Cold Weekend Briefing Dept

Sliming Graeme Frost. Paul Krugman chimes in on Mitch McConnell’s role in trashing a 12-year-old boy as the downfall of health care. How is $45,000 in combined income a lot of money? McConnell’s wife and her tight family ties to Chinese shipping probably makes more than that each week. [NYT]

Too little too late? McConnell comes out of hiding to appear with Ernie. Everyone blinks. [H-L]

Seeking injunction. Greg Stumbo’s office seeks an injunction to block a Fletcher-appointed “ethics” panel from investigating the merit hiring scandal. Who in their right mind would let something like that go on, anyway? The “complaint” was filed by an anonymous “concerned citizen.” [PolWatchers]

Congressional Fashion Statement. Rep. John Yarmuth tries to get the Congress to, you know, understand who the heck they are and what they do. We’re shocked (shocked!) that several members of the House have no idea what Article 1 is. Not as shocked that Nancy Pelosi was afraid to wear a button. [NYT The Caucus]

New taxes. City employees campaigned on city time for the new Louisville library tax. Heads explode, library director Craig Buthod afraid to come out of hiding. Still, no one knows where their money will go. We just want to know where Beavis is. [C-J]

Need a paranormal break? The Applegate Landing bed & breakfast in West Point is apparently just the place to unwind. And it’s haunted. Should be an interesting place to check out in a neat little town. [News-Enterprise]

Just some headlines for your Friday

We’re satisfied with all the funny stuff in the news this week so we’ll spare you the commentary today.

Fletcher still trails Beshear in polls and fundraising [Daily Times]

Massaging the Numbers [C-J]

Fletcher, Beshear head to Paducah for debate [H-L]

Business First offers a misleading story: Kentucky’s tax climate for biz ranks 36th nationwide [Business First]

McConnell Staffer Linked to Criticism of 12-year-old [Hebert]

Taking on the Family Foundation’s craziness: Domestic Partners [C-J]

More Republicans Outraged by Fletcherism [StraightNFlush]

Breaking: McConnell Staffer Responsible for SCHIP Smear Campaign

From Think Progress:

Yesterday, ThinkProgress reported that there was mounting evidence that a staffer for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) may have been involved in the right-wing campaign to smear Graeme Frost and his family.

ABC News reported earlier in the week that an e-mail sent to reporters by “a Senate Republican leadership aide” in McConnell’s office suggested that “GOP aides were complicit in spreading disparaging information about the Frosts.” A McConnell spokesman refused to deny the office’s involvement in the affair.

ThinkProgress has obtained an email that congressional sources tell us was sent to reporters by Sen. McConnell’s communications director Don Stewart.

What the hell is this? The most powerful senator in the United States has his communications director rely on blogs for information used to falsely attack children? When did the private lives of non-officials become fair game in political smear stunts? Do we really want to go there? Because we will if we must.

Mr. Stewart must resign and McConnell needs to apologize. Now.

Where’s the mainstream media on this?

Click here for the rest of the report.

Anti-McConnell Ads Make an Impact

A story in today’s Courier-Journal examines the more-than-a-year-early attacks on Senator Mitch McConnell. He’s been under attack since the beginning of 2007 and rightly so.

We could go on and on but these words from Dale Emmons really sums everything up quite nicely:

…Dale Emmons, a Democratic consultant in Richmond, Ky., said the sponsors of the anti-McConnell ads “are definitely not wasting their money.”

“What it’s done is, it’s made people talk about Mitch and pay attention to Mitch,” Emmons said. “I think it’s setting the stage for a one-on-one race with somebody.” The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has run just one ad against McConnell, attacking his support for President Bush’s Iraq war policies.

McConnell on Radio: Democrats are bad, MoveOn sucks, Yay Eye-Rack, we’re turning into France

Mitch McConnell appeared on a right-wing web radio show called Blog Talk/Heading Right yesterday with host Ed Morrissey. As Kentuckians, we thought you’d like to take a listen to McConnell’s segment of the show:

[audio:http://pageonekentucky.com/audio/mitchwingerradio.mp3]

Highlights:

McConnell said Kentuckians would pay $600 million in new taxes for SCHIP but neglected to mention it would be in the form of a cigarette tax– something that is voluntary.

He said “anytime the Democrats talk about ‘the children’ you know they’re talking about some other cause” – then said they’re trying to take people off private insurance and put them on the government teat. First: What the heck do you mean the Democrats use “the children” as a front? Have you ever paid attention? It’s a two-way street, buddy, and the Republicans have always used “the children” to scare the bejeezus out of people. Second: Taking people off private insurance plans? Uh, I believe they were allowing people who, you know, don’t have insurance to benefit. Way to spin.

Interesting that McConnell used his constituents in Kentucky in defense of not supporting SCHIP but didn’t mention that his constituents want us out of Iraq when he discussed whether or not the Senate would vote for an exit. Does he actually know or care what his constituents desire?

MoveOn was brought up (someone must’ve struck a nerve) and McConnell went on to say Iraq was responsible for 9/11, the USS Cole, etc. WTF, indeed.

The best part is the end of the segment when the Senator says “this Congress” is only about rewarding its friends. (“Plaintiff Lawyers and Organized Labor Bosses”) Pot, meet Kettle. (Big Business, Mega Insurance, Big Oil, Big War Contractors, Halliburton, KBR, et al)

And apparently “they” (the Democrats) want to “turn us into France when even the French are having second thoughts.” HAHAHA. Oh man.

Controversial Scott Jennings Returns

KY Politics reports that scandalous Scott Jennings is returning to Kentucky. He’ll be working for PR firm Peritus which is owned by well-known Tim Mulloy and Bob Gunnell.

Many will remember him as being heavily involved in Ernie Fletcher’s 2003 race for governor and McConnell’s 2002 senate bid.

Jennings, present Deputy Director of Political Affairs for Dubya (Karl Rove protégé), has a controversial recent past. He got caught up in the General Services Administration ordeal early this year and allegedly played a key role the U.S. Attorney firing scandal.

Jennings was one of the White House officials who used a non-government RNC e-mail address to conduct official business. He used the e-mail address to do things like communicate with Justice Dept. folks regarding the appointment of Rove underlings as U.S. Attorneys.

Mr. Jennings was subpoenaed in March by the House & Senate Judiciary Subcommittees and subsequently pulled executive privilege, effectively refusing to testify.

Sounds like he’s just the kind of guy businesses and organizations will reach out to, right?

Thursday Boring Briefing Dept

Gas gouging not okay. Attorney General Greg Stumbo’s gas gouging suit goes to state court. A federal court ruled yesterday that the $89 million suit against Marathon Oil and Speedway SuperAmerica can proceed. Never fear, some are totally happy being screwed to hell by big oil. [WLEX, KY Progress]

Reminder: CNHI has a 5-part series of answers from the gubernatorial candidates. Fletcher and Beshear sparred yesterday when answering a question about approval ratings and accountability. [Daily Times]

Heating up. Ryan Alessi points out that Steve Beshear’s former law firm is now trying to discredit the controversial Kentucky Central report. Hoo boy. It’s getting interesting. [PolWatchers]

Opposition is lame, totally expected. The Kentucky Post has a great editorial about the absurdity of Republican opposition to SCHIP. Geoff Davis, Mitch McConnell, Jim Bunning: the paper says your objections are not overwhelming. And also make it a point to state the bill is not socialized medicine. [KY Post]

Awful debate. Watch the gubernatorial “debate” last night? What a horrible format! We could barely watch and we’re people who live for this stuff. Though it was interesting to watch Ernie Fletcher blame Democrats of the past for his inability to do anything in his first and only term as governor? We suggest watching KET’s first gubernatorial debate on Kentucky Tonight to make up for watching last evening’s boring event. [Gleaner, KET]

Speaking of the debate. What is Brett Hall smoking these days? Maybe the ganja he railed against yesterday? To quote him, “Combined with his uncertain delivery, Beshear came off a loser last night.” What on earth? Is it possible to even drink that much Fletcher Kool-Aid? Hall, if you’ll recall, was “fired” by Ernie Fletcher in 2006 for using extreme profanity during a press conference. He’s now running a blog where he filters anyone able to refute him. [Gag]

Saying no to big box stores. A Lebanon man has begun a mission to stop Wal-Mart’s ridiculous behavior. The company has been blasting near his property for months, causing measurable damage and untold aggravation. So he he decided to stand up against it all. Guess some people don’t enjoy allowing Wal-Mart to destroy more than the local economy? [C-J]