Monday, February 23, 2015


Not that they asked me..but then, they didn’t ask Sen. Rand Paul either, and he wants them to change their decades old state primary way of selecting candidates into a caucus system. Why? So Sen. Paul may run for 2 federal offices at once (President and Senate) which is now prohibited.

Bad idea.

One, the system has worked for a long time, why change to an untried system?

Two, procedures based on people seldom work as well as systems based on experience or objective factors.

Three, if you have looked into the Iowa caucus system, on which Paul bases his request, you know that it has many problems.  (A New England style town meeting it is not, and that tradition would be better IF the GOP must change.)

Four, why should we allow one person to run for two offices in the same election?  We don’t do it locally, or on the state level..and that’s from years of experience (as well as fairness to other candidates), so why allow it on the federal level?

It’s a bad idea Sen. Paul and I hope the state GOP will reject it…not that they asked me.

I'm just sayin'...

Monday, February 9, 2015


Cardinal Hill, our truly great local rehab  hospital, announced last week that it has been sold  to HealthSouth, a Birmingham based health conglomerate.

The announcement of the sale, to me, was strange. It seemed to come out of thin air; I saw no news conference footage on any local TV station, as if they just sent the sale story to the Herald Leader. If you don’t hold a news conference, you don’t have a lot of reporters asking tough questions.

And tough questions should be asked about this sale.

HealthSouth has a checkered past, to put it lightly. It was formed by a man, Richard Scrushy,  who has been charged with many SEC violations, basically for cooking the books...but was found not guilty by a local jury. He was later tried on political bribery charges, along   with the governor, convicted, but may escape additional prison time because the Supreme Court narrowed the scope of the law afterwards. In Alabama, he seems to have more than 9 lives in court.   Most of these law violations were in the past, perhaps  8-10 years ago and I’m sure the firm will say "our founder’s gone, we’ve cleaned up our act..and we really want to buy Cardinal Hill.”

Maybe so, but the headline in the Herald Leader said "all services to remain the same.”  I don’t believe that. I’ve yet to see a sale like this, in any field, where everything stayed the same. It just doesn’t pass the smell test.

I don’t know if there is a state agency that has to approve this sale, but if so, I hope they look into it very carefully.  Maybe our consumer advocate, the attorney general, should do so.  And I am surprised that the Herald Leader hasn’t raised an objection, editorially, and run some story on HealthSouth’s seamy  background.

This is another great local institution we should not give up without a fight, or at least knowing a lot more about HealthSouth and its current operations and standards than we do.

I'm just sayin'...

Monday, February 2, 2015


A word or two about practical political news reporting to you readers and my journalist colleagues.

Amazing.  That’s all I can say.  GOP hopefuls are coming out of the woodwork  to run for President. People you probably never heard of (George Pataki for example.) People who the Grand Old Party rejected last time.  Rick Santorum.  People who should rejected . Sarah Palin for example. People in another field who probably shouldn’t be in this field. I.E. Ben Carson

But as the cattle call increases,---probably because of the nearly BILLION dollar kitty the Koch Brothers have come up with to support their brand of  conservative Republicanism, more candidates may yet announce. Having covered 14 national party conventions, and presidential politics since 1948, a word or two to the hopefuls..but even more to my readers.

1—NO poll this far ahead of time has any validity.

2—There is no such thing, at this point, as a “front runner.”  (some political reporters will weasel a bit, and talk about a “presumptive front runner” but that’s not much more accurate either.)

3—There are no dynasties, in either party. Each well known candidate is subject to the vote of the American people.

4—all this wisdom of mine applies to BOTH major parties. HRC is neither “front runner” nor “shoo-in.” Truly, I’ve seen political reports recently that make me wonder if the writer was born after 2008, or remember how a little known Illinois junior senator could possibly win against  the Clinton dynasty/machine/etc.

5—There will be an election in 2016..and we still have that outdated, UNdemocratic Electoral college to contend with, voting machines that are unreliable (chads or not) far from tamper-proof, bad local voting laws, parties and candidates determined to hold down voting instead of increasing it, gerrymandering in many, if not all states, Kentucky being no exception, etcetcetc—it’s a wonder “the world’s greatest Democracy” gets an election done. We have much to do to live up to that phrase.

Let us begin…but in the meantime, let’s have some honest, accurate political reporting and analysis.

I'm just sayin'....