Thursday, November 30, 2006

It's Hot In The Kitchen

The race for Governor gets stirred up today and the candidates will be frying each other very soon.

Casinos will be a hot-button issue. What else do you want to hear them talking about?

Make Legislators More Accountable, Not Less

We need to look at ways to make our legislators more accountable for their actions. Instead, we keep trying to go in the other direction.

Before extending the terms of Reps. from two years to four and Senators from four years to six, let's at least cut down or eliminate legislative pensions, put limits on bonding for projects, make the entire budget meetings process open to public view, and make committee votes available on-line the day they take place.

In fact, let's do all these good things and then leave the length of terms where they are.

Minimum Wage Math Made Easy

The current proposal to raise the minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 represents a liability for a business owner of $84 a week per employee or $4200 for a 50 week year.

Imagine you have a small store with ten minimum wage employees and your government is telling you that your labor expenses for the same people doing the same work is about to go up nearly $50,000 -- don't forget about the Social Security taxes.

What are you going to do? How many more hamburgers are you going to have to sell just to break even? Remember that you don't just need to make $50,000 more, you will need to make $80,000 more because you have to pay taxes yourself.

Maybe you don't own a small business.

If you depend on a small business with minimum wage employees for anything, are you willing to absorb the higher prices they will be forced to pass along? If you cut back on your spending even a little bit to compensate for the increases, the business owner's math gets even harder to justify.

Fortunately for the economy, not too many businesses rely on workers right at the minimum wage. Those who do usually hire teenagers or people who don't have a family depending on their income. Pricing those people out of the economy will also not have a terribly huge negative impact on the economy.

But this does absolutely nothing to alleviate the ravages of poverty. Nothing at all. It's just a tax increase on small business and a small-time job destroying initiative. And it is the top item on the agenda for our new Congress.

Aren't you proud?

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Drooling, Forgetful Richmond Register

The Richmond Register is pretty excited to hear Sen. Ed Worley might be running for higher office.

Maybe they forgot about Worley getting caught lying on tape in his ongoing fraud lawsuit.

Mitch Caves On Minimum Wage

We've been listening all year to politicians telling us raising the minimum wage will help combat poverty, yet there is no evidence to suggest that it actually will. In fact, the evidence suggests real poor people are harmed by government price-fixing of wages.

Apparently that is enough to convince Senator Mitch McConnell to go ahead with the plan to raise the minimum wage anyway.

How are we ever going to improve the direction of our nation if we continue to give in on feel-good, sound-good nonsense like this?

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Bush Likes Estonia Flat Tax

With Congress looking to position itself as an agent of change, could implementing a flat tax be the ticket to a positive bipartisanship?

I would take it.

Keeps Going, And Going, And Going, And ...

Are you really surprised to see the merit hiring fiasco isn't dead yet?

"I Don't Pay Taxes, My Husband Does"

Talking to a large number of people one-by-one can be very interesting. That's why Jay Leno's "Jay Walking" feature is so popular. A lot of people know very little about a wide variety of topics. Put them on the spot and they say funny things.

Such was the case when a FairTax volunteer spoke to passers-by at the Oklahoma State Fair. The most commonly expressed thought was "That would be great but it will never happen."

That sentiment is understandable. Most people who honestly consider the Fair Tax agree it would be a huge improvement over the current system. Doing it right requires amending the Constitution to repeal all income taxes, which is a tall order.

But apathy is a luxury we can hardly afford on the subject of taxation in America. Nonetheless, apathy and ignorance explain why we are talking about "fixing" our economy with a minimum wage increase when there are real issues begging for attention.

Anyway, the best line from the Oklahoma State Fair came from a lady who blissfully turned away from the FairTaxers saying "I don't pay taxes, my husband does."

The more you understand about the Fair Tax, the funnier that is.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Courier Journal Gets Safety Right

Some Kentucky social workers are hot on the idea that tragedy among their ranks should lead directly to money in their pockets.

In a pleasant surprise, the Louisville Courier-Journal understands that safety measures represent a more effective solution to safety concerns than piles of borrowed pension cash.

Eight More Years Of Nothing

While the world seemingly waits for Rep. Ben Chandler to announce he would like to spend more time with his family, some people are actually speculating about Treasurer Jonathan Miller running for Governor. Looking at the last eight years in the Treasurer's office, I am reminded that the best thing we can do for the next eight years and beyond is to fold that office into the Finance and Administration Cabinet where it belongs and where its limited duties can be performed for less money.

Providing do-nothing jobs for politicians seems to be a major role of the modern-day taxpayer, but if we can knock this one down, perhaps we can find a few others worthy of elimination.

Bush Screws Up Hurricane Season

In a terrible blow to Al Gore's presidential aspirations, the end of the world has failed to materialize this fall. Still waiting for the New York Times to find a way to attack the President, though, in the face of the mildest hurricane season since 1997.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Another Good Health Reform Idea

The only people who deny the efficacy of Health Savings Accounts anymore are those who hunger for HillaryCare.

If you are healthy enough and can afford to fund one, they are terrific. If your health prevents you from qualifying, help may be on the way.

Here is a good suggestion for expanding HSA's.

Good Job By WaPo On Medicare Drug Story

The Washington Post sheds welcome light on the Medicare prescription drug story. The Bush administration deserves all the blame for not selling the "success" of the plan. Democrats' will fix it by making it worse, as the story suggests. As much as I wish the new benefit had coincided with some benefit cuts in the rest of Medicare, now is the time to support the current plan rather than the Al Gore plan they want to stick us with now.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Bluegrass Institute Takes Swipe At Fletcher

All the states surrounding Kentucky have better business tax climates than we do, according to The Tax Foundation. West Virginia is next-to-last.

The Bluegrass Institute points out West Virginia is at least moving in the right direction.

Seniors Shacking Up For The Money

The looming crisis in Social Security should not necessitate the current policy that reduces payments to recipients who get married.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Selling Socialized Medicine As Corporate Welfare

It looks like what is left of America's Big Three automakers wants to build support in Washington D.C. for a scheme that would shift a chunk of their health insurance costs to taxpayers.

Brilliant. A Detroit bail-out is just what we need right now.

In fact, what we really need is for newly empowered Congressional Democrats to be cramming this stuff down our throats as some kind of compromise between market-based reforms and Canadian-style government health insurance.

Shifting health insurance costs to taxpayers as a way to somehow magically save money just doesn't make sense at all.

Hybrid Scholarships A Bad Idea

Merit scholarships go to students with certain accomplishments. Need-based scholarships go to students with limited means. Some people in Minnesota want to set up a taxpayer-funded merit scholarship that will direct $50 million a year to pay low income students to get good grades in college prep high school courses.

It's a recipe for college tuition inflation. They might just save the $50 million and print up a graph depicting how much more money college graduates make than those who fail to earn degrees. Show the graph repeatedly to middle school kids.

Save the money. Inspire some kids. Call it a day.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Let's Be Clear About One Thing

The Washington Post picks up the story today that Social Security is "on the table" for discussion again. The Democrats scored their points this time by yammering about how horrible and risky our nation's financial markets are, while propping up an out-dated entitlement program whose collapse will make Black Monday look like a Sunday walk in the park.

The article states as fact about Democrats and personal Social Security accounts "many of them oppose such accounts on the grounds that they would weaken Social Security overall."

As more and more Americans invest in the markets and see good results for doing so, we should continue to ask them how better investment returns would weaken Social Security.

That case will only get harder and harder to make. Watching them continue to try will be fun and, ultimately, rewarding for those who stick to the facts about this key issue.

Improving Health Care In Kentucky

Expensive mandated coverages contribute to high health insurance premiums in Kentucky. There is insufficient sentiment in Frankfort to change this for us.

The answer is to allow Kentuckians to choose policies from different states that offer less expensive policies. A bill that has been in Congress for a while would do that.

The key to successful health care reform is to allow the private sector to help as many people as possible. State regulation may be necessary to provide consumer protections, but the legislature has expanded that regulation dangerously -- and expensively. If state regulators policed the market to protect against fraud but federal law were changed to enhance consumer choice with regard to policy benefit structure, family budgets would be less strained by coverages that don't fit their needs and uninsured people would find the market less expensive to participate in.

Kentuckians would benefit from Arizona Congressman John Shadegg's Health Care Choice Act.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Dyche Gambles With Libertarianism

The libertarian case for casino gambling in Kentucky demands the kind of opaqueness John David Dyche utilizes in promoting it in his Louisville Courier-Journal column:

The debate about expanded gambling divides each party and produces some unusual bi-partisan constituencies. Among Republicans, libertarians focused on freedom generally favor it, but social conservatives concerned primarily with virtue generally oppose it.

That's generally true, but the conventional wisdom on this doesn't square with the facts and shouldn't survive greater scrutiny. Casino gambling is a boon primarily to out-of-state casino owners and secondarily to big-government politicians. Those who come up short are both the gamblers who choose to impoverish themselves and the taxpayers who wind up picking up the public tab for those bad choices. Where this becomes problematic is that the public costs greatly exceed the promised revenue that comes into the state coffers to be spent quickly on politician-enhancing projects.

This recipe for disaster is by no means worthy of dreamy libertarian ballads.

Lexington's Urge To Purge

Lexington voters did a lot when they turned back the ill-considered condemnation effort against Kentucky American Water Company on election day. But does the wide margin of the vote tally suggest a desire to move forward in turning back the ever-increasing growth of government?

Maybe not, but it makes sense for voters to reject tax increases from a government that holds assets whose sale would not only generate revenue for now, but would also decrease government size and improve individual freedom. Follow me on this: why should any city or town raise taxes when they could sell off a utility or contract out a service like garbage collection?

Monday, November 20, 2006

How Is Your Financial Security Looking?

Fluctuation happens. And that works out to being a very good thing when it comes to your money.

Just today, the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined for the first time in seven trading sessions. The Dow closed at 12,316.54. That's up nearly 15% for the year and nearly double where it was four years ago.

How is your Social Security doing?

GOP 2007: Is There Any "There" There?

Take a look at Billy Harper's campaign website. Under "Polls" is a survey asking what Mr. Harper's top priority should be if he is elected Governor.

The top choice so far is "end corruption in Frankfort."

Seventy nine people had voted when I looked at the site.

MSM Shoots But Can't Hit Barn On Draft

Given nearly 24 hours to provide some kind of coverage of Rep. Charlie Rangel's (D-NY) military draft proposal, the best the MSM can come up with is a response from Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina).

Where's Nancy Pelosi on this? She is going to have to be against this stupid idea, but reporters can't manage to ask the one question that matters.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

AP London Reporter Manufactures A Wedge

Henry Kissinger did not say the war in Iraq is hopeless, but that -- of course -- didn't stop the Associated Press from reporting "Kissinger: Iraq Military Win Impossible."

In an interview, Kissinger stated that surrendering Iraq would cause "disastrous consequences" and cautioned against "total withdrawal."

The money quote was: "If you mean by 'military victory' an Iraqi government that can be established and whose writ runs across the whole country, that gets the civil war under control and sectarian violence under control in a time period that the political processes of the democracies will support, I don't believe that is possible."

This means that Kissinger doesn't think just about the narrowest possible definition of victory in Iraq is going to happen. I agree with him. But the the presence of al Qaeda campers in Iraq who keep killing and getting killed there suggests that narrow definitions of victory aren't the standard anyone on our side needs to be waiting for.

I know the liberal meme is that the war is just some Republican political scam, and I appreciate that they won the election, but these propaganda tactics are beyond the pale.

Do Liberals Hate Homosexuals?

Hypocrisy, thy name is income redistributor.

Scott Alexander Pulls A John Kerry

Sen. John Kerry made headlines recently when he questioned the intelligence of our troops in Iraq. Now Democrat Scott Alexander of Hazard, who lost his election to Rep. Brandon Smith by 40 votes, thinks he would have won if his name had been listed first on the ballot.

"I definitely think it (ballot position) made 21 votes of difference," he told the Courier-Journal.

Some political science professor in California thinks he has a lawsuit, but I'm not buying it. Mid-term election voters don't just stumble into the voting booth and hit the first name. Shame on what's left of the Courier-Journal for playing along on their "news" pages.

Running McCain

Sen. John McCain makes his case for 2008.

I'm still quite skeptical, but I am watching him on This Week now. Not too bad.

What do you think?

Saturday, November 18, 2006

No More Fake Solutions, Please

Most minimum wage workers are not poor by any standard. Stating this fact makes me a hateful s.o.b., I know, but even such clever rebuttals as that don't make mandated wage increases for the lowest paying jobs any kind of tool for fighting poverty.

If the minimum wage peddlers really wanted to help low-income workers, they would push for for expanding the state earned income tax credit. That way high school students wouldn't be the primary beneficiary of the poverty-busting crusade. The EITC can be targeted to families. Since there are so few of them who actually depend on the minimum wage, the public costs would be much smaller and the desired effect would be achieved.

It's a win-win unless your real goal is just politics.

Irregularities In Madison County

Madison county Magistrate Roger Barger won a close one this year against challenger Wayne Long. Barger prevailed by twenty votes.

Well, they keep "finding" votes in the courthouse and now have the margin down to six votes.

It's time for Trey Grayson to take a look at this one.

Williams Tackles 2007 Top Issue

Senate President David Williams' advice to Governor Ernie Fletcher couldn't be better. Now is the time to take a leadership role in killing off casino gambling in Kentucky.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Athletic Supporters, Rubber Pants, Hair Notions

I don't know what compels Rep. Bob Damron (D-Nicholasville) to re-file his "sales tax holiday" bill every year. Maybe it was a desire to make a laundry list of items which, unfortunately, includes those named above.

It certainly doesn't have anything to do with good public policy.

One of the wrinkles in this year's version of Damron's favorite bill is a provision to force businesses who can't remove sales taxes for a weekend to pay them without passing them along to customers. In other words, the way around one of the paperwork burdens of previous versions of this bill is to actually make this a tax increase for some merchants.


What a terrible bill.

Inspiration From Playstation Generation

Caught a little tv news at noon today and saw interviews with exultant Playstation buyers who had camped out overnight to buy their toys. The common theme running through the comments of several of them was that they had overcome great difficulty to "earn" the right to buy their toys.

Good grief.

As fantastic as our economy is going right now, this is what passes for climbing steep mountains. What on earth are we going to do if this country is faced with hard times?

Heavy Name-Dropping Injures Politician

Former Sen. John "Breck Girl" Edwards sounds distraught in a story about a campaign volunteer of his shopping for him at a Wal-Mart and dropping his name while doing so.

The really funny part is that some electronics clerk decided to alert the media because the Presidential wannabe, now a full-time Wal-Mart critic, is going to have a Playstation game from Wal-Mart under his Christmas tree.

Let's hope his kids don't read the papers.

And then, to top it all, instead of blowing this off as a really stupid story, Edwards turns it into his own macaca moment.

It-gets-better UPDATE: Another news story quotes Edwards using his own six-year-old son as a prop in his war against Wal-Mart, claiming he castigated a classmate for wearing shoes purchased at Wal-Mart. (It's in the next-to-last sentence of this story.)

We can't all take our six-year-old sons to Brooks Brothers, Senator. I think you owe some first graders an apology for teaching your son to be such a snob.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

More Kentucky Budget Follies

The folks at the Bluegrass Institute have been talking for a long time about the state budget being unconstitutional. Not many of the talking heads have picked up on the scandal, but I have yet to hear anyone make a good case for the legitimacy of Kentucky's biennial budget.

UPDATE (for some): A lawsuit was filed in Franklin Circuit Court in May, which is pending. If it is successful, as many as another two dozen could be filed.

Still Waiting For A Democrat Idea

Democrat legislators today punted on economic development again. The best they could come up with was a hike in the minimum wage.

School Choice's Unexpected Champions

Democrats usually don't support school choice.

But some are starting to.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

No Big Deal: Merit Grand Jury Report

The Fletcher Grand Jury has issued the report they were completely expected to issue. The political carnage for this is already figured in. But what lots of people aren't thinking about now is this: if Governor Fletcher is nominated in May, the liberal blogosphere across the country will go crazy raising gobs of money against the Governor who blocked blogs.

It's stupid, I know. But that is what's coming.

Some people won't be able to resist calling me disloyal for mentioning this, but I didn't think of it first.

Who Is Ben Chandler Representing Now?

Rep. Ben Chandler is about to extend his month-long vacation by a third day, as it is expected he will be a no-show for the House session starting at 10 AM.

Lions, And Tigers, And Bears! Oh My!

Of all the challenges facing ex-convicts in Kentucky, does anyone really think restoring their voting rights is a meaningful priority for them (or us) worthy of legislative action?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Medical Cover Up In Kentucky

The truth about Kentucky's Certificate of Need program is getting harder and harder to hide.

Where In The World Is Ben Chandler?

Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson isn't running for governor, Auditor Crit Luallen isn't running for Governor, and Rep. Ben Chandler hasn't shown up for work the last two days.

Chandler's spokeswoman didn't return my call this afternoon so I don't know, but it is a little curious that Ben would need a couple of days off after his month-long vacation. With all this gubernatorial speculation going on, you just have to wonder.

Oh, Goody!

Meet your new House Majority Leader.

Hey John, say something stupid for the cameras about the war!

Taking Another Shot At Eminent Domain

There is a bill before the U.S. Senate that would ban the abuse of eminent domain by municipalities who take property from one private owner and give it to another.

One small problem -- Bill Frist is against it.


Rolling Heads In Frankfort

A shake-up is in the works in House Republican leadership in Kentucky's General Assembly.

Any guesses?

Monday, November 13, 2006

Mayor Jim Newberry, Liberal or Conservative?

A rumor circulating around City Hall in Lexington has Mayor Jim Newberry scrapping the old budgeting process and going to a zero-based budget. This would involve justifying every expenditure individually rather than just taking the existing budget, raising everything five percent, and hiking taxes or fees to make it all work.

Take Another Look At Term Limits

Yeah, I know I'll take some abuse for picking the week after this election to champion Congressional term limits, but it could be worth the effort.

Nancy Pelosi has already chosen a wimpy, campaign finance reform approach to rooting out official corruption. She says gifts from lobbyists shouldn't be allowed. Sure, that will end any conflicts of interest.

If we really want to change the way Congress does business, ending the seniority-based spoils system on Capitol Hill deserves a good hard look.

I'm sure it doesn't poll very well and politicians will lie about their support for term limits in order to get elected, but it is a better idea than trying to stop legislative agents from picking up the tab for dinner. And with our finely-tuned b.s. detectors turned on high, it may be more difficult for lawmakers to shout it down.

Don't Pay Any Attention To That Civil War Going On Behind The Curtain

Media types are having a lot of fun with the idea of the Republican party struggling with the idea of going toward the center or toward the right.

But the Democratic ideological power struggle we aren't supposed to notice will be no less entertaining.

In fact, I think it will be objectively much more so because the Democrats have (slim) majorities and are supposed to be in charge.

How long before they start calling Republicans "obstructionists?"

KCFG: Liberal GOP'ers Rejected

The long-awaited launch of the Kentucky Club For Growth comes today with a press release from executive director Brian Richmond:

"The Kentucky Club for Growth will find, support and endorse candidates for elected office who are committed to free-market principles, lowering taxes, reducing spending and decreasing the size of government. Additionally, we will hold Frankfort accountable by monitoring legislation and providing scorecards to our members and the press after each legislative session."

Richmond says too many in the Republican party have "abandoned the principles that guided Ronald Reagan."

Casino Surreality

A big-government politician's dream -- casino gambling -- is playing out in absurd fashion in Indiana.

Despite ample evidence casinos cost governments more than they generate, politicians like cutting ribbons for new projects. Casino revenue generates lots of ribbon cutting. It generates even more in welfare costs, but no one calls a press conference for that.

Anyway, politicians in Indiana counties without casinos suffer a dearth of ribbon-cuttings and they are doing something about it.

Watching legislators fight to keep gambling boats here or there -- or move them, or license new ones -- is not something we want to get involved in here in Kentucky while we still have the choice. Sponsoring Senator Mudwrestling events on Friday nights would be more productive for the Commonwealth.

As Brereton Jones seeks to ride the casino gambling gravy train back to Frankfort, we should be encouraging people to take a closer look. We already rejected campaign "welfare for politicians." Casino gambling is nothing more than ribbon-cutting enhancement for politicians with a hefty price tag for taxpayers. Viewed properly, the casino gambling scam would be swiftly rejected by the people who will be buying the ribbons.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

"They Think They Won"

I remember the heady days of November 2000, when a new day of conservative dominance seemed to be dawning.

It didn't mean anything to me at the time, but I remember eavesdropping on a couple of Democrats who were talking about the difficulty the newcomers were going to have advancing any kind of agenda.

"They think they won," one said to the other.

Now I understand this sentiment. It seems liberals will come down from their euphoria and quickly realize their razor-thin majorities will not get them very far on their agenda.

The first test, Iraq, will happen very soon.

Do The Right Thing, Steve Pence

An early indicator for a pretty meaningless Governor's race next year is this limp noodle column from liberal columnist John Nelson who said, basically, "Waaaaah, we don't want divisive Republicans!" Ironically, he is talking about Gov. Ernie Fletcher, who has gone above and beyond the call of duty to give in to Democrats.

I don't care who runs for Governor next year. It's a terrible, dead-end job. The only way to get along with the legislature is to go along with massive amounts of borrowed spending and stealth tax increases. The biggest challenge facing the next governor may well be pension deficits necessitating impossible-to-hide tax increases.

The race to watch for next year is the one for Attorney General. What we need is a serious, no nonsense prosecutor to protect the taxpayers.

Steve Pence's independence could make him a strong choice for that role.

This Story Probably Makes More Sense If You're Stoned: "We're All One In This World"

The executive director of the Sierra Club came to Louisville and it sounds like everyone had the munchies.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Democrats For Fair Tax?

A rumor is swirling among Fair Tax activists that Congressional Democrats are making plans to push for passage of the Fair Tax Act.

This would be a great move for the nation, for Democrats and would serve Republicans right for dragging their feet on this reform.

Party Re-organization Starts Now

All the talk about the 2008 Presidential horse race overshadows the fact that the Republican and Democratic parties will likely see some important changes to how they operate over the next two years.

Starting in the spring of 2008, both parties will re-organize from the local precincts up to the national level. This involves potentially new faces and also fine-tuning of the parties' platforms.

If you have ideas about how things should be done for either party, you should get involved now. The Republicans must reassert their fiscal conservatism. Democrats need to be clear about where they are on the war on terror.

All to often, the same people run the county, district, and state conventions about like they always have. If you have an interest in changing that, now is the time to start gathering like-minded friends who will show up and vote with you.

The opportunity for new individuals to gain greater influence is enhanced by the shake-ups in both parties. Dem Chair Jerry Lundergan is very likely to face challenges to his leadership and the much-publicized power struggle in the Ky. GOP could create quick opportunities for new blood.

GOP Straw Poll Looks Good For Romney

It's just a straw poll I can't figure out how to link to, but it shows Giuliani and Gingrich running ahead of Gov. Mitt Romney. Seems reasonable to expect their zipper problems to knock out one or both of the front-runners, so that should benefit Romney.

McCain is fourth.

Here is the straw poll.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Constitutional Officer Reform For Kentucky

We don't need any more evidence that the office of Treasurer in Kentucky is completely worthless, do we?

After Jonathan Miller rides out his second term of auditioning for a higher elected position, we should just do away with Kentucky Treasurer as a constitutionally elected office.

No one doubts the Senate would pass such a measure. The fun thing would be to watch the House Democrats go along, as they surely would.

Give Me Benefits Or Give Me Death

Kentucky state social workers are pushing for re-classification as hazardous duty employees. They say this is necessary because they risk life and limb to remove children from dangerous home environments and often face threats themselves.

At issue if whether we are just throwing money at the problem or actually trying to solve it. Adding them to the hazardous duty category only changes eligibility for a full pension from twenty seven years of service to twenty years.

Social workers are unarmed and often walk into dangerous situations without a police escort. They say that when they do have police support on a call, the officer stands behind the social worker.

Making them hazardous duty employees does nothing to alleviate the physical risks. It just pays them more for enduring the risks and pays them from a woefully insufficient pool of funds.

Wouldn't it be better for the safety of the social worker and cheaper for the state to send a police officer with every social worker who requests one and have the armed officer stand in front of the social worker at the door? It seems the officer could stay as long as a threat is perceived. Usually that wouldn't be very long.

Just seems that if I were in a very dangerous job, seven more years of pension would be small compensation for risking my life. Given a choice, I would rather see the job made more safe.

It is curious, then, that the social workers are so fired up for the seven years and won't listen to suggestions for cutting the safety risk instead.

Welcome To The Club

With their narrow electoral victory on Tuesday, liberals Like Sen. Barbara Boxer are fired up to change the world in their image.

It won't happen.

President Bush has already shown a willingness to bend on some things -- his entire presidency -- but I don't expect him to give in on disasters like the Kyoto accord.

People on the left will soon understand the frustration conservatives have felt the last twelve years. We thought we won then, too.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

2007 Target: "Who's Your Daddy" Stumbo

While pundits are busy talking up the race for the Governor's Mansion, the contest that really matters in Kentucky is the one to determine which straight-arrow will replace scandal-tarred Attorney General Greg Stumbo.

Stumbo narrowly won a three-way primary in 2003 and then squeaked out a plurality in a cartoonish three-way general election.

Frankly, if the Republicans can't put up someone better, I would love to see former Auditor Ed Hatchett send Stumbo home. He would make a good AG.

Bill Clinton (1998): "Save Social Security First!"

In his 1998 State of the Union address, President Bill Clinton uttered the admonition to "Save Social Security First."

Now that Democrats are in charge of Congress, they might want to look into that.

Let's Box Their Earmarks

If Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Harry Reid want to get things started off right, they should end the practice of earmarking.

Fiscal Conservatism: Let's Try It

Wasteful and/or unnecessary government programs don't get straightened out or eliminated by accident. They have to be picked out, examined thoroughly, worked over, argued -- and even then they are usually left alone because each government program has a built-in constituency determined to see it survive.

The public pension crisis in Kentucky is the largest drain, has the largest constituency, and risks every other state program like a time bomb in your bedroom risks your ability to get a good night's sleep.

It isn't the easiest place to start politically, but it can't wait. Kentucky didn't feel Hurricane Katrina in the usual sense. But if you can imagine a Category Five hurricane of red ink demolishing our cities and towns, you have the idea.

We have to keep our promise to past and current state and municipal workers. But it is no exaggeration to say if we don't do something to limit future liabilities fast, we will get wiped out.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

U.S. Senate Minority Leader 2007

If Rep. Mike Pence is going to be the House Republican leader, does it really make sense for Sen. Mitch McConnell to wind up as the Senate Republican leader?

I say no.

How about Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK)?

Top Kentucky Issue For 2007: Casinos

This is a horrible idea Democrats are going to ride toward the Governor's mansion.

If Kentucky Republicans refuse to stand up against the effort, 2007 will be as bad for them as 2006 was.

And "let the people decide" is not a viable stand against casinos. Legislators who understand casino gambling isn't the answer need to get off the fence and explain what is wrong with that plan.

Defense Sec. First Test For Senate Dems

Rumsfeld is out and Senate Democrats will have a major role in determining who replaces him. The hearings will be very interesting.

Who will be the one ask Bush nominee Robert Gates for a timetable on getting out of Iraq?

"Minimum Wage" Scam Can't Stand

It was nice to see Lexington turn back the water company condemnation last night. A "Yes" vote would have just prolonged agony and the expensive court battle.

Candidates found it difficult to refute the faulty reasoning that raising the minimum wage would somehow reduce poverty in Kentucky and all over America. Now, we need to take that issue head-on.

There is nothing about the notion of price-fixing that suggests that it might produce positive results. Fixing certain wages above the market rate is not some magically different issue.

For Heaven's sake, if you want to give something more to the poor than a mere talking point, raise the Earned Income Tax Credit.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Merely A Flesh Wound

Now let's see Speaker Nancy Pelosi surrender the war, raise taxes, impeach the President for telling the truth, socialize health care, and raise the minimum wage to eradicate poverty.

Careful What You Wish For?

Larry Kudlow raises a good point that even if Dems pull a narrow House majority, the Blue Dog Democrats will usually support the President.

That would be good for taxes and good for the economy if they move away from Nancy Pelosi and her far left positions.

That's the opposite of the U.S. Senate the last few years, in which liberal Republicans have given Democrats a de facto majority. It would be ironic if the Democrats took over the House and wound up with less power there than they have in the Republican "controlled" Senate they have been running in circles for years.

A Little Surprised By The Results?

This one was too funny to pass up.

Faith Hill was darn sure she was going to get some country music award. Her reaction when she didn't get it will be on a lot of faces tonight.

Kentucky Election Prediction

Election day 2002 was fantastic for Kentucky Republicans on the county level.

Election day 2006 will be that kind of fantastic. The get-out-the-vote effort will make the difference again.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Justin Dobbs: Space Ranger

Remember in Toy Story when Buzz Lightyear didn't realize he was a toy -- a child's play thing -- and thought he was a real Space Ranger tasked with protecting the galaxy from the evil Emperor Zurg?

Well Justin Dobbs is the 2006 Buzz Lightyear. He thinks he is a real Lexington city council candidate, sent to planet Earth to make the universe safe for unemployed young adults.

His latest adventure involved stealing yard signs and making up a phone call from a fictitious attorney when he got caught.

To infinity, and beyond!!


In an election which Republicans were expected to be drawn, quartered, scattered, smothered, covered, chunked, and topped -- prospects actually look pretty good.

Newberry Addresses Fayette Jail Scandal

Mayoral candidate Jim Newberry's radio ad mentions his lack of experience at being subject to an FBI raid, a clear reference to the Fayette county jail investigation.

If the race were closer, Mayor Isaac would respond. Since she is getting wiped out, she will probably just let it slide and we will hear more about this after the election.

"You Come From America And Ridicule The Iraqi People"

Everyone seems to be happy about the Saddam Hussein guilty verdict except Old Europe and LBJ's Attorney General Ramsey Clark, who screamed about the the ruling and got tossed out of court by the judge.

Modern-day liberals weren't very happy either.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Whether It Is Broken Or Not, We Should Break The Republican Party On Wednesday And Start Over

Some fiscal conservatives suggest the best thing to happen for fiscal conservatism on Tuesday would be a wipeout of Republican officeholders.

I disagree.

Republicans have joined the overspending ways of Democrats, so it doesn't make sense to expect current-day Democrats to restore fiscal responsibility on their own. They have campaigned this year on raising taxes and increasing spending further.

Republicans are going to have to clean up this mess on their own.

In the bluegrass, Kentucky Club for Growth offers great hope for those who know pro-growth policies represent the best hope for the future.

Go to their site and sign up for email updates. This battle starts on Wednesday.

An Alternative History Considered

Saddam Hussein has been sentenced to death for mass murder after a week in which we learned he almost developed nuclear weapons. Can there be any doubt that with Democrats like President Al Gore and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Saddam's comeuppance would not be happening?

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Buy Cattle Futures!

Hillary Clinton's daughter probably will have to endure a little unwanted scrutiny for anything she does.

But news that she is going to work for a hedge fund will doubtless spark a few jokes about speculation in her mom's favorite commodity.

What Is It With This Guy?

I thought liberal bloggers were supposed to be peaceful.

Saddam Had Nuke Program

The Left has abandoned their story about online nuclear weapon information because it contradicts what they have been saying for the last few years.

Friday, November 03, 2006

What To Do With $279 Million Surplus

It is nonsensical to talk about spending the booty from recent state tax increases on projects or anything else other than the woefully underfunded state employee benefit plans. Putting this disaster on the back burner for future generations will only make it more expensive.

Direct Mail Attacking Liberal Blogger?

Sen. Joe Lieberman sent out a mailer attacking his opponent and naming his "biggest supporter:" Top lefty blogger Markos Moulitsas.

Pretty heady stuff, I guess.

Georgetown News-Graphic's Weak Pic Scam

Both of these pictures appeared on the front page of the Georgetown News-Graphic. Can you guess which one is the Republican?

Chuck Bradley, on the right, is one of the friendliest people I have ever met. He said the photographer took several pictures. Wonder why they couldn't manage to print one of Mr. Bradley smiling?

Incidentally, the smiling man on the left if liberal Rep. Charlie Hoffman who has benefited from childish pranks like this from the Georgetown News-Graphic for a long time.

Ed Worley's 2007 Gubernatorial Campaign Off To A Bad Start

The Richmond Register had a story yesterday about the 34th Senate district race between Ed Worley and Barry Metcalf.

Metcalf has exposed Worley's avid support of casino gambling when he is not in his conservative central Kentucky district. Sen. Worley's main response has been to hurl insults.

Ed has come completely unglued late in the campaign, calling Metcalf names in public and spending obscene amounts of money on Lexington television and radio advertising.

In yesterday's article, Worley even got his decades wrong trying to attack Metcalf.

Worley says Metcalf’s opposition to gambling is hypocritical. “When Barry was in the Senate, he had a chance to kill the state lottery, but didn’t do it,” he said.

Metcalf was in the state Senate from 1994 to 1999. The Kentucky lottery started years earlier, in 1989.

The added social welfare costs brought on by introducing casino gambling are certain to exceed expected revenues from casinos. Given Worley's penchant for funny numbers like state deficits, land prices, ponzi schemes, and "revenue enhancement," it should come as no surprise that he can't keep his decades straight.

UPDATE: The MSM will never report on this in a million years -- much less before Tuesday -- but this contribution from California-based casino magnate R.D. Hubbard would be interesting to anyone who actually believes Sen. Worley when he says he hasn't made up his mind whether to support the big casinos or not.

More Kentucky Pension Games

The four benefit plans administered by the Commonwealth of Kentucky have a combined shortfall of $17.5 Billion and Rep. C.B. Embry (R-Morgantown) wants to put another hole in the bottom of the boat.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Desperate Dem Voter Drive In Kentucky

This makes sense coming from the party that wants to send another convicted felon to the state Senate.

Combing the prisons for GOTV is a telling sign, isn't it? Hey guys, why don't you call the Registered Sex Offenders List next?

Mike Farmer Attacked By Susan Westrom's Son On MySpace Page

Rep. Susan Westrom's (D-Lexington) son is a real piece of work.

Herald-Leader Spanked By Yellow Dog

Judge Mary Noble had a fit recently when Supreme Court Justice John Roach pointed out her long-standing pattern of going easy on sex offenders.

The Herald Leader followed Noble's lead today calling Roach's concerns "injudicious."

But some history on the relationship between the Herald-Leader and Noble may shed light on why the paper's editorial board was so quick to come to the liberal judge's aid.

On October 26, 1994 the paper criticized Noble for setting free a sex offender who had been jailed for attempted rape and for nearly killing his victim. Thanks to Noble, he served only eight months.

On November 24, 1995 the paper mentioned that same case again and added two more like it in which Noble set the perpetrators free.

Then on November 30, 1995 the paper printed a clarification including the following:

Judge Noble called to our attention additional facts that put (one of the sex offenders) case in a different light and lead us to conclude that extremely lenient sentences are not the norm in her court.

She must have done some pretty powerful persuading to get the Herald-Leader off her back and into her camp. All this was pretty confusing until I heard former Supreme Court Justice Jim Keller call Mary Noble a "yellow dog Democrat" this summer in Frankfort.

Now I understand. The Herald-Leader editorial board got called on the carpet once for attacking a Democrat. A decade later, they are still making up for it by trying to put a liberal on the Kentucky Supreme Court.

Eminent Domain, The New Abortion?

Ralph Hacker is running a radio ad supporting the ballot initiative that would restart the taxpayer-funded court fight and battle to destroy Kentucky American Water Company.

In the ad, he says he believes eminent domain actions should be rare. Sounds like abortion proponents who say killing babies should be "safe, legal, and rare."

But let's do another one, right?

Fayette county voters who vote yes on the ballot question Tuesday won't be resolving ANYTHING. They will just be voting to resume fighting that only the lawyers can win.

Punch Foley For Joe

The New York Times has the story about Republican Joe Negron's bid to replace Mark Foley in Congress. The conservative nature of the district and a great campaign slogan reflecting the unfortunate fact that voters must still choose "Mark Foley" in order to cast a vote for Negron has put him in position to win.

It is looking more and more like the story on November 8 will be "since Democrats couldn't win in this environment, perhaps they never will."

But then, conservatives are going to need a good, long talk with their Republican representatives, who helped create the environment and a real opportunity for the "We have no message" Democrats to make a race out of 2006.

In the end, loathing of the military and a penchant for raising taxes along with a strong desire to coddle foreign criminals ruined the Democrat effort to dominate this election cycle.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Can't Keep These Good Men Down

Democrats have taken African American voters for granted for a long time. They repeat this grievous behavior when Democrats fight against any kind of school choice, champion deviant "lifestyles," and perpetuate generations of dependency on the government.

This week, while Democrats are worried about how badly John Kerry's mouth will hurt their desire for control, a little-noted event in Maryland may have started real change in American politics for years to come.

Read about it.

Latest Polling: No Cigar For Dems

... and Nancy Pelosi hasn't even weighed in on whether she believes our soldiers are stupid.

Fortunately, she is on the record for wanting to raise taxes and wanting to protect the non-existent civil rights of illegal foreign enemy combatants.

Reuters says Nancy doesn't get a new office.

Steve Kay Pulls A John Kerry

Lexington City Council At-Large candidate Steve Kay went on Lexington radio yesterday and chided Lexington voters for not being "compassionate" toward illegal aliens.

In other news: I don't know if will be enough to help Senator Rick Santorum win in Pennsylvania, but his opponent Bob Casey Jr. has John "Soldiers Are Dumb" Kerry coming in to campaign for him today.

Any chance we could get Kerry to come to Kentucky to "help" Democrats here?

UPDATE: All the John Kerry events today have been cancelled. He is available, Kentucky Dems!