Day: May 24, 2016

The other cover price for McConnell’s new tell-all memoirs: $325,000 — to start

In “The Long Game,” Republican U.S. senate majority leader Mitch McConnell slams the man he calls “Professor Obama” and needles fellow lawmakers, ABC News says in a new story. It hits bookstores next Tuesday.

McConnell bookMcConnell told the Associated Press a year ago that he was writing the book. But he didn’t say how much he’d get paid. Now, his new financial disclosure report filed last week shows what publisher Penguin forked over: $325,000 — and that’s just to start. He’ll also receive royalty payments: 15% of sales at the retail price of hardcover editions; 7.5% to 10% of sales of paperbacks; and 25% of e-book sales.

This is McConnell’s biggest foray into book publishing. If sales go through the roof, he could earn a bigger advance next time. But as political books go, it’s a long road to match what Simon & Schuster paid Hillary Clinton in 2000 for her memoirs as first lady: a near-record $8 million. (And that’s not counting the rumored $14 million for her years as secretary of state.) In fact, McConnell’s pales alongside a list Boulevard compiled of other high-profile authors going back to 2001.

The 20-page disclosure report covering all of 2015 is full of details about McConnell’s finances and those of his wife, the economist Elaine Chao. Among them, Chao got paid five figures for speeches she gave to the Alliance for Public Awareness in Paris ($50,000), and the Real Estate Roundtable in Washington ($25,000). Chao was U.S. labor secretary in the George W. Bush Administration.

With Chao’s substantial family wealth included, McConnell ranked No. 11 among the senate’s wealthiest members as of 2014, the latest year available from the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan campaign finance watchdog group.

Related: McConnell’s 2014 financial disclosure report. Also, here’s Republican Rand Paul’s 2015 report, plus his 2014 report.

How McConnell’s book advance stacks up against other big deals

A selection of advances publishers have paid to politicians, entertainers and journalists over the past 15 years.

Up in smoke: Amid $10,000 funerals, Cave Hill Cemetery cremation rates have soared

Only 10 years ago, just 3% of the internments at storied Cave Hill Cemetery involved cremations. Today, the cemetery estimates the rate has soared to 37%. The statewide rate is lower: 22%, but across the U.S., it’s nearly 47%.

UrnNo wonder. A traditional funeral in the U.S. costs $8,000 to $10,000, with the single-biggest expense being a casket, averaging $2,300 — a pricey item cremation doesn’t require. Urns for ashes, on the other hand, are a lot cheaper, such as the $139.95 one pictured, left.

The cemetery’s more famous permanent residents include KFC founder Harland Sanders.

Related: Read more about Louisville cemeteries, and funeral homes. Much of the state’s funeral industry is regulated by the state Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors; the board publishes industry laws and regulations, including requirements for inspections and publicly available price lists for caskets and other merchandise, plus services.

Photo, top: the cemetery’s iconic entrance at Broadway and Baxter.

Finn's logoNewly open — the past three weeks — Finn’s is serving southern comfort food for breakfast, lunch and dinner in up-and-coming Germantown. A sample of what looks good on the menu for dinner: brown sugar salmon with hop’n john and creole butter sauce; price isn’t on the website’s menu. 😦

Executive chef is Brian Curry, formerly at Napa River Grill. The operating partner is Steve Clements, who last owned Avalon, the Highlands restaurant he sold to El Camino four years ago, says Insider Louisville.

Finn’s is in the historic Fincastle building directly behind the new Germantown Mills Lofts. The art deco building once housed offices for the 1800-era cotton mill that’s been converted to the rental loft-style apartments. In the age of social media, it’s on Facebook; Instagram, and customers are tweeting.

Where: 1318 McHenry St. When: Breakfast: 7 a.m.-11 a.m. weekdays; lunch: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. weekdays; and dinner: 5 p.m.-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, until 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Related: Germantown’s booming as new families and businesses join long-time residents, says Louisville magazine.

Go, Kindred: Home health market in quick expansion; lightning-fast Google Fiber nears a done Louisville deal

A news summary, focused on big employers; updated at 2:01 p.m.

Google Fiber map
Google Fiber cities: Louisville is potential (gray); current (blue); upcoming (purple).

KINDRED: The global home health market will expand rapidly in the next four years, according to newly released research (Home Health Care News).

BROWN-FORMAN: Asia-Pacific Marketing Director Michael McShane recalls the worst time he ever got lost traveling on business: New Orleans. “I was so excited to be in this famous city, that I went out exploring without my hotel key and promptly forgot where I was staying” (Financial Review).

TACO BELL: Employees in Brunswick, Ohio, called police at 3 a.m. Friday to report a drunken driver in a white Ford Taurus in the restaurant’s drive-thru. Police pulled the man over a short time later (Cleveland).

In other news, Louisville now looks like the next city to get super high-speed Internet service from Google Fiber. The Metro Council is set to pass a crucial ordinance Thursday, giving the search giant a franchise to continue to the next stage of installation. Service could become available in the fall. The service would provide speeds up to 100 times faster than conventional broadband (Courier-Journal). On Google Fiber’s website, Louisville is shown as “potential.” The service is already available in Atlanta, Kansas City, Nashville and Provo, Utah.

Meanwhile, AT&T this week started imposing higher rates for customers using large volumes of data — and customers aren’t happy (Courier-Journal, too). Boulevard adds: way to not compete with Google Fiber.

U.S. stocks jumped less than an hour into trading, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average and other indices all up more than 1%. Big employer shares in Boulevard’s stock portfolio were all higher, too (Google Finance).

Map, top: Google Fiber.

Jennifer LawrenceBoulevard reviews the latest media coverage of the Oscar-winning Louisville native in our exclusive Jennifer Lawrence Diary™. Today’s news, rated on a scale of 1-5 stars:

One starWarning! Boulevard wrote this review before eating breakfast. We strongly recommend that you don’t do so.

Continuing her publicity tour for the new “X-Men: Apocalypse,” Lawrence hit the Tonight Show last night, where she, fellow-guest John Oliver and host Jimmy Fallon played True Confessions. In that game, they took turns confessing two things — one true, one false — then competed to separate truth from fiction. Take it away, CDA News:

As Lawrence was playing, she kept swiping at her nose. A few swipes later, Fallon pointed out something was on her nose. Again, Lawrence swiped. “Was it a booger?” she asked. “Yes,” Fallon said. Then she proceeded to admit she’d felt the booger creeping up, but thought no way, “we’re on TV, there’s no way a booger can exist.”

“You totally boogered out!” Fallon said, laughing hysterically.

Boulevard isn’t laughing hysterically. We’d give CDA zero stars if that were possible. So, they get one.