Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Spend Money, Wait For Gambling Losses

The new fiscal planning for states who depend on expanded gambling revenues involves spending gamblers' projected losses first and then filling in the hole later when they actually lose their money.

A report that should be instructive to Kentucky's expanded gambling hucksters informs us that plan isn't working so well in Florida where insufficient gambling losses have blown an $80 million hole in school funding.

Time To Roast This Pig

When Sen. Gerald Neal's actions landed him in legal hot water the liberal Kentucky media mostly yawned.

Now that he has been caught sexually harassing a television reporter who questioned him about his actions, our friends in the media have a decision to make. If Neal were a Republican, they would call for his head. Will they have the courage to treat a Democrat the same way?

Monday, July 30, 2007

Legislature Goes Home Empty-Handed

Domestic partner benefits got a rally today urging repeal, but no action by the House this afternoon. The Senate previously approved SB 5.

So the issue lives on.

The House Dems obviously decided they could handle attacks that they cared less about violating the constitution than they did spending taxpayer dollars on liberal issues.

Their defense to those attacks is to point out Governor Fletcher's appointees could have killed domestic partner benefits but didn't.

Unfortunately, it's a good point. The failure of school board appointees to hire a legitimate commissioner could also present a problem in the campaign.

Also, the legislature isn't completely empty-handed until they figure out how to give their paychecks back to the state.

Jonathan Miller Is Like A Box Of Chocolates

As I think about Treasurer Jonathan Miller bragging on television Saturday how great he has done getting financial literacy taught in the schools and about how casino gambling in the state will solve $500 million or more worth of Kentucky problems each year, two things seem worth bringing up.

One, does Miller realize all the other states around us without casinos are hearing the same argument that they need casinos to keep their own gamblers at home?

And two, if we taught Kentucky kids financial literacy in school they would know the odds and we could let the other states gamble themselves silly while our young people slowly and steadily build up real money in their retirement accounts.

It's not the government's job to keep us poor and stupid.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

More Smoke Betrays Raging Inferno At FCDC

The thuggish bureaucrats at the Fayette County Detention Center now have another line of malfeasance to deny.

From Beth Musgrave in Sunday's Lexington Herald Leader:

As part of an ongoing child custody dispute, David Eaton was required to be drug tested more than 100 times over the past 18 months. Some of those tests were positive.

But Eaton says he never used drugs or alcohol and is suing the Fayette County Detention Center's Community Alternative Program, alleging the program's urine drug testing is unconstitutional and inaccurate.

Sources currently employed by the FCDC report there is more than enough evidence to support Mr. Eaton's complaint and many more like it. Now just like the prisoner beatings they tried to blame on the whistleblower and the systematic intimidation of witnesses no one at city hall seems to know anything about, this is one more thing for Mayor Jim Newberry to ignore and wish away.

Interesting strategy, Mayor.

At Least We Are Consistent

Lots of recent talk about energy has broken some of us down into two camps: those who want less government involvement in energy (fewer "price gouging" lawsuits and less subsidization of "alternative fuel" projects) versus those who want more (getting tough with Big Oil and doling out cash for experimental production.)

If you are persuadable at all, reading this will help.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

YouTuber Alert: Jonathan Miller On Television

I hope the folks at RPK are taping Jonathan Miller on WVLK's Newsmakers program.

Just one little goody as Miller tries to justify having a Treasurer's office:

"If you took away our budget and took away our staff, the business of government couldn't get done."

I'd like to see him back that up with a fact.

Spending More Of Your Money For You

A joint committee meeting of A&R members get together Monday afternoon in Frankfort to begin discussions on the 2008-2010 state budget.

Some of the folks in town for the earlier domestic partners rally should stick around to push for responsibility in the budget.

Meanwhile, Senator Tom McClintock in California is advocating $2.9 billion in cuts to his state's budget. With some of the problems we have on the horizon (think pensions and debt), we need a McClintock.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Barack Obama's Revenge

This thirteen minute video is worth watching all the way through.

Jonathan Miller's Day Off

State Treasurer Jonathan Miller delivered another taxpayer-funded contribution to his Democratic Party today. He met with WKYT's Bill Bryant to tape an episode of Bryant's "Newsmakers" program to air tomorrow.

In the interview, Miller claimed gubernatorial challenger Steve Beshear isn't just a one issue candidate.

I'm still waiting for a certain brave legislator to file the bill to abolish the state treasurer's office. Jonathan Miller is the poster boy for this important action.

Did We Learn Anything From Barbara Erwin Mess?

Does anyone expect the Kentucky Board of Education to do the right thing for Kentucky's children at their meeting tomorrow?

Governor Fletcher is inexplicably missing the opportunity to publicly weigh in on this most important function of state government.

The yellow dogs at KEA aren't going to support his re-election under any circumstances. Might as well encourage the Board to pick a no-nonsense commissioner.

Following Hillary Off The Wrong Cliff

A lot of otherwise right-thinking Americans are starting to talk about how America has no choice but to go for some form of HillaryCare.

Meanwhile, a Canadian doctor says we are moving down the road to socialist healthcare while other nations are coming our way:

Canadian doctors, long silent on the health care system's problems, are starting to speak up. Last August, they voted Brian Day president of their national association. Day has become perhaps the most vocal critic of Canadian public health care, having opened his own private surgery center and challenging the government to shut him down.

And now even Canadian governments are looking to the private sector to shrink the waiting lists. In British Columbia, private clinics perform roughly 80% of government-funded diagnostic testing.

This privatizing trend is reaching Europe, too. Britain's Labour Party — which originally created the National Health Service — now openly favors privatization. Sweden's government, after the completion of the latest round of privatizations, will be contracting out some 80% of Stockholm's primary care and 40% of its total health services.

Since the fall of communism, Slovakia has looked to liberalize its state-run system, introducing co-payments and privatizations. And modest market reforms have begun in Germany.

Yet even as Stockholm and Saskatoon are percolating with the ideas of Adam Smith, a growing number of prominent Americans are arguing that socialized health care still provides better results for less money.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Treasury Secretary Pushing Tax Reform

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson is talking today about reducing corporate taxes across the board:

In an opinion piece published last week, Paulson did not make any specific recommendations for ways the tax code should be changed. But he said areas that should be examined include taxes that discourage capital formation, the current tax depreciation system which does not treat investments uniformly, and targeted tax provisions that add to the complexity of the tax code and contribute to the estimated $40 billion that businesses spend annually on compliance.

This is a terrific development. Come on guys, you can do it...

Over-The-Top Alert: Union Thugs Try To Tie KY Governor To 9/11 Deaths In New York

Stopping "Domestic Partner" Benefits

The Family Foundation is leading the way on getting the legislature to drop Greg Stumbo's "Boyfriend Benefits Plus" program.

Supporters of fiscal sanity on this issue will meet Monday at 2pm in the Capitol Rotunda.

The Senate has already passed SB 5 and the House Democrats are sitting on it.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Courier Journal Hides Truth In Plain View

Okay, let's say you see a headline in a newspaper that -- oh, I don't know -- carries the water for Kentucky's liberals day in and day out. The headline looks pretty innocuous. In fact, it reads "U.S. seeks $1.4 mil. over Broadway Cinemas."

Snore, right?

Unless you really care about something called Broadway Cinemas, you could be forgiven for not even reading the story.

But let's say you do anyway. Here it is:

The U.S. Attorney's office in Louisville is suing Raymond M. Burse, Gerald A. Neal, and Walter P. Porter of Louisville, seeking nearly $1.4 million for the Small Business Administration.

The government claims the three guaranteed an SBA loan to the company that attempted to develop a former Winn-Dixie grocery at 13th and Broadway into Broadway Cinemas.

Burse, Neal and Porter have not made payments to the SBA since 2001, the government claims. In addition to $1.39 million, the government seeks daily interest of $189.57 since May 31.

Of those who managed to get past the bland headline, how many people realized "Gerald A. Neal" is a liberal state Senator from Louisville?

Neal should have to declare this as an in-kind contribution to his re-election campaign.

Another Revelation In Fayette Jail Scandal

Lexington Mayor Jim Newberry is making plans to move Fayette County Sheriff Kathy Witt over to the Fayette County Detention Center to serve as the new director.

Senate Agrees To Kill Special Session, Then Start New One In Mid-August

The Kentucky House and Senate have agreed today to kick Governor Fletcher to the curb on domestic partner benefits and a laundry list of spending issues.

In exchange, we will probably wind up with some kind of environmental give-aways in addition to subsidies and tax credits for coal-to-liquid technology.

More Handwriting On The Wall About Casinos

New Jersey has managed to blow a $58 billion hole in its public employee health plan since 1994. They have had casinos operating in that state since 1978.

Kentucky's public employee health plan is not quite so deep in the red yet. Kentucky's state employees should ask themselves who they want making the tough decisions on funding their future benefits, a second-term governor or one who bravely steps up to the plate when asked about this problem and says this:

Bipartisan False Choice On S-CHIP

The Bush budget expands spending on S-CHIP, the health coverage program for children from low-income families who don't qualify for Medicaid, by $4.8 billion over the next five years.

The Louisville Courier-Journal and liberal media elites across the country are too busy convincing everyone that we really want government bureaucrats controlling healthcare choices in America to quibble with facts:

If Mr. Bush ignores compromise, it will prove that, rather than just staunchly conservative, he is reactionary.

To compromise, the lefties want Bush to set aside his $4.8 billion increase in favor of the Senate's $35 billion or the House's $50 billion increase.

Unfortunately for us, even Republicans in Congress are going along with the scam.

What we need is more real "reactionaries" to make the case for getting government to at least slow down its takeover of American healthcare.

The fact is the American tradition of freedom combined with our growing appetite for free stuff is giving us expanding numbers of people who abuse their bodies with junk food and sedentary lifestyles and then run in for their taxpayer-supported medical attention when the damage has already been done. It would be cheaper and more humane to incentivize healthier lifestyles by allowing natural consequences to run their course.

That's one reason I'm not a candidate for anything in the current environment. I would let S-CHIP expire this fall. Weaning working, able-bodied Americans off the government teat is critical to our nation's future.

The liberals' exit strategy from this war -- which we are losing -- is to leap head-first into policies China and the former Soviets are running away from as fast as they can. Congressional Republicans who go along with this are no better than useful idiots.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Reopening A Big Can Of Worms

When a Louisville judge ruled today that Kentucky's law restricting registered sex offenders from living with 1000 feet of places where children congregate is unconstitutional, he did what he had to do.

But when legislators passed the law, they were doing what they had to do as well. Several surrounding states had passed similar restrictions and we didn't want to be a magnet for sex offenders fleeing restrictions in those states.

This will continue to bounce around in the courts, and neighbors of sex offenders will continue to suffer when their streets pop up on sex offender registries.

Legislators will probably have to go back to the drawing board on this one.

The Other Kentucky Dem Primary In 2008

While Hillary Clinton and friends will be ignoring the Bluegrass state's voters next year in our state's meaningless presidential primary, Greg Stumbo and a soon-to-be crowd of Kentucky Democrats will be vying for the right to promote the the agenda of surrender and socialism.

Stumbo announced his plans to run today, but there is no way his fellow Dems allow themselves to be represented by his baggage without a fight. Should be interesting to watch.

Maybe We Should Recruit Wisconsin Employers

Wisconsin is trying to pass socialized medicine and, interestingly, they are admitting how outrageous the costs will be. There is at least one bright spot for Kentucky that I see in Wisconsin's self-imposed misery:

As if that's not enough, the health plan includes a tax escalator clause allowing an additional 1.5 percentage point payroll tax to finance higher outlays in the future. This could bring the payroll tax to 16%. One reason to expect costs to soar is that the state may become a mecca for the unemployed, uninsured and sick from all over North America. The legislation doesn't require that you have a job in Wisconsin to qualify, merely that you live in the state for at least 12 months. Cheesehead nation could expect to attract health-care free-riders while losing productive workers who leave for less-taxing climes.

In other words, they wouldn't even need subsidies or special tax breaks, just an absence of disastrous health insurance policies. There are enough House Democrats who remember well our debacle in 1994. Our experience should serve as a valuable object lesson for citizens of other states as well as our own.

What's Wrong Boys, You Already Have Casinos!

Property taxes are up in Indiana, and Indianapolis just raised income taxes by 65% to fight crime.

While officeholders everywhere in both parties are set on growing spending and entitlements, and given our mounting troubles with public pensions and illegal immigrants on welfare, when are we going to start shrinking government?


Monday, July 23, 2007

Make KEES Awards More Meaningful

Rep. Carl Rollins (D-Midway) is working up another bill to double KEES awards. It is foolish to be giving more money to kids who couldn't get a 3.0 GPA in high school.

By feeding public money to future college drop-outs, we are just raising the cost for everyone else. I like the idea of raising KEES awards, but only for students who can manage to make solid grades in high school.

Making Kentucky Schools Better 2007-2011

The Lexington Herald-Leader has challenged the gubernatorial campaigns to talk about education:

Fletcher needs to explain how he would reverse the backsliding of his first term, and Beshear needs to spell out how he'd do better.

I can't agree more than halfway with the premise that we have backslid under Governor Fletcher. The education establishment which has used its decades at the helm of Kentucky's schools far more effectively to hold us back than anything Fletcher has done since December of 2003, can't really complain about too much except for the use of the ACT exam to better measure achievement.

And I think that is the best thing we have done in a long time.

We must demand that both candidates address education plans for the next four years with specifics. And if Governor Fletcher is looking for another area of his campaign to fine-tune, school choice is just sitting there waiting for him.

Subsidizing Bad Career Choices Means We Will Get More Of Them

The U.S. Senate is expected to introduce a bill today that would dramatically expand unemployment benefits for service workers who claim to have lost their jobs to free trade overseas.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

No Need To Subsidize Zero

Fiscal Conservatives Strike Back

The Kentucky Club for Growth got some well-deserved good publicity today.

A whole lot of what is wrong with our state will go away when more than just a few legislators focus on promoting good policies.

Kentucky's Future Under Governor Beshear

Kentuckians might want to pay attention to the effort to further expand casino gambling in Indiana in order to raise -- you guessed it -- more revenue.

How many times to we have to go through this? States sell casinos as a solution to revenue shortfalls. Then they spend all the money they see coming in and spend more for the added social costs. Then they build more casinos on the promise that just a few more will fix the problem for good.

Then they do it again.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Reforming Med-Mal + Repealing CON = More Doctors, Healthier Kentuckians

It certainly won't be any easier if we fail to dispatch liberal trial attorneys Steve Beshear and Jack Conway in November, but Kentucky needs to take another look at medical malpractice reform.

How about a little real-world evidence that reform actually works?

Greg Stumbo Asleep At The Wheel

There was a whole lot of gouging going on last night and our illustrious Attorney General hasn't done anything about it.

My wife and daughter went to Joseph Beth bookstore in Lexington last night for the Harry Potter release. They picked up a pre-paid copy of the book we bought six months ago for $29 while innocent consumers paid an outrageous $37.

Meanwhile, Walmart was selling the same book last night for $17. Since we are still under a state of emergency from 2005, I assume we should expect a price-gouging lawsuit soon.

This Should Inspire Confidence In Our Leaders

Friday, July 20, 2007

Lots Of New Hot Air In The Rocky Mountains

Get this: former Kentucky liberal blogmeister Mark Nickolas has proof that global warming is cooking Montana.

NIMBY Alert: Beshear Casino Plan For Midway

A Democratic Party source reports Woodford county officials and casino candidate Steve Beshear have cooked up an elaborate ruse to build a stand-alone casino in beautiful Midway, Kentucky.

The site is called the Midway Station Commerce District and is promoted by organizers as something that "will become a vital part of the region as it embodies the values of the New Economy."

But it is really just going to be a casino that will suck the life out of local businesses.

Start Phasing Out Kentucky Corporate Taxes

Over 49% of GOP primary voters this year pulled the lever for candidates who made corporate income tax reduction key planks in their campaign platforms.

It may be difficult for Washington to have a real discussion about lowering federal corporate income taxes, but we shouldn't let that stop us.

The worldwide case for lowering corporate taxes is overwhelming. Eliminating them in one fell swoop is worth considering hypothetically, but politically it is a non-starter.

An across-the-board one percentage point reduction in corporate taxes should easily create enough economic activity to justify talking about further cuts.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

It's Raining Subpoenas!

It's a mess down at the Fayette County Detention Center tonight after federal authorities dumped subpoenas on several suspects and witnesses in the prisoner abuse scandal.

And the city's lawyers are scrambling to drop soon-to-be defendants and to make them get their own legal representation.

The Isaac/Newberry cover-up has just about run its course.

Honor Among Thieves In Indiana

No word yet on how many Kentuckians are among those who may face criminal charges because a big casino in Indiana put the wrong software in one of its slot machines.

Someone should ask Jack Conway what he would do to protect Kentucky consumers in the case of such a screw-up here. And will AG Greg Stumbo do anything to protect his constituents from such a malicious prosecution by another state?

Jack Conway, Consumer Protector Or Not?

Attorney General candidate Stan Lee is on the Leland Conway show in Lexington this morning asking his opponent, liberal activist Jack Conway, to join him in opposition to Steve Beshear's casino gambling scheme.

Jack can't seem to do it, though. All he can manage to do is call Stan Lee names.

For someone who keeps talking about wanting to raise the level of anti-business activism in the Attorney General's office, Jack Conway's continued silence on the casino issue is illuminating. This issue should be a complete non-starter for everyone but Steve Beshear.

Where are you, Jack?

Lightweight Love

The Louisville Courier Journal gets stupid propping up John Edwards.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Time For A New Topic In Gubernatorial Debates

Governor Fletcher and Steve Beshear debated again today and got the most attention for arguing about Beshear's casino gambling "plan."

A more important area of difference to highlight is Beshear's plan to expand government's role in the doctor-patient relationship. Of course this might necessitate a stronger free market position from Governor Fletcher.

He really, really needs to push for repeal of Certificate of Need. Seriously, ask Terry McBrayer.

Short of that, he could start talking about eliminating mandates in health insurance policies. And if he can't do that, at least point out how expensive health coverage will be for all of us when Steve Beshear makes it "free."

Now This is More Like It

Tomorrow the legislature's Interim Joint Committee on Education will meet at the Galt House-West in Louisville. Dr. Robert Barr, author of "How To Create Alternative, Magnet, and Charter Schools That Work" will be there to speak.

Kentucky really needs charter schools.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Getting It Right This Time

I'm hearing good things about Dr. Penney Sanders as a candidate for Kentucky's education commissioner.

Much more on this soon...

Meanwhile, check out John Edwards' fake education reform.

Lexington Jail Scandal Rolling Now

Beth Musgrave at the Lexington Herald Leader is working on the story.
FBI officials later said that they were investigating whether officers at the jail used excessive force on inmates. A Covington federal grand jury has heard testimony in the criminal case. No one has been charged. David Beyer, a spokesman for the FBI, said the investigation is ongoing and he could not say more about the status of the case.

This is about to get very fun...

Kentucky Economic Developers Take Note

The Democratic Party's standard bearer, Senator Hillary Clinton, says as president she will "eliminate incentives for American companies to ship jobs and profits overseas."

Well, we know she is isn't going to lower taxes on any evil corporations. She must be talking about forcing companies to keep operations here or risk facing punishment.

Given that Queen Hillary and Steve Beshear are two politicians who do better only by saying less, it sure would be fun to get them both talking about how they would keep employers from fleeing their respective domains.

Enjoy The Gridlock While It Lasts

It would be pretty hard to deny that House Democrats will come around and support everything on Governor Fletcher's special session call after the election.

Talking On Tuesday

I'll be on the radio this morning talking about pre-filed bills for the 2008 Kentucky General Assembly. Tune in to 630 AM at 10:30 this morning or catch "The Pulse of Lexington" show with Leland Conway on the internet at wlap.com. Just click on "Listen Live" in the top-right portion of the page.

If you haven't already, you might like to go to www.kyvotes.org and sign up for regular updates on what the legislature is doing. They are working on the laws today that you will have to live with tomorrow and Kentucky Votes is a great way to stay on top of their current activities and check up on some of the things they have already done.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Worm Turning On Jim Newberry

The city of Lexington today cancelled a July 18 civil service hearing that Mayor Jim Newberry called previously in order to fire federal whistleblower Corporal John Vest.

Newberry's actions have already led Vest to sue him for violating the Whistleblower Act, official misconduct, and abuse of power.

Marathon Oil Case Back In News Soon

Attorney General Greg Stumbo's primary election gambit to draw attention with a poorly conceived attack on gasoline suppliers is in a holding pattern as both the AG's office and Marathon Oil await a ruling on whether the case belongs in state or federal court.

Meanwhile, we need to get straight on the idea that bad laws are no solution to market price fluctuations. And overly ambitious prosecutors don't help anything, either.

"Why Are You Asking Me?"

Steve Beshear's comprehensive plan for public pension reform:

Fight Government's Milkflation Now

Federal policies on milk are absurd.

The Congress should get out of the way of competition and lower prices. They are working on a new farm bill right now.

What's Next, Casinos Funding Space Exploration?

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Are House Dems Ready To End Their Strike?

When the monthly meeting of legislative leaders scheduled for July 11 was cancelled during the special session fight, it wasn't supposed to be rescheduled.

In fact, Senate President David Williams and House Speaker Jody Richards have exchanged little publicly but harsh words.

So it was a bit of a surprise when the announcement was made this afternoon that their July meeting of the Legislative Research Commission is back on and is set for this Friday at 1:30.

Jessamine County Sanctuary For Illegals

Jessamine county politicians changed a policy earlier this year to essentially grant amnesty to illegal aliens apprehended by law enforcement authorities.

If you are here illegally and get arrested in Jessamine county, you are probably headed home without so much as a slap on the wrist.

If you are a Jessamine county politician, you have some work to do.

(Clarification: local judges apparently requested limiting involvement by federal immigration officials in local cases.)

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Next Target: Ron Bishop, FCDC

Can't help but wonder how many hundreds of news stories the MSM would have dropped on the Fayette County Detention Center since the FBI raid last October if the jail or the city of Lexington were run by Republicans.

Nevertheless, several officials at the jail have lawyered up under questioning and, rather than a slow bleed it appears we are in for an explosion perhaps as soon as a few weeks.


Here is a plan to wipe out several welfare bureaucracies and, in exchange, expand Earned Income Tax Credits.

The idea is to spend less running programs and just give the money to the people. If we could ensure that there were consequences for recipients wasting the money on drugs -- which we probably can't -- it would be a no-brainer.

On the other other hand, wiping out the individual programs and making the aid easier to see and track could be a good way to wean able-bodied people off the dole.

Queen Hillary: "Off With Their Heads!"

Friday, July 13, 2007

Yale Young Dems, Call Your Webmaster

Washington D.C. Democrats have been scrambling for a Kentucky candidate to take on Sen. Mitch McConnell.

They have settled on Richmond Senator Ed Worley.

Worley doesn't really expect to win, but wants to get his name ID up for a 2011 run for governor. This means, of course, that he needs Steve Beshear to lose in November.

Good Riddance

Barbara Erwin is not going to be Kentucky's education commissioner.

A statement from the state Department of Education said that Erwin cited "overwhelming and acute scrutiny" as her reason for declining the job. She told the school board of her decision Friday.

Only because it is Friday will I point out she quit one day after I said she should be fired.

Destroying Government Property Is A Crime

England is starting to get serious about instituting a "fat tax" to lower healthcare costs.

One thought about this is that since the government "pays for" healthcare, that people who sit around gorging themselves on ice cream and potato chips are really destroying government property.

Fighting against Michael Moore health reform is pretty important to the future of our nation. Pointing out that the government rightly owns what it pays for may cause a few more people to think about turning their bodies over to Hillary Clinton or Steve Beshear.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Beshear Takes The Bait On Casinos

As long as the gubernatorial race is about Steve Beshear's shilling for casinos, Governor Fletcher's poll numbers are just going to get better.

Today, Beshear played it Ernie's way.

And here's the thing: Beshear is not only adamant about casinos being the best and only way to go, he just doesn't have anything else.

Congressional Dems To Terrorists: We Quit In '08

A lot of us aren't happy with the war, but this isn't the answer.

David Williams To Jody Richards: Pound Sand

Senate President David Williams sent a letter to House Speaker Jody Richards refusing Richards' offer of a junket to St. Louis to talk to Peabody Energy:

I do not understand why you need to fly to St. Louis, unless you are trying to create cover for the House failing to act on this important measure when it unconstitutionally attempted to adjourn Sine Die and left town while the Senate remained and worked on this important incentive package.

Only your use of leadership to summon your members back to Frankfort to act on this bill, which has passed the Senate, will make you and the House relevant in accomplishing the important goal of developing Kentucky's coal assets and creating thousands of jobs.

These guys will put on their bipartisan hats again in January when it is time to spend your money and re-elect their members. But until November, this is what you get. Can't wait to see Richards' response.

Yalies For Steve Beshear

A post on this site yesterday which didn't even directly mention Steve Beshear's really bad ideas like collective bargaining for all state employees or more government-run health insurance for all Kentuckians has gotten some folks worked up in, of all places, New Haven, Connecticut.

Visitors to the site from New Haven this morning include several from Yale University web addresses, including some that came through an admin page for a website dedicated to getting someone like Greg Stumbo to run against Sen. Mitch McConnell.

A Walking, Talking Education Scandal

We've all seen politicians who seem to think they are above the law.

They could take lessons from Barbara Erwin, whose prior fraudulent acts could all be forgiven if she hadn't said this:

"I believe the Commonwealth truly will be the first state that reaches proficiency for all of its children," Erwin said.

She probably says that to all the states she screws out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Erwin is best remembered as the Education Commissioner candidate who, after being offered the job as Kentucky's top school official dismissed several factual misstatements on her resume as mere typographical errors.

What kind of person has the balls to say such a thing and do we really want her setting policy for our children? This is the kind of thing for which the blogosphere claims to have been created.

Conservative political bloggers should speak up against this on principle. Liberals should too. Bipartisan grassroots agreement can be a very powerful thing.

Kentucky should get rid of Barbara Erwin.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Beshear's First Big Mistake

Now we're talking.

And talking is something that won't be good for Steve Beshear.

Take your pick -- here, or here.

The Fletcher campaign has already jumped on some of the energy stuff, but this is a target rich environment.

Primping For Poverty, Coifing For Quitters

Just noticed John Edwards' campaign slogan is "Road to One America" and can't help wondering if the one he wants involves men requiring men to get dolled up like this.

Universal hair care, perhaps?

Where Are Conservatives On Healthcare?

The left is having all the fun arguing among themselves the finer points of how to make our healthcare system better.

RomneyCare doesn't count. It just doesn't.

We are going to have to do more than just borrow ideas from Hillary Clinton.

Free-market reforms are compelling. In fact, for us to have a chance we are going to have to dramatically reduce government's role in health care.

That is the story we need to tell.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Other Crappy News: Kentucky Education

Now that the special session has been flushed down the toilet, it's time to flush Barbara Erwin.

And the latest news on Erwin is just plain awful. I wonder how hard we would find it to dig up someone worse than her to be in charge of our state's public schools.

Nice Going, Nattering Nabobs!

There is again plenty of blame to go around, but it is ironic that after the effort to save taxpayer money by aborting the special session we now get to sit around for three weeks with no session, but the same amount of money going out every day.

That's right, the legislators are getting paid for doing nothing. And you are paying them!

Are We Talking Green As In Environmental, Or Is It Green As In Government Money?

Amid rising suspicion the global warming and eco-fatalism movements are mere politically motivated tripe comes a report from California (free subscription required) that having a state fleet of alternative fuel vehicles actually raises greenhouse gas emissions.

So it should come as no surprise that still-born SB 1 here in Kentucky had a similar plan tucked into page 48 of the bill.

Monday, July 09, 2007

House Dems Support Boyfriend Benefits

House members who voted to adjourn without doing anything must be content to let our major universities sell out to the taxpayer-supported domestic partner benefit crowd.

Can we really assume anything else?

"I'll Gladly Build Your Road Next Year In Exchange For Your Vote This November"

Sources around the state report Steve Beshear is promising state money for roads in exchange for campaign contributions.

Just a small reminder, along with the casino/spending scam and socialized medicine, that electing Steve Beshear is hardly the solution to Kentucky's problems.

Mr. Edwards, Tear Down This Wall!

While Kentuckians are talking about corporate give-aways to attract companies, presidential aspirant John Edwards wants to build a Berlin Wall to keep employers from leaving the country.

"No American corporation should be able to lift up, go overseas, and hire children or slave labor to do their work," Edwards said.

Somehow, I don't think President Edwards would open his barbed-wire fence to corporations who pledge to only hire consenting adults. Again, we just need better policies to attract companies to our state and make staying in the country more efficacious to them.

That most likely means switching away from income taxation and toward just taxing consumption.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Where's Jody And What's He Doing For Fun?

The talk of House Democrats possibly coming back in for the special session took a big hit earlier today when the announcement went out that this Wednesday's monthly meeting of the Legislative Research Commission -- which includes leaders from both the House and Senate -- has been cancelled and won't be rescheduled.

Is It News Or Just Bad Grammar?

WKYT.com (the CBS television affiliate in Lexington) reports the following:

Scorsone says pressure by airport officials may be a favor to Governor Fletcher - who is seeking reelection- and is urging House democrats to return so the session can decide on the airport matter and some 66 others items on the agenda.

Here is the whole story, but I don't think Scorsone is crossing the picket line or encouraging his comrades in the House to do so either.

For the record, in the sentence above "Governor Fletcher" is not the one urging House Democrats, Scorsone is. If the author meant to say Fletcher was the one doing the urging he might have done it like this:

Scorsone says pressure by airport officials may be an election year favor to Governor Fletcher, who is urging House Democrats to return so legislators can decide on the airport matter and some 66 other items on the agenda.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Raising Your Taxes While "Soaking The Rich"

You will soon be hearing about federal tax bills to put a damper on private equity investors as if it is no big deal, just getting after the evil rich people.

Well, think again.

From Americans for Tax Reform:

• There are three main arguments against these related measures:

1. Assault on Pensions and Charities. This is a direct assault on every firefighter’s, cop’s, nurse’s, and teacher’s pension in America. It’s an assault on the nest egg of every local college. It’s an attack on the resources charities have to do work in their communities.

2. Assault on Savings and Growth. Since the 2003 tax cut that lowered the capital gains and dividends rate to 15%, the S&P 500 Index has increased by over 13% a year. Household net worth has grown by over $12 trillion, or 27%. The Democrat plan to raise the tax rate on savings from 15% to 40% will wreck the economy. This is just the first assault on the lower rates that have given us such undeniable prosperity.

3. “Liberal Tax Hike of the Week.”. This is just the latest money-grab from Congressional Democrats this year. They want to raise taxes on energy, raise taxes on businesses that sell U.S. goods overseas, raise taxes on Americans abroad, raise taxes on smokers, and now they want to raise taxes on every pension, college and charity in America.

Here is the whole article.

While the MSM makes such a big deal about President Bush's low approval numbers, they don't mention so much that Congress is even less respected. This is one reason why.

Always remember that income taxes have a nasty way of rolling downhill.

Why Have Good State Tax Policy When Targeted Tax Incentives Are So Much Fun For Politicians?

There is little doubt that most of the legislative opponents to energy company tax incentives in July will have a miraculous change of heart in January.

In fact, the letter Jody Richards' handlers intended for him to wave around dramatically during his floor speech Thursday promises Peabody's Rick Bowen they will:

As you know from the ongoing representations, both individually and collectively, of the undersigned there is a demonstrated record in the Kentucky House of Representatives of our desire to foster a favorable atmosphere for projects that will reduce our nation's dependence on foreign oil while taking advantage of Kentucky's unique abundance of the requisite natural resources. In the spirit of that desire and given the uncertainty of the specifics or feasibility of your project as referenced in your July 3, '07 letter, each of us wish to assure you of our willingness to enact appropriate financial incentives during the January 08' regular session of the Kentucky General Assembly that will facilitate your project; make KY a leader in this promising new industry; and be in the best interest of the people of the Commonwealth.

The letter was signed by the Democratic Party leaders in the House of Representatives. I typed it exactly as the letter was written.

What is lost in all this mess is that if we just set corporate tax policy that would work for everyone, we wouldn't have to engage in these counterproductive incentive programs.

The Tax Foundation sums it up pretty well in one sentence:

Tax preferences designed to boost corporate investment may provide short-term advantages to some companies—and allow lawmakers to take credit for new jobs in campaign speeches—but in the long run they add enormous complexity to the code, and ultimately transform the tax system into an economic minefield of narrow bases and punitively high rates.

It is clear that what House Dems are waiting for is a new governor, but we should embrace the opportunity to reform our tax code for everyone and not just for individual out-of-state companies on a case-by-case basis.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Coalflation The Hidden Tax In SB 1

We've already seen corn prices skyrocket because the government wants to promote ethanol as an alternative fuel.

So how will we feel about our home electric bills after we subsidize rapid growth in coal usage only to have a negligible effect on oil importation and gas prices?

Special Session Chess Match Might Get Interesting

Who is winning? Who is losing?

Got an opinion of what will/should happen next?

Let's hear it...

Thursday, July 05, 2007

It's All Over But The Chest Thumping

Today was ugly and tomorrow will be uglier still.

Speaker Jody Richards couldn't have looked much more amateurish directing the House today. What a mess. The constitutional issues might keep the Adjournment 2008 fight going for a while, but the big losers in this are easy to see; it's the taxpayers.

Might be fun to see the House Dems get arrested for skipping out on their duty, but it would really be great to see some real issues get more prominent play.

The domestic partner mess needs to be addressed, but I think we need to put the coal to liquid deal to bed first. Otherwise, some real healthcare reform would be inspiring.

Financial Literacy By Liberals

A bleeding heart group in Berea is going to combat payday loan operators by competing with them.

Their ironic plan is to help poor people get out of debt by getting their employers to give them low-interest loans.

They are a little light on details so far, but a video of the financial counseling would surely be a sight to behold.

I'm thinking it will go something like this:

Dude, we're gonna get your boss to give you the extra bread you need for the stuff you deserve and then sue the fascist when he tries to get it back from you because you deserve it, man. Serves him right for not paying you a fair wage to begin with, man.

...Jobs Americans Just Won't Do

A medical blog called "InsureBlog" points out the most recent terrorists in England were people who took advantage of England's need to import immigrant doctors into their national health service, even from hostile nations.

This provides us with yet another reason to ask ourselves if we really want all our health care professionals working for the government at civil servant wages.

And there can be no doubt this is a Kentucky issue when one major candidate for governor makes no bones about moving us in that direction.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Will House Fold On First Day Of Session?

WHAS reporter Mark Hebert says this morning Speaker Jody Richards will immediately adjourn tomorrow, ending Governor Fletcher's special session.

If they do this, I think it will be a serious political loss for the Governor. He won't want to hammer the Democrats for saving us from a large give-away on an iffy project and $60,000 a day to spend millions more on projects that can wait until January. The silver lining in that cloud may be that he could then focus his campaign on more meaningful issues like school choice, health care (for people who aren't on Medicaid), and repeal of the Alternative Minimum Calculation.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

More News Cover-Up On Socialized Medicine

Whether you are concerned or not about Governor Beshear and LG Mongiardo hitting us with their utopian fix for healthcare, you might want to look at what you aren't being told about the government-run program in England they want us to have.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Public Pension Mess: Forgotten But Not Gone

If we are really going to have a special session starting at the end of this week, the least we can do is repeal the bad law from 2005 that allows lawmakers a huge pension bonus for going to work elsewhere in state government.

It's The Health Care Costs, Stupid

Neither gubernatorial candidate is addressing a real pocketbook issue that could be fixed with a few simple changes in the law.

Health care.

Of course, Beshear thinks casinos will fix the problem, so Fletcher has a slight edge. But neither sees what repealing Certificate of Need would do. We need more competition among providers and insurers, yet our laws serve mainly to inhibit market forces from working.

It is a shame we have accomplished nothing on this front after four years with a Republican governor. The Democratic answers, meanwhile, will only make matters worse.

Free market supporters would do well to embrace this issue before it is too late.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Fear Not, Liberal Kentucky Blog Readers

Bluegrass Report is on the trash heap Monday morning, but we still have BluegrassRoots.org for the crazy left-wing stuff.

Making The Right Call

There has still been no call of the special session that is supposed to start on Thursday.

Governor Fletcher should forget about the coal processing subsidy business and call a special session to address healthcare costs.

While everyone else is increasing government control in hopes that the next brilliant idea will finally work, Kentucky should eliminate all mandates on health insurance companies and focus regulatory efforts on enforcing contracts only.