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.

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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.

Candidates for Lt. Gov. Homophobic?

Sure seems like both Dan Mongiardo and Robbie Rudolph could be a bit afraid of the gays. Only one brought God into the mix of their anti-gay marriage rant during last night’s debate, though. We’ll let you guess who. You’re sure to be surprised.



Neither candidate believes gay couples– who pay for 100% of their domestic partner benefits— should be afforded health insurance? Everyone should have access to health care but gay people? What the?

Heads-up to the winners on November 6, 2007: You’ll be bringing us actual gay folk to the table to resolve this matter. It’s 2007. There’s no place for homophobia.

And we thought we’d seen the last of homophobia this campaign season.

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]

McConnell Knew, Courier-Journal Chimes In

As we reported last night Senator Mitch McConnell lied to WHAS11’s Mark Hebert.

Could this story get any bigger? Talking Points Memo, Think Progress, Crooks & Liars, FireDogLake, CourtTV have all covered it. Now the Courier-Journal’s James Carroll gives it some legs.

WASHINGTON — Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell knew last week — at a time when he was denying it — that his staff had sent e-mails encouraging reporters to look into the background of a 12-year-old boy used by Democrats to support expansion of a health-care program.

In an interview Friday with WHAS-TV reporter Mark Hebert, the Kentucky Republican said his staff had not been involved in trying to push reporters to look into the financial situation of the boy’s family.

But McConnell’s communications director, Don Stewart, said in an interview Monday with The Courier-Journal that he had told McConnell about the Oct. 8 e-mails sometime around Thursday, the day before the interview with Hebert.

Gubernatorial Debate – Scary Gay Highlights

Most of the gubernatorial debate last evening was a rehash of the Paducah debate last Friday. Rather than post the same spin again, we thought it’d be nice to focus on Ernie Fletcher’s inability to get over his fear of the gays.

When Steve Beshear and Ernie Fletcher were asked if they support allowing universities to offer domestic partner benefits Fletcher harped on and on about costing the taxpayers money. Beshear, though, offered the truth by making it clear that domestic partner benefits do not cost taxpayers anything.

That’s not the end of it. Ernie went on to again complain about Steve Beshear’s love of the big, scary gay money. When will the ignorance end? When will Fletcher’s own tight-knit group of gays ask him to give it a rest? What are they afraid of?

Oh– lest anyone assume Steve Beshear supports gay marriage? He voted for the marriage amendment in 2004 and his running mate Sen. Dan Mongiardo championed the anti-gay legislation.




Watch the full debate here.