Oscar ripped the caller on team chemistry. Dave and Oscar laugh off rumors about Bobby Perry going pro and the Cats joining the Conference USA. In alumni news, Chuck Hayes' contract with the Houston Rockets has been extended for the rest of the season.

Tom Leach now speaks to Tubby Smith. They are talking about last Thursday's historic win over Tennessee. We are playing harder and smarter. It looks like we may be having a match-up problem with the size of their players. This will be a challenging game given the height of the Arkansas team. The Cats have to play with confidence. It looks like Sparks is defintely playing at the point again. Tom Leach believes Arkansas is a lot like the Kansas team we played against pre-Morris. The Runts-esque lineup will not work given the height disadvantage. Morris has to stay out of foul trouble as we need the height. Since Randolph has come back, he has played very great offensively. But once he gets in foul trouble, the Cats get screwed.

Mike Pratt's State Farm Insurance Keys to the Game:
-Trips downcourt without a foul for Morris.
-Attack a shot-blocking team
-Get Crawford to draw the fouls.
-Bring an A game defensively.

That ends the pregame show. Tom Leach and Mike Pratt are now taking over. The Wildcats have won 5 straight now against Arkansas. The Cats cannot afford to lose from here on out. After today, only ten games remain before the SEC Tournament. The sounds of "Bittersweet Symphony" and "Right Here, Right Now" can only mean one thing, it's time to meet the starting lineups.

CBS Commentators: Kevin Harlan, Clark Kellogg
Big Blue Sports Network: Tom Leach, Mike Pratt, Dave Baker, Oscar Combs

F - Bobby Perry
C - Randolph Morris
G - Joe Crawford
G - Rajon Rondo
G - Patrick Sparks

F - Darian Townes
C - Steven Hill
G - Dontell Jefferson
G - Jonathon Modica
G - Ronnie Brewer

First Half Score Reports
Ark controls the tip. Perry rebound. Morris misses 2. Ark turnover. Morris rebound. Perry loses it. Cats ball. Morris for 2! Rondo steals but gets his layup blocked. UK turnover. That makes 2. Crawford misses 3. Rondo steals and gets fouled.
15:18 (TV Timeout) UK 2, Arkansas 5
The Cats have gotten off to a weak start but have kept Arkansas scoring low. Morris throws it away. Sparks to the bench. Ramel Bradley in. Crawford picks up a foul. Moss in for Joe. Moss with a bad shot. Thomas in for Perry. Bad turnover. Down 9-2. Tubby calls time and it's much needed.
13:11 (UK Timeout) UK 2, Arkansas 9
Woo in for Morris. Pathetic. Moss for 2! Moss misses 3. Bradley rebound and Ark fouls over the back.
11:41 (TV Timeout) UK 4, Arkansas 13
The Cats need a big run now and need to play smart defense and offense. Sparks back. Bradley misses 3. Woo is blocked. Sparks misses a layup and Moss is blocked out of bounds. This is just like UNC, Indiana, and Kansas. Perry for Thomas. Morris for Woo. Morris for 2! 18-6 Ark. Perry rebound. Perry and 2. If they can't make the outside shots, go inside. Perry misses the first one. Makes the second. Sparks misses 3 and another turnover. PATHETIC. We are shooting below 30% and 0-6 from beyond the arc. Sparks and Moss are out. Bradley for 3 and the streak continues. Bradley misses 3. Rondo rebound.
7:11 (TV timeout) UK 10, Arkansas 26
Looks like the Unpredictables showed up today. We're down 16 points. I have faith we will comeback and win but we don't have the height and therefore we have matchup problems. 25% from the field compared to 53%. Cats turnover on a charge. Joe rebound. Perry misses 3. Rondo for 2! He has to shoot and get inside. Perry rebound. Bradley for 3! Rondo assist.
5:09 (Ark Timeout) UK 15, Arkansas 28
Steal! Oops, it went out of bounds. Goaltending. Moss in, Morris out.
4:26 (UK Timeout) UK 15, Arkansas 30
The Cats are starting to make somewhat of a run in the past few minutes. Bradley misses 3. Foul on Rondo.
3:57 (TV Timeout) UK 15, Arkansas 30
The Cats are 2/11 from beyond the arc. Not good the least bit. Morris with 2. Sparks and Thomas back in. Arkansas walks. Rondo misses. Rondo loses it and gets fouled. Morris with the jumper. Travel! 33-19 Ark. The crowd is in the game now. Bradley in for Rondo. Morris is fouled before the shot. Misses. Cats ball. Thomas for 2! 6-0 run. Morris rebound!! Morris misses 2. Sparks to Morris for 2.
UK 23, Arkansas 35

Arkansas is 13-1 when leading at the half but the Cats should be able to mount a comeback after the run they went on in the last 5 minutes of the game. At this rate, I'm sure that New Hampshire State Rep. Peter Sullivan must be happy. The Wildcats were 39% in the first half. In the paint, they were outscored 16-12. Morris has to get the ball in the second half. Morris did not foul at all in the first half. The Cats have to defend the perimeter.

Second Half Score Reports
Two turnovers so far. Morris goes to the line. Sparks in. Cats turnover but Rondo steals it back. Rondo misses 3. Rondo passes to Perry and he scores 2. Sparks for 2. 40-27. Sparks rebound. Morris misses 2. Rondo steals. Sparks to Moss for 3. 40-30. Fans on their feet. Charge on Jefferson. That's his 3rd. Crawford in. Morris out. Thomas in. Rondo steals. Sparks to Crawford for 3.
15:59 (Arkansas Timeout) UK 33, Arkansas 40
After struggling the first two minutes of the second half, the Cats have started a run and are down by 7. Ashley Judd in the house! The Cats have had 8 points off turnovers and that's where UK has played better. Joe misses 3. Patrick steals and shoots 3. 42-36 Ark! 15:06 remaining
15:06 (TV Timeout) UK 36, Arkansas 42
Mike Sutton is at the game. He's wheelchair-bound but he looks good. Cats rebound. Cats lose it to Arkansas. Rondo gets fouled on a drive. Down 8. Perry to Rondo for 2. Thomas for 3 on a pass from Sparks. Down 5. Thomas picks up a foul. Sparks lays it up. Down 6. Steal! Thomas for 2! Down 4. Thomas rebounds Sparks' missed 3. 51-47 Ark.
10:11 (TV Timeout) UK 47, Arkansas 51
UK is on a 24-12 run. They've hit 4 of 7 from beyond the arc. UK leads 59% to 42% in the second half from the field. Moss and 2. Hill has his 4th. Makes 1 of 2. UK gets the ball as Arkansas deflected out of bounds. Bradley missed 3. Lots of passing on that possession. Perry fouls on the other end. Less than 10 remaining and it's 55-48. Cats rebound. Perry makes 3! That's 7 3's in this game. 55-51. Thomas picks up his 2nd foul. Moss for 2. Down 4. Cats block and rebound. Morris back in for the Cats.
7:46 (TV Timeout) UK 53, Arkansas 57
We're heading down to the wire here. Everytime the Cats inch closer, the Razorbacks hit 3 more. The Cats MUST defend the perimeter. Morris rebound. Rondo for 2. Down 2! Fans on feet. Jefferson picks up his 4th foul! The Cats can tie this thing up! 57-55 Arkansas. Morris ties it up and the fans, including Ashley are going crazy! 57-57. Morris picks up his second foul with 6:32 remaining in the game. The tie didn't last too long but the Cats are still playing. Down 2 again. Off of Arkansas, Cats maintain possession. 32-19 run for the Cats. Sparks misses 3, Morris rebounds for 2 and gets extra shot with the foul. The Cats will take the lead with this shot. 59-59. Modica picks up his first as UK takes the lead. Cats rebound. Sparks for 2.
5:16 (Arkansas Timeout) UK 62, Arkansas 59
The Cats have played back into contention. Up by 3 with a bit over 5 minutes remaining. Sparks' assists have helped. Morris picks up his 3rd foul. He's been playing one of his best games so far this season. The lead shrinks to 2. Perry misses 3 but the Cats lose possession but, wait a minute, Ravi Moss draws the charge! Cats ball! 4:24 remaining! Morris gets blocked but Sparks gets it back with 3 seconds on the on the shotclock and calls time out.
3:52 (UK Timeout) UK 62, Arkansas 60
Hopefully, the Cats know how much is left on the clock. Pass to Morris for the dunk and 2 more. What a pass!
3:37 (TV Timeout) UK 64, Arkansas 60
Both teams in the bonus and both have 2 timeouts remaining. The Cats have been down from 16 points and are now up by 4. The Cats have outrebounded Arkansas. Airball. Moss rebound. Rondo for 2 more. Great control of the clock on that drive. UK ball. 2:37 remaining. Rondo shoots, misses, gets his rebound, and gets 2 more. Morris blocks the shot. 2:16 remaining in the game. 68-61 UK.
2:16 (Arkansas Timeout) UK 68, Arkansas 61
Sparks was forced to call a timeout.
2:09 (UK Timeout) UK 68, Arkansas 61
Two minutes remaining. Rondo drives and gets 2 more.
1:35 (Arkansas Timeout) UK 70, Arkansas 64
The Cats need to control the clock for the next 95 seconds and victory will be ours. The Cats have 1 timeout left while the Razorbacks have none. The Cats, down as many as 18, are now up by 6. Sparks misses 2. Rondo fell and picks up the foul. 1:06 remaining in the game. 70-66 UK. The Cats must maintain as much of the clock as possible and hit everything that they shoot.
1:02 (UK Timeout) UK 70, Arkansas 66
No time outs remaining and UK is one foul away from double bonus. If you are UK, you do not foul. Morris has 17 points and 7 rebounds. Rondo to Morris and 2! Morris heads to the line with exactly 1 minute remaining. The Arkansas Razorbacks must have been confused and thought it was one and one. They took the rebound and ran. Morris makes 1 of 2. Cats rbeound on the other end and they get fouled. 71-66 with 53.6 remaining in the game. The Cats have scored over 40 points this half. Morris, at the line, adds 1 more point and misses the other. Moss rebounds on the other end and gets fouled. He'll head to the line. 74-66 remaining. Brewer gets fouled on the other end. Morris has four fouls. 74-68 with 38.1 remaining in the game. Perry gets fouled by Modica. The Cats are only up by 6 and 36.2 remain in the game. He makes 1 of 2 from the line. The long pass from Sparks to Rondo and he dunks it. 77-70. 77-73 with 17.5 remaining in the game. The Cats miss both. Moss picks up the dropped ball. With 8.7 rmaining, it's 77-73 and Moss goes to the line for 2. Ravi makes the first of two free throws. Brewer makes a 3 but the Cats win it 78-76!
KENTUCKY 78, Arkansas 76

I was right. It was the Unpredictables that showed up today. Down 18 in the first half, they came back to win it!

Website Redesign

Nope, not here. But Barry Welsh, Indiana's 6th congressional district candidate, will unveil the re-design of his campaign website come Monday evening. Be sure to check it out...

This looks to be big...really big!

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Homecoming ends with two victories

The girls won 66-64 against Bellarmine. The guys also won their game. If you were wondering, I was neutral during the men's game.

With this rhetoric, I don't believe that Acting Israeli PM Ehud Olmert should not be elected as the next PM of Israel.
"We are tired of fighting, we are tired of being courageous, we are tired of winning, we are tired of defeating our enemies, we want to be able to live in an entirely different environment of relations with our enemies."

-- Ehud Olmert, June 9, 2005, speech to Israel Policy Forum in New York.
Apparently, there is a rivalry between The Windy City and the Big Apple. Why am I not surprised? I hate the Cubs and the Yankees but both teams have some good comedy venues. Chicago has improv. New York has stand-up.

What is a schnoodle? Apparently, it is a mixed dog breed. Who owns one? Natalie Portman.
Natalie Portman once brought her schnoodle (schnauzer-poodle) named Noodles onto the set of a television talk show.

Note to Fletcher: Brett Hall cost you the Jewish vote

You know, I take the Anti-Defamation League very seriously. When the ADL asks for a public apology, you give a public apology. Now to Governor Fletcher, I have some harsh words for you. Fire your communications director Brett Hall. He just cost you any vote from the Jews that you want in 2007. Because the way I read his comments, he calls it "ridiculous" to apologize when the ADL asks for an apology. The ADL is one of the biggest Jewish organizations in America. In simpler terms: Fletcher is screwed.

Based on this Herald Leader article, it is safely assumed that Fletcher does not care about diversity. Not the least bit. Not even at all.
The Anti-Defamation League yesterday said Gov. Ernie Fletcher does not understand the "acceptable boundaries of personal faith and public office" and urged him to publicly apologize for a governor's prayer breakfast Tuesday that lacked non-Christian voices.

The American Civil Liberties Union said it plans to investigate to make sure the state didn't illegally favor a single religious viewpoint, in part by allowing organizers to use the state-owned Frankfort Convention Center free of charge.

A former general secretary of the National Council of Churches, the nation's largest ecumenical body, said "G-d hears all prayers" and encouraged the governor to reach out to people of all faiths.

As criticism mounted from state and national religious leaders, the Fletcher administration vowed to be more inclusive and defended the governor's record on interfaith relations, saying he has worked to build relations with the state's Jewish leaders.

Non-Christians will have a voice at next year's breakfast and will be encouraged to help organize the event, Fletcher spokesman Brett Hall said. "We'd love to have them. This will be an even better event because of it," he said.

But he dismissed the ADL's calls for a public apology, labeling it "ridiculous." He also said he would "relish" closer scrutiny from civil libertarians.

"We invite their inquiry. We are blessed by their inquiry," he said. "This isn't Berkeley, California. This is hometown America. The ACLU has no credibility in this matter at all."
You know, maybe now would be a good time for the Democrats to issue a response. They might even want to get State Treasurer Jonathan Miller or State Representative Kathy Stein to do this as both are fellow members of the tribe.

Uh, how is this hometown America when you don't invite the other religions? I'm sorry but I would consider Brett Hall labeling the ADL call as being "ridiculous" as bull****. Brett Hall is very unwise to say those comments. He probably just cost himself his job. This may be Kentucky but I take the ADL very seriously.

It will be interesting to see how other Jewish organizations reply to this.

Another Saturday Night...

SNL is a rerun so don't expect any new reviews from me this weekend. The next new show will be next weekend when Steve Martin hosts. Tonight's episode is the Dane Cook episode. I might watch the cold opening but that all depends on my early wakeup tomorrow due to the University of Kentucky Wildcats game. I'll be up in time for the pre-game show with Dave Baker and Oscar Combs.

On Saturday, February 11, 2006, Virginia Democrats will welcome Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell as their keynote speaker for the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner. The event will take place at the Greater Richmond Convention Center.

This is a PDF but explains everything that you need to know about that terrorist organization that just got elected Thursday.

The WaPo confirms what the Hotline wrote yesterday with regards to Sen. Bayh.

Friends alumnus Matthew Perry, best known as Chandler Bing, is returning to the televsion. Will he suffer the same fate as Lisa Kudrow's television show. Will Friends alumni have the same curse that the stars of Seinfeld have with post-Seinfeld sitcoms. Jennifer Aniston is the only star to have a successful post-Friends career in my opinion.
The former co-star of the long-running Friends is returning to NBC to star in a still untitled series from West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin about the behind-the-scenes life at a Saturday Night Live-type sketch-comedy show.

The series will also star Steven Weber (Wings) and comedian D.L. Hughley.[...]

In the new series, the trade papers reported, he’ll portray a former writer for the show who is hired to fill in when the producer quits.

Perry becomes the third Friends star to get his own series. Matt LeBlanc took his character into the spinoff, Joey, which has floundered, and Lisa Kudrow’s starred in HBO’s The Comeback, which drew mixed reviews.
Two days after Warner Brothers said that there will be no reunion, Kathleen Turner says that she was approached for a Friends reunion. I'll believe it when I see it.

Six people have made the short list for the next general manager of the Cincinnati Reds.

The West Wing will go out in style.
Broadway performer Kristin Chenoweth, who plays a presidential aide, recalled the response she received recently while singing at the Kennedy Center.

"I was at a table with former Sen. Tom Daschle and Sandra Day O'Connor. After realizing I wasn't going to tell them who would win the election, both said they had never seen a movie or TV show that was more true-to-life about life in Washington."

Whitford chimed in: "Alan Greenspan - you know, with that face that's just not trained to express anything - once said to me he was really upset when our Fed chairman died and nobody cared. It wasn't even the 'A' story line."
I have no problem with Democrats aiming to the center or Virginia Governor Tim Kaine recieving the honor of giving the Democratic response to the State of the Union.

Evan Bayh has not made his decision public yet with regards to how he will vote on the nomination of Judge Sam Alito. My guess is that he will vote no.
"Senator Bayh will consider the answers to the questions in the meeting and the answers Judge Alito gave during his confirmation hearing before making a decision on the nominee," spokesman Dan Pfeiffer said, adding they discussed Alito's "judicial philosophy on a number of issues, including the parameters of executive power."

Supreme Court votes are considered crucial for senators with potential presidential aspirations, such as Bayh, because hot-button issues the court deals with, such as abortion, are very important to many party activists.

Bayh, D-Ind., voted against Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts last year because, he said, he wasn't able to learn about Roberts' beliefs.
It is now official. Emily Hughes, sister of 2002 Olympic Gold medalist Sarah Hughes, will not be Turin/Torino-bound. The U.S. Olympic Committee issued the announcement concerning Michelle Kwan yesterday.
Following a monitoring session Friday at the East West Ice Palace in Artesia, Calif., U.S. Figure Skating announced that five-time World and nine-time U.S. champion Michelle Kwan is competitively fit to compete in the 2006 Olympic Winter Games and has confirmed her nomination to the 2006 U.S. Olympic Team. A five person monitoring committee evaluated Kwan as she performed her free skate and short program back-to-back at 11 a.m. The committee determined Kwan’s performances proved her competitive fitness is more than adequate for participation in the 2006 Olympic Winter Games.
I hope Emily tries again in 2010.

Come Saturday, February 4, 2006, at the Lexington History Museum, the Fayette Democrats will host It's Your Party: A Tribute to Fayette County Democrats' Legacy & Future.

Breaking: Steve Carell sequel to be named The 41 Year-Old Whore

Steve Carell announced on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, presumedly a joke, that an idea for the sequel to The 40 Year-Old Virgin may be named The 41-Year-Old Whore. Who knows if it goes anywhere beyond those comments? Certainly not me. Evan Almighty begins production in March or April of this year.

Conan declared the show to be the last episode with Steve Carell appearing on it. Presumedly, that was a joke, too.

Friday, January 27, 2006

For Immediate Release

Contrary to popular opinion on campus, I am staying completely neutral when NKU takes on Bellarmine tomorrow night at 7:30 PM.

It didn't take long to decide this decision. As soon as I heard last year that Scott Davenport was taking the position of head coach at Bellarmine University, I knew that would put me in a position. Do I root for the university that I go to? Or do I root for the school that my friend's father coaches at?

Therefore, even if I wear any NKU apparell tomorrow, I will be neutral during the game. It's the fairest option that I see. If it makes me unpopular among my fellow students, so be it. Life's not fair like that. You win some and you lose some.

Facebook and Athletes

Mitch Barnhart has warned UK Athletes with regards to photos on facebook.
Barnhart had been planning the meeting for a couple of weeks, said UK Athletics spokesman Scott Stricklin. UK has about 500 student-athletes, counting scholarship athletes and walk-ons, he said.

"This was not spur-of-the-moment," Stricklin said.

"He wanted to make sure they knew what was expected of them and that they understood what their responsibilities were as far as wearing the Blue and White," he said. "As much as there may have been problems, he wanted to make sure there weren't any problems, to make sure they know people are watching.

"He wanted to make sure he had their attention."

Facebook is a social network Web site that allows students, faculty and staff of colleges across the nation to post profiles and pictures, link themselves to "friends" and join social groups. Earlier this school year, The Kernel reported how UK's administration has been using incriminating Facebook photos to convict students of alcohol-related violations (see the Dec. 9 issue).

"(Barnhart) had some things he shared with them to make sure they knew how he felt about it," Stricklin said. "He keeps pretty good tabs on what's going on, both good and bad."

Softball junior Brooke Marnitz said Barnhart's message carried a serious tone.

"He didn't give any specifics other than he can take away your financial aid or suspend you indefinitely," Marnitz said. "No matter what the coaches say, he said it's under his discretion.[...]

"He's just trying to protect the athletes, the school and the department," she said.

Student-athletes should respond to this warning, Marnitz said.

"I hope people take him seriously," she said. "I hope they open their eyes."

Gymnastics senior Staci O'Keefe said Barnhart told the student-athletes he doesn't want to ban their use of such Internet sites as Facebook.com.

"He just doesn't want anything portrayed that shouldn't be," O'Keefe said. "He told us to look at what's on the Internet, and if it's not representing UK well, then it shouldn't be out there."

O'Keefe said she doesn't think many people are having to make major changes.

"It's not like people are erasing everything," she said. "I'm not changing anything."
It's good that Mitch Barnhart doesn't want to ban Facebook from athletes at UK.

At NKU, it is up to the coach's discretion. One good thing about Facebook is that it is a great way to keep in touch with friends. The Athletics program may not see it that way.
"Right now my position from a department standpoint is not to restrict (Facebook) usage," Meier said.

Though the policy will not necessarily restrict student usage, Meier said that coaches would have the ability to decide if their team members will be allowed to participate in the online student network.

"Some coaches have indicated that they don't want their athletes on it," she said.
I can understand photos but to not be alloowed to join and stay in touch with friends. In my opinion, the positives outweigh the negatives.

One more post and I'll see you tomorrow night.

Pre-Shabbas Open Thread

It will be so nice to relax tomorrow as the Wildcats play on Sunday rather than on Shabbas.

Robert Klein will have a show in Danbury, CT. This article goes in-depth on his career in comedy. He's one of the few that can do both improv comedy and stand-up comedy.

The United Nations remembered the Holocaust today. Maybe they will actually stop being so anti-Israel in what they do. What they should do is immediately denounce the new Palestinian government because terrorists were elected.
"We sound an alarm, a call to arms and a wake-up call to the world, a world in which a member state of this organization denies the Holocaust while it prepares the next one," Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Dan Gillerman, told a General Assembly hall packed with Holocaust survivors, Jewish and Israeli officials and other members of the Jewish community.

U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan addressed The International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust by video conference. "There can be no reversing the unique tragedy of the Holocaust. It must be remembered with shame and horror as long as human memory continues," Annan said.
True, there can be no reversing of the events but we have the power to prevent it in other countries. What is being done with Darfur?

This is some good news. When you elect terrorists to leadership, you lose any potential funding you would have otherwise receievd. JTA reports:
"We will face practical problems of how you deal with people that call for the destruction of Israel," Yossi Bachar, director of Israel’s Finance Ministry, told Ha’aretz on Friday. "If they want to continue to work with us, they will have to find a solution, otherwise I can’t see how they would get the money." Israel returns to the Palestinian Authority tax money, social security payments and some customs duties garnered from Palestinians.

James Wolfensohn, envoy to the region for the diplomatic "Quartet" managing the peace process, predicted a cutoff from Western nations. Hamas is set to take power by next week.
It doesn't look like Hamas will be changing their ways anytime soon at all.

Israel is working with Jordan and Egypt and the two countries will monitor what develops.
Israel’s acting prime minister spoke with Jordan’s King Abdullah and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to emphasize that his government would be unable to have contact with a Palestinian government that includes Hamas, according to statements issued by Olmert’s office. Olmert told both leaders that Hamas must disarm and revoke its calls for the destruction of Israel.

Abdullah told Olmert that the Palestinians must show responsibility and decide the path they’ll take. Mubarak said he’ll discuss the results of the P.A. elections with the Palestinian leadership next week. Both leaders agreed to speak again with Olmert in order to monitor developments.
I agree with President Bush with regards to the fact that as long as Hamas is in power, the Palestinians will recieve no foreign aid.
"The United States does not support political parties that want to destroy our ally Israel, and that people must renounce that part of their platform," Bush said Thursday, after it became clear that Hamas had trounced P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah Party in legislative elections.

Bush already was garnering an international consensus on the issue; his secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, spent much of Thursday consulting with U.S. allies, and it apparently paid off. By the end of the day, European leaders were echoing Bush’s statement.

"We can only do business with people who renounce terrorism," a spokesman for British Prime Minister Tony Blair said, and the sentiment was echoed by Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian prime minister. European officials predicted unanimity on the topic when the European Union’s 25 foreign ministers meet Monday.

Bush cautioned that the dust had yet to settle: Abbas, a relative moderate favored by the United States and Israel, remains as P.A. president, and Hamas — which appeared surprised by its victory — has yet to announce its plans for governance.

"We’d like him to stay in power," Bush said of Abbas.
This was sent to me via email from BangitOut.com:
Top Ten Good Things to come out of the Hamas Election Victory:
10. 95% of winning candidates will probably blow themselves up by end of first term
9. Government officials now easily recognizable from their FBI Most Wanted Terrorist Mugshots
8. Finally a government to compete with Iran for prize of Most Psychotic Government
7. Allows AP to title pics of kids dressed in Suicide-Bomber costumes with the line "Kids dress up as favorite Government officials"
6. Palestinian C-Span channel will probably have parental advisory for graphic violence
5. May encourage Al Quaeda sleeper cell members to abandon terrorist plots in favor of seeking cushy government desk jobs
4. Any political filibuster in the new Pali-gov. would now probably be deemed as "fighting the war on terror"
3. Now calling the Palestinian government a "Wolf in Sheep's Clothing" is just wrong
2. Finally allows for Hammas version of the TV show West Wing, which promises to be just like the show 24, just from the terrorists' perspective
1. Makes answering the question "Do the Palestinian people support terrorism?" a no brainer
The next State Central Executive Meeting will be on February 27 in Frankfort, KY.

Check this out!

Mark Feuerstein, formerly of Good Morning, Miami, with the help of Adam Stein and Sam Friedlander have come up with the west coast response to "Lazy Sunday." They call it "Lazy Monday."

Go to Narnia Rap Battle to watch it. It's a very good video. I gave it 5 stars on YouTube.com.

I am actually in pre-production right now for several comedy shorts this semester that will get posted on YouTube.com. Not a matter of if, but when. First up, my own rap in response to "Lazy Sunday." I'm still working on the lyrics. It would be hard to shoot in Rupp Arena so that rules out the Wildcats basketball rap.

See the Hotline?

This was in the Hotline today:
Sen. Evan Bayh ended '05 with a whopping $9.5M in his Senate campaign account, according to reports Bayh will file with the FEC.

Campaign account money can be directly transferred into a presidential exploratory account; only a fraction of a Leadership PAC's cash is fungible.

In typical '08 hopeful fashion, Bayh is using his campaign account to accumulate a bankroll for a potential presidential race and is using his PAC to earn chits with Dems across the country.

Bayh's PAC contributed the maximum to NH Gov. John Lynch and NJ Gov. Jon Corzine. It gave $15k to the DSCC, 10K to the NH Dem party, money to the Blackhawk Co. Dem Party in IA and $25K to home-state Dems in Indiana's house. Sens. Bill Nelson and Robert Byrd recieved donations, as did candidates Harold Ford (TN) and Claire McCaskill (MO). House candidate Dave Loebsack recieved $1K from the PAC as did several others. Bayh also contributed to several IA legislative campaigns.

For the year, the Senate account took in more than 3M -- including more than $1.7M in the final quarter. The PAC, which has more than $800K on hand, raised more than $1.5M for the year.

Bayh's chief fundraiser is Nancy Jacobson. His senior advisers include Anita Dunn and Dan Pfeiffer, along with pollster Paul Maslin and ex-Gore CoS Ron Klain.
This is great news for the Senator.

A few things

If you do support a filibuster, please sign Senator Kerry's petition. I'm still a moderate Democrat, and I signed it. I have no hard feelings after doing so either. It felt great.

Monday's event in Louisville with Senator Kennedy and Senator McConnell has been rescheduled to due the event of a filibuster.

Political Cortex has more. It's not 41 the counts. It's Bill Frist having to get those 60 affirmative votes to end cloture.

Guess who is heading to Northwest Indiana? Howard Dean. Some are saying that this is a sign that Sen. Bayh is a major contender come 2008.

The Kentucky Kernal has their review of the game last night. It was a historical one for the woman's program in my opinion.

Rob Corddry offers some advice.
"Bring a poncho, because if you're sitting in the first few rows it gets messy. And two, if you come with a small child please sit where I can't see you because then I can't sleep at night -- it gets a little blue."

Responsible parenting is about to become a prime consideration in Corddry's life. He and his wife Sandra -- a speech pathologist who appeared on the fake news show last week in a segment about his obsession with threesomes -- are expecting a baby July 8, which means his college tour days are numbered.

"I really want to exploit these colleges before June because then my time is up. You know I have to steal as much hard-earned tuition money as possible. I need to buy a Bugaboo stroller, apparently."
I've seen John Mabry playing when he was going through the Cardinals organization so it's interesting to read how he took a deal the Cubs of all teams.
Players come and go, but "May-berry" and Albert Pujols were the only Cardinals who took their mail from a St. Louis post office year 'round. Born in Delaware and educated in Maryland and Pennsylvania, Mabry along with his family embraced the Midwest after he first reached St. Louis in 1994. He has since played for the Seattle Mariners (twice), Oakland A's, San Diego Padres, Florida Marlins and Philadelphia Phillies. His preference was to finish his career where it began.

Contacted by four teams, Mabry phoned general manager Walt Jocketty to divine the Cardinals' interest. The Cubs were waiting for an answer on their $1.075 million bid. After several attempts, Mabry finally reached Jocketty, telling him, "Listen, I want to stay in St. Louis. It's my first choice. All you have to do is say it's guaranteed at a number."

Said Jocketty: "We can't do this. As a friend, I would take another deal."

And Mabry did, accepting a significant bump from last season's $725,000 base salary.

"Would it have been a good thing (to remain a Cardinal)? Absolutely," he said. "I have four small kids. But this is also great. I'm still playing. No. 2, they're still relatively close. My family plays a big part in my decision. There's also playing time and the chance to win. But the fact they can get there until school gets out is a big thing. I'm looking forward to it."

Mabry, 35, and his wife, Ann, have four children under 6 years old. The highlight of Mabry's 2005 season wasn't his ninth-inning home run that capped a seven-run, ninth-inning rally at Great American Ball Park against the Cincinnati Reds. It was learning that his son, J.T., had stayed awake long enough to hear the moment on the radio.

Mabry has made his West County residence his home year 'round since 1998, coincidentally the year he signed as a free agent with the Mariners.

Reasons for playing elsewhere may change, he says, but Mabry's reasons for living here haven't.

"When I was here (as a rookie) in '95, we absolutely stunk. We lost 100 games, but we still almost drew 2 million," recalled Mabry, employing a bit of fuzzy math to describe the strike-abbreviated 62-81 campaign that left the Cardinals in fourth place and Jocketty to fire manager Joe Torre at the behest of itchy-to-sell Anheuser-Busch. "They come out to genuinely support the home team. Even when we stunk, they showed up 25,000 a night. They're enduring it with you. They still support the individual players.
Imagine Bart Peterson running for Governor of Indiana come 2008. The GOP is already talking about this and they are afraid for the same reasons that they are afraid with Evan Bayh or Mark Warner. Moderates can win.

Late Night Open Thread

Anyone have financial information for the Wendell Ford Appreciation Dinner in March. I want to go but I need to know about the finances. If anyone knows something, please get in touch.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Bonus Quote of the Day

"I'm kind of a big George Clooney fan...he helped me get elected."
--Rep. Geoff Davis on Syriana, January 26, 2006

Since I'm pretty sure that Davis's people read the blog, I'd like to announce that I'm a fan of George Clooney, too, but he didn't help me get elected to anything. I was tempted not to post this but I am anyway.

The Filibuster

Thank G-d for John Kerry and the fight for the filibuster against Judge Samuel Alito. Unfortunately, we didn't have enough support to keep it going.
The filibuster's supporters -- including Sens. John F. Kerry and Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts -- acknowledged that the bid is likely to fail and that Alito is virtually certain to be confirmed Tuesday. But they said extended debate may draw more Americans' attention to Alito's conservative stands on abortion, civil rights, presidential powers and other matters.

"Judge Alito will take America backward, especially when it comes to civil rights and discrimination laws," Kerry said in a statement issued by his office. He added: "It's our right and our responsibility to oppose him vigorously and to fight against this radical upending of the Supreme Court."

Kennedy said that Alito, 55, "does not share the values of equality and justice that make this country strong," adding: "He does not deserve a place on the highest court of the land."
While it is unlikely that there will be enough support for a filibuster, Sen. John Kerry should be commended for his work today.