Thursday, August 31, 2006

Name That Fraud Contest

We have just about reached the point where Ed Worley's fraud-for-land scandal deserves a name.

Any ideas?

Since Sen. Worley was caught on tape trying to wiggle out of a world of woe in the multi-million dollar racketeering lawsuit he faces, I thought some kind of alliteration would be catchy, but I am struggling to come up with a good one.

A special prize to the reader who comes up with the best name.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Worley Scandal Makes Front Page

The Richmond Register picked up on Sen. Ed Worley's (D-Richmond) fraud trial today with a front page story.

Unfortunately, the Register story swings a wide berth around the most interesting facts made public so far about the case.

For example, we know Ed isn't happy part of his scheme got caught on audio tape. Sen. Worley's effort to get the tape thrown out of court is humorous as he seems not to know that telephone calls in Kentucky can be recorded by one party to the call without the knowledge of the other.

A closer look at his complaint shows even more. Worley says in an August 23 court motion that the tape of his conversation was "improperly concealed" and should have been presented as part of the discovery process. The victim in the case, Earl Estes, responded in an electronic filing today as follows:

"The defendents (Worley and partner A.D. Grant), having
defrauded the Plaintiff, having been
caught in the fraud on
, and then having testified falsely under oath about the whole
thing, now cry foul and claim that Plaintiff's failure to turn over the
tapes or the transcripts before they perjured themselves in their
depositions isn't fair."

The taped conversations with Worley and Grant are pretty funny, knowing what we know now, but prior to the depositions in which they both contradicted their taped statements, the victim could not have known the tapes represented valuable evidence to confirm what he previously only suspected.

Again, from today's filing by the attorney for the victim:

"Up until Worley and Grant gave their depositions it was not at all clear that the statements would become impeachable evidence, since until then there was no way of knowing what their story would be."

More 2007 Buzz

Linda Greenwell got 49% of the vote for Auditor of Public Accounts in 2003, narrowly losing to Paul Patton's cabinet secretary Crit Luallen.

She is running again.

"I'm definitely running," Greenwell said. "I plan to file the day after the election in November."

Other speculation has Richie Farmer weighing a run for Governor.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Free Speech and Fair Tax

The Johnson amendment allows the federal government to use the U.S. Tax Code to abuse the free speech rights of non-profit organizations.

The Fair Tax would help. Here is how.

GOP Losing On Gas Prices?

How can the Republicans possibly be losing support because of gas prices when the closest the Democrats have gotten to an actual idea on the subject has been to raise gas taxes by fifty cents a gallon?

And that was four years ago.

Monday, August 28, 2006

The Dropout Problem In Kentucky

The best problems for big government to have are those that have no solution but do possess a very active constituency. So much the better if that active constituency persistently campaigns for increasing sums of money to "solve" the problem.

The high school dropout rate is a great problem for big government fans in Kentucky. Any education bureaucrat worth his salt can preach convincingly on the need to reduce the dropout rate. The income statistics and crime statistics tied to education attainment -- or lack of it -- really are compelling.

A former effort to reduce the dropout rate had us forcing kids to stay in school or lose their drivers licenses. This law served an educational function as hundreds of affected teenagers learned how to exploit the hardship loophole when caught driving on a license suspended due to dropping out of school. (Hey, it was more fun than civics class!)

We keep trying program after program to reduce the dropout rate, all to no avail. Yet the next program is just a brainstorm away. Open your checkbooks. Here it comes!

I have an alternative approach. Let's see how high we can push the drop-out rate. Class sizes are always a problem so let's see how we can encourage those who don't want to be in school to clear out so willing students can get what they need.

If the state offered to pay sixteen year old public school students $500 to drop out of school, we would see those who valued education that little head for the exits.

Good riddance, good luck with the job search, and -- most important -- good for the willing students who remain in school. And good for the state as well. Five hundred dollars and a pat on the back is much less money than it would cost to house an uninterested student for another couple of years and no real public benefit.

Okay, the diploma counts for something. So let's give $1000 to the same would-be dropout if he can pass the GED exams. A little incentive is a good thing.

This would be a positive for everyone involved. Kids who don't value education will get more than they eat up otherwise to hit the street. Some of those same low achievers will decide to hit the books before hitting the door in order to get the extra GED money. In the process, they will pick up a diploma. The most important lesson will be for those who stay in school, seeking higher education rather than going for the quick -- and small -- bucks.

Why Liberals Hate WalMart

A Washington Post (!) essay comes to a devastating conclusion that Democrats have turned on WalMart because the company does more to help low-income people in its normal business practices than government entitlement programs could ever pretend to.

Now is a great time to point out pandering to anti-business interests is good for Democrat pot-stirrers but bad for the nation.

Also would be nice to see more analysis about the demonization of oil companies. That is another one out of their playbook that doesn't hold water.

Not Big Steve Henry Fans

Wow. The Louisville Courier-Journal has a happy re-cap of Dem Gov. wannabe Steve Henry's habit of blaming his misdeeds on others for the last decade.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Death Taxes Are Killers

The Seattle Times today ran a very clear, concise essay on why the Death Tax has to go.

Here it is.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Lie Into The Microphone, Ed Worley

The federal racketeering lawsuit against KY Democrat Senate leader Ed Worley is getting interesting.

Apparently, Worley got caught saying something on tape that he wishes he hadn't said.

In a motion Worley filed Wednesday is U.S. District Court, he said "At no time did Earl Estes disclose to me that any conversation I ever had with him, including any conversation I had with him in November of 2005, was being recorded and I did not know the conversation was being recorded. I did not and do not consent to being secretly recorded and would not have talked to Mr. Estes if I knew that I was being recorded."

Kentucky law does not require a crime victim to notify a perpetrator he is recording a telephone call to collect incriminating evidence.

KY Republican Revolution 2006

I'm hearing reports all over the state of Republican candidates for local office who are winning wide support despite Ernie Fletcher's woes.

In the last few hours I have heard very encouraging central Kentucky news from County Judge candidates John Wilson in Garrard county, Danny Godbey in Lincoln county, and Randy Bowen in Powell county. All three seek to succeed Democrat incumbents. Lincoln and Powell counties are both historically Democrat counties.

I hesitate to wonder out loud how things might be turning out with a Republican governor engaged in the local races all this year.

Friday, August 25, 2006

GOP "Insurgency" Not Dead Yet

Larry Forgy said of the Fletcher Deal: "I feel the Republican insurgency is killed by this."

I'm not sure which side is actually leading the "insurgency," but the Fletcher administration can't depend on yesterday's end of the merit hiring court case to heal what ails his bid for re-election.

It is going to take one heck of a 2007 General Assembly session to do that.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Warning To State Employees

E-mail scammers have apparently sent a phony message to Kentucky state employees and their families who have accounts at Commonwealth Credit Union. The subject line on the e-mail is "Urgent Notice: Five question survey" and promises to insert $100 into the accounts of people who respond.

The Commonwealth Credit Union did not send this message. Spread the word.

All Allegations?

Governor Fletcher issued a statement this afternoon that read "I have been cleared of all charges against me and exonerated of all allegations."

I wish he had stuck to "moving Kentucky forward."

The Republican primary for Governor will be moving forward very soon. Billy Harper is polling right now.

Greg "Cut And Run" Stumbo Gives Up

Saying the Governor was likely to pardon himself anyway, AG Greg Stumbo today gave up the merit hiring investigation that he hoped would cause Kentucky voters to forget his own sordid past.

What a coward.

The big question now is will Governor Fletcher make the most of this mulligan and engage significant policy initiatives for the next session of the General Assembly?

There are no white hats in this affair and this event serves only to pour gasoline on the already-raging political fire in Frankfort. In giving Stumbo a pass today on his "political witch hunt," Governor Fletcher doesn't look so hot either.

This issue now just settles in as a nebulous public sense of the same old cronyism in Frankfort that we were already sick of.

Stumbo Press Conference Set

Today at 12:30.

Stay tuned.

UPDATE: The charges against Governor Fletcher have been dropped by Judge Melcher and can't be brought again. Apparently, Governor Fletcher admitted some wrongdoing by his administration.

The Next Misleading Liberal Rant

Daily Kos is a leftist website with a lot of readers. Because of its many readers, Daily Kos is very likely to cause big problems for Governor Ernie Fletcher next year in his run for re-election.

Yesterday, the site put up a small notice with very large implications:

Mark Nickolas over at Bluegrass Report updates us on his lawsuit against the state of Kentucky. As you might recall, the Republican governor ordered all state agencies to block liberal blogs like his, while leaving conservative ones alone.

They know this isn't true. Kentucky Progress remains one of several conservative sites blocked. But the truth hardly matters here. There will be only three gubernatorial races nationwide next year. When Daily Kos calls on its liberal readers from sea to shining sea to send money to Kentucky to defeat the Governor who blocked liberals, literally millions of dollars will flow in to the campaign of the Democrat nominee.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Merit Hiring Settlement Rumor

All is quiet on the merit hiring case, but rumors are swirling that a settlement is in the works.

Official Frankfort has been buzzing all day with speculation and denials.

Who cares? I don't know. And this late in the day, nothing seems likely to come out before tomorrow anyway.

Just the latest scuttlebutt.

10:53 P.M--- Apparently the Lexington Herald Leader has the whole story and they are holding it for the morning paper. Perhaps a noon press conference.

An Issue We Can Agree On?

I'm still waiting for my liberal friends to convince me Kentucky's Certificate of Need (CON) program does anything to lower healthcare costs. Interestingly, I'm still waiting for the same thing from my conservative friends as well.

Could it be the only people who support limiting competition in healthcare benefit financially from the lack of competition?

An example might be illuminating. Do you need a heart catheterization in Kentucky? That will be $10,000, thank you very much.

But in Ohio, $900 will get 'er done.

The only difference is Kentucky has CON and Ohio doesn't.

Why isn't everyone talking about this when we have a doctor for a Governor?

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Pork For Dinner

Eat up.

Mamas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Do Crystal Methamphetamine

A U.S. Senate candidate to our west in Missouri is getting some unwanted attention because of her alleged fondness for crystal methamphetamine.

Even better, Claire McCaskill is having stoner Willie Nelson in for a fundraiser tonight. Should be a wild time.

Sex Offenders, The New Pioneers?

Defending sex predators has to be a thankless job. Not that I am about to thank Marlene Gordon of The Coalition For The Homeless for trying, but it is easy to see how hard she is working to drum up sympathy.

She wants us to believe Kentucky's new law to ban sex offenders from living within 1000 feet of certain places where children congregate is a bad thing. Gordon says the law is causing predators to conceal their whereabouts, driving them underground, and making them more likely to strike again.


The whole idea behind making life uncomfortable for sex offenders is to make them think twice before committing their crimes. Failing that, they deserve whatever they get. In fact, they deserve worse than our society will inflict upon them.

Even if your bleeding heart won't let you see that tougher laws against sex offenders protect society by giving us more weapons to prosecute them with, you can't really believe, as Gordon states, that therapy and a desire to "safely re-integrate these folks" does anything but keep our most vulnerable citizens at a strategic disadvantage to perverts.

Despite the hopes and dreams of the ACLU-types, we should support this good law and seek more of the same.

Monday, August 21, 2006

The Real Referendum On Gambling

Greg Stumbo is as much a legitimate candidate for Governor as the Easter Bunny is ready to start making little rabbits with Jennifer Aniston. His position on gambling is interesting, but in no way does it erase concerns about his past.

There is a referendum on gambling this year and it will take place in the 34th Senate district of Madison, Lincoln, and Rockcastle counties. Senator Ed Worley (D-Richmond) is an outspoken supporter of casinos and racinos. Senator Worley's opponent, Barry Metcalf, is against expanded gambling.

If you want to know which way casino gambling is going in Kentucky, this is the race to watch.

Concentrating On 2006

First-term legislator Jim DeCesare (R-Bowling Green) is the kind of leader Kentucky needs. His was one of only two votes against the state budget earlier this year.

For conservative people, that was a very good thing.

Lots of people give lip service to smaller government and conservative principles. Jim is the real deal.

Democrat Math Stays In Vegas

Greg Stumbo wants to spend education dollars without teaching basic math, fight crime while establishing "criminal enterprise zones," and cut property taxes while blowing the lid off the state social service liability.

That's right, Stumbo wants casinos in Kentucky. And he wants them now.

We will need several extra layers of education bureaucracy to avoid actually using the revenue casinos bring in on teaching kids the reasoning skills that might otherwise keep them out of casinos. Should we go ahead and start condom programs and free needle exchanges for the extra hookers and junkies who will be drawn to the neighborhoods near our casinos? And the three dollars in social services damage for every one dollar in casino tax revenue will only satisfy those same kids who aren't learning any math.

All this from the same people who don't want you earning any more on your savings than Social Security wants you to have.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Bubba And Hillary Parse The War

The most dangerous political hacks in America try to spin "cut and run."

KAPT Goal: Fleece Taxpayers?

Kentucky's Affordable Pre-paid Tuition program (KAPT) keeps losing money.

The taxpayer-backed program is due to release its actuarial analysis any day now. Expect to see the program's deficit to have gotten several million dollars larger.

Investment performance continues to lag tuition inflation and so its stated investment policy goal needs to be adjusted. Currently, the program seeks to "meet or exceed tuition inflation."

The programs ROI since its inception is 6.12%. That means investments are picking up a little more than half of the program's liabilities. You get to pay the other half.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Left Meets Right In Lexington

A very interesting political event takes place September 7, at a fundraiser for Lexington city council candidate KC Crosbie.

The guest speakers for the event will be former Republican party chair Ellen Williams and former Democratic party chair Terry McBrayer.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Can't Ignore The Front-Runner

Here is an interesting article about Sen. John McCain.

Reckless Disregard For Truth

Newspaper editorialists are quite fond of looking down their noses at those who play fast and loose with the truth. They like to depict those who spin or lie as beneath contempt, slimy, dirty, despicable, and evil.

Given that, how can they possibly rationalize today's drive-by smearing of Supreme Court Justice John Roach?

You might not like John Roach. You might hate him and want him to lose this November and go away. Even so, you can't justify the treatment he got on the editorial page in today's CJ.

They define a campaign poll by Justice Roach they haven't seen as a "low down, dirty poll." They turn a "no comment" answer to another paper into "his handlers at first wouldn't even admit ... they had conducted the survey." That would be the low-down, dirty survey they have never seen, but feel compelled to comment on nonetheless. The paper states without attribution to any source (the source happens to be the campaign of Roach's November opponent): "A number of angry voters say they were asked in the phone survey such slimy questions as whether it matters that Mr. Roach's opponent is "married with no children," is "soft on crime" and "feels that judges can create laws if the legislature has failed to act."

This isn't true.

What is important is The Courier Journal might know that it isn't true. What is critical is they should show some kind of discretion when they aren't sure what the truth is.

That is what libel laws are for.

It is tempting -- and perhaps prudent -- to ignore the wild spinning from Judge Mary Noble's campaign. Having the state's most venerable newspaper vilify him may be a net-positive for Justice Roach.

But today's editorial provides an open-and-shut case of libel and it would be fun to watch the pointy-heads at the CJ have to defend the indefensible when it counts.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Fletcher, Worley, Moberly

Hard to miss a strange sign on Main Street in Richmond at the Chamber of Commerce. It says "Ernie Fletcher, Ed Worley, Harry Moberly, August 25."

I've gotten several calls from people wondering why Governor Fletcher is campaigning with Democrats this close to an election.

Well, he isn't.

Governor Fletcher is coming to Richmond to announce a Recovery Kentucky Center.

The General Assembly has nothing to do with this, so Worley and Moberly will just be getting in the way trying to pick up a little free publicity.

Some D's We Actually Need

Two Kentucky schools have institutionalized grade inflation in order to fake better results. They have eliminated D's from their grading system.

I did something similar with my kids when they started school. I told them D stood for "dead" and that they didn't want to know what F stood for.

But being non-violent types, administrators at no-D schools are telling teachers they get D students back for a repeat unless they bump them up to a C.

There are, of course, no indications this policy does anything good for anyone.

Putting students with a D in in-school suspension would be far more effective at incentivizing achievement.

Old Messes

Steve Henry still says he didn't take the $162,000 he paid back to the government to settle his Medicare/Medicaid fraud case.

I don't know. Maybe he didn't.

The former Paul Patton lieutenant governor should definitely run for the Democratic nomination for governor next year.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Return Of Pence

Ryan Alessi has the story.

Grayson, Napier Campaigns Roll On

The Danville Advocate Messenger caught up with two gubernatorial candidates in Lancaster yesterday.

Good News For Gov. Fletcher?

Brian Goettl at Conservative Edge reports the Kentucky Supreme Court may pick up the merit hiring case.

An opportunity to get out of indictment limbo should be very good news to Ernie Fletcher.

Barack Obama, Gas Hog


Actually, this foolishness about fossil fuel usage hastening the end of the world is no more true coming from these folks now than it has been for the last half century. It is pathetic that the industry that keeps the free world moving faces such brainless attacks today.

Nonetheless, it is fun to see one of the chief purveyors of hot air get caught like this.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Mary Lou Marzian To Chair KDP?

Some Dems are ready to make Chairman Jerry Lundergan walk the plank. It will be fun to see what they might do next.

Thanks For Saving Us Democrats!

On a day like today when the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 132 points, I'm sure glad Democrats saved us from bankrupting ourselves by allowing some people to opt for private investment accounts for their Social Security dollars.

Whither Ernie?

There can be disagreement about how the Fletcher Administration reached its current doldrums, but few would argue anymore that no real problems exist.

If you were advising the Governor, what would you suggest he do?

Two things don't count: suggesting either that he resign or that everything is fine are both out of bounds.

I think pushing for repeal of Certificate of Need laws and giving parents some form of school choice would help generate some much-needed support.

Good: Republicans For Lieberman

When an opponent is hurting himself, the shrewd action is to let him do it.

Watching Republicans save the once-proud Democratic Party from its own Ned Lamontiacs runs counter to that old dictum, but it is the right thing to do.

If Ned Lamont runs Joe Lieberman out of the U.S. Senate, he benefits Republicans by pulling Democrats to the left on the War on Terror. It won't happen. Fortunately, Republicans are playing a role for the good of the nation. There aren't enough conservative voters in Connecticut to elect a Republican, but independents, Republicans, and Democrats will come together in Connecticut to preserve common sense on the issue that matters most to America.

While we are all watching Connecticut, it is time to get Alan Schlesinger to drop his embarrassing run for the Senate. America needs his votes (about 8%) to re-elect Lieberman.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Divided Loyalties

No, I'm not talking here about Republicans. The party of fighting cats will have kittens at election time. It's Democrats in a quandry.

Sometime between now and November it will occur to Kentucky Democrats who want Ben Chandler to run for Governor that they have to hope their party doesn't take over the U.S. House of Representatives this year.

If they do win, he stays put and the Dems are left flat-footed for 2007.

Actually, I think Democrats will wish after the November elections they had been able to find some candidates named "Generic Democrat." And Rep. Chandler still won't run for Governor.

Later Filing Date, Less Corruption

Rep. William "Cash in My Freezer" Jefferson (D-LA) faces 12 opponents in his bid for re-election. Last Friday was the filing deadline, so there won't be any more. If his state's filing deadline were in January like it is in Kentucky, he would likely have no opponent.

To clean up the mess in Kentucky, we need to move the filing deadline for elections in the state.

'06 Will Be The Epic Battle

Political types keep saying we need to stop letting the 2007 statewide races distract from the Congressional, General Assembly, and local races happening this year.

There is no chance of that happening. "I'm concentrating on the 2006 elections" is code for "Don't ask me any hard questions about next year's Governor's race." But the aftershocks of 2006 will still be felt well into the 2007 election season. And then we start on 2008.

Speaking of 2008, here is one for John McCain.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Here Come The 2007 Dems

Steve Henry is set to announce tomorrow his choice of a running mate: state Treasurer Jonathan Miller.

Jerry Lundergan As Sandy Berger

Remember when former Clintonista Sandy Berger got caught sneaking classified documents in his socks? I thought Jerry Lundergan might be doing the same thing when I read this story in which he contradicted media reports and his own campaign finance filings to claim KDP is doing well financially.

The question is, where is he hiding the money?

Time To Apologize To Larry Forgy

Larry Forgy had a bad day yesterday.

In addition to losing the vote for a seat on the Kentucky Republican Party Executive Committee -- which should be a given for a former gubernatorial nominee -- he got slandered in the Lexington Herald-Leader.

Letter writer Kurt Volk of Lexington said "Remember Larry Forgy, who kept almost $1 million in campaign funds after pulling out?"

This never happened. Kurt Volk of Lexington is making stuff up to attack Republicans. The Herald-Leader should apologize for printing this.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Mark Twain On Fletcher/Pence

Rumors of Steve Pence's political demise have been greatly exaggerated.

Lucas First Dem To Get 'Liebermanned' reports Republican Rep. Geoff Davis leading Democrat challenger Ken Lucas in their latest poll.

If the widely anticipated Dem takeover of Congress is turned back this November, the post-mortem on the election will be very interesting. And it will have a lot to do with the lack of new ideas on the Democrat side. But also, Republican supporters are going to have long talks with their elected representatives. Being better than Democrats is one thing, but simply taking that for granted and continuing the spending orgy is a terrible disservice to our nation.

Saturday Morning Violence

Hey, who needs cartoons? This morning at RPK Headquarters the state Executive Committee will witness a battle of surrogates for Governor Ernie Fletcher and Senator Mitch McConnell.

Larry Forgy and Steve Pence's Chief of Staff Steve Huffman are both vying for an open at-large seat on the committee.

The last time Larry fought a battle there in February of 2004, he was successful with the backing of Senator McConnell.

The environment has changed a little since then.

Friday, August 11, 2006

GOP 2007 Fight Begins

Billy Harper has his running mate.

Dick Wilson of Paducah has signed on with Harper to run as a slate against Ernie Fletcher.

More Gubernatorial Intrigue

Sources report Rep. Lonnie Napier will be among the growing crowd of Trey Grayson supporters at the Louisville fundraiser tonight.

Please, No Exoneration Pep Rallies

Now that Governor Fletcher can't be charged in the merit hiring case, he should go to Louisville tonight to support his Secretary of State.

Hubbard: "Confused" About Civil Unions

Convicted felon state Senate candidate Carroll Hubbard told Project Vote Smart he opposes same-sex civil unions.

Then he inexplicably attacks an entire region of the state like this:

"Civil unions between same-sex couples - the public needs educated as to what this includes. Most western Kentuckians are opposed to same-sex marriage but are confused as to civil unions between same-sex couples."

You want to try that again, Carroll?

Thursday, August 10, 2006

The Next Big Thing In Frankfort

Kentucky's General Assembly passed an unconstitutional budget this year.

Some pretty high profile people are about to break their silence on this, too.

Here is some background info, courtesy of the Bluegrass Institute.

More Good News For America

Now that the United States has unilaterally -- with England and Pakistan -- violated the civil rights of two dozen more Islamic freedom fighters actively seeking to kill Americans, Democrats look pretty silly thinking they can win elections on raising the minimum wage and surrendering the war.

McCain Coming To Kentucky

Senator John McCain (R-AZ) will speak at a fundraiser for the KY Senate Republican Trust on Monday September 25, 2006.

Memo to Hillary Clinton: he will be leaving the proceeds here to benefit Kentuckians.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Little Birdy Report: KY GOV 2007

Spotted together at the Lexington Bluegrass Airport this afternoon were Paducah businessman Billy Harper and State Rep. Lonnie Napier (R-Lancaster).

The 7% Destruction Of Democrats

Understanding the gap between perception and reality is pretty important when it comes to public policy, especially when we are at war.

Enter Harry Reid and Chucky Schumer. In a joint statement, they said "The perception was that (Lieberman) was too close to George Bush and this was, in many respects, a referendum on the president more than anything else."

That might be interesting, but in reality today they are turning the Democratic Party into the war protesting party based on yesterday's vote of slightly more than 7% of the registered voters in the state of Connecticut.

Affording Enviro-Fascists Here At Home

Now that British Petroleum's screw-up is going to cut oil supply (and raise gas prices) we must take another look at Alaska.

Fletcher Campaign Imploding Over Grayson

Two sites (here and here)have picked up yesterday's Kentucky Progress story about Fletcher campaign people trying to shut down a Trey Grayson fundraiser. (How about a link, boys?)

This story is developing rapidly and sources have suggested a bombshell announcement may be coming this afternoon related to this story.

This wound is self-inflicted, guys.

Kathy Stein Lies For ACLU

The internet makes it much more difficult for moonbats to do this stuff.

Rep. Kathy Stein is on the Sue Wylie Show this morning denying that the ACLU ever represented the pro-pedophile group North American Man/Boy Love Association.


Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Lieberman Loses

There has been and will continue to be massive speculation over what Ned Lamont's primary victory over Sen. Lieberman means.

I don't think it matters much. Sure, the Daily Kos boys finally won one, sort of. It was a primary and Lieberman will win the general as an independent.

Other than a few big Dems falling over themselves about who to support, there is nothing to see here. Move along...

Final Meltdown For McKinney

Wildwoman Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) is going down to defeat tonight. Her last statement on her campaign website isn't quite as bizarre as some of her other behavior on Capitol Hill, but is noteworthy nonetheless.

Here she says that her opponent Hank Johnson is lying about her just sponsoring one bill that was passed in Congress. Then she unleashes a 1000 word essay in which she admits that Johnson was right. Her best excuse includes something about getting lost in traffic.

And no, I'm not kidding about that one. Goodbye Cynthia.

Can't Make This Stuff Up

When asked to comment on Trey Grayson, Governor Ernie Fletcher said "he's been described as a rising star. I hope he's not a shooting star."

Good grief.

Now I am hearing from invitees to a Louisville fundraiser for Grayson this Friday. They say Fletcher supporters are telling them not to go and and not to support Grayson.

A very large crowd is anticipated at the event.

Hey Guido, Those Creeps Are Stealing Our Money!

Best letter to the editor of the day from Conrad Reynolds of Louisville. Followed by some BBB drone suggesting that those stealing from casinos should obey the 8th commandment.

I thought that was funny.

Also funny is the fact this is responsible gambling week or some such nonsense over at the American Gaming Association. "Be Responsible. Get Educated" is their sage advice.

Someone should ask New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine for his take on that one, as he is getting what amounts to a third kick from the proverbial mule as his state has repeatedly squandered all the money from their glorious casinos.

Ben Chandler Is Out Of '07 Race

Steve Pence is running for something. Not sure exactly what, but he looks like someone getting ready to launch a campaign. Despite conventional wisdom, Trey Grayson looks like he really is running -- and not for Secretary of State. In fact, he doesn't seem to be auditioning for a role as someone else's LG either.

For the D's, Ben Chandler is NOT running for Governor. I'll stipulate for argument's sake that if he runs, he wins. But that means nine years of serious lifestyle change and I don't think he goes there. Ben laughed off a suggestion he might run for President yesterday on Lexington radio, saying Presidents age 20 years in four. A Kentucky Governor in today's environment may not pack on years at that rate, but he would do so at a faster rate than a Congressman does.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Who Is In Charge Here?

Democrats keep talking about how bad things are with Republicans in control of Congress. But the numbers that don't lie show voting blocks of loyal Democrats combined with liberal Republicans putting the Left in charge on most key issues already.

Again, the "throw the bums out" sentiment should hit some deserving Republicans, but giving Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi more power isn't the best way to create positive change.

John Fund nails it in the Wall Street Journal.

Massaging The Data

Found a Top 10 college list with no connection to sports and -- surprise! -- found the University of Kentucky checking in at number seven.

My first thought was, what the heck, they don't even have domestic partner benefits at UK. How can this possibly be?

But, alas, the story behind the numbers has more to do with U.S. News' poor ranking for our state's flagship university than with anything good.

Inflating Our Way To Prosperity

A caller to the Jack Pattie Show in Lexington this morning asked Congressman Ben Chandler how we address the inflationary impact of a minimum wage tax increase Chandler wants.

His response was a decent political non-answer answer, but it displayed a pitiful grasp of simple economics.

Chandler said "prices have already gone up without the minimum wage going up."

So how exactly is more inflation going to benefit us, then?

Sales Tax Holiday Gains Illusory

This past weekend was a big one for state sales tax holidays.

National Retail Federation spokesman Craig Shearman summed up the fake consumer benefits like this:

"Americans have hated paying taxes going back to the Boston Tea Party, and when they have an opportunity to avoid it, they love it," he said. "The psychological appeal far outweighs the amount of money being saved."

Any day now, Kentucky will be getting a pre-filed bill to institute one of these sales tax holidays. The Christmas-like feeding frenzy traffic is way out of proportion to the amount of actual consumer saving occurring. The hype just doesn't play out to the advantage of consumers.

What's interesting is some states report increased sales tax revenue during sales tax holidays because eager shoppers buy more things that aren't exempt from the tax than they normally would.

Sheep get sheared, as usual.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

500,000 Reasons For Domestic Partner Benefits

The Courier-Journal keeps alive for now their drive to extend state university health benefits to include anyone who can lie on an affadavit.

Actually, they get closer to a strong case by finding a $500,000 a year rainmaker at the University of Wisconsin who took himself and his partner to another school because UW didn't do partner benefits either.

That got my attention.

My concern with extending domestic partner benefits is primarily that single state employees would then be able to sign a piece of paper and obtain coverage for a sick friend taxpayers would wind up paying for. The "step toward gay marriage" stuff doesn't concern me quite as much because private companies are already doing it. Still shouldn't be condoned by the state, but the bigger problem is with the money.

Nevertheless, since General Assembly Democrats will want to avoid another "marriage amendment" fiasco like 2004, legislation to ban this practice will sail through and be signed into law quickly in January.

I have an idea.

Looking at the case of the $500K a year man UW lost, why don't we allow any university employee who brings in grants every year of $500,000 or more to add one person to his or her health plan. Heck, if they bring in a million we might even let them have two. We won't bother with them promising that they love each other or live together or are having sex. If they bring in this much money, they get a freebie. Spare us the details.

The liberals on this will be somewhat appeased, since they make their case that this benefit is critical to getting and keeping valuable people. So the people who more than pull their weight financially can sign up a friend. Social conservatives will be appeased somewhat because the people involved don't pretend to be married to get benefits. If we keep it a purely financial transaction, we have more winners than losers.

This will just make the "homosexuality is a civil right" folks mad, but their alternative is to get nothing.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

News From Fancy Farm

Secretary of State Trey Grayson announced at Fancy Farm he is considering a run for Governor in 2007. This adds a layer of interest to the fundraiser he is headlining on August 31 in Stanford for Barry Metcalf.

Meanwhile, gubernatorial wannabe Steve Henry was talking a little too loudly about his difficulty in finding a running mate. He was also talking up scandal-tarred Sen. Ed Worley as a potential candidate for the top job himself, leading to speculation both that Henry wants Worley to run with him and that he isn't paying enough attention to know Ed's exploits have severely damaged his prospects.

Courier Journal Proves My Point

The Louisville Courier-Journal printed an editorial today that perfectly underscores the entire purpose for the conservative blogosphere.

Selective dissemination of facts and biased use of terms in the editorial titled Silk-stocking Setback beg for correction. At issue is the minimum wage/estate tax bill Senate Democrats killed this past week.

The Courier repeats the baseless assertion that raising the minimum wage helps the poor, but its frequent repetition renders that one hardly noteworthy anymore.

The big red flag comes with use of the liberal Center on Budget and Policy Priorities as a source on the estate tax issue. The untrained eye might let slip the description of those liberal think tankers as "non-partisan," which is the label the CJ tries to apply to them. These are the same journalists who dismiss The Bluegrass Institute as a "conservative propaganda mill."

When the CJ cites the infamous "several reports" as proof that the estate tax has no impact on small business and farms and then rolls seamlessly into a distortion of the number of affected estates -- based only on year 2009 projections with the higher exemptions that will be gone by 2011.

And businesses placed at risk by this deadly tax affect not just the owners, but their employees as well.

Liberals hang their hats on the fact Americans continue to survive their policies, citing our endurance as proof that the policies aren't as bad as we say they are. But American ingenuity has made our country great despite bureaucratic roadblocks, not because of them. It makes no sense that we spend tax dollars incentivizing some new businesses to grow with one hand and then risk the existence of others because of the death of an owner in the name of collecting tax dollars.

Just another reason to tax consumption rather than income and wealth.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Big Endorsement For Bill Farmer

State Rep. Bill Farmer (R-Lexington) has an opponent this fall that some liberals just love. Chris Frost is a teacher who wants to raise taxes to spend more money on schools.

But his rhetoric, for some reason, hasn't garnered any credibility for his campaign.

The Kentucky Education Association has just endorsed Rep. Farmer's re-election and sent him a $1000 contribution. If Frost can't get that one, he might as well start spending more time with his family.

Do Some Good: Income Tax Holiday

This weekend, several states are putting on their Sales Tax Holidays. In retail, ten percent discounts are routine for the asking and these marketing stunts -- complete with legislative lobbying and yammering politician support -- provide little of real value to consumers.

You want to do some good? How about an income tax holiday for regular income and commissions? Exempt bonuses, but give the folks a break where it counts.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Lundergan Plan For 2006 Revealed

Kentucky Democratic Party Chairman Jerry Lundergan isn't worried that Hillary Clinton ate his lunch and took all his money. He has a plan for winning Congressional races in 2006.

Here's a hint: sounds like part Howard Dean and part John Kerry.

"There's two major things. One, its the war in Iraq and also gasoline prices. Now those are both caused by and happened on the watch of a Republican president," Lundergan said.

He made these and other winning comments at a taping of Bill Goodman's One to One program that will air Friday at 10 pm Eastern and again Sunday at 2 pm Eastern.

Moberly: Ed Worley Is My Daddy

Rep. Harry Moberly is known for having a taste for petulance.

He had a heaping helping of it today in front of a crowd of about 100 people at the Madison County Courthouse. When addressing the campaign of scandal-plagued Senator Ed Worley, Moberly whined: "If Ed Worley isn't re-elected, I will just have to retire."

Moberly is perhaps confusing his own popularity with the successful Democrat gerrymandering of his House district. Either way, his bluster in support of his buddy might get turned up a notch or two before election day.

Stay tuned...

Napier For Governor Slate Soon?

The anonymously run website for Rep. Lonnie Napier's potential run for Governor is now naming potential running mates.

Representatives Jamie Comer, Dwight Butler, and Jon Draud, according to the site, have spoken or will soon speak with Rep. Napier regarding making a run against Governor Fletcher. A source with knowledge of the discussions indicated there are two other names with a possibly a wider base of support.

Innes On Education

Richard Innes is a burr in the saddle of double-talking education officials in Frankfort.

So this looks like very good news.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Regents Lawsuit Can't Hold Water

Three rejected nominees to the Board of Regents at Murray State University have filed a stupid lawsuit against the Governor, claiming Fletcher must nominate one of them.

If they had only read KRS 12.070(3), they could have saved themselves the embarrassment. Here it is:

Where appointments to administrative boards and commissions are made from lists submitted to him, the Governor may reject the list and require that other lists be submitted.

Paducah Citizens Didn't Get Memo

Kentucky Democrats keep spinning that their no-idea complaining will triumph over Republican conservatism. The citizens of the 3rd House district, however, aren't buying it.

Republican House candidate Bruce Brockenborough is pulling bipartisan local support in his bid to unseat languid Rep. Frank Rasche with a message of better serving the people in his district.

"The more we focus on our community and the less we worry about Frankfort, the better off we'll be in Paducah," Brockenborough said.

He says a top priority is to organize the five House members who represent McCracken county to work together better.

"I'm going to serve in office the same way I do now, with a laser beam focus on this community."

Imagine that: working for his constituents and not out-of-state interest groups. What a concept!

Georgia Mud Wrestling!

I love this: blithering Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) is suing blathering journalist Cynthia Tucker and her Atlanta Journal-Constitution for libel.

At issue is McKinney's 2002 comments about what President Bush knew in advance about Sept. 11.

We will be hearing a lot more about this once the left latches on to it.

UPDATE: Apparently, there's no lawsuit. That's a shame. Would have been a lot of fun to watch. McKinney remains in trouble, nonetheless, just about every time she opens her mouth.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

His Culture Of Corruption Ain't So Bad, Is It?

Sources report Sen. Ed Worley (D-Richmond) is polling his district asking if voters will hold his various financial scandals against him.

Greg Stumbo Is Eliot Spitzering

New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, after mastering the art of running questionable investigations in the media, has leveraged that skill into a successful campaign for his state's Governor's Mansion.

Greg Stumbo is doing the same thing with this gas price-gouging foolishness.

Fortunately, The Bluegrass Institute economists are on the case and will have a report out on this in the next few days.

Bill Frist Is Toast

A story getting little coverage outside West Virginia -- yet -- indicates Bill Frist isn't our guy for 2008 or even for the Senate Leader now.

Putnam General, an HCA hospital in West Virginia, announced today it is closing under a flurry of malpractice lawsuits against one orthopedic surgeon. West Virginia has caps on liability but they, rightly, don't apply to something as horrific as this.

The news story in the above link doesn't get into it, but Dr. John King hadn't completed a residency in orthopedics. Nevertheless, he was performing surgeries -- many of them with disastrous effects -- on unsuspecting patients. Hospital staff complaints about Dr. King were routinely ignored. Potential liability is estimated at half a billion dollars.

This case transcends malpractice liability reform, which I believe we need in Kentucky. The real issue, that will come out soon enough, is how hospital managers ignored clear warning signs and then HCA execs sought to dump their liability on the sly and (failing that) started selling shares.

Mitch McConnell might want to start getting ready for his own stint as Majority Leader a little ahead of schedule.

RomneyCare Is a Dog

Just watched a presentation on Mitt Romney's healthcare plan at the Southern Legislative Conference.

I saw nothing to persuade me this is a good thing. The silly tar baby comment Mitt was apologizing for yesterday doesn't hold a candle to this HillaryCare Lite train wreck.

While I was skeptical before about his proposal, I saw no redeeming qualities in this at all. Like when Kentucky's 1994 plan to create healthcare Nirvana caused us to go from 83% insured to 74% insured, this turkey will only hurt matters.

Romney's Defense of Health Plan

I'm going to Louisville today to hear Mitt Romney talk about his Massachusetts health plan.

It is an alternative to the single-payer government plan pushed by some. I call it a multi-payer government plan as it winds up using government money to buy health policies for everyone who "can't" afford it. As soon as government realizes it can save money by becoming the insurance company, then you have arrived at single-payer.

Wouldn't it be simpler and more in keeping with American principles to remove government impediments to health care transactions?

Anyway, it is an important debate that isn't going away any time soon.