Richard Moloney, an independent candidate in Tuesday’s special election in Lexington for the state Senate, questions the trustworthiness of his Democratic opponent, Reginald Thomas, in a mailer sent to voters this week. Every person in the race seems like a shyster.[Bluegrass Politics]
Many governments are woefully unprepared for an epidemic of dementia currently affecting 44 million people worldwide and set to more than treble to 135 million people by 2050, health experts and campaigners said on Thursday. [HuffPo]
We have no idea what this fight is about but the Republican Party of Kentucky has publicized a new commercial. [Click the Clicky]
How bureaucrats stand in the way of releasing elderly and ill prisoners. Former inmate Veronica Barnes had three years left to serve in federal prison when she found out in January 2011 that her husband John was dying of pancreatic cancer. Doctors said it was inoperable. They gave him less than a year to live. [ProPublica]
A state lawmaker has proposed another change to Kentucky’s eminent domain laws – a move he believes would help keep developers of the controversial Bluegrass Pipeline from seizing land from reluctant property owners. [WDRB]
Tiny particles of waste plastic that are ingested by shoreline “eco-engineer” worms may be negatively affecting biodiversity, a study says. [BBC]
State Sen. Robin Webb on Wednesday said the decision to not locate a proposed substance abuse treatment center in Grayson doesn’t mean the facility won’t be built somewhere in northeastern Kentucky. [Ashland Independent]
The pregnancy rate among U.S. women fell to its lowest point in 12 years in 2009, continuing its slide from a peak in 1990, according to U.S. government data released on Thursday. [Reuters]
Coalfield counties, hit hard by a downturn in the mining industry, are continuing to struggle with unemployment. [WLEX18]
More than two decades ago, the conservative public policy group American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) released anti-gay propaganda decrying the influence of the gay community in the United States, according to documents recently uncovered by People For the American Way and the Center For Media and Democracy. [HuffPo]
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky was one of two political leaders who received the Crime Fighter Award from the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network on Wednesday. [H-L]
First came the State of Illinois, now comes the City of Chicago. The hard-fought passage here Tuesday of a landmark bill trimming retirement benefits for state workers, aimed at fixing the vastly underfunded pension system, has become instantly relevant to the nation’s third-largest city, which has its own pension systems in various stages of financial collapse. [NY Times]
Funny stuff: Will Coursey & Jennifer Moore both named to Council for Interstate Adult Offender Supervision. And you wonder why Kentucky can’t have nice things. [Kentucky Loses Again]
Tags: Discrimination · Eastern Kentucky · Economy · Environment · Health Care · Mitch McConnell · RPK · Special Election · The Gays
Alison Grimes suggested that industrial parks would save Eastern Kentucky. Because there are clearly dozens of interstates, trucking routes and easy access to airports. Genius idea. Despite the facilities currently sitting empty, decaying, all across the state because they’re useless.
We hear through the grapevine (okay, so it’s not through the grapevine – it’s directly from her campaign handlers – it’s just more fun to make true things sound like rumors) that she only made the suggestion because her daddy has an interest in some industrial properties. And because Greg Stumbo stands to make major gains. And what about the industrial park named after John Will Stacy (John Will Stacy MMRC Regional Business Park) that can’t keep tenants? Right.
That’s not surprising. What is, however, is that another candidate in the U.S. Senate race made a suggestion for what could actually work:
Alison should ask her cheerleader Bill Clinton, how that NAFTA thing has worked out for our industrial parks? All one has to do is drive by the empty industrial park with the abandoned building in Gov Beshear’s hometown of Dawson Springs.
Eastern Ky deserves more than this empty idea of her’s, they deserve a more forward thinking approach. For example, the beauty and the cultural aspects of Eastern Ky are a treasure unlike any other area I’ve visited. From the musical roots and the natural beauty, we should be celebrating and encouraging tourism, especially protecting the ecosystems and mountains for future nature tourism.
One more thing that would instantly bring revenue, is the legalizing of Cannabis.
“Come to Ky and Enjoy Our Nature” could be our marketing slogan.
How dare Ed Marksberry make sensible suggestions!
Eastern Kentucky needs another industrial facility like Frankfort needs another lobbyist.
Tags: Alison Grimes · Eastern Kentucky · Economy
Mitch McConnell supported the Anti-Apartheid Act and voted to override President Reagan’s veto.
CLICK TO ENLARGE
He’s got a pretty good record for supporting the end of discrimination abroad.
Here at home? Well…
“In the 1960s, when I was in college, civil rights issues were clear,” explained Senator Mitch McConnell (R–Ky.), who voted to pass the Act over Reagan’s veto. “After that, it became complicated with questions of quotas and other matters that split people of good will. When the apartheid issues came along, it made civil rights black and white again. It was not complicated.”
It’s a shame we can’t say the same. He hasn’t exactly had enough guts to stand up when the votes and dollars of those in opposition to equality of all sorts are at stake.
His kind words about Nelson Mandela are fine and dandy. But they fall on deaf ears here because he’s as cowardly as Alison Grimes when it comes to making sure all Kentuckians are equal.
Tags: Discrimination · Flashback · Mitch McConnell
December 6th, 2013 · 1 Comment
The craziness in Montgomery County just won’t end. In addition to all the drama involving Montgomery County Schools superintendent Joshua Powell and the nepotism of hiring his wife, came another story from the Mt. Sterling Advocate about another audit (remember, Powell himself said publicly that he demands frequent and intense audits – his feigned outrage is pure hypocrisy).
Buried in that story were details about the Office of Education Accountability investigation of Powell – for which he admitted wrongdoing by signing an agreed order:
The agreed order signed by Powell and the EPSB resolved the Union County matter as well as the Notice of Hearing and Statement of CHarges and Issues filed with the EPSB in February. That was related to an EPO filed by Anna Powell against her husband last year and later withdrawn. Powell is subject to probationary condition as a result of the agreed order, which includes that he must receive professional development/training in the area of educator certification as approved by the board no later than June 1. Any expenses for the training must be paid by Powell.
The OEA, EPSB and the district’s insurance carrier spent nearly half a million dollars investigating and responding to the alleged infractions. The end result, Powell said at the time, was that his record remained unblemished.
Isn’t that nice? Those insurance costs eventually get passed on to the taxpayer.
This is why Kentucky can’t have nice things.
Tags: Corruption · Education · Wasted Money
December 6th, 2013 · 5 Comments
Yet another reason WFPL’s coverage of Hal Heiner and BIPPS/Bluegrass Institute has been beyond unacceptable.
From The Guardian:
State conservative groups plan US-wide assault on education, health and tax
Conservative groups across the US are planning a co-ordinated assault against public sector rights and services in the key areas of education, healthcare, income tax, workers’ compensation and the environment, documents obtained by the Guardian reveal.
The strategy for the state-level organisations, which describe themselves as “free-market thinktanks”, includes proposals from six different states for cuts in public sector pensions, campaigns to reduce the wages of government workers and eliminate income taxes, school voucher schemes to counter public education, opposition to Medicaid, and a campaign against regional efforts to combat greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change.
The policy goals are contained in a set of funding proposals obtained by the Guardian. The proposals were co-ordinated by the State Policy Network, an alliance of groups that act as incubators of conservative strategy at state level.
The documents also cast light on the nexus of funding arrangements behind radical rightwing campaigns. The State Policy Network (SPN) has members in each of the 50 states and an annual warchest of $83m drawn from major corporate donors that include the energy tycoons the Koch brothers, the tobacco company Philip Morris, food giant Kraft and the multinational drugs company GlaxoSmithKline.
How dare us have concerns about that reporting. Shame on us.
Yes, we still expect better from a well-respected mainstream outlet. Because the Bluegrass Institute/BIPPS and the folks surrounding Hal Heiner on the educational front are at the center of the religio-right-wing movement. No amount of whispering nasty remarks about us from two people at WFPL will change that. No amount of Jim Waters complaining while sitting in a Bowling Green coffee shop will change that reality, either.
Tags: Corruption · Economy · Education · Flashback · Health Care · Mainstream Mistake
This week the Transportation Lady focuses on the KYTC’s maintenance professionals who have graduated from special training programs called Roads Scholar and Road Master:
December 6th, 2013 · 2 Comments
We can’t stop laughing: Walter Blevins running for Judge-Executive in Rowan County. [Wow]
An attorney for five Breathitt County school board members said they had reached a settlement that could signal an earlier end to the state’s control over the district. [H-L]
Here are 11 imaginary Republican enemies that could give Bigfoot a run for its money. [HuffPo]
Kentucky Retirement Systems will need $755 million each year in the next budget biennium to fully fund pension and insurance benefits and meet requirements in the state legislature’s recent pension reforms, financial experts said Thursday. [C-J/AKN]
What is even worser than taxing the rain and by extension the heavens and G_d Himself? Taxing sunshine. Hahaha, we are just kidding, it is obviously not a problem to tax the sun because it is a proposal put forth by American heroes ALEC, and not by some dumb Dummycrat. [Wonkette]
The Richmond Park Board again discussed changing the city parks’ smoking policy at its Tuesday board meeting. [Richmond Register]
Remember all of those Obamacare horror stories? Not looking so bad now. [Guardian]
Alison Grimes, who has been to Eastern Kentucky maybe five times in her life when campaigning didn’t depend on it, suddenly believes she knows what’s best for the region. Unfortunately, she’s clueless because the industrial parks in the region sit empty or are dying. Even with investment. [CN|2]
Granny Mitch was on Greta Van Facelift (hey gurl) again talking about health care and trying to scare people. [Faux News]
Some people are upset that Mitch McConnell, Alison Grimes and Matt Bevin are ignoring the SOAR dog and pony show next week. We believe they deserve a free pass because next to nothing will come from that charade. A bunch of people from Frankfort and Washington pretending to listen, writing things down, making bold statements and then sitting on their hands until something else happens to steal the public’s attention. [Hazard-Herald]
The National Security Agency is gathering nearly 5 billion records a day on the whereabouts of cellphones around the world, according to top-secret documents and interviews with U.S. intelligence officials, enabling the agency to track the movements of individuals — and map their relationships — in ways that would have been previously unimaginable. [WaPo]
Which Kentucky mayor will be the first to have the guts to add their name to this list? We called Greg Fischer and Jim Gray out in February 2012 for not having the guts to do so and they still haven’t. If you’re a Kentucky mayor and are willing to sign up, please do so – and let Jake know so he can privately put you in direct contact with FTM officials. [CLICK THIS LINK]
Now Rand Paul believes he’s an economics expert and pension genius. Rand Paul is heading to Detroit this week to pitch an economic plan for depressed urban areas he says will show Republicans can appeal to voters in areas of the country that have rejected the party’s message for decades. [Politico]
Despite trying weather, Kentucky farmers are looking at a very green year, with a record $6 billion in cash receipts for 2013. [H-L]
Wednesday’s “Daily Show” spent most of its airtime examining malfeasance on Wall Street — and, as usual, did a better job giving airtime to scandals than much of the mainstream media. Blackstone, Blackstone, Blackstone. [HuffPo]
Tags: Alison Grimes · Corruption · Discrimination · Eastern Kentucky · Education · FEAR! · Health Care · Humor · Mitch McConnell · Rand Paul · The Gays · Wasted Money · Wiretapping
Hal Heiner and his wife, Sheila, call their stately home and the 170 acres surrounding it Dovelyn, a reference to its large dove population and the peace he says those birds bring them. It’s just a shame Hal doesn’t have the guts to campaign and go balls-to-the-wall against opponents. He’ll get his ass handed to him by the Democrat if he wins the Republican nomination, which is unlikely. [H-L]
Unresolved technical problems on HealthCare.gov could lead to a rude surprise at the doctor’s office next month for patients who think they successfully used the website to sign up for health insurance. They may find they’re not insured after all. [HuffPo]
For decades, Diane Ravitch staunchly supported standardized testing, teacher accountability and school choice. [Toni Konz]
If there’s any good that has come from the case in Lexington, Kentucky where a woman lost her home over unpaid homeowners’ association dues, it’s this: according to a local attorney who represents HOAs, a lot of people heard about the case and hurried to pay their back dues. [Consumerist]
The battle over the closing of coal fired units at the Kentucky Power Company Big Sandy Plant in Louisa isn’t over just yet. [Ronnie Ellis]
When the House voted last September to cut $40 billion from the federal food stamp program over 10 years, all but 15 Republicans supported the measure while not a single Democrat did so. But according to a TIME analysis of county-by-county food stamp enrollment data compiled by the non-profit Feeding America, it appears that House Republicans represent more districts with high levels of participation in the program than House Democrats. [TIME]
Sadly, no one was surprised to learn that the KERS fell from 27% funded in 2012 to 23% funded in 2013 – just as we predicted. $8.2 billion in unfunded liabilities. Things WILL get worse – mark our words. [KRS Failures]
The Securities and Exchange Commission [yesterday] charged the holding company of Cincinnati-based Fifth Third Bank and its former chief financial officer with improper accounting of commercial real estate loans in the midst of the financial crisis. [SEC Release]
After focusing on trying to curb prescription pill abuse and methamphetamine over the last four years, Kentucky lawmakers will aim to tackle the commonwealth’s heroin problem, which is growing by the month. [Ryan Alessi]
Now that the front-end of HealthCare.gov appears to be working properly, the media’s focus is quickly shifting to the back-end systems that are supposed to provide insurance companies with accurate information about consumers enrolling in their plans. [ProPublica]
Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources staff want to hear what residents have to say about deer numbers in the Redbird Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Clay and Leslie counties. [Press Release]
The discovery of DNA in a 400,000-year-old human thigh bone will open up a new frontier in the study of our ancestors. That’s the verdict cast by human evolution experts on an analysis in Nature journal of the oldest human genetic material ever sequenced. [BBC]
The time Alison Lundergan Grimes has spent out of state fundraising with celebrities appears to have caused her to forget about Kentucky news staples like Lexington Herald-Leader and the Courier-Journal. [Ouch]
The U.S. economy grew faster than initially estimated in the third quarter as businesses aggressively accumulated stock, but underlying domestic demand remained sluggish and buoyed the case for the Federal Reserve to keep up its stimulus for now. [Reuters]
Tags: Alison Grimes · Corruption · Eastern Kentucky · Economy · Education · Election 2015 · Environment · Health Care · Poverty · Wasted Money
Check this out – Ed Marksberry reveals what we’ve been hearing – that KDP folks have been accusing him of being a McConnell plant (HAHA):
Ed Marksberry // Dec 5, 2013 at 8:25 am
I sure hope the FEC doesn’t look into the possibility that “Team Mitch” is secretly funding my campaign with their “over the donations allowances.”
I been told by a prominent Democratic leader that they (KDP) believe that Mitch is behind my campaign.
Now who was it that offered me money or a job to get out of the race?
Here’s reality: Kentucky Democratic Party officials offered him money and jobs to drop out of the race. So did Jerry Lundergan’s crew.
The hypocrisy is ripe in Frankfort these days.
Tags: Alison Grimes · Hypocrisy · KDP
Look, we’re all for Jack Conway suing actual fraudsters in higher education for the right reasons.
But in October we wrote about a mailing sent out by National College that appeared to be damning.
At the time, we had this to say:
Jack will hit back with something official in 3, 2…
We were right.
Now turn to a release from Conway’s office yesterday:
Attorney General Jack Conway today announced that the Franklin Circuit Court today ordered National College to pay a civil penalty of $1,000 per day, beginning on July 31, 2013 and continuing until National fully responds to a subpoena issued by the Office of the Attorney General. To date, that amounts to $126,000 in fines. In addition to this penalty, the court ordered National’s attorneys to pay $10,000 to the Office of the Attorney General, after the court determined that National College has “repeatedly abused the legal system to obstruct a valid investigation by the Attorney General.”
“I appreciate the solemn consideration the court gave to this troubling conduct,” Attorney General Conway said. “National College and its lawyers have abused the legal system in an effort to delay this investigation. It is my hope that National College will stop the games, turn over all of the documents requested, and pay the fine. If National has nothing to hide – the time is now to comply with the court order.”
The action follows nearly three years of litigation concerning a civil subpoena issued to National College in December 2010 by the Attorney General pursuant to an investigation of some for-profit colleges operating in the commonwealth under the Kentucky Consumer Protection Act. National refused to respond to the subpoena and instead filed suit to block the Attorney General’s investigation.
“National’s actions to date have to make you wonder what they’re trying to hide from investigators, their students and prospective students,” Attorney General Conway said.
It goes on:
In March 2011, the Franklin Circuit Court ruled in the Attorney General’s favor, finding that the subpoena was reasonable and supported by valid concerns under the Consumer Protection Act and that the Attorney General was lawfully acting in the public interest. National College appealed that decision to both the Court of Appeals and the Kentucky Supreme Court, but the appeals were denied. The litigation was remanded to Franklin Circuit, however, for further consideration of the scope of the subpoena.
Following numerous motions and lengthy hearings, the court determined that National College could present no legitimate argument or basis for its challenges to the subpoena, and held that National’s conduct throughout the litigation “poisoned the atmosphere” and “created a climate of ill-will, personal animosity, and distrust.” The court noted that targets of a lawful investigation cannot be permitted to engage in “unwarranted litigation tactics to obstruct and delay…without sanction and accountability.”
Here’s the juicy part:
In assessing the $10,000 penalty against National College’s attorneys under the Kentucky Rules of Civil Procedure, the court noted that it has never before sanctioned an attorney but that “the litigation tactics engaged in by [National’s] counsel in this case have crossed the line from zealous advocacy into obstruction, delay, harassment, and an unwarranted vendetta against the Attorney General who has done nothing but attempt to fairly enforce the consumer protection laws of this state.”
HAHA! “[H]arassment” and “unwarranted vendetta” against Jack Conway. The guy who started this all because the for-profit sector of the college world (which we despise, for the record) supported his extremist Republican opponent at the time.
Now he’s the victim?
This is why Kentucky can’t have nice things.
P.S. Come on, National, play Jack’s game. Give in to his subpoena. Don’t be stupid.
Tags: Education · Flashback · Jack Conway