Monthly Archives: April 2011

David Williams attempts a testimonial ad (UPDATE)

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April 27, 2011
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The Williams/Farmer campaign just released the following man-on-the-street totally impromptu testimonial web ad:

I’m certainly no Mark Riddle, but shouldn’t they at least pretend that she isn’t reading every word directly off of a cue card? Not that I don’t enjoy the Bachmann look-off. But certain people who are cynical about politics might have the nerve to suggest this was completely scripted and not from the heart.

How is a real testimonial ad done? Ladies and gentleman, you know her, you love her. Our old friend, Marian Sims!

(in fairness to Williams/Farmer, it’s hard to find someone like Sims)

UPDATE: A reader sends us this tip about our impromptu man-on-the-street passionate advocate of David Williams. Besides being Mitch McConnell’s intern, she also worked for the Senate Republicans in the 2011 General Assembly.

I still think it was a total coincidence that the Williams camera crew just happened to run into her on the street though, don’t you? It’s a small world, after all.

The Paul-Trump rap war continues

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April 27, 2011
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When I watched Donald Trump launch his Birther crusade at CPAC in February, the most notable part of the speech was his incitement of the many Paulbot hecklers in attendance. When they started shouting “Ron Paul” at him, Trump said Paul couldn’t be elected, eliciting a roar from a few hundred angry white men in attendance:

The funny part is that this happened maybe a minute or two before Rand Paul took the page for his speech.

Ron Paul then went to Fox News, where he took some shots at Donald Trump when speaking to their morning panel of respected journalists:

Now with Ron Paul pretty much in the race, yesterday on CNN the Son of Liberty took a backhanded swipe at the reality TV star:

“I think it’s hard for an entertainer or comedian to be treated seriously and that’s the big hurdle he will have to overcome,” Paul said. “We’ll let the public decide that, but I’d say he does have quite a few hurdles to overcome to be taken seriously.”

Meow. Almost as good as Obama’s “carnival barker” line from this morning.

But this is why the Trump-Paul rap war will be so entertaining. Both are thin-skinned, temperamental egomaniacs (though not as much with Ron as Rand), with an army of supporters (birthers-Paulbots) willing to go crazy on you.

There will be popcorn.

And hopefully the Trump-Paul debates resemble this:

Atlas Shrugged producer is Going Galt on sequels

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April 27, 2011
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Speaking as someone who watched Atlas Shrugged on opening weekend and thoroughly enjoyed the comedy (wait, that wasn’t a comedy?), the following news is simply devastating:

EXCLUSIVE: Twelve days after opening “Atlas Shrugged: Part 1,” the producer of the Ayn Rand adaptation said Tuesday that he is reconsidering his plans to make Parts 2 and 3 because of scathing reviews and flagging box office returns for the film.

“Critics, you won,” said John Aglialoro, the businessman who spent 18 years and more than $20 million of his own money to make, distribute and market “Atlas Shrugged: Part 1,” which covers the first third of Rand’s dystopian novel. “I’m having deep second thoughts on why I should do Part 2.”

“Atlas Shrugged” was the top-grossing limited release in its opening weekend, generating $1.7 million on 299 screens and earning a respectable $5,640 per screen. But the the box office dropped off 47% in the film’s second week in release even as “Atlas Shrugged” expanded to 425 screens, and the movie seemed to hold little appeal for audiences beyond the core group of Rand fans to whom it was marketed.

No sequel??? This is an outrage! And who do we have to blame for this tragedy? Certainly not the free hand of the market. The party to blame is the statist collectivist media, who predictably sought to squash the rugged individualism and heroism of Hank Rearden, as they are so threatened by what it represents:

Aglialoro attributed the box office drop-off to “Atlas Shrugged’s” poor reviews. Only one major critic — Kyle Smith of the New York Post — gave “Atlas” a mixed-to-positive review, calling the film “more compelling than the average mass-produced studio item.” The movie has a dismal 7% fresh rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes thanks to critics like the Chicago Tribune’s Michael Phillips, who said “Atlas” is “crushingly ordinary in every way.” Roger Ebert called the film “the most anticlimactic non-event since Geraldo Rivera broke into Al Capone’s vault,” while Rolling Stone’s Peter Travers said the movie “sits there flapping on screen like a bludgeoned seal.”

*****

“Why should I put up all of that money if the critics are coming in like lemmings?” Aglialoro said. “I’ll make my money back and I’ll make a profit, but do I wanna go and do two? Maybe I just wanna see my grandkids and go on strike.”

Now I know what some of you are saying: “hey John, not only did you release a big steaming turd to over 400 theaters, you’re also the biggest whiny ass titty baby I’ve ever come across”. Well, you would be wrong. This man is an artist and, dare I say, a genius. He is a genius whose art should be nurtured, not picked apart by jealous critics who don’t know what it’s like to work for themselves, yet feed off the profits of people like John’s energy.

There’s only one thing that we (the almost 100% dead on accurate stereotype of Rand fans and libertarians) can do to save our hero, our epic sequels, and the legacy of St. Rand. Express your dissatisfaction with Roger Ebert and Peter Travers on the internet machine:

We can do this. Liberty is worth it.

Here it is, now shut up

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April 27, 2011
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However, this “certificate of live birth” is an obvious forgery, as “someone” told Donald Trump it doesn’t exist. And anyone can get a certificate of live birth. I can get you one by 3:00, with nail polish.

We Owe Ben Chandler An Apology: Closeted Socialist comes out for Public Broadcasting

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April 27, 2011
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Well, not really an apology. More like a clarification — which doesn’t sound as good in a headline.

Back on February 10th, we noted The Hill’s finding that Congressman Chandler had given the fewest floor speeches of any member of the House of Representatives going back to the beginning of 2009.

The day after that we dug up video of The Quietest Congressman’s entire two year floor record… which amounted to just about six minutes… over half of which was a fawning tribute to Sen. Mitch McConnell.

We gave the Congressman a hard time for, you know, being our voice in Washington and saying, well, very very little.

Lo! The man has ears and they must’ve been burning… because just days later — on Valentine’s Day — Ben Chandler took to the House floor to deliver his first speech in 347 days.

And it was a honker. Clocking in at over five minutes, Chandler railed against the attack on Public Broadcasting, defending the state’s broadcasters (KET, WUKY and WEKU all got big ups) and, in the process, nearly eclipsing his cumulated floor time of the past two years.

But the Congressman never told us about it. Nary an email from his press people and so, unfortunately, we did not even hear of this other-worldly event until just yesterday whilest looking into a totally separate issue.

So here it is, good people of Kentucky’s Sixth District: The Quietest Congressman Speaks…

Richie Farmer finally apologizes, donates furlough salary

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April 26, 2011
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Well that took forever. Score one for the KDP harping on this until Richie blinked:

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Republican lieutenant gubernatorial candidate Richie Farmer has apologized for seeming insensitive to state workers by not participating in unpaid furloughs.

Farmer, the state agriculture commissioner, donated more than $2,000 to charity on Tuesday in an attempt to put the troublesome political issue to rest.

In a statement Tuesday afternoon, Farmer said he has given $1,000 to Capitol City Christian Church and $1,071.42 to the Kentucky National Guard Memorial Fund. That money represents the equivalent of five furlough days. Farmer said he will make another donation to charity next month to cover a sixth furlough day.

Farmer said he disagreed with Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear’s decision to force state workers to take furloughs.

Unknown Republican for Phil Moffett

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April 26, 2011
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Phil Moffett’s campaign manager David Adams just tweeted that he “expects establishment heads to explode” over this video:

I’m not sure why a video of a failed Alaskan candidate that no one knows in Kentucky (Joe Miller, whose claim to fame is losing last year with 34% of the vote, a whopping 69,762 votes) endorsing Phil Moffett is going to make heads “explode”. But there’s a lot about David Adams that I don’t understand…

Sarah Palin or GTFO!

Free tip for the KDP

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April 26, 2011
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Two weeks ago, the House Republicans gave a golden gift to Democratic candidates all over the country. Every Republican but 4 voted to end Medicare in 10 years and give millionaires a giant tax cat, all so we can balance the budget in… 30 years or so. Not surprisingly, such a plan is political poison.

This weekend, the DCCC pounced, targeting several freshmen Republicans in the House with the following video:

Yet so far, the Kentucky Democratic Party hasn’t said a word about Hal Rogers, Geoff(erson) Davis, Brett Guthrie and Ed Whitfield voting for one of the most disastrous bills in a generation. In our surrounding states, the Democratic Party of Tennessee, Ohio, West Virginia and Virginia have all publicly swiped at Republicans in their state for voting for or supporting the Ryan budget. However, the Democratic Party of Indiana, Illinois and Missouri have not, so there’s still time to avoid being last in our region.

I understand if the KDP is a little preoccupied with David Williams and Richie Farmer, as they certainly should be. But as long they haven’t officially conceded the 1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th districts to Republicans for the next 15 years, it’s at least worth taking a jab at them and letting folks in those districts know that their representative recently voted to end Medicare and give Donald Trump a giant tax cut. All in the name eliminating the deficit in 30 years, when they expect old folks to buy their insurance on the market with inadequate coupons. And considering the fact that the NRCC is now laughably trying to target Ben Chandler on this vote, now is as good a time as ever to start playing offense.

It’s been two weeks since the vote, but it’s never too late to step up to the plate and hit the biggest hanging curveball that the Republican Party has given us in a generation.

Frank Simon makes some endorsements in KY primary

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April 26, 2011
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Kentucky’s most famous bigot and hate group president Frank Simon has just released his endorsements for next month’s primaries.

Surprisingly, he sits out over half of the races, including the one that we’ve been keeping an eye out for, the GOP gubernatorial primary. Simon praises Williams, Moffett and Holsclaw in the footnotes, but fails to bless any of the candidates with his Holy goodness. He also sits out the GOP race for Auditor, as well as the Democratic races for Secretary of State and Treasurer.

The candidates that did receive his endorsement were:

Robert Farmer- Democratic nomination Commissioner of Agriculture

Some Dude Named Bill Johnson- GOP nomination for Secretary of State

James Comer- GOP nomination for Commissioner of Agriculture

Here’s the screengrab below:

Here are the footnotes for the GOP gubernatorial candidates:

Holsclaw is an outstanding public servant and has done a great job as Jefferson County Clerk.

Moffett, a businessman, has won numerous TeaParty polls across KY. He supports charter schools and supports replacing KY’s taxes on income and profits with a consumption tax. He is pro-life.

Williams has done a great job as president of the Kentucky Senate by blocking numerous tax increases and blocking increasing state debt that were promoted by the Democrat party. He is also pro-life and blocked expanded gambling.

I guess Frank Simon chickened out. What a let down.

And we have to wonder what David Williams thinks about this? After all, Williams visited Simon in February in order to kiss his ring and rave about the work of Simon over the years, and this is the thanks he gets? Or maybe the fact that Simon didn’t go all out for Moffett is the payoff for their long history of collaboration in taking away the rights of women and drumming up fear of the gays? One has to wonder…

Ed Lane v. Harold Tate: Smackdown!

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April 26, 2011
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Harold Tate’s goodbye/legacy tour continues with “The Lane Report” — Ed Lane’s flagship publication, which always gives the local business community an unflinching and critical look. It’s not like it’s just reprinted press releases… this stuff’s “news.”

So here goes: Ed Lane v. Harold Tate… who will win? Let’s check the highlights…

Ed Lane: How long have you lived in Lexington?            

Harold Tate:
 I attended the University of Kentucky College of Architecture and graduated in 1974…. I took [a job at the Parks Department] my last year at UK while I was doing my thesis on historic preservation. 

First round goes to Lane. (And unfortunately, UK’s thesis archive appears to be down at the moment but maybe we can dig into that later.)

EL: What was your first promotion?

HT:
 ….When I left the urban county government in 2001, I had just completed doing the two new courthouses, the jail on Old Frankfort Pike, and the downtown arts center. 

You had us at the construction of the beautiful new Courthouses, Harold. Round goes to Tate!

EL: When did you start working at the Lexington Downtown Development Authority (LDDA)?

HT:
 ….The board hired me in May 2001. 

Sometimes when you get two heavyweights in the ring, they battle to the draw. Lane’s a shrewd journalist, but Tate holds his own here.

EL: What was the status of downtown Lexington when LDDA commenced operations in 2001?

HT: 
The last big project – The Woodlands condos – was completed in 1987. The Woodlands development was ahead of market demand; condominiums were not a concept that took off in Lexington. The slow absorption of these units was a drag on downtown development. That’s totally changed now.  

And then Tate comes out of his corner right into a buzzsaw! Lane creams him here, as Harold insults another of the Webb Companies failed development projects, lamenting how it destroyed development progress for years. It’s also worth noting that since the Webbs couldn’t fill The Woodlands with outside customers, they instead filled it with friends and family… including Woodford and his old neighbor Jim Newberry. Anyway, Lane takes the round easily.

The next three are mildly interesting but each were fought to a draw, so let’s skip ahead to the lightning round!

EL: You’ve worked for several mayors. Rank them 1-10 with 10 the highest rating.

EL: Foster Pettit

HT: 
I’d have to give Foster a 9, because he was the first mayor of merged government. He really had many major issues with which to deal. 

EL: Jim Amato 

HT:
 I’d have to give him a 9 as well because he really appreciated the hard work of the city’s employees.    

EL: Scott Baesler

HT:
 Let’s give Scotty a 10. He was in charge, he knew what he wanted to do and he did it.

EL: Pam Miller

HT: 
I’d give her a 9, because of her focus on downtown redevelopment.

EL: Teresa Isaac

HT:
 Let’s give her a 5.

EL: Jim Newberry

HT:
 Let’s give him a 9, because of his focus on revitalizing downtown and moving the Limestone corridor project forward. 

EL: Jim Gray

HT:
Not rated yet, it’s way too early since he has been in office less than 90 days. 

Round goes to Tate. Lane steered him into a minefield and he responded by giving everyone 9s and 10s except for TI who seems, somehow, to have deeply offended every aging white collared white male in downtown Lexington… it’s a powerful but small membered group and it’s Lane’s entire audience… so Lane goes down.

But seriously… Newberry was at least a 10. In fact, on that scale, he’s probably an 11.

Up next, Lane hits Tate with a CentrePointe question!

EL: What was the impact of the Webb Companies’ CenterPointe development (on the Main-Upper-Vine-Limestone block) on downtown Lexington?

HT:
 It was interesting to me that investors decided Lexington needed more entertainment venues in addition to Buster’s and The Dame – the businesses located in the buildings to be demolished (for CenterPointe). That’s when you really started seeing a lot of new places open in downtown. You had The Chase in Victorian Square, Sky Bar in Courthouse Square, Bakers 360 in the Chase Tower; so you started seeing more options. Larry Redmond had his place in the Court Square Building, then he opened up Bluegrass Tavern right beside it.

This is far and away Tate’s longest response throughout the entire steel-caged deathmatch… and for that reason alone, he goes down like an historic building filled with live music and good times.

In all his rambling, he takes credit for the New Busters and, as you see above, can’t fathom the market demands created when Lexington’s nocturnal population is displaced. Apparently multiple business people and developers see opportunities and all try to be the one (or maybe ones) to grab the customers. But hey, dude studied “historic preservation” not economics so let’s only judge him on his ability to preserve historic buildings.

And with Tate on the ropes, Lane strikes again!

EL: The Webb Company’s CentrePointe project has a $200 million price tag and that’s a significant capital investment. For comparison, the Louisville Arena cost about $235 million. The recent decline of U.S. financial markets has made financing difficult. What’s happening around the country and how hard is it to get loans for this kind of project?

HT:
 

Harold actually had an answer. It wasn’t a good one, but it didn’t much matter. After a question that stupid, there’s no way Ed Lane’s walking out of that one unscathed.

EL: A lot of people think that a TIF is an incentive where the city and the state give money to the developer to do a project. Could you explain how a TIF works?

HT:  
 

Again! It’s almost like Ed Lane has forgotten he’s doing journalistic battle with Harold Tate and is instead phantom-boxing an imaginary opponent from three years ago. Maybe he’s seeing The Ghost of the Mystery Investor!

After another couple rounds of equal footing, the two fighters return to form.

EL: Why did you recently decide to end your employment with the LDDA?

HT:
 I’m stepping down…. I’d like to work in the private sector; 38 years in the public eye is a long time. 

Round to Lane… ’cause Tate’s going to Newberry. Next!

EL: What was the LDDA’s best success?

HT:
 I’d have to say the Limestone Corridor. 

Lane, again. And the final round…

L: When you see all the changes that have occurred downtown over the last 10 years, what kind of feeling do you get?

HT: 
A great feeling. I can’t stop smiling when I see the sidewalks full of people….

Which explains why you never see Harold Tate smile. Zing!

But we jest. We really do. Sure, Ed Lane’s superior journalistic skills destroyed Harold Tate in this no-holds-barred exit interview… but Harold Tate’s a good guy who’s given years of hard work to build downtown Lexington into exactly what it is today, and for that, we must all give a hearty and sincere thank you.

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