Monday, November 24, 2014

SOME THOUGHTS FOR THE GRAND OLD PARTY

The week after the election I offered some general observations and comments for all voters.  Last week, I had some suggestions for Democrats, especially state Dems.  Today’s it’s the GOP’s turn.

You were formed 150 years ago to oppose slavery; remember?  But today, people want to know what  candidates and parties support,  Opposition is viewed more as obstruction.

For years now we have had a divided legislature in Frankfort.  Sometimes the parties get along; more often they don’t.  If they want to get new followers, and perhaps show Washington it CAN be done, things need to change.

For example: some Northern Kentucky lawmakers, mainly Republicans, have some ideas to fight the influx of heroin, there and everywhere.  They need to be listened to.  Just as some House Democrats last session  had some good ideas on the same subject, but they didn’t get adopted. And heroin keeps growing.

Surely, in the face of this problem, the two chambers, the two  parties can do what’s right for Kentucky…and in the process, each gains public approval.



Our infrastructure is falling apart. “60 Minutes” Sunday reminded us how bad our roads and bridges are. Kentucky’s fund to build and repair is tied to the price of gasoline, which has recently dropped. Yes, voters, myself included, like that…but what does it profit a driver if he has gas in his tank, and the bridge ahead collapses? This is a real  possibility.

The GOP can show leadership here...just as that great liberal organization,  the U-S Chamber of Commerce, did before Congress in calling for higher TAXES so the additional funds could be used to repair the roads we have and build new ones. Just always being against higher taxes simply means more and more potholes. Is that what the Kentucky GOP wants?

And, by the way, you didn’t succeed in taking over the House..but where you did gain it was often because you put up good candidates. That has not always been true, and there’s a lesson there.

Good luck. As you succeed, so might Kentucky.

I'm just sayin'...

Monday, November 17, 2014

THOUGHTS FOR STATE DEMOCRATS



You lost.

Not just the U-S Senate race, but also allowed the GOP to strengthen its hold on the state senate. (The idea Dems might lose the House was wistful thinking and if state Dems emphasize that, they are in danger of turning Kentucky into a “red” state, as Mitch is determined it will become.)

Somewhere there is a disconnect between the idea that Mitch was at his most vulnerable this time out…and the fact that better known, experienced names in the party didn’t run against him.  That left the Lundergans, who can be party splitters, ultimately in charge..and the little known Alison got the race.

She, or dad Jerry, ran a bad campaign.  Early on it didn’t appear so..when Team Mitch made some uncharacteristic stumbles. But Alison’s ducking of questions---from the public and from the public’s representatives, reporters, badly hurt her campaign.  How much was this the reaction of a little experienced statewide candidate, or her dad, or her campaign team we may never know. But it hurt.  If you are little known you must take every opportunity as a candidate to let the voters know about you. Team Lundergan did not.

Now some in the party  think she should try again next year for governor.

I think not.

In time she, out from her dad’s shadow, may be a more viable candidate. Not now, smarting from her loss in only her second attempt. Let her wait a while, gain experience, and then…maybe.

Meanwhile I must opine that House leaders Stumbo and Adkins didn’t do the party any favors. One example: they extended the 6th Congressional district eastward into coal counties two years ago, knowing of the anti-Obama feelings there..or they should have known, it’s their home areas. Result: Ben Chandler, who also ran a bad campaign avoiding the media and debates (is there a theme here?) lost, and then first-termer Andy Barr, who might have been vulnerable, wasn’t..to another bad campaign by Liz Jensen (Is where I get my haircuts really a 6th district issue?)

Time for soul searching in the state Democratic party..or as surely as God made little green apples (and bourbon ) Kentucky will turn even redder.

I'm just sayin'...

Monday, November 10, 2014

YOU’RE DESPICABLE!!!



One of my fave TV ads in the recent campaign ended with these words on screen about the candidate’s opponent..”Dishonest, Despicable….and Liberal”

There were a number of such ads..dishonest and despicable ones I mean..and I missed the C-J and Herald Leader’s stories debunking them.  TV stations, who grabbed scads of money from such ads, did zilch..totally abdicating their obligation to operate “in the public interest, convenience and necessity” as the law requires. The Lexington paper told me they had decided to put its analysis of some ads in their campaign stories, rather than as a separate story, which I thought was a bad call. Ads are a big factor in the campaign and deserve more prominence in news media stories.

Did all the negative ads contribute to the record low turnout in many places?  That’s worthy of a good sociological study.

So is the abject failure of so many polls..polls that got it reasonably right last time. In the Grimes-Mitch race, a 15 point difference is NOT  “too close to call.”  What happened? Inquiring readers, viewers---and I hope, editors---want to know, need to know before next time.  USA Today’s polling columnist urged the media to “kick (the) polling habit”:, a position I have held for years, but am not holding my breath it will happen.  Nationwide one survey showed polls were off by an average of 7 percent; that is not within the margin of error.

I am sure the media will study what happened..though I am less sure it will have the guts or  wisdom to consider dropping polls entirely.  Let the candidates poll all they want, that does not mean there has to be stories about poll results, especially given the recent errors the polls made.  The only poll that counts, after all,  is the one the media reports election night..your votes.

And speaking of your votes…where were you? One would think given the important offices at state..U-S Senators and governors..people would turn  out. One would think with all the ads telling them to vote for various candidates people would understand the importance of voting…but No, they didn’t   Why?  Nothing but the future of the Republic is riding on that answer.

I'm just sayin'...

Monday, October 27, 2014

BIG BLUE……STUPIDITY



Once again, after proclaiming how much it wants and needs the support of the Big Blue Nation, UK has acted to scorn them…needlessly.

I am not privy to those negotiations, but why in the world would UK give away rights to let local TV stations (and others thru out the Commonwealth) carry Big Blue Madness???

Now remember, I worked 15 years for channel 27, but I write as a UK fan…I know UK had to give the rights to its sports games away to establish the SEC network, but the Madness is not a game. Sure, SEC and ESPN would love to have those rights...we are the Notre Dame of college basketball, but..in doing so, UK acted against the best interest of its fans..forcing them, in many cases,  to pay to see the Madness they once got for free.

Makes no sense to this fan, and I hope members of the BBN will let UK’s Athletic Director, Mitch Barnhart know their fury..maybe, maybe next year will be different.  It should be.

BTW, aren’t we all proud of the UK Football Cats?  Not only did they play a great game against #1 last week..but, a fact glossed over by many, both UK and Miss State played with very, very few penalties..something you don’t ordinarily see in such a hard fought game.

Congrats to all the football Cats, too!

I'm just sayin'...

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

GRAY MOUNTAIN: THE NEXT BIG THING



Best seller author John Grisham is about to raise hackles all over Kentucky.   His new novel, Gray Mountain, based on a review I read,  is most definitely anti Big Coal.

So it is likely to become entangled in our civic discussions---and our politics. Since neither Senate candidate, to their discredit, has been answering reporters’ questions on serious issues, it is likely we are about to see something like this:

The C-J editorial board will ask Grimes if she has read the book. Since she probably doesn’t have much time on the campaign trail to read novels, she may hesitate to answer, and the Board will pounce. "Why won’t you tell us if you have read Gray Mountain?”

NBC will dispatch a team to follow her at several stops, shouting their question. "Have you read Gray Mountain?” Again, and most unwisely, she seldom stops to answer these questions, so Chuck  Todd will proclaim, "I think she has disqualified herself from a library card anywhere in Kentucky.”

You have been warned.

I'm just sayin'...

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Our "Secret" Ballot

We take it for granted today, but as with so many of our freedoms it was hard won..and Kentucky figured in its history.

“Secret” ballots..casting your vote in private...was a movement of the mid19th century..in France, and Britain and especially Australia. Before that many countries had systems which allowed the rulers to pressure the voters into voting their way. One was the “Oral” vote, so obviously subject to mob pressures..and yet, Kentucky was the last state to give up the oral vote in `1891. (To its credit, Louisville was the first city in the U-S to adopt the “Australian secret ballot” that same year. U-S presidential elections didn’t have secret nationwide ballots until 1894.

I get many calls by “pollsters” and “surveys” and I tell them all..happy to give you my views on issues but I will NOT tell you who I will vote forever-- (if I’ve decided)..and I am appalled that many people talk to exit pollsters and  tell them who they voted for...if they are truthful about it.



All this by way of background for the really outrageous way some in the media have been piling on Alison Grimes for refusing to say if she had voted for Obama. Her reasons may be ultra-political, given his low, low ratings in Kentucky…but it is also her right as an American.

That she was even asked by the Courier-Journal editorial board makes me wonder if they understand and appreciate this right we have. And the piling on by other reporters was even worse. 


NBC’s political reporter Chuck Todd was quoted that her refusal “disqualifies her” from being Senator. That’s an opinion; reporters are not supposed to express opinions in their reporting. Back to Journalism 101, Mr. Todd.

Senator McConnell was asked if he voted for Nixon. He said he did. That’s his choice and his right. 



So Mitch voted for Tricky Dick. Nixon the Crook. Nixon the only U.S. president to resign---in disgrace. And this is better than voting for Obama???

This blog is not an endorsement for any candidate; it is an endorsement for our secret ballot—and for keeping it that way!

I'm just sayin'...

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

WHETHER REPORT:



Severe storms came to Kentucky this week..as they have in past weeks and will come again in future weeks.

Early reports are “good”..no loss of life, no serious injuries.

At least 3 EF-1 tornadoes have been confirmed, with winds doing major property damage in several counties. As usual, “mobile homes” probably suffered the most.

Weather-casters universally urged mobile home dwellers to leave..to seek shelter in more substantial buildings. What a damning indictment! These homes are basically unsafe in serious storms. Yet, given our terrain and income levels, we know such homes are popular. Outlawing them is not a possibility.

But why do we keep on resisting various safety measures which are available for such homes, especially “straps?”  These are heavy metal devices around the homes, anchored securely in the ground. Would they protect the homes from all storms? No.  Would they limit damages and possibly save lives?  Yes.

So why do we equivocate?

The legislature should pass laws requiring such straps in the future. But there doesn’t seem to be a glimmer of hope for such passage. I would guess this is due to the political clout of the “manufactured homes” industry..tho it flies in the faces of helping our citizens.

If Frankfort won’t do it, maybe Lexington's Urban County Council…and other city councils throughout our state..should impose such safety rules on future purchases.

For those storms will come again. 

Next time we may not be so lucky.

I'm just sayin'...