New Year’s Eve Oh Snap Update Dept

Jim Cauley, Beshear’s campaign manager and Chief of Staff, to temporarily head the Governor’s Office of Local Development. Naturally, it only took an hour for blog commenters to start throwing wag the dog accusations. We suggest holding criticism for the actual commissioner who will be named to replace Cauley. [PolWatchers]

Railing on Kentucky’s budget crisis and Steve Beshear, I think, but never really making much sense. Complete with ominous tones. Something about how he needs to get his butt in gear and not screw anything up? As if things weren’t tough enough trying to establish an administration while “fixing” the budget in a month’s time. [C-J]

The Herald-Leader has started it’s week-long series of legislative previews. The first tackles Beshear and the quickly hacked together budget. AKA the budget is screwed and everyone is about to just explode from stress. Our glowing and vibrant economy is just perfect and happy because everyone is wealthy. Surely the free market can solve this one, too. [H-L, H-L]

The debate for casinos will hit the legislature on January 8. Guess we can count on not getting anything else accomplished in 2008. Flip-flopper Jody Richards refuses to speak to the press about it all– even in his home neck of the woods. Excitement abounds! [BG Daily News]

Road construction in Winchester near the Mountain Parkway has created a sense of urgency in documenting and preserving Native American history. Once again, the rich white man and his ignorant subordinates fight to ignore Kentucky’s true history. Thankfully there are people in this world who won’t let it be forgotten. [H-L]

Mitch McConnell & friends love to spend borrowed money on their supporters and David Hawpe love to write about it. Frankly, we think keeping our legislative body kosher and free of pork would be quite nice. But even conservative “think tanks” know it’s not going to happen. [C-J]

Fletcher Screwed Nursing Homes

What, you thought Ernie Fletcher was history? Sorry. He and his cronies screwed things up so badly that we’ll be hearing about Ernie for decades to come. The man’s legacy is one of disgrace.

John Cheves is reporting that the Health and Family Services Cabinet is so broke nursing home inspectors can’t have their travel costs reimbursed.

In its final days, Gov. Ernie Fletcher’s administration warned the state’s nursing home inspectors that a “budget crisis” prevented them from being reimbursed for travel costs incurred on the job.

Inspectors also were warned that “there is NO MONEY in the budget at the present time,” so they should bring in pens and pencils from home and not use state paper to copy nursing home records unless “absolutely necessary.”

So much for that magical rainy day fund Ernest Lee used as a re-election tool. Thought our Commonwealth was in wonderful economic shape, Ernest?

David Adams reminds us of the Medicaid shortfall and looming pension fund disaster.

Propaganda & Such. Corporate Newsmedia Hacks Dept.

Times. They’re changing. Internet ad sales are set to overtake print publications in just a couple years, according to The Guardian. That makes the internets– and websites like Page One with 299,055 unique visitors and 703,483 page views in November alone– the third largest advertising medium on the planet, just behind television and newspapers. [The Guardian]

Forget the next four years. Balancing the budget for the current fiscal year is a disastrous task. State agencies have requested $166 million in additional state fund for this year. The rainy day fund allegedly has $231.5 million but people like Harry Moberly suggest cuts so we don’t have to spend it. What? [C-J]

Mountaintop removal gets some attention. Rep. Harry Moberly (yet, same guy) and more than a dozen other lawmakers saw first-hand the damage bestowed upon a community during mountaintop removal of coal. From land overburden to health problems like cancer, it’s time to stop. And time for people in eastern Kentucky to stop freaking out any time the negatives of coal mining are discussed. [Richmond Register, H-L]

63rd house district candidates. The candidates for Kenton County’s seat in the house of representatives– Jon Draud’s old seat– are: Will Terwort, Kenton Co Republican Committee; Kelly White, former McConnell aide; Alecia Webb-Eddington, director of Kentucky’s Office of Homeland Security, producer of the hideous television ads. [Pat Crowley]

Weird, ignorant biases. The Courier-Journal (and David Hawpe? Someone.) is showing their ignorant bias against Louisville’s 8664 initiative to save the Waterfront and avoid major expansion of I-64. Regardless of one’s views (a couple of us here aren’t sold on the 8664 bit) of the proposal or understanding of the issues at hand, how is it a good thing for the state’s largest newspaper to say things like, “The merry band of 8664 supporters has taken the group’s nutty proposal to rip up one of the nation’s busiest thoroughfares further than anyone would have guessed. But enough is enough.”? What on earth? Folks at the C-J– who do everything to further Gannett’s corporate bottom line– need to retire with their ugly ties. [C-J]

What’s the Treasurer’s office do with its spare time? Why, sell unclaimed property on eBay, of course. Is this a task Todd Hollenbach will be able to handle? Will a family member have to be hired to get the job done? Hopefully all of those gold watches and silver liquer goblets sell quickly. [eBay]

Don’t forget to contribute. It’s your chance to be a part of the effort to ditch Mitch McConnell by contributing to his eventual opponent. Nearly everyone reading this, the thousands of you, can afford to part with a couple dollars, and if you’re not a democrat you’re at least anti-Mitch-minded. So pony up! [Page One]

Tuesday Update Dept: Make a Decision Edition

First: Noticed anyone back in action recycling our stories from days and days ago with no attribution? Yeah, we noticed too. The smelling salts worked! Imitation is the best form of flattery, right? Right?

Cozy wozy lobbyists. Whoda thunk it? John Y. Brown III and Hunter Bates on the same team. We talked about them joining lobbying forces ages ago but this Alessi story is quite a bit more telling. From exclusive meetings for clients with Democratic Party chairperson Jennifer Moore to future runs for office, it’s all there. Behold the power of money and the realization that it’s now necessary to spend it on Democrats. And, no, we’re not trashing anyone. We’re capitalists and heart money and ad revenue. [H-L]

Jonboy’s replacement. Ernest Lee has set the election date for Jon Draud’s replacement in the state house. Jan 8. Kenton County Republican and Democratic party officials will select the candidates to run in the election with the winner serving out the rest of the newly selected Education Commissioner’s term. [PolWatchers]

Everyone had sex with Larry Craig. Oh, and he’s a pervert. In case you didn’t know, go read all about it. All kinds of gays. All kinds of Larry soliciting everyone. When will it end? It needs to end! The wide stance is so over. Even though McConnell’s Bluegrass Committee gave Craig $10,000. It’s so over. [Idaho Statesman]

McConnell is a warmonger. Continually supportive of this clusterfuck of a war, McConnell is trying to tie uncompleted budget work to war funding. When will Democrats stand up to this mess? Why do we continually allow this crap to go down? Our country is at the very end of the dead end street and the Democrats have allowed this warmonger to build a brick wall. Oh, and Ted Kennedy is the devil or something. [AP, The Arena]

Piss or get off the pot! In case you missed it yesterday? We laid out some pros and cons and suggested any potential candidates in the U.S. Senate race against Mitch McConnel just flipping get in the race. The posturing and lack of action is getting old and it’s high time we stop holding this process hostage. Come on! [Page One]

The Day After Monday: Medicaid Lies Update Dept

Beshear picks the right person. Selecting Jennifer Moore to lead the Democratic Party is the right thing to do. We don’t know anyone who works harder or who is more determined to get the job done. Jennifer is a force to be reckoned with and will lead the KDP in a manner that will finally bring women to the table. Kudos to Jennifer. [PolWatchers]

Primary mega bucks after the primary. Steve Beshear’s camp raised $579,010 in primary campaign dollars after the primary and put them to use for the general election thanks to a 2004 federal court ruling. Ernie Fletcher, by comparison, raised only $33,150 in primary dollars after the May election. Complete lack of strategy. [C-J]

McConnell the Grim Reaper. For real. He told the Federalist Society on Friday that not only is the Senate where legislation goes to die (finally– he admits it) but he called himself the Grim Reaper. We’re not making this up. All right for hilarious campaign and commercial material. [CNS]

Republican spin? Apparently that’s the case in Hardin County. Little white lies were told by Republican Judge-Executive Harry Barry about Ernest Lee allegedly bringing a billion dollars to Hardin county. The only trouble with that story is that it was the legislature who delivered the definitely not a billion bucks to the county– not Fletcher. [News-Enterprise]

More drama in Lexington. The city’s jail troubles just keep on keepin’ on. This time it’s jail employee Ronald Gaunce who was arrested for impersonating a police officer. Gaunce used lights and a siren to stop a driver on I-64. Is this the best the jail can do? Is every employee an absolute embarrassment? Come on! [H-L]

Medicaid shortfall is huge. Ernie Fletcher lied. After all the tales the braggart had to tell it turns out Ernest Lee didn’t get the Medicaid budget under control. Health & Family Services submitted a budget request on November 15 requesting $389 million to cover a shortfall for this fiscal year. $389 million. [Mark Hebert]

Jim Waters: Leaner government? Treasure the thought

Jim Waters misses the mark this week.

If you oppose unnecessary spending on children’s health-care programs, Hollenbach and his political siblings probably consider you “anti-children” or “anti-family.” If you support offering parents a choice – any kind of choice – on where their children attend school, then they call you “anti-public education.”

Way to use Republican spin, Jim! Unnecessary spending on children’s health care? What? Yeah, the zillion children in this country don’t deserve care. That’s the ticket.

Providing taxpayer-funded vouchers for children to go to private religious institutions is hardly being anti-choice. It’s about avoiding the real problem and not making public education work. It’s about the separation of church and state. It’s not a black & white issue and painting it as such is closed-minded and uneducated.

And using Todd Hollenbach as a poster child for Democratic ideology was just hilarious.



Leaner government? Treasure the thought

By Jim Waters

A chasm exists between anti-government zealots and those who believe in limited government.

One believes in anarchy. The other holds to the principle offered in a statement attributed most often to Thomas Jefferson: “government governs best which governs least.”

Again, that’s “governs least,” not “governs not at all.”

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