Silly Drama Over Roger Noe

Some Democrats and Republicans are blowing discussion of the special election for the 30th Senate District out of proportion and are getting into an unnecessary huff over Roger Noe. Noe, for those unaware, is the favorite to get the Democratic nod to take over Daniel Mongiardo’s seat in the state senate.

This is a time for Harlan, Bell, Leslie and Perry Counties in southeastern Kentucky to shine and an opportunity for them to walk to the front of the line. They no longer have to be pushed back and held down. They need a Democrat who understands the legislature like Roger Noe. As State Representative, Noe did more for educational reform in Kentucky than anyone in the history of the Commonwealth. And as a private citizen he’s done nothing but stand up for eastern Kentucky when it’s been trampled upon and forgotten.

Noe has the ability to aide Daniel Mongiardo and Steve Beshear in getting the region’s long overdue fair share.

This noise about Noe’s outrage at coal industry misdeeds is nothing but Republican hype and an attempt to distract from matters of importance. It’s a classic attempt to prevent discussion of issues like public health and the general welfare of the citizenry.

The choice is simple. Do you want a Democrat who will lead, affect change and bring home the bacon for Appalachia or do you want to assist Mitch McConnell, David Williams and the rest who live for nothing more than to divide, distract and destroy? If you– Republicans and Democrats alike– want to hamper the first days of a new and hopefully competent administration by allowing ignorant and petty hackery to flood the state? Have at it. But if you don’t? Get a damn grip and realize coal isn’t the end all be all for Kentucky. Being a coal industry shill like Jim Gooch isn’t good for either political party and keeping eastern Kentucky on the back burner is the worst possible thing we could do.

Oh Snap Monday: Educational Failure Dept

Rep. Harry Moberly keeps promise, researching damage by mountaintop removal, only Democrat standing up. Puts Jim Gooch to shame. Moberly, according to Stephenie Steitzer, will study the impact of coal mining on December 3 by traveling to Hazard. How long will it take the rest of the legislature to do something like this? Ten years? 15? [The Arena]

Ready to ride? Kentucky Equine Education Project/KEEP needs volunteer riders for Steve Beshear’s inaugural parade. Frankfort – 10:00 A.M. – December 11. If you’re interested in walking or riding, get in touch with KEEP’s field director Cara Stewart. KEEP is headed by Patrick Neely, a guy Republicans and Democrats alike appreciate and one of the brightest political minds in the state. Good opportunity to get involved. [KEEP]

Freedom calls? Is this what the GOP has to look forward to? If so, we’re sorry, GOP. Really sorry. This is quite possibly the most ignorant and racist tripe ever published as an op-ed in any Kentucky newspaper. W. Bryan Hubbard writes not to his fellow Republicans to but his fellow wingnuts. [H-L]

Beshear for the win. Seems governor-elect Steve Beshear is stepping up to finish what Ernie Fletcher stopped. Beshear promises to help finish construction of Kentucky’s Center for African American Heritage. Fletcher and his cronies at the Transportation Cabinet have ignorantly withheld funding to complete the project the past two years. You’d never see this sort of roadblock for something like the Creation Museum. [C-J]

New commissioner. As Mark Hebert reported, Jon Draud is the new Education Commissioner. He’s a Republican selected by a board of Republicans appointed by Ernie Fletcher. Both sides of the aisle have been distraught for weeks over the Board of Education’s apparent lack of common sense. Can we expect success with this continued corruption? Fat chance. [Mark Hebert]

Public corruption in Clay County. You think it’s interesting living in the golden triangle? Think again. The mayor of Manchester along with other public officials dealt drugs, profited from the illegal gun trade, bought votes and when a citizen didn’t want to sell their house to the city? They hired a hit man to torch the place. And people wonder why Eastern Kentucky is falling apart. It might just be because the Roger Benton legacy continues. Those involved were finally sentenced. [H-L here & here]

The Enquirer will never provide real journalism. In Pat Crowley’s latest piece he tells Democrats to be afraid because they’re essentially screwed up in Northern Kentucky. Primarily because Northern Kentucky Democrats have made fools of themselves the past several weeks. He turned what could have been a great 730-word column about the November 6 election into a weird warning for Democrats. Are his editors writing for him? We know Pat is a real journalist and is capable of much better. [The Enquirer]

Jim Waters: What the devil does the doctor mean?

You’ll notice Jim Waters’ column is now published a week later on Page One. This is as a courtesy to an unnamed print publication we believe is remarkable and want to succeed in every way possible. If we were being asked to bow for a Gannett or Clear Channel-owned publication we’d be foaming at the mouth with a different story. Thank goodness Kentucky is home to some great journalism we’re proud to support. Readers should feel encouraged to scout out their local alternative weekly newspapers.



What the devil does the doctor mean?

By Jim Waters

The devil’s missing from Gov. Ernie Fletcher’s latest proposal to bring medical-liability reform to Kentucky.

His plan creates an “independent board of medical professionals” to determine the merit of lawsuits against doctors. But the details – where the devil lies – remain ghost-like. Perhaps the devil got all caught up in Halloween, or maybe he’s “gone down to Georgia” to fiddle around.

The governor began his administration promoting capping noneconomic damages in medical-malpractice lawsuits. Apparently, he’s given up on being able to get that idea through a legislature filled with lawyer-legislators.

Read moreJim Waters: What the devil does the doctor mean?

Monday Morning Propaganda

Still on strike. Hundreds of nurses at Appalachian Regional Healthcare hospitals are still fighting for their voice. They’re heading for their third meeting with company officials in hopes of ending their strike. [H-L]

Using religion as a wedge issue. Ernie gets excited, freaks out over the Ten Commandments, tries to scare Henderson residents into believing Steve Beshear hates God, Jesus, babies. [Gleaner]

C-J calls spineless Democrats out for caving to Mitch McConnell and George W. Bush on health care for children. “If the House Democrats are who they claim to be, they won’t let George W. Bush push them, and needy children, around on this issue.” [C-J]

More gambling. Ernie just can’t get off his anti-gambling kick, runs through Ashland preaching the evils of casinos. And he’s still bitter over his merit hiring scandal– blaming Greg Stumbo every chance he gets. [Daily Independent]

Flip-flopping? Ernie changes his mind, now believes equine feed and supplies should be tax-free. Something Fletcher supporters used to attack Beshear. [WLEX18]

Mitch McConnell’s stance on SCHIP is pretty wide, isn’t it? He’s being criticized again. Can’t have your cake and eat it too. [PolWatchers]

Sen. Mongiardo is being praised for his experience in and passion for health care. The AP says he’s still engaged to Allison Patrick, though we hear that’s no longer the case. Speaking of Mongiardo: Where is he? Put him in a commercial or two! Bring him out of hiding. [AP via H-L]

Doing what’s right. John Yarmuth stands up for free speech and freedom of the press. Continuing to give us the right to protect your anonymity when you forward us private e-mails and dish the dirt about political happenings or office-paid vacations for an elected official’s mistress. [C-J]

Republicans for Beshear. Tons of Republicans showed up in Corbin this weekend to stand in support of Democrats Steve Beshear, Daniel Mongiardo and Bruce Hendrickson. Not good news for Fletcher in former Republican strong-holds. [H-L]

More endorsements. Kentucky Enquirer endorses Steve Beshear and pokes fun of his lack of a plan if gambling should fail. And the Kentucky Post endorses him. Doesn’t look like Northern Kentucky’s in the bag for Ernie anymore. [Enquirer, Post]

Like Lying Governors, Hate Comes in Many Flavors

Special to Page One by University of Kentucky student Robert Kahne

MSU Hate 1Ask any student of the University of Kentucky about Brother Rick, Soulwinner Ministries, and the man dubbed “Crazy Old Guy” and they will invariably remember the first time their ears were assaulted with the words of these street preachers. It is a time-honored practice of street preachers to spread their message of hate in free speech areas at institutions of higher education. Recently, a street preacher at Morehead State University caused quite a controversy.

Here at UK, Soulwinners Ministries is a well-known group. This group of 4 African-American people and their children pop up on our free-speech area once or twice a semester, and hold up a sign decrying homosexuals, abortion, popular culture, anything sexual, and many other things. These guys always yell really loudly at passers-by and are always willing to argue for hours on just about anything. Soulwinners usually generate more debate and agitation than any of the street preachers because of their obvious commitment to their cause. Other street preachers are easily joked about because the things they say are so over-the-top and ridiculous that it is hard to think that even the preachers themselves take themselves serious. (See our friend, Brother Rick)

Now, Soulwinners Ministries are quite ridiculous. They claim on their shirts that “Real Christians Don’t Sin” among other things. They are also very hateful, saying “Homos Go to Hell” and such. Their jaunts to UK have always passed without incident; however recently, a trip to Morehead State sparked some controversy.

MSU Hate 6MSU Hate 5
MSU Hate 4MSU Hate 2

At Morehead, Soulwinners was met by dozens of protesters that spanned several races, ethnicities, religions, and sexual orientations. Many of these appeared to be kids from campus ministries who are pissed that their religion is being hijacked. Others appear to be homosexuals who don’t like the fact that hate about them is being spewed on their campus. Other people seem to be there just to see the show. Soulwinners and the subsequent protests prompted the Dean of Students to e-mail the campus calling on people to protest peacefully and to avoid the free speech area if Soulwinners offended them.

MSU Hate 3Free speech is a fundamental tenet of our democracy. The ability to say anything we want without fear of prosecution has been used effectively to end slavery, give us women’s suffrage, end war, and to fight for civil rights. However, with the good comes the bad. Hate speech is still free speech, and as a society, we would do well to tolerate those whom we disagree with, and to protest them peacefully. While I hope we all agree (no matter what our political affiliation) that the message of Soulwinners is laced with hate and malice, I hope that we also agree that the protests that accompany our objection should be in good taste.

Tuesday: Summer is finally ending!

No chance, Ernest Lee. Republican pundit John David Dyche says Ernie Fletcher doesn’t have a chance on any level. He actually provides examples. Great list of Fletcher failures. [C-J]

Never supporting workers. Fletcher takes on Mongiardo for supporting nurses in eastern Kentucky. [C-J]

Merit scandal part two? Improper hiring investigation leads to Treasurer Jonathan Miller’s office. Miller is accused of hiring a Republican for a check printing job instead of offering it to inside employees first. His office is contesting the claim and Fletcher’s Personnel Cabinet honcho is crapping himself. [H-L]

Beef? What? The Courier-Journal tells voters they may ignore the Kentucky Central issue because it is a desperate re-election attempt of Ernie Fletcher attempting to damage Steve Beshear. [C-J]

Just an A. Mark Nickolas points out that Steve Beshear has received an A rating from the National Rifle Association, effectively squashing Fletcher’s complaints that Beshear will take away yer guns. [BGR]

What’s this? Democrats may kinda actually agree with David Adams for a change? Adams now writes for the Bluegrass Institute and yesterday he took on a charter schools bill that died in the Senate. Brings up the Academy of Math and Science at WKU that we should all learn more about. [BIPPS]

If you missed KET’s debate among the candidates for Attorney General last night? Don’t forget to check it out.

Update: Striking Nurses Being Replaced

Oh, yeah. That nurses strike at ARH we told you about?

Well… Appalachian Regional Healthcare has taken it upon themselves to permanently replace all 650 nurses on strike.

After so many claims of poor staffing and terrible working environments.

Way to go, ARH! Way to support your most important segment of the work force! What a way to screw over the people of Appalachia