Oh Snap Update Dept. Hillary Confuses Pundits Edition

BGR states the case for why Andrew Horne will beat Mitch McConnell. Story refers to an item we mentioned yesterday but goes on to discuss the back story. Lots about people being fed up with the usual Washington insiders. [BGR]

Democratic Representative Royce Adams (Dry Ridge/Northern Kentucky) is preparing legislation to allow students to pray whenever they want in school under any circumstances. This would go above and beyond current laws allowing students to pray in the classroom as long as they aren’t disruptive. Perfect example of time wasting and pandering when we have a state that’s near death. [Hebert]

In case you haven’t heard, Ernest Lee released the names of the donors to his defense fund. Everyone in the country rolled their eyes and began questioning the political IQ of the former governor. Nothing shady popped up and we’re all left wondering why on earth Fletcher allowed the fund to become a campaign issue. Stupidest. Move. Ever. [H-L]

Louisville continues a slow slide into the 19th century. Under the leadership of Mayor for Life/the Jerrycrat, Louisville has slipped behind nearly every major metro area in the country when it comes to public health. Ignorance prevails over reality for the city’s Metro Council. Regression, regression, regression and Jerrycrat does nothing to push progress– even when some backwater folks think banning alcohol sales will kill crime. [C-J 1, 2]

Irvine police officers arrested their own police chief last week after he (Chief Jim Crowe— real name) allegedly intimidated a witness and resisted arrest. The officers were subsequently fired by the Irvine city council. What the heck is going down in Estill County these days? [H-L]

Did you know? Hillary beat Barack Obama in New Hampshire last night. Everyone and their mom is confused as all get out and can’t believe their posturing about an Obama victory turned out to be for naught. They’re all rushing to explain away their failed predictions instead of just humbly admitting they were horribly mistaken. [Newsweek]

P.S. Could someone please do something controversial or questionable today? It’s a slowish news day. Come on, Frankfort folks, cause a scene.

Hospital Visitation Should Be a Right

The dirty liberal at BlueGrassRoots has the right idea with talk of BR 489 (the Hospital Visitation Bill) and the need for its passage. The legislation would allow hospitalized adults to designate a non-related adult the same visitation rights as a family member. Something many adults in committed relationships have been denied purely because they’re not married to their partner or are one of those scary ho-mo-sex-u-als (oh, the horror).

From BGR:

Seriously… how insecure must you be in your own sexuality to vote against such a bill? Does voting against this bill allow the Stan Lee’s of our state to repress those icky gay fantasies about men back down into their subconscious? Is it just a cover so that other people don’t catch on to you?

Or maybe they’re just so filled with hate that they really do want to determine who is “worthy” of visiting you in the hospital.

Rep. Mary Lou Marzian (D-Louisville), who is unfortunately not my representative, is the sponsor of the bill, pre-filed on November 11, 2007 for the 2008 legislative session. Hopefully the rest of the state House and Senate will come to their senses and make visitation rights a reality in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Saving Health Care? Not On Your Life.

While reading John Cheves’ legislative preview on Health & Welfare one has to wonder why Governor Steve Beshear and his physician/senator running mate Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo were never pressed to provide solid plans for the state. Solid plans beyond expanding gambling, that is. (Full disclosure: We support gambling/casinos/whatever but they’re not the pie in the sky.)

FRANKFORT– One or more unlikely things must happen before Gov. Steve Beshear can honor his campaign pledge to extend health insurance to tens of thousands of Kentuckians.

The national and state economies must improve so much that extra tax revenue gushes into Frankfort. Or Congress must overcome President Bush’s repeated vetoes of an expanded State Children’s Health Insurance Program. Or Beshear must not only cover the state’s current Medicaid deficit — $389 million for the rest of this fiscal year — but he must find money on top of that so he can afford to add people to the program.

Small wonder that Beshear’s allies in the 2008 General Assembly are counting on the clang-clang-clang of casino gambling.

Seriously. Why didn’t the voters or the press ever push Beshear to tell us just how on earth he’ll pay for everything promised? Because it sure seems to us like he can’t deliver on any promises made at any point. Beyond pushing casinos, that is.

Just wondering. Because we’re getting absolutely tired of hearing from every friend we have in the education and university system that their jobs have been cut next year. We may be in a fiscal pickle but good god. Do we really have to rape the front lines with the remnants of a rusty GOP butcher knife?

Louisville Ready to Blow It?

After a judge’s ruling last Friday threw out Louisville’s smoking ban, local government officials seemed to make all the right moves. Mayor Jerry Abramson (who can’t decide if he supports a ban or not) immediately called for passing a new ban, minus a Churchill Downs exemption that created the legal loophole Judge Stephen Ryan cited for overturning the ordinance. Members of the Metro Council all seemed to be in agreement.

Most businesses, though there are exceptions, didn’t react to Friday’s news by putting out ash trays.

Then all hell broke loose.

Changes requested by the Health Department and the county attorney’s office may complicate the ban’s smooth path to passage. The Health Department wants to raise fines for those caught defying the ban, and the county attorney’s office wants to put more responsibility on the backs of building owners.

Those changes brought plenty of confusion into what should be a simple task — passing the original ban without the Churchill Downs exemption.

The law goes to the Health and Human Services Committee. Let’s hope that group does the right thing and drops the changes and brings forth the original wording. That’s the smoothest path to passage.

Louisville Lights Up… For Now

The city of Louisville took a step backward today when Judge Stephen Ryan threw out the city’s smoking ban. It’s a victory for the Metro Louisville Hospitality Coalition, which wasted no time in advising its members to begin encouraging guests to light up. Here’s an early story from the C-J.

Here’s a copy of the order, released this morning.

Without doubt, this story will dominate local headlines throughout the Christmas season. It should. And this is a case in which the city should take immediate action. It appears to be doing so.

Local government officials, operating on Holiday mode after a lengthy Metro Council meeting last night, have not been able to assemble for an emergency meeting. In order to pass the ban again, without the Churchill Downs exemption that provided a loophole for ban opponents, it must have 18 members present and 18 votes. Some Council members have left town, some are leaving today.

More after the jump…

Read moreLouisville Lights Up… For Now

Herald-Leader Treats Employees Badly

The Lexington Newspaper Guild is making its voice heard over the Herald-Leader’s decision to fight for the right to slash and eliminate health care for part-time workers and cut sick leave for all employees. Mind numbing, isn’t it? The very paper that has editorialized support for universal health care and economic justice for decades is kicking its employees in favor of corporate profits.

The H-L is owned by McClatchy, an organization based in Sacramento, CA, which purchased the paper in mid 2006. McClatchy promptly paid former Knight Ridder execs more than $60 million (the paper’s profits were $23 million in 2005) but can’t find the means to provide their workers with the basics.

The Lexington Newspaper Guild has been in talks with the company over its contract which expired on January 1 of this year (which remains in effect via an evergreen clause) and there are two major obstacles the company is sticking with. What are they? Health care and sick leave. Arguably the state’s most important news organization in the history of the Commonwealth is on the verge of disaster over health care and sick leave. Shameful.

The Guild recently held a demonstration outside the Herald-Leader and has released a video of the event:

UPDATE: Editor & Publisher has a great story on the Guild’s fight for fairness. Publisher Tim Kelly seems to think the truth is damaging. So maybe it’d be a good idea to, you know, provide employees with the basics and stop beating around the bush.

Rumors on the Internets

Beshear: The state budget is effed! Hide yer money in the freezer! Worst financials since the last Republican administration. [H-L]

ARH nurses strike is the end of the world. Patients not crossing the picket line, forcing layoffs and unit closures. [H-L]

More on Stumbo favoring the Kentucky House, more non-denial denials from Vicki Glass about a job for Brandon Spencer. [C-J]

David Williams sought change for road at close of business for Fletcher, Ernie’s biggest contributors stand to make mega bucks. [C-J]

Did you know comprehensive sex education is better than Bush abstinence-only quackery? [DMKY]