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?

Kentucky isn’t burning anymore

30 days behind. Hendrickson and Grayson in a dead heat? They were a month ago according to the Lane Report. 37% – 37% with 22% undecided. Guess this is the race to watch after all. [Lane Report, PolWatchers]

His old self. Louisville Arena Committee Chairman Jim Host proves what a partisan hack he is, appearing in a radio ad for Ernie Fletcher’s reelection bid. To think this man parades around Louisville preaching that he’s not political. Please! [PolWatchers]

OMG. People wake up and begin questioning skyrocketing cost of higher education costs. Turns out people really do want to know what Beshear and Fletcher have to offer on that front and wish they’d hear more about it on the campaign trail. [C-J]

Standing up against the dark side. 200 health care workers protested outisde Carlyle Group Headquarters in D.C. Monday. Their cause? To highlight how the creepy group’s purchase of managed care facilities is screwing the world up. [FDL]

Status quo. Hebert and Survey USA have some interesting poll results – questions about the gays, gambling and education. And Beshear is still leading by 20 points. [Hebert, SUSA]

Combination of church and state. Working Families for Kentucky tries to use religion to try to turn voters away from Ernie Fletcher in the upcoming election. Their latest radio ad calls upon Christians to ask for the unvarnished truth. That’s fine and dandy but why do we have to bastardize religion by muddying it with politics? [PolWatchers]

Just for laughs: Be Larry Craig for Halloween.

Educational Disgrace

This Sunday the Kentucky Board of Education will meet to determine who their final nominees for Commissioner of Education will be. The nominees are rumored to be three individuals (all Republican), two of whom are current state legislators.

As David Adams of the Bluegrass Policy Blog reports the Board of Education is poised to rush their choice through the selection process just disasterously as they did Barbara Erwin. The entire Commonwealth of Kentucky is sitting idly by allowing to happen. The press isn’t saying anything and most bloggers are silent. So it’s time to speak up, people.

Is it too much to ask that the state Commissioner of Education be qualified to hold their job? Is it too much to ask that nominees for the job have experience leading a troubled department of education toward success? Seems those being considered are only qualified in the sense that they’re legislators or players in a political party. And that’s just not good enough for Kentucky.

Wake up!