Gas Prices Dampen, Well, Everything

Fancy pants elitist (journalist) Ronnie Ellis, who spends far too much time in the reality-based community, says gas prices have both Democratic and Republican voters in a sour mood.

And he says things are rough for folks running for office:

It’s not a good climate for candidates, especially incumbents and even more especially for Republican incumbents. A recent national poll showed 80 percent of respondents think the country is on the wrong track. Democrats think it’s their year, and it probably is, but in places like Kentucky some worry about running on a ballot headed by Barack Obama. Republicans point to Democratic control of Congress and try to shift the blame to them. But Republican President George Bush – who isn’t on the ballot – is the face most voters see when they feel threatened or angry. That must worry Republican Mitch McConnell and boost the hopes of Democrat Bruce Lunsford as they battle for McConnell’s Senate seat.

McConnell is encouraged by results of the Kentucky Democratic presidential primary in which Obama won only two counties and Lunsford must worry about running on a ticket headed by Obama. Republican John McCain is heavily favored in Kentucky, but if voters are angry with Republicans and uncomfortable with Obama, will they turn that anger instead on McConnell? Will prices at the pump reach $5 before the election? Is a financial crisis looming or will things go badly in Iraq?

These are tough times for those running for office. That’s why many are running scared. If they’re not, they should be.

This may seem silly, but Business First has conducted a poll all week asking readers if rising gas prices and the economic downturn (*cough* recession *cough*) have affected their dining-out habits. A whopping 55% of readers say they dine out less frequently.


And that’s from the business community in the wealthiest city in the state.

Oh, forgot to include this. Reuters reports that consumers’ mood has hit a 28-year low. The 59.8 rating is the lowest since the June 1980 rating of 58.7. You’re all effed with inflation.

The Uprising is Nigh! You’re Doomed, Kids

UPDATE @ 11AM: David will be on The Colbert Report tonight. Watch it.

Those of you familiar with the internets and reality know all about David Sirota and his liberal left ways with the truth. He’s renowned as a journalist and has led the fight to bring the reality-based community into the mainstream. And he has a great new book that’s hitting shelves across the country.

THE UPRISING: An Unauthorized Tour of the Populist Revolt Scaring Wall Street & Washington is what could only be called a masterful look at the force shaping American politics today. David spent a year traveling the country documenting the new populist revolt on the Right and Left and this book is his powerful examination of what’s taking place.

A bit of what David digs up in the book:

  • Where superdelegates come from: Sirota traces the history of superdelegates, showing how they were originally created by the Democratic Party’s entrenched establishment to thwart inconvenient challenges from outsiders and how they could now play a pivotal role in the upcoming election—crushing today’s populist uprising.
  • Conflicts of interest at the heart of the antiwar movement: Sirota reveals that the antiwar movement, which enjoys widespread public support, has cynically hired the same Democratic Party operatives who also have been employed to protect pro-war Democratic politicians.
  • Stealth efforts to unionize the white-collar world: Embedding himself with a scrappy union trying to organize workers at some of the biggest tech companies in the world, Sirota shows how these white-collar companies, while fronting a progressive image, are actually among the most harshly antilabor employers in America.
  • America’s most powerful third party: Most people think third parties are gadflies, but in New York—one of the biggest states in the nation—a third party is changing the political topography in unexpected ways, pushing around the legislature and upending the status quo, and making real gains for its populist agenda.

Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone writes, “The Uprising should be read by anyone who wants to understand exactly how the ordinary person has been sold out by the political system.” and Publishers Weekly says, “Sirota chronicles how ordinary citizens on the right and the left are marshaling their frustrations with the government into uprisings across the country and analyzes the effectiveness and longevity of their efforts.”

He’ll be in Kentucky in June for readings and public appearances and you need to make sure you show up. Make plans today.


  • Cincinnati on June 24 – 7:00 P.M. @ Joseph-Beth Booksellers
  • Louisville on June 25 – 7:00 P.M. @ Carmichael’s on Frankfort Ave

The Louisville event is a Q&A/book signing sponsored by the Kentucky Society of Professional Journalists and Change for Kentucky. 2720 Frankfort Avenue, Louisville. Be there.

Read a great question and answer session with David after the jump…

Read moreThe Uprising is Nigh! You’re Doomed, Kids

Thursday. Kentucky is Still Broke. Newt’s Coming.

Special session is on the way. Governor Beshear is meeting with House and Senate leaders this morning to discussion a fix of the pension system. A 10:00 A.M. press conference is involved to discuss the broken system which, believe it or not, could be bankrupted in about a decade if we don’t do something to stave off disaster since there are currently billions in unfunded liabilities. [H-L]

At a time when the entire state is broke or whatever, David Williams is moving forward with spending a butt ton of money to renovate offices in the Capitol Annex in Frankfort. Because you know how sad and shameful it is for a state senator to have a tiny office. Okay, honestly, who the eff cares how large their crappy office in Frankfort happens to be? [Hebert]

Meanwhile, the budget crunch (which is quite real and does exist, contrary to Republican talking points) is forcing public defenders all over Kentucky to turn away poor clients who need attorneys. Let’s see how long our court system can stay afloat with no money and an ever-shrinking staff. Good luck if you’re stuck in legal limbo. [C-J]

Newt Gingrich, Larry Sabato and others are headliners for The Council of State Governments’ event in Lexington that begins today. We’re not sure if Newt will discuss leaving his wife as she’s on her deathbed or anything but if you’re going this weekend, let us know of anything exciting. [PolWatchers]

The Mexicans are taking over! Somebody call Doug Hawkins in Louisville so he can protect our white women and attack the Courier-Journal for being elitist or whatever. Why does the Courier-Journal hate America and love terrorist Rachel Ray? [C-J]

If you’ve some how missed it, former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan is coming clean about the Bush Administration. He says the Valerie Plame leak case was the turning point for him and goes on from there. Watch his interview on Today at the link and watch MSNBC tonight at 8:00 for his interview with Keith Olbermann. [MSNBC]

KDP’s Jeremy Horton on CNN Newsroom

Jeremy Horton, Executive Director of the Kentucky Democratic Party, was just on CNN during a segment discussing “Regan Democrats.” Horton says there’s a shift underway, Democrats who formerly voted Republican are returning home to the Democratic Party because they’re frustrated with the war, economy, etc.

“I think that you’re seeing among Democrats in Kentucky a real quiet resolve to make sure that, uh, this vote that they have makes a difference,” said Horton. He also said Democrats can keep these Reaganites at home by making governing less about politics and more about solutions.

Of course he was followed up by some woman (Jane Semones) who said Democrats don’t have the political muscle to deal with Iraq or support the troops. Like Republicans do, after eight failed years of Bush douchery.

Anyway, here’s the clip:

And for those of you who can’t use YouTube at work, peep your version of the video after the jump…

Read moreKDP’s Jeremy Horton on CNN Newsroom

Rainy Thursday Updates. Obama NOT Coming to Kentucky Tomorrow Night Edition?

Despite the fact that the Secret Service briefed several key business leaders on Fourth Street and at the Convention Center that both Clinton and Obama would be at tomorrow night’s KDP fundraiser, the Obama campaign insists that the senator will be in Oregon instead of in Kentucky. [Telephone Call]

The RPK is mad at the mean and elitist Barack Obama for wanting to tax the unfortunate rich folks of Kentucky! They put out a press release last evening attacking him for hating tax cuts for the rich and for running a television ad in the Bluegrass saying as much. Take a look at the ad. [Obama Ad]

Rather than develop a functioning Federal Election Committee made up of members selected for their personal abilities and qualifications, Mitch McConnell still thinks it’s a good idea to obstruct like crazy. He still wants to force a vote on all nominees– together– because he knows his right-wing hack favorite can’t withstand an individual vote. Of course, McConnell supporters (staffers?) spin this as Democratic obstruction because Democrats want individual votes. So much for Democracy. [CBS/Politico, EITB]

The Clinton campaign is touting Hillary’s “big win” in Indiana (what was it again? a percent? two?) in pushing for a visibility rally at tomorrow’s KDP event in Louisville. Starts at 5:30 at 4th & Market. Will it just be Olivia? Will the demonstrators/protestors be able to understand that it’s mathematically impossible for Clinton to win? [Clinton Campaign]

Did you know? There are Republicans who STILL spin that the economy is all puppies and rainbows. And they blame Al Gore for high gas prices. [KY Progress]

Basically everyone is telling Hillary Clinton to drop out of the presidential race. Mainly because she doesn’t have enough money or time to prove herself. Or, you know, any possible way to get the votes needed to win. Note that Jennifer Moore wants Clinton to stay in the race because Kentucky deserves to vote. Even though those votes won’t matter. (We think she should stay in, too, just so everyone sees that she’s done.) [C-J]

FINALLY! It’s admitted. Steve Beshear and “very important people” in the U.S. Senate recruited Bruce Lunsford. How many months were we preaching that while the establishment told us to piss off, that we were absolutely full of it? Looks like big labor was involved, too. We know several thousand people who won’t be forgetting this when Mitch McConnell walks back into his office next year. [H-L]

Hollenbach Launches Financial Football Game

I swear we’re not joking. This day of political humor couldn’t get much better. Thanks to Jennifer Moore & Nathan Smith for their KDP email blast making this announcement. And for those visiting for the first time today, don’t forget to check the Cassaro Girls.

State Treasurer and Frank Simon supporter Todd Hollenbach has launched a video game called Financial Football (along with former UK quarterback Andre Woodson) that he plans to use to educate school kids across the Commonwealth. It’ll be available in schools and public libraries.

For real. Not trying to educate the millions of adults currently suffering through our economic situation, but children. Who will no doubt be rushing to play a video game about football and money. (Please, stifle your laughter) Kind of a nice gesture, we guess.

How much does this costs the state?

The bright side of this announcement: it’s not another press release about MySpace perverts on Dateline or whatever that another well-known constitutional officer likes to send out 24/7.

Spending the Day at Churchill Downs

Being the fancy high society/elitist homosexual types that we are, we spent Sunday afternoon at Churchill Downs. Yes, we drank all kinds of free devil water as we wagered millions and millions of dollars on some horsies. We ate all kinds of pro-gambling food. And we won all kinds of money (we left with an additional *cough* $12 *cough*).

Our Jockey Club Suite may not have been, you know, right on the finish line… but it was close. As were the restrooms and the funny old ladies with big hair working the betting windows. (We couldn’t figure out that fancy betting computer in the suite after a bunch of booze.) And no, Bruce didn’t call to drop any tips our way. Otherwise we wouldn’t be writing this today.

We snapped a few cellphone pics for you to check out/use for developing envy:

And take a peek at the mega bets we made (see? as high as $6! though, as a group, we bet $48 on one ticket and failed miserably.):

So. You know you wanna. If you can’t make it during the Kentucky Derby, plan on making a trip to Louisville to visit Churchill Downs sometime during the spring meet. We’d be happy to join you.