Got This Press About Ten Minutes Ago…

Since I’m at a party, I’m just gonna give you the full release. My apologies for not summarizing things.

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 29, 2009

The President today declared a major disaster exists in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and ordered Federal aid to supplement Commonwealth and local recovery efforts in the area struck by severe storms, tornadoes, flooding, and mudslides during the period of May 3-20, 2009.The President’s action makes Federal funding available to affected individuals in the counties of Breathitt, Floyd, Owsley, and Pike.Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.

Federal funding also is available to State and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by the severe storms, tornadoes, flooding, and mudslides in the counties of Ballard, Breathitt, Carlisle, Clay, Crittenden, Floyd, Grayson, Hickman, Jackson, Knott, Lawrence, Lee, Leslie, Letcher, Madison, Magoffin, Marshall, Owsley, Perry, Pike, Russell, and Trigg.

Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures for the entire Commonwealth.

W. Craig Fugate, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of Homeland Security, named Kim. R. Kadesch as the Federal Coordinating Officer for Federal recovery operations in the affected area.

FEMA said additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the Commonwealth and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.

FEMA said that residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties can begin applying for assistance tomorrow by registering online at http://www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA(3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: FEMA (202) 646-4600.

Thank goodness!

TGIF! Mongiardo Backlash Commenced Quickly

Happy Early Birthday to you-know-who!

Bruce Lunsford’s former spokesperson, Elisabeth Smith, has certainly gone a long way since the 2007 gubernatorial race in Kentucky. Check out her snarky quotes about Ralph Nader in the Washington Post. Lis is currently the communications director for Terry McAuliffe’s gubernatorial campaign in Virginia. [WaPo]

She’s also the focus of a fancy article in The Nation! Such a shame the Beshear Administration let her slip through the cracks instead of bringing her in to the Kentucky Democratic Party. KDP would be in much better shape right now. [The Nation]

The Lawson-Nighbert closed hearing transcript has been ordered released by a federal judge. [Bluegrass Politics]

Go read Jonathan Meador’s take on the poll Daniel Mongiardo released yesterday. [LEO’s FatLip]

Speaking of the poll, Rick made a joke that actually made us laugh! [The ‘Ville Voice]

Don’t you love how Kim Geveden acts like a thousand bucks from a campaign donor to meet with Jack Conway is a bad idea? We didn’t hear him complaining when he begged coal operators to drop $4,600 for a moment with Daniel Mongiardo. Oh, and Kim? It’s not Jack Conway’s campaign that is engaging in negative personal attacks. It’s you, Daniel Mongiardo, Jim Pence, crazy Jim Anderson Stivers, Larry O’Bryan and the rest of your crew that’s rarely won a race. All of you. Personal attacks. [Pat Crowley]

Yesterday the Kentucky Forward Coalition held a press conference to discuss the unfairness in our tax system and the need for Governor Steve Beshear and legislators in Frankfort to do something about it. Unfortunately, there’s not going to be an overhaul of the tax system in the Bluegrass any time soon and not even the group of folks who met yesterday have offered solutions. Why? Lost cause. Not happening. [Press Release]

Ronnie Ellis has a bit more about the tax presser. [News & Tribune]

Where is FEMA? Certainly not helping out in eastern Kentucky. And what the crap is taking Kentucky so long to get this resolved? Three weeks is plenty long enough. [WKYT]

Thursday Morning Dept of Mitch Still Whining

Rather than offer solutions, Mitch McConnell does what he always does. Bitch and moan and get wealthier. [Ronnie Ellis]

Marcus Carey, who has a son working for Jim Bunning, says he’ll have a video interview with him later today. We can only imagine the hard-hitting questions Carey will have to ask. [Marcus Carey]

KET is once again making us proud. Tuesday, June 16 at 9:00 P.M. Eastern, KET will host – Catching a Killer: Preventing Colon Cancer in Kentucky – a live call-in show that will provide answers about colon cancer. The show’s panel will include Dr. Whitney Jones, founder of the Colon Cancer Prevention Project; Torrie Harris, DrPH, director of the Kentucky Office of Health Equity; Dr. Jon Hourigan, colorectal surgeon and professor at UK and Ted McCoy, a colon cancer survivor. Tune in! [KET]

You know, the death penalty really is brutal vengeance. And it’s a cop-out for murderers and horrible people who deserve to pay every day until they die for what they’ve done. Death is just an easy way out for the worst of the worst. [Enquirer]

An impoundment breach added to flood damage in the Jackson/Salyersville area, according to a mining expert. Great news, eh? [H-L]

Rick may think the LOUISVILLE MEGA CAVERN is about as retarded as retarded gets. But we’re still excited to pay the joint a visit sometime soon. [The ‘Ville Voice]

It’s been nine months since Max Gilpin died of heat stroke during football practice at PRP High School. JCPS Superintendent Sheldon says the school district’s report on his death is still not complete. Are you surprised? We hear it’s the least of his worries with the Board of Education these days. [Toni Konz]

Newsflash: Kentuckians Are Terribly Unhealthy

Today the Department for Public Health released results of its annual health survey.

20.3% of those 18 and older report only fair or poor general health. Residents of Appalachia report much higher rates of poor health and chronic diseases than those in non-Appalachian areas. And those Kentuckians with only a high school diploma or less and those with lower incomes? Obviously much higher rates of poor health.

According to the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Systems data, 14.4% of adults lack health care coverage. Those in Appalachia, however, are at 20%. Men at 15.4% and those aged 18-24 are at 29.8%.

Some other key findings from the survey:

  • 30.4 percent of Kentucky adults reported that they did not participate in any physical activities or exercise such as running, golf, gardening or walking for exercise other than their regular jobs.
  • 9.6 percent of Kentuckians reported that they had been told by a doctor that they currently had asthma.
  • 66.8 percent of Kentuckians are overweight or obese (have a Body Mass Index of 25 or greater).
  • 30.2 percent of Kentuckians are obese (have a Body Mass Index of 30.0 or greater).
  • Kentucky adults reported some of the highest prevalence of chronic diseases in the nation, such as diabetes, stroke and heart disease.
  • 9.8 percent of Kentucky adults reported being told by a doctor that they had diabetes (not including women who were told they had diabetes when they were pregnant).
  • 5.8 percent of Kentuckians reported that they had been told by a doctor that they had coronary heart disease.
  • 5.4 percent of Kentuckians reported that they had been told by a doctor that they had suffered a heart attack.
  • 3.5 percent of Kentuckians reported being told by a doctor that they had suffered a stroke.
  • 25.2 percent of Kentuckians reported having smoked at least 100 cigarettes in their entire lifetime and now smoke some days or every day.

Surprised?

Thursday Morning Dept of Releases & Such

Seen the new Friends of Coal license plate? Your head is going to spin. [James Bruggers]

Everything you’ve ever (or never) wanted to know about the Rick Pitino-Karen Sypher nightmare. [C-J]

The bourbon industry is ready to stick it to Frankfort. We support this move entirely. [H-L]

State Government is now ready to accept claims for extended unemployment benefits. Education and Workforce Development Secretary Helen Mountjoy announced that the state has activated an Extended Benefits period triggering the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to fund up to an additional 20 weeks of unemployment insurance. The cabinet is in the process of identifying and notifying individuals who are potentially eligible. [Click For Additional Details]

Legislators in Frankfort seem to be incapable of solving our alleged budget crisis. And no one wants to step up to the plate to offer new, innovative solutions. [Ronnie Ellis]

The Kentucky Department for Public Health released results from the 2008 Kentucky Youth Tobacco Survey that revealed a continuing decline in youth smoke rates. Results show that 9.7% of middle school students are current smokers, compared to 12.1% in 2006. Middle school smoking has declined 56% since 2000. High school smoking is at 26.8%, up from 24.5% in 2006. High school smoking has declined 28% since 2000. [CHFS Survey Results]

Governor Beshear toured areas of eastern Kentucky impacted by recent flooding. Check the local story out. You’ll see Rep. Keith Hall, who infamously shirked his duties as a legislator to attend a basketball game in Florida during the legislative session. Glad to see him back at work. [Williamson Daily News]

Peep the rest after the jump…

Read moreThursday Morning Dept of Releases & Such

Tuesday Afternoon Is All About Fancy Gambling

We’re looking forward to a long weekend in the eastern part of the state. We often have difficulty remembering all great things to show outsiders (because we take them for granted and consider them part of everyday life), so if you’ve got a can’t-miss suggestion, give us a yell. No, catfish noodling is not a good suggestion. But never say never!

And on a related note – can you believe hotel rates in Appalachia these days? I feel like some old lady from the Depression Era talking about the price of oats. But goodness gracious. What the heck happened after I left? We’re all in the wrong line of business!

Several presidents from horse tracks around the state will join the Kentucky Equine Education Project at the Capitol for a 1:00 P.M. press conference tomorrow. From what we can tell, they plan to push for support of expanded gambling at race tracks. [Various Reports]

Horsey folks just told us the presser will now most likely occur sometime next week due to scheduling conflicts.

Peter Baniak, deputy managing editor for news at the Herald-Leader, has been named editor of the Lexington paper. [H-L]

That’s right. Everyone thinks Larry Clark is gonna “flop” with the gambling issue. Kentucky loses out again. [Stephenie Steitzer]

When will Barack Obama end Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell? When will he fulfill his promise? When will we stop needlessly ousting some of our best and brightest soldiers? [Americablog]

What are Supreme Court shortlisters saying when they think no one is listening? Thank jeebus for the YouTube machine. [Slate]

Just in case you need something awesome to fill your late afternoon. [Play Him Off Keyboard Cat]

Anyone else see this awesome exchange earlier on MSNBC? You will not be disappointed. [Huffington Post]

Tuesday Dept of Getting Raped By Gas Prices

Yeah, I said it. Raped. We’re all getting raped by gas prices. $2.56, up from under $2.00 a few days ago? Yeah, it’s pretty awesome. We like it a lot.

Eastern Kentucky has been devastated by floods. Do your part to give back. We plan to while we’re in the mountains this weekend. [H-L]

You won’t want to miss this video of LEO Weekly’s Jonathan Meador getting accosted by Republican JD Sparks at the annual Lincoln Day Dinner. Absolute hilarity. LEO plans to press charges against Sparks sometime tomorrow. [Page One]

Jefferson County Public Schools faces a $44 million budget shortfall. [C-J]

We’re all gonna die of the poverty before the pig flu, maybe. [Bluegrass Politics]

Really, the University of Louisville needs to sign that damn document and stop with dicking cancer charities around. We’re losing what little respect we have for UofL as an institution by the the second. [The ‘Ville Voice]

Morehead psychologist Chad Stafford, who admitted to downloading images of child pornography, will serve 12.5 years in federal prison. He’ll also be under lifetime supervision by parole officials and will have limits on his computer use and interaction with children. The guy’s attorney says he never had inappropriate contact with children but this bit is interesting: Bunning commented that Stafford’s was the most bizarre child-pornography case he’d seen, citing a nude Barbie doll found in Stafford’s hotel room at one point with its arms, legs and neck tied, and the fact he downloaded pictures of nude mannequins, according to the news release.. [H-L]

This Rick Pitino-Karen Sypher thing is starting to heat up. Excitement abounds, ladies. So get ready for it. Pure, unadulterated madness. [C-J]

Whattya know? Larry Clark is pulling Greg Stumbo’s strings on the gambling front. He, Stumbo and the Governor are meeting tomorrow to discuss an up or down vote on expanded gambling. [Joe Arnold]

Who believes Mitch McConnell has greater political muscle after the defection of Arlen Specter? Not many folks. [Roll Call]