Tuesday Morning Dept of Taxes? What Taxes?

When will Governor Steve Beshear and the rest of Kentucky take tax reform seriously? The entirety of Frankfort – taking its lead from the Governor – is ignoring reality. [H-L]

Profits lead to Humana’s opposition to health care reform. Harry Reid is not happy about it. [Bloomberg]

Bill Johnson says he’s in the U.S. Senate race to win it. Except, you know, he won’t/can’t/whatever. [WMYT]

Kentucky is finally not on a terrible list! Thank Jeebus! [HuffPo]

Whattya mean some Republicans are passing around misleading cost-per-job stimulus math? Surely you jest! [Media Matters]

A Lexington company received $2 million in stimulus funding to develop a marijuana-withdrawal patch. [C-J]

KACo’s gonna stop using insurance fees to pay for meals and gifts. Too little, too late? [Ryan Alessi]

Louisville Metro Animal Services and corrupt sexual harasser Gilles Meloche still make me want to puke. [WLKY]

Is Cathy Bailey getting in the U.S. Senate race? [Marcus Carey]

Jim Bunning threw out the first pitch for game five of the World Series. It was a strike. [New Jersey Star-Ledger]

Like I said yesterday, the Kentucky Democratic Party has begun recycling people from the period of Methuselah. [Bluegrass Politics]

Oh Snap Monday! REEECHEE GON PLAY, COACH!?

We’re gonna hear that asked over and over and over throughout the gubernatorial election in 2011. Get ready, ladies.

Okay, children, what the crap was that Christmas Tree fight David Williams and Papaw Beshear got into last week? Jeeez. [Still Wondering]

Is it a good thing or a bad thing that Kentucky Association of Counties board members were allegedly in the dark about $3 million in out-of-control spending? Can’t wait to read the Sylvia Lovely audit. You know that’s gonna be a hot mess. [Ryan Alessi]

Hal Rogers pushed $2 million to coal research at the University of Kentucky. [H-L]

Teresa Isaac needs to watch this video in the worst way. [Ill Will Press]

Kentucky has the longest waiting list in the nation for low-cost medication for AIDS patients. This is a must-read. [John Cheves]

The Courier-Journal editorial board has officially become a waste of space. Now they’re defending and supporting the practice of allowing sex offenders to live near schools and day care centers. That makes tons and tons of sense. About as much sense as calling Gilles Meloche a change agent. Or sending out Courier-Journal employees as attack dogs when the paper gets rightfully criticized. [C-J]

The Herald-Leader editorial board did the exact same thing. [H-L]

WYMT is once again allowing Daniel Mongiardo to weasel his way out of taking responsibility for the sickening things he’s said about Governor Steve Beshear, the U.S. Senate and employees of the Commonwealth. [WYMT]

Jodie Haydon gets the Democratic nod. [H-L]

Mitch McConnell apparently wants everyone in the country to die so he can make a few more million. [The Hill]

The poorer we get, the fatter we get. Yay America. Fat fat fat. [Wall Street Journal]

The University of Kentucky crowned homecoming royalty over the weekend and gave everybody a lump of coal. [H-L]

Poverty, ignorance and that scary Barack Obama are fueling a resurgence of militias in Kentucky. [C-J]

Could a coal industry lobbying chief be probed for perjury? It’s a possibility, according to congressional investigators. [Talking Points Memo]

I’m just not sure how to feel about this photograph of Kathy Groob as a dominatrix. I am not kidding. It is the most hilarious or most terrifying thing I have ever seen. Ever. Massive pee alert. Go to the restroom before clicking the clicky. Seriously. [Clicky Clicky]

Thursday Early Evening Time Wasters

The House released its health care bill today that includes a public option. [Bill Summary & Full Bill (Warning: PDF Link)]

King Coal’s PR strategy is to scream, “We’re under attack!” loudly and often. [Business Lexington]

LEO Weekly has had the absolute best Meloche coverage. Check their latest roundup for links to those stories. Disappointing that LEO didn’t feel the need to quote “gay love” in the summary. Such a money shot should never be ignored. [Fat Lip]

Yes, the GOP is wearing public option blinders. [The Fix]

No one has been able to determine just how much Steve Beshear hates Christmas. [State-Journal]

Attorney General Jack Conway announced he will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review Kentucky’s sex offender registry case. Trying to protect us from the perverts.  How mean of him. [Press Release]

Louisville’s UAW endorsed Greg Fischer. [The ‘Ville Voice]

The Food Stamp Program, renamed Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, announced that Kentucky’s participation in the program continued an upward trend in September, an increase of 1,144 people. There were 739,307 in August 2009, 740,451 in September 2009. Since September 2008, 84,452 additional individuals have joined the ranks, a 13% increase since last year. [Kentucky Youth Advocates]

A judge says there’ll be no mental evaluation in the Pitino-Sypher case. [AP via Google]

Kentuckians for the Commonwealth is calling on the Public Service Commission to stop an unnecessary coal-burning power plant. [KFTC]

It’s Not Just the Rain That’s Messy Today

Worst kept secret ever? Richie Farmer says he’s considering a run for governor. If he runs? Steve Beshear is finished. [Bluegrass Politics]

Heh. Going Rouge goes live on the teevee. This book mocking Sarah Palin is sure to be a hit and will confuse mouthbreathers. [The Nation]

Want some surplus gubmint property? Hit up the state site. [Clicky Clicky]

Jerry Abramson has a disgusting mess on his hands in Louisville these days. He knew his pick to head Metro Animal Services has a corrupt and sickening past and he still appointed him. And he’s stood by as more and more corruption has surfaced over the years. Read it all. [The ‘Ville Voice]

Oh, wait, the guy was finally forced to resign. [More ‘Ville Voice]

Despite student protests and national media embarrassment, trustees approved the silly Wildcat Coal Lodge on the University of Kentucky campus. [H-L]

The U.S. Census Bureau released poverty data on Kentucky counties with populations of 20,000+. Of those 55 counties, 41 have higher rates of poverty than the national average of 13.2%. 27 have rates higher than the state average of 17.3%. Of the 44 counties with child populations 20K+, three have child poverty rates higher than 40%: Floyd, Harlan and Perry. [Kentucky Youth Advocates Press Release]

If you can’t beat em, appoint em. That appears to be Governor Steve Beshear’s new credo as he uses his appointment powers to try to reduce the number of Republicans in the GOP-controlled Senate. It’s the governor’s latest tactic in his bid to bring casino gambling to the state. [Tony McVeigh]

Mitch RED CHINA McConnell says a vote for cloture is a vote for Democratic health care reform. Duh. [The Hill]

Frankfort is abuzz with talk about Helen Mountjoy. Dozens of questions are flying about. Many folks want to know why the KCTCS is suing the Messenger Inquirer to keep the former President’s (of OCTCS) evaluation secret. Especially in light of the recent Jefferson County ruling from the Office of the Attorney General. [Frankfort Rumor Mill]

Louisville Public Media’s fall membership campaign raised more than $400,000 and generated 1,133 new members. [Business First]

Oh Snap Mon… Tuesday! Long Weekend’s Over

Former Governor Ernie Fletcher has started a health care consulting firm in Ohio. No, not Covington– Ohio. [Business First]

Somebody needs to get us one of these things, pronto. The cutest things. Ever. [Telegraph]

Remember when 10,000 people applied for 90 GE factory jobs in Louisville? Well, it’s so insane that the story has gone national. [HuffPo]

What? Kentucky has major budget problems? Who knew? The legislature still isn’t taking real tax reform seriously. And probably never will. [H-L]

The crazy Paultard van from Kentucky was spotted in Michigan. All right for the pro-smoking nutball. [People of Walmart]

The mainstream media and politicos everywhere see the problems within the Beshear-Mongiardo Administration. When will the governor admit that there are major problems? [Ronnie Ellis]

Barack Obama gave a speech to the gays Saturday night and said absolutely nothing new. [AMERICAblog]

Here’s footage of the speech if you want to watch it. [HuffPo]

Check out these videos and photos from the crew who went to Warshington. [Curt Morrison]

Mitch McConnell asked Bob Dole not to issue his health care reform statement. Imagine that. Mitch. Obstructing progress yet again. [Jim Carroll]

The real faces of coal. Death, poverty, pollution, low taxes and ruined roads. [H-L]

Will Beshear Fund Smoking Cessation Programs?

Will Governor Steve Beshear fund smoking cessation programs through Medicaid? Kentucky is one of only five states that doesn’t currently do so. (Guess not everyone is like us in believing you shouldn’t be able to receive Medicaid if you continue to smoke.)

I’m asking because Passport Health, which operates Medicaid for the 16 county Louisville region, provides funding. Passport has also seen 51% of people who take advantage of the cessation program – get this – actually quit smoking. And there’s no reason the rest of the Commonwealth’s Medicaid recipients shouldn’t be similarly benefiting.

In 2007 the legislature here in Kentucky created the cessation program but didn’t do the important thing of attaching funding. The Cabinet for Health and Family Services can’t follow through because there’s no money for them to use. So what the heck can we do?

A coalition of 26 patient advocacy groups issued a press release yesterday urging Governor Beshear to do something. The letter, which you may read below, asks Beshear to include funding in his 2010 budget as a line item. And it’d only cost us taxpayers about $1.5 million– the federal government would match our investment with $3.5 million in additional funding.

Excerpt from the release:

Passed into law in 2007, HB 337 created a comprehensive smoking cessation program, including counseling and medications, for the 285,000 smokers on Kentucky Medicaid. Unfortunately, no funding was attached and the program has languished for two years as an unfunded mandate.

“We commend Governor Beshear’s leadership in increasing the tax on tobacco products this year, and ask that he continue the momentum toward a healthy Kentucky by funding the $1.5 million needed to implement a smoking cessation benefit for the smokers in our Medicaid population,” said Sarah J. Wilding, President of the Kentucky Public Health Association.

Kentucky has the highest adult smoking rate – and highest smoking-related death rate – in the country. Yet, for approximately $5 million ($1.5 from Kentucky and $3.5 in Federal matching funds), the Commonwealth could save thousands of lives and reduce our state’s Medicaid costs by millions per year.

“Since Kentucky Medicaid is already spending an estimated $1.2 billion each year to treat Kentuckians suffering from smoking related illnesses, the investment of $1.5 million will more than make up for itself by helping to decrease that figure by getting people off of cigarettes,” said Tonya Chang of the American Heart Association, on behalf of the coalition.

Here are those 26 organizations:

  • Advocacy Action Network
  • American Cancer Society
  • American Heart Association
  • American Lung Association in Kentucky
  • Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
  • Catholic Conference of Kentucky
  • Child Advocacy Today: A Medical-Legal Partnership for Kentucky’s Children
  • Covering Kentucky Kids and Families
  • Epilepsy Foundation of Kentuckiana
  • Kentucky Academy of Family Physicians
  • Kentucky Association of Nurse Anesthetists
  • Kentucky Coalition of Nurse Practitioners and Nurse Midwives
  • Kentucky Council of Churches
  • Kentucky Equal Justice Center
  • Kentucky Health Departments Association
  • Kentucky Medical Association
  • Kentucky Nurses Association
  • Kentucky Primary Care Association
  • Kentucky Public Health Association
  • Kentucky Rural Health Association
  • Kentucky Voices for Health
  • Kentucky Youth Advocates
  • Mental Health America of Kentucky
  • NAMI Kentucky
  • National Kidney Foundation of Kentucky
  • Purchase Area Health Education Center

That list makes the letter a pretty big deal.

Click here (Warning: PDF Link) for a copy of the entire press release.

It’s Wednesday. Kentucky’s Still Poor.

You won’t want to miss the audio recordings of Daniel Mongiardo attacking Governor Steve Beshear, maligning the U.S. Senate and cursing. P.S. No one is disputing that what Mongiardo had to say is 100% the truth – it clearly is. But everyone is up in arms that he actually had the guts to say what he’s been feeling and thinking. Makes me like Lt. Dan a lot more. Lots lots lots more. Cause he’s finally being honest. [CLICK HERE]

Steve Beshear dismisses the audio as “prankstership.” And he digs his lying hole deeper and deeper. Meanwhile, he’s telling every reporter he speaks to off-the-record how pissed off he his. [WFPL]

All kinds of additional media outlets have taken notice. [Fox News, WBKO & Political Wire]

Why is Jim Bunning still trying to pretend he’s a health care reform expert? [The Hill]

Wanna guess what won’t be in Daniel Mongiardo’s end of quarter fundraising email blast? [Barefoot & Progressive]

Kentucky’s poverty rate remains unchanged at 17.3%. [H-L]

We’re all gonna die of the pig flu! That’s if these years-long campaigns don’t off us all first because they last too long. [C-J]

The son of an apparently-murdered U.S. Census worker is criticizing the Kentucky State Police over the investigation. [H-L]