Your Friday Evening Dept Of Fair Fudge Comas

Two big reasons why Rand Paul’s ideas about addressing the drug problem in Eastern Kentucky are completely bogus and not based in reality. [Here & Here]

July food stamp participation in Kentucky jumped another one percent. Up 7,500 since June for a total of 794,818. 794,848! [Ugh]

Things aren’t looking too swell for Jack Conway in Fayette County. Check out these polling data. [B&P]

Guess who used to be a pension fund middle man. Yup. Mark Riddle. [The More You Know]

The genius political expert and tourist of “the Appalachia” has thoughts on Eastern Kentucky. [HAHAHA]

Take a look at Jim Gray’s internal polling memo. Dead heat. Among those who know both candidates, Jim Gray leads Jim Newberry 47 to 38. [External PDF Link]

Don’t miss Comment on Kentucky tonight at 8:00 P.M. Eastern on KET. Scheduled guests: Kristin Espeland Gourlay, Noted River Rock Expert and Pension Queen Stephenie Steitzer and Greg Stotelmyer. And on Monday night, Kentucky Tonight will play host to: Daniel Logsdon, Steve Robertson, Matt Erwin and Holly Harris. THAT will be a hot damn mess. [Press Release]

Louisville has some pretty famous folks in the local foods world. [LEO Weekly]

Guess who has created yet another petition. Petitions are totally going to win the United States Senate race, amen. [Find Out]

They’re also sending it out in email blasts and courting national folks that no one in Kentucky will ever read. [Daily Kos]

$248,000 was awarded to Habitat for Humanity for home building in Morehead. This is pretty great news for Eastern Kentucky. [The Morehead News]

Unlike some on the Democratic side – and many (Mica) on the Republican side – you won’t see me pocketing cash from candidates in exchange for positive press. It’s a shame people feel the need to do this. [Science Blogs]

Looks like Mike Duncan’s fancy Republican group is going to spend eleventy million billion dollars on the U.S. Senate race in Kentucky. [Bluegrass Politics]

All the anti-gay flyers spread throughout Covington makes Kentucky look awesome on the national stage. [Enquirer]

Absurdity: Visionary framework for energy policy?

Wearing your bullshit goggles? Get ready. The stink is big.

The following Democratic sell-outs and mouthpieces for big coal penned a letter to LEO: Rep. Jody Richards, Speaker of the House; Rep. Larry Clark, Speaker Pro Tem; Rep. Rocky Adkins, Majority Floor Leader; Rep. Charlie Hoffman, Majority Caucus Chair; and Rep. Rob Wilkey, Majority Whip. We won’t get into who works for which company. *Cough* Rocky Adkins *Cough*…

After spending four paragraphs telling us that House Bill 1 was signed, they get down to the business of explaining just how visionary and remarkable the state’s new energy policy is.

Here’s a peek:

Our energy policy also encourages the hiring of Kentucky residents; forgives student loans of young people who obtain science and engineering degrees necessary to fill the jobs; advances research and development at our universities; and promotes the protection of our environment in the process. And it does so in a manner that protects Kentucky’s investment. House Bill 1 looks to the future of the energy industry by enabling cutting-edge research. It sets aside $7 million to the Kentucky Geological Survey and the Center for Applied Energy Research to perfect carbon dioxide capture management.

Contrary to some news reports, this bill is not about attracting one project or one company. It’s about attracting a new industry to Kentucky by providing a framework that can be tailored to different types of investments. Tax incentives must be approved by the Economic Development Cabinet and KEDFA (Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority). Any incentives received up front will be tied to hiring Kentucky workers, and funds will be recouped once the plant is operating.

What they don’t mention is that the few jobs created (about 300 projected) will cost roughly a million dollars each. Spending $7million to perfect carbon capture techniques? $7million surely can’t perfect clean coal technology that barely exists. What’s with this drop in the bucket compared to the $300million being floated to Peabody? And no mention of the untold millions given to Peabody just to consider building in Kentucky?

Oh, it’s not about attracting one company, kids. Even though Jody and Ernie made the entire special session about Peabody.

Here’s more:

In addition to providing $5 million for research and requiring carbon-capture readiness of any new alternative fuel facility seeking incentives, the legislation creates the Center for Renewable Energy Research and Environmental Stewardship. This collaborative effort will bring together various public and private interests to promote energy efficiency and protection of our most hallowed resource — our planet.

That’s right. Just $5million will solve all problems and make life grand by protecting our planet. Big coal and the House members responsible for killing eastern Kentucky via mountaintop removal and illegal faux-reclamation will protect our planet and they’ve put it in writing.

It’s a good time to discuss the mind blowing sludge disaster of October 11, 2000. Remember it? More than 300 million gallons of coal sludge killed Martin County. Millions of fish and other animals wiped out. Homes ruined. Property devastated.

The individuals who let that sort of disaster slide are the individuals selling us a bill of coal goods. We hope voters are paying attention.

Jody Richards: Sellout

Jody RichardsWhy is it Stephen George is the only journalist to discuss Jody Richards‘ failure and public humiliation of the Commonwealth? Richards sold out to Peabody and, as George reports, called its energy incentive give-away an “environmental protection bill.”

How batshit crazy must one be in order to refer to the $300 million stash Peabody is getting as an environmental protection bill?

Why aren’t the mainstream press tearing this apart?

Further, why isn’t anyone in power standing up for Kentucky? Where is Anti-Mountaintop Removal Jonathan Miller on this issue? Why aren’t you standing up against the Bush Admnistration’s move to make mountaintop removal easier and more damaging, Jonathan? That was a forefront issue of your gubernatorial campaign.

Everyone should read Stephen George’s story this week. It’ll snap you back into the reality-based community wherein some of our legislators have never stepped foot.

Missing Free Media: Beshear? Fletcher?

FACT: A key plank of the Beshear-Mongiardo campaign is to quit the economic incentive giveaway game (aka corporate welfare) for out-of-state business. From Beshear’s Web site:

“It is time we shift our economic development approach away from luring out-of-state businesses and industries that don’t need help with the promise of tax reductions, abatements and direct grants, and instead grow our economy from within, putting Kentucky businesses first.”

So why is Beshear staying silent while the Special Session plays out in Frankfort, while Fletcher dominates the free media with his economic incentive plan for Peabody Coal? Why isn’t Beshear cozying up to the environmentalists and the few legislators who oppose the incentives?

Read moreMissing Free Media: Beshear? Fletcher?

What’s that sound?

Why, it’s your future being flushed away! And the sound of Jody Richards saying the energy bill will “sail through” the house– spitting in the face of critics and Kentuckians for the Commonwealth. Damn those people who want to know about environmental impact.

And we thought Jody had no backbone!

We hear a cadre of Democrats and Republicans alike are busily recruiting a replacement for Richards. Does this mean his plan to remain popular in his home district is a failure?

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]

Why Kentucky Can’t Have Nice Things

Billy’s Earworm. On his new StraigtnFlush web site, journalist Billy Reed hammers the Fletcher Administration for its “hell bent determination to throw money at Peabody.” A month ago, even Dems agreed that attracting the Peabody plant would be good for the state. But as Billy points out, it ain’t so good for the environment, and its not the economic windfall some envisioned. And he brings up the $62 million gift to e.On US that the state is providing to move some equipment across the street to make way for the flawed Louisville Arena project. [StraightNFlush]

Death by Meeting? Looks like the H-L’s John Stamper and Jack Brammer were the only media members hanging with lawmakers in Frankfort for a five and a half hour meeting – its result – plans for another meeting. Despite lawmakers’ comments afterward, the two sides are quibbling over something. Could it be that the Supreme Ruler of Kentucky, desperate to bring a social issue (a la the marriage amendment) to the table in a special session, is holding out because he wants Dems to talk about his silly domestic partner proposal? Is it coincidence that the anti-gay kooks lined up chairs in the Capitol Annex and tried to get in the meeting? Does everything Fletcher attempts reek of desperation? [H-L/PolWatchers]

Correction: Al Mayo of WHAS Radio informs us that several others were present, including: Mr. Mayo, Tony McVeigh, Tom Loftus, Joe Biesk. Our apologies.

Lesson #1 for the Kentucky Board of Education: Do what Jefferson County did and actually hire a head honcho who is qualified and capable. Is it possible to compare Sheldon Berman with Barbara Erwin? We won’t even attempt it. The state Board may learn a lot about leadership and education by reading Berman’s letter. [C-J]

From the WTF Dept: Jerry, Esq. What did the King of All Things Mayoral say is his greatest challenge? Get ready for it: “Absorbing the diversity of immigrants coming in from all over the world.” For real. [The Ville Voice]