Wide Stance Wednesday

When reality gets too boring, just watch this. [Funny]

Kentucky: ten years behind the game. Pol Watchers has the goods on a recent letter from Attorney General Greg Stumbo to Secretary of State Trey Grayson. Stumbo says an investigation of the state’s electronic voting equipment turned up the “alarming discovery” that the optical scanning units used in Louisville’s electronic voting system were not certified by the state. Finally, the black box voting movement has come to Kentucky. [PolWatchers]

From beans to fuel. The Owensboro Grain Company becomes a bio-diesel refinery and will start production on October 1. Today the plant will be dedicated at a ceremoney attended by Ernie Fletcher, Jim Bunning and Ron Lewis. [WFIE]

From the Heckuva Job Brownie Dept. Hundreds turned out to “greet” Mitch McConnell and thank him for the thousands upon thousands killed in Iraq. Tens of bikers showed up in support of the mass murder in Iraq. Joe Sonka was there and live blogged the event with photos. [C-J, DM]

In case you need a break from Senators and their bathroom sex…

Good entertainment. If you haven’t had a chance, listen to the radio “debate” between Fletcher and Beshear. If we’re basing things on courtesy and manners displayed in this radio show alone? Neither of these gentleman have any. Endless blabbering after repeated requests to stop were ignored. And ignored. And ignored. [WKYX]

When giants attack. Attorney General Greg Stumbo is on the right side of the nightmarish Monsanto-Delta & Pine merger. Monstanto, the world’s largest producer of pesticides and genetically engineered seed, is best known for using their GRE plants to obliterate the crops of legitimate farmers– permanently infecting the food chain. Oh– and they tried to patent the pig. [Legal Newsline]

Gaming the System. Humana breaks the law, pays $500,000 fine for misleading customers, using unlicensed agents. Imagine it– a health insurance giant skirting the law and paying a fine. Just the cost of doing business, right? [Business First]

Meanwhile, the number of individuals without health insurance nationwide is skyrocketing. (14% of Kentuckians lack coverage) The Census Bureau released figures showing the number of those without insurance rose from 44.8 million in 2005 to 47 million in 2006. That means– based on numbers two years old– nearly 16% of the population doesn’t have health coverage. People covered by employer-based health insurance fell 1.5% and the number of uninsured children rose 700,000 to 8.7 million in the same 2005-2006 period of time. [Business First, H-L]

We didn’t know Seattle had Republicans! A waitress (server, to be politically correct) helped anonymously pen a facetious blog complaint against Stefan Sharkansky. Apparently, he lets his kids run rampant and is a horrible tipper. Sounds like a familiar former Democratic Lt. Governor of Kentucky, if you ask us! [Consumerist]

Taking it to their doorsteps. War protesters rally against Sen. Mitch McConnell tonight. Thousands in Kentucky are expected to take part in National Take a Stand Day, holding a rally and a march to McConnell’s home in Louisville. [WLKY]

McConnell says the surge is working

And he’s suddenly interested in the “facts.” He loves the facts and he’s not pre-judging anything. Kentucky’s senior senator appeared on Fox News Sunday. Take a look.




The surge is working! What do you have to say about that, Col. Horne? Care to chime in? Has there been tremendous progress in Iraq?Sen. Jack Reed has been to Iraq more than any other senator (ten times) and says it’s a flipping train wreck. We want to know what everyone else thinks.

And for you dirty, America-hating liberals who disagree with McConnell? There’s a vigil on Tuesday. We hear there’s also a march to McConnell’s house after the event.

Walks like a duck, talks like a duck

Giving away the farm, car, boat and your neighbor’s dog. Jody Richards and the legislature want to give Peabody a $90million bond just to consider building a wasteful coal conversion plant in Kentucky. But that’s only part of the up to $500million freebie they’re offering up. Paying $800k-$1million to create each job makes keen financial sense to us– how about you? [H-L]

Lock-step with Bush? Both Geoff Davis and Mitch McConnell offer their praise for Karl Rove. Words of description used include brilliant, dedicated and enormous. We assume they’re talking about his ability to avoid testifying before congress. [Enquirer]

Rumor has it gas is expensive. And oil companies gouge prices. Who knew! Greg Stumbo says these price hikes are illegal, but what you can you do? Hold your elected officials accountable, that’s what. Pressure Congress to make price gouging illegal. [WAVE]

Liberals are liberal with uncertainty. American Prospect (you know, the dirty liberals who hate America) discusses the movement to oust McConnell while at the same time saying the opposition is afraid to come forward. Mainly because Bunning’s seat in 2010 is an easier win. They think it’s McConnell’s win. Go figure. [American Prospect, 2]

Coal companies cut corners. More from the Who Knew Dept. Clintwood Elkhorn Mining Company are demolishing Pike County roads with little regard for area residents or the environment. Along with blatantly violating a plethora of state laws. [News-Express]

If the 103-Degree Heat’s Not Killin’ Ya…

Eating their own. Novak says the Kentucky gubernatorial race leans Democratic. Huh. You mean the gubnuh who “clears” himself via his hand-picked ethics panel isn’t ahead by light years? [HE, C-J]

Astrological Forecast? CQ says Sen. McConnell is safe in 2008, going so far as to call him the state’s political kingpin. [CQ]

Fuzzy Math on the Internets. WKYT has a poll looking toward the 2008 U.S. Senate race in Kentucky.

Top 3 Contenders:

    McConnell – 40.7%
    Chandler – 19.6%
    Stumbo – 25.6%

What if Chandler wasn’t included? His 19.6 percentage points would be split among the other four Democrats in the poll. People in the Stumbo camp say he’d garner at least 15% of those points, putting him in a dead heat (40.6%) with McConnell in the unscientific web poll. [WKYT]

Make Your Voice Heard, Armchair Bandits! 2007/2008 Election Survey up on The Bluegrass Report. Mark Nickolas wants to know how you’ll vote. Go take the survey. It’s open until 12:00 noon on Aug 17. [Bluegrass Report]

S-m-r-t. We am so smrt. ACT releases Kentucky’s test scores – With 70% of Kentucky’s high school graduates taking the college prep exam, this gives us a glimpse into our abilities when it comes to standardized test taking.

National average composite score: 21.2. Kentucky’s: 20.7, with all scores improving from 2006 by about 1/10th of a point.

Average Kentucky scores:

    English 20.3 (Nat’l benchmark: 18)
    Math 20 (Nat’l benchmark: 22)
    Reading 21.2 (Nat’l benchmark: 21)
    Science 20.6 (Nat’l benchmark: 24)

Click here to download the full report. Warning: PDF link. [ACT]

Birds of a feather. “Mitch McConnell calls me one of the five finest men in America, and last time I checked he was sleeping with your boss.” Who said this? Check the Huffington Post to find out. You’ll be appalled. [Huffington Post]

Nothing to see here. U.S. spy satellites are now watching your every move. You know, in case you were interested in privacy. Officials say law enforcement use of satellites will proceed slowly to make ensure civil liberties are “protected.” Feel safer yet? [AFP]

Absolute Power?

CBS affiliate KXMC in North Dakota begins to talk about John Cheves’ in-depth analysis of McConnell and his Labor Secretary wife.

The tragedy at the Crandall Canyon mine in Utah, where six men are currently trapped underground, has brought to light the partnership between Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and his wife, Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao and how they are aligned against the interests of working people.

Speaking of the couple, they were both at today’s national meeting of the Fraternal Order of Police held in Louisville (along with Rep. John Yarmuth). Watch the video below to hear what they had to say.

You’ll remember that Democrats caved in a vote on August 4 approving the “Protect America Act”, thereby authorizing warrantless wiretapping. No more FISA court requirement. No more privacy. If you need a refresher or want a more complete understanding of the wiretap situation, check out Robert Parry’s latest.

Senator McConnell spoke about this very issue today. (See video) Did he get it wrong by incorrectly characterizing the wiretapping issue? He said, “To me, the idea that we were supposed to extend the Bill of Rights to a bunch of non-citizens overseas, let alone terrorists, wasn’t only dangerous, it was the height of stupidity.”

[flv:/video/McConnell-FOP-08132007.flv 320 240]
Note that there was no mention of rights as they relate to U.S. citizens. No mention that your communication with a friend in Chile will be tapped without a court order, either. Bruce Schreiner has more on today’s events.