Gut Reaction: Breakfast With Rep. John Yarmuth

We’re pleased to welcome contributor Cindy Lamb aboard. Cindy’s a longtime journalist and is well-known in Louisville. She had the opportunity to sit down with John Yarmuth on Saturday, July 12 for breakfast. Below you’ll find a portion of their conversation and the rest will soon be published on VilleVoiceEats.com. Don’t worry, it’s not too hard-hitting because we weren’t there to hammer John. But it’s perfect lunchtime reading. More of the interview is at The ‘Ville Voice and ‘Ville Voice Eats -Jake

It’s not everyone that gets to sit down and pass the salt with their Congressman. We’ve been raised to believe that if we wrote our leaders in Congress things could change. I never expected to have a late Saturday morning to load carbs with mine. A personal hero since I met him at LEO in 1995, Yarmuth brought to life key words that I find useful every day – alternative, grassroots and empowerment. His work is hard and his laugh is easy. He was my willing and gregarious guinea pig for the audition of ‘Gut Reaction’ when I brought it home to Louisville from L.A. over a decade ago. It ran in LEO for almost two years. How could I not invite John to be my first guest as I revive the dinner-view column?

Yarmuth is one of the most accessible and hands-on leaders the state has ever elected and I’m proud of him. His genuine manner and straightforward approach have impressed countless others far beyond the Commonwealth of Kentucky. As casual as he is passionate, informed and curious, Yarmuth is the kind of messenger that you don’t want to shoot.

We caught up with Yarmuth as he wears the carpet thin between the capitol and The Ville. On July 12, he was half-way through his second bid for the 3rd District Congressional seat. He seemed to be grateful for the seat he had on the breezy patio. While traffic on Market Street zoomed by in front of us, a time to be still and be nourished was welcomed.

Check out the Q&A after the jump…

Read moreGut Reaction: Breakfast With Rep. John Yarmuth

The Courier-Journal and the Felner Investigation

The entire Courier-Journal editorial board is now spreading the myth that the federal investigation into Robert Felner’s activities is only about a $694,000 federal grant. Myth/lie/whatever. It’s not the truth. Law enforcement tells us otherwise. The mainstream media in other states tell us otherwise. This investigation is huge and federal agents have been on multiple college campuses in several states. It’s not only $694K that they’re after. Just yesterday The Journal Times reported that the investigation involved millions.  So it’s not a stretch to expect our local paper of record to get the facts correct.

But the C-J seems content piling on the dishonesty or being ill-informed. This needs to stop. Immediately.

Then the board goes on to attack University of Louisville President Jim Ramsey for attempting to white wash the Felner scandal. The paper obviously pussyfoots around the whole shebang, but at least it’s doing what should have been done WEEKS ago.  We’re proud to finally read it:

But problems were not just financial. A striking number of grievances and complaints from faculty and students were filed against Dr. Felner, who lost a faculty confidence vote, 27-24. While saying the university took all of this seriously, Dr. Ramsey interprets it as evidence that Dr. Felner “was bringing about change that needed to be made.” But there’s a difference between changing menus and breaking plates.

Dr. Ramsey’s evidence that Dr. Felner was getting things done includes the college’s rise in national rankings over the last two years. But then U.S. News & World Report’s lists are taken with a grain of salt by academic experts.

He also cites an increase in grants and a stronger relationship with local public schools. But an independent campus group — maybe an American Association of University Professors committee, including tenured faculty who can’t be easily dismissed or marginalized — should take its own look, not only at the rankings issue but at the other complaints that have been lodged, formally and informally, and into the U of L administration’s response.

These are serious issues, and must not be dismissed as the backwash of change.

Thanks to the C-J for finally waking up. Maybe now the paper can work on getting Nancy Rodriguez to stop repeatedly writing that a $694,000 grant is the only reason for the Felner investigation, as she did again today.

We admire her for finally reporting that grant dollars went to a defunct non-profit organization– something this site, WHAS11 and the Kenosha News reported weeks ago. Now the public in Kentucky who don’t watch television or use the internet can finally learn about a little of what’s gone down.

But we find it highly suspicious that Rodriguez and the C-J published this glowing review of the University of Louisville and its President for being a “leader in preserving our environment” with the headline “U of L begins audit to boost energy savings.”

It’s Guess Who Said It Contest Time!

Who said this and about what race?

“Any time an incumbent’s support level get into the low 50s, the situation is clearly competitive and the incumbent’s status in jeopardy.”

NO GOOGLING ALLOWED!

Guess in the comments section and we’ll randomly select our favorite answer for a gift certificate of our choice.

UPDATE @ NIGHT:

The answer: Dick Lugar, while chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee in 1984 after releasing a poll that showed Mitch McConnell down 52-40 to Dee Huddleston.

Thursday Is Almost Friday Updates & Junk

Going to Denver for the convention? Don’t worry about running into any homeless folks. They’re all being bused out. [Rocky Mountain News]

Mountaintop removal? Nuclear power? Steve Beshear hearts them both. He has demanded a “comprehensive energy plan” by September. [PolWatchers]

The World Affairs Council and the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville will host 12 governmental leaders from Iraq for a discussion on the current state of affairs in the middle eastern country we invaded. [Business First]

Former Fish and Wildlife Commissioner Tom Bennett is still in critical condition, but stable. That’s all the info his family will release at this time. Hebert says the plasma drive in Tom’s name was super-successful. [Hebert’s Blog]

The Courier-Journal editorial board loves Steve Beshear’s idea to create “In God We Trust” license plates for free. The paper suggests those who don’t want want the plates can spend an extra $10.00 dollars (on top of Kentucky’s crazy vehicle registration and insurance costs) to get a plate of their choice. [C-J]

A rabid bat was found near downtown Lexington last week. Some dude’s dog killed it when it went crazy and then the health department confirmed it had rabies. Could this be what’s wrong with the Webb brothers? Did a rabid bat bite them? [H-L]

John McCain’s Got a History With Women

Well, publicly attacking them, anyway.

Let’s think back to 1998. Remember that joke John McCain made about Chelsea Clinton, who was 13 at the time?

Q: Why is Chelsea Clinton so ugly?

A: Because her father is Janet Reno.

That joke. We think it’s far worse than crazy Jesse Jackson’s muffled reference to castration. But no one is bringing it up these days.

Maybe the McCain campaign should pledge that Uncle Walnuts won’t make horrible, sexist jokes about Barack Obama’s daughters.

Thoughts?