It’s the Weekend Before a Dead News Week

Man, we thought the weekend before the holidays would be boring. Definitely not the case!

Something to keep under your hat for a while: There’s a state legislator (a Democrat) that often embarrasses Kentucky. They’ve kept a pretty major scandal under wraps the past few years. We’re gonna figure out a way to tell that story shortly after the holidays. It won’t surprise any Frankfort regulars, who already know the story, but it may surprise a few readers. It’s by no means an exclusive, but it’s definitely time we start talking about it. Because it’s a story of nasty, nasty hypocrisy.

Really, has Tom Burch gone crazy the past few years or what? A lady he dated has been given a $63,000 job in the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. Burch is chairman of the House Health and Welfare Committee, and he recommended her for the job. It’s beginning to get as crazy as can be. If all of these messes allegedly involving Burch turn out to be true, he needs to step aside for new political blood to take over. [Bluegrass Politics]

Ten Reasons For National Health Care. [Daily Puke]

More from the H-L folks: Who really thinks this slots at racetracks bill of of Greg Stumbo’s will actually get anywhere? We definitely enjoy the thought of eliminating vehicle property taxes. But let’s get real– that’ll never happen in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. [Bluegrass Politics]

Whattya know? Ben Carter is passing the reigns of the website he stole from Joe Sonka. Louisvillians will probably get familiar with him the poorer they become, as he’s an attorney at Legal Aid. Unfortunately, though, he still owes Joe Sonka a good deal of money and we won’t be forgetting that any time soon. [BlueGrassRoots]

Could someone please (seriously) point us in the direction of finding out exactly what Hal Rogers has done for eastern Kentuckians lately? We’re not being jerks, here, just legitimately asking. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

Gov. Beshear & Julianne Moore Visit Whitley Co

Governor Steve Beshear, actress Julianne Moore and Advocate Mark Shriver participated in a Save the Children event at Whitley Central Primary School. Save the Children’s programs for rural communities provide literacy, physical activity, nutrition and early childhood support to children in need.

From a press release:

“It is essential that we provide children in our state with the vital skills to become successful professionals,” said Gov. Beshear. “One of my top priorities for the commonwealth has been quality education. It is critical for our state to continue programs such as Save the Children to be competitive in the global market.”

Moore, a supporter of this program, was inspired by her recent visit to Save the Children’s early childhood development, literacy and fitness programs in Tennessee. She created the Save the Children Valentine’s Day Campaign, which aims to give families a way to make a difference for children in need in the U.S.

“We’re a country where every child should have an equal opportunity yet one in six children live in poverty,” said Moore. “The only way to give these children opportunity is through education and Save the Children is helping us reach that goal. The phenomenal 90 percent success rate at the Whitley program sets a powerful example for our leaders in Washington, D.C.”

Save The Children Federation, Inc. received an Appalachian Regional Commission grant for $500,000 to continue a literacy program in 14 southeastern Kentucky schools. The federal grant was matched by the Commonwealth in the amount of $500,000.

Heine Bros & KFTC Fight Mountaintop Removal

We’re usually not a fain of Heine Brothers’ Coffee because it’s, well, just like Starbucks. And because the owners sucker people into their cult, the ManKind Project, which preys on young members of Alcoholics Anonymous. But this is a good cause. For the next five weeks, Heine Brothers’ Coffee in Louisville will be hosting a show of photography depicting scenes of mountaintop removal from across eastern Kentucky.

Visit the Gardiner Lane location of Heine Bros (3060 Bardstown Rd, by the Watterson Expressway) now through January 14th to view the work and find out how you can stop the devastation of our beautiful Appalachian gem of a Commonwealth.

The show is present jointly with Kentuckians For The Commonwealth. And $0.50 from the sale of every 3/4lb bag of Mountain Dream coffee will be donated to KFTC to further the organization’s efforts to stop mountaintop removal.

And in other news, stream protection legislation has been pre-filed by Rep. Don Pasley.

“This bill would keep mining out of the streams, it’s as simple as that,” said Truman Hurt, a former Perry County coal miner and member of Kentuckians For The Commonwealth.

“The stream saver bill would prevent the appropriation of public waters as waste disposal sites for coal mine wastes, by prohibiting dumping of mine spoil in streams,” Rep. Pasley said as he sponsored similar legislation in the 2008 General Assembly. “I believe it is the best policy for the commonwealth and the long-term health of the region and of our state’s waters.

Since known idiot Jim Gooch is on his way out as chairman of the Natural Resources and Environment Committee, you can bet this will FINALLY get out of committee for a vote.

Governer Beshear Could Be Making a Mistake

Really, using excess coal severance tax funds to help balance the state’s budget?

LOUISVILLE – Gov. Steve Beshear defended his plan Friday to divert about $17.5 million headed for coal counties to help address a $456 million state budget shortfall.

But the Democratic governor added that he was “open” to discussing the move with state legislators.

House Speaker Jody Richards and several state lawmakers and officials from coal-producing counties oppose using excess proceeds from the coal severance tax to balance the state budget.

Richards, D-Bowling Green, said it would be unfair to impact particular geographical regions of the state. Coal counties, particularly rural areas in Eastern and Western Kentucky, have come to rely on coal severance tax receipts as a major source of their revenue.

Let’s just talk about this for a second.

Has the Governor ever stepped foot in some of these counties in eastern and western Kentucky? Does he realize there’s a reason that Appalachia, in particular, is the most impoverished region in the United States?

We thought the idea of Beshear’s public tour was to make him seem more “in touch” with reality. And. Um.

What the heck are these people thinking?

Daniel Mongiardo at this Weekend’s RAM Clinic

From this weekend’s RAM Clinic in eastern Kentucky:

“As a practicing physician in neighboring Perry County, I see day in and day out the health struggles of those in our rural Kentucky communities. This is not only due to lack of access but the increasing cost of healthcare, which has risen exponentially in recent years,” said Lieutenant Governor Daniel Mongiardo. “The RAM Clinic offers an invaluable resource for so many in the region who otherwise would have limited options for both prevention and treatment of illness.”

Now, if only we could make this a more regular occurrence in eastern Kentucky. Maybe the mainstream will pick it up? I know, I know… wishful thinking.

Oh Snap Monday! Everybody’s Broke & On Meth

Did you know that sagging pants promotes a lifestyle of gangs, drugs, crime and violence? Yeah, that’s the ticket, crazy Judy Green. Get kids to pull up their sagging pants and everything bad will just disappear! This is one of the most absurd things we’ve read in a few days. When will someone with common sense run against this woman so the West End of Louisville can truly see some progress? [C-J]

Wow. Former LEO editor Cary Stemle’s being quoted all over the place. [Clarion Ledger]

Why is Joe Gerth now writing about Christmas shopping? We’re not even kidding. Are budget cuts this severe? This is what happens when you kill off half your staff at a major paper. The political guy ends up writing about shopping. [C-J]

OH MY GOD. The cover of Today’s Woman? REALLY? Hahahahaha. Can’t breathe. Laughter. Ouch. [Today’s Woman]

Betty Butterfield on Election 2008. [YouTube]

Louisville and Lexington are broke. Broke like Gary Coleman broke. So what should they cut? Chime in. [The ‘Ville Voice & Bluegrass Politics]

All right for a ridiculous catfight over “clean coal.” Don’t you love how some people have to make it about “God” and whether or not someone loves Kentucky enough? [Barefoot & Progressive]

Free Health Care In Knott County Sat & Sun

The Remote Area Medical Clinic (RAM) will be in Leburn (Knott County) this weekend.

RAM will offer free medical, dental and vision services to hundreds (thousands?) of people in eastern Kentucky who have gone without for whatever reason. And it has the potential to literally change lives. So if you’ve suffered or have gone without, head to the Knott County Sports Complex at 450 Kenny Champion Loop this Saturday and Sunday

According to a press release, Lt. Governor Daniel Mongiardo will be there on Saturday from 3:00 to 6:00.