TGIF! The Rains Have Come & We’re Awake

Remember that retarded web ad the NRSC pushed where a couple Lunsford supporters offended a McConnell Youth’s delicate ears and feelings? Haha, yeah, so CBS Evening News made it a national deal. How retarded and embarrassing for the NRSC. [CBS News]

Greg Stumbo really is playing a game of chicken. Not only has he lying about his level of support in the race for Speaker of the House, but he’s cut deals with Republicans. Rumor has it that Greg’s “slate” will include Damrom as Caucus Chair, Thompson as Whip and Hoover as Floor Leader. Evn though the entire House votes on Speaker & Pro-Tem and the two caucuses vote on floor leader, caucus chair and whip. Greg: getting someone’s support is a lot different than just asking them for their opinion on the race. [RPK/F-bomb]

Greg Stumbo shows how disconnected he is from Kentucky politics. Suggesting that Kentuckians voted pro-Clinton in May instead of anti-Obama? There’s NO WAY the presidential race is close in Kentucky. Let us remind you that 21% of Kentucky Democrats say they voted on the basis of race during the May primary. That’s hardly pro-Clinton. [PolWatchers]

David Adams may pretend that the Bluegrass Institute is an honest think tank. But it’s obviously a right-wing agenda pusher that not only hates public education and stops at nothing to complain about it 24/7. [KY Progress]

Speaking of Republicans, they can’t figure out why nearly everyone outside the United States has difficulty trusting the US when it comes to remember 9/11 and blaming al Qaeda. Anyone want to explain it to them? [Cyberhillbilly]

Remember the McConnell clan at Elephants in the Bluegrass? You know, the folks who live in Louisville’s east end, send their kids to private school and do nothing but complain about “libruls” all day long? They’re back to complaining about how the lefty pinko commie media doesn’t cover Republicans. At least they know not to waste perfectly good cosmetics. [EITB]

Wait, wait – it gets even better. Marcus Carey, notorious for his racist Obama crap, is touting Sarah Palin for being a “smart candidate” and for giving ABC’s Charlie Gibson a run for his money during her interview yesterday. Last we checked, when you don’t have a clue what the interviewer is asking? You’re not a “smart candidate.” [Marcus Carey]

The Mine Safety and Health Administration fined the operator of the Darby coal mine in Harlan County just $342,000 for the May 2006 explosion. The operator was cited for disregard of basic safety practices that led to five deaths. [C-J]

Why, yes, Grampa John McCain really is an out-of-touch old man who is computer illiterate and knows nothing about the economy. He as admitted such himself. But let’s wait for the spin machine and McCain himself to deny both while using his running mate– who probably has a tweety bird or taz tattoo– to distract us. [H-L]

Thursday Afternoon Blah Relaxed 9/11 Stuff

Okay. So we’re kinda overwhelmed with stuff today. Four television appearances and all kinds of crap. No time to do what we love: blog like drunken losers. So, for that, we apologize. But in our defense, no one has sent us any fancy Orbit chewing gum as requested many days ago.

Greg Stumbo formally announced he’s running for Speaker of the House. He says he’s got 40 votes but in reality it’s only 16. Greg & Mary Karen: Don’t bullshit people, I can prove you wrong. I love you both but let’s get real here. Alessi: You know he doesn’t have th votes, so force these people to go on-the-record. [PolWatchers]

Hillary Clinton is coming to eastern Kentucky to help Bruce Lunsford on September 20. Bet Barry Obama won’t be mentioned at all for any reason, ever. Which is fine and dandy because this is Kentucky. [Joe Arnold]

Slutty Sarah Palin dolls? God. We almost threw up. And it’s not because we had got tipsy at lunch with a bunch of fancy Republicans on this most holy of holy days. [The Arena]

And more from The Arena’s Joe Gerth: WTF? Why are you jumping on Mitch McConnell’s talking points? You’re better than that, holmes. [The Arena]

U.S. Senate debate will be streamed live on KYPost.com at 9:10 A.M. Eastern this Saturday. So wake up early or whatever. We may liveblog it or comment on it or something. Maybe. [KY Post]

David Boswell was just named to the top list of United States Congressional races by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. The DCC has added Boswell to their ‘Red to Blue’ progra that will help fund the race and make things much more competitive come November. [Press Release]

Hot rumor: We hear something is coming down the pike at the University of Louisville tomorrow that will make a lot of people happy. Particularly involves the fancy little committee that Jim Ramsey announced yesterday. Developing. [Fancy Reports]

The Robert Felner Story Hits the WaPo

Whoopsie Deasy! That’s right, kids– the Robert Felner/John Deasy story has finally hit the Washington Post!

It’s now only a matter of time until the you-know-what hits the fan.

This week, Kentucky media reported on questions raised about the awarding of Deasy’s doctorate as part of news coverage of a federal investigation centered on Robert Felner, the former dean of the university’s College of Education and Human Development. Felner was also Deasy’s academic adviser and chairman of his dissertation committee.

The university president, James Ramsey, announced the appointment of a six-member committee to review the awarding of Deasy’s degree. “Now we are dealing with an issue that strikes at the heart of our institutional integrity,” Ramsey said in a statement, adding: “If someone received a degree he did not earn, we would have no choice but to recommend rescinding that degree.”

Late yesterday, Deasy said: “If the university made errors in the awarding of the degree, I do hope they rescind it. My responsibility is to do everything I was advised and told to do. If I was advised wrong and given wrong information, the university needs to take responsibility for that. I certainly would not want anything unearned.”

Click here to read the rest…

The Courier-Journal editorial board chapped Jim Ramsey’s rear again today in a concise editorial about what’s stinking up the community of higher education at the University of Louisville:

Dr. Felner was a busy man. But what of the U of L college of which he was the steward? How many other doctorates awarded during his tenure were quickies? And what of the hard-working students who earned theirs according to the rules? Has their work been discredited?

Only a few weeks ago, Dr. Ramsey characterized charges against Dr. Felner as a lot of “anonymous crap.” Those hasty words, uttered in anger, indicate that the state of the university, at least in one major aspect, is not rosy at all.

His decision to appoint a blue-ribbon commission to review the Deasy matter is a good step. But correcting the Felner affair and repairing the College of Education’s reputation is going to take much more than that.

In related news, the Graduate Student Council at UofL have had enough and are standing up in outrage and unity.  Here’s an excerpt from an email sent to the GSC email list:

…President Ramsey has appointed a committee to look into this matter. The chair of the committee is our very own Dean Pierce of the Graduate School. However, the issue that I have with the committee is that Dr. Joe Petrosko is also on the committee. This is an issue because Dr. Petrosko was one of the people who signed Mr. Deasy’s dissertation; Dr. Petrosko was on his dissertation committee; Dr. Petrosko has already, at least once, declared his satisfaction with the process.

You don’t allow an alleged accomplice to sit on a jury. Whether the degree was earned or given, in my opinion as long as Dr. Petrosko sits on the committee investigating these allegations any outcome will be questioned. And the value and respect of your degree has lessened as long as Dr. Petrosko is part of any investigation.

-SNIP-

I think as students, and in particular students in CEHD we need to stand up for our work and I personally do not think Dr. Petrosko should be on the committee. We need to call for his resignation if the committee is to have any validity.

Finally, I think the GSC as a whole or at least the Executive Committee should meet and issue a statement as soon as possible asking for Dr. Petrosko’s resignation from this investigative committee.

UPDATE @ 9:44: Inside Higher Ed has taken notice.

Thursday. Winter’s Coming. So’s the Weekend.

What’s that? Oh, right, it’s the Mitch McConnell spin machine ratcheting up in order to hide the fact that his negatives are surging to sky-high numbers. And Politico’s Reid Wilson, right-wing hack, is swallowing the McConnell Kool-Aid. Mitch released an internal poll– without any crosstabs, of course– and Wilson ran it like it’s written in stone fact. Damage control. [Politico]

Politicker’s Trey Pollard offers more details on the McConnell internal polling claim. And at least he bothered to contact the Lunsford campaign for a response before going to print. [Trey Pollard]

The Herald-Leader staff jumped on the polling meme. Still did an amazingly better job than Politico. [PolWatchers]

And here’s the fancy Republican spin from the RPK’s fancy blog once operated by F-Bomb Brett Hall. [KYPolitics.org]

Millions and millions and millions of people joined Bruce Lunsford and the AFL-CIO for a rally yesterday at Kentucky Dam Village Marina. [WKYX Radio]

Will someone please go read this million-page-long telephone interview transcript that Time did with Sarah Palin? Please? And then give us the hilarious highlights. It’s probably terribly vanilla and boring. The only thing we saw was an outright lie about attending a non-denominational church in Alaska. She really is a member of the Assembly of God or whatever. [Time]

The Washingtonian’s Best & Worst of Congress list for 2008 is out. Mitch McConnell comes in at #3 on the ‘Best Friend to Lobbyists’ list, just after Ted Stevens and John McCain. McConnell also gets a mention under the ‘Biggest Drone’ category. [Washingtonian]

Here comes the Mitch McConnell spin machine. In reaction to the bad press Mitch’s team knew he’d get around 9/11, they’ve started pandering and puffing their chests out. Just released news that Mitch secured $73.6 million in funding for Kentucky in a defense bill for 2009. The money isn’t guaranteed, it’s only cleared one leg of the legislative process. So don’t hold your breath just yet. [WKYT]

Yes, ladies, the price of a Ph.D. at the University of Louisville is a mere $375,000. Or at least that was the case when Robert Felner was ruling the roost at the University’s College of Education and Human Development. And the Chronicle of Higher Education has finally caught on. [Chronicle]

Business First of Louisville spent precious space fluffing up the University of Louisville and Jim Ramsey. Never mind the Robert Felner scandal, the diploma mill situation with John Deasy or anything else going on. That’s too scandalous to appear in a boring ass business stenography pad. [Business First]

Breaking Deasy Update: Ramsey Appoints Review Committee

University of Louisville President Jim Ramsey has appointed a committee to review the questionable Ph.D. John Deasy received under disgraced former Dean Robert Felner.

Unfortunately, the statement released by the University contains a glaring lie:

LOUISVILLE, Ky. –University of Louisville President James Ramsey formed a blue-ribbon committee today to investigate allegations of improper behavior in the awarding of a doctoral degree to a student in its College of Education and Human Development.

Ramsey appointed the committee after allegations surfaced that the university had awarded a doctoral degree to John Deasy in 2004 in violation of its own policies. The information was uncovered during an investigation into alleged misappropriation of federal grant monies by the college’s former dean, Robert Felner.

We all know that’s not true– the information was uncovered by reporters at WHAS11 and the Courier-Journal, not by anyone at the University.

That said, here’s the rest of the press release:

“When this investigation began, we were dealing with alleged criminal activity, which we immediately reported to federal authorities,” Ramsey said. “We have taken steps to address those serious issues. Now we are dealing with an issue that strikes at the heart of our institutional integrity. I have asked the committee to review this incident quickly, but thoroughly, and to report to me any improper or questionable behavior in the granting of this degree. If someone received a degree he did not earn, we would have no choice but to recommend rescinding that degree.”

Ramsey has asked William Pierce, a pharmacology professor, vice provost for graduate affairs and interim dean of the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies, to chair the committee.

Other members include:

  • Martin Johnstone, retired Kentucky Supreme Court justice
  • Mary Gwen Wheeler, director, Office of Policy and Management, Louisville Metro
  • Blaine Hudson, dean of the UofL College of Arts and Sciences
  • James Atkinson, graduate student in education and counselor in the UofL Career Center
  • Joseph Petrosko, chair and professor, Department of Leadership, Foundations and Human Resource Education

Ramsey asked the committee to report its findings as soon as possible. Pierce said much of the fact-finding already is under way.

“We take this charge seriously,” Pierce said. “A doctorate should not be granted; it should be earned. Our goal is to ensure the integrity of that process.”

Thoughts?

UPDATE: Woops. Here’s the original release. (PDF Link)

UPDATE @ 6:40: See the email message about the latest developments and investigation that Jim Ramsey sent to folks at UofL this evening after the jump…

Read moreBreaking Deasy Update: Ramsey Appoints Review Committee

Update On the Deasy Shenanigans at UofL

Turns out University of Louisville President Jim Ramsey recommended that the Board of Trustees approve John Deasy as an Alumni Fellow Award winner in 2007. And the Board approved.

See for yourself:


This information was scrubbed (imagine that) from UofL’s website, with the exception of meeting minutes from 04/05/2007. The Fall 2007 issue of UofL Magazine introduces the award like this: “The Alumni Fellows are awarded to graduates who are exemplary ambassadors for their U of L schools or colleges through their contributions to their professional fields and their communities.”

This guy– with the help of corrupt former Dean Robert Felner and others at UofL– ripped off a Ph.D. in just four months. And he was named an Alumni Fellow at the request of Jim Ramsey.

It never, ever ends.

UofL President Jim Ramsey: Bullshit Artist

University of Louisville President Jim Ramsey, in his ongoing attempt to make people think he’s more of an ass than he really is, spoke at UofL yesterday during his annual State of the University address.

Check it:

University of Louisville President James Ramsey in a speech yesterday acknowledged the troubles of the past year, including a federal investigation and strained relations with Kentucky’s higher-education officials.

-SNIP-

U of L is a university “facing challenges, but an institution that won’t back down from those challenges,” he said.

-SNIP-

Despite previous faculty criticism that early complaints about Felner’s management problems were ignored, Ramsey said the university “met this problem head on,” by calling for an audit of the college’s financial records, an independent review of grants policies, and a study of faculty-grievance procedures.

Facing challenges? Is that what’s going on at the University of Louisville? CHALLENGES? Not backing down from CHALLENGES?

Haha. Oh God. Someone save us.

I can say with absolute certainty and authority– as someone who has been deeply entrenched in the Robert Felner story and digging at UofL for several months– that the only thing Jim Ramsey has hit head on is his massive salary and growing his personal wealth.

Jim Ramsey can “study” for the next year and not solve the problems facing the University. What he needs to do is admit he fucked up– horribly. Make that very clear to everyone. And offer something more than lip service to the community at large. Otherwise I hear his job is in question with the State House and Senate.