No, Richie Farmer Is Not Going To Play Tonight

Nope, doesn’t look like Richie Farmer is gonna play tonight, coach. Talk about a hot mess. [Page One]

And just like that, Richie Farmer’s guy got axed from “The Amazing Race.” Talk about coincidental timing. [WKYT]

The Cabinet for Health and Family Services and Steve Beshear’s crew are still withholding child-abuse death records. So much for promised transparency. [H-L]

Ever wondered how Cordish Cos. runs local businesses off at Louisville’s 4th Street Live? Here’s a look at one of many issues. [The ‘Ville Voice]

Mmm hmmm. The South Central Los Angeles 1992 riots, the largest in American history, were a lesson to a society that still has a lot to learn about the injustice of our economic system and its refusal to honor labor with decent wages. It is a lesson about the injustice of the legal system. It is a lesson in how people WILL rise up when things become so horribly skewed in favor of one group over another that something must be done. [FourStory]

The only thing spot-on in this story is the fight between Steve Beshear and Brereton Jones. I’d be hilarious watching Brereton have to take a trophy from Papaw. [C-J/AKN]

The high cost of tax breaks? Not so easy. Closing loopholes is politically painful. [The Economist]

Really? A “trend” of newer, younger faces in Frankfort? We guess that’s why there are so many people constantly running unopposed and so many people older than Steve Beshear. [WFPL]

U.S. hospitals are ripping out wall-mounted toilets and replacing them with floor models to better support obese patients. The Federal Transit Administration wants buses to be tested for the impact of heavier riders on steering and braking. Cars are burning nearly a billion gallons of gasoline more a year than if passengers weighed what they did in 1960. [Reuters]

On a scale of one to Steve Beshear blaming all of his problems on David Williams, how angry is Shawn Jones of the Kentucky Medical Association? [H-L]

The Obama campaign is out with a new web video Monday that highlights the accomplishments of President Obama’s first three years in office — and concludes that there is “still more to do.” [Politico]

Mmm hmmm. TAKIN YER GUNS. Uh oh you guys. A forensic technician for the Los Angeles coroner died and it might have been poison. And he may or may not have personally worked on Andrew Breitbart’s corpse. And it was the same day good ol’ Sheriff Joe “announced probable cause for forgery in President Obama’s birth certificate.” And this is all in the same story because? Can’t help you there, dudes. [Wonkette]

According to a new study, religious belief decreases with analytical thinking. Can’t be having folks think for themselves, now! [HuffPo]

Paducah Student Wins EEC’s Earth Day Contest

Paducah Middle School student – Emily Hahn, 13 – won the 2012 “Capture the Earth” digital photography contest sponsored by the Energy and Environment Cabinet.

This year’s theme was Celebrating Kentucky’s Forests.

Here’s the winning photo:


It’s a tree that survived the 2009 ice storm. “The Greenway Trail is a fairly new trail off of our local Bob Noble Park,” she wrote. “Many people, like myself, go there to admire the beauty of the trees….the tree is lucky to be standing because many trees around our area collapsed due to the amount of ice that built up on them.”

Other students to be recognized with certificates include:

  • Second place – Nate Simpson, 12, Bondurant Middle School, Franklin County
  • Third place – Emma Rogers, 12, Royal Springs Middle School, Scott County
  • Honorable Mention – Jade Hammontree, 13, Metcalfe County Middle School
  • Honorable Mention – Ann Postolowski, 14, Gray Middle School, Boone County

These kids are why Kentucky can have nice things.

John Yarmuth On Veterans Health And Safety

Here’s John Yarmuth discussing veterans’ health and safety last week:

“By freezing regulations arbitrarily, Congress would be unable to provide any new benefits for our veterans and service members – benefits they were promised and have more than earned,” Yarmuth said.

“Over the next five years, more than one million veterans will come home. I do not believe that anyone here can argue in good faith that just because the economy has yet to fully recover, members of the military and veterans are not entitled to the best and most current health care,” Yarmuth told the committee. “They deserve far better than this.”

Report: Farmer Misused State Resources & Staff

Hoo boy, this report from State Auditor of Public Accounts Adam Edelen about Richie Farmer has been a long time coming.

Turns out? Richie used state resources and employees for his own personal gain. He’s still refusing to be interviewed by auditors but you can bet he and his people will trash this report anonymously and in the press.

“The law makes no distinction between icons and the rest of us, and neither do I,” Edelen said. “The report paints a clear picture of an administration that had no qualms about treating taxpayer resources as its own. The former commissioner had state employees on state time take him hunting and shopping, mow his yard, build a basketball court in his backyard, and even chauffer his dog. He showered himself with gifts and office equipment and rewarded friends with jobs. These are just some of the documented abuses that should outrage every Kentuckian.”

The highlights:

  • Over a two-year period, the former personnel director was directed to reserve hotel rooms in the names of two employees who she knew would not be staying overnight during the State Fair. The former commissioner used the rooms for his family members at a cost of $4,257 to taxpayers.
  • Employees did work at Farmer’s home on state time. They built a basketball court and moved a gun safe from his garage to his basement.
  • Employees drove Richie on hunting and shopping trips. He went so far as to force a merit employee to leave a training session while in Indiana to drive him to a store.
  • In 2007 and 2011, he used products purchased by his department and donated by Kentucky Proud vendors to create gift baskets for his family members.
  • You already know about the two small refrigerators he had.
  • Two laptops assigned to Richie remain missing
  • He hid the true cost of the 2008 Souther Association of State Departments of Agriculture conference
  • Six $449 rifles signed for by Richie remain missing
  • The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service gave the department ginseng it confiscated during an illegal harvest. USFWS directed the department to sell the ginseng and use the proceeds to benefit the ginseng industry in Kentucky. The exam found the department spent $43,000 of the $241,000 proceeds toward the purchase of vehicles for its animal enforcement officers, who do not perform duties associated with the ginseng program.
  • $15,000 in tobacco settlement funds were maybe misappropriated
  • $70,457 was paid to one employee for work hours and travel miles that can’t be substantiated
  • An in-law of Richie’s employed as an amusement safety inspector did all kinds of crazy things. Like disabling a GPS device used to track distances and movement.
  • Richie signed the timesheets of his girlfriend/mistress because his chief of staff refused to do so/couldn’t substantiate any work she did
  • A former executive director and former director told staff to delay action against a grain dealer because it was during an election year and could cause a negative political outcome for the former commissioner.
  • A $1.65 million fuel-testing lab that was projected to test 20,000 samples a year has not met its goal and lost the state more than $744,000 in fiscal year 2011.
  • Roughly half the department’s employees had permanently assigned take-home vehicles. Many of the employees were not justified in having state vehicles.

There’s lots more detailed in the report. 41 findings and 126 recommendations. Many issues surrounding the reporting of taxable benefits to the IRS and Kentucky Department of Revenue. So you’ll likely want to read it all:


You’ll absolutely want to read the rest – including remarks from Jamie Comer and some photos of guns and gifts – after the jump…

Read more…

Rutherford Waging A War On Common Sense?

Here comes Wayne T. Rutherford foaming at the mouth about the faux “war on coal.” Maybe he should stick to covering up for people like Keith Hall. [H-L]

If you think Hillary Clinton isn’t considering a run for the presidency after Barack Obama’s second term, you’ll probably want to read this. [NYT]

Hal Rogers’ staff finally decided it was time to give up the Commodore 64 and join the Twatter. [Press Release]

What happens to a two-party political system when one party goes mad (teabagger)? Does the world come to an end? [The Economist]

It’s official. Laurel County wants to give Clay County a run for its crazy money. Some guy was arrested for shooting at a passing car. [WKYT]

Mitch McConnell just cannot stand that political spending on television ads should be readily available for examination. He believes free speech should come at a cost – i.e., you should have to spend 50 cents per page and take time off work to go see what a campaign is spending on television. [National Journal]

Money always trumps childhood health. Even when it’s common sense. [Reuters]

This guy in Indiana has felony convictions for lying about his voter registration. Meanwhile, Democrats in Frankfort like Ruth Ann Palumbo aren’t even questioned about their illegal registrations. [WFPL]

What was that, again, about Steve Beshear not playing politics with the Road Fund? Look at the size of Greg Stumbo’s unnecessary project compared to that of David Williams. Who got their project? It wasn’t Williams. [Al Cross]

This should make you feel really safe and should further illustrate that Richie Farmer is dumb as hell. A distant relative of former Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer worked in the Department of Agriculture for nearly five years as an amusement ride inspector despite never receiving certification to do the work. [H-L]

Here’s Mittens Romney making yet another gaffe about, you know, reality. Don’t worry about student loans, just borrow $20,000 from your parents to start a business! Because they totally have $20K in checking to give you. [Wonkette]

You can’t even go out for cheap Chinese food in Lexington these days without someone driving their car into the restaurant. [WLEX18]

Thomas Massie can’t refuse that pension he said he would turn down. He’d have to donate it to charity like John Yarmuth does with his salary. [Ryan Alessi]

Put Those Dang Kids Back To Work Right Now

Like we’ve been hinting for days about Monday being an awesome day in Frankfort? Adam Edelen’s office finally made public that results of the Reeeechie Farmer investigation will be released at 10:00 A.M. [Reechie Gon’ Play Tonight, Coach?]

Here’s a damning story about the Ohio River Bridges Debacle in Louisville that you will never see in A Kentucky Newspaper. [News & Tribune]

Handing open-government advocates a partial victory in a better than decade-long battle, the Federal Communications Commission voted Friday to require major network affiliates in the top 50 TV markets to post information about their political ads online. [Sunlight Foundation]

Don’t miss Comment on Kentucky tonight at 8:00 P.M. Eastern on KET. Scheduled gusts: Ryan Alessi, Joe Gerth, Greg Stotelmyer. [KET]

A Senate investigation reveals that there is little evidence that torture produced anti-terror breakthroughs. [HuffPo]

Here’s your chance to win a copy of The Kentucky Derby. It’s all about the Run for the Roses becoming America’s premier sporting event. [Page One]

A southern Kentucky town is up in arms over a request by a local tavern to allow pole dancers to be paid for entertaining patrons at a bar straddling the Kentucky-Tennessee line. [WLEX18]

Can you imagine suing your dentist because he dropped a small screwdriver down your throat? Lawwwwd. Talk about an awesome surgery. [H-L]

Remember the Clay County magistrate who stabbed his wife earlier this week and then killed himself? The 911 tape has been released. This is one of the most shocking and tragic stories we’ve seen in months. [WKYT]

The Kentucky Supreme Court says universities can’t ban guns in staff and student vehicles on campus. [C-J/AKN]

The esteemed KARL ROVE & CO. firm is out with its first electoral map of the season, and whoo boy does it show some kinda landslide for Barack Obama, giving him approximately 700 electoral votes. All in a push to skeer meemaw and your racist poppop into throwing cash at him. [Wonkette]

Just like that, the White House caved an scrapped child labor farm rules. So you can get back to enslaving your children. [HuffPo]