Endless Summer, Endless Humidity Deathtrap

From the Ohio Valley Sucks Sometimes Dept

More election corruption. Bath County Sheriff pleaded guilty to perjury. Randy Armitage plead to one count of perjury in U.S. District Court yesterday. Turns out he lied to a federal grand jury about vote buying. He’s now out of a job. Who’ll take the helm? [H-L]

Insurance companies scheme policy holders? Shocking! Heh. Allstate rigged a computer program to produce low valuations for injury claims, sent fraudulent info to state regulators to hide their corruption and accepted lawsuits over claims as a cost of doing business. No one blinks an eye, no one is surprised. [H-L]

The H-L has launched a new blog called ASK US that focuses on answering readers’ questions about the bluegrass. Linda Niemi and Lu-Ann Farrar are at the helm. [Ask Us]

The poor, poor smokers. Jim Bunning shares his take on SCHIP and cigarette taxes. Let’s just say he doesn’t hate big tobacco. [C-J]

Disaster area. Kentucky has been declared a federal disaster area thanks to drought. Dept. of Agriculture declared all 120 counties disaster areas, enabling farmers to apply for emergency loans. This is in part thanks to a letter Mitch McConnell sent to Sec. of Ag. Mike Johanns last month. [H-L]

Steamy, hot Tuesday goodness

Back in the USSR. Gorbachev comes to Kentucky to speak in Louisville tomorrow. Colin Powell will visit in April on his credibility restoration tour. [Hebert]

Freshly laundered money. The Associated Press picked up the campaign finance story written by Tom Loftus and dumbed it down so terribly that 99% of it disappeared. Way to go, AP, get rid of the meat. [AP via H-L]

Whistleblowing blows, man. Ernie’s whistleblower in the hiring scandal (Doug Doerting) is now helping Steve Beshear’s campaign. Ernie’s people are freaking out like there’s no tomorrow. [H-L, KY Politics]

Casino-free for one debate? Is that even possible? Billy Reed ponders whether or not it’s possible to have a gubernatorial debate without bringing up gambling. It’s certainly possible if guidelines are set. We’ve proved it here. [Billy Reed]

The facts. Make sure you have them when listening to McConnell spin about why he voted against children’s health care. [FactCheck]

Deep in the mines. The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee holds a hearing today on mine safety. All kinds of witnesses are slated to appear. Very little in the mainstream press about the matter and we’re right in the middle of Mine Central, USA. [C-J]

McConnell does something good!

Sen. Mitch McConnell speaks out with Sen. Diane Feinstein to show support for the people of Burma. Rare opportunity, we know, but the senator should be commended. Too bad those in Burma/Myanmar have no internets or teevee to see this message.

McConnell doesn’t, however, offer support for those suffering from lack of proper health care in the United States or those who are victims of 1950s-esque discrimination. But he’s getting one thing (out of millions) right.

Friday News Fun

Oh, we know you love the drama. And the best drama of all is Ernie Fletcher starting a cat fight with Vicki Glass. Oh snap. Fletcher quipped at Glass for holding a recording device close to him and pushed her arm away. Glass, rightfully so, snapped back telling the man not to push her. We’re no experts here, but, uh, we’re pretty sure no man wants to mess with a woman on a mission. [C-J]

Matthew Shepard Act passed, tacked onto defense spending bill. No worries, haters! Dubya promises a veto. McConnell and Bunning both voted against the measure. They love them some gay-hatin. [AP]

Some day they’ll stop bitching and moaning about gambling. Some day they’ll focus on real issues. Right? Doesn’t look too promising now as not even Steve Beshear will take an opportunity to clear things up. [H-L, PoLWachers]

Poo hits the Lex fan. Lexington’s transportation system (LexTran) union had $49,000 stolen, mostly by its secretary and president. More are expected to be named culprits. What the heck is going on? First Louisville’s Metro Animal Services, now LexTran. [H-L]

Children first. Senate passes SCHIP/children’s health insurance bill with 67 votes– more than the majority needed to overturn a threatened veto by Dubya. McConnell and Bunning voted against it. Big shocker there. [CBS]

No sunshine here. More on Bunning’s mess of trying to cover Dubya’s incompetence up. He put a secret hold on the Presidential Records Amendment. [TP]

Hendrickson or Grayson? The Rural Democrat chimes in in the Secretary of State debate. Did anyone watch it? What about the debate for Secretary of Agriculture? [Rural Democrat]

Standing up. The Courier-Journal covered the Bristol protest. A zillion photos were snapped of folks entering and leaving the eatery but they didn’t make the C-J’s cut. The restaurant’s owner, Pete Peters, is unable to offer any semblance of an apology. Said the Bristol’s policy is to serve all fairly but, uh, policy isn’t the problem. We hope Pete finally gets it. [C-J]

News Drama Daily Briefing Dept

Oh, the drama.

Most Kentuckians approve of the job Greg Stumbo has done but a few say they wouldn’t vote for him to be dog catcher. [C-J 1, 2]

Mitch McConnell queens out, cuts Dianne Feinstein’s head off, screams “I want the guy who suppressed the black vote to run the FEC!” [SacBee]

Mitchy’s reelection a safe bet? The Hill thinks so. But they see a ton of Republicans coming out of the woodwork to challenge whether or not he’s Republican enough. [The Hill]

Not in my Kentucky home? Bowling Green woman sums up the hypocrisy of Ernie Fletcher opposing casinos in one sentence, “With the way our governor operates, it is surprising he opposes casinos because it would represent a huge opportunity for him and his cronies to feed at the trough of corruption.” [BG Daily News]

Remembering is tough. Steve Beshear finally remembers parts of what went down with Kentucky Central. Looks like everyone involved has a horrible memory. It’s time for the “secret” report to be released by the judge so we can get on with this retarded fiasco. I mean, if it was too terrible, don’t you think we’d already be reading it? [PolWatchers]

Rallying the faithful. Dan Mongiardo comes out of hiding to open Democratic Headquarters in E-town, champions the work of Hardin County politicos. He warned, surprisingly to some, not to put too much faith in polling data when he recalled his race against Jim Bunning in 2004. Speaking of polling, seems there’s a bit of a controversy brewing over the “Insider Advantage” data. [News-Enterprise, BGR]

Selling out to big coal is not enough. Jody Richards on the hunt. Legislative Research Commission Director Bobby Sherman is under investigation, thanks to House Speaker and sellout Jody Richards. Everyone and their mother says Sherman has created a hostile work environment wrought with favoritism and bitchiness. Oh, the drama of Frankfort. [Hebert]

Children’s Health or Big Money Donors?

Remember when McConnell used to support campaign finance reform? Yeah? Those days are over.

Mitch McConnell continues to oppose legislation that would help provide health coverage to 158,000 children across Kentucky.

Public Campaign Action Fund has produced a web ad pointing out that McConnell would rather put the needs of his big tobacco campaign contributors ahead of the health of children.

The Senate snow job on Iraq

Stephen George penned a great analysis of the McConnell effort to slaughter Democrats on Iraq. George is consistently proving his journalistic prowess these days on matters across the board. Hope the rest of the state is paying attention to him.

Just check it out.

Senators hide behind MoveOn.org in an outrageous attempt to deflect the debate

By Stephen George

It is beyond troubling that a well-paid body of representatives tasked with doing the essential business of the American people would instead waste taxpayer time and money on such a childish, inappropriate act as publicly denouncing a citizen advocacy group for exercising its right to free speech.

The group, MoveOn.org, took out a paid advertisement (albeit underpaid, though it has since paid full price) in The New York Times. We will reserve judgment as to how appropriate it is to call Gen. David Petraeus a name — Betray Us — at a time when a serious discourse on Iraq and the efficacy of the Bush/Petraeus “plan” to keep our soldiers mired in a civil war is necessary. It goes without saying that the MoveOn ad, though it attempted to stoke serious questions about what the general was expected to tell Congress, has instead served Republicans well, drawing attention away from the actual debate and allowing quislings like Kentucky Sens.

Mitch McConnell and Jim Bunning to hide behind some emotional, nostalgic defense of Petraeus as the ultimate American solider when, in fact, he has appeared to be something of a White House lackey.

Click Here to read the rest.