Mountaintop Removal Wins, Streams Lose

It’s official. Mountaintop removal wins.

The Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday approved a last-minute rule change by the Bush administration that environmentalists fear will lead to coal companies burying more Appalachian streams with excess rock and dirt from surface mining.

The change rewrites a 1983 rule that prohibited dumping the fill from mountaintop mining within 100 feet of streams. Environmentalists argue that regulators have not properly enforced the rule, and there were some exceptions that allowed mine debris in stream areas. Government figures show that 535 miles of streams were buried or diverted between 2001 and 2005, more than half of them in the mountains of Appalachia.

The 11th-hour change before President Bush leaves office would eliminate a tool that citizens groups have used in lawsuits to keep mining waste out of streams. Mining companies had been pushing for the change for years, and Kentucky elected officials had weighed in on both sides of the debate in recent weeks.

Looks like eastern Kentucky is going to get a lot less mountainous.

Friday Afternoon Stuff We’re Reading About

You can call for a recount. But it won’t change the fact that the law was broken when ballots were illegally removed from a voting machine and potentially tampered with. The County Clerk is responsible in this situation– as they have already admitted what went down– and voters are already disenfranchised. [Mark Hebert]

We’re selling everything and going to work at Homeland Security.  After we stop taking millions of dollars from Trey Grayson and Bruce Lunsford, who bankroll us, obviously. [Bluegrass Politics]

If you have absolutely no life or you have a desire to see just how dark Doug Hawkins’ tan from a can is, things just got a lot better for you. Now you can watch Louisville’s Metro Council meetings on the internets. Supply your own puke bucket and caffeine. [The ‘Ville Voice]

One of our favorite things to do is peruse The Rural Blog operated by Al Cross. Give it a read sometime. He always has goodies like the flashback to a mining disaster over 40 years ago. [The Rural Blog]

For all of you Robert Felner junkies: We hear Jennifer Taylor, one of Felner’s now-infamous girlfriends, has resigned from the University of Louisville as of yesterday. She’s taken a job at Vanderbilt. Her most significant achievement at UofL was claiming that Bob Ronau sexually harassed her (allegedly a directive from Felner). And it should be noted that once University officials got all the facts and heard the entire story, they decided that her claims had no merit. We hear something similar happened in St. Louis, but don’t have the time to dig into it. No fewer than a dozen faculty members at UofL have gotten in touch today to let us know she’s gone. [Multiple Reports]

Man, it’s so sad to hear Mitch McConnell and other Federalist Society folks complaining about their uteruses. Because they know what it’s like to have one. You know how it is. So tough being a rich white dude with a uterus. [Washington Post]

And Mitchell is still bitter over not privatizing social security. Seriously. After the serious dog shiz this country has been in financially the past several months. That’s what he’s upset about. [CQ Politics]

State budget shortfall at $456 million? Pretty awesome. [Bluegrass Politics]

Oh, Jennifer Moore continues to refuse to admit she’s a goner at the Kentucky Democratic Party. Check out her response. We love the non-denial denial. [West Kentucky Politics]

OH NOES! GREG STUMBO ON THE LOOSE!

The fear! Wild dogs are roaming Prestonsburg!

Why does Greg Stumbo hate Prestonsburg? Why won’t he get all brave and save Prestonsburg from these wild dogs?

Prestonsburg is on alert for a pack of wild dogs. According to the Floyd County Times, the city has issued a warning for residents to watch for a pack of approximately 10 dogs. The dogs were first seen in an elementary school parking lot on Monday. Prestonsburg Mayor Jerry Fannin told the newspaper, “Then they moved on through the town and eventually brought down a deer here in downtown.” The deer was a 150-pound buck.

“Downtown” Prestonsburg. Haha. Gosh. We miss Eastern Kentucky.

Wednesday Update Dept Of Cold, Rainy Stuff

While the McConnell campaign deserves praise for using the web during the general election, buying some Google ads here and there and occasionally putting a commercial on YouTube is hardly the mark of being web savvy. Republicans have a long way to go. Slowly but surely. (No, that doesn’t mean Democrats are there, either, outside of Obama.) [U.S. News & World Report]

From David Hawpe: “In an awful environment for a Democrat in Kentucky, with Barack Obama atop his party’s ticket, Lunsford gave McConnell the scare of his political life.” [C-J]

Utahns stand up to their state’s crazy Mormon bigotry. Check the video. And then crawl back in your Republican hidey hole. [Barefoot & Progressive]

Aww, the corrupt Pineville mayor finally resigned. [Bluegrass Beat]

You know, it’d pay to actually pay attention before spouting off in some uncontrolled fashion. Major newspapers everywhere bring up racism in Kentucky because so many people (21% of Democrats in the primary and 9+% of individuals in the general election (both Dems & Repubs, an even higher number than those in the primary) admitted that they voted on the basis of race. It’s awesome watching all the mouth-breathers coming out of the woodwork to proclaim everyone is stupid for discussing, oh, I dunno, FACTS. Yeah, those poor, discriminated against “Southern Whites.” [C-J]

Can you believe it? Dubya finally said that he wishes he hadn’t spoken in front of that retarded “Mission Accomplished” banner in 2003. [CNN]

What’s that? Oh, right, it’s the sound of more than half of McCain voters believing that Obama is or was Muslim, with 31.7% saying “He used to be Muslim and still has too many connections to Islam.” 11.2% actually believe he’s Muslim. 59.8% of McCain voters are homophobic. The top four issues for Obama voters: The economy 66%, Access to health care 63%, Iraq war 50%, The environment 44%. Top four issues for McCain voters? Character 54%, Abortion 53%, Fighting Islamic radicalism 46%, Cleaning up government 46%. [BeliefNet]

It’s Thursday Morning. Everyone Still Kicking?

AFSCME says it had nothing to do with the negative flyer about Mitch McConnell. Even though the organization paid for similar radio ads. Either way, it’s a failed tactic. You can’t out someone unless you’ve got definitive proof. [The New Republic]

George W. Bush invited Barack Obama to the White House. This is going to make for interesting news coverage, isn’t it? Oh, to be a fly on the wall. [C-J Blog]

Behind The Scenes: Newsweek On McCain In The Dark, Obama Threats, And More. Computer attacks, silencing Palin, all kinds of craziness about Sarah launching the Ayers thing on her own. [HuffPo & Newsweek]

Oh, wait, it gets better! Turns out Sarah Palin really is a cluster-eff and a nightmare to deal with. Fox News has the skinny. Check these videos. She seriously didn’t know that Africa wasn’t a country. [HuffPo]

Will my prediction that Mitch McConnell may move toward the center and be woah less partisan come true? [H-L]

A little bit of history was made in Murray on Tuesday. Murray State University student Greg Anderson was elected to the Murray City Council. At 23-years-old, Anderson is now the youngest elected official in Kentucky. Anderson said that he is excited looking forward to working for voters. [Press Release]

What’s that? Yeah, it’s four counties in the far reaches of eastern Kentucky voted for Barack Obama. Elliott (Sandy Hook), Menifee (Frenchburg), Wolfe (Campton) and Rowan (Morehead). The only other counties that voted for Obama were Jefferson, Fayette, Henderson and Hancock. [PolWatchers]

Wednesday Morning Dept of Camps Heat Up

Ben Chandler finally grew a pair and he started campaigning for Bruce Lunsford. [Fort Mill Times & H-L]

That’s right. The U.S. Senate race in Kentucky is the second most important national election. [HuffPo]

Even Faux News is all up on the race. Shilling for Mitch McConnell, but still on the race. They interviewed Bruce yesterday, as well. [Faux News]

The Los Angeles Times has taken notice. “In Kentucky, even McConnell’s supporters concede that the senator is in a tough contest.” That’s gotta burn a little. [LA Times]

Oh, the Chicago Tribune, as well. “McConnell is one of at least a half-dozen Republican senators in danger of being booted from office.” [Chicago Tribune]

Religiocrat Mike Huckabee’s Political Action Committee sent out a fundraising email blast for Mitch McConnell. Huckabee says the media is trying to call the race before it’s officially over– which means he’s terrified of the polls. And he says there are strong conservatives across Kentucky who are on the ballot. Hahahaha. Oh, how pee-inducing. Oh, and he says Mitch supports lower taxes and less government, which is the oppositve of what he means. In addition to only supporting “traditional marriage” between one man and one woman. How quaint. [Email Blast]

Ruh ro. Greg Stumbo called on Mitch to release his military discharge records. “He’s obviously not proud of his record, Sen. McConnell isn’t, or he would have shown it by now… Something isn’t correct about it that might cause a lot of people, including veterans, to take a second look at him.” Naturally, McConnell’s campaign is now terrified and spinning out of control. You’re going to want to read the rest of what Greg had to say. [PolWatchers]

Okay, reporters, working for a crappy station in eastern Kentucky is NOT an excuse for terrible grammar and awful work. Buck up, folks. If we can do it sometimes? Surely to goodness you can do it. [WYMT]

End of the Day Stuff Because We’re Tired

Okay. We’re SO going home. Later, ladies.

Our new MacBook Pro won’t be here til THURSDAY. We are very unhappy.

Growing Doubts About McCain’s Judgment, Age and Campaign Conduct. Obama’s Lead Widens: 52%-38%. According to The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. [People Press]

Dems in Kentucky Want to Capitalize on Disgust With Washington and Ditch Mitch. The Huffington Post is all up on this sinking ship that is Mitch McConnell’s re-election bid. Rats jumping off the ship, dudes! Rats. [HuffPo]

Can you imagine Mitch McConnell walking around in Harlan County? Haha, well, now you don’t have to. He actually went there. Check it out. [Chickenhawk’s Blog]

The Kentucky Democratic Party has launched its Election Protection Hotline staffed by attorneys an volunteers. You may call 888-4KYVOTE to learn more about your rights, report problems or get answers on Election day. And just in case the KDP effs you over, make sure you call Trey Grayson, every television station in the state and us. [Press Release]

The Commonwealth of Kentucky also launched a task force to investigate and prevent voter fraud. The offices of Trey Grayson and Jack Conway announced the launch of Kentucky’s Election Fraud Hotline at 1-800-328-VOTE. It’s available throughout the year during normal business hours. On Election Day, November 4, 2008, calls will be received from 6:00 A.M. Eastern until 7:00 P.M. Eastern. [Press Release]

Did you know? John Yarmuth is personally responsible for Ford’s abysmal sales year. Anne Northup sent out an email blast telling us all about it. He’s also personally responsible for high gas prices, which have killed Ford’s sales. Maybe it would help if they made a vehicle or two that got more than 12 miles per gallon? Common sense is tough, we know. But get real. Anne is such a failure it’s getting disappointing to watch. [Email Blast]

Our beloved Wonkette finally catches on that there’s a U.S. Senate race in Kentucky! Weeks and weeks late, but whatever. Nice. [Wonkette]