Remember Wiretapping? It’s Still A Thing In The US

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Kentucky Family Values, the super PAC supporting campaigns of Democrats running for the General Assembly, got more huge contributions from labor, teachers and lawyers in recent weeks. $150,000 from the NEA and $50,000 from the Kentucky Justice Association to run fearmongering ads claiming Chris Hightower is a satanist. Along with cash from Jack Conway and his daddy. Oh, and an interesting contribution from a company that owns a for-profit college. [C-J/AKN]

President Barack Obama has extended his narrow lead over Republican challenger Mittens Romney among likely voters in a race that remains statistically tied nine days before the election, according to a Reuters/Ipsos tracking poll released on Sunday. [Reuters]

Lawwwd, you can’t even go to the pharmacy in Danville these days without getting run over in the parking lot. [H-L]

A few months after Congress passed a landmark law directing the federal government to dismantle segregation in the nation’s housing, President Nixon’s housing chief began plotting a stealth campaign. [ProPublica]

Surely you’ll want to see this videurtape of Paul Ryan’s fancy wife bravely stop herself from tearing this unemployed guy’s throat out with her teeth. [Wonkette]

The Eastern seaboard may have yet to experience the full wrath of Hurricane Sandy, but one right-wing Christian preacher is already pointing the finger at the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. [HuffPo]

Way to go, Eastern Kentucky, with your pill problem. You can thank your hapless legislators for not saving you from addiction. [WYMT]

At the Supreme Court on Monday, as Hurricane Sandy approached, Chief Justice John Roberts kept the Court open to hear Clapper v. Amnesty International, the most important wiretapping case of the term. Judging from his reception during the oral arguments, Solicitor General Donald Verrilli may have wished that the storm had closed the Court a day early. [TNR]

Of COURSE Mittens Romney “rented” the Mormon church’s tax exempt status to defer taxes. In 1997, Congress cracked down on a popular tax shelter that allowed rich people to take advantage of the exempt status of charities without actually giving away much money. [Bloomberg]

Around midday Wednesday, Eastern Kentucky University expects to release records related to the June departure of Debra Hoskins, former EKU Center for the Arts director, according to Judy Spain, the university’s counsel. [Richmond Register]

Why can’t Kentucky have nice things? Because of editorial endorsements like this that only occur because there’s no opposition: Rogers’ three decades in Congress have been better for the courthouse crowds and his cronies than the region. But maybe he’ll improve with age. Voters really have little choice in this election. [H-L]

Here’s a list of ways to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy. Be thankful you’re one of the people who does not need assistance. [HuffPo]

Where’s The Honesty On The Silly Meth Bill?

I’m not going to shut up about this. There’s no reason for wasteful legislation to stop meth production. Limiting access to legitimate consumers is ridiculous. Send a letter to your legislator today. [SEND A LETTER!]

Ever wondered what the real financial impact of the meth bill could be? Then you should take a look at this, complete with numbers directly from law enforcement officials, not empty talking points pushed out of Greg Stumbo’s office with the backing of groups that only exist to make him money/get him re-elected. [Page One]

Why did John Edwards finally confess to his disgusting affair? Check this out. He and Steve Henry are like brothers. It’s creepy. [HuffPo]

Steve Beshear is still touting the fake Ark Encounter feasibility study. And you thought Kentucky Republicans were the ones spreading horse manure all across the Commonwealth. [B&P]

There’s not a lot coming out of Steve Beshear’s office about his address this evening. Maybe it’s because there’s not a lot of substance to said address? [Bill Goodman]

No, I won’t be live blogging or live tweeting it. Because I’m not afraid to call a spade a spade and most certainly am not going to be spinning for someone – like the rest of the blogosphere and some so-called journalists – solely because they’re a Democrat. Steve Beshear is as equally bad of a governor as was Ernie Fletcher. Maybe worse. [What An Embarrassment]

I thought David Adams was using that time machine. Guess I was mistaken. [Wonkette]

Greg Stumbo is apparently jealous that David Williams is running for governor and he is not. One would think Greg would appear at pressers with David JUST to take jabs at him. What a wasted opportunity. [Bluegrass Politics]

Haha, awww, Claire McCaskill talks out of both sides of her mouth about the Demonicratic National Convention. Can’t wait to see what her non-denial denial is. [Politico]

What’s behind the GOP’s drive to redefine rape? I’ll tell you what’s behind it: being fat, white and male. That’s what’s behind it. [HuffPo]

I have it on good authority that Carl Rollins isn’t the only Democrat who plans to offer charter-centric legislation. He’s just the only one trying to personally benefit from said legislation, as he’s taken to calling press types to ask them to interview him about it. [CN|2]

Republican Jim DeCesare (feel free to search for him on Page One, you’ll find great stories like this, this and this) filed House Resolutions in Frankfort calling for repeal of federal health reform. [Press Release]

The snowpocalypse is coming again, meemaw! You better get to Kroger early in the morning for the senior citizen discount! [WIRED]

It’s Only Tuesday Updates. Need More Weekend.

Elaine Chao says, “Nothing to See Here, Move Along.” Then she rattled on and on for like a year in front of an audience at Greater Louisville Inc yesterday. The American economy is so fancy and perfect! Everyone is rich! Everyone can afford $5million homes in Northwestern Washington, D.C. We’re just experiencing “short-term challenges.” Yeah. [C-J]

Also, did you know? John Yarmuth is a HUUUUUUGE pussy for caving on FISA. Huge pussy. It’s gonna take a lot to make up for that. If he doesn’t try to remedy the situation, then, well, I hope Anne Northup comes from behind with her rusty GOP booze hoopty to overtake him. How can you possibly pull that shiz when you’re up SEVENTEEN POINTS? What a cowardly pussy. Is that sexist and insensitive enough for ya, ladeeez? We’re pissy today. Shoo. Don’t even bother trying to apologize for him. [John’s Pussy Vote on FISA]

Trouble in Homotopia! Don’t forget! The gays are having a party at a church in downtown Louisville tonight. 7:00 P.M. at Central Presbyterian. 318 W Kentucky St, Louisville, KY 40203. They plan on bitching and moaning because they got caught red-handed being affiliated with some asshats who produced a homophobic mailer against their opponent. Every unfortunate queen in the Commonwealth wants to knife us for outing their drama. [Page One]

Remember how David Williams sued Steve Beshear for being mean about transportation projects? Yeah. So. Now Steve Beshear is suing David Williams for being mean. God, we’d pay to see that cat fight. PAY. Big money. Tens of dollars. Please make it happen. Please. [PolWatchers]

Lobbyist spending during the 2008 legislative session was $7.4million. For Kentucky. 670 corporations lobbying and controlling everything going down in Frankfort. Casinos, tobacco interests, hospitals, insurance companies, bankers. Not all lobbyists are bad, but Jesus. No wonder nothing ever happens in Frankfort. No wonder we taking five days to barely address the pension situation in Kentucky. [C-J]

Poor Mitch McConnell. In his latest fundraising email, the senator complains that Bruce Lunsford will “vote in lockstep with the Democrat majority.” How sad. Not the horrible grammar. But the rank hypocrisy on voting. Like McConnell ever votes against George W. Bush. He also claims Democrats will cut domestic energy production and will raise taxes on poor people. Those scary Democrats! [McConnell Propaganda Machine]

Pork Barrel McConnell Still Pushes Immunity

What the hell is with Mitch McConnell STILL pushing for telecom immunity in the wake of the ILLEGAL wiretapping the Bush Administration pushed after the terra-ist attacks of September 11, 2001?

Why can’t these major corporations defend themselves? Why do they get to hide behind George Dubya’s crew and people like Senator McConnell? Why shouldn’t the entire country get to find out what sixteen telecom providers did that may or may not have been illegal and in violation of the very freedoms that make this country a country?

From the CNN Money feed:

WASHINGTON -(Dow Jones)- The U.S. House of Representatives approved with a 213-to-197 vote Friday legislation that would allow telephone companies to use secret court proceedings to defend themselves from civil lawsuits for their alleged participation in the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping program.
The administration has confirmed the existence of a warrantless wiretapping program in the wake of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, but has never confirmed the participation of phone companies such as AT&T Inc. (T) and Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ).
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., called the bill “irresponsible, ” saying it had no chance of being signed into law.

“This bill…has set back every effort the Senate made on a bipartisan basis to enact responsible national security legislation this year,” McConnell said.

The House-passed bill differs from the blanket immunity that would be granted telephone companies in a Senate version of the bill and being demanded by the White House.

Absolute Power?

CBS affiliate KXMC in North Dakota begins to talk about John Cheves’ in-depth analysis of McConnell and his Labor Secretary wife.

The tragedy at the Crandall Canyon mine in Utah, where six men are currently trapped underground, has brought to light the partnership between Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and his wife, Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao and how they are aligned against the interests of working people.

Speaking of the couple, they were both at today’s national meeting of the Fraternal Order of Police held in Louisville (along with Rep. John Yarmuth). Watch the video below to hear what they had to say.

You’ll remember that Democrats caved in a vote on August 4 approving the “Protect America Act”, thereby authorizing warrantless wiretapping. No more FISA court requirement. No more privacy. If you need a refresher or want a more complete understanding of the wiretap situation, check out Robert Parry’s latest.

Senator McConnell spoke about this very issue today. (See video) Did he get it wrong by incorrectly characterizing the wiretapping issue? He said, “To me, the idea that we were supposed to extend the Bill of Rights to a bunch of non-citizens overseas, let alone terrorists, wasn’t only dangerous, it was the height of stupidity.”

[flv:/video/McConnell-FOP-08132007.flv 320 240]
Note that there was no mention of rights as they relate to U.S. citizens. No mention that your communication with a friend in Chile will be tapped without a court order, either. Bruce Schreiner has more on today’s events.