Tuesday Morning Update Dept of Presidentin’

Those self-hating John McCain gays are so fancy. With their sex parties. And their high-profile job titles like Chief of Staff. And their slings and interesting screennames. The hypocrisy is quite ripe. [Huffington Post]

What happens on Main Street affects Wall Street. Hey, Washington, you can buy all of our bad investments, too. They’re really fancy. [BuyMyShitpile]

Sorry, folks, David Boswell is a DINO who is trying hardcore to out Republican the Republican. He touts his anti-choice stances and that he’s worked hard to make sure choice is never an option. He’ll lose and we’ll all go on about our day. Why do we waste our time with these people? [C-J]

Education Week inaccurately attributes large parts of the Robert Felner-UofL story to the C-J. Guess that’s the problem when you’re not really paying attention, eh? You get your facts incorrect and begin to lose credibility as a higher education publication. [Education Week]

Michael Moore’s latest movie – Slacker Uprising – is now available for download for free. So watch it and go vote this November. Slackers. [Slacker Uprising]

Can Barack Obama steer this election back to substance? Because we all know it really is all about hockey moms, moose hunters and whether Grampa John McCain needs to change his old man diaper. [New York Magazine]

John Miller of Miller Transportation really has his panties in a wad. It’s called a TROLLEY HOP, buddy. Meaning TROLLEYS are required for the event. Not giant, gas-guzzling Miller buses. And trying to kill the TARC circulator at the University of Louisville? Are you kidding me? [C-J]

The foreigns totally get this presidential election. But it’s troubling that there are college freshmen who have no idea who they’re voting for. Ryan Alessi must hate America. Just wait til the mouth breathers read his column from yesterday. [H-L]

University of Louisville Grant Monitoring Weak

Yeah, who knew? Haha. Too little, too late?

The Courier-Journal’s latest in the Robert Felner debacle tells us what we all know: the grant handling and overview process at the University of Louisville is laughable at best. While the majority of those responsible for grants do the right thing and are meticulous with their management, it’s an absolute embarrassment that Robert Felner was able to squander potentially millions of dollars while his superiors turned their heads.

And it’s even worse that they allowed this to go on for five years. Unchecked, crazy behavior. Just flushing our tax dollars down the toilet.

Take a look at a bit of the C-J story:

[U]niversity policy didn’t clearly spell out who was responsible for oversight of grant subcontracts; that researchers sometimes failed to monitor subcontractors; and the university controller’s office didn’t consistently keep up with required documentation.

University officials say they corrected those audit findings in 2006-07, adopting clearer policies, doing more to educate researchers about compliance rules and making sure proper audits were requested.

Even so, the audit illustrates how weaknesses can exist despite the complex and overlapping regulations.

For example, in Felner’s case, the university’s controller requested documentation about his subcontractors in late April 2008 — a full year after the first of three checks to one of the subcontractors was deposited in a Louisville bank.

Not sure about anyone else, but I’m pretty certain it’s becoming more and more clear that the entire University needs an overhaul. This is simply unacceptable on any level.

Even oversight that takes place early can fail to catch problems. For example, it’s not clear why the university didn’t notice that Felner had not reported financial disclosures required of researchers.

How about Shirley Willihnganz and Jim Ramsey literally ignored Felner’s faults and behavior? That may have something to do with it.

And while Bristow and others say they’re willing to make needed changes, no system is likely to catch everyone bent on wrongdoing.

“There’s no perfect system,” Wilhelm said. “There’s always someone who will find a way to circumvent it.”

Yes, there’s always a Robert Felner out there. But having some sort of system in place for oversight is better than the, you know, system of nothing that Jim and Shirley have going on these days.

Gosh. When will this investigation end? And when will UofL’s top dogs start taking responsibility?

Top Republican Donor Defends Jim Ramsey’s Offensive and Objectionable Public Behavior

Bill Stone, a top Republican donor in Louisville and member of the University of Louisville Board of Trustees, is defending Jim Ramsey in a letter to the editor that can only be considered troubling.

Stone compared the mountains of facts and evidence published by this site, the Courier-Journal and other media outlets to the Duke lacrosse scandal.

Despite the pejorative, almost daily hammering of your reports, the community needs to know that for weeks Ramsey has been pushing the right levers to get to the essence of the issues confronting us. Unlike the president of the pompous Duke University, who condemned innocent young men and their lacrosse coach in the face of media pressure, Ramsey has withstood The C-J onslaught with courage and fortitude.

Courage and fortitude. That’s how he describes Jim Ramsey’s words and actions. Referring to more than 30 complaints and grievances against a potentially corrupt administration as “anonymous crap” garners praise with the words “courage” and “fortitude.”

Jim Ramsey has the fervent belief that the facts and truth should dominate the ultimate judgment of an individual, and that no person deserves a predetermined public flogging. He and U of L stand for the ultimate freedom of each of our students, staff and faculty.

Is it really a “public flogging” when hundreds of pieces of information obtained via open records requests are made public? Is it a “public flogging” when you deal with FACTS and EVIDENCE?

I can assure all those who read this offering, from the perspective of someone who has been intimately engaged with U of L as an 30-year overseer before becoming a trustee, that the leadership of our beloved U of L is in steady and skilled hands. We will come out of this stronger and better as we continue our inevitable journey toward national academic prominence.

Stone is correct that we will come out of this stronger and better– after the legislature has its way with a public inquiry and review of Jim Ramsey and the way he has handled this boondoggle at the esteemed University. National academic prominence, not so much. Stone is horribly mistaken if he believes the actions of Ramsey and Willihnganz over the past five years are indicative of “steady” and “skilled” leadership.

This is embarrassing and laughable. While admirable that Jim Ramsey has the ability to coerce his crew into spreading misinformation in the media, Stone needs to step aside in order to maintain his reputation in this city and the Commonwealth.

The time for damage control has come and gone. Anyone thinking it’s appropriate to defend the indignant, offensive and reactionary behavior of Jim Ramsey throughout this entire ordeal needs to step aside from public life entirely. They should not be trusted to lead a state university in any capacity.

Unelectrical Thursday Morning Dept of Blah

Vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s private Yahoo e-mail account was hacked and some of its contents were posted on the internets yesterday. Screenshots of emails and pictures belonging to Palin were published all over the place. Their authenticity has been confirmed. [Wired Blog]

Been wondering why Barack Obama won’t be in Kentucky, ever, for any reason? It’s called 30% of Kentucky Democrats voting for John McCain. 61% of Independents, 63% of Men, 52% of Women, 55% of those aged 18 to 49 and 60% of those age 50 and older. [ARG Poll]

The Herald-Leader’s Art Jester wrote about Lee Todd saying UK had safeguards in place to prevent a Felner disaster. Then he credited the Courier-Journal with breaking a story that WHAS11’s Adam Walser actually is responsible for. Of course, timing isn’t everything, but credit where credit is due is appropriate at all times. [H-L]

Did you know? Barack Obama is a racist who stokes racism. Rush “Pill Head” Limbaugh is the Jesus of everything, just like Mitch McConnell. Rush sure hates those Mexicans. But not as much as he hates Barack Obama for being black AND a Muslim! [Politico]

Is Jim Bunning the only crazy old man on earth with big enough balls to blast this fed rescue of AIG? What the hell is with this corporate welfare scheme? I thought the free market could handle anything? And what about this “slow” economic time? Feeling the recession yet, Davd Adams, or are you still in denial? [PolWatchers]

A newspaper in Gaithersburg, Maryland says Robert Felner’s attorney, Scott Cox, is out in the public defending John Deasy. He’s saying Felner had nothing to do with Deasy’s doctorate. And, uh, common sense and evidence tell us otherwise. Also– when will newspapers start at least getting the amount of the NCLB grant correct? [Gazette]

University of Louisville Students React to Felner

The student newspaper at the University of Louisville, the Louisville Cardinal, finally published an article about the Robert Felner scandal. Much as you’d expect, students are outraged and are taking the investigation seriously.

We wanted to share excerpts of students’ comments but are so blown away by what we read from University officials that we have to focus on their commentary.

College of Arts and Sciences Dean Blaine Hudson, another member of the committee, said he feels the time for second guessing the administration is over, and that the university must be more forward thinking.

“We have to work with the CEHD and try to help them work through this,” Hudson said. “There are a lot of good people over there and they need our help. We aren’t in a place to sit in judgment on anyone.”

Hudson said any long-term changes to the university depend on what the committee finds. He said if they see indications of a systemic problem, then changes will have to be made.

You get that? The time for second-guessing is over, time to forget everything and fall into line behind Jim Ramsey and Shirley Willihnganz, the very people who allowed all this to happen. Definitely the wrong thing to say.

“If there is wrongdoing in the administration of [Deasy’s] degree, then we will take the necessary steps,” Drees stated, “which could include rescinding his degree.”

Who thinks rescinding his degree enough? That merely addresses on area of concern. And it certainly doesn’t heal the wounds at UofL.

Hudson said university issued credit cards, called procurement cards or “procards,” within each unit are also getting a lot more attention.

According to Moyer, procards can only be used for university expenses such as taking a potential donor out to dinner or setting up meetings.

“I think people are paying a lot more attention to the procurement cards,” Hudson said.

And we’re left wondering why credit card usage by people like Robert Felner was being willfully overlooked for at least five years. Will we ever have an answer?

Barmak Nassirian, spokesman for the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, feels the university is at a critical juncture with this investigation.

“If they attempt to do damage control, if they try to shield the facts from outside stakeholders, then they’re going to have trouble,” he said. “If it turns out that a degree was inappropriately awarded, the administration has to accept all the blame, depending on what the facts were.”

Sage advice for Ramsey and Willihnganz. Someone make sure they read it several times. Then explain it to them if they fail to comprehend.

But Hudson also said that, despite this understanding , he is still perplexed by what the university witnessed that day in June.
“I mean, Robert was Robert, but I don’t think anyone expected this,” Hudson said.

All right. We’re calling bullshit. Blaine Hudson is feeding not only students at the University of Louisville bullshit, but the public at large.

We have published hundreds of pages of evidence. Emails. Letters. Complaints. Grievances. Police reports. MANY people– many important people– expected this and KNEW about this. End of story. Shirley Willihnganz KNEW. Jim Ramsey KNEW. Several people within the College of Education and Human Development KNEW and were involved.

It’s time for the University of Louisville to step up to the plate and offer some honesty and transparency. Merely sugar-coating reality in an attempt at damage control is hardly the way to move forward.

Thanks to Dennis O’Neil, Kara Augustine and Michael Kennedy for getting this story out to the student population.

Tuesday Afternoon Dept of Updates & Such

The KDP and others are holding a fancy fundraiser at Buffalo Trace Distillery on September 23rd (that’s Jeff Noble’s birthday! that’s why they’re celebrating! — Haha, Jeff, you didn’t think I’d post it). Every living Democratic governor from Kentucky will be there. For David Boswell. Meanwhile, KDP won’t raise money for Bruce Lunsford and the Party can’t lure in volunteers to save itself. The folks who get sent to the KDP are people who want to help the Obama or Yarmuth camps.

We’re a month-and-a-half away from election day. The Republican Party of Kentucky is running over with volunteers. The Louisville GOP is luring in at least ten new people per day (I’ve seen it with my own eyes), and the Democrats have no field game and are moving backward more and more by the minute. And no money is being raised.

Dun dun dun… see you on election day, Jennifer! We’re sorry we won’t be at Commerce Lexington tomorrow (thanks, mother nature!) so we could publicly question you for repeatedly threatening/blackmailing Jeff Noble. That would’ve been a hoot in front of those Republicans.

What’s that? Oh, yes, the Courier-Journal says that the feds are only focusing on Robert Felner re: the portion of the investigation that takes place at the University of Rhode Island. No other employees are the focus. This isn’t exactly good news for the University of Louisville and its leadership team. [C-J]

Governor Steve Beshear is meeting with emergency officials who are coordinating the state response to the crazy storm/winds this past weekend. Nearly 315,000 people are still without power. 161,000 in Louisville, 65,800 in northern Kentucky, 40,000 in western Kentucky, 3,000 are without water, 20 counties and 13 cities have declared states of emergency on top of the Governor’s statewide declaration Sunday night. [Press Release]

National AFL-CIO will address a dinner tonight for Kentucky Jobs for Justice. The organization is taking on chief obstructionist, the man who helped pushed for the privatization of social security while all these private banks are sinking, Mitch McConnell. Should be an exciting night. Labor is targeting 300,000 voters this year much like it did during the 2007 gubernatorial campaign. [Trey Pollard]

In other news: McDonald’s still hasn’t released a statement about its restaurant on East Market Street on Louisville. An employee there referred to customers as “faggots,” “cocksuckers,” and “bitches.” The ACLU filed a complaint with the Human Rights Commission. The Mickey D’s media relations manager we spoke with was very polite and handled the situation with honesty and respect. We’ve no reason to believe this reflects poorly on the company as a whole, since they obviously support their gay employees, but we hope they make a statement soon. [Page One]

Oh Snap Monday! The Storms Got Us All!

Ugh, we’re lucky that our power came back on. We’re glad we’re not one of those 300,000 without electricity or the internets. Also, all of Louisville sucks ass because of the wind damage. Hundreds of cars smashed by trees. The Cherokee area sucks right now. ZERO grocery stores open (we almost starved to death for an hour). All kinds of drama. Also, it’s awesome how every street in the city shut down for no reason. Can you tell we’re still bitter that Doll’s Market was the only open store in town? [C-J]

Oh god. Are you looking for a sleepover with Bawack Obama, too? Is that what you’re looking for? [Politico]

Jody Richards has more than enough support to hold on to his seat as Speaker of the House. Greg Stumbo admits he doesn’t have enough support. Jody takes Greg to task and proves he really has grown a pair over the last few months. And that’s coming from us, his once chief critic. [Bowling Green Daily News]

And here’s some information about why the Stumbo-Clark team is a bad idea. Giving power to the Republican side of the state house. Because Greg Stumbo and Larry Clark want to pretend that they’re Republicans because their feelings are hurt by the Democrats. [C-J]

This is why the Kentucky Democratic Party is a massive failure this year. Republicans use things like consumer data that’s cross-referenced with voter data already on-hand by the Party. Then they make it available “grassroots” (in this case, paid hacks, nothing grassroots about it) organizers via their cellphone or BlackBerry. Meanwhile, the KDP fired the only person with a intimate knowledge of the DNC’s GOTV program because she asked too many questions of Party corruptors. And the Governor is afraid to clean house to get rid of the now-disgraced chair and her team. [H-L]

Governor, we disagree with you. You should NOT have apologized for comparing high gas prices to rape. Our wallets are being raped. Our ability to feed ourselves is being raped. It’s rape. Don’t play it any other way. It’s against our will. [C-J]

Hahaha. In case you missed Saturday Night Live this weekend. Tina Fey as Sarah Palin. Pricless and spot-on. [YouTube]

From the In Case You Missed It Dept:

Don’t forget to check out the U.S. Senate debate highlights from the weekend. Mitch McConnell says he’s lived on a government salary for 30 years. Probably not going to play the way he’d like it to. [Page One]

University of Louisville President Jim Ramsey put together a commission to determine whether or not Robert Felner had turned UofL into a diploma mill. Then he jumped the shark and sent a letter claiming nothing wrong had been done. Imagine that. [Page One]

Denise Harper Angel STILL has some explaining to do. Because she’s looking pretty silly this days. [Page One Here & Here]

And Ralph Nader will be in Louisville this Friday. We’re not sure what it all means or why he even bothers. But it may be worth checking out. Because he, you know, apparently isn’t one of the corrupt SOBs in Washington. [Page One]