It’s Ernest Lee & Steve Day

Steve Beshear smoked Ernie Fletcher on Kentucky Tonight’s debate last evening. As John Stamper says, they argued bitterly and Ernie took the brunt of things. Who knew Steve could hold his own? [KET, H-L]

Fletcher and Beshear trade jabs on ethics. You fill in the blanks. [C-J]

Judge denies Williams’ request to stop ethics hearing. No one is surprised. [PolWatchers]

Fletcher and Beshear agree on ‘Bucks for Brians’ and Ernie pledges $100million if re-elected. Vote buying? Everyone waits with baited breath for Steve Henry to claim he contributed millions to the program. [PolWatchers, C-J]

Jim Bunning was wrong. 57% of Kentuckians disapprove of the war. 11% unsure. You know what that means. 3/4ths of Kentuckians think it’s a crock of shit. [PolWatchers]

Ernie debuts faith-based office this week. The Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives is modeled after Dubya’s plan and will seek to provide government funding for religious orgnization, further blurring the separation of church & state. [C-J]

Fletcher & Beshear to debate at NKU on Oct 3, 7:00 P.M., will be broadcast around the state. WCPO, WAVE3, WKYT, WNKU radio. [Enquirer]

Okay, a non-gubernatorial story. Anne Northup is hard at work raising money for Erwin Roberts’ bid against John Yarmuth. [NRCC]

Someone is paying attention to the economy. Federal Reserve cuts key short-term interest rate by half a point from 5.25% to 4.75%. First cut in four years. [CNN]

Don’t forget the mainstream media’s blatant attempt to ignore Kentucky Farm Bureau’s discriminatory practices.

Wait. What?

Secret investigation? Steve Beshear’s law firm was the target of a secret investigation relating to the Kentucky Central liquidation. Maybe the longest story every written that leaves you hanging. Mark Nickolas has a few reminders for the public and they mostly point back to Fletcher. [H-L, BGR]

Suing Ernie. Attorney General Greg Stumbo’s lawsuit against Ernie Fletcher for illegally appointing more Republicans than Democrats to university boards makes the rounds every day. Every day there’s a new story. [C-J]

Party switcher. Republican Rep. Milward Dedman of Harrodsburg becomes a Democrat. Republican commenters on the C-J forum cry fowl… then cry a river of tears that their party is in shambles. [C-J]

Shock and awe. Okay, not really, everyone knew No Child Left Behind was a collasal failure. Now we hear it’s incompatible with policies that actually– get this– with policies that actually work. Search the No Child Left Behind Database to see how your child’s school holds up. [C-J]

7 new Human Rights commissioners. Fletcher has appointed newbies to the agency that investigates, well, Human Rights. An amazing thing– victory for minorities– six of the new members are African American. Though, many leaders in the black community are upset Fletcher has let so many commission members go at once. Note that Todd Hollenbach, Democratic candidate for Treasurer, was a commission member. [C-J]

Instead of watching Osama tapes, how bout some news?

A woman? What?! Who needs progress? Myra Tobin will face Fletcher crony Steve Branscum to become the first female chair of the University of Kentucky’s Board of Trustees. She should be elected if for no other reason than to, you know, flipping diversify the board’s leadership history [H-L]

Lisabeth makes two. State appeals court judge Lisabeth Abramson of Louisville has been appointed to replace Justice McAnulty’s vacant seat on the Kentucky Supreme Court. Fletcher’s appointment Seems to be receiving praise from all over. [C-J]

The surge is working! Say it enough and you’ll eventually believe it. Sen. Jim Bunning wants us to stay in Iraq, approves of the deaths of countless thousands. Gotta kill all those innocent Iraqis there so we don’t have to kill them here, right? [WBKO]

Dan Druen is ready to air the truth. Demands that the Kentucky Executive Branch Ethics Commission hear his case— publicly– before the November 6 general election. Also throws in that the Commission may not be as impartial as they should be since they were all, you know, appointed by Ernest Lee. [H-L]

Gays, guns & God! John David Dyche seems to be all about Ernie using hateful bullshit to win. And term limits. Term limits will save us all! P.S. John David: there are plenty of Democrats who aren’t so hot on casino gambling– just ask organized labor. [C-J]

Oh, Rep. Melvin Henley of Murray and Rep. Milward Dedman of Harrodsburg will switch their party registrations to Democratic. More Republicans jumping ship. Diane Brumback reported this weeks ago. [Hebert]

Can you help us? It’s greatly needed.

101 Ways to Read the News

Fletcher switching gears? Ronnie Ellis suggests Ernest Lee could be moving on to social issues like Jesus, abortion, guns and THE GAYS. OMG!!11! The gays are coming! The gubnuh will save us! [Richmond Register]

Performance and transparency are a bitch. Kentucky Auditor Crit Luallen released a– get this– an audit (of all things) of the High-Tech Construction Pool and High-Tech Investment Pool. While the groups are allegedly funding quality projects? A commission established to monitor the effectiveness of new economic programs has not met since 2003. [Auditor]

Not surprising. The C-J reports home foreclosures in Kentucky will hit record highs. Jefferson County is projected to have 3,125 foreclosure auctions ordered by judges this year, up from last year’s record of 2,710. Bush’s economy is just wonderful. [C-J]

McConnell screws college kids again. The senator was one of just 11 Republicans voting against bringing down college costs. The College Cost Reduction Act of 2007 is the largest student aid investment since the GI Bill. The bill, which McConnell opposed, offers a debt forgiveness program that benefits nurses, teachers and law enforcement. [DSCC]

Almost got the story correct. Joe Gerth reports on the Insight-McConnell matter. He missed that Insight has contributed more than $17,000 to McConnell (far greater than the $10K he quotes). McConnell’s staff still insists that it matters that the iPod-like audio devices shipped to Afghanistan used encrypted audio files. It may come as a surprise to some non-geeks, but, uh, nearly all portable audio players– especially the iPod– use encrypted audio and it has no bearing on what the devices were used for. [C-J]

News that’s slipped by

Ernie freaks out, tells Stumbo the law isn’t the law. Apparently, violating the law (however controversial said law may be) in a partisan hack sort of way makes the law null and void. Greg’s taking him to court over the university trustee snafu. Let’s follow the law for a change, eh? [H-L]

The General came to Kentucky. Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, told a group of WWII vets in Louisville yesterday that we shouldn’t rule out bringing back the draft but said recruiting is sufficient to keep the military afloat. Pace neglected to mention that the draft wouldn’t just be about replenishing the rank and file. It’s also about forcing Americans to think about and deal with the situation at hand. If more than the poor had to fight, maybe we’d resolve this clusterfuck before 2050. [C-J]

Attempting to curb the power of corruption. Steve Beshear unveiled a proposal to limit a governor’s power to issue blanket pardons and make appointments to the Executive Branch Ethics Commission. Ernie Fletcher is, needless to say, pissed. [C-J]

Following up on a story we did last month. A judge has ordered the status quo on liquor sales until a suit on the retardo Gallatin County liquor ban can be heard. Businesses will be allowed to continue selling alcohol on Sundays until October 29. Note that elected officials in Gallatin County were afraid to speak about the issue. Where are you, Kenny French? We hear you’re playing both sides of the aisle. [Enquirer]

Introducing Jim Waters: Jay Walking

This week, Steve Beshear released his ideas for solving our educational woes. It’s not a problem that can be solved, but something politicians have to give regular and constant attention. Beshear’s got some good ideas, but no policy can ensure that high school graduates know the basics. Still, despite millions spent with the idea of improving the collective knowledge of our democracy, Jim Waters points out here that as a whole, we’ve got a long way to go.

Let’s face it – most Americans couldn’t get half the questions on the student version of Jeopardy right. That’s no reason to give up on education. Jim’s column is funny in an “oh, shit” way.

Jim WatersJim Waters is a well-known writer and current Director of Policy and Communications at the Bluegrass Institute. You’ve read him in LEO and other publications. Now you can read what he has to say without waiting for a newspaper to go to print.

This is Page One’s first foray into publishing a regular columnist. Please welcome Jim aboard. We plan to introduce content from readers and other contributors in the weeks ahead. Let us know what you think.

Should we laugh or cry when Leno goes ‘Jaywalking’?

By Jim Waters

America’s founders knew an uninformed citizenry presented a greater threat to freedom than military power.

Thomas Jefferson wrote: “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.”

While Jefferson may be one of the most aggrieved victims of “revisionist history,” even the most “politically correct” clod would have to acquiesce to his assertion that citizens cannot be both ignorant and adequately preserve, much less defend, their freedoms.

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