Jim Waters: Mine eyes have not seen the glory, but I’ve heard about it

This week Jim gives advice to Steve Beshear and wonders aloud if he’ll put ideas and talk into action. We’re not sure where the St. Ronnie stuff comes from or why it’s relevant, but the rest makes sense.



Mine eyes have not seen the glory, but I’ve heard about it

By Jim Waters

Now that Steve Beshear has stopped campaigning, he’s going to have to start articulating – about his plans to address serious challenges facing Kentucky’s economy and public schools.

The new governor must successfully transition from campaigning against an unpopular incumbent to working for sound policy that improves the lot of all Kentuckians. That means the interests of labor unions, social liberals and other special groups must become secondary to the betterment of the entire commonwealth.

If not, it will be “four and out” for Beshear, too.

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The War on Reality Update Dept

Mongiardo isn’t stupid, won’t resign from the Senate. Nice try, David Williams. Who in their right mind thought he’d resign before the December inauguration and swearing in, anyway? Williams came up with quite possibly the dumbest demand yet. [PolWatchers]

Ruining lives one by one. The Kentucky Board of Education has picked a finalist to become Commissioner of Education but won’t name them. No one on the board realizes it’s juvenile to tease the public. Not to mention– no one on the board realizes their “finalists” are complete and utter failures with no relevant experience. What a disappointment. [Mark Hebert]

Jody Richards wastes time and money. Again. He’s appointing a dozen state reps to be part of a work group to study the possibility of allowing casinos to set up shop in Kentucky. Don’t we already know the outcome? Why are we wasting time on this? Could Jody Richards be any more ineffective? We can’t openly and honestly resolve the Peabody issue but we can devote man hours and dollars to studying what’s already been studied. Great. [PolWatchers]

Corruption in Lexington schools. Superintendent Stu Silberman ran a high-performance principal off, lied about it, tried to cover up his tracks and then made up a secret “investigation” that no one knows about. What the heck is going on in Lex Vegas these days? First the jail and now the schools? Seriously, people. Em-bar-ass-ing. [Bluegrass Institute]

Moving in. Ernie gives Beshear’s transition team Steve Pence’s old office suite in the Capitol. Nice place to work, isn’t it? Team members are slowly moving in and are beginning to stake their claim on state government. No better place to be when moving a new regime into Frankfort. [C-J]

Jim Waters – Commish Search II: The Sequel

The right and left should all agree with Jim this week. The state school board’s “search” for a commissioner is laughable and embarrassing.

Get a grip, people! Call this “search” off and start fresh. This Barbara Erwin clustercrap has to stop.



Commish Search II: The Sequel

By Jim Waters

Al Smith, longtime host of “Comment on Kentucky,” is right in urging the Kentucky Board of Education to wait and conduct a national search for a new education commissioner – like other states do.

But his plea falls on deaf ears.

The board’s haste – along with the insipid candidates it has attracted – confirms Solomon’s reckoning that: “The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be.”

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Jim Waters: Leaner government? Treasure the thought

Jim Waters misses the mark this week.

If you oppose unnecessary spending on children’s health-care programs, Hollenbach and his political siblings probably consider you “anti-children” or “anti-family.” If you support offering parents a choice – any kind of choice – on where their children attend school, then they call you “anti-public education.”

Way to use Republican spin, Jim! Unnecessary spending on children’s health care? What? Yeah, the zillion children in this country don’t deserve care. That’s the ticket.

Providing taxpayer-funded vouchers for children to go to private religious institutions is hardly being anti-choice. It’s about avoiding the real problem and not making public education work. It’s about the separation of church and state. It’s not a black & white issue and painting it as such is closed-minded and uneducated.

And using Todd Hollenbach as a poster child for Democratic ideology was just hilarious.



Leaner government? Treasure the thought

By Jim Waters

A chasm exists between anti-government zealots and those who believe in limited government.

One believes in anarchy. The other holds to the principle offered in a statement attributed most often to Thomas Jefferson: “government governs best which governs least.”

Again, that’s “governs least,” not “governs not at all.”

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From the Educational Dept of Making Stuff Up

David at Bluegrass Policy touches on the sad state of education in Kentucky with faux statistics and news floating around everywhere you look.

Unsurprisingly, people and politicians alike are all about using manufactured statistics in order to declare success. Leave it up to Fletcher apologists and spinsters to blow smoke.

We repeatedly hear promises on the campaign trail to “fix” education. We repeatedly hear elected officials tout their educational successes or funding increases. And we are repeatedly left with nothing but failure on our hands. Is Kentucky finally electing a governor worth his weight or will be get more of the same?

Brainwashed Daily Briefing Dept

Is KAPT in trouble? Is it a waste of time and money? Should the program be revamped? Who knows. But take a look at the latest analysis and be your own judge. [Report – PDF]

Across the pond. Kentucky’s gubernatorial election makes international news. The groundswell of support for Steve Beshear is tied into a secondary theme of ousting Mitch McConnell in 2008. Looks like the world’s eyes are upon us. Note to the person providing facts for the story: quit pimping Ben Chandler as the savior. He’s not even popular in Lexington. You’re showing your disconnection. [Guardian]

Less gay hating. 9% of Kentuckians want to ban domestic partner benefits. Only 9%. But 34% say health insurance for children is their top priority. Ruh ro, Mitch. You may be on the wrong end of another issue. Oh, and the state legislature is crappy as always. [PolWatchers]

Fit for a queen? David Hawpe takes Mitch McConnell to task for losing touch with the common Kentuckian. From spring pea soup to expensive champagne, Mitch has become a high-rolling Washington socialite. A high-rolling socialite who is wholly out of touch, that is. [C-J]

Don’t buy the spin. The Herald-Leader— unlike some well-known Fletcher lackeys– has a legitimate poll indicating Democratic candidate for Treasurer Todd Hollenbach leading Republican opponent and courts hack Melinda Wheeler by 15%. The truth hurts some people and they’ll still try to lie it away. An aside: Hollenbach was endorsed by Frank Simon and refuses to denounce said endorsement. We hope Todd realizes the blogosphere will not be forgetting this if he wants an easy first term or, heck, a second run at the office. [H-L]

Update: Candidates for Commissioner of Education Released

Following up on a story we did last week.

Four of the five candidates are:

  • Dr. Jon Draud
  • Dr. Richard Hughes
  • Dr. Larry Vick
  • Jim Warford

There’s a fifth applicant from outside the state who is under consideration. No clue who it is. The Board of Education says it won’t release the name until the candidate in question tells them they still want the job.

Board chair Joe Brothers said they’re being extra-transparent throughout the selection process.

But. Wait. What?

Closed door meetings do not an open meeting make, Joe. Nor does a lack of naming names.

Readers: Have any thoughts re: the four who were mentioned?