Monday, July 31, 2006

Spanking Fletcher On CON

There is no justification for allowing the Certificate of Need process to artificially inflate medical expenses.

Dr. Kevin T. Kavanaugh of Somerset nails it.

Rangel(D-NY): Baby Needs Concrete Shoes

Missed from the weekend was Charlie Rangel's on-the-House-floor reaction to the combo Minimum Wage/Estate Tax vote:

"It's almost like taking a child and talking about 'I want so badly to increase the minimum wage for them' and then you put these concrete shoes on them and you throw them into the ocean alone and not being able to swim. If you care about poor folks, act like it!"

Gov. Romney Gets His Close-Up

Mitt Romney brings his presidential campaign south today and tomorrow with a stop in Louisville. He is in town to speak to the Southern Legislative Conference about his health care plan. His visit kicks off tonight at a reception with supporters and potential supporters of his 2008 run for the White House.

I found an interesting website, Evangelicals For Mitt, that seeks to dispel the notion a Mormon can't get the GOP nomination. It should be interesting to watch. The 2008 primary will be a huge battle for the heart and soul of the Republican party. Liberal Republicans and Conservative Republicans will be slugging it out in a way we haven't seen in a long time.

Earmark Reform Not Happening

Congressman Jeff Flake's 19 amendments in June brought earmarking out into the open.

The bright light illuminated a pretty ugly picture.

U.S. Representatives Hal Rogers, Anne Northup, and Ben Chandler joined 278 other members in voting for all 19 pieces of pork.

This is where Democrats really don't serve America well as an opposition party. It goes without saying they would only be worse on spending, so there is no way to hold GOP legislators' feet to the fire on this stuff.

The Club for Growth does good work knocking off the worst big spenders of both parties. They represent our best hope to restrain federal government waste. Help them if you can.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Punchline France

A UN resolution calls for Hezbollah terrorists to stop killing people. Right now.

For some reason this reminds me of John Kerry saying none of this would be happening if he had been elected President.

Gas Prices

We keep hearing that Republicans are going to lose elections this year because of widespread anger over gas prices. But, seriously, what are Democrats going to do other than make the situation worse?

The same applies to national defense, government spending, education, taxes, and reform of lobbying, immigration, and entitlement policies. What have Democrats ever done to suggest they have better answers on any of these issues? The problem, as I see it, is liberal Republicans standing with Democrats in the way of conservative solutions.

Democrats blame Republicans for their control of the Do Nothing Congress. But do the math: Democrats plus liberal Republicans have controlled both chambers for several years. That's your problem right there. The solution is not to elect more Democrats to Congress.

Flying In From D.C., Arms Tired

The hottest rumor commuting between Washington D.C. and Frankfort is that Senator Mitch McConnell is casting about for a Democrat to back for Governor next year.

McConnell biographer John David Dyche's puff piece in this morning's CJ on Rep. Ben Chandler should serve to throw flame to that fire.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Fancy Farm 2006 News

Sources report Governor Fletcher is not going to speak at Fancy Farm.

This is a mistake.

Staying home may be a good way to avoid any more unfortunate noodling references, but the Governor needs to show up for this. It's a symbolic gesture and an event that few people actually see, but the inevitable "run and hide Republicans" label is something that doesn't help at all.

A quick thinking GOP gubernatorial hopeful might do well to try to fill in.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Wage Tax Increase, Estate Tax Cut

Good move.

More Democrat Economic Development

U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Cleveland) has a plan to lower your gas prices that is so progressive, so forward-looking, so brilliant and...

Actually, this is a bill Kim Jong-il would love. It is a 100% tax on "excess profits" of oil and gas companies. Take a look at the bill. My favorite part is the establishment of a "Reasonable Profits Board" to figure out when oil and gas companies have made enough money.

This is a perfect example of why people who aren't happy with Republicans have nothing to gain by voting for Democrats. One bright spot: a close look at the bill suggests that the next cold winter would result in natural gas companies having little choice but to stop providing heat to just about everyone.

That would have an interesting impact on the global warming movement.

I'm not any happier than you are about how much it costs to fill up my gas-guzzling SUV, but it seems every effort to convict Big Oil of price gouging has fallen flat. If their average 8% profit margin were found to be by any means excessive, don't you think the Kuciniches would have trumpeted that news from the rooftops?

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Cindy Sheehan? In Kentucky?

I'm chasing a rumor that Cindy Sheehan -- straight from dancing with Cynthia McKinney at her primary loss party -- is coming to Kentucky to campaign with Democrat candidates.

Now that's a good idea.

Chandler: Gimme A Big Ed Pork Sammich

Rep. Ben Chandler (D-Versailles) misses the point of the effort to improve public education in America. He has filed a bill in Washington to spend an additional $32 Billion -- at least -- over five years to improve school BUILDINGS.

We already pay local and state taxes to maintain school facilities. Chandler wants to ding us at the federal level too.

Also part of his education "plan" is hiring gobs of computer technicians for the schools and "essential broadband access."

Good grief.

Big Education spends way too much on administration to start talking about opening new money spigots.

KY Governor 2007 Quote

"It isn't even about R's and D's up here. It's a northern Kentucky issue that we re-elect Ernie Fletcher."

-- Senator Dick Roeding (R-Lakeside Park)

Move The Filing Deadline

The Bluegrass Institute nails the status quo once again. There really is no reason for a January 31 election filing deadline unless you actually WANT lawmakers sitting around watching the clock for a month every other year.

This and putting committee votes online are two no-brainers that present no valid excuse for foot-dragging.

Money For Nothing, Chicks For Free!

I can't believe the city of Lexington is still paying consultants to come up with low-ball figures on their hoped-for condemnation of Kentucky American Water Co.

Seems like very easy work. The last two read the company's 2005 financial report and came up with the same number as the previous consultant. Pretty good gig if you can get a liberal politician to pay you for it.

That ain't workin'!

Now the blue ribbon committee headed by former Congressman Scotty Baesler is off to show their new numbers to the company, which is going public next year.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

2007: Attorney General Do-Over

I still say the biggest race in 2007 will be for Attorney General. Ciberhillbilly says look for Michael Hogan. Rep. Stan Lee is another possibility. Sounds like Erwin Roberts is leaning against running. It's anathema to the Fletcher administration, but LG Steve Pence could make a strong candidate.

KEEP Gambling On Baker?

A rumor is circulating that Casino Gambling's Kentucky connection KEEP is going to hire former talk radio host Dave Baker to help them convince us to try gambling our way to prosperity.

UPDATE (7/27) : Dave Baker said he will not be going to work for KEEP.

"A Politician Or A Fresh Face"

He says he wants a month to think about it, but it sounds like Billy Harper is running for Governor.

Shut Down KY Health Insurance Regulation

Passing the federal Health Care Choice Act would have the effect of helping Kentucky consumers save money on health insurance or buy coverage they can't now afford.

The interesting thing would be to see how many people would buy policies loaded with Kentucky mandates if they didn't have to.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Stumbo's Latest Merit Hiring Scam

Maybe we are selling Greg Stumbo short as a potential candidate for Governor in 2007. The way he controls the media now suggests he will have the Courier-Journal and the Herald-Leader promoting him for "Father Of The Year" despite his deadbeat dad ways.

Twin stories in Kentucky's two largest papers suggest another Stumbo "smoking gun" in his investigation of merit hiring activities in the Fletcher Administration.

Tom Loftis even writes a totally bogus lead sentence in his story that had to please Stumbo. Loftis said:

"A field representative reported to Gov. Ernie Fletcher in May 2004 that progress was being made to replace Democrats in state civil service jobs, according to documents filed by prosecutors Tuesday."

This is totally untrue. The field representative, Willard Hansford, said in a May 7, 2004 report:

"Constituents are ready to fill vacant merit positions and replace Democrats in both merit and non-merit positions."

You can read the report for yourself here. In the heavily-Republican 5th district, I would imagine there were many hundreds of Republican constituents who were "ready" to have a fair shot at jobs they had been shut out of for a generation.

The Herald-Leader's Jack Brammer printed the same quote from Mr. Hansford's report, but followed it up with this statement:

"The state merit law protects rank-and-file state workers from personnel actions based on politics."

This gives the misleading impression that something was happening against the law. Mr. Hansford was only reporting on what the constituents in his area wanted. He was doing his job. Only the most blindly partisan Democrats will choose not to see the truth in this.

Why Didn't We Think Of This?

What would we do here in the Horse Capitol of the World without Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT)'s bill to spend $800,000 of our own money to convince us to wear helmets when riding a horse?

Now that Senator Dodd is running for President, maybe he will initiate something really substantial like a "Honk For Peace" campaign.

Oh, that's already taken.

"Just Joking" Democrats

Alleged petty thief Michael Downs is using the "I was just joking" defense to escape prosecution for his recent crimes.

Democrat strategists who pretend beyond all reason that raising the minimum wage and putting everyone on Medicaid would be terrific economic policy might want to use Mr. Downs' apologia for this one.

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton hopes you don't remember that her husband's "worst economy in fifty years" campaign slogan was complete bunk.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Frankfort Bans Smoking

The city council in Frankfort tonight voted to ban smoking.

It is just a matter of time now before we ban smoking statewide. The public policy machinations to eradicate tobacco use completely in Kentucky are inevitable and will be very interesting to watch.

Who will finally drop the hammer on criminalizing tobacco?

Another 'Draft For Governor' Site Coming?

Has anyone noticed LG Steve Pence is helping with a lot of legislative fundraisers this summer?

Ruminating In Red States

Sen. John Kerry was in South Carolina pitching his plan to put middle-class children on Medicaid and raising money for Democrat candidates.

Please, Senator Kerry, come to Kentucky and give us a Hillary Clinton.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Hawpe In, The Water Is Fine!

Louisville CJ columnist David Hawpe wades into the school voucher debate this morning and manages not to get his feet wet.

I challenge you to read his column and tell me one thing it adds to the discussion.

We get that Hawpe doesn't like people who want to democratize competition between public and private schools. The closest he gets to a point, though, is when he mentions a report cited in the Wall Street Journal that determined public schools do just as well as private schools if you adjust for race, socioeconomics, and other factors.

But if you adjust for looks, personality, and other factors I would be Brad Pitt -- starring in movies and "dating" Angelina Jolie.

In many public schools, interested parents, secure homes, and happy, motivated, focused kids equal success. Additional resources go to serve disabled and troubled students. The problem is with the large majority who don't fit in these extremes. Smart, happy comfortable kids make up for the statistical problem of middling students who would likely do better with more resources directed their way. But we can't just keep statistically correcting for the core group that is the future of America. Not while generations of driven kids in other less affluent countries keep eating our lunches.

The problem here is a political one and contains the best argument for giving parents the option to leave their neighborhood school, take their tax dollars, and seek a better educational fit elsewhere. Kentucky's school systems are burdened by layers of administrative pork-laden union-protected central office jobs that would have to go if our public schools had to compete -- rather than lobby -- for their position in the marketplace.

KEA types respond to the above logic with personal attacks. Getting past that point is a major key to improving our public education system.

In fact, if we could have a reasonable conversation about how we spend our money on public education, the need to call for vouchers would very likely sink to the bottom of the pool.

Upcoming GOP Primary Event

No not THAT primary, just the 2008 Presidential primary.

Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is scheduled for an exclusive get-together at The Jefferson Club in Louisville on Monday, July 31.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Little Birdy Report

Spotted in Lexington talking turkey today: Rep. Lonnie Napier and a former Fletcher fundraiser.

Finally, A Democrat Upset With Taxes

I don't even know what to say about this one.

Howard Dean is really a piece of work. I guess a push for gay conjugal visits is next on the agenda.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Best Headline Of The Day

Ross Mann of Conservative Vanguard weighs in on the Kentucky Democrats' financial mismanagement with this gem:

Should've Brought Hillary In Four Times

Domestic Partner Showdown Monday

Expect to see a huge food fight Monday afternoon at the Capitol Annex in Frankfort.

Senator Dick Roeding will be giving an update on the E-Health Network Board to the Joint Interim Committee on Health & Welfare at 1 pm.

Liberals want Roeding to resign for his opposition to risking state tax dollars on the University of Louisville's political activism.

2008 GOP POTUS Straw Poll

Even if you are undecided about who you think should be the Republican nominee for President in 2008, you should take this poll. Pick all the candidates you find acceptable and unacceptable.

Who do you like and why?

Thursday, July 20, 2006

FairTax Update

Next week U.S. House leaders will see a major move Capitol Hill for the FairTax.

Democrats are invited to this bipartisan affair, but those who are trapped by Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid can't come out and play.

Hal Rogers Site Not Dead

Yes, it looks like the media reports that the draft Hal Rogers site had been pulled down were not correct.

Just got an email from the person who put the site up:

"Who am I? Let's just say that I'm a Republican betrayed by Fletcher and have seen all the double-dealing going on with Patton Democrats. But, more importantly, I am a firm believer in Hal Rogers' ability to be Governor and to do the right thing."

Unbridled Casino Subsidy

How far do we really want to go to prop up Kentucky's horse industry? KEEP says if we don't open up casinos at the horse tracks, West Virginia might take the industry from us.

I don't get it. What am I missing? Experience indicates that for every dollar casinos bring into state coffers, three must be spent on expanded social services. That seems like a very high price to pay. Do we really have to go down this road to save the horse industry in Kentucky?

I say we call their bluff.

Rebecca Jackson For Governor Site Up

Okay, I just made up that headline. Mrs. Jackson, who came in second in the 2003 GOP primary has said repeatedly in recent months she is not running for Governor. The former Jefferson County Judge Executive will tell anyone who asks she is happy running the WHAS Crusade For Children.

I thought about Rebecca, though, after reading GOP activist Ted Jackson's CJ column/therapy session for Republicans looking for another 2007 standard-bearer. Ted invokes Ronald Reagan as the patron saint of those who would dump Fletcher now because of The Gipper's 1976 primary opposition to President Gerald Ford. The analogy doesn't fit, though, because Reagan was a candidate, not an activist. Until a better candidate with a better plan for the future comes along, declares a candidacy, and starts running for real, Kentucky has no 1976 Reagan.

UPDATE: The Lexington Herald Leader's Commentary Editor, Rita Gatton, confirmed that she mistakenly replaced Gerald Ford's name with Richard Nixon's in Ted Jackson's essay. She said a correction will run tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

A Democrat Fair Taxer In Georgia

Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-Georgia) brought Cindy Sheehan in for her victory party in yesterday's Congressional primary. A surprising anti-crazy woman vote turned out and messed up the party, though. McKinney must now face Hank Johnson in an August 8 runoff. The district is very heavily Democrat, so the winner of the runoff is very likely going to be in Congress in January.

The increasing possibility of the runoff winner being Democrat Hank Johnson is interesting in that he supports the FairTax. Nancy Pelosi is refusing to let her Democrats in the House sign on to the FairTax bill, but I'm guessing too many Georgians understand the bill for him to be bullied.

Bush Veto On "Science" Pork

I haven't heard one good explanation for why we should spend taxpayer money on fetal stem cell research. Dropping billions of government dollars on the the possibility that someday, some evidence may materialize that justifies the hype surrounding destroying embryos for science just doesn't add up.

If legitimate private sector research bears fruit, maybe we have a different discussion. (Yes, private sector research continues apace while liberals scream that people are dying because Bush hates science.) So far, the most successful fetal stem cell research has been proven fraudulent.

The only successes in stem cell research so far have not involved killing anyone. Adult stem cell research is much more promising and worthy of support.

I know Democrats and socially liberal Republicans view fetal stem cells as the answer to their abortion problems. Presidential hopefuls Bill Frist and John McCain has been sucked into this tempting vortex.

Conservatives would do well to talk about this issue in terms of pork spending for questionable research. That is what it is. In fact, I'm a little surprised no one has mentioned the similarities between this and the humans-cause-global- warming craze seeking to extract billions of dollars from Americans in the Kyoto Accord.

School Choice, Now

Republicans propose $100 million to help low income kids escape failing schools; liberal big education establishment types say this:

“The buzzword in education today is accountability, yet school vouchers divert scarce public school dollars to unaccountable private schools,” Weaver said. “Private school students are not required to take federally mandated tests, private school teachers do not have to meet ‘highly qualified’ standards and private schools do not have to show Adequate Yearly Progress. Public schools can, and should, be held accountable, but lawmakers need to provide the resources to get the job done.”

That's National Education Association President Reg Weaver who now thinks that what private schools need is accountability. And, of course, he still thinks the only thing public schools need to improve is more taxpayer money.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Pimping Al Gore's Hazardous CO2

I can't imagine anything more dreadful than sitting down and watching Al Gore talk about how hot it is outside.

Does it ever occur to these people that even with the hottest ten years ever recorded coming in the last fourteen years, you are still only talking about a blink of an eye in historical terms. Recorded history on temperatures barely goes back a century. Not much sense in getting suicidal over a blip on the radar screen.

Favorite lefty blogger Mark Nickolas loves this Al Gore stuff. I see some folks have already gone on Bluegrass Report to straighten out some of the sillyness, but go on over and chime in if you get a chance. I would but Mark has violated my First Amendment rights and blocked me from his site.

Louisville Mayor Sides With Fletcher

I know, it was just on the Louisville Arena deal, but this is the type of thing that, I think, makes the smart money hesitant to get too far away from the Governor.

Just last week, Rep. Ben Chandler said the highest priority for him in considering a run is his ability to spend time with his family. That is over for a year if he runs. That is over for five years if he wins.

I understand all the facts that line up against Ernie's re-election now. I buy several of them. The internal battle within RPK will come to a head soon. I'm just suggesting that it is too early to write off the possibility of a political comeback by Ernie Fletcher.

State Partner Benefits Too Expensive

The Burgoo item on today's Lexington Herald-Leader editorial page tries to turn the U of L domestic partner controversy away from the main point.

The main point is that this stunt is going to cost taxpayers money all in the name of helping people, gay or straight, pretend to be married. Dick Roeding didn't help keep the focus on the money -- where it belongs -- with his "wrong kind of people" comment.

Kentucky Republicans who are made uncomfortable by being asked to weigh in on Roeding's words should help people realize what this mess is really all about.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Another GOP Candidate On The Way?

A developing rumor has Billy Harper of Paducah mulling a run for Governor. I haven't spoken to him, but comments from others fit into three categories:

1- "No comment."
2- "I'm concentrating on the 2006 races."
3- "I haven't thought about it."

CJ Gives Stupid Dem Stunt A Pass

Question: If a Republican former state senator -- working in an official capacity -- told a stupid lie that presented a danger to public health in Kentucky's largest city, don't you think the state's largest newspaper would throw a fit?

Of course they would.

But when Democrat David Karem, executive director of Waterfront Development Corp. and a former senator from Louisville, prints up signs that some fountain water containing dangerous quantities of fecal matter and bacteria contained "high levels of hydrogen" it's all just a well-intended joke.

I can see how this would be funny to ten-year-olds. What are these people thinking?

Hal Rogers Draft Site Goes Up

Another day brings another website urging a Republican to run for Governor of Kentucky against Ernie Fletcher.

The site's authorship is a secret, but its target couldn't be much more high profile. U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Somerset) is easily the most popular Republican in the state. Here is a link to the site.

Last week, two websites urging state Rep. Lonnie Napier (R-Lancaster) to run made a big splash. This one will as well. The likelihood that Rogers will want to stay in Congress probably means we aren't finished watching Republican draft sites go up.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

U of L Changes Story On Cost Of Benefits

The University of Louisville's official release on their decision to offer domestic partner benefits contradicts the financial impact estimate from their own Faculty and Staff for Human Rights' November 16, 2005 recommendation for the policy.

The only possible conclusion to draw from the discrepancy is the University of Louisville wants to sneak domestic partner benefits past the unsuspecting taxpayer by denying the obvious existence of substantial costs to be borne by its implementation.

U of L Provost Shirley Willihnganz repeats the canard that only by covering healthcare for unmarried significant others will the university "compete more effectively." This is so ridiculous it shouldn't even have to be addressed.

But one thing does. Here is what Willihnganz said Thursday:

Initial research on the financial impact of offering health insurance to domestic partners has shown that the university’s costs are not likely to go up.
We may actually end up saving money, since employees will pay a premium to cover their dependent partner,” Willihnganz said.

That is a little different than the estimate from last November's official recommendation:

At U of L, the possible fiscal impact on insurance costs based on current costs is about $200,000 for same sex domestic partners, and $600,000 for both same-sex and opposite sex domestic partners.

These amounts probably assume no fraud, so the total cost is likely much higher. Signing on as domestic partners means just stating they have been "in their relationship" for six months.

Is it any surprise that the cheering going on right now (here, here, here, here, here, and here) failed to mention this little nugget?

Who's Afraid Of School Choice?

Public school officials like those at the National Education Association (NEA) go crazy when parents start talking about helping poor students escape failing public schools. What's funny is they get even crazier when they are called on the carpet for their misuse of taxpayer funds to promote left-wing causes.

Just a week ago, the NEA held their national convention. The American Family Association learned of proposed resolutions by the teachers union in support of gay marriage.

Setting aside that particular issue for a minute, why is a teacher group discussing things like this when they are supposed to be working for students? These are the people who don't want you asking questions about spending your tax dollars more efficiently in the education of your children.

The fact is the NEA has gotten so comfortable and intellectually lazy they even bragged on their website about passing resolutions to "address diversity, discrimination and civil unions." And NEA President Reg Weaver complained about an attack on "marriage rights."

In the same breath, he accused the AFA liars of making the whole thing up.

You don't have to be a "religious conservative" to see the duplicity in this.

Your tax dollars support the NEA in this. And even if you agree with them on their political agenda, can you admit that spending time and money debating resolutions on diversity and civil unions does nothing to improve public education?

The folks at the NEA also spend an inordinate amount of time scaring people about how horrible it would be if we stopped supporting them in the pursuit of their political agenda. If we did that, we might take a look at how to improve the management of our monopoly government schools.

It might help if you read a little article from the Kentucky Alliance For School Choice.

What the thieves at the NEA don't want you to know is that school choice is proven to make public schools better, not destroy them. The only losers under school choice are the education bureaucrats who like to sit around at summer conferences promoting agenda items totally unrelated to the education of our children.

The KASC has a petition to help focus legislators on improving our public schools, not just the social lives of our education officials. Please sign it.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

They Play, You Pay

this is an audio post - click to play

UK's Jay Blanton To Taxpayers: Screw You!

I completely reject the idea that Kentucky's public universities somehow can't compete unless Kentucky taxpayers provide expensive health insurance benefits to the boyfriends and girlfriends of their employees.

UK spokesman Jay Blanton, though, wants the bennies and doesn't care what you think about it.

Blanton told the Lexington Herald-Leader "We certainly respect the opinions of legislators very much, but I don't think there are political considerations with respect to this decision," Blanton said.

In other words, he just wants your money and for you to keep your stupid opinions to yourself.

Last week, the University of Louisville decided to extend domestic partner benefits to all their employees. What's next, universal pet health insurance?

Friday, July 14, 2006

Napier Versus Fletcher Update

Governor Fletcher addressed about 200 Madison county Republicans tonight, reminding audience members of his administration's achievements. At one point in his discussion of improvements to legislative districts, Fletcher took a good-natured swipe at Rep. Lonnie Napier. He said "Lonnie didn't come home empty handed this time."

When asked if he was going to oppose Fletcher next year, Napier repeated his statement that "People are talking and I am listening."

That was as close as we got to fireworks. Ernie and Lonnie were both definitely in campaign mode, though. There can be little doubt now that we are headed for a GOP primary for Governor Fletcher.

My guess at this point is Lonnie Napier is in the race for governor, something I didn't think was the case before tonight. I think the unintended consequence of his candidacy, though, is that others will be emboldened to jump in as well.

A crowded primary benefits the governor greatly, by giving him a good reason to get out and make his case but diluting the effect of primary opposition on his road to the nomination.

KY GOP Big Spenders Beware

The Club For Growth Kentucky is on the way. Their mission is to defeat wasteful politicians. While we wait their official start-up, here is a sign of things to come.

Dems Count On Wage Tax Increase

Even if you really believe legislatively raising the minimum wage will ease the plight of millions of struggling American families, you have to admit that it is a targeted tax increase on business owners.

Okay, call it a fee increase. Or maybe a mandated benefit increase. (I guess we could start calling it an unfunded mandate. Where is the money going to come from, right?) The point here is Democrats invoke the old Communist rationale that they are using government coercion to transfer money from those who have to those who need.

Either way you slice it, the fact that it is the last idea Washington Democrats have with four months till the election bodes well for Republicans. The GOP doesn't deserve their good fortune, but a troubled America would clearly fare much worse with more of these Democrats in office.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said of the tax increase "it appeals to certain groups of people who don’t usually turn out to vote.” Who is he talking about, sixteen year old kids and illegal aliens?

New Frankfort Budget Trouble

Kentucky's last two budgets have been good budgets except for the tax increases and spending increases.

TODAY'S UPDATE: And except for all the unconstitutional parts.

Memo To Fletcher: Tax Cuts Work

Yes, I've said it here before. But I don't run Kentucky's only manufacturing trade association.

Governor Fletcher said yesterday on WVLK in Lexington we may be looking at additional tax relief in the 2007 General Assembly. Since we all pay business income taxes, scrapping the AMC would be a fine place to start.

Democrats? What Democrats?

I have for you this morning just another isolated incident of liberal media bias.

Seems this AP story about allegations of vote buying in Bath County, KY couldn't manage to say which political party the involved people belong to.

Can there be any doubt if it was Republicans they would have mentioned that fact and described at least two other scandals involving Republicans to provide a little "perspective" to the story?

Thursday, July 13, 2006

U of L Goes For "Domestic Partners"

The University of Louisville Board of Trustees voted Thursday afternoon 14-1 to extend "domestic partner" benefits to the school's employees.

This makes the school the first in the state to jump on this train.

In this time of budget constraints for Kentucky's families, spending tax dollars so some people can "play house" just doesn't seem fair or smart.

Dems Can't Close The Deal

Republicans in Congress have, for the most part, earned their lumps this year. But the fact remains Democrat opponents have utterly failed to make the case that they would be any kind of improvement. In fact, their tax-raising, socialized medicine, homosexual marriage, war surrendering positions have lead directly to this.

A look around the Bluegrass shows the same thing happening here.

Fletcher, Napier To Attend Richmond Event

A Madison county GOP event Friday night will feature both Governor Ernie Fletcher and the subject of a draft effort to oppose him in a primary next year.

Rep. Lonnie Napier (R-Lancaster) represents part of Madison county and confirmed his appearance at the event weeks ago. Governor Fletcher's office confirmed his appearance today.

The Richmond Register picked up the story of the draft effort today.

Stop Liberal Threats Against Churches

This one will get them worked up. Rep. Stan Lee would make an excellent Attorney General for Kentucky.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Ernie Kicks Butts

Has anyone else noticed Governor Fletcher's public relations results have been much better since Brett Hall went back to New Jersey?

You many not like the announcement today that Fletcher ordered a smoking ban starting August 1 in Executive branch buildings. But the decision and the announcement were handled in a manner Kentuckians like to see from their Governor.

Enabling Voter Fraud In Georgia

Kentuckians are used to showing identification when voting, even if they don't know it. Poll workers are required to ask for ID unless one of them can claim to personally know the voter in question.

Meanwhile, Georgia Democrats are battling a state law that would require voters to show proof of their identity in order to vote. It should come as no surprise they consider the law "racist."

Hillary Clinton is going to need every dead man's vote in Kentucky in '08. This may be a way for Kentucky Dems to pull it off.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Hey, My Blog Was Singled Out Too!!

By now you may know Mark Nickolas of liberal Bluegrass Report has sued the state for prohibiting state workers from reading his site on state computers. His backers claim he was singled out for persecution.

I was singled out, uh, also. In fact, several others were singled out as well. So I ask you, how many people get to be "singled out" before it doesn't count as singling out anymore? And how many of us have to have our rights infringed upon before we realize not having our pearls of wisdom read immediately by people who are working is not much of a civil rights issue except to liberal advocacy groups who think free speech includes hard-core porn?

Time For A Kentucky Tax Cut

Kentucky's "tax relief" special session of the legislature last month was really just a reduction of a tax increase. With today's news of a $136.5 million surplus in state coffers, now is the time to start talking about real tax cuts.

If we did that, we would be following the example of states like Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Mexico, and Arizona who have finally figured out that lowering taxes increases revenues by unleashing business activity.

UPDATE: Liberal blogger Mark Nickolas arrives on the scene to declare the $2 billion of bonded borrowing in the just-passed budget somehow responsible for the current budget surplus. Economic Illiteracy is NOT a family value, Mark.

Who Is KY's Lieberman 2007?

I have to laugh at the liberal outrage over Governor Fletcher's suggestion that we rethink electing bozos like Greg Stumbo and Jonathan Miller to constitutional offices.

If nothing else, he got Miller lathered up. That's always funny.

"It's so blatantly partisan and such blatant retribution," Miller said, blatantly.

Like every other news story coming out of Frankfort these days, this one turns up the anxiety a notch or two over which Democrat will get to take on Fletcher -- or a possible GOP upgrade --next year.

This of course brings up the question: in a crowded field, which Democrat gets to play the liberal bloggers' Joe Lieberman, a sometime reasonable politician who is getting killed online for not being liberal enough on the War on Terror?

Steve Henry put his name in the running for that distinction by taking a swipe at liberal fave Rep. Ben Chandler. Henry told the Courier-Journal Chandler is "a lot of flavor, no substance."

Tweaking the liberal "netroots" will be Kentucky Democrats' best shot at separating themselves from the national party that continues to cause them all manner of indigestion.

The increasing influence of bloggers on Kentucky's left-wing sets up a trap for any reasonable Democrat who might want to run for Governor.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Don't Write Fletcher Obit Just Yet

After Louisville's GOP chairman got "Meteor Destroys Earth, Film At 11" news coverage for dressing down Governor Fletcher last week, we might expect others to jump on that bandwagon. They would do well to reconsider.

While as a fiscal conservative I have had my own frustrations with this Administration, it is clear that Ernie has a pretty clear path to re-election.

Despite the media coverage of Greg Stumbo's court mandated day off on the merit hiring case, the real story is the strength of the case for dismissing the whole sorry thing.

This will be devastating for Fletcher's GOP detractors and there is little they can do to repair or prevent that damage. They find themselves merely confirming the old adage that you can't beat somebody with nobody. Fletcher opponents don't have a candidate and one is unlikely to materialize. This set of circumstances may be more luck than anything else, but the undeniable fact is that Fletcher's detractors are about to find themselves on the wrong side of history.

Also, Democrats don't have a candidate for 2007.

Long-Dead Pope Endorses John Yarmuth!

Congressional candidate John Yarmuth's endorsement page on his website contains few surprises for the most part. Left-wing politicians endorse Yarmuth; we already knew that. So it was unexpected to see, near the bottom of the page, the name of one non-leftist.

Apparently John Yarmuth wants voters to believe Pope Paul VI supports him in his bid to make San Francisco's own Nancy Pelosi the Speaker of the House.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

KEEP Corzine Taxers in Jersey

The irony of Kentucky's Gaming & Revenue Plan's PAC questionnaire hitting candidates' mailboxes this week is inescapable.

At the same time that Big Gambling's big lie -- that casinos' flood of revenue to state coffers make tax increases unnecessary -- was being ripped to shreds in New Jersey, KEEP PAC was asking 2006 candidates to help promote their charade in Kentucky.

Also inescapable is the conclusion that if the equine industry is in such bad shape that it can't survive without casinos (and all their hidden costs), perhaps it isn't worth saving.

The truth is the industry can perhaps be saved with better marketing. Casino gambling just isn't the way to get it done.

Talking Fetus Shows Panic in KY2

Decimated campaigns often get funny when they start reading the handwriting on the wall. Case in point: a supporter of Rep. Ron Lewis' hapless opponent has resorted to heckling Lewis with this talking fetus.

Someone must have read him the latest poll showing Ron Lewis ahead by 18 points.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Jack Richardson IV Gets Headlines

Jefferson County GOP Chairman Jack Richardson IV has had his comments about Governor Fletcher reported widely.

Less so his involvement in a shady pyramid scheme. Might be worth a look to see what else he has been up to.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Tom Barlow Does The New Jersey

Tom Barlow used to represent Kentucky's 1st district in Congress. He was elected in 2002 and served one term.

What, you may ask, is his proudest moment from his term?

Why, raising taxes of course!

From Barlow's campaign website: "His key vote for the 1993 economic package put the federal government on a path to monetary surplus and financial security."

That means that of all the things he could have done in Washington, his favorite was when he voted for the largest tax increase in our nation's history.

New Jersey Gamblers, Spenders, Taxers

New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine announced today that the legislature in his state has agreed to go along with his 1% sales tax increase.

Good thing they have casinos in their state, so they don't need to raise taxes, don't you think?

Trouble In Lefty Paradise

Kentucky's favorite liberal blogger is upset with Hillary Clinton.

Loser Pays In Kentucky!

A fine illustration of the value of a "Loser Pays" statute is happening in Frankfort right now.

Using an obscure Kentucky law, a Pike county woman has filed a petition to impeach Attorney General Greg Stumbo. If she succeeds, Stumbo will be removed from office. Though many of us would not have any complaint about that, it isn't going to happen. The interesting thing about this story is that the law has apparently been on the books for a long time, but probably has never been used. That has to be attributable to the fact that unsuccessful petitioners under the statute are responsible for all legal expenses.

Now if we only made filers of frivolous medical lawsuits face the same risk as would-be citizen impeachers, we would really be doing some good.

FairTax Ground Zero: Tennessee

With all three Republican hopefuls speaking positively about the FairTax, Tennessee could be the tax reform hotspot in the region this fall.

Harry Reid won't let his guys and gals do anything but lie about the FairTax, so this should be fun. FairTaxer's were 8-0 in 2004.

Northup Spanks Yarmuth, Again

Rep. Anne Northup continues to run rings around John Yarmuth.

Read it and learn.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Quote Of The Week

Atlantic City casinos have been shut down since this morning in the New Jersey state budget meltdown. Meanwhile, some people in Kentucky think all we need here to end our government financing woes is expanded gambling.

So it should be instructive to some that Reuters interviewed some bonehead from Philadelphia who summed up in one sentence why casinos won't get it done for the Bluegrass state.

"I'm down about 1,200 bucks, now they're going to be closed for good so I'm not sure what I'm going to do," he said.

Who could possibly think more gambling losses would be a good idea?

Oh, how about Senator Ed Worley (D-Caesars)?

"To maintain state government at the level we're spending, the answer is expanded gaming," Worley told the Blood Horse magazine.

Casino State Tax Fight Rolls On

New Jersey Democrats' money grab continues to provide a stark warning for Kentucky. Now, the battle moves to sales tax hike versus income tax hike.

Nevertheless, we keep hearing from casino supporters that if we just open casinos in Kentucky we won't have to raise taxes.

"Unquestionably there is $450 million lying on the table. This (casino gambling) is an option the people of Kentucky ought to have as opposed to having their taxes raised," Sen. Ed Worley (D-Richmond) said.

Well, it looks like desperate New Jersey Democrats are planning to double down. They are proposing to raise income taxes, rather than implement Governor Corzine's sales tax increase. Meanwhile casinos, the would-be salvation for that state's big spenders, battle to stay open.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Media Appearance Wednesday

I'll be on WLAP 630 AM in Lexington Wednesday morning at 10AM talking about the FairTax. Call in then with questions at (859) 280-2287 or toll-free (800) 606-4263.

Monday, July 03, 2006

July Is Ed Worley Trash And Cash Month

Twin scandals are about to shake up Sen. Ed Worley -- and soon. Stay tuned for details.

Kentucky Watches New Jersey Crash

As more evidence mounts that Rep. Ben Chandler plans to run for Governor in 2007, any glimpse into what that might mean for Kentucky could be enlightening.

For today's insight, we turn to Jon Corzine's New Jersey.

Corzine, a former U.S. Senator and currently Democrat governor of New Jersey, has caused a partial but growing shutdown of state government while he tries to force through a large tax increase on the people of his state.

Chandler, who favors expanded gambling and -- after refusing to swear off tax increases in '03, switching gears and promising not to raise taxes in '04, and then flip-flopping again and voting for tax increases since then -- has a problem telling the truth on taxes, might be a Jon Corzine kind of Governor.

The funny thing is that the New Jersey government shutdown will likely result in the shutdown of the state's twelve casinos.

And I thought casinos were supposed to be the Holy Grail for big government spenders, making tax increases unnecessary.

This is with a Democrat-controlled legislature. How bad would the train wreck be in Kentucky under similar circumstances?

Calderon Wins In Mexico!

This is very good news. Al Gore's lawyers on probably on the next plane down to start the protest for leftist Andrés Manuel López Obrador, but Felipe Calderon has won a close one. This should help slow the tide of Mexican pioneers fleeing their nation's chaos.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Viva La Revolucion!

The most important election in America Sunday was in Mexico.

I'm up at the last minute, hoping for a result that is not going to come. If the leftist candidate wins, the flow of illegals coming into our country will explode.

Reports from Mexico are that the close election results may not become available for a few days. In other words, let the cheating begin!

Fletcher Strikes Back

This is a good one. While the national media has picked up on the hysteria of Governor Fletcher riding to work in a car, the Administration announced transportation projects Friday.

To top it off, he announced a "walk to school" initiative. I like to see the Governor answering gratuitous whining from opponents with meaningful policy. Nice job.

The Terrorists' Right To Know

Larry Dale Keeling jumps on Jim Bunning this morning in the Lexington Herald-Leader for rebuking the treasonous New York Times.

Pat Buchanan, on the other hand, suggests putting the Times editors in jail.

Incidentally, Buchanan is representative of a chunk of the electorate who has expressed extreme displeasure with the President, but wouldn't vote for someone more liberal. That is why Karl Rove isn't slashing his wrists over Bush's 40% approval rating.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Frankfort, Put Committee Votes Online's Caleb Brown is on KY Newsmakers this morning pushing for the General Assembly to put committee votes on the internet.

There is no reason for lawmakers to resist this. Still, they resist.