After taking Bank of American executives on a helicopter tour of mountaintop removal sites, the NRDC convinced the bank to stop funding such projects. In an atmosphere where Bush is implementing all sorts of new rules allowing for mountaintop removal to expand and dump its soils into rivers and creeks around southern Appalachia, new, aggressive strategies are necessary. This is such a reprehensible practice and the only way it survives is because nobody sees the incredible damage to the landscape it causes. If you can take away the funding for these projects by exposing people in power to these hellish operations, you can go a long ways toward putting a stop to it.
On a slightly different topic, it’s nice to see that the anti-transit ideologues in the Bush administration can no longer strike fear into the hearts of men, thus allowing the Silver Line to go forward:
State and airport officials have been careful to temper their enthusiasm about the project’s chances for approval because it came so close to extinction early in the year. Their caution also reflects the widely held view that politics and ideology played a role in the project’s problems within the Federal Transit Administration and the Department of Transportation. Leaders in Virginia have sought to avoid alienating administration officials who didn’t believe in the value of such an enormous public investment in transit… Moran said the national credit crisis probably helped the project’s chances, because it “dried up” interest among private purchasers who had been eyeing the toll road. “But more importantly,” he said, “the ideologues in the administration have given up.”
Word from the Lunsford campaign is that someone is robocalling in the late hours pretending to be from the Dems. Hardly surprising or unexpected, but still slimy.
…adjusted; the numbers cited weren’t internal, but rather were the most optimistic of recent polling.
To my understanding, Mitch McConnell’s sexual orientation has been rather an open secret in the Kentucky political establishment. I tend to think that if gay Republicans maintain what amounts to a civilized stance on gay issues, then they deserve their privacy. If they dedicate their careers to making things really difficult for other gays and lesbians, then I don’t have a lot of sympathy. McConnell’s position on these questions isn’t as bad as some (he’s never, as far as I know, demagogued the issue), but it’s not good, either.
All that said, the ads linked above are pretty goddamn ugly. They do not in any manner or fashion put the drive for GLBT civil rights in a good light; in fact, just the opposite. While pointing out hypocrisy on this issue is always rather awkward, it can be done in a way that doesn’t rely on homophobia to make the point. I certainly hope that Bruce Lunsford had nothing to do with the ads. There’s no immediate reason to think that he did; AFSCME sponsored the radio version.
University of Kentucky police are investigating who hung an effigy of Democrat Sen. Barack Obama from a tree on the Lexington campus Wednesday morning.
UK President Lee Todd said that UK police have notified federal authorities of the incident. Todd said a professor saw the effigy on the tree near the Rose Street parking garage across from the Mining and Mineral Resources building this morning and called police. The professor then sent Todd an email notifying him of the incident.
UK police took down the effigy and have it as evidence, Todd said. He called the act “deplorable” and says that type of behavior is not tolerated on UK’s campus.
The effigy apparently had a mask of Obama on it and there was reportedly a noose around the effigy’s neck, Todd said.
President Todd and the administration have been very open about the incident, and seem to be handling it as well as could be hoped.
Democratic challenger Bruce Lunsford has closed to within a statistical tie with Republican incumbent Mitch McConnell in their U.S. Senate race, according to a new poll by SurveyUSA released Tuesday.
With six weeks remaining until election day, McConnell, the Senate minority leader, now holds a 49%-46% lead over Lunsford, which is within the poll’s 3.9% margin of error. Compared to an identical SurveyUSA poll released six weeks ago, Lunsford is up six points, McConnell is down three.
I’m tentatively scheduled to have a conversation on foreign and security policy with Bruce Lunsford for LGM in a couple weeks; will keep you updated.
Check out especially the interview with a coal miner about 2:15 in:
The white people has put the negroes in the back of the bus for years, and if we’re not careful we’re gonna be in the back of the bus and they’re gonna be in the front.
That’s interesting, and suggests an answer to why whites in Appalachia are so much more resistant to voting for Obama than anywhere else; it’s driven by economic insecurity, and by what amounts to perceived competition between two economic underclasses. That’s really not such a shocking interpretation, but it is one, I think, that you’re less likely to see from an American news source than from Al-Jazeera.
Not at the track, according to Tim McClelland. From my accumulated experience at Keeneland this sounds about right; betting on the horses is wholly incidental to the Keeneland experience. It helps, I think, that Keeneland is only open for six weeks a year, which tends to give it event status. The main attraction is simply to see and be seen; if you happen to drop $2 on a 30-1 glue factory candidate, all the better.
Also, I’m still bitter that the 11-1 that I bet on last Thursday lost by a nose…
…Oh, and as for the Derby tomorrow; hell, I have no idea. How about this:
1. Colonel John
2. Z Fortune
3. Tale of Ekati
What’s the point of this?
One day. Two games. An eighth-grader competing against players 15-years-old and younger.
Those factors made for perhaps the most surprising commitment in the history of University of Kentucky basketball. UK Coach Billy Gillispie noticed Michael Avery, an eighth-grader from Lake Sherwood, Calif., while attending a youth basketball event sponsored by LeBron James last weekend in Akron, Ohio.
Less than a week later, Avery accepted Gillispie’s offer of a scholarship to play for the Wildcats … beginning with the 2012-13 season.
“Oh my goodness,” recruiting analyst Brick Oettinger said of the commitment. “A school taking a commitment from someone that young — there’s no telling what will happen.”
In four years of high school (by the way, Avery has not yet decided what high school he will attend), the 6-foot-4 guard could get injured. He could have peaked physically, meaning he could be surpassed athletically by other players who mature later.
And who’s to say Gillispie will be Kentucky’s coach in 2012?
When news of the commitment reached a meeting of the UK Athletics Association Board of Directors on Thursday, it stunned school President Lee T. Todd Jr.
“An eighth-grader?!” he blurted out.
After noting that plenty of time remained for such an early commitment to be rescinded, Todd expressed his wish that Kentucky not regularly seek a college choice from a child who had not yet entered high school.
“Not that you’d tell people not to ever do it,” Todd said, “But I’d hope there aren’t very many eighth-graders thinking of playing at a specific college. …
I don’t know; myself, I think I’d tell people not ever to do it. I understand that the commitment can be rescinded, and that it depends on a certain (low) level of academic achievement in high school, but the idea of 8th graders making commitments to play college basketball strikes me as wrong. The “student” part of “student-athlete” has been in difficulty for some time now, and this really helps to clarify how little the former means compared to the latter. The strangest thing about it is that, if the kid pans out, he’ll probably only be a Kentucky for one year.
Media Czech, former guest blogger here and until recently a blogger at Bluegrass Roots, has a new home in cyberspace. The reasons for the move are complicated, but suffice to say that for my part, the most valuable element of Bluegrass Roots stemmed from MC’s presence. So, for the Kentucky contingent Barefoot and Progressive is the new place for entertainingly angry political rants leavened by the occasional reference to Wildcats basketball…