[T]he issue here is not whether Dr. Paul would be able to answer a “Jeopardy” question about Harlan's past. It's about whether an aspiring United States senator from Kentucky understands that coal is not, and never has been, just another industry in this state. When Dr. Paul speaks flippantly about how “accidents happen” — as he has in discussing mining fatalities — he betrays a lack of awareness of the tragic price in blood that has been paid for rapacious mining practices and inadequate regulation. And that's before one ponders the environmental predations associated with mining.
And one can add to that list Dr. Paul's astonishing recent assertion that drugs are not “a real pressing issue” in Eastern Kentucky. Really? Does Dr. Paul, a physician, not understand that the methamphetamine and prescription pill scourges in the mountains and rural areas are not remotely the same thing as a few young people sharing a marijuana joint? Voters in communities that feel under siege — including their Republican officials — surely will not share Dr. Paul's view that federal funds for undercover investigations and for drug treatment programs should be cut.
Similarly, Kentucky farmers, who receive $250 million or more each year in federal agricultural subsidies, might want to reflect upon what Dr. Paul's opposition to those payments might mean to them in a poor state.
People who "live" somewhere for 17 years will pick up a little knowledge through osmosis even if they don't bother to get out and learn about their surroundings [...]
A person who has "lived" in Kentucky for 17 years might know how "Bloody Harlan" got its name and that The Dukes of Hazzard was set in the fictional Hazzard (two Z's) County, Georgia, not the Kentucky city of Hazard (one Z).
A person who has "lived" in Kentucky for 17 years might know the community of Fancy Farm is in a dry county and the picnic put on annually by the old folks of St. Jerome Parish is a family affair where no one has to worry about having beer or anything else thrown at them.
Those are just a few items someone who has lived here for several years might know. But there are some things a person who has lived in this state for any amount of time can't help but know.
Right at the top of that list is this fact: Not only is Eastern Kentucky's drug problem "a real pressing issue," it is arguably the region's and the state's most pressing issue. For Paul to think otherwise, he must have spent his 17 years in this state in a cocoon — perhaps paying 24/7 homage to Aqua Buddha.
Conway sharply disagrees [with Rand Paul's promise to eliminate federal funding for drug abuse programs], saying without federal money, which totaled $4.3 million last year, local law enforcement agencies will be crippled.
"The Federal Government needs to help places like Kentucky where we have a problem with drug abuse; we have a problem with meth; and a problem with prescription pills," Conway continues.
Sheriff Kevin Corman with the Jessamine County Sheriff's Department says, "we have a hard enough time combating the problem with federal money, I can't imagine being able to do what our offices do with out funding."
Sheriff Corman says the drug problem means more than just substance abuse in Kentucky Communities.
"It pretty much drives 60-70 percent of other crimes in our community, like burglaries, thefts, it isn't a partisan problem."
Pike County District Six Magistrate Chris Harris said he felt Paul was out of touch with Eastern Kentucky.
“I have to admit that I was shocked and disappointed to hear that statement coming from an candidate for United States Senate,” Harris said. “I don’t know him and I’m sure he’s a nice guy, but if he doesn’t believe that drugs are a pressing issue in Eastern Kentucky, he’s simply just not in touch with reality. Our court dockets are loaded, our jails are full and county budgets all over Eastern Kentucky are busted, all because of drug abuse.
“ Maybe if Paul would spend a day in Pike District Court he would get an idea of just how pressing the issue of illegal drugs in Eastern Kentucky is.”
Pike County Sheriff Charles “Fuzzy” echoed that statement.
“I think that is a very stupid statement for someone of his caliber to make,” Keesee said. “He should come and sit in the courtroom, or in the sheriff’s office for a day.”
Sheriff Keesee said most of the crime in the county is the direct result of the drug trade.
“I have always said 98 percent of the crime in Pike County is becasue of drugs.”
Conway attended a drug court recently during a visit to Eastern Kentucky, where he addressed Paul’s remarks.
“What Rand Paul needs to do is get off Fox News, get in his car and drive to Eastern Kentucky so he can see the problems with marijuana and meth,” Conway said. “County judges are saying we have lost a whole generation to drugs. Rand Paul just doesn’t get it.”
Sheriff Keesee said he feels the same way.
“What he said is absolutely ridiculous,” Sheriff Keesee said. “I won’t vote for him.”
Marijuana? Whatever. Now meth is serious, horrible shit.
Kentucky law enforcement has now gotten behind Jack Conway:
Democratic Senate candidate Jack Conway has picked up an endorsement from a group representing law enforcement officials across Kentucky.
The Kentucky State Fraternal Order of Police praised Conway's performance as the state's attorney general in announcing its support for the Louisville Democrat on Monday. The state FOP cites Conway's work to crack down on prescription pill abuse and to remove child pornography from the Internet.
The state FOP represents more than 9,200 law enforcement personnel and their families.
The state's demographics dictate a Rand Paul victory. He's doing everything in his power to alienate every constituency in the state -- mine workers, farmers, law enforcement, and we're still months away from the election.
The big question for Kentucky voters will be -- what do you hate most, Barack Obama's presidency or Rand Paul-style do-nothing government? Their answer will determine the Senate victor.
About three months ago I wrote a post noting that because I was beginning to study for the bar exam I simply would not have the time to go forward with much blogging. As it turned out, I really didn't. And for the first time in six years, I wasn't[...]
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We have just FIVE days before the Election 2010 Block Party!
The response that we have received regarding this event has been overwhelming, but the job isn't done yet. It simply won't be enough if you come, you must bring someone with you.
Click here to RSVP today!
In 2008, a record number of voters registered and came out to vote for President Obama. Over the course of his presidency he has made good on his pledge to tackle some of our nation's hardest issues, like Health Care reform and Wall Street reform, but we cannot expect him to do it alone! We must answer the call of our President.
This kick-off event for Richland County will host plenty of local and statewide candidates, as well as games, free food, and plenty of activities. There will inflatable fun houses kids and games for all ages. Be sure to bring the whole family!
Click here to RSVP today!
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It is the Dirty Hot Summer of 2010. The Obama Administration, the USDOT Inspector General?s Office, the rest of the USDOT, the GAO, and Congress are now starting to realize what my whistleblowing organization Quiet Rockland has warned about all along since last Spring, 2009 ? that college drop-out FAA Administrator J. Randolph (?Randy?) Babbitt is an unqualified idiot. Babbitt?s ineptitude puts people?s lives at risk every day. Babbitt gets people injured and killed. Randy Babbitt must go, and the Administration knows it.
See here, below, how ersatz correspondence-course diploma-boy J. Randolph Babbitt recently "skillfully" fielded reporter questions about (audible gasp!) numbers, while the reporters were working on a story about how FAA seeks to bribe Georgians by throwing your money at them:
Blogs 1 new result for Randy Babbitt
The Kathryn Report: Counting New Stimulus Jobs at Atlanta Airport ...
?That?s always the subject of discussion?, said FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt? I don?t have an exact number right in my head??
The Kathryn Report - http://www.thekathrynreport.com/
What DO you have in your head, Randy-Man? - If ANYTHING?
More on the story:
ATLANTA -- The Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration says stimulus money for Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport will put ?a lot of people? back to work, but it?s tough to nail down just how many jobs will be created.
?That?s always the subject of discussion?, said FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt. ??I don?t have an exact number right in my head?...
??You?ve got contractors, electricians, sheet metal workers, a number of people,? said FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt. ?I can get you that number if you like. It would be a forecast".
11Alive?s Jerry Carnes has asked the FAA for that number and is waiting to hear back from them.
Good luck getting a real number, Jerry.
* * * * *
In other words, Randy Babbitt is going to guesstimate the numbers. Randy Babbitt is going to make the numbers up, just like he usually does. Then, maybe he?ll make Laura Brown or Jim Peters, one of his aero-publicists, call Jerry Carnes back. Or maybe not.
Of course, this is the very same problem that regularly occurs with Randy Babbitt?s NextGen a/k/a ?DeathGen? program, too. Others have wondered: Is NextGen a US$53.5 Billion spend?
Or, is NextGen a US$40 Billion spend?
Or, is NextGen a US$22 Billion spend?:
Hmmm. The fact is - Randy Babbitt doesn?t know. Randy Babbitt makes the numbers up, as he goes along.
Here?s what one commentator had to say about NextGen:
?If one aspect of the project is off budget, the FAA has no accurate measuring stick in place to assess how that will affect other aspects of the project. This can create problems across the entire project?.
That?s right. Randy Babbitt and the other FAA clowns working with him, can?t count.
But others, can:
??the FAA formally accepted ERAM from the contractor since the ?equipment has performed to specification at all 20 sites.? Unfortunately, ARTCC tests with real traffic were abandoned after more than 15,000 software issues arose, of which 1,400 are still unresolved, including 200 ?critical? issues. Equally unfortunate, government acceptance means that the FAA WILL HAVE TO PAY TO FIX EVERY ONE OF THEM, AT A COST OF $12 MILLION PER MONTH, according to the DOT Inspector General?.
?A General Accountability Office report has found the FAA project to overhaul the U.S. air-traffic control system lacks performance metrics and outcome-based goals?:
Should you be worried ? because FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt is a college drop-out who can?t count?
Yes. Yes you should be worried. Because Randy Babbitt?s lack of Spearman?s G, puts your life at risk:
For one thing, anyone (except maybe Babbitt himself) can count Drop-Out Babbitt?s own death-toll statistics and thereby deduce that Randy has now notched over 500 kills of innocent people on his aero-wing. Nice goin?, Ace:
For another thing, not only does Randy Babbitt?s difficulty counting let him forget how many people have been killed in aviation accidents in the U.S. on his FAA ?watch? ? Randy Babbitt cannot even count between the simple one-digit integers ?1? and ?2? when it comes to safety. And this is the most significant and most telling Fruedian Slip of a mathematical error that Randy Babbitt has ever made. I wonder who else caught it so far.
What do I mean? Witness here, Randy Babbitt first bloviates on how there is but one (1) and only one (1) acceptable ?level of safety?, and self-touts that he championed ALPA's "One Level Of Safety" initiative as if he actually believes in a strict liability standard:
From the Wall Street Journal article linked above:
After a news conference in Houston highlighting new air-traffic control technology in use over the Gulf of Mexico, Mr. Babbitt talked about plans for the next year, when the FAA will roll out a slew of changes that will impact air travel. New training standards will likely be proposed for regional airlines, requiring them to step up to training levels practiced at mainline airlines.
?I?ve been a long advocate of one level of safety?, he said.
* * * * *
One level of safety.
Yet unbelievably, to the same newspaper no less, Drop-Out Airhead Babbitt also told us us that there must be at least two (2) separate and distinct levels of safety ? the ?higher level?, and therefore presumably the ?lower-level? that must have preceded it or otherwise exist beneath it. [At other of the links below he indulges in the similarly trite Dilbertian mantra of "taking aviation safety to the next level", and "a high level of safety" (singular), and also "highest levels of safety" - which makes one wonder maybe there are three (3) or more!].
You couldn?t make this stuff up if you tried. Only Randy Babbitt could:
From the OTHER Wall Street Journal article - different day, same college drop-out FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt:
Wall Street Journal: FAA Tightens Safety-Compliance Rules
By ANDY PASZTOR
More than a year after maintenance lapses by various airlines prompted thousands of flight cancellations, federal aviation regulators Thursday tightened procedures to ensure compliance with mandated safety inspections and repairs.
Announcing that the changes are designed to ?take us to a higher level of safety,? Federal Aviation Administration chief Randy Babbitt also created a new office to enhance investigation of complaints from whistleblowers.
"One level of safety" versus "take us to a higher level of safety". Why is that a telling Freudian Slip?
Because in Randy Babbitt's mind - which thanks to Randy's own admission we know know is otherwise devoid of any (his words) "exact numbers" - there really ARE two levels of safety. They are:
(1) The level of safety that SHOULD exist - under the Babbitt FAA regime - [we'll call that the "Fictional Level", since we'll never, ever see it for as long as Randy Babbitt wastes space in his corner office at 800 Independence]; and
(2) The ACTUAL deplorable level of safety that currently exists under Randy Babbitt's FAA "watch" [we'll call it the "Babbitt Reality"], best characterized by this below photo of what he inflicted on New York when he introduced himself to us in his own inimitable Tombstone Agency way:
* * * * *
Aye. There?s the rub. Yes Randy - ?tis a question of "higher-level" versus ?lower-level?, all right. And you are on the opposite end of the versus.
Randy Babbitt is a lower-level intellect that the Administration once thought they could hide at FAA. Randy Babbitt is fast becoming the laughing-stock of Capitol Hill because of it.
Many in the aviation community have come to believe that Randy Babbitt was planted at FAA as a temporary, stop-gap measure to assuage (read, ?try to break?) the Air Traffic Controllers union, NATCA.
Now that Randy Babbitt has effected some form of temporary peace with the labor force, and thankfully NATCA is now in a better place than under Blakey/Osmus/Sturgell - the writing is on the wall that a man much, much more intelligent than Randy Babbitt, a ?Deputy Administrator? named Michael Huerta:
? is being groomed to take over as FAA Administrator, and replace college drop-out Babbitt once and for all.
It is time to drop the Drop-Out FAA Administrator. Randy Babbitt can?t count. Randy Babbitt can?t handle the job.
It is time to finish OUR job of re-populating FAA with more intelligent, more responsible people.
It is time to kick drop-out FAA ?Administrator? to the curb where he belongs ? and save some human lives and even some dollars too, in the process.
I'll bet that Michael Huerta can count out the difference between "1" and "2".
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Guess who:To some she is a self-made woman and a global superstar.To critics she's an "angry black woman" ashamed of her country.Now she's been called a modern-day Marie Antoinette.Michelle Obama. Marie Antoinette - Michelle Obama - History - CNN -[...]
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Welcome to the New York Dolls strip club, about a block from the proposed site of the Cordoba House Islamic cultural center. See that and other scenes from the neighborhood in today's TPM slideshow. New York - United States - Cordoba House - Islam -[...]
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Just posted this at AMERICAblog Gay. It's big news on the Don't Ask, Don't Tell front. The government's effort to discharge Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach under DADT have been stymied -- for now. (And, by "the government" I do mean the Obama administration.)
Victor Fehrenbach's attorneys have reached an agreement with the Air Force and DOJ. There are three key points: 1) The Secretary (or his designee) cannot reach a discharge decision until after August 27; 2) If the decision is discharge, Fehrenbach will have 21 day notice. He can move forward with an injunction in that time frame. 3) Air Force and Department of Justice (DOJ) are required to notify the court of their actions.
This is good news for Fehrenbach. According to various news reports and legal filings, the decision on whether or not to discharge Fehrenbach was on the desk of the Secretary of the Air Force. That could have happened at any moment, meaning Victor could have just been escorted off the base.
Now, Fehrenbach's attorneys have some say in the matter in advance. They won't be blind-sided, which is usually the case. And, they will take the DOJ and Air Force to court over the permanent injunction. Yes, the Obama administration's DOJ will be fighting in court to kick Fehrenbach out of the military. Still. They're still going to court to defend DADT and to kick out servicemembers.
First, the press release from SLDN. The actual agreement is below:
Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) and Morrison & Foerster LLP, representing their client, Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach, reached an agreement today with the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho, U.S. Department of Justice, and the U.S. Air Force, on the pending request for a temporary restraining order. The agreement prevents the Air Force from discharging Lt. Col. Fehrenbach under ?Don?t Ask, Don?t Tell? (DADT), the discriminatory law barring gay and lesbian service members from serving openly and honestly, until the Court can schedule a hearing on the motion for a preliminary injunction. Attorneys for Lt. Col. Fehrenbach filed a motion in U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho last Wednesday seeking a court order preventing the Air Force from discharging Lt. Col. Fehrenbach, arguing that the government cannot establish that his continued service on active duty hinders ?morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion.?Let's hope the Senate acts soon. And, let's also hope that the Commander-in-Chief actually stops letting the likes of Fehrenbach and other "mission critical specialists" from being discharged.
Statement by Morrison & Foerster?s M. Andrew Woodmansee:"This is exactly what we asked the Court to do in our motion on Wednesday, and we are pleased that the Air Force has agreed to preserve the status quo until we can have a full hearing. Of course, we continue to hope that the Air Force will do the right thing and let this war hero continue to serve this country."Statement by Servicemembers Legal Defense Network Executive Director and Army Veteran Aubrey Sarvis:?The agreement recognizes the immediate harm to Lt. Col. Fehrenbach and insures that he will eventually get to make his case at a full blown hearing without losing his job. This agreement is a victory for Lt. Col. Fehrenbach and our nation. The Air Force can still do the right thing and retain Lt. Col. Fehrenbach under the Pentagon?s own revised regulations on ?Don?t Ask, Don?t Tell.? The Senate needs to act next month to get rid of this antiquated law that dishonors some of our finest and most talented service members.?
How far has the media fallen into the abyss? Look who is driving the Cordoba House controversy.
I'll bet you 5 bucks that you can't watch this video until the end.
Here's the actual time line by Salon which highlights the lunatic right wing fringe that is controlling our media and the Ground Zero Mosque story. Racism and xenophobia are signature traits of cheap labor conservatives.
Why performers hate America?
video details and more
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Last week, businessman and tea party hero Dan Maes defeated former congressman Scott McInnis to secure the GOP nomination for governor in Colorado. Both candidates stumbled to the primary under the weight of scandal. Maes’ razor-thin victory finally offered the GOP a chance to unite behind the GOP nominee against Denver Mayor and Democratic nominee John Hickenlooper.
However, during his victory celebration, Maes pointed out the “800-pound gorilla in the room” preventing conservative unity: former Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO). Tancredo, who is now running a third-party candidacy under the umbrella of the American Constitution Party, abandoned the GOP in July after both McInnis and Maes failed to heed his demand that they drop out of the race. Deeming them “unelectable,” Tancredo believes he has “a better resume” as a committed conservative.
But his application is not faring well with the conservative base. On the same day he announced his candidacy, Colorado Republican Party Chair Dick Wadhams and 21 state Tea Party leaders lambasted Tancredo for jeopardizing a conservative victory. And this Saturday, a defiant Tancredo was met by “a somewhat hostile crowd” at a Vail Valley 9.12 Project event in Colorado. The group of “constitutional conservatives” slammed Tancredo for pursuing the type of candidacy that he once said “guarantee[s] the re-election of liberals”:
Vail Valley 9.12 Project’s organizer Michael Schneider kicked off the event by talking about a letter Tancredo wrote to 9.12 members and Tea Party activists last December that said third-party candidates split conservative votes and guarantee the re-election of liberals and socialists.
?You will split the vote and (John) Hickenlooper will become the governor,? Schneider said. ?Be a hero, be a champion of the conservative causes that you’ve always been ? drop out of the race and come back to the conservative party.?
While Schneider believes Tancredo’s third-party candidacy ruins their candidate’s chances of winning, Tancredo insists on the opposite. In response to Maes’ request to stop his campaign, Tancredo said, “I think that [Maes is] the third-party candidate and it?d be a good idea for him to drop out to reduce the split among conservative voters.”
So far, Schneider is proving the wiser. A PPP poll of the gubernatorial race last week shows that while Hickenlooper is strong in any race, Tancredo reduces Maes’ support by 16 percentage points. This irony seemed to dawn on Tancredo during last week’s GOP primary. ?Did you see the turnout? We did so much better than the Democrats,? Tancredo excitedly said of GOP voter participation before stopping himself. ?I?ve got to quit saying ?we,?? he said.