Guess No One In Frankfort’s Capable Of Leadership

Steve Beshear says federal lawmakers need to get their act together on the debt deal. But why won’t he get HIS act together on the economic front in Kentucky? [H-L]

Don’t miss Comment on Kentucky tonight at 8:00 P.M. Eastern on KET. Scheduled guests: Joe ARnold, Al Cross, Janet Patton. [KET]

Ronnie Ellis wants you to go to Fancy Farm because it’s worth the trip. But don’t get too excited – the political theatre isn’t that great. [Ashland Independent]

We’ve still got an eyebrow raised over Jack Conway and Steve Beshear not getting interested in this University of Louisville Hospital merger mess until Republicans started to raise questions. [C-J/AKN]

Mitch McConnell says the Democrats need to offer a new solution for the debt crisis. Why doesn’t HE offer a new solution? [WaPo]

Nuclear waste is piling up as a repository plan is nowhere to be seen. [NPR]

Apartments were dedicated in Morehead for domestic violence survivors. [The Morehead News]

In John Steinbeck’s footsteps: America’s middle-class underclass. [BBC]

A 200-million-year-old fossil of a sea reptile was discovered on an Alaskan beach. But we thought the Earth was just 5,000? [Reuters]

Gross Domestic Product from April through June wasn’t exactly what anyone could call rosy. [More WaPo]

Really, you’re all just cold gonna starve to death because the recession is getting way worse. [Wonkette]

Sorry, meemaw and poppop, the gubmint is probably going to skip your Social Security payments so we can keep rich folks afloat. [HuffPo]

You really should try finding your way to Lincoln on a scene Kentucky byway. It’s tons of nerd fun. [H-L]

Greg Fischer’s company got a gigantic $1.19 million taxpayer incentive. He recently (as in weeks, not months) sold the company. Which means he owned it – while mayor – and the incentive program process started while he owned it. [The ‘Ville Voice]

Jack Conway In 2002 vs Jack Conway in 2011

2002: Jack Conway supported a ban of unregulated ‘soft money’ campaign contributions to political parties or committees

2011: He’s relying – via his actual friends and former staffers running them – committees funded by soft dollars

2002: Jack Conway wanted to prohibit non-U.S. citizens from making soft money contributions to national parties and committees

2011: Nary a peep

2002: Jack Conway wanted to require full disclosure of funding sources of issue advocacy (527s and 501 orgs) commercials appearing within 60 days of an election

2011: Not a peep. You know he’ll fight that sort of disclosure this time around. Wouldn’t want everybody to find out daddy drops hundreds of thousands into those groups.

Oh — ever wondered why Jack Conway’s alleged efforts against Marathon always puff out in a poot of nothingness?

Maybe it’s because Marathon gives mountains of cash to the folks who back Jack:

If there was any doubt about whether Tony and Heather Podesta qualify as one of Washington’s top power couples, it can now be erased.

The pair, already known as top-tier Democratic donors and lobbyists, appear back to back at the top of the Federal Election Commission’s database of lobbyist bundlers.

-SNIP-

To outside watchdogs, few things are as controversial as the role of big money bundlers and big money lobbyists. Lobbyists bundling large amounts of cash “raises the specter of this quid pro quo that is so disturbing,” says Mary Boyle, vice president of communications for Common Cause. She describes bundlers as the “power brokers” of the regulated financial system, who do a valuable service for candidates that, in return, “buys them access, influence and, certainly prestige within the campaign.”

-SNIP-

In second place is Heather Podesta, Tony’s wife and a powerful lobbyist in her own right. Like her husband, her bundled donations have gone exclusively to Democrats — more than $322,000 went to the DCCC and DSCC. An art collector and board member for several collections, Heather Podesta is also the owner of her own successful lobbying firm that works for a broad range of clients, including the American Beverage Association, Marathon Oil and Prudential Financial. Heather Podesta + Partners has brought in at least $3.3 million in contracts since January.

“Tony and I started this cycle immediately and wanted to not wait until 2012 to engage,” she said. “So we really jump-started our fundraising early this cycle.”

Now we know why his former U.S. Senate campaign staffers were always tepid about criticizing Marathon when questioned privately.

Northern Kentucky Schools & Superintendent Salaries

Earlier this week we bemoaned a $10,000 raise for the Covington Superintendent of Schools – and not just because it’s one of the worst-performing districts in the state.

You want to know why we questioned that gigantic raise?

Have a look for yourself at the number of kids enrolled in three Northern Kentucky districts – including Covington:

  • Kenton County student enrollment 13,907
  • Boone County student enrollment 18,560
  • Covington Independent student enrollment 3,961

Now take a look at what the supes in each district make and what they’re essentially paid per child:

  • Kenton County Superintendent annual salary $140,000 or $10.06 per child
  • Boone County Superintendent annual salary $175, 414 or $9.45 per child
  • (With the $10K raise) Covington Superintendent annual salary $128,680 or $32.48 per child

Now do you get it?