Steve Beshear

Horse Park encounters wrath of Ken Ham in State-funded theme park battle royale

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May 1, 2012
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Kentucky has a lot of awesome things. A state park called “Big Bone Lick” is just one of them. A crazy-ass Governor who’s willing to slash education by $50 Million while handing $43 Million to a creationist theme park that will build a giant Noah’s Ark complete with dinosaurs adorning the boat alongside men is another.

We’ve also got some cool rivalries. The Hatfields and McCoys. UK and Louisiville. Our coal-bought politicians and the lives of real human beings in Eastern Kentucky.

But one thing Kentucky has until now lacked is a great inter-tourism rivalry.

No more!

Ken Ham, the fully evolved brain behind the Creation Museum and the Biblically accurate Dinosaur Ark Park, recently lashed out at the Kentucky Horse Park because horses are actually bunnies or something which basically boils down to, yes, Ken Ham lecturing scientists on how evolution really happened.

Yes. The guy who believes dudes used to live 8 centuries as recently as like three millenia ago is also an expert on horse evolution.

The most excellent Ms. Blackford has the story:

Ken Ham, president of Answers in Genesis, wrote a blog post published Saturday titled “Kentucky Horses Will Lead You Astray,” which challenges the validity of a permanent display.

Ham contends the idea of horse evolution is false, and he particularly disputes the line of prehistoric horses that scientists link to the modern horse.

Ham writes that in the display, two early horses, Miohippus and Merychippus, grow steadily bigger.

“What’s the problem, though, with the belief that horses somehow evolved into larger and larger animals? If that were true, shouldn’t we see only very large horses today? But we don’t — horses vary in size from the Clydesdale to the much smaller Fallabella (just 17 inches tall).”

Served!

Obviously the very best part of this (there’s more, read it all) is that Steve Beshear is giving tax breaks to Ken Ham’s theme park and Ken Ham is picking fights with the established state industry theme park.

That’s a great rivalry that is sure to increase Kentucky’s tourism brand and just goes to show you that you can give the crazy pretend Bible “literalist” $43 Million in taxpayer subsidy, but you can’t domesticate him. He is no horse, certainly not a very large one.

Sue the Government — State Supreme Court rules against Beshear administration and their coal company cohorts

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April 27, 2012
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Back in 2010, a handful of community groups sought to join a legal dispute between the state government’s Energy and Enviornment Cabinet and a company, Frasure Creek Mining. A Judge allowed the action, which then complicated the Beshear administration’s Cabinet plan to settle with the mining company… because, you know, the citizens’ groups didn’t want to settle, they wanted justice. Crazy, right?

Beshear’s cabinet and the mining company then filed to remove the citizen’s from the lawsuit so they could do their behind-closed-doors Frankfort wheeling and dealing like normal.

Well the state’s Supreme Court just ruled that in fact the lower court judge was absolutely correct in allowing the groups to join the suit and while your duly elected Governor might see this as a loss, people who appreciate democracy will see it as a victory:

The high court unanimously found that Judge Phillip Shepherd did not err in allowing Appalachian Voices, Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, Kentucky Riverkeeper, Waterkeeper Alliance and three citizens to take part in a suit brought by the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet against Frasure Creek Mining.

The groups sought to intervene to object to a settlement between the state and Frasure Creek, which operates coal mines in Pike County, over the discharge of pollutants into the Kentucky, Big Sandy and Licking rivers and their tributaries.

You can also read the Supreme Court’s full ruling if you like. Spoiler alert… this is how it ends:

Because the trial court has jurisdiction to permit the Citizen Plaintiffs a limited intervention, and because the propriety of that intervention under Kentucky law can be challenged and assessed in the ordinary course of trial and appeal, the Court of Appeals correctly denied the Cabinet’s and Frasure Creek’s petitions for extraordinary relief. Accordingly, we hereby affirm, the Court of Appeals’ Order in these consolidated cases.

All sitting. All concur.

Boo-hoo for coal bought politicians, woo-hoo for the rest of us.

And to the Supreme Court, Steve says…

“Godzillus”: The 4.5 Million year old fossil supposedly discovered mere miles from Gov. Beshear’s Dinosaur Ark Park in Northern Kentucky

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April 26, 2012
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Get a load of this!

A mysterious 450 million-year-old fossil discovered by a local man was unveiled Tuesday at a Geological Society of America meeting at the Dayton Convention Center.

The fossil, dubbed “Godzillus,” was found last year in Northern Kentucky by amateur paleontologist Ron Fine, a 43-year-old mechanical designer from Dayton. The elliptical-shaped specimen measures 3.5-foot wide by 6.5-foot long and is believed to be the largest fossil recovered from the Cincinnati area.

The question Tuesday at the GSA North-Central section 46th annual meeting was whether it was animal, vegetable or mineral.

“We are looking for people who might have an idea of what it is,” said Ben Dattilo, an assistant professor of geology at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, who is researching the discovery.

Uh… yeah. I got a pretty good idea what it is…

A g-ddamn lie! That’s what.

Northern Kentucky is clearly home to Governor Steve Beshear’s new Bible Theme Park which will feature a to-scale model of Noah’s Ark complete with Dinosaurs on it… all of which clearly proves the earth is only 6,000 years old.

That’s roughly four hundred and forty nine millions off the supposed projections of supposed scientists about this supposed fossil.

Which leaves two sides to this issue. Either you are curious about the year and origin of this supposed fossil, or you are on the side of G-d, the Bible, The State of Kentucky and Governor Steve Beshear and this “fossil” is nothing but a g-ddamn lie.

Do you want proof?

Well, by sheer divine providence, we were blessed just days ago (before this news of fabricated fossiling) with this explanation from Ken Ham and Answers In Geneis, the creators of Gov. Beshear’s brilliant Dinosaur Ark Park which will one day sit mere miles from where this supposed fossil was supposedly discovered.

Assumptions Change Estimate of Age

To solve this puzzle it is necessary to review the assumptions on which radiocarbon dating is based. These include:

  • The production rate of carbon-14 has always been the same in the past as now.
  • The atmosphere has had the same carbon-14 concentration in the past as now.
  • The biosphere (the places on earth where organisms live) has always had the same overall carbon-14 concentration as the atmosphere, due to the rapid transfer of carbon-14 atoms from the atmosphere to the biosphere.3

None of these assumptions is strictly correct, beyond a rough first approximation. Indeed, scientists have now documented that the atmosphere’s concentration of carbon-14 varies considerably according to latitude. They have also determined several geophysical causes for past and present fluctuations in carbon-14 production in the atmosphere.4

Specifically, we know that carbon-14 has varied in the past due to a stronger magnetic field on earth and changing cycles in sunspot activity. So when objects of known historical dates are dated using radiocarbon dating, we find that carbon-14 dates are accurate back to only about 400 BC.

The conventional scientific community ignores at least two factors that are crucial to recalibrating radiocarbon (so that it accounts for major changes in the biosphere and atmosphere that likely resulted from the Flood): (1) The earth’s magnetic field has been progressively stronger going back into the past, and (2) the Flood destroyed and buried a huge amount of carbon from the pre-Flood biosphere.

It is written!

And here’s a picture for those of you too stupid to grasp all those words because Gov. Beshear hasn’t yet fixed the state’s education system by totally defunding it:

And what if in the past it wasn't that the trees and lizards were really big but instead that everything was the same size and it was just the earth itself that was really small? What would you believe then?

Get real! You could listen to pagans with million year old histories, or you could listen to the Governor of the state of Kentucky. It’s your choice. And you know what happens if you choose wrong.

Highway to Hell

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April 2, 2012
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If you missed it last week, the road to the Dinosaur Ark Park is under attack:

Americans United for Separation of Church and State, a Washington D.C. non-profit, is protesting the legislature’s decision to include $2 million for improvements to KY 36, a project included in road budgets proposed by Gov. Steve Beshear and approved by the House and Senate.

The $2 million would be used to purchase right-of-way and pre-construction work on an interchange with I-75.

Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United, said the Kentucky Constitution bans the use of taxpayer dollars to support religion. Section 5 of the Constitution says taxpayers may not be forced to “contribute to the erection or maintenance” of any place of worship.

Even if you believe taxpayer funding for the erection of Ken Ham’s tyrannosaurs boat isn’t a beat too far, it’s pretty safe to say that spending $2 Million on improving a road for a destination that may not get built based on attendance projections no one really believes isn’t the best idea.

But it’s good enough for Steve Beshear and for Kentucky.

Rock on, Kentucky.

Take Action: Clean Energy Opportunity Act in Frankfort, and Coal Shills

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March 20, 2012
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From KFTC:

The House Committee on Tourism Development and Energy is expected to consider two clean energy bills when it meets on Thursday, March 22 at 10 am in room 131 of the Capitol Annex in Frankfort.

The committee will take testimony on HB 167, The Clean Energy Opportunity Act, a bill that would gradually increase the share of electricity in Kentucky that comes from energy efficiency and renewable energy sources. Testimony will also be heard on HB 187, a bill that would encourage investment in renewable energy by allowing commercial-scale renewable systems to connect to the grid through an arrangement called net-metering.

Click on over to read more and contact Frankfort.

And, hey!, while you’re at it, why not sign this petition in response to Greg Stumbo’s insulting “buy a mountain” comment:

“Heaping praise on the coal industry while ignoring the devastation it inflicts on Kentuckians and the environment is totally unacceptable. Stop shilling for the coal industry and start protecting Kentuckians and our mountains from dirty coal.”

They’re 67% of the way to their signature goal – put ‘em over the mountaintop.

Buy a Mountain, Kentucky, our politicians are all sold out

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March 19, 2012
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[Via Sonka]

Governor Beshear took time out of his schedule last week to hold a press conference celebrating the 50,000th “Friends of Coal” license plate sold to Kentuckians.

Kentucky Coal Association President Bill Bissett praised Beshear and a group of more than 12 coalfield lawmakers who attended the press conference for supporting the coal industry.

Bissett said the industry has been pleased that so many people have shown support for the coal industry by choosing the black, specialty license plates.

Beshear dialed back his rhetoric — there was no fist banging, screaming tirade against the federal government from the Governor on this happy occassion — but not so House Speaker Greg Stumbo.

Stumbo, channeling all that is great about the Kentucky Democratic Party, clearly defined the real issue and offered up real solutions to poisoned water, lost wealth and ravaged communities.

To the people who say let’s save mountains: Go buy one,” Stumbo said. “There’s a bunch of them for sale. And if you own it, and you don’t want it mined, guess what, it’s not going to be mined that way.”

There you have it.

Alternately, you could buy a House Speaker. They are for sale, too.

In other news, from the always great Coal Tattoo, we learn that the West Virginia Center for Budget Policy recently broke down the incredible tax burden facing the West Virginia coal industry (PDF).

– In 2008, Wyoming collected approximately $2.1 billion in taxes from coal and natural gas producers, compared to $787 million in West Virginia.

– Wyoming’s average effective tax rate on coal producers was 10.6 percent, compared to 6.5 percent in West Virginia.

– The average effective tax rate on natural gas producers was 10.2 percent in Wyoming and 8.2 percent in West Virginia.

– The average property tax rate for coal and natural producers in Wyoming was 4.8 percent for each industry, while the average property tax rate for natural gas was three percent and one percent for coal in West Virginia.

– If West Virginia replaced its real and personal property tax scheme with Wyoming’s county gross production tax, it would have raised an additional $115 million in 2008.

Incredible.

Going back to Beshear’s press conference for the coal industry, the Governor of Coal said this:

“Coal mining, as I’ve said many times before, is one of the cornerstones of Kentucky’s economy,” Beshear said during a Capitol press conference. “More than 19,000 people work directly at our mine sites with several times more than that number holding jobs indirectly related to the industry.”

Which is awesome because it reminds us of the 2008 study which found that the coal industry provides just 1% of the jobs in Kentucky:

And has an overall negative net impact on the state’s economy of $115 Million thanks to all of us subsidizing their industry (or, as you could maybe put it, ‘Buying the mountains and giving them away):

Play it again, Steve!

Tax Reform Task Force out of the gates!

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March 8, 2012
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The Governor’s Tax Reform Task Force held its first meeting on Tuesday.

They got educated:

Greg Harkenrider, deputy executive director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Analysis gave definitions of terms such as “progressive,” ”regressive” and “proportional” taxation, and what he called the Holy Grail of tax reform, “economic efficiency.”

They decided they needed help:

Gov. Steve Beshear’s special commission to draft a plan to overhaul the state’s tax laws started its first day of work Tuesday by putting out a proposal to hire a consultant.

Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson, chairman of the 23-member panel, said Beshear considered it “imperative that we have someone from the outside who could lead this group through the issues” the governor considers important.

They met opposition:

Senator Jack Westwood has filed a bill for the second year in a row setting up a new commission to completely rewrite Kentucky’s tax code.

Westwood says he filed the bill again because he’s unhappy with the make-up of the governor’s commission, which includes few economists and tax professionals.

And they’re being asked to visit northeastern Kentucky:

[State Senators Robin Webb (18th) and Walter Blevins (27th)] have submitted a letter to Beshear, requesting that meetings be scheduled for both Maysville and Ashland and stating their concerns that northeast Kentucky will not have representation in the discussions, because there is only one meeting scheduled east of Interstate 75.

The Commission has launched a new website to track progress and solicit your ideas. You can sign up to be a presenter at one of their future meetings across the state, or you can submit public comment.

Budget Moves to Senate

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March 8, 2012
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The State House yesterday passed Beshear’s budget. The H-L:

The House version of the budget makes few changes to Gov. Steve Beshear’s proposed budget, which was introduced in January.

Calling the budget “inadequate” to meet Kentucky’s needs, Beshear’s budget included 8.4 percent cuts to many agencies, a 6.4 percent cut to higher education and a 4.5 percent cut to many areas of K-12 education. The main funding formula for Kentucky schools was not cut, but it is still about $50 million short because of a miscalculation of the projected student population.

It passed easily, save one. The C-J:

The only member who spoke strongly against the spending cuts was the only Democrat who voted against the bill, Rep. Jim Wayne, of Louisville.

Wayne, an advocate for raising revenue by tax reform, said the cuts — coming on the heels of two prior budgets with deep reductions — amounts to a tax increase on the elderly on waiting lists for in-home services, on university students who are sure to see big increases in their tuition and on teachers and state workers who face two more years without pay raises.

“We continue to be in denial,” Wayne said. “… I cast a dissenting vote to say the system is broken.”

Gather Round All You Clowns: Beshear’s Tax Task Force Meets Tuesday

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March 5, 2012
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Gambling is seemingly dead for now. The Governor repeatedly mis-sold it as an avenue to raise revenue for the cash-strapped state instead of just focusing on the very worthy (and primary) cause of helping the state’s thoroughbred industry. Meanwhile, he chose to hide his love away for much needed tax reform until after the election at which point he set up a Tax Task Force. The commission meets at 12:30 on Tuesday in Frankfort for their first meeting. Their findings are due in November.

Future meeting dates, via the Herald:

Tuesday, April 10, 1 p.m., Capitol Annex, 702 Capitol Ave., Room 154, Frankfort

Tuesday, May 8, 1 p.m., Capitol Annex, 702 Capitol Ave., Room 154, Frankfort

Tuesday, May 29, 6 p.m., Paducah

Tuesday June 19, 6 p.m., Bowling Green

Tuesday July 10, 6 p.m., Louisville

Tuesday July 24, 6 p.m., Covington

Tuesday Aug 7, 6 p.m., Prestonsburg

Tuesday Aug 21, 6 p.m., Lexington

Wednesday, Sept 19, 1 p.m., Frankfort

Tuesday Oct 2, 1 p.m., Frankfort

Thursday Nov 8, 1 p.m., Frankfort

If you’d like to know what a sensible tax reform plan should include, check in with the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy:

Positive potential changes to the income tax include the following:

  • Putting in place a refundable earned-income tax credit, as 25 other states have, which would provide much-needed support to low-income working families and a boost to our economy.
  • Restructuring the income tax rates to introduce an additional higher marginal tax bracket on high earners.
  • Using adjusted gross income rather than net income as the starting point for the individual income tax, as 10 other states including West Virginia and Indiana already do. That would remove the deductions that disproportionately benefit higher income people and lessen the extent to which our income tax policy must continuously respond to decisions made by Congress.
  • Reducing the overly-generous private pension exclusion, a growing drain on revenues that will only become larger as the population ages. One option is to phase it out for higher-income retirees.

There’s much more…

Beshear ♥s Obama

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February 29, 2012
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James Carroll’s Monday column is worth reading alone for the West Virginia-based Super PAC called “Building a Better Bluegrass” with strong GOP ties, but it also tells the story of Gov. Beshear’s visit to the White House on Friday, complete with Steve’s comments afterwards to reporters:

“It was a productive meeting and an exciting meeting, in terms of where the president wants to lead this country over the next four years,” Beshear said.

“You know, we are coming through the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes,” the governor said. “And part of the reason that we’re coming out of a recession as opposed to coming out of a depression is because of the leadership of this president.

“He stepped up in the darkest of times and worked with Congress to get support for states so that we could keep educating our kids, keep providing health care for our people while we were working through these horrible budgets that we’ve been having to deal with,” Beshear continued. “So it’s been a great partnership for us.”

As for the politics of 2012, the indicators favor the president, Beshear said: “I believe that as we come out of this recession, and as people see where this country is heading, they’re going to step up and re-elect President Obama.”

Read on…

 

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