Wednesday Afternoon Dept of These Trying Times

The U.S. Department for Health and Human Services today announced that people who eat more traditional Mediterranean foods seem to be more likely to hold onto their thinking and remembering abilities as they age. Researchers found indications of that when they checked for mild cognitive impairment, which is a stage between normal thinking abilities and dementia. [HHS Health Beat]

Vice President Joe Biden today announced that $1,356,017 in Recover Act funding has been released to provide meals to low-income seniors in Kentucky. The funding is expected to provide nearly 14 million meals nationwide. “Across the country, older Americans depend on senior centers and home delivery programs for regular, healthy meals. Today, more senior citizens are in need, but the programs they depend on are on the brink of reducing their services or closing down,” said Vice President Biden. “The Recovery Act will help ensure older Americans are not forced to choose between paying bills and buying food.” [White House Release, Details]

The top 10 “Green Team” videos are on their way to celebrity judges. Winners will be announced in April. A winner in each of three categories will receive a $1,000 prize. Our money is on Gill Holland’s entry. [Green Team & The Videos]

If you missed the AIG testimony today, check out Wonkette’s liveblog. It’s way better than reality. [Wonkette]

Blind item: Rumors are floating all over Frankfort about an anti-abortion legislator who recently lost a pregnant loved one to suicide– because she was allegedly afraid to embarrass her grandparent. We hope this isn’t the case.  What a tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with that legislator who has always been nasty toward us. (Before you complain, note that we’re not naming names. We have some dignity.) [Blind Item Rumor]

Even the mainstream media noticed Steve Beshear’s stimulus website contains little– if any– information. Thanks for the hat tip! [Stephenie Steitzer]

And maybe Beshear and Stumbo could address the fact that most of the road fund really is being given to David Williams? We broke that news over a week ago and five days ago the Courier-Journal ran this piece. It’s worth a flashback because no one in the Beshear Administration has yet to address it. [C-J]

Tea bagging the White House? Really? All right for Faux News. Check the 1:58 mark. [YouTube]

Working for the Courier-Journal and wondering why your bosses received nearly $2 million? While you’ve been forced to accept an unpaid furlough? Yeah, us too. [Huffington Post]

Blue Grass Airport: $500K+ in Outrageous Spending

State Auditor Crit Luallen is at this very moment holding a press conference to discuss her office’s latest audit of the Blue Grass Airport. Over the past several weeks, Luallen’s office has reviewed more than $755,000 in expenses from the past three years (spanning the period January 2006 to December 2008) from now former airport big dogs and has determined that more than $500,000 of expenses are, how should we put it… total bullshiz wastes of both state and federal tax dollars. Heads will roll.

The audit determines that there has been a culture of “shameful” and excessive spending by the airport management team (director of administration and finance, director of operations, director of planning and development, and the director of marketing and community relations along with the manager of administration, who served as the former ED’s assistant). It documents how the former executive director established said culture that provided lavish personal benefits for him and others. The culture flourished as management broke rules and ran circles around airport policies, falsified spending records, received big time salary increases and banked tens (hundreds?) of thousands on airport credit cards.

92% of former executive Michael Gobb’s credit card transactions had no receipts and zero supporting documentation. And a ton of the management team’s expenses lacked documentation or a business purpose, thousands of dollars of which were in direct payments or cash advances.

The audit makes 22 findings and provides 100+ recommendations for improvement. It has been referred to the Office of the Attorney General, the FBI and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Kentucky. And there are likely major IRS implications.

“With the release of this audit, we are confirming and quantifying earlier reports of shameful and excessive spending by the airport’s former executive director and his management team that did not properly serve the mission of the airport,” Luallen said. “With our recommendations, we are giving the airport board the necessary tools to strengthen its oversight and restore accountability.”

Specific examples of the craziness included $14,000+ for holiday hams, $2,300+ for four shotguns, a rifle and accessories, $1,962 for limousine service in New York City, $7,400 for a 2005 NASCAR Richard Petty “Driving Experience” for staff, $4,000+ at Hobbytown USA and $4,700+ for an overnight Atlanta trip.

The audit also uncovered a $168 charge to Club Venus, a Northern Kentucky “gentlemen’s club” (aka Hookers n Blow Central) and a $702 purchase for champagne (Radio Queen Francene and I have attempted to figure out WTF kind of bubbly that was because neither of us have seen anything above $350, ever) at Pure Las Vegas, a Nevada bar. The audit notes a 2004 purchase totaling $4,400 at a Dallas “strip club” (hookers? blow?) that was earlier reported by the Lexington Herald-Leader.

Some key audit findings noted in Luallen’s press release:

  • The former executive director was involved in an accident resulting in property damage while driving an airport vehicle. No accident report was completed despite the requirement of airport policy.
  • Airport funds were used to purchase more than 400 DVDs – with 69 missing. The former executive director initiated the DVD library.
  • Several years of financial records are missing from the airport and no action was taken to report the loss to law enforcement.
  • The airport nepotism policy was violated on at least three occasions.
  • Two members of the management team were made public safety officers and were issued handguns though not in compliance with airport policy or a requirement of the job descriptions.

CLICK HERE (9mb PDF) for a copy of the audit, which is hundreds of pages long.

See the audit’s findings along with highlights of our favorite expenditures after the jump…

Read moreBlue Grass Airport: $500K+ in Outrageous Spending

Happy Early Valentine’s Day Updates N Such

Tomorrow is the most commercial of faux “holidays,” so, enjoy! Eat lots of bad candy, get drunk, have all kinds of babies. It’s the American way.

And on that note, we’re over and out for a couple days.

Here’s some stuff:

The University of Kentucky is doing a great job at poorly educating this mining engineering major. [KY Kernel]

The Herald-Leader editorial board’s piece calling Greg Stumbo out for his pure stupidity about pregnancy has gone national. Greg doesn’t realize that pregnancy is not a disability. [H-L]

Chris Cillizza now ranks the 2010 U.S. Senate race against Jim Bunning as #4 for the second week in a row. It is, indeed, a golden opportunity for Democrats. [Washington Post – The Fix]

Two great pieces of hilarity that are neither political nor appropriate for work. [Toothpaste For Dinner & Natalie Dee]

Oh, that $15,000 credit for homebuyers? Yeah, AXED from the “stimulus” bill. Thank you, Mitch McConnell, for screwing America again. [Consumer Reports]

In honor of next Tuesday, a federal appeals court overturned new mountaintop mining rules. [MSN’s Money Central]

Looks like Binack Ruhbama made a joke about Judd Gregg:

We’re pretty much stoked that Barry is cool with making fun of himself.

Darlene Fitzgerald Has Some Real Characters

In case you needed proof that Darlene Fitzgerald is a whacko fringe candidate who should be wholly ignored:

On a December story about Daniel Mongiardo, some random guy calling himself Larry Kenter left a comment praising fringe candidate Darlene Fitzgerald:

Larry Kenter // Dec 18, 2008 at 10:19 pm

Hey guys, there’s a woman named Darlene Price that has already announced that she is a democrat candidate against Jim Bunning. She’s already gotten alot of support from veterans, cops, unions and women’s organizations. She’s a former federal investigator and government corruption whistle blower. Check out her web site, it’s very impressive:

We all thought it was majorly hilarious. Major.

Then well-known political activist Mike Bailey left a comment, which was spot-on:

Mike Bailey // Dec 19, 2008 at 10:23 pm

I spoke with Darlene, and I think she is very sharp. Unfortunately her wardrobe and website are not sharp, and her campaign staff and volunteers are not interested in feedback to correct those image problems. The atrocious website and dated outfits distract us from Darlene’s message. She can’t compete with Mongiardo or Conway or Crit in any case, but if she cut a more modern figure and had a decent site and some good staff, she could get her whistle-blower issues out into the public eye and maybe get the eventual nominee to adopt those issues. If something does not change in her campaign, she will end up fading into the background – which would be a shame.

Fine and dandy. Then yesterday, nearly a month-and-a-half later, this guy named Austin Price, who is affiliated with Fitzgerald’s “campaign” as her Campaign Chairman left a comment attacking Bailey:

Austin Price // Jan 23, 2009 at 5:39 pm

Mr. Bailey you have never spoken to Darlene. It was I who responded to your email request to be a paid consultant on Darlene’s campaign. I agree with your comment that Darlene is very sharp, and that is why she is needed in Washington. The rest of your comment seems disingenuous when compared with the overwhelmingly positive feed back regarding Darlene, her website and campaign in general. Don’t lose sight of what is really important: to send qualified people to Washington who will vote our interest.

Unfortunately for Mr. Price, Bailey sent me those emails a week earlier after my original story about Darlene and her awful website. And we decided to publish the email exchange between Bailey/Fitzgerald/Price. When you read them, you’ll see that Price is not only lying about what Bailey said but that Fitzgerald is apparently endorsing such a bad deed.

Here’s our original comment containing the messages.

UPDATE: HAHAHA! As a commenter has pointed out, Austin is Darlene’s HUSBAND. That information makes it even worse.

Mike Bailey did not request to be a paid consultant– or even to be a consultant– on Fitzgerald’s campaign. Bailey and former U.S. Congressional candidate Dr. Michael Kelley encountered Fitzgerald at an event. Bailey sent an email to Fitzgerald telling her how nice it was to meet her and offered some positive feedback. This guy Austin Price, an attorney, responded like an ignorant buffoon.

Let’s take a look at those emails.


Dr. Kelley and I greatly enjoyed meeting you, and were very impressed with you in person. We love the way you fight corruption and the “pay to play” system. We think you are tough and principled. Jack Conway and Dan Mongiardo will likely enter this primary. (By the way, when they get in, are you planning on sticking it out? )

I have some questions about issues that are not on your website. I’m not really looking for yes or no answers, but reasoned opinions on how you will deal with the wedge issues such as abortion, separation of church and state, gays, and guns. … I’d like to hear how you feel about those cultural hot-button issues, and how you will deal with them.

Read the rest of the juicy, juicy hilarity with which we prove Fitzgerland’s campaign is libeling Mike Bailey after the jump…

Read moreDarlene Fitzgerald Has Some Real Characters

Abominable Invisible Toilet Paper Seam Update

Okay, ladies and dudes, are Tom Jurich and Rod Blagojevich separated at birth or what? Similar hair, similar wardrobe, similar swagger. They both love having a huge ego. Both love playing dirty. Both get people fired if they don’t like what they have to say. Creeped out?

We hear through the terrible, America-hating rumor circuit here in Kentucky that DSCC folks are heavily researching Jack Conway (and everyone else) for 2010. Call us crazy, but we’re pretty sure no Democrat will be able to beat Trey Grayson. What a race this is shaping up to be.

Best line all day: No wonder we rely on touch rather than vision when confronted by a new roll of toilet paper and its Abominable Invisible Seam. [NYT]

You mean Ben Chandler is going to give up his cushy, easy job in order to run against Trey Grayson for the U.S. Senate? [Some Dude]

Poor Jesse Jackson, Jr. trying to buy a U.S. Senate seat. The crazy apple apparently doesn’t fall too far from the crazy tree. [ABC News]

If Ford didn’t need the money from the auto bailout, why’d it ask for it? [Huffington Post]

Got money burning a hole in your pocket? You’ll probably want to snatch up one of these Barry books. [Page One]

Oh, guess what, everyone has their panties in a twist because we’re bothered by the auto bailout and have the audacity to crack a joke or two. [The Bitters]

Jim King and David Tandy are going to fight each other until the bloody end. The King Mafia will probably try to print “Dr. King” signs for the west end again, he’ll figure out a way to get his daughter to, oh, who knows?, he’ll take all of your money and starve you to death and David will continue not being corrupt. And in other news, both want to be mayor. One will use the office for personal gain and for getting revenge. One won’t. [LEO Weekly]

Wednesday Dept of Tropical 53 Degrees

UPDATE: Haha. Awesome. We are awesome. Because it is TUESDAY, not Wednesday. This generic Nyquil isn’t to blame, though, but all the excitement of… oh, haha, whatever. We haven’t had espresso yet. And it’s after 11:00 A.M.

Gosh. It’s so fancy how the Mormon Church is now playing the role of victim. Never mind that this was the same church that conducted a national broadcast to every temple, calling on members to organize and write checks to the Proposition 8 campaign. The same church whose members donated more than half of the $40 million behind the discriminatory measure. Awww. Poor Mormons. [HRC]

Paul Patton says the Council on Postsecondary Education will name its new president at today’s meeting. Could it be Richard King or Robert Clarke? The Beshear Administration is happy with an out-of-state selection. But lots of Kentuckians are not. [Ryan Alessi]

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington has named Mitch McConnell as one of the most embarrassing members of congress. All because Hunter Bates made millions from grants for companies he represents as a lobbyist. And McConnell’s secret fundraising for the McConnell Center at the University of Louisville. [C-J’s Political Blog]

Don’t want to flood you with stuff from the Courier-Journal, but you’ve gotta read this story from Andy Wolfson about Louisville attorney Bill Ayers (for real). Allegedly acted as a bail bondsman and all kinds of, well, interesting shenanigans. Of course, this guy gets prosecuted for providing a service that people want while the years-long Steve Henry case sits, lingering, nothing happening. [C-J]

We mentioned this a couple weeks ago because it seems ridiculous and risky in most states. Will you be calling in gay tomorrow in order to protest by doing some sort of community service? Probably not, since you could be fired. Really great idea, right? Especially as we enter the The Great Depression Part 2. [Huffington Post]

What’s your take on the Teamsters in Louisville? Should they vote to accept no pay raises? Would ANYONE approve of no pay raises? [The ‘Ville Voice]

It’s Thursday. Let’s Waste The Entire Day.

Barry Osama is a Mac user! HOLLA. [Wired Magazine]

Calling in gay on December 10th. Is Day Without A Gay a good idea? Thoughts? [Day Without A Gay & Facebook]

Need something ridiculous and time waste-y to watch for a minute or so? Check this out! [Funny Waste of Time]

Jamie Palumbo clarified to say that he did not vote for Mitch McConnell. According to him, he told several people that he did not like Bruce Lunsford but never said he would vote for McConnell. Jury’s still out on Jane Jensen and Jennifer Miller– who once said that Bruce was trying to assassinate her. [Reports]

We told you how embarrassing and sad this was yesterday. Well, now it’s gone national. [Barefoot & Progressive]

Al Franken is up and down and this is the most terrifying photo of Al Franken ever. The end. Terrifying. [Wonkette]

Don’t you love how Rick knows, well, about zero about why it’s a bad idea to suddenly allow grocery stores to sell wine? Not only does it cheapen the experience, but, uh, it puts all of our local wine stores out of business lickity split. Especially in our fancy economy. (He probably drinks “Zinfandel” or “Franzia”…) [The ‘Ville Voice]

And in other news, a serious recession now appears all but assured. WE ARE ALL DYING OF THE POVERTY AND STARVATION! [Washington Post]

Barack Obama’s use of complete sentences is stirring controversy. His decision to use complete sentences in public carries with it certain risks, since after the last eight years many Americans may find his odd speaking style jarring. It’s so alienating to have a president who speaks English as if it were his native language! [Huffington Post]

Despite what bitter Clinton supporters tell you, Barack Obama isn’t afraid of the ho-mo-sexuals. He’s officially laid out his commitment to the gays in an eight-point homo plan. Calls for: passage of the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act, a gender-inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act, repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, repeal of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, opposition to any attempt to reintroduce an amendment to the Constitution to ban same-sex marriage, support for inclusive adoption rights, and an expanded war on HIV/AIDS. [365]