Monday, April 30, 2007

Better blog before I get too depressed...

I'm a St. Louis Cardinals fan so naturally, I feel like I just lost a family member. Please bear with my over the next couple of days. What was supposed to be a happy and exciting week turned into a downright depressing week.

Ernie Fletcher will actually pay for campaign travel.

G.J. Vilarino is already helping with recruiting for the Kentucky Wildcats.
"I'm trying to get Shawn to come with me," Vilarino said. "He's a great player, and at least I will know somebody there."

The 6-foot-6 Williams said his decision is wide-open, but he likes the Wildcats because he has family in Louisville and he's talked to Billy Gillispie several times since he became UK's coach.

"I have known Coach Gillispie since I was in the eighth grade, and when he went there it upped the status," Williams said. "He's a great coach and a dynamite person.

"Right now I'm just looking for the best situation. But Kentucky does have the tradition, and I really want to win when I go to college."

Williams, who is ranked No. 12 in the '09 class by the Hoop Scoop, is also considering Arkansas, Memphis and Illinois among others. His mother, Tonea Williams, was born in Louisville and went to Shawnee.
Evan Bayh is taking international theft of intellectual property very seriously.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

RIP: Josh Hancock

Last season, when the St. Louis Cardinals were in Cincinnati to play the Cincinnati Reds, I decided to head over to the game since it was finals week and I didn't have a final that Tuesday. I was lucky enough to get Josh Hancock's autograph. I heard the news, oh, two hours ago or so, and I am in a state of shock and disbelief following the tragic death of St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher Josh Hancock.

Tonight's game has been postponed as a result of today's tragedy to the St. Louis family. May Josh Hancock rest in peace.


Deadspin has a must-read tribute.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Keep Rowand Along...

Pardon the pun, Aaron Rowand has the longest active hitting streak right now at 16 games.

There is a good chance that the University of Kentucky will purchase a plane to help with their coaches and recruiting.
Long lines at airports, flight delays and cancellations are just some of the headaches experienced by coaches on the recruiting trail.

Kentucky is trying to relieve some of that strain for Coach Billy Gillispie by increasing the men's basketball recruiting budget by $300,000 this year.

That sum was part of the $62.7 million budget approved yesterday by the UK athletics board -- up from the $62.4 million budget this fiscal year.

"We're examining the ability to get around privately," Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart explained after the meeting. "We've found in the last 21/2 weeks, trying to ramp up quickly with a new coach, how difficult it's been for him to get around."

The athletics director said Gillispie did not request the additional funding.

The request opened up a recurring discussion on the board about UK purchasing its own plane for coaches to use on the recruiting trail.

"We don't have our own plane and that becomes problematic for us in a lot of our major sports," Barnhart said.

Not having a private university plane can slow the process, Barnhart said.
Democratic candidates for governor recently debated issues of importance to those in Eastern Kentucky.

The candidates for treasurer had a heated debate.

Actress Natalie Portman will be on This Week tomorrow morning.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Rick Majerus to SLU is now a done deal

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch breaks the news.
what amounts to a major change in the way St. Louis University is approaching basketball, SLU has hired former Utah coach Rick Majerus to replace Brad Soderberg, who was fired on April 17.

Majerus, one of the most successful coaches in college basketball in recent years, will be introduced at a news conference on Monday at 10 a.m.

Majerus, 59, has been out of coaching since stepping down from Utah in the middle of the 2004 season due to health concerns. Since then, he has been working for ESPN as an analyst, though his name has surfaced with several other job openings.

In the past, SLU has hired assistant coaches or head coaches at smaller schools looking to step up in the world. In Majerus, SLU has hired one of the biggest names in the business, a coach regarded for his basketball acumen, though whose sometimes prickly demeanor has alienated many over the years. Majerus will likely make more than $1 million,

Majerus was the only coach SLU contacted about the job, and the only one to have an on-campus interview. After meeting with school officials over the weekend, the two sides went into lengthy discussions that have finally reached a conclusion.

Of course, with Majerus, it still might not be over. He took the job at USC in December of 2004, only to change his mind a few days later and say he wasn’t up for the job.

Majerus attended Marquette and played as a walk-on as a freshman in 1967 but he was cut from the team before the following season. He graduated in 1970 and spent the next 12 seasons at the school, first as an assistant to Al McGuire, then to McGuire’s successor, Hank Raymonds.

Pleasant Valley Blogging

For several colleges and universities, today is the final day of classes before finals begin next week.

UK is still going very hard after Michael Sanchez. No idea yet as to if he will enroll anywhere other than prep school in the fall of 2007.
"He felt he needed another year of development whatever (college) he went to," said Bill Ingram, who coached Sanchez for the Arkansas Hawks AAU team. "One thing he told me is he's still going to prep school. That's what he's committed to doing. But he said he might change his mind."
Sandy Koufax was drafted yesterday by the Modi’in Miracles.
Power-hitting outfielder Aaron Levin was the first player selected in the Israel Baseball League's inaugural draft. The Modi’in Miracles made Levin, 22, from Contra Costa Community College in California, the first pick in the draft, held Thursday night in New York City.

With the final pick of the draft the Miracles chose Sandy Koufax, the former Los Angeles Dodger left-hander and Hall of Famer, who famously refused to pitch in a World Series game that fell on Yom Kippur.

It's unclear whether Koufax would actually suit up for the Miracles. "His selection is a tribute to the esteem with which he is held by everyone associated with this league," the team’s manager, former big leaguer Art Shamsky, told The Associated Press. "It's been 41 years between starts for him. If he's rested and ready to take the mound again, we want him on our team."
Jonathan Miller picked up another endorsement.

A new Ditch Mitch video is online.

I don't understand why non-Jews are joining a Jewish dating service.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Presidential candidates address the NJDC

Hall of Fame catcher Yogi Berra explains the 2008 election. Well, his phrases do, anyway.

Bayh and Lugar introduced the Farming Flexibility Act.

Senator Obama spoke about the two-state solution.
"We have to be very hardheaded and clear-eyed about the dangers that exist throughout the Middle East in those who seek to perpetrate terror against the United States as well as Israel," Obama (D-Ill.) said Tuesday at the National Jewish Democratic Council's Washington conference, where he appeared with every other Democratic candidate for the presidency.

"But we also have to recognize that the status quo is not inevitable, that we can aspire to something greater, and that if we can find partners on the other side who are committed to recognizing Israel and are committed to renouncing violence, that we have the need to reach out to them and that we should want to have that difficult, tough discussion, but nevertheless have that discussion about how we’re going to arrive at what I think everybody wants, which is two states living side by side in peace and security.”
Here's another story on it.

Can someone please remind me as to why exactly we still have bigots in this state?
Gov. Ernie Fletcher said he doesn't expect to call a special session of the General Assembly until after the May 22 primary election and confirmed that he's considering asking lawmakers to block public universities from offering domestic partner benefits to employees.

"It's very unlikely that it might be before the primary," he told reporters in Louisville yesterday. "It's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when. After the primary is the most appropriate time."

Fletcher said he would deliberate with administration officials and lawmakers about the issue of universities offering domestic partnership benefits in light of the University of Kentucky trustees' decision yesterday to provide health coverage to unmarried live-in companions of UK staff.

That is a stark change from the administration's position during the General Assembly session earlier this year, when Fletcher said he would leave the issue up to the universities.

Fletcher said he is receiving "push-back" from Kentuckians who voted for a constitutional amendment in 2004 banning same-sex marriage. Gay and lesbian couples would benefit from domestic partnership benefits.
Here's a look at the campaign finance reports so far.

Say it ain't so.

I wonder where he got the $1 million.

I've never heard of a university that allows co-ed roommates unless the students are married.

Democratic party donors are torn, accoring to the Forward, when it comes to "loyalty and electability."
Several participants expressed the view that at least one of the current front-runners — Clinton, Obama and former vice-presidential candidate John Edwards — was likely to stumble. This view appeared to translate into more support for Biden and New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson among attendees than their sluggish single-digit poll numbers would have suggested.

Democrats want to feel that “we have nominated the best candidate to win the general election, and we are not so personally involved or interested in the personal success of one of these candidates at the expense of the party,” said Michael Adler, a Miami Democrat who was an early supporter of Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential bid and is now raising money for Biden, a longtime family friend.

The candidates used the forum to reiterate their pro-Israel loyalties, attack President Bush on foreign policy and attempt to distinguish themselves in a crowded field.

Edwards, a former North Carolina senator, called in his speech Monday night for American talks with Iran and Syria. Biden criticized the White House for reportedly blocking Israel from talking to Damascus. Both men criticized the Bush administration’s close ties to Saudi Arabia.

Obama faced questions about his support from segments of the Muslim community and his commitment to blocking Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons.

In response, he insisted that the United States could not ask Israel to “take risks” with its security. But, Obama added, the “status quo is not inevitable” and America should insist on some “tough” discussions “about how we’re going to arrive at what I think everybody wants, which is two states living side by side in peace and security.”

His comments drew applause.

Clinton generated a great deal of electricity in the room when she arrived Wednesday morning. And she seemed quite at ease, as she opened her remarks with general comments about Democratic Party values, rather than rushing to hammer home her support for Israel, as other speakers did.

Steve Grossman, the former chair of the Democratic National Committee, identified himself as a “passionate supporter” of New York’s junior senator, and described her as “electable.”

“She’s speaks to people, and I think she will speak to a whole generation of people who never would believe that a woman could achieve” such success, he said.

Others seemed to be torn between their close personal ties to Clinton and the appeal of other candidates.

Marc Winkelman, a businessman based in Austin, Texas, who has donated to both Clinton and Obama and backed Senator Joseph Lieberman for president in 2004, attempted to explain Rapaport’s quandary.

“He looks at Barack, I think, and sees this guy who really is an inspiration to people,” Winkelman said. “But he has this history that goes way back with the Clintons. He has, I think, 100% confidence in her and because she’s running, he’s supporting her.”

Recruiting news...

I'm doing this while the Cards are playing the Reds, and of course, it's the one game of the series that is NOT on FSN Ohio.

This is a MUST READ at KSR. Kentucky is going after Beas Hamga, and it's possible that Hamga can enroll in 2007 rather than wait til 2008. We have two scholarships left for this year and two for next year.

KSR also has the rundown of 2008 recruits.

Scott County's Matt Walls has decided to sign with Marshall.

As usual, Patrick Patterson is taking his time.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Rick Majerus to SLU done deal?

It's looking like Rick Majerus is headed back into coaching at St. Louis University.

Crunch Time

It's crunch paper to go before finals start.

Jack Conway is in Northern Kentucky for a meet and greet and as usual, I am in need of a ride...

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Happy Birthday, Cawood Ledford!

Cawood Ledford may no longer be here with us but his spirit lives on. Here are some YouTube videos:

Henry's new ad...

Just another hey-where's-the-lt.-governor-running-mate mentioned?

Quote of the Day

"I’ve always liked watching Kentucky from the time they had Jamal Mashburn and then when I got here to Oak Hill, I knew about Rajon Rondo. Kentucky has a great tradition. It’s as big as you can get and I want to be a part of that tradition."
--Alex Legion on signing with the University of Kentucky Wildcats, April 24, 2007


Am Yisrael Chai

Gatewood Galbraith became the first candidate, excluding the Miller-Maze campaign, to file a campaign finance report with KREF.

I just got this in my inbox and will now share with you. Just make sure you aren't eating or drinking when you read this and don't tell me I didn't warn you!
"Friends Vs. Jewish Friends"

FRIENDS: Never ask for food.
JEWISH FRIENDS: Always bring the food.

FRIENDS: Will say "hello."
JEWISH FRIENDS: Will give you a big hug and a kiss.

FRIENDS: Call your parents Mr. and Mrs.
JEWISH FRIENDS: Call your parents Mom and Dad

FRIENDS: Have never seen you cry.
JEWISH FRIENDS: Cry with you.

FRIENDS: Will eat at your dinner table and leave.
JEWISH FRIENDS: Will spend hours there, talking, laughing and just being together.

FRIENDS: know a few things about you.
JEWISH FRIENDS: Could write a book with direct quotes from you.

FRIENDS: Will leave you behind if that's what the crowd is doing.
JEWISH FRIENDS: Will kick the whole crowds' behinds that left you.

FRIENDS: Would knock on your door.
JEWISH FRIENDS: Walk right in and say, "I'm home!"

FRIENDS: Are for a while.
JEWISH FRIENDS: Are for life.

Friends: Will leave without saying Goodbye
Jewish friends: Will say goodbye and never leave.

FRIENDS: Will ignore this.
JEWISH FRIENDS: Will forward this.
Students at Western Kentucky University held a protest rally.

Jack Conway will be holding a fundraiser in Northern Kentucky for his campaign for Attorney General.

Egypt appears to be taking a tougher stance against Hamas.

Hamas recently just broke a truce.

Enjoy the nice weather outside.

It's offical! We got Alex Legion

Herald Leader:
Parade All-American Alex Legion signed with Kentucky on Tuesday to become the first high-profile recruit in the Billy Gillispie era.

Legion, a 6-foot-5 guard from Detroit, also had been considering UCLA and Michigan. He signed with Michigan in the fall before changing his mind when the school fired Tommy Amaker as coach.

The commitment came the week after Legion and his mother visited the UK campus.

“They both just felt that was the place,” said Steve Smith, who coached Legion for Oak Hill Academy.

Legion will join a UK team that includes several veteran guards: seniors Joe Crawford and Ramel Bradley, plus sophomores Jodie Meeks, Derrick Jasper and Michael Porter.

“He’s not worried about playing time,” Smith said of Legion. “He said, ‘I just want to play for Kentucky.’

“He has no illusions of starting. He’s not been told he would start.”

A top-30 national prospect, Legion will bring a reputation for dead-eye shooting.

Smith noted that Legion needed to work on his ball handling but possessed the kind of work ethic to improve.

After noting Legion’s regular 6:15 a.m. workouts, the Oak Hill coach said, “He’s not going to be shocked when he gets to college with the running and conditioning. He’s used to it."
It seems that having Joe Crawford playing for UK seemed to influence the decision.
Williams also cited Kentucky senior guard Joe Crawford as a significant reason for the Kentucky decision. Crawford and Legion played for the Family AAU team in Detroit, and Williams said it will help Legion to have an older player he knows on the team.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Alex Legion to sign with UK?

Jeff Goodman is reporting that Alex Legion will sign with the University of Kentucky Wildcats on Tuesday.
According to a source close to the situation, the Oak Hill Academy (Va.) 6-foot-4 shooting guard, who was released from his letter from Michigan earlier this month, will sign on Tuesday with the Wildcats.

"It's a done deal," said the source.

This is important for Kentucky for a multitude of reasons.

One of the major knocks on former Kentucky coach Tubby Smith was his inability to land high-profile recruits. Legion, who is from Michigan, is ranked No. 33 in the country by

Legion had committed to Michigan on two separate occasions, but he decided that he didn't fit into new Wolverines coach John Beilein's system and received recent interest from the likes of UConn, Kansas and UCLA.

Legion visited Lexington this past weekend and evidently came away impressed.

Kentucky will lose starting guards Ramel Bradley and Joe Crawford after next season and Legion will likely move right into Crawford's spot on the wing.
Matt Jones had an interview up early this evening.

Yom Ha'atzmaut

Today is the 59th Yom Ha'atzmaut, also known as the Israeli Independence Day. Usually it is on the 5th of Iyar unless Shabbas precedes the 4th of Iyar like it did this year so it's celebrated on the 6th of Iyar this year.

From the Jewish Virtual Library:
Most of the Jewish communities in the Western world have incorporated this modern holiday to celebrate Israel's independence [held on the fifth of Iyar (but sometimes moved slightly due to Shabbat)] into their calendars, but some North American Jewish communities hold the public celebrations on a following Sunday to attract more participation. In Israel it is a formal holiday; so almost everyone has the day off.
Yom Ha-Atzmaut in Israel is always preceded by Yom Hazikaron — Memorial Day for the Fallen Soldiers. The message of linking these two days is clear: Israelis owe their independence--the very existence of the state — to the soldiers who sacrificed their lives for it.

The official "switch" from Yom Hazikaron to Yom Ha-Atzmaut takes place a few minutes after sundown, with a ceremony on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem in which the flag is raised from half staff (due to Memorial Day) to the top of the pole. The president of Israel delivers a speech of congratulations, and soldiers representing the army, navy, and air force parade with their flags. In recent decades this small-scale parade has replaced the large-scale daytime parade, which was the main event during the 1950s and '60s. The evening parade is followed by a torch lighting (hadlakat masuot) ceremony, which marks the country's achievements in all spheres of life.

Other than the official ceremonies, Israelis celebrate Yom Ha-Atzmaut in a variety of ways. In the cities, the nighttime festivities may be found on the main streets. Crowds will gather to watch public shows offered for free by the municipalities and the government. Many spend the night dancing Israeli folk dances or singing Israeli songs. During the daytime thousands of Israeli families go out on hikes and picnics. Army camps are open for civilians to visit and to display the recent technological achievements of the Israeli Defense Forces. Yom Ha-Atzmaut is concluded with the ceremony of granting the "Israel Prize" recognizing individual Israelis for their unique contribution to the country's culture, science, arts, and the humanities.[...]

For American Jews, celebrating Yom Ha-Atzmaut has been a way to express solidarity with the state of Israel and to strengthen their alliance with it. In many communities, it is one of few occasions in which Jewish organizations and synagogues of different ideologies and denominations cooperate in forming a common celebration. In many North American congregations, the joint public celebration often is augmented by a religious service. In some cases, this would occur on the Shabbat closest to Yom Ha-Atzmaut and would consist of additional readings added to the service and, usually, the singing of Hatikvah (the Israeli national anthem).[...]

There is not yet an accepted "tradition" of how to celebrate this holiday, and only time will tell whether certain customs, foods, prayers, and melodies will be linked in the Jewish mind with this holiday, as with holidays that emerged many centuries before Yom Ha-Atzmaut. For Jews around the world, joining with Israelis celebrating Yom Ha-Atzmaut has become a concrete link in the Jewish connection to the land of Israel.

RIP: David Halberstam

ESPN reported that David Halberstam, a Pullitzer Prize-winnning sports author, has passed away following a car accident today.
Halberstam, a New Yorker, was a passenger in a car that was broadsided by another vehicle in Menlo Park, south of San Francisco, San Mateo County Coroner Robert Foucrault said.

"Looking at the accident and examining him at the scene indicated it's most likely internal injuries," Foucrault said.

The driver of the car carrying Halberstam is a student at the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley, and was taken to Stanford Medical Center. Two others were injured.

Halberstam spoke Saturday at a UC Berkeley-sponsored event on the craft of journalism and what it means to turn reporting into a work of history.

He was born April 10, 1934, in New York City, the son of a surgeon father and teacher mother.

After attending Harvard University, Halberstam launched his career in 1955 at the Daily Times Leader, a small daily newspaper in Mississippi. By age 30 he had won the 1964 Pulitzer Prize for reporting on the Vietnam War for the New York Times.

He quit daily journalism in 1967 and wrote 21 books covering such diverse topics as the Vietnam War, civil rights, the auto industry and a baseball pennant race. His 2002 best-seller, "War in a Time of Peace," was a runner-up for the Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction.

Halberstam turned his attention to America's fascination with sports later in his career. "Summer of '49," published in 1989, chronicled the famed pennant race between the Red Sox and Yankees. The 1999 book "Playing for Keeps" looked at Michael Jordan phenomenon. His most recent work, 2001's "The Education of a Coach" provides an inside look into Patriots coach Bill Belichick.

"There's a great quote by Julius Irving that went, 'Being a professional is doing the things you love to do, on the days you don't feel like doing them,'" Halberstam said in a March interview with NY1 News.

Halberstam perservered, writing 21 books in his career, despite personal tragedy. In 1980, Halberstam's brother Michael, a cardiologist, was killed by an escaped convict in a robbery.

"There's nothing you can do," Halberstam said in the NY1 interview. "You have to get on, and you have to get on with life, and get on with the living."
May he rest in peace.

Miller-Maze moves into second place

I can finally breathe a bit if it weren't for these dang finals next week. Twenty-nine days until the primary election.

The good news is that my gubernatorial ticket of choice, State Treasurer Jonathan Miller and Jefferson County Attorney Irv Maze, are now in second place according to a poll conducted by the Mellman & Associates firm. It's actually a tie with Lunsford-Stumbo.

Here are the numbers:
Henry-True 22%
Miller-Maze 15%
Lunsford-Stumbo 15%
Beshear-Mongiardo 12%
Richards-Brown 8%
Undecided 26%

I can't explain the strong numbers by Henry-True other than the fact that Steve Henry is a former Lt. Governor. Richards' numbers for a Speaker of the House seem awfully low at 8%. He should start giving thought to withdrawing from the race if the numbers stay low since we are looking at spending up to $7 million with a runoff election.

In other political news today, here's a reminder that no Democrat has forgotten what Bruce Lunsford did in 2003.
"The Democrats who vote in the primaries, a lot of those people, are people who have a strong party identification, and those are the people who have indicated that they haven't forgotten what Bruce Lunsford did four years ago," said Democratic state Rep. Rob Wilkey of Scottsville.

Wilkey received a call two weeks ago from a Lunsford polling firm that underscored how Lunsford is trying to jettison that baggage. One question the pollster asked Wilkey was whether he had a favorable or unfavorable view of Lunsford for backing Fletcher.

In UK news today...

Matt Jones at Kentucky Sports Radio has an update on Alex Legion, the recruit who just recently decommitted from the University of Michigan.
Multiple news outlets are reporting that Alex Legion is down to UK, UCLA and Michigan. Since his mother told a Detroit newspaper that he would not be going to UCLA and Michigan is the school he originally decommitted from, you have to like UK’s chances. Sal’s will never be the same.
I have to say that I like our chances at getting Legion in a Wildcat uniform next season.

We know that Coach Gillispie saw the whole game in Pittsburgh where Michael Sanchez was playing.
One high-major coach said Michael Sanchez's effort against the Michigan Mustangs was Herculean. That's about as good of a way to describe the big man's game on Saturday afternoon. Sanchez put in the work to the tune of 25 points and roughly 15 rebounds (maybe more).

Sanchez played with non-stop energy and strength on the blocks and rarely played on the wing as a jump shooter. That was exactly what his Arkansas Hawks team needed from him in a game that had over 60 personal fouls called. Sanchez was a true enforcer on the blocks and put together one of the best big man performances in the short spring. His knee didn't seem to give him any problems.

Kentucky head coach Billy Gillispie saw the entire game, as did the new Arkansas staff and Skip Prosser and his assistants from Wake Forest. Sanchez now has a predicament – does he continue with his plan to enroll in Findlay Prep in Las Vegas and become a 2008 prospect or does he visit Kentucky, Wake Forest and others late in the game?
It gets interesting with the fact that Kentucky wants him to play in 2007, rather than start in 2008. Here's a recent update on Sanchez.
“Kentucky wants Michael for ’ 07,” Bert Sanchez said. “Michael isn’t sure he’s going to be able to make that commitment since he is currently planning on going to a prep school.”

Sanchez has given strong consideration to reclassifying to the class of 2008. It appears that if Sanchez goes to a prep school, it will be Findlay Prep in Las Vegas.

Knee injuries hampered Sanchez prior to his senior season and his stock with the recruiting services dropped, but Sanchez followed up with a strong senior season that saw him average 16 points, 11 rebounds and 4 assists a game.

“Kentucky definitely got a good one in Coach Gillispie,” Bert said, mentioning that Kentucky’s coaches had seen Michael play for the Arkansas Hawks in the Real Deal on the Hill in Fayetteville.
Greg Monroe has the Kentucky Wildcats on his list.

Jai Lucas will decide by Friday and Patterson will decide later in May.

UK has named Matthew Mitchell as it's newest Women's Basketball head coach.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Interview with Dr. Dick Robinson

(Dr. Dick Robinson is a candidate for Secretary of State in the Democratic Primary.)

Danielle Solzman: Thank you for joining The Kentucky Democrat. How are things going in Central Kentucky and the radio show?
Dick Robinson: The Joe B Hall and Denny Crum show is a blast...The show, heard live Mon-Fri 10-noon Eastern in 20 cities throughout Kentucky, has been the #1 ranked Fox Sports radio show in Kentucky for the past 2 1/2 years...The coaches are fun guys to be around and are truly wonderful people...They are icons across the state and relate so well with the fans and callers that it makes easy radio...

DS: How did come to your decision on running for Secretary of State?
DR: I am running for Kentucky's Secretary of State because I believe our Party offers citizens a change for the better...I believe that a majority of Kentuckians do not agree with the direction that has been taken by the political leaders of our government...I believe that a majority of Kentuckians want a change...Dick Robinson is glad to be a part of this opportunity for change...

DS: What's the campaign been like for you?
DR: A thought-provoking question...It has really been fun to go across the state and meet with such acceptance as we have encountered...It has been exciting and fun...My wife, Christie, has been terrific with her encouragement and understanding of what we are doing...She is the perfect candidate's spouse...

DS: What is your position on voting machines and do you believe that there needs to be a paper trail?
DR: I will work hard to maximize the election process so that every voter has confidence that his or her vote is properly recorded and counted...I will research other states to determine the most cost-effective way to bring about such confidence in the system...There are many variabilities in search of a near perfect system and I will examine the cost, the infrastructure, the timing, etc. so that the county clerks will be able to provide that system...

DS: If elected, what are some of your primary goals?
DR: I will work to bring to Kentucky the highest standards of the election process in all 120 counties across Kentucky...
I also will:
1) work to repeal the Governor's Runoff Law...It is a bad idea that will cost the taxpayers of Kentucky $5-7 million...The county clerks will be burdened this year with the first such runoff...It will present huge manpower problems, polling place problems, cost, etc....The runoff election is scheduled for the Tuesday before the Fourth of July weekend after schools are closed and I estimate that only approximately 8-10 % of the registered Party voters will participate...We will end up with a situation where only 8-10 % of a Party's voters will potentially select the next governor of our Commonwealth...It's a bad idea...
2) I will form a task force to improve the Secretary of State website so that business people and attorneys can go to a 1-stop shop for their business needs on a user-friendly site...I have had many people talk with me about improving the site...

DS: When can we expect advertisements on TV or the radio?
DR: The Dick Robinson for Secretary of State campaign will utilize several methods of targeting expected Democratic Party voters for the May 22nd Primary Election...TV and advertising are planned for the November election (if we prevail in the Primary)...

DS: The internet has become a popular way of campaigning in recent years. Will you be taking advantage of placing advertisements on blogs or uploading ads on
DR: Yes, we will be utilizing the YouTube and MySpace elements of today's culture...

DS: While not politically related, how did you conceive the idea of the Joe B. and Denny radio show?
DR: I was sitting across from Joe B at Wheeler's Restaurant in Lexington while he was being interviewed via cell phone by former Alabama coach Wimp Sanderson from a radio station in Birmingham Alabama...I got to thinking and took a napkin and wrote down "The Joe B and Denny Show" and turned the napkin around and slid it over to Coach Hall...He smiled. We went outside and he said "That's a good idea"...He said "let's go see Jim Host"...We did and Mr. Host, the best in the business, gave us initial counsel on how to do the show...We then went to Louisville to see Coach Crum...He said "Count me in", and the show was born...It was easy after that as we had 2 of the most popular and respected basketball people in Kentucky going on the radio to talk about basketball and other things...I still have the napkin !!!!

DS: Have they been appearing at campaign events with you?
DR: Coach Hall and Coach Crum, as co-honorary chairmen of the campaign, play interesting roles...Coach Hall is a strong Democrat and participates in many, many campaign activities...Coach Crum is a strong Republican who has fun with me stating that he has never voted for a Democrat but he will support me and vote for me...I'll be his first...'I'll take that on both counts from both of the coaches...!!!

DS: In the past few weeks, more people had their attention turned to the UK coaching vacancy rather than the political races. How do you feel about the hiring of Billy Gillispie as head coach?
DR: I was fortunate to get to go to the initial press conference where Billy Clyde Gillispie was named head coach of UK...Every single person that I talked to that day at the press conference from former players, high ranking UK administrators, all levels of media, etc., without exception, thought it was a good hire...I am especially confident because he has paid his dues...He has coached at every single level of men's basketball as he worked his way up the ladder...He understands what each level is and can relate to the experiences of each...He has a tremendous work ethic...I have long thought that the most successful coaches are the ones who outwork the competition...bill G is a 14-hour a day worker...And recruiter...A good hire...

DS: One of the biggest issues around is expanded gaming. If the state were to pass a bill to expand gambling in the Commonwealth, where would you like the revenue to go?
DR: It is a divisive issue that is not germane to the Secretary of State race...It, and a few other such issues, give "one issue voters" reasons to not look at the entirety of a candidate...

DS: Thanks again and keep up the good fight. Is there anything you would like to say in closing?
DR: Thank you, Danielle, for taking the time and the interest to reach out to those of us who seek more information about the process of government and democracy...You do a good and valuable service...

Yom Hazikaron

Due to Shabbas preceding the 4th of Iyar, Yom Hazikaron starts tonight at sunset on the 5th of Iyar.

Yom Hazikaron is the Israeli Memorial Day.
Yom Hazikaron is observed on the 4th day of the month of Iyar of the Hebrew calendar, always preceding the next day's celebrations of Israel Independence Day, Yom Ha-Atzma'ut, on the 5th day of Iyar, the anniversary of the Proclamation of the State of Israel in 1948. Both days may be moved one day or two earlier (the 3rd and 4th, or the 2nd and 3rd, of Iyar) if either the 4th or the 5th happens to occur on a Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath. Similarly, both days are moved one day later if Yom Hazikaron would fall out on Sunday.

This holiday honors veterans and fallen military personnel of the Israel Defense Forces who died in the modern Arab Israeli conflict, as well as members of the various paramilitary organization of the Yishuv , such as the Haganah and Irgun, who died before the establishment of Israel, starting from 1860, when the first modern jewish settlement was built outside the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem. Yom Hazikaron also commemorates civilians murdered by acts of terror. As of 2007, Yom Hazikaron honors the memory of over 23,000 people.

The day includes many national ceremonies for fallen soldiers in which senior public officials and military officers are present. The day opens the preceding evening at 20:00 (8:00 pm), given that in the Hebrew calendar system days begin at sunset, with a one-minute siren during which most Israelis stand in silence, commemorating the fallen and showing respect. Many national-religious (religious-Zionist) Jews say prayers for the souls of the fallen soldiers at this time as well. The official ceremony to mark the opening of the day takes place at the Western Wall, at which time the flag of Israel is lowered to half mast.

A two-minute siren is heard the following morning, at 11:00, which marks the opening of the official memorial ceremonies and private remembrance gathering which are held at each cemetery where soldiers are buried. The day officially draws to a close between 19:00 - 20:00 (7-8:00 p.m.) in the official ceremony of Israel Independence Day on Mount Herzl, when the flag of Israel is returned to full mast.

Scheduling the memorial day right before the independence day is supposed to remind people of the price paid for independence and of what was achieved with the soldiers' sacrifice. This transition shows the importance of this day among Israelis, among whom many, if not most, have served in the armed forces or have a connection with people who were killed during their military service.

Historically the date was chosen because during the first year of Israel's existence politicians were not able to agree on a date for a memorial day. As the year came to a close without a decision, the memorial day was celebrated on Israel's first independence day (1949), and the same arrangement was made the following year (1950). Celebrating the holidays together proved difficult (both logistically and emotionally), so in 1951, following the recommendation of a public commission, the memorial day was moved one day back. This arrangement was enacted as a law in 1963.

Wildcat action

What's going on in the world of Kentucky basketball?

We should know this week about Jai Lucas' decision. Patrick Patterson will likely hold out til mid-May when the signing period ends. MSNBC has more.
Patterson and Lucas were joined by 19 of the nation's top high school players, following practice for Saturday's All-American Jordan Brand Classic at Madison Square Garden.[...]

Patterson and Lucas were recruited heavily by former Kentucky coach Tubby Smith, who left the Wildcats for Minnesota.

Lucas was upset but thought "it was a blessing in disguise" as Smith's departure opened up new opportunities.

"I'm really trying to put an end to it," Lucas said of the recruiting process while his dad, former NBA coach and player John Lucas stood nearby.

"I took my last and final visit. I went to Florida, so I think I'll have a decision by sometime next week."

"You know Florida, they always been on my list," Lucas said. "Coach Donovan's recruited me since my sophomore year. But he said he didn't feel it was the right situation with Taurean Green still there. So once Taurean Green went to the NBA, it's an opportunity to look at. Coach Donovan is a guard coach and I am a guard, so that's a big thing."

Patterson was also upset over Smith's departure. But, like Lucas, he understands what happened and will "take it all the way out to May" before choosing his school.
As a UK fan, I don't understand how anyone could possibly consider Florida. They are a football school first and foremost and will never have the luck they did this year again.

Kerry Benson will join the Wildcats next season as a walk-on.
Kerry Benson, a 6-6 forward from Pleasure Ridge Park High School, announced last night that he has accepted an offer to be a walk-on for the University of Kentucky.

"I've always wanted to play for UK," he said.

Benson said former UK coach Tubby Smith extended a walk-on offer the day before he left to take the Minnesota job.

After the hiring of Billy Gillispie, new UK assistant Jeremy Cox renewed the offer.

Next year's Thunder

Due to the Pesach holiday, next year's Thunder over Louisville will be April 12, 2008, THREE weeks before the Kentucky Derby, as opposed to the traditional two weeks.

Catching up on news

Well, I went home over the weekend and with Thunder over Louisville festivities, I was away from my computer for long periods of time. As such, blogging was much too light but that's the Kentucky Derby Festival for you.

By the way, I did recieve one of those Lunsford DVDs, a waste of mail as it went straight to the trash can.

Congress passed a resolution last week to commemorate the Shoah.
The main speaker at the even was Democratic Senator Joe Lieberman, who said, "Today, again, we see people around the world being singled out and murdered on the basis of their religious, sectarian, or ethnic identity, in places as diverse as Darfur and Iraq.

"In Iran we hear a president—an Islamist extremist—denying that the Nazi Holocaust happened, and then threatening the annihilation of Israel and death to America."

Israeli Ambassador to the US Sallai Meridor warned that the lesson of the Holocaust had not been learned in full and that the world was not standing up to evil.

When a regime filled with hate denies the Holocaust and openly declared that it plans to wipe Israel off the map, when is threatens the world's security and looks to destroy values and a way of life, is the world doing enough to recognize the extent of the danger and doing all it can to prevent it, Meridor asked during the ceremony.

During his speech at the Congress, the Israeli ambassador suggested that Holocaust Memorial Day become a day of commitment.

We must make sure to fulfill the commitment that "never again" will not be an empty promise, he said. We must promise today that the Jewish people will not be defenseless again and that the State of Israel will forever be safe and strong, he added.
Evan Bayh and Dick Lugar are pushing for a nuclear fuel bank.

The soon-to-be-built Chabad House at Virginia Tech will be named for Professor Liviu Librescu.
A new Chabad House at Virginia Tech will be named for an Israeli Holocaust survivor killed in Monday’s shooting rampage. The center, to be named the Levi Librescu Chabad House, will operate under the auspices of Lubavitch of the Virginias, based in Richmond, and is expected to open in coming months.

"In times of sorrow we act quickly and we accomplish things that normally take much longer to accomplish," said Yossel Kranz, the Chabad emissary in Richmond. Kranz said plans for a Chabad center at Virginia Tech had been the works for some time, but this week’s events prompted him to "fast-track the plans so it can happen immediately."
Three quarters of a million dollars have been donated to presidential candidates from voters in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Congressman Henry Waxman was not all that happy when he saw former White House Chief of Staff Andy Card on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

Jonathan Miller was out campaigning in Pikeville this past week.
While many of the Democratic candidates spent yesterday stumping at the Hillbilly Days event in Pikeville, two candidates -- Jonathan Miller and Gatewood Galbraith -- had competing booths at the Bluegrass Festival of Books.

Miller, the state treasurer, was there to hawk his book, Compassionate Community.

"I've done a scientific poll" at the book fair, Miller joked, "and 85 percent of the people say they're for me, and the other 15 percent are Republicans who say they'll vote for me in November."

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Students prefer Miller-Maze

This is awesome news and it further proves to show that Jonathan Miller gets it!
Students at Kentucky’s public universities have made their choices known for their preferred nominees in the 2007 Kentucky Gubernatorial primary. Students mirrored current media polls across the state showing tight races in both the Republican and Democratic primaries with the slates headed by Governor Ernie Fletcher and Treasurer Jonathan Miller winning each primary, respectively. The mock election was sponsored by the Office of Secretary of State Trey Grayson as part of the Civic Literacy Initiative of Kentucky (CLIK).

“We were delighted that so many students took time out of their busy college schedules to participate in the mock election, register to vote, and learn more about absentee voting,” remarked Secretary Grayson. “We hope that this will begin a lifelong commitment to voting among these young people.”[...]

Republican Primary:
Ernie Fletcher/Robbie Rudolph - 44.6%
Billy Harper/Dick Wilson – 15.1%
Anne Northup/Jeff Hoover – 40.3%

Democratic Primary:
Steven Beshear/Daniel Mongiardo – 15.2%
Gatewood Galbraith/Mark Wireman – 9.3%
Stephen Henry/Renee True – 7.1%
Otis “Bullman” Hensley/Richard Robbins – 7.6%
William Bruce Lunsford/Gregory Stumbo – 9.3%
Jonathan Miller/Irv Maze – 35.0%
Jody Richards/John Y. Brown, III – 16.4%

Under Kentucky law, there would be a primary runoff election in the Democratic party because the top candidate failed to garner forty percent of the vote. Thus, in this mock primary, Treasurer Jonathan Miller’s slate and Speaker Jody Richards’s slate would face another election to determine the Democratic Party nominee. Due to the short time frame before many universities’ final examination period, the Office of the Secretary of State will not be conducting a runoff election on the respective college campuses. Governor Ernie Fletcher’s slate would be the Republican nominees for the general election because his slate received over forty percent of the vote and received the most votes.

Seven universities participated in the mock primary tour: Kentucky State University, Western Kentucky University, Murray State University, Eastern Kentucky University, Northern Kentucky University, the University of Kentucky, and the University of Louisville. The Office of the Secretary of State partnered with the Student Government Associations, College Democrats, and College Republicans on each campus to publicize the event. Over 750 students participated.

No taxation without representation

In the days prior to the founding of America, a popular catchphrase was coined by Rev. Jonathan Mayhew during a 1750 sermon in Boston: "No taxation without representation."

Well, to this day, Washington, DC citizens vote for a congressman. However, they have no voting power while in Congress. It's a dire shame, too. Like all Americans, they have to pay taxes. However, they have no voting power in the Capitol building since their representatives cannot vote on legislation. This has to end and I commend Senator Joe Lieberman for taking the charge on this issue.

The WaPo reports that the House is considering a vote on the issue.
The House tries again Thursday to expand the number of its voting members to give the half-million people of the District of Columbia full representation while giving Utah an extra seat.

Democrats had to pull the bill from the floor a month ago after Republicans surprised them by proposing language, with a good chance of passing, that would have lifted the district's ban on semiautomatic weapons and other tough gun restrictions. This time, Democrats came prepared with a floor procedure blocking a gun vote.

Washington residents, arguing that their city is the only national capital in the democratic world without a vote, have sought representation for some two centuries. But passage of the House legislation, which would expand the number of voting members, set at 435 since 1960, to 437, is only a first step.

The White House has issued a veto threat, saying the Constitution specifically limits representation to states, and has a strong ally in Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

"If you want to give the District of Columbia a congressman, you need a constitutional amendment," he said in a recent speech. If it reaches the Senate, McConnell said, it "certainly will not have my support, because it is not in the gray areas. This is really quite clear."

Supporters of the legislation, led by the current Washington delegate to the House, Eleanor Holmes Norton, argue that the Constitution, in empowering Congress to "exercise exclusive legislation" over the federal capital, does give Congress the authority to give the district full voting rights.
If our senior senator cannot agree to give their representation full voting rights in Congress, then he needs to be replaced.

The never-ending recruiting trail

If Wildcat fans had any expectations to sign Anthony McLain, forget about it. The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that he has signed with the Cincinnati Bearcats.
The University of Cincinnati has completed its six-man 2007 recruiting class with a commitment from Anthony McClain, a 6-foot-11, 220-pound center from National Christian Academy in Ft. Washington, Md.

McClain is ranked No. 41 in his class by the recruiting Web site and No. 51 by Both Web sites rank him as the sixth best center nationally in his class.
Steffphon Pettigrew is not destined to play for the Kentucky Wildcats. Based on recent reports, it appears that he wants to make a decision sooner and doesn't want to wait on Kentucky to make an offer.
"They said they needed another two weeks to evaluate some things," Elizabethtown High Coach James Haire said of a conversation UK basketball had with Pettigrew. "Quite honestly, Steffphon doesn't want to wait."

Pettigrew, who could not be reached for comment, said on Tuesday that he was considering Xavier and Western Kentucky. He's scheduled to make a recruiting visit to Xavier today.[...]

Kentucky is looking for inside players, presumably taller prospects, Haire said.

"I do think they like him," the E-town coach said. "I understand they're under tremendous pressure to make the right choices with limited scholarships.

"Steffphon is not conventional. All I can tell people is he gets the job done."
I'm assumimg that, with the firing of St. Louis University Billikens head coach Brad Soderberg, SLU has been ruled out as an option although I am hearing unconfirmed reports that Rick Majerus will listen if he's approached about a job offer.

How soon before we start scouting the seventh graders? K.C. Miller, from the Class of 2010, has recieved interest in having him play for Kentucky. It does help that Billy Gillispie is one of his favorite coaches. Miller is a top-five player from, of all places, the state of Texas.
Who is your favorite college basketball coach?
“Billy Gillespie and Lute Olsen.”[...]

When it comes time for you to choose a college to play ball at what will be some of the things that will factor in to your decision?
"How the coaching is, the team chemistry, the history of the school, and stuff like that.”[...]

What player or players would you compare your game to?
“People say I play like Dwayne Wade the way I can get to the basket and finish.”
Alex Legion is expected to visit Kentucky this week and UK has offered a scholarship to Michael Sanchez.
Former Michigan signee Alex Legion — who played this past season at Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va. — will visit UK today, and Springdale (Ark.) Har-Ber star Michael Sanchez is also considering the Wildcats.

The 6-foot-4 Legion was a Parade Magazine All-American who will also make a visit to Connecticut, said Oak Hill coach Steve Smith, who added that Kansas has also been calling and Michigan isn't out of the picture.

"He's the best player available (in the nation)," Smith said. "Most people didn't figure he would be available, but the coaching change (at Michigan) changed his train of thought, and he wanted to make some visits."

Legion, who played three years at Birmingham Detroit (Mich.) Country Day, averaged 19.4 points a game at Oak Hill. He signed with Michigan under coach Tommy Amaker but was given his release by new coach John Beilein on Monday.[...]

The 6-8 Sanchez was headed to Las Vegas Findlay Prep School next fall but has been contacted by the UK staff and offered a scholarship. He had been looking at Texas A&M, Arkansas, Tennessee and Wake Forest.

UK is still hot after Huntington (W.Va.) forward Patrick Patterson and Bellaire (Texas) point guard Jai Lucas. Both players are in New York preparing for Saturday's Jordan Brand Classic All-Star game.
Matt Jones has more on Sanchez.

Dave Hobbs wants to be a head coach again.

Former Kentucky assistant coach Scott Rigot is being considered for the vacancy at Robert Morris.

Text messaging is getting closer to being banned by the NCAA with regards to coaches and recruits. This is important because Coach Gillispie has been known to send 8,000 text messages a month!
The Division I Management Council approved a ban on coaches' text-messaging prospects. The proposed ban still must get final approval from the Division I Board of Directors at its meeting on April 26. If approved, the ban would go into effect on Aug. 1.

"I would hate to see that happen," Gillispie said. "I think text messaging has really been fantastic. Not only for the coach, but great for the players and the players' parents to increase the amount of communication to where you can develop a trust level much more quickly."

Several times in this honeymoon period as the new UK coach, Gillispie has spoken of how relationships form the foundation for successful recruiting.

However, Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Council Chairwoman Anna Chappell, who played basketball at Arizona and now attends Oregon as a graduate student, said many athletes support the ban on text messaging.

"It's intruding on their lives and creating inappropriate relationships with coaches," Chappell said. "If you don't stop it now, what roads are you going to have to cross later on?"

John Lucas, the father of prospect Jai Lucas, said the volume of text messaging he's seen is "off the chart." Not that the elder Lucas was complaining.

"Basketball is our family business," he said. "We never get tired of that."

Gillispie conceded that there can be problems with unlimited text messaging. He mentioned how messages can burden the prospect's family financially and in terms of the time athletes spend responding to coaches.

"Hopefully, maybe they can modify (the legislation) a little bit before they just totally throw it out ..." Gillispie said. "I would think the coaches would be in favor of keeping it in some form. I know that I would...

The fallout...

This is saddening. Truly it is. This is what you come to expect from someone like a Steve Henry or a Bruce Lunsford. But I don't like how Steve Beshear is being brought into this mess. I come from the good government wing of the Democratic Party within the commonwealth. Now, while I have previously endorsed [and still endorse] Jonathan Miller for Governor, Beshear would be my number 2 choice, and then he's followed by Richards. It's saddening that some of these campaigns are taking almost direct verbatim from other campaign platforms, especially without proper attribution.

Take a look at this comparison chart in the Courier-Journal.
Jim Davis vs. Bruce Lunsford plans
Davis: Florida has failed to give our children the tools they need to succeed and the care they need to thrive.
Lunsford: Kentucky has failed to give them the tools they need to succeed and the care they need to thrive.

Davis: Davis will continue his focus on improving the lives of children and developing the whole child. Davis believes that early investment in a child's life sets a strong framework for success.
Lunsford: The Lunsford-Stumbo Administration will focus on developing the whole child. We must prepare our children for the future and early investment in a child's life sets a strong framework for success.

Davis: The first years of a child's learning are vitally important and provide the foundation for academic success. ... Investing in quality Pre-K and early learning opportunities is an important component of improving outcomes in K-12 education.
Lunsford: The first years of a child's learning are vitally important and provide the foundation for academic success. ... Investing in quality pre-K and early learning opportunities is a vital component of improving outcomes in K-12 education.
That's only a few of them.

On to Beshear...
Chet Culver vs. Steve Beshear plans

Culver: "As Governor, I will challenge the private sector and encourage the development of new power sources, fuels and clean coal technologies by developing new laws and regulations that encourage innovation and the production and sale of home grown fuels."
Beshear: "As Governor, I will challenge the private sector and encourage the development of new renewable power sources, alternative fuels and clean coal technologies by developing new laws and regulations that spur innovation and the production and sale of home grown fuels."

Culver: Many of Iowa's laws and regulations were developed at a time when encouraging a diverse, robust and home grown energy industry was not a concern because of cheap supplies of foreign oil. Today's a new day in which Iowa must fight for its energy independence using home grown products, resources and ingenuity. I believe that now is the time to modernize state laws and regulation on electric utilities and alternative fuels to encourage innovation and investment in Iowa and attract the construction and manufacturing jobs that will equip and supply these industries in the future.
Beshear: Many of Kentucky's energy laws and regulations were developed at a time when encouraging a diverse, robust and home grown energy industry was not a concern because of inexpensive supplies of domestic and foreign oil. Today, Kentucky should be fighting for its energy independence using home grown crops, products, resources and ingenuity. Now is the time to modernize state laws and regulation on electric utilities and alternative fuels to encourage innovation and investment in Kentucky.
Credit Mark Nickolas at Bluegrass Report for unearthing all of this.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

AP has facts wrong

Roger Alford needs to re-examine his facts. This was what he reported today.
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jonathan Miller accused Lunsford of calling labor leaders "stooges," and of calling U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler of Lexington, the state's only Democratic congressman, "deceitful." Lunsford didn't immediately respond to Miller's criticisms, but a campaign spokesman did.
The problem is, Ben Chandler is not the only Democratic congressman, John Yarmuth is the other.

Did Bruce Lunsford plagiarize?

Bluegrass Report uncovered some major news which I expect the political writers around the state to focus on.

Now, if both campaigns have a mutual staffer, is it considered plagarism?
Davis: Florida has failed to give our children the tools they need to succeed and the care they need to thrive...Davis will continue his focus on improving the lives of children and developing the whole child. Davis believes that early investment in a child’s life sets a strong framework for success…

Lunsford (p. 9): Kentucky has failed to give them the tools they need to succeed and the care they need to thrive...The Lunsford-Stumbo Administration will focus on developing the whole child...early investment in a child’s life sets a strong framework for success.
Pat Crowley has blogged it.

The Courier-Journal has an article online. The Herald Leader notes that Steve Beshear's campaign has taken ideas from the campaign platform of Iowa Governor Chet Culver.

Manual graduate one of those killed

It hits close to home when you find out that a Louisville high school graduate was one of those killed.
Brian Bluhm, 25, who was finishing up a master's degree in water resources at Virginia Tech, graduated from Manual in 2000 after attending its High School University Magnet program, said spokeswoman Lauren Roberts of Jefferson County Public Schools.

Roberts said last night that Manual Principal Beverly Keepers recalled Bluhm as a National Honor Society member and "very smart."

"He was a little quiet ... but just a really nice young man," Roberts added.

Bluhm grew up in Iowa and later Michigan, where he began his attachment to the Detroit Tigers baseball team, before spending his high school years in Louisville. His family later moved to Virginia, and he considered Blacksburg his home, said his former roommate, Michael Marshall of Richmond, Va.
May he rest in peace.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Second Amendment and Gun Control

In light of yesterday's horrific events, I believe that the gun control debate is about to be re-opened.

My feelings have remained the same for a long time. Police officers and the military should be allowed. As for the rest of Americans, when these weapons get into the wrong hands, well, the worst of events can happen. That is why I believe in very strict gun control.

There's going to be debate for quite some time.

Here's the Wikipedia page.
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.


In Remembrance

Today, I am a Hokie.

Democrats debate...and Henry shows up...

The Democratic candidates for Governor had another debate last night and Steve Henry actually showed up for a change. Ryan Alessi and John Stamper have the article for the Herald-Leader. I think it's pretty clear that State Treasurer Jonathan Miller gets it.
State Treasurer Jonathan Miller pulled out the one-liner of the night in his closing statement, setting it up by saying that he took issue with Fletcher's claims of broad accomplishments over the last four years.

"That's hogwash. We know this has been a trying time for the state. When I hear my opponents trying to reinvent their careers ... I feel that's just another version of Fletcher light," he said. "So you can have this six-pack of Fletcher light or you can have Miller genuine."[...]

Miller also attempted to zing Lunsford by questioning his plan to launch an efficiency audit of state government to help pay for programs. Miller cited proposed efficiencies in Rhode Island that included cutting back services for foster children.

"We can't afford that kind of efficiency," he said. "That's a Fletcher-light approach."

After the debate, Lunsford acknowledged that he became the target.

"I think they're probably reading the polls," he said.
Here's the article from the C-J.
"Ernie Fletcher made a mockery, a mockery of our merit system," said state Treasurer Jonathan Miller.

The largely civil tone that the candidates took toward one another reflected the campaign so far. All have signed a pledge not to resort to negative personal attacks.

Moreover, in a big field with no clear leader -- and the likelihood that the top two candidates will have to face one another in a runoff election if no one gets 40 percent of the vote -- negative campaigning could backfire by damaging the attacking candidate's chances of making the runoff.[...]

All seven candidates said that, if elected, they are prepared to deal with the strong leadership in the Senate of President David Williams, R-Burkesville.

Miller said he stood up to Williams and the Senate in opposing a move to take $14 million from a prepaid tuition program that Miller championed. While he said he would work with Senate Republicans, he added, "Sometimes a governor needs to stand strong."

But this issue sparked a lively exchange between Richards and Beshear.

Richards insisted that the House Democrats passed most of their agenda in the past two years as Williams led the Senate. He said House initiatives that became law this year included an increase in the minimum wage and bills to make the workplace safer for both coal miners and social workers.

Said Beshear, "David Williams deals from a position of power. But when Steve Beshear is governor, the governor's office is going to be more powerful than the president of the Senate or the speaker of the House." When cooperation isn't working, he said, a governor must sometimes approach opponents with "a kick in the rump."

Richards replied, "It's been a long time since Mr. Beshear was in the legislature."

Richards said he was a member of the House at a time when the legislature won its independence from controlling governors and that governors now must work with legislative leaders rather than "kick butt."

The candidates agreed that they don't favor tolls on the Ohio River bridges planned for Jefferson County and in Northern Kentucky. But Galbraith said he would support raising the state gasoline tax by 5 cents a gallon to pay for road improvements that would improve highway safety and boost economic development.
We should know soon about the status of a special session for the General Assembly. Here's a reminder that this year was the short session.

Has Gov. Paul Patton endorsed anyone yet? I know that Bruce Lunsford is, surprisingly, backed by former Gov. Julian Carroll. Former Gov. Brereton Jones has announced his endorsement of former Lt. Governor Steve Beshear.
“I think that not only can they win, but they can make the kind of history that will make us all proud,” Jones said of Beshear and his lieutenant governor running mate, state Sen. Dan Mongiardo of Hazard.

Beshear supports legalization of casino gambling as a way to generate revenue for state programs.

Jones, who was governor from 1991-95, is the second former governor to endorse one of the seven candidates in the May 22 Democratic primary. State Sen. Julian Carroll of Frankfort, who was governor from 1974-79, previously endorsed millionaire Louisville businessman Bruce Lunsford.

Beshear said during a press conference in Frankfort that his father always told him that individuals are judged by the company they keep.
Jonathan Miller recieved more endorsements today.
Eighteen Louisville leaders, including Jefferson County Commonwealth’s Attorney David Stengel and two former members of Congress, endorsed Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jonathan Miller this afternoon.[...]

In addition to Stengel, the endorsements came from Frank Burke Jr., a former congressman and mayor of Louisville; Mike Ward, a former congressman and state representative; Christina Lee Brown, a civic leader; Owsley Brown II, a business leader; Rick Blackwell, president of the Louisville Metro Council; Dan Johnson, Bob Henderson, Madonna Flood, George Unseld, Jim King, Mary Woolridge and Vicky Aubrey Welch, all members of the Metro Council; David Karem, a former state senator and current head of the Waterfront Development Corp.; J. Bruce Miller and Mike Conliffe, former Jefferson County attorneys; Bob Hughes, former state representative and World War II veteran; and Joe Greene, a former Jefferson County sheriff.
I'm pleased to see that my fellow Louisvillians back the Miller-Maze ticket.

Pardon the pun, but I can't bee-lieve this.

Shame on these British journalists. If it keeps up, don't expect me to be quoting any British papers when it comes to news dealing with Eretz Yisrael. On that note, here's this piece of news dealing with British teachers.
Timesonline reported Monday that the group wrote to Education Secretary Alan Johnson regarding a report put out by his office, "Teaching Emotive and Controversial History."

The Center wrote that it was "horrified" to read that British schools were reluctant to educate students about the Holocaust because teachers did not want to challenge "contentious or charged versions of history" taught to children at home -- an apparent reference to an unwillingness by teachers to confront Holocaust denial in the British Muslim community," the Times wrote.

"Teachers' mistreatment or exclusion of the Holocaust is an offense to the memory of its 6 million victims and to the British soldiers who liberated the Nazi death camps," Shimon Samuels, the center's international relations director, wrote to Johnson on Monday in a letter coinciding with Yom Hashoah.

The recruiting trail

Did Willie Warren forget what he was saying and made the unintentional verbal to play for Kentucky? Look at this quote right here:
"I compare myself a lot to a player that he just coached, Acie Law IV. He arrived at A&M as a point guard and coach Gillispie helped him become a scoring point guard. He'll probably be a lottery pick (in the NBA draft on June 28). So hopefully coach Gillispie can do the same for me as he did for him."
I hope I'm not reading too much into it but it seems like he made a committment to play for Kentucky right there.

G.J. Vilarino, who already verbaled to UK, could be a "special player."
"He's already a pretty good shooter from 3-point range and has a decent mid-range game," said Watson. "We've been working the last few weeks to make changes to his shooting mechanics. He has really taken to it well. A lot of players, if you start messing with their shot, they are hesitant to listen. He tries to soak it all up and make the changes you want because he wants to be as good as he possibly can be."

The 6-0, 160-pound Vilarino became the first player to verbally commit to new Kentucky coach Billy Gillispie when he indicated last week he would sign with the Wildcats in two years.

Watson thinks Kentucky fans will like the skills Vilarino, who averaged 20.4 points and 4.5 assists per game last year, will bring to the Bluegrass in 2009.

"Just looking at him, he is one of the most skilled kids I have ever seen play basketball. He is certainly the most skilled kid I have ever coached, no question about that," said Watson. "He is just a dynamite offensive player. He is tremendous in the open court.
A big recruiting question right now deals with Kentucky's Mr. Basketball, Steffphon Pettigrew. The current word is that he is giving Kentucky until this Thursday to offer a scholarship or forget about it.
Pettigrew expects his visit to Saint Louis, which is currently one of his top four choices, to be his final official visit before making a decision.

Other schools in his top four include: Xavier, Duquesne, and Western Kentucky.

“The first thing I am looking for in a college is a good business program, because that is what I want to major in, I think,” Pettigrew said. “The second thing is good teammates, and then good coach. And I am not trying to sit down for two or three years. I want to go someplace where I can work hard and get to play.”

I admit it, I've neglected the political news

I admit it. I got distracted by the coaching search at UK that I neglected to blog about politics. I apologize for that inconvenience (I hope I spelled that correctly) that it may have caused some of the faithful readers but you have to understand that, as a die-hard Kentucky fan, it was important to know who the next head coach was. Usually, in March, the blog goes into March Madness mode. Unfortunately, that extended into April.

Now that we got that out of the way, we can get back to normal but I will keep blogging about UK Basketball, and maybe some of the other programs but I don't think I can handle starting a third blog just because this one gets cluttered, as some may say. Last season, I moved my St. Louis Cardinals related postings over to Redbirds Fun, and it's a good thing I did because of last October.

Let's get back to business. Okay?

Professor Liviu Librescu, a survivor of the Shoah, died to save others

Professor Liviu Librescu, a survivor of the Shoah, risked his life in order to protect that of others. As a result of his bravery, he lost his life. May he, and the other innocent victims, rest in peace.
As Jews worldwide honored on Monday the memory of those who were murdered in the Holocaust, a 75-year-old survivor sacrificed his life to save his students in Monday’s shooting at Virginia Tech College that left 32 dead and over two dozen wounded.

Professor Liviu Librescu, 76, threw himself in front of the shooter, who had attempted to enter his classroom. The Israeli mechanics and engineering lecturer was shot to death, “but all the students lived - because of him,” Virginia Tech student Asael Arad - also an Israeli - told Army Radio.

Several of Librescu’s other students sent e-mails to his wife, Marlena, telling of how he blocked the gunman’s way and saved their lives, said the son, Joe.

“My father blocked the doorway with his body and asked the students to flee,” Joe Librescu said in a telephone interview from his home outside of Tel Aviv. “Students started opening windows and jumping out.”

Monday, April 16, 2007

Other news...

Now that I got that off my chest, time to blog about other things.

ESPN's SportsCenter just reported that all 110 members of the Virginia Tech football program are alive and that none were harmed.

Here's the recap from Jonathan Miller's meeting with the Optimist Club.
Though he exudes a youthful optimism, Miller also sounds like the character from the 1970s-era movie "Network" - he's mad as hell and he's not going to take it anymore.

"I am running for governor because I have had enough," Miller told the Covington Optimist Club last week. "I've had enough of the partisanship and polarization.

"I've had enough of the bickering and name-calling. I've had enough of the secret meetings, backroom meetings where major issues are decided," he said.

Raised by politically active parents - Miller's mother was a University of Kentucky political science professor, his father a lawyer active in civil rights - Miller was educated at Harvard, graduating with a law degree.

He worked in the Department of Energy during the Clinton administration, was a Capitol Hill legislative director and practiced law in Washington before returning to Kentucky in 1997.

After being defeated in a Democratic congressional primary in 1998, he was elected to his first of two terms as treasurer in 1999.

As treasurer, Miller used the bully pulpit of the position to promote financial literacy, a college savings plan and a crackdown on predatory mortgage lending.
A former Rupp assistant, Neil Reed, had nothing but good things to say about the new UK coach, Billy Gillispie.

Viewers of The Daily Show are well-informed viewers.

KET will be airing a gubernatorial debate but I won't be watching it.

The University of Kentucky has honored the late Jon Hooker with an emblem on the scoreboard at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
Returning to the same field that Jon Hooker played on just six years ago is hard enough for former UK baseball head coach Keith Madison. But to see the former player's name on the old scoreboard in right field at Cliff Hagan Stadium almost brought him to tears.

"I can't hardly look at it to be honest with you because it makes it real," Madison said. "There are times when I think of Jon that I actually momentarily forget that he's gone. But when I see that up there, it makes it very real."

Madison was one of several friends and family members in attendance for a ceremony to honor Hooker before Saturday evening's UK-Vanderbilt game.

Hooker, who played at UK from 1997 to 2001, was one of the 49 victims who died in the Comair Flight 5191 crash near Blue Grass Airport on Aug. 27. He and his wife, Scarlett Parsley, had married just hours earlier and were headed to California on their honeymoon.

Hooker's mother, grandparents, brother and former coach all took part in the ceremony.

The honorary emblem on the old scoreboard in right field was dedicated to Hooker during the tribute before the game. Fans also joined in a moment of silence, which was then followed by the presentation of a commemorative game ball from current head coach John Cohen.
Gillispie is up really late. The rumors that he doesn't sleep must be true! Willie Warren, a prospective recruit, commented on Gillispie's text messaging.
"That just shows me he's dedicated and when he sees something he wants, he goes after it," Warren said Sunday. "I thought, what is he doing up right now?

"It was 2 a.m. Kentucky time. Once he started texting me, I figured out he wanted me pretty badly."

Gillispie recruited Warren when he was still the head coach at Texas A&M and has made an even stronger attempt to land Warren, a 6-foot-4 guard from North Crowley High School (Fort Worth, Texas) since he was named UK's 21st head coach less than two weeks ago.

"He's wants me to commit now, but my mom wants me to wait," said Warren, who averaged 24.7 points, 4.7 assists and 4.0 rebounds per game as a junior. "He has told me that I can make an impact right away."

Warren, who considers himself a scoring point guard, has already taken unofficial visits to Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M and Baylor.

What the world needs now is love...

I still cannot get over the amount of hatred that there is in this world. I'm not sure who is at fault on this. Is it the lack of decent parenting skills? The amount of violence on television? Lack of religious or family values? There's a problem out there and it appears that no one can fix it.

I've said for a long time that we need gun control in this country. I know some people will say that it is their G-d given right to own one but I disagree. I can understand the self-defense issue but come on, there is no fundamental excuse when someone kills thirty other people.

Something has got to change. Do I have the answer? No. But together, the world can make a change.

Show others that you care about them. Do one thing every day that helps repair the world. Volunteer. Peform a service to the community.

It might not happen tomorrow. It might not happen next week, month, or year.

Take a stand and make a change.


Branch Rickey has family in Kentucky.

Blogging has been somewhat light today in part due to finishing a paper.

Remembering the Shoah

Yesterday and today, around the world, people did or will gather to rememmber the tragedy that occured in the late 1930's and early 1940's. I want to take this time to remember those innocent people who perished only because they were a different religion, orientation, or ethnicity. I especially want to take this time to remember those family members of mine that I never got to know as a result of the evil doers in Germany.

I also want to take this time to offer my prayers and condolences to the families and students affected by today's shooting at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. It's sad that over 60 years later, the world is still affected by hate.

It's official! UK hires Jeremy Cox, Glenn Cyprien, maybe Alvin Brooks

The University of Kentucky men’s basketball program has added two assistant coaches, Jeremy Cox and Glynn Cyprien, head coach Billy Gillispie announced Monday.

“Both Jeremy and Glenn are great people and great coaches,” said Gillispie. “They are outstanding at developing relationships, with both current players and prospective students.”

Cox joins the staff after serving under Gillispie as an assistant coach at Texas A&M last season. Prior to his time in College Station, he was the head coach at Arkansas-Fort Smith Junior College for three seasons, guiding the Lions to the 2006 national junior college championship while also being named the NJCAA Coach of the Year.

“Jeremy has had success at every level because of his unmatched passion and ability to evaluate talent,” Gillispie said. “He has won a national championship at the two-year level and was a big part of our success last year at Texas A&M.”

Cyprien is no stranger to the SEC or the state of Kentucky, having served as an assistant coach at Arkansas last season and an associate head coach at Western Kentucky in 1995. Prior to his stop in Fayetteville, Cyprien was an associate head coach at New Mexico State where he helped the Aggies improve from 6-24 in 2005 to a16-14 in 2006, the second-best turnaround in the country that season. Before going to New Mexico State, Cyprien served as an assistant coach under Eddie Sutton at Oklahoma State from 2001-2004. The Cowboys earned a trip to the 2004 Final Four.

“Glynn is known as a great recruiter, and he is, but he’s also an all-around quality coach,” Gillispie said. “He’s done a great job at several stops, and his background, which includes time in the SEC at Arkansas and in this state at Western Kentucky, makes him good fit for our staff.”

Terrance Harris also reports that Alvin Brooks will be heading to Kentucky to join the staff.
That said, popular assistant Alvin Brooks will not be joining the new staff as many had hoped. Brooks is headed to Kentucky to join Billy Gillispie's staff along with assistants Jeremy Cox and Jerrance Howard.

Welcome to Kentucky, Glynn Cyprien

Glynn Cyprien is slated to be named the newest assistant coach at Kentucky per the Cincinnati Post.
During his 19 years as a collegiate coach, he has recruited12 players who have made it to the NBA, including Phoenix Suns' forward Shawn Marion, Boston Celtics guard Tony Allen, Toronto Raptors forward Joey Graham and Houston Rockets guard John Lucas III.

Cyprien's ties to the Lucas family are important to UK because the Wildcats are still recruiting Lucas' younger brother, Jai, a 5-foot-11 point guard who will be a freshman in college this fall but has yet to decide where he is going to school.
Here is an excerpt from his coaching and playing resume.
Coaching Experience
2006 New Mexico State, associate head coach
2001-04 Oklahoma State, assistant coach
1996-2000 Nevada-Las Vegas, associate head coach
1995 Western Kentucky, associate head coach
1992-94 Jacksonville University, associate head coach
1991 Lamar, assistant coach
1988-90 Texas-San Antonio, assistant coach
1989 Texas-San Antonio, women's assistant coach
1987 Louisiana Junior Olympic Team, head coach

Playing Experience
1986-87 Southern University-New Orleans
1982-85 Jesuit (New Orleans, La.) High School

Postseason Experience
2004 Oklahoma State, NCAA Tournament (Final Four), Big 12 Conference regular-season and tournament champion
2003 Oklahoma State, NCAA Tournament (second round)
2002 Oklahoma State, NCAA Tournament
2001 Oklahoma State, NCAA Tournament
2000 UNLV, NCAA Tournament
1999 UNLV, NIT
1998 UNLV, NCAA Tournament
1997 UNLV, NIT
1995 Western Kentucky, NCAA Tournament (second round), Sun Belt Conference regular-season and tournament champion
1988 Texas-San Antonio, NCAA Tournament
Oh, and don't worry about another degree fiasco. He ended up finishing coursework in 2004 from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a B.S. in physical education.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

DeAndre Jordan to stay at Texas A&M

Here's the latest from MyFOX Houston. It appears that the highly ranked center will honor his committment with Texas A&M.
Seven-footer DeAndre Jordan, from Christian Life Academy in Houston, tells FOX 26 Sports he met with new Aggie head coach Mark Turgeon for 90 minutes Sunday afternoon.

"I've decided I am going to stay at Texas A&M next year and honor my committment and I will be there June 1st for summer school," Jordan said in an interview with FOX 26 Sports.

Jordan says the meeting with Turgeon, which took place in Houston, went a long way toward him deciding to honor his committment to A&M and not ask for his release.

"It was real important because I didn't know anything about Coach Turgeon. A lot of the players at Texas A&M called me and told me all the things he was about, that he was a good guy, but I wanted to see it myself. So I met with him. I liked what he was talking about and where he is taking the program and that convinced me," Jordan said.

Jordan said it meant a great deal to him that Turgeon would come to Houston and spend an hour and a half with him.

"I kind of felt a little important. That he would go out of his way to come down here and meet with me and my family," Jordan said. He told me "he was going to continue what coach Gillispie left behind at Texas A&M." Gillispie is now the head coach At Kentucky.

Jackie Robinson Day

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
BROOKLYN N.L. 1947 TO 1956 
PLAYS 1949-50-51-52.

I've been watching a lot of the coverage today on television and I think John Kruk may have said it the best during Baseball Tonight. This should not be something that is celebrated by baseball every ten years. It should be done every year.

April 15th should be a national holiday to commemorate the achievements that Jackie Robinson made. Every year. Not just every ten years.

Fidelity must Divest from Sudan

Here's more on the issue.
Eric Cohen, a retired businessman, said he had learned recently that the Boston-based mutual fund giant Fidelity Investments had nearly a billion dollars invested in two of the most unscrupulous companies operating in Sudan, PetroChina and Sinopec.

The Sudan Divestment Task Force, a national research and advocacy group, has identified these oil companies -- which are principally owned by the Chinese government -- as among the two dozen or so "worst-offending" businesses in the war-torn region.[...]

After further investigation, several members of the Massachusetts Coalition attempted to speak with Fidelity representatives about the matter. Through letters and phone calls to executives, trustees, board members and fund managers, we alerted Fidelity to the atrocities being committed by the Sudanese government in Darfur, including the murder of more than 400,000 people and the displacement of 2.5 million more since February 2003.

We also shared with Fidelity the fact that 70 percent to 80 percent of Sudan's oil revenues go to military spending, including the training and arming of the Janjaweed, Khartoum's barbaric proxy militia.

In these communications we urged Fidelity to divest its sizable holdings from PetroChina and Sinopec, arguing that while the Sudanese leadership has been largely unresponsive to diplomatic pressure, it has been responsive to financial pressure.

A successful divestment campaign against Talisman Energy of Canada several years ago helped compel President Bashir and his administration to halt its genocidal activities in southern Sudan, which have been largely unreported in the media, and to sign a comprehensive peace agreement with dissident leaders in 2005.

Unfortunately, Fidelity thus far has expressed no interest in discussing the issue with us or taking any positive action. Its only response has been to indicate that it remains steadfast in its mission to make as much money as possible for its clients, regardless of ethical concerns.

In a letter to Cohen dated Oct. 5, 2006, the investment firm wrote: "Fidelity portfolio managers make their investment decisions based on business and financial considerations, and take into account other issues only if they materially impact these considerations or conflict with applicable legal standards."

Reinforcing this position, a Fidelity representative made the following statement in a Jan. 29 interview in CNN Money: "We believe the resolution of complex social and political issues must be left to the appropriate authorities of the world that have the responsibility, and capability, to address important matters of this type. And we would sincerely hope that they would do so wisely on behalf of all of the citizens of the globe."

Reading these words would be infuriating at any time, but especially so during Passover, and with Yom HaShoah just days away. Passover is, after all, the celebration of the liberation of our ancestors from Egyptian bondage. The narrative includes a chilling description of Pharaoh's genocidal plot against the Israelites: "Pharaoh charged all of his people, saying, 'every boy that is born you shall throw into the Nile… (Exodus 1:22).' "

The elaborate rituals of the seder are designed to elicit in us feelings of gratitude for our freedom and to sensitize us to the oppression of others, "… for you were strangers in the land of Egypt" (Exodus 22:20).

What would have Fidelity done in ancient Egypt? Would it have invested in shackles and whips? And what about the Holocaust? Would it have poured money into companies producing Zyklon-B? Does Fidelity really have no moral standards? Does it not understand that its strategy of "amoral" investment is contributing to the deaths of innocent people in Darfur?

We urge Fidelity to join other responsible institutions -- including more than 30 colleges and universities, and six states -- in divesting from PetroChina, Sinopec and other unprincipled companies associated with the ruthless Sudanese regime. We also urge concerned citizens to join the campaign, and to remove their savings -- personal and institutional -- from financial companies refusing to take a stand against the genocide in Darfur.