In Other News… Paul staffer licks camera, Ozzy donates 10k to Leopards, Qdoba employee’s acts of kindness, and more Friday, May 15 2015 

ozzyTakes a Licking: It’s been awhile since we’ve checked in with Kentucky’s junior senator and presidential candidate Rand Paul. We gave him a respite for Derby. So I check in to see how the campaign’s going and find this: “Rand … Continue reading

In Other News… Paul declares candidacy, Wildcats to NBA, My Morning Jacket, Martin/Lawrence in NYC Friday, Apr 10 2015 

Rand Paul Official PortraitIt Begins: So on Tuesday, the thing happened we knew was going to happen: Rand Paul declared he’s running for president in 2016, says NPR, CBS News, The Huffington Post, ABC News, CNN, Forbes, BBC and anyone else with access … Continue reading

Rand Paul announces candidacy for president in Louisville Tuesday, Apr 7 2015 

Rand Paul Official PortraitAt the end of his speech before well over 1,000 enthusiastic supporters at the Galt House Tuesday, Sen. Rand Paul made official what most people had known for days, if not years. “Today I announce, with God’s help, with the … Continue reading

Bluegrass Rural and Rand Paul Tuesday, Apr 7 2015 

Bluegrass Rural says ratings from a variety of organizations, including business associations, don’t bode well for Rand Paul, Kentucky’s junior senator who is expected to toss his hat in the ring for president tomorrow.

Paul, a first-term Bowling Green Republican, “is getting flunking grades” across the board, according to the Graves County-based, tax exempt advocacy group “whose mission is focused on voter education in rural Kentucky.”

Here are Paul’s scores, as reported by Bluegrass Rural:

Agriculture and Food
2014 American Farm Bureau Federation: 20 percent.

2013-2014 Associated General Contractors of America – Lifetime Scores for Infrastructure: 17 percent.
2013-2014 National Small Business Association: 0 percent.
2013-2014 National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association: 20 percent.
2012 National Electrical Contractors Association: 44 percent.
2011-2012 American Council of Engineering Companies: 44 percent.
2011-2012 National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association: 33 percent.

Law enforcement
2013-2014 National Association of Police Organizations: 45 percent.

Health Care
2013-2014 National Breast Cancer Coalition: 0 percent.
2013 American Public Health Association: 13 percent.
2011 American Nurses Association: 0 percent.

Military Personnel
2011-2012 Center for Security Policy: 29 percent.
2011 Fleet Reserve Association: 0 percent.

2014 Disabled American Veterans: 0 percent.
2011 Vietnam Veterans of America: 0 percent.

Paul’s AFL-CIO Legislative Scorecard shows similarly dismal marks. He voted the union position on issues zero percent of the time in 2013 (the last year percentages were tallied) and 4 percent of the time (through 2013). His senate term began in 2011.

Paul and Kentucky’s senior senator, Louisville Republican Mitch McConnell co-sponsored legislation to establish a national “right to work law.” They also favor RTW on the state and county levels.

McConnell, the new senate majority leader, had a 17 percent AFL-CIO rating for 2013; his lifetime rating (through 2013) is 12 percent. McConnell first took office in 1985.

More information about Bluegrass Rural is available by visiting the group’s website. The mailing address is P.O. Box 113, Melber, KY 42069

The guy known as ‘Rand Paul’s favorite union-buster’ Tuesday, Apr 7 2015 

AFT Local 1360

Brent Yessin just reminded me of David Stockman.

Yessin is the Kentucky-born, Florida lawyer who is pushing county “right to work” ordinances in his native state.

Stockman, President Ronald Reagan’s budget director, famously ‘fessed up in a 1981 Atlantic Monthly story that Reaganomics was essentially trickle-down economics.

Trickle-down economics caused the Great Depression. Reaganomics caused the country’s deepest economic crisis since the Great Depression.

Supporters of the RTW ordinances vehemently deny their aim is to destroy unions. Bill Londrigan, president of the Kentucky State AFL-CIO, says a recent Bloomberg News story about Yessin confirms the guy is a union-buster.

“Yessin’s ideas offer conservatives a path forward on anti-union legislation known as ‘right-to-work’ laws,” wrote Josh Eidelson, the story’s author. The article, which is online, is headlined “Rand Paul’s favorite union-buster.”

The Sunshine State attorney has “represented companies in more than 200 conflicts with unions,” Eidelson added.

So far, the Democratic House of Representatives has blocked every attempt by the GOP-majority senate to pass a RTW law. Rep. Jim DeCesare, a leading pro-RTW House Republican, figured his option was just to keep trying, Eidelson wrote.

“Then, at an October fundraiser for Senator Rand Paul in Bowling Green, DeCesare heard about a Tampa lawyer named Brent Yessin. He argues that counties and cities have the right to make labor policy, too. ‘Obviously,’ DeCesare says, ‘we were extremely interested.’”

Elsewhere in the story, Eidelson wrote that Yessin said his “mother crossed picket lines during a teachers’ strike.” He quoted Yessin: “I always tell my clients, ‘Yeah, my mother was a scab.’ ”

Londrigan swiftly responded to the story. "When pro-RTW forces and politicians continuously claim that RTW is not anti-union, the record of their secretly-paid union-busting mouthpiece, Mr. Yessin, exposes that claim as a bold faced lie!” he said in an email to union activists.

Yessin’s perhaps too candid comments to the Bloomberg reporter also reminded me of an old Kentucky expression: “Never let your mouth overload you’re a--.”

Of course, we’re all guilty of excessively taxing our tookuses from time to time. But it looks like Yessin has pulled a Stockman.

In any event, history, the subject I taught in a community college for many years, warns against oversize egos. So does the Bible.

The ancient Greeks considered hubris – excessive pride – to be among the greatest and most perilous of sins. “Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall,” the Good Book admonishes.

Anyway, union members were conspicuous among critics who said Reaganomics – union-busting, deeply cutting taxes for rich people and big corporations and slashing government regulations on business – was a reprise of 1920s "trickle-down” economics as preached and practiced by Presidents Harding, Coolidge and Hoover and GOP-run congresses. (“Silent Cal” Coolidge, who especially despised unions, was a hero to Reagan, the most anti-union president since Hoover.)

When Stockman let the cat out of the bag in the Atlantic story, he confirmed that naysayers to Reaganomics were right.

In any event, big egos usually are accompanied by big mouths. Big problems dog those with big egos. Usually, such woes are self-inflicted.

Stockman survived as budget director until 1985, though he told the press that Reagan took him “to the woodshed” right after he read the Atlantic story. Then, in his 1986 memoir, Stockman admitted that he made up the “woodshed” story at the insistence of top Reagan aides.

Stockman confessed that after he apologized to the president, Reagan told him that he was doing a good job and that the media had victimized him.

It will be interesting to see what RTW backers say about their supposed legal eagle Yessin and the Bloomberg article. I’d bet the farm they’ll keep quiet or they’ll follow their venerated St. Gipper’s lead and blame the media.

Rand Paul Set to Announce Presidential Campaign in Louisville KY Tuesday, Apr 7 2015 

Rand Paul, the U.S. Senator from Kentucky, is expected to announce his candidacy for the Presidency at the Galt House in Louisville today at Noon.  Over the rest of the week, he plans to barnstorm the four early voting states — New Hampshire, South Carolina, Iowa and Nevada — in a “Stand with Rand” tour.

He released the video here in advance of the announcement, which mixes news clips from sources as diverse as Newt Gingrich and Jon Stewart.

“On April 7, one leader will stand up to defeat the Washington machine and unleash the American Dream” reads the screen in the video.


In Other News… Paul set to run, Judd sues trolls, FoodPort, Prince’s new single Friday, Mar 20 2015 

prince-2014-press-680x450Rand About: The New York Times, USA Today, Reuters, FOX News, CNN and CBS News report Sen. Rand Paul will announce he’s running for president on April 7 at the Galt House. The moment we’ve been talking about for two … Continue reading

In Other News…Undefeated Wildcats, Return of Snowmageddon, Tori Murden McClure and more Friday, Mar 6 2015 

Willie-Cauley-SteinPerfection: Your University of Kentucky winning Wildcats are still at it, rallying from nine points down to defeat the Bulldogs of Georgia earlier this week. That victory brings their record to 30-0, says ESPN. That’s impressive. USA Today says snatching … Continue reading

In Other News… Azalea vs. Papa John’s, top food city, more vaccines, and Lawrence’s pay Friday, Feb 13 2015 

The War on Pizza: Iggy Azalea vs. Papa JohnsDaddy, No!: Sunday was not the best day for Iggy Azalea. She lost out to Eminem for “Best Rap Album” at The 57th Grammy’s, but before that, she lost a little bit of privacy to Papa John’s. The Huffington Post, … Continue reading

In Other News…Paul on vaccines, Petrino drops recruit, Lawrence poses for Vanity Fair Friday, Feb 6 2015 

Paul ShushResistant: Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky appeared on CNBC on Monday and according to The Washington Post, it “didn’t go well.” Here’s the Post’s body of evidence. Sen. Paul: 1) Reiterated his contention that vaccines should be voluntary. 2) Said … Continue reading

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