Thursday Morning Dept of Releases & Such

Seen the new Friends of Coal license plate? Your head is going to spin. [James Bruggers]

Everything you’ve ever (or never) wanted to know about the Rick Pitino-Karen Sypher nightmare. [C-J]

The bourbon industry is ready to stick it to Frankfort. We support this move entirely. [H-L]

State Government is now ready to accept claims for extended unemployment benefits. Education and Workforce Development Secretary Helen Mountjoy announced that the state has activated an Extended Benefits period triggering the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to fund up to an additional 20 weeks of unemployment insurance. The cabinet is in the process of identifying and notifying individuals who are potentially eligible. [Click For Additional Details]

Legislators in Frankfort seem to be incapable of solving our alleged budget crisis. And no one wants to step up to the plate to offer new, innovative solutions. [Ronnie Ellis]

The Kentucky Department for Public Health released results from the 2008 Kentucky Youth Tobacco Survey that revealed a continuing decline in youth smoke rates. Results show that 9.7% of middle school students are current smokers, compared to 12.1% in 2006. Middle school smoking has declined 56% since 2000. High school smoking is at 26.8%, up from 24.5% in 2006. High school smoking has declined 28% since 2000. [CHFS Survey Results]

Governor Beshear toured areas of eastern Kentucky impacted by recent flooding. Check the local story out. You’ll see Rep. Keith Hall, who infamously shirked his duties as a legislator to attend a basketball game in Florida during the legislative session. Glad to see him back at work. [Williamson Daily News]

Peep the rest after the jump…

Read moreThursday Morning Dept of Releases & Such

Enjoy Yourself and Help School Children

Spending a summer weekend listening to music will help ensure a safe school for hundreds of children. How? The Mountain Aid concert June 19th-June 20th at Shakori Hills Farm in Chatham County, North Carolina benefits Pennies of Promise, a grassroots campaign to construct a new building for Marsh Fork Elementary School in West Virginia.

Marsh Fork was made famous in the Gill Holland/Mike O’Connell film Mountain Top Removal (if it sounds familiar). It’s sitting in the shadow of a mountaintop removal mine, a mere 225 feet from the coal silo and 400 yards downstream from a leaking sludge dam that holds back nearly three billion gallons of toxic waste.

Independent tests prove coal dust contaminates the elementary school and serves as a direct threat to respiratory health. Ed Wiley, grandfather of a student at the school, started Pennies for Promise after his granddaughter got sick and West Virginia leaders told him the state couldn’t afford to build/wouldn’t build a new school in a safer location. His goal is to raise $8 million to change things.

On-hand for Mountain Aid will be West Virginia native Kathy Mattea, NPR top-ten-er Ben Sollee, American music icon Donna the Buffalo and roots rockers the Sim Redmond Band.

Advance tickets are available for $22.50 and on-site camping, food and craft vendors will be available. Tickets at the gate will cost you $30. For additional information, please visit MTNAID.com.

TGIF! Jim Bunning Is Still a Political Goner

Can you believe this? The Courier-Journal thanked someone for a story featured on their front page yesterday that said someone broke a week ago! Holy crap. The C-J giving credit where credit is due. Really, can you believe it? [Stephenie Steitzer]

Ronnie Ellis has a great break-down of Jim Bunning’s fundraising last quarter. Most of Bunning’s money came from Political Action Committees. And those dollars raised in Kentucky came from people like Jim Host and Hunter Bates. [Ronnie Ellis]

Thanks to Joe for this fancy bit. What was that about white supremacists not being a part of teabagging parties? Yeah. Republicans don’t like to admit their party is a safe harbor for racist thinking and white supremacy. But when can we expect to hear prominent Republican leaders repudiating their followers who came out to this event? [Cincinnati Beacon]

Are the developers and investors of CentrePointe still committed to the project? There’s no proof that this is the case. [Barefoot & Progressive]

Apparently, I’ve gone completely nuts because I don’t support bigoted rednecks. And Joe Sonka and I are “cowards” who can’t back anything up. Guess pointing out Jim Pence’s hypocrisy (money talks) rubbed somebody the wrong way? But if you wanna see a fancy video of me? Check out Jim Pence’s little website. Don’t forget he’s a first-rate hypocrite who refuses to release a beautiful video of Daniel Mongiardo embarrassing himself. [Too Funny ]

Local offices are opened to help prevent youth suicide. So put your money where your mouth is, people. [C-J]

Will Attorney General Jack Conway investigate the mess in the Transportation Cabinet? [Mark Hebert]

Martic Cothran has got to be a closet case. What’s the old saying? One’s level of homophobia is equal to their closet homosexuality? Again, Greg Stumbo won the race for Speaker by something like two votes– and you still wonder why EVERYONE thought he’d lose? And, really, pretending that these teabagging parties are because people are against higher taxes? Really? After the past eight years? Misguided outrage and old-fashioned hate mongering do not a tax protest make. This man still has a you-know-what for us or is just obsessed. [Martin Cockring]

Pat Crowley, the world’s greatest journalist, is shilling for Daniel Mongiardo these days by publicizing everything he does and every fundraiser he might hold. [Enquirer]

How sad is it that Mitch McConnell is hosting a fundraiser for John Thune in Kentucky– but not Jim Bunning? [Politico]

Oh Snap Monday! Still Traveling Cross-Country

We’re making our way from San Diego to the Bluegrass today. So. Stuff from Jake will be intermittent. Rick will probably have several stories throughout the day, though, so stick with us.

300+ people showed up for the Kentucky Young Democrats convention. Check out the photographs. KYD folks tell us Daniel Mongiardo’s speech wasn’t just embarrassing– he dropped some weird scenario about Louisville getting hit with a nuclear bomb. The story was apparently so ludicrous that people were cringing. Can’t wait to see the video of that mess. Anyone have details? [KYD’s Flickr]

Ronnie Ellis has the skinny on the 2010 U.S. Senate race and political corruption in Kentucky. [Ronnie Ellis]

Senile(?) Jim Bunning is the hold-out on the confirmation of Kathleen Sebelius. [CQ]

The 51 deficit hawks who want to hand $442,000,000,000 to rich people. [Blue in the Bluegrass]

Jim Bunning wants unity to bring success in elections? [C-J]

Hebert is back from vacation! We missed him. [Mark Hebert]

Media will cover the return of war dead for the first time in 18 years. After dropping a dear friend off at Point Loma yesterday, this seems all the more important. And I’m nervous. [Huffington Post]

And on a similar note, Corporal Lloyd D. Stidham’s (of Beattyville) remains were identified. He was a soldier missing from the Korean War. He’ll be buried April 13th at Camp Nelson National Cemetery in Nicholasville. He was assigned to Company C, 65th Combat Engineer Battalion, 25th Infantry Division. On November 25, 1950, Company C came under enemy attack when it was occupying a position near Hill 222 south of the Kuryong River, east of the “Camel’s Head” bend, North Korea. He was reported missing on November 27th. [Press Release]

These Mongiardo supporters who spend their days attempting to obfuscate and deny are rather interesting. They refuse to answer questions or deal with facts. Imagine that. Go read the comments. [Barefoot & Progressive]

Andy Hightower of the Kentucky Club for Growth says the legislative session in Frankfort was a total disaster. [C-J]

Don’t Forget: Kentucky Young Democrats Convention

Just a reminder that the Kentucky Young Democrats will host Valerie Biden Owens, sister and long-time campaign manager of Vice President Joe Biden, at their annual convention this weekend.


CLICK TO ENLARGE FLYER

Friday – March 27 – 7:30 P.M. – 9:00 P.M.
Lexington Children’s Theatre
418 W Short Street

Hear from Valerie Biden Owens, the Vice President’s closest and most influential political advisor, in this public question-and-answer program. Doors open at 7:00. Limited, general seating is available. Tickets are $10 for Young Democrats and $25 for all others, available by clicking here.

Saturday – March 28 – 10:00 A.M. – 3:00 P.M.
Check-in begins at 9:00 A.M.
Kentucky Horse Park

Need additional details? Click here for more information.

KAARPR, et al Protesting LEO For Honest Reporting

The Kentucky Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression and the Justice Resource Center are planning a boycott and protest of LEO because journalist Phillip Bailey wrote factual stories detailing events that took place involving Gracie Lewis. Lewis is a prominent figure in Kentucky and long-time civil rights activist.

We don’t want to tarnish the story, so go read it for yourself.

But first, some choice excerpts:

The letter is referring to an irate message left on Scott’s office answering machine the day after Lewis reportedly screamed at her son. The recorded message says: “This is Gracie Lewis you black bitch. You better not never bring your skinny, narrow ass and get in my face again because I will kick your black ass. Peace.”

-SNIP-

Although Lewis did not return calls seeking comment for this story, she did call LEO Weekly on Monday, demanding that the newspaper stop printing stories about the incident and accusing it of being racist for publishing a story containing a negative portrayal of an African American.

-SNIP-

“It’s some stupid young folks trying to take over the Kentucky Alliance,” says Mattie Jones, interim director of the Justice Resource Center. “It’s a group of untrained, unskilled, arrogant and disrespectful young folks.”

-SNIP-

Not only is Jones frustrated with the Kentucky Alliance, it turns out she also is upset with LEO Weekly. In fact, because the newspaper is publishing this story, she plans on using her new position to call for a boycott, saying, “We want this to stop.”

Since when is it racist to report the facts? Especially when the person reporting those facts is black? And throwing young activists under the bus by calling them “stupid young folks” ??? Way to go! Way to save society. Way to piss off every young person within a 100-mile radius.

Read the letter to the Kentucky Alliance Board of Directors that initially sparked this ordeal after the jump…

Read moreKAARPR, et al Protesting LEO For Honest Reporting

Abstinence-Only Programs Failing in Kentucky?

The Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS) recently released a report about abstinence-only-until-marriage programs in Kentucky and it’s a doozy.

25 other states have rejected Title V abstinence-only funds– but not Kentucky. The Commonwealth received more than $3 million last year alone, the majority of funds going to crisis pregnancy centers.

This sort of thing is obviously not working, since the teen birth rate in Kentucky rose 6.6% from 2005-2006 while the national rate only rose 3%.

Check the report out here and then get an eye-opening look at how health indicators are failing in Kentucky here.

Statewide media: Where are you on this issue? It’s time for you to wake up.