Noise & Notes

On Noise & Notes, WFPL's Phillip M. Bailey doesn't just discuss the issues, he dissects them. From city government to national politics, Phillip has covered it all. 

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Politics
1:10 pm
Sun March 10, 2013

Noise and Notes: Gerald Blaine on 'The Kennedy Detail'

Former Secret Service Agent Gerald Blaine
Credit Joe Durso

Former U.S. Secret Service Agent Gerald Blaine has spent his life thinking about security.

In his book "The Kennedy Detail" co-authored with journalist Lisa McCubbin, Blaine chronicles his time protecting former President John F. Kennedy up until the assassination in Dallas.

It also looks at how the shooting was traumatic for Blaine's fellow agents and how each dealt with the president's death differently.

The book has been the subject of 2011 documentary and is set to be a feature film to be filmed in New Orleans.

Producers talked about why the project is in many ways—like the book—a rebuttal to Oliver Stone's infamous 'JFK'.

Watch:

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Politics
4:35 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Congressman John Yarmuth Calls for Senator Mitch McConnell to End Brinksmanship on Sequestration

Democratic Congressman John Yarmuth
Credit U.S. Congress

Democratic Congressman John Yarmuth is calling on Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell to end the brinksmanship, and work with President Obama and Democrats to end the automatic spending cuts.

In Kentucky, the so-called sequestration is expected to have the biggest impact on nutrition and education programs as well as enforcing environmental regulations.

For example, a White House study estimates the cuts will take about 1,100 children off of Head Start in Kentucky. The state is also set to lose $2.1 million for water and air quality protections.

Beyond those cuts, opponents argue the sequester could drag down the economic recovery and hurt job growth.

Yarmuth criticized McConnell for calling the proposed cuts "modest" and says the GOP leader needs to take responsibility  or his role in the failed negotiations.

"I don’t think that the people of Kentucky or the country appreciate what the sequester is going to do for them. I would hope Sen. McConnell would reconsider and provide some leadership here instead of playing politics once again," Yarmuth said during a conference call organized by the Democratic National Committee.

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Politics
11:53 am
Fri March 8, 2013

NRSC Slams Ashley Judd's Residency, Questions Kentucky Roots

Republicans Attack Judd's residency
Credit NRSC

The National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee is mocking actress Ashley Judd's lack of residency in Kentucky as she considers a bid against Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell.

In the faux fundraising e-mail, the NRSC asks potential donors to help Judd find a place to live in the Bluegrass state.

"Ashley Judd needs your help. Despite the fact that she lives in Tennessee, Judd desperately wants to run for Senate in neighboring Kentucky," the e-mail reads. "I know what you're thinking: how can a person who has said 'Tennessee is home,' that San Francisco is 'my American city home' and that she 'winters in Scotland' run for Senate in Kentucky?"

Judd being a Tennessee resident and delegate at the 2012 Democratic National Convention has been a consistent point of attack for Republicans . Last month, Karl Rove's super PAC American Crossroads released an ad that pummeled her with that point, among other things.

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Politics
4:40 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Kentucky College Republicans Defend Harlem Shake Video for Team Mitch

Kentucky Federation of College Republicans

A group of Kentucky college Republicans are calling out a Tea Party leader who criticized their Harlem Shake video for Sen. Mitch McConnell's re-election campaign.

The Kentucky Federation of College Republicans approached Team Mitch with the idea, and recorded their version of the meme outside of Churchill Downs in Louisville.

But United Kentucky Tea Party spokesman John Kemper said Thursday it shows the McConnell campaign is ignoring important issues.

"Mitch wants to look cool, rather than lead, come on Mitch, probably yet another (campaign manager Jesse) Benton idea. These guys are out of touch with Kentuckians," he said via Facebook.

In a statement, college Republican chairman Rhett Ramsey says Kemper is only interested in tearing down McConnell and fellow GOP officeholders, and they will no longer support his "aspirations" in politics.

From KFCR:

Instead of encouraging college students and young voters to promote activism, Mr. Kemper made a swipe at our attempt for fun, civic engagement. It seems like Mr. Kemper is too busy attacking Leader McConnell and fellow republican office holders at every turn, instead of praising youth involvement and acknowledging our efforts in party building.

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Politics
1:19 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Opposing Obama's CIA Nomination, Mitch McConnell Says Rand Paul Deserves Answer on Drones

Sens. Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell at a Tea Party rally in Kentucky
Credit Kenny Colston / Kentucky Public Radio

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell is praising his Kentucky colleague Rand Paul’s nearly 13-hour filibuster, and is now opposing President Obama's nominee to run the Central Intelligence Agency.

Paul held up the confirmation of John Brennan for CIA director using an old-school filibuster. He continually asked for the administration to promise they will not use armed unmanned aircrafts to kill American citizens on U.S. soil.

In a letter sent Monday, Attorney General Eric Holder told Paul the administration had "no intention" to use drones on suspected terrorists in the U.S., but could do so in "extraordinary circumstances."

As the filibuster gained national attention and bipartisan support, McConnell and a number of GOP senators joined Paul's effort last night.

Speaking on the Senate floor Thursday, McConnell says the White House has a responsibility to answer Paul’s questions  before the nomination goes forward.

"The United States military no more has the right to kill a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil who is not a combatant with an armed unmanned aerial vehicle than it does with an M-16. The technology is beside the point. It simply doesn’t have that right and the administration should simply answer the question," he says.

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Politics
3:48 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Rand Paul Old-School Filibusters Nomination of CIA Director for 13 Hours

Senator Rand Paul, R-Ky.
Credit U.S. Senate

Speaking on the Senate floor, Republican Rand Paul is actively filibustering the nomination of John Brennan as director of the CIA, citing concerns over President Obama's policy on drones and civil liberties.

Earlier this week, Kentucky's junior senator received a controversial response from Attorney General Eric Holder about the administration’s use of unmanned aircrafts.

Holder told Paul the president could theoretically authorize deadly force to be used against a citizen on U.S. soil without due process.

Since Wednesday morning, Paul has been delaying Brennan's nomination and pledged to talk until he couldn't anymore.

Paul says the White House is continuing the controversial policies of former President George W. Bush, which candidate Obama spoke out against in 2007.

"We had a president who ran for office saying your phone shouldn’t be tapped without a warrant. I happened to agree with candidate Obama. But what happened to candidate Obama who wanted to protect the right to privacy of your who doesn’t care much about your right not to be killed by a drone without any kind of judicial proceeding," he says.

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Politics
9:12 am
Wed March 6, 2013

Team Mitch Does the Harlem Shake

Credit YouTube.com

The viral video dance craze of the new Harlem Shake hit the 2014 Kentucky U.S. Senate campaign trail.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell's re-election campaign released their version of the meme. It begins with a person wearing a McConnell mask dancing to the song outside Churchill Down, and well...just watch below.

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Politics
4:22 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

Councilwoman Marilyn Parker Declines Government Pension Benefits

Louisville Metro Councilwoman Marilyn Parker
Credit Parker campaign

Louisville Metro Councilwoman Marilyn Parker, R-18, is forgoing her government pension benefits, citing the lack of real reforms in the 2013 General Assembly.

By declining the benefits Parker is saving the city an estimated $8,500 annually and Metro Government will not have to contribute to the state pension system on her behalf.

Parker says the decisions is meant to send a message to state lawmakers, and alert taxpayers on how serious the pension problem is for Kentucky.

"It is an issue that deeply concerns me for our state and city budgets. I'm concerned that we're not seeing a fix coming out of Frankfort," she says. "And as time goes on it is going our state and local budgets at risk and government at risk."

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Politics
2:19 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

Will Kentucky 'Religious Freedom' Bill Gut Protections for Women, Minorities and Gay Residents?

Kentucky Commission on Human Rights Executive Director John J. Johnson
Credit Kentucky Commission on Human Rights

Joining other civil rights group, the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights is urging Governor Steve Beshear to block a bill that would allow people to ignore laws and regulations violating their religious beliefs.

Last week, the Democratic-controlled House overwhelmingly approved HB 279 by an 82-7 vote. It has now moved on the state Senate, where observers predict it is likely to pass in the GOP-controlled chamber.

Supporters say the bill strengthens the rights for people of faith and clarifies religious freedom in state law. But civil rights groups such as the ACLU of Kentucky and Louisville Fairness Campaign argue it will gut protections for women, racial minorities and gay residents.

John Johnson, executive director of the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, tells WFPL the commission agrees "wholeheartedly" with civil rights proponents, adding there is a potential risk for people to use their faith to discriminate.

"If this bill is adopted people can hide behind religious freedoms and discriminate in anyway they feel. They could say based on my religion I don’t think I should serve people based on interracial marriage. I don’t believe I should serve people because they are of a different religion," he says. "People can hide behind it in anyway, and it just makes it more difficult for the human rights agencies to pursue equality in our state."

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Politics
6:35 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

Bill Granting Ethics Commission Subpoena Powers Passes House Panel

A bill giving the Louisville Metro Ethics Commission subpoena powers sailed through a state House committee on Monday.

In 2011, a report by the commission complained to the Metro Council about its inability to compel witnesses to testify. Last November, Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin, D-2, put that lack of power on display when she twice walked out of her ethics hearing at the instruction of her attorney.

From The Lexington Herald-Leader:

Sen. Julie Denton, R-Louisville, said the bill was in response to alleged ethics violations of council members in Louisville.

SB 117 would give ethics committees administrative subpoena power to gather documents and compel witnesses to testify.

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