Can No Elected Official Use Real Numbers?

We didn’t say much when Kelly Flood made her awkward little floor speech during the gambling vote in the House. But. Uh.

Here she says 2,000 people turned out at Keeneland on the Twitter machine:


That didn’t sit right with us because every legislator we know said about 700-800 people showed up. So we decided to check the C-J’s coverage. And whattya know?

900 people packed the Keeneland sales pavilion on Wednesday evening for a rally organized by the Kentucky Equine Education Project.

May not seem like a big deal to you, but we’re tired of elected officials – charged with the public trust – exaggerating and playing fast and loose with numbers and statistics.

We support the cause behind the Keeneland rally. But it’s moments like this with Kelly Flood that seriously damage the fight.

Facts, people! Facts! Use real ones. Otherwise people like, oh, anyone in the State Senate can ruin you.

Kentucky’s Hot With the Temp & Frankfort Bullshiz

Jack Conway says the Ohio County School Board violated open records laws with secret meetings. [Open Government]

The Courier-Journal editorial board stole Stan Lee’s ‘mosquitos in a nudist camp’ line! We hope Larry Wilder takes our advice and turns his “I was drunk in a trash can” situation into a money pit with tours on the talk show circuit and maybe a book. [C-J]

Speaking of the C-J… Well… just read this hilarious letter to the editor at the bottom of the page. [PEE ALERT]

Governor Steve Beshear finally admitted that he didn’t like buying gambling votes with school construction earmarks. [Bluegrass Politics]

Awww snap! Now Greg Stumbo says he urged Governor Steve Beshear to travel Kentucky pushing slot machines. The war of words has begun, ladies. The Governor is also wrong about campaigning for an issue – campaign works, it’s how people win. [Joe Gerth]

Miss Southern Fails: Louisville least week? Then check this shiz out. [Clicky Clicky]

The Cincinnati neighborhood of Central Parkway and Liberty Street the #1 most dangerous in America? [Ruh Ro]

Is Ellis Park dead? Again? [Joe Arnold]

Kentucky’s minimum wage of $6.55 per hour will increase to $7.25 per hour on July 1. This is 23 days ahead of the mandated federal minimum wage increase. Cue the “conservatives” complaining about poor people making more money. [Labor Dept Release]

First Lady Jane Beshear has released her list of top ten summer reads as part of her Reading Recommendations initiative: Chronicles of Narnia, C.S. Lewis; Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices, Paul Fleischman; Pretend Soup and Other Real Recipes, Mollie Katzen; The Coal Tattoo, Silas House; The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Brian Selznick; The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy, Jeanne Birdsall; Fantastic Mr. Fox, Roald Dahl; The Eleventh Hour, Graeme Base; From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, E.L. Konigsburg; Where the Wild Things Are, Maurice Sendak. [Press Release]

Jewish Hospital President and CEO Bob Shircliff is leaving the company to become a consultant. [The ‘Ville Voice]

The Hidden Costs of Health Care

HHS Secretary Kathlene Sebelius today released a report detailing the hidden costs of health care in America. All kinds of details about us paying more while getting less, the rising cost of deductibles, co-payments, out-of-pocket expenses.

Highlights:

  • A person with employer-based coverage paid an average of $1,522 on health care (not including premiums) in 2006, compared with $1,260 in 2001. When including the added burden of higher premiums, out-of-pocket costs rose even more sharply, with a 30 percent increase from an average of $2,827 in 2001 to $3,744 in 2006.
  • Employer-sponsored health insurance premiums have nearly doubled since 2000, a rate three times faster than wages. In 2008, the average premium for a family plan purchased through an employer was $12,680, nearly the annual earnings of a full-time minimum wage job.
  • For preferred provider organization (PPO) plans purchased through an employer, the average family deductible increased 30 percent in just two years, from $1,034 to $1,344. This effect is more pronounced for small firms, where PPO deductibles increased from $1,439 to $2,367 — a rise of 64 percent.
  • In 2004, only one in five people with health insurance through an employer had a co-payment of more than $25, but by 2008 the number jumped to one in three.

Click here to read the report.

Stay tuned for Mitch McConnell to hold a press conference about how fake these America-hating statistics are.

Tuesday Morning of SHOO It Is Hot Outside

The State House adjourned yesterday in honor of Matthew Barzun, who was recently nominated by President Barack Obama to be the next U.S. Ambassador to Sweden.

Check last night’s coverage of the Senate Appropriations & Revenue Committee meeting where the gambling bill was put to death. [Page One]

The House passed the budget bill but not without criticism. Even the liberals are fed up with it. It’s now clear there really was vote buying going on with the gambling bill. If you voted against it, you didn’t get a school in your district. [Ronnie Ellis]

What will Governor Steve Beshear be known for? Will energy issues be his legacy? In a bad way? Lots of environmentalists seem to think so. Even Brereton Jones thinks he’s walking on thin ice by ignoring tax reform. [Stephenie Steitzer]

The City of Prospect fined that gardening couple again! What an embarrassment. Mayor Todd Eberle and the city council (Loretta Ertel, Stuart Miles, Sandra Leonard, Alan Simon, Sandy Tucci, Mike Scott) should be 100% ashamed of themselves for allowing this to happen. You should contact them all to let them know what meddling butt cramps they are. What a waste of tax dollars. [WHAS11 & Prospect Contact Info]

Read the rest of this mess after the jump…

Read moreTuesday Morning of SHOO It Is Hot Outside

Oh Snap Monday! Bruno Should Visit the SBC

Anyone else think it’s borderline hilarious that the Southern Baptist Conventioneers came to town on gay pride weekend? Absolute hilarity in Louisville this weekend. The city was overflowing with the gays and the gay-haters.

And speaking of the SBC, it’s interesting that this Courier-Journal story didn’t mention that while Mohler is a known homophobe, he’s said tons of things that make his arguments empty and hypocritical. Funny how the SBC and SBTS have been good at keeping quiet the comments he’s made about homosexuality not being a choice/being genetic. Thankfully there are tons of good folks at the SBTS who don’t hold archaic views. [C-J]

Also interesting that the C-J didn’t mention that 35 people were laid off by Mohler so he could dump millions into facilities built only for the convention. At least, that’s what we hear from seminary insiders. Even built an on-campus suit store for men only. Nice that the paper included reference to Mohler’s about-face decision to discriminate against women, though. [C-J Q&A]

Read his entertaining rant from 2007 on the ho-mo-sexuals that ends up delving into abortion. [Mohler’s Entertaining Rant]

Despite spin from people like Mitch McConnell, baron of the health insurance campaign contribution fortune, Americans overwhelmingly support government-run health care. 72%. Maybe some day Republicans will wake up to the realization that government-run health care is better than the non-existent health care many people currently, you know, don’t have. [NY Times]

Peep the rest after the jump…

Read moreOh Snap Monday! Bruno Should Visit the SBC

State Agencies Not Compliant with Civil Rights Act

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits any state agency receiving federal funds from denying access to programs on the basis of race, color or nation of origin.

In 1963, President John F. Kennedy said that, “Simple justice requires that public funds, to which all taxpayers of all races [colors, and national origins] contribute, not be spent in any fashion which encourages, entrenches, subsidizes or results in racial [color or national origin] discrimination.” Those are words this country has lived by for nearly five decades. Not perfectly by any means, of course, but those words are part of what makes the United States of America the land of the free.

But according to a report just released by Auditor Crit Luallen’s office, Kentucky has major civil rights problems on its hands. Of the 20 agencies submitting civil rights plans (the Office of Energy Policy didn’t submit a plan), auditors tested them for 13 compliance requirements. Nine exceptions were found.

Some of the biggies?

  • The Office of the Governor failed to identify all programs and activities subject to Title VI
  • The Finance and Administration Cabinet failed to describe the race of its staff
  • The Kentucky Council on Post Secondary Education did not have sufficient evaluation procedures and failed to properly describe the race of all agency staff
  • The Kentucky Department of Education did not have adequate compliance procedures, evaluation procedures, record keeping and report procedures documented in its plan
  • Kentucky Educational Television failed to identify programs and activities within its agency subject to Title VI

We’re pretty sure no one is surprised. But we’re shocked (shocked!) that Governor Steve Beshear’s Administration hasn’t done a much better job on the civil rights front. Doesn’t appear that non-compliance this year is purposeful, but, uh… There is simply no excuse for lack of compliance.

Click here (Warning: PDF Link) to download a full copy of the report from the Auditor of Public Accounts.