The Two-Way
7:04 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Reports: Deal Reached To Lower Rates On Student Loans

Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 8:19 pm

"Senators have reached a bipartisan deal to restore lower interest rates on student borrowers," The Associated Press reports, citing "Republican and Democratic aides who insist on anonymity because they are not authorized to discuss the ongoing negotiations by name."

Read more
Media Critic
7:02 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Louisville Media Focus Too Much on Lurid Details of Tragedy Over Big-Picture Issues

Most Americans are familiar with the caricature of bloodthirsty reporters swarming in packs around the recently bereaved: “You just witnessed the death of your entire family. Tell us how you feel!”

Read more
Education
8:27 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

JCPS Approves New Teachers Union Contract; Board Member Questions Paying Union President

Credit Shutterstock.com

The Jefferson County Board of Education has approved a new five-year bargaining agreement with the teachers union, but the vote was not unanimous.  

The contract was approved 5-1—board member David Jones Jr. was absent—and will mean more flexibility for principals and schools when hiring new teachers and no cost-of-living increases.

Click here to read the contract.

Read more
Politics
8:13 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Congressional Report Shows Obamacare Benefits to Kentucky Districts

Credit Shutterstock.com

The House voted on Wednesday to delay two key components of President Obama's health care law after the White House announced it was postponing an important mandate.

This represents the thirty-eighth time the Republican majority has moved to either repeal, de-fund or curtail the Affordable Care Act since taking control of the House in 2011.

In a bipartisan 264-161 vote, Congress codifies a decision made by the Obama administration earlier this month to give companies a one-year reprieve. But the GOP leadership took that a step further and held a vote to postpone the individual mandate, which passed by a 251-174 vote.

"From the very beginning it was clear that this one-size-fits-all law was the wrong approach to addressing our nation’s health care woes.  I still believe that repeal of this devastating law is needed, but until then we need to ensure that American families aren’t punished while the administration gives big businesses a break," says Congressman Brett Guthrie, R-Ky., adding the law is a "train wreck."

Obamcare certainly remains a political punching bag for Republican congressmen and senators in Kentucky, but Democratic Congressman John Yarmuth, who represents Louisville and voted for the law, continues to speak up for its benefits since passage.

Yarmuth's office released data on Wednesday from the House Energy & Commerce Committee showing a district-by-district breakdown what the law is doing in Kentucky.

Read more
Environment
6:13 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

'Gorilla Snot' and Dust Screens: LG&E Tries to Tame Coal Ash at Cane Run

The dust screen at the Cane Run Power Plant
Photo Courtesy Greg Walker.

Louisville Gas and Electric has spent about $1.75 million to control coal ash at the Cane Run Power Plant, but the company has been repeatedly fined for letting dust leave the site. The company says it has tried out eight separate measures and has implemented half of them.

Read more
Education
5:40 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Congressman Yarmuth Introduces Literacy Bill, But Education Remains An Issue For Congress

Credit U.S. Congress

U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth says reauthorizing the No Child Left Behind Act remains a challenge and certain programs that need updating are falling by the wayside.

Yarmuth has introduced the Literacy Education for All, Results for the Nation ACT—or LEARN Act—in the House and an identical bill has also been introduced in the Senate. Both bills face uphill battles as Congress discusses reauthorizing the No Child Left Behind Act, which hasn’t been updated for over a decade.

Read more
Politics
4:13 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Mitch McConnell, Rand Paul Backing GOP Incumbent Over Liz Cheney Primary Challenge

Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul of Kentucky
Credit Kenny Colston / Kentucky Public Radio

Kentucky's two senators are backing Republican incumbent Mike Enzi of Wyoming for re-election over Liz Cheney, daughter of former vice president Dick Cheney, who announced she intends to run in the GOP primary next year.

Cheney is a co-founder of the non-profit group "Keep America Safe" who moved to Wyoming last year with the hopes of running for Senate.

Enzi said Cheney told him she wasn't going to seek his seat unless he was retiring.

After hearing her announcement, Enzi, who made it clear he's running for re-eleciton told The Washington Post: "Obviously that wasn't correct."

But the Cowboy State lawmaker can count Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul in his column.

Paul openly mocked Cheney's residency issues when asked about her running.

"When I heard Liz Cheney was running for Senate I wondered if she was running in her home state of Virginia," Paul told Politico.

Read more
Education
3:34 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

The Charter School Vs. Public School Debate Continues

The latest study says kids learn better in charter schools than in public schools. But even charter school supporters question the study and its methods of research.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 8:00 pm

Charter schools turn 21 this year. In that time, these privately run, publicly funded schools have spread to 41 states and enrolled more than 2 million students.

But one key question lingers: Do kids in charter schools learn more than kids in traditional public schools?

Read more
Politics
12:59 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

NY Senator Says Alison Lundergan Grimes Thinking of Entering Race Two Weeks After She Did

Did U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., forget Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes is running for Senate?

Appearing on MSNBC's Morning Joe on Wednesday, Gillibrand says he is encouraged at women looking to run for U.S. Senate, adding Grimes was "looking" to run for Senate more than two weeks after the Kentucky Democrat announced her intentions to take on Republican incumbent Mitch McConnell next year.

Watch:

Read more
Politics
12:06 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Democrats Continue Campaign Against Mitch McConnell as 'Guardian of Gridlock'

Senator Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
Credit U.S. Senate

National Democrats say Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell's leadership is hurting Kentucky families and workers with his use of the filibuster.

Just this week senators were able to broker a deal on President Obama's nominations to avoid the "nuclear option" being pushed by Democratic Leader Harry Reid, who dubbed McConnell the "guardian of gridlock" recently.

A review of the 60-vote threshold used  by minority leaders since 1988 does show McConnell's tenure has seen a record-breaking use of the tactic, which senators hope to avoid since Reid's successful threat.

In light of those successful negotiations, however, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is continuing to blast McConnell's senatorial maneuvering, particular on economic measures.

Democrats argue the GOP leader has blocked key legislation providing incentives for businesses who don’t offshore, increasing the minimum wage and extending unemployment insurance.

"Time and again Mitch McConnell has turned his back on Kentucky workers and chosen to engage in partisan political gridlock," says DSCC spokesman Justin Barasky. "Kentucky workers deserve better than a Senator who is so thoroughly wedded to special interests that he forgets to fight for his state. Mitch McConnell even voted to block an extension on unemployment insurance during the economic crisis. It’s clear that after nearly 30 years in Washington he isn’t just part of the problem he’s the main source of it."

Read more

Pages