Sunday, May 31, 2009

Associated Press' balanced coverage shortfall

The mainstream media is clinging hard to the spin that Kentucky has a billion dollar "shortfall." Conveniently overlooked in stories like this is that the 2010 budget is $867 million higher than the 2009 budget.

I thought Gov. Beshear said he was making government smaller.

This AP story completely glosses over the other side of the "shortfall" theme in only one very inadequate sentence:
"Senate President David Williams, a Burkesville Republican, disputes the figure and said the shortfall is a smaller percentage."

That's pathetic underreporting of a story with at least two sides.

One interesting note, though. If you read to the end of the article, you get a quote from Western Kentucky University's Dr. Brian Strow, the BB&T Chair for the Study of Capitalism:
"Lawmakers should consider "meaningful economic reform" that would create more jobs and reduce the budget, Strow said."

Amen to that.

Dr. Strow is also a member of Dr. Rand Paul's Economic Council of Advisors.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Having their fiscal irresponsibility and eating it, too

Isn't it funny that so many of those Kentuckians who believe the spent Social Security Trust Fund IOU's equal real money and nothing to worry about now insist that the only way to look at next year's state budget projection is to compare that figure to fiscal year 2008's overspending and hit the panic button?

History is on our side

Friday, May 29, 2009

Grab your wallet: Legislature convenes June 15

This afternoon, Gov. Steve Beshear called the General Assembly into special session beginning June 15.

His statement included the following:

"Our priorities will be holding the line on taxes for working families already struggling to make ends meet; maintaining investments in our school children; preserving commitments to the health care needs of our most vulnerable and the safety of our people."

Do we need to ask what Beshear's definition of "working families" is? Also, if we had a functioning mechanism for tracking school expenditures, it's likely we would conclude that "maintaining investments" isn't necessary. And if government made fewer commitments to "health care needs," health coverage would be more affordable for all of us.

I seem to remember Senate President David Williams saying something about the battle to end all battles over taxes and spending. It will be interesting to see how that goes.

"Only 3.35 million fake jobs to go!"

ABC News has broken through the ignorance barrier to openly question Pres. Barack Obama's silly job-saving/creating claims.

Who will be next? And will we remember those who helped bring this upon us?

Don't Know Jack

Attorney General Jack Conway wants to be a United States Senator, but doesn't seem to have any specific positions on the issues. How about Obama, Jack? Bailouts: for or against? Thirty billion more for General Motors? Tax increases? Medicare/Social Security? Anything?


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Courier-Journal botches American Flag story

A Texas woman's Memorial Day observation in the workplace took an odd turn in the last few days involving Louisville-based Kindred Healthcare. The Louisville Courier Journal, however, seems far more interested in parroting Kindred's press release than in covering the real story.

Last week, Debbie McLucas hung a 3' x 5' American flag in shared office space in a Kindred-owned hospital in Mansfield, Texas. She arrived at work Friday to find that a co-worker had taken the flag down. Apparently, the co-worker found the flag offensive. McLucas told CBS News in Dallas she appealed to supervisors at the hospital, but said they told her the flag would have to stay down because of complaints they had received.

Kindred issued a press release yesterday contradicting McLucas' story:
"This issue was simply a dispute between two employees who shared a small workspace, one of whom removed the flag because of its size. It’s important to note that hospital management was not involved in the decision to remove the flag."

And the CJ swallowed the press release unquestioningly:

The fact is that Kindred management may not have been involved in the flag removal, but we don't know that. One of the key players, McLucas, in fact said management told her "patients' families and visitors" had complained as well and that the flag would have to come down.

Sounds like there is much more to this story than the Courier Journal would have its readers believe. We've come to expect anti-American bias from the paper's editorial page, but have to point it out when it continues to show up on the news pages.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A strange way to observe Memorial Day

Last November, Fayette County Detention Center Officer Luke Valdez, a fifteen-month veteran of the jail, wrote two internal emails with specific criticisms of jail policies and suggestions for improvement.

Yesterday, fresh off six months of National Guard training, Valdez, 23, was suspended from the jail without pay for three weeks as retaliation for sending the emails.

Disciplinary forms given to Valdez cited him for insubordination, misconduct, inefficiency, and malicious behavior. The only action described on the forms was sending the emails.

Lexington Mayor Jim Newberry should explain why he keeps FCDC Director Ron Bishop around despite his repeated personnel screw-ups.

This isn't the first time the city of Lexington has failed to show even minimal respect for someone who served our country.

Don't show this to Obama

Turns out the surest way to cut electricity usage is to shrink the economy.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Almost time for a real fiscal discussion

The House Budget Committee will hold a hearing on Rep. Bill Farmer's tax reform bill on June 4 at 1:00 pm in room 129 of the Capitol Annex.

The bill would repeal state income taxes, expand the sales tax to include services, and lower the sales tax rate to 5.5%.

Expect House Dems to try to expand the sales tax but back up on the idea of repealing the income tax.

When Massachusetts says it's too much money...

Kentucky's corporate welfare cabal entered the state in a contest with several states and dozens of private entities for a piece of a $2.4 billion federal lithium battery research "investment."

As usual, we are giving away the farm.

Just ask big-spending (and, by most measures, wealthy) Massachusetts:
"Kentucky is promising $110 million in aid and a 1,550-acre site, in Glendale, that it assembled in an unsuccessful effort to land a Hyundai plant several years ago."

""We're not in that financial league," said Ian Bowles, the Massachusetts secretary of energy and environmental affairs. But Mr. Bowles said Massachusetts has a chance of landing federal funding because it has several in-state battery makers such as Boston Power Co."

This passage came from The Wall Street Journal.

Waking up sleepy Frankfort

The most important state government meeting in months has been scheduled for two weeks from today.

On June 9, the Education Assessment and Accountability Review Subcommittee will meet at 1:00 pm in room 129 of the Capitol Annex in Frankfort.

Kentucky's mainstream media has a poor record of showing up for these meetings. But since the purpose of this meeting is to discuss implementation of the best education reform in this state in a long time, they will be there for this one.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Twittering Lexington's corruption

Word about Teresa Isaac and Jim Newberry's bad behavior has made it all the way to Louisville.

Can we do this and draw welfare, too?

Has there ever been a U.S. President whose name has been invoked more often than the current one in internet scams and get-rich-quick schemes?

Surely President Obama is trying now to figure out how to count people who respond to this work at home opportunity in the Lexington Herald Leader as part of his "3.5 million jobs saved or created."

Memorial Day out with the family

Working on some big changes for Kentucky Progress, but not today. I'm going to do some serious playing with my sons.

Anything in particular on your mind? Feel free...

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The real Voodoo economics

This passage appeared on Sunday's New York Times editorial page:

"Contrary to conventional wisdom, raising taxes may be better than spending cuts because tax increases, especially if they are focused on wealthy taxpayers, have less of a negative impact on consumption. Spending cuts hit consumption hard, depriving the economy of money that would otherwise be spent quickly. They also have the disadvantage — so evident in the cuts proposed by Mr. Schwarzenegger — of falling heavily on the needy."

This still doesn't get us past the fact that if greater government spending stopped or averted economic downturns, then we wouldn't be very likely at all to find ourselves in one now.

Public spending cuts may "hit consumption hard," but when we are talking about borrowed money, it's better to hit it now rather than wait for it to come back and hit us later. Just ask the people who count the beans for Medicare and Social Security.

Putting the money back into private hands, even if they are "wealthy," has a long tradition of working more effectively at promoting general welfare than running it through layer after layer of bureaucratic middlemen. Continuing to pretend otherwise is an increasingly unaffordable luxury.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

From the same people who like Obamanomics

It's quite a leap from an old monkey fossil to "proof" of a 47 million year old evolutionary link to humans. Very similar to the logic that has us taking more and more money from the productive economy and giving to the Washington D.C. "fixers" to make everything all better.

In other words, it's a bunch of hooey.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Beshear cares more about unions than poor kids

Kentucky could save hundreds of millions of dollars repealing prevailing wage and we are monkeying around with $4.5 million cuts on programs for underprivileged children?

This is disgraceful.

See you at the Frankfort Freedom Rally

Concerned citizens will gather Saturday, May 23, at Juniper Hill Park (800 Louisville Road) in Frankfort 1pm to 3pm to support public policies to return America to a path toward greater prosperity.

In his book Applied Economics: Thinking Beyond Stage One, Dr. Thomas Sowell said the following:

"A student asked his history professor: "Where did slavery come from?"
"You're asking the wrong question," the professor replied. "The real question is: Where did freedom come from?"

Restoring our freedoms won't just happen by itself. It will take massive, coordinated action. And we need more people. Those who criticized the Tea Party movement said that it would never amount to anything. If we quit now, they will be right.

I'm not quitting. Are you?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Ready for your Dan Rather tax?

Don't look now, but some people think it might be terrific to charge you hundreds of dollars a year in "news tax" to subsidize our money-losing mainstream media.

Read the rest here.

Perhaps they think that if Americans are ready to adopt the worst elements of the British healthcare system we surely will fall for this sort of thing, too.

Bunning smacks Obama over Gitmo

Sen. Jim Bunning said the following after the U.S. Senate voted 87-3 to spend another $73 billion on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan:

"I am very pleased that we are no longer wasting time to convince our colleagues to fund these wars. We can win these conflicts, and we are winning them, and our fighting men and women deserve to have the resources they need to do so. This bill will help provide them with those resources."

"The Senate stripped funds from the bill that were originally requested by President Obama to close down the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay and relocate the terrorist prisoners who are being held there -- sending a clear message to the President that these dangerous killers are not to be sent to the United States. It was reckless of President Obama to set an arbitrary timetable for closing the prison camp without first having a plan in place for where these terrorists will be detained next and I believe that removing this funding was in the best interest of the security and safety of the American people."

Calling big government's bluff

There is a widespread belief in Frankfort that Gov. Steve Beshear will call a June 15 special session to raise revenue in the face of Kentucky's growing overspending problem.

The Senate would do very well, in such a case, to pass a resolution allowing the governor to cut spending and to quickly adjourn the session.

Frankfort still treating us like mushrooms

Alabama has become the latest state whose legislature wants its citizens to be able to see how their tax money is being spent.

Kentucky still wants to keep you in the dark.

Wonder what our guys are afraid of?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Beshear governing by silly emotional appeal

Here is Gov. Steve Beshear's latest plea for turning the state over to casino gambling interests:

"I don't want Kentucky to be known as the former horse capital of the world. Too much is at stake - 100,000 jobs, comprised mostly of working families, and $4 billion in economic impact. We must act quickly to ensure that we maintain that investment in our state."

First, it's silly to say Kentucky's horse industry can only survive by being allowed to diversify into a business that is currently illegal in order to subsidize their less profitable main operations. Why can it only be casinos or slot machines? If they just need money, why not license tracks to set up check cashing services? Dry cleaning services are often very profitable. Maybe Churchill Downs could launder a couple of your shirts and clean one of your suits while you watch a few races. Or they could send insurance agents into the grandstand to write a few policies for a new, ongoing revenue stream to beef up purses and improve profitability. Or sell used cars or new electronic equipment.

And who is Gov. Steve Beshear to say the 100,000 jobs and $4 billion economic impact of the horse industry wouldn't be replaced by something even more lucrative if horse racing faded out? Four months into the Obama Administration, I get pretty nervous when I hear a politician say "we must act quickly to maintain..."

I'm as sympathetic as anyone for those who just want to compete on an even playing field with horse tracks in casino states. But trusting Gov. Steve Beshear and House Speaker Greg Stumbo to put together a regulatory structure that won't wind up hurting the state more than it helps is just not something I'm comfortable doing.

I'm open to considering a well-conceived proposal, but I get more skeptical when the sales pitch is as emotional as this one has been.

Still looking for our efficiency study

Attorney General Jack Conway is upset about shysters who organize as "charities" to steal money from unsuspecting Kentuckians, and he should be.

But when he says "charities and solicitors that mislead Kentuckians about how their donations will be used or who they will benefit will not be tolerated," it's hard not to wonder if Conway isn't just protecting his and Gov. Steve Beshear's turf.

Beshear and Chandler feed us to the unions

Just as Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson did the math on prevailing wage costs in his city and decided to opt out, Congressman Ben Chandler (D-Versailles) is running hard in the other direction.

Chandler's "Green Schools" bill HR 2187 would waste many billions of dollars in environmental upgrades to school facilities across the country. A key feature of the bill would make recipients of the money observe Davis-Bacon union wage requirements even if their home state has been smart enough to toss aside the wasteful mandates.

Kentucky, of course, isn't one of those "smart enough" states, despite our obvious need to cut out spending fat. Thanks, union-supported politicians!

Chandler's bill has passed the House and looks to be championed in the Senate by Iowa big-spender Sen. Tom Harkin.

Welcome back, David Williams

The Louisville Courier Journal has gone back to calling Senate President David Williams silly names on its editorial page:
"Those numbers will require action, unless Mr. Williams and other no-new-revenue drones are content to see services and programs suffer even more than they already have."

I've been as tough on Williams as anyone for his tax-raising activities, but he says he's ready to fight now.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Audit the Fed bill is in federal budget

Sen. Jim Bunning said Senate Democrats so far have not removed his "Audit the Fed" bill from the budget bill which could get a vote this week.

On his weekly conference call this morning, he talked about the importance of the bill:
"It says to the Fed, 'it's time to be held accountable for your actions.'"

Bunning also challenged reporters who repeated questions about his campaign and about his health. Bunning responded to The Lexington Herald Leader's John Stamper, who asked him about releasing his medical records, by saying he was up for any kind of physical challenge the reporter chose and asked him how big he was.

Stamper responded "I wouldn't want to arm wrestle you, Senator."

Bunning also called Sen. Mitch McConnell a "control freak" who "doesn't like anyone who tells him no."

Better talk about this now

A weekend debate between South Carolina's two Republican U.S. Senators, as described in The State newspaper, should begin an important dialogue for Kentucky Republicans:
"Ron Paul is not the leader of this party," (U.S. Sen. Lindsey) Graham said, prompting a few jeers. Some people yelled, "Yes, he is!"

"I’m not going to give this party over to people who can’t win," Graham finished, drawing most of the crowd to its feet.

But U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint, who followed Graham, said he’d rather have 30 senators who stand on principle than 60 who have none.

The increasingly-likely primary battle between Dr. Rand Paul and Sec. of State Trey Grayson would open similar divisions in Kentucky that both candidates would do well to start closing right away.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sitting next to Mica, I feel older and balder

I like the sound of this

In Tennessee, they are setting up Tea Parties for one of their Congressional representatives to remind him that he "works for Tennesseans, not Nancy Pelosi!"

Might a round of these by Kentuckians help focus Congressman Ben Chandler? I think so.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Obamathon for socialized medicine

Call it a tax-me-more fund for Canadian-style health care. Pres. Barack Obama wants you to send in money so he can run commercials to promote a total government takeover of the American health care industry.

Go fish, Mr. President.

Let's make some news

I'll be on Newsmakers Saturday morning at 11 am with Mica Sims talking about where the resistance to bloated government movement goes from here.

Next stop is the Frankfort Freedom Rally next Saturday May 23 at 1 pm at Juniper Hill park.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Food for thought for Appalachia

Add one to the "no comment" brigade

It's worth pointing out that the federal investigation into the Lexington jail inmate abuse scandal still has not been closed.

As the scandal prepares to blow up all over Lexington taxpayers, former Mayor Teresa Isaac and current Mayor Jim Newberry have been conspicuously silent.

I just reached Director Ron Bishop on his LFUCG-issued cell phone to ask if he had a comment about the three guilty pleas issued so far.

"I have no comment, Mr. Adams," he said.

Ronald Reagan on ObamaCare

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The politicians are the real story here

Wonder what former Mayor Teresa Isaac has to say about the Fayette jail inmate abuse scandal now that three of the five indicted officers have filed guilty pleas.

Newberry will not comment. We know that. TI should face some tough questions.

Surely the MSM will wake up to this story now.

Birds of a feather...

In 2011, when Gov. Steve Beshear is pretending he never heard of Pres. Barack Obama, remember that just as Obama was breaking his transparency promise, Beshear was cynically doing something very similar.

Begging for a lightning strike, Jennifer?

Funniest news item of the day: Michigan's Governor Jennifer Granholm is going to speak in a church about how great the Obama stimulus plan is for her state.

That would sure get the Tea Party crowd stirred up in Kentucky if Gov. Steve Beshear tried to spread some fiscal hokum from the pulpit. To his credit, Beshear has kept his nonsense out of houses of worship.

And speaking of Tea Parties, I'll be on Bill Bryant's WKYT Newsmakers program with Mica Sims Saturday at 11am talking about what is next for the small-government movement.

A full schedule

I'm in meetings much of today and will host a tax reform forum tonight at 6:30 pm at The Inn on Broadway. Check back for updates.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Fayette jail pucker factor update

Ahead of next month's federal trial in the Fayette County Detention Center inmate abuse trial, sources report three of the five defendants have worked out plea bargains with prosecutors.

This is really bad news for those at the jail who haven't been indicted yet and horrible timing for a couple of politicians (here and here) who really want it all to go away.

Senate race update

I'm headed to Lexington for a meeting of the Women Republicans of Central Kentucky. The speaker today is Secretary of State Trey Grayson.

Check back for updates and, probably, video.


Here you go:

A little skepticism would go a long way here

As the political effort to ram through a total federal takeover of the healthcare system marches on, Kentucky's big-spenders are using similar tactics to force acceptance of casino gambling.

The up-tempo campaign style is designed to limit careful thinking and the doomsday predictions of billion dollar shortfalls are laid out to shock the electorate into submission.

Cooler heads may want to turn their attention to Maryland, where the plan isn't fairing so well. From Governing Magazine:

Meanwhile, the need for a Kentucky horsing bailout may be overblown. You should read this.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The "fix" is in

The radical left now suggests going to socialized medicine will "fix" health care, "fix" the economy, and create 3.5 million jobs.

This would be a bad Saturday Night Live skit if it weren't true.

These utopian schemes always cost way more than they are supposed to and create more problems than they solve. "Conservative" and "Moderate" Democrats are the ones who will be blamed the most for this nonsense going through.

In related news, Social Security trustees reported today their estimate that the program will go into the tank in 2016. That's when we start to realize that the Social Security Trust Fund really doesn't have any money in it.

Media reports that Medicare Hospital Insurance costs will exceed program revenues until 2017 ignore the fact that Medicare Supplementary Medical Insurance is already pulling general revenue dollars and is only getting worse. Very convenient to leave out the more expensive part.

Remember how much fun we had with the "There is no crisis" gang just four short years ago, when Rep. Ben Chandler was claiming Socials Security could go for "generations" without reform?

And these are the people who are going to create our new health care system.

For stabilizing the art market?

It's a whole lot less taxpayer money than we are pouring into, say, bad real estate investments, but it seems that if we are going to ever prioritize government spending that now would be a good time to start. And this would be a good thing to cut.

Bunning in Lexington in June

Sen. Jim Bunning said on his weekly media conference call that he has a Lexington fundraiser scheduled for the first week of June. He declined to say who will host the event.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Going around again on "home" economics

Gov. Steve Beshear has a big cardboard $2 million novelty check for Bowling Green today for your children to redeem later.

A quick check of my state and federal constitutions shows nothing about a government role in anything like his claim to "stem the decline in surrounding property values..." and, while my economics texts mention propping up aggregate demand, they contain nothing to suggest borrowing public money to give to low income people to make them homeowners will work any better than reducing credit standards did.

Leland Conway is NOT a jerk

I am a Conservative, Not a Jerk

By Leland Conway

I recently gave a speech in which I stuck around to answer questions from the crowd. One question that was posed was “How do we change the public perception that conservatives are jerks?”

As a conservative, I’ve never thought of myself as a jerk, but the question was perhaps the best question that could be asked of one who would see conservatism re-establish itself on the stage of American thought – because the more you think about it, the more you realize that this is exactly the way the conservative ideology is painted in the mainstream.

The mainstream accuses us of being jerks because we apparently don’t want to help the poor, we don’t want every child to have free health insurance, we want to tighten border security and we believe in things like sovereignty and actually defeating the enemies who attack us. We must be jerks because we want to keep what belongs to us so we must by extension also be very selfish people. We are cold hearted because we push policy that increases personal responsibility and does not necessarily mitigate individual risk.

This false perception of conservatism is exactly the reason I’ve always hated the term “compassionate conservatism,” which George W. Bush made popular during his 2000 campaign.

I never liked that term because words mean something to me. By putting the term compassionate in front of conservative, you are implying that there is no compassion in conservatism. You mean to say that compassion is an additional ingredient which, like kitchen spice, must be added to our ideology in order to make it more palatable.

By making this term popular, the Republicans may have unwittingly set their party back a generation. They were admitting to the American electorate that to live by the ideology of conservatism was indeed selfish and uncompassionate and that we somehow needed a strong dose of leftism in order to make us whole.

Where we, as conservatives went wrong, was in not rejecting this notion outright the moment it was introduced into the mainstream. Instead we embraced it. In so doing we became fearful of practicing our own principles and while we had theoretical control of government we didn’t actually implement very much conservative policy.

As a consequence, the American electorate was left confused about what a conservative actually is. Therefore it was easier for them to be confused and misled by a false messiah – Barack Obama.

Conservatism does not need the word compassion attached to it, because it is by its very nature the most compassionate form of political ideology.

Before you reject my premise, answer honestly the following questions.

What is more compassionate than the conservative notion of preserving the vision of our founding fathers in the protection of individual liberty? What is more compassionate that the protection of individual property rights? What is more compassionate than believing in and attempting to inspire individuals to reach their fullest potential and limiting the amount of government involvement in their lives? What is more compassionate than lowering American’s tax burden so that they can keep more of what they have earned with their own hands? In short, what is more compassionate than an ideology that when practiced with principle simply promotes individual liberty?

What you are seeing in the main stream of late has been a systematic intolerance of conservatism, ironically under the banner of tolerance for other ideologies. The widespread perception of conservatism as a selfish ideology simply will not change until we begin to effectively articulate the truth about what we believe. In doing so, rather than attaching platitudinous words like “compassion” to the beginning of our thought process, we should actually demonstrate how what we believe is actually more compassionate by its nature.

The Republican Party is at a crossroads. They can no longer afford to co-opt conservatism with other words while not actually practicing the principles of conservatism. These principles can be easily boiled down to one word, liberty. By practicing this word in action, for all people, conservatism will rise again as the primary thought process of the average American.

Changing your state with better information

More than just a place, it's a state of mind.

Supersized socialism for lunch

I'll be on a White House conference call this afternoon with Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius talking about Pres. Barack Obama's healthcare reform plans.

Check back for details.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Is a new message breaking through?

Sen. Damon Thayer spoke this past weekend at the Scott County GOP Lincoln Day dinner. He addressed Pres. Barack Obama's wild spending and nationalization moves and Gov. Beshear's tax and spend policies. Thayer's alternatives should strike a chord with Kentuckians who are ready for a little common sense.

Thayer also spoke about the need for real spending transparency in state government and said he is working on a bill to mandate setting up a web site listing each public expenditure for everyone to see.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

David Williams speaks

Senate President David Williams started his speech by thanking Jim Bunning for his service and said that if there was any question about Bunning's electability, it is because of Bunning's "scar tissue."

This is the old David Williams speaking, before the talk of him running for U.S. Senate. He's calling the state's two Democratic congressmen "Johnny Yar-mouth" and "Unhappy Chandler" and chastising them for taking orders from Nancy Pelosi.

Williams spoke proudly (and deservedly so) about the state Senate's efforts to improve education in Kentucky and promised "Armageddon" on taxes and spending when the state legislature reconvenes.

Mitch McConnell speaks to state GOP dinner

Sen. Mitch McConnell said he thought the decade-long Republican majority in the Kentucky state Senate was probably the most important achievement for the GOP ever in Kentucky.

Mentioned Joe Biden's swine flu gaffe and informed the audience that the day after telling everyone to stay off planes and trains, Biden got on the train and went home to Delaware.

"Proving that not even Joe Biden listens to Joe Biden," McConnell said.

"The President campaigned as a centrist and it was my hope that he would govern as a centrist, but so far it hasn't worked out that way."

"We're spending $100 million a day in interest on the stimulus package."

Sen. McConnell spoke against the idea of closing Guantanamo Bay. He then spoke about the Supreme Court vacancy, saying that the upcoming process will be "fascinating."

McConnell only mentioned Bunning to agree with him about the stimulus package.

Jim Bunning speaks to state Lincoln dinner

Sen. Jim Bunning echoed many of the same economic points he made at earlier GOP Lincoln dinners.

He repeated his line about not being "anyone's puppet" and repeated his pro-life and pro-Second Amendment stances. He said he is running for a third term to fight for his values.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Preparing for the tax battle ahead

Please join a public discussion of Kentucky tax reform in Lexington on Thursday, May 14, 6:30 pm, at The Inn on Broadway.

Where's your press release, Dr. Dan?

Lt. Gov. Dan Mongiardo is keeping some strange company -- for a Dem in a U.S. Senate primary -- this weekend in Danville. And he doesn't appear to want you to know about it.

Mongiardo and WLAP radio's Leland Conway will speak to a Friends of the NRA fundraiser in Danville on Saturday (5:30 pm at the American Legion Hall.)

Just found it odd that I haven't gotten a press release from the LG's office (at taxpayer expense). Mongiardo has been sending one out every time he sneezes since he filed to run for federal office.

Nothing on his web site either.

Of course, you wouldn't catch his primary opponent, Attorney General Jack Conway, at an NRA event. Maybe that has something to do with it.

Should we believe David Williams now?

In February, Senate President David Williams said that if Republicans voted against tax increases, Democrats would cut spending in politically sensitive areas and blame Republicans for it.

Last week, he spoke to the Louisville Courier Journal:
"Williams told reporters after the briefing that he didn't think higher taxes would be part of the solution."

""I don't see any movement out in the public or in their elected officials that would indicate that there would be any call for any additional tax increases," he said."

So, what has changed? Anything? Williams made similar comments the month before his big flip-flop in the 2009 General Assembly.

Williams has encouraged speculation that he could be a candidate for U.S. Senate in 2010 and/or Governor in 2011. Williams is scheduled to speak Saturday at the state GOP Lincoln dinner.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Run, Ronnie, Run!

Sources at the Fayette County Detention Center report Director Ron Bishop was deposed recently related to some of his activities at the Lexington jail.

Will have full details as soon as his sworn testimony is made publicly available. That should be about as fun as the depositions of Lexington Mayor Jim Newberry and former Mayor Teresa Isaac.

Conway seizes an opportunity

About the last thing we need right now is Attorney General Jack Conway lecturing us via press release about "swine flu" scammers.

Reminds me of last fall when Conway, Gov. Beshear, and friends were busy accusing gasoline retailers of sex crimes.

Conway is clearly still struggling to keep up with Lt. Gov. Dan Mongiardo's ridiculous attention-seeking spree.

National Day of Prayer in Louisville

I'm headed to Louisville for a National Day of Prayer event. Check back for updates later today.

UPDATE: Here is my speech.

"The key function of human wisdom is the ability to see things as they really are. Though we live in times of difficulty and trials and disagreements, my Bible tells me this this is the very purpose of our mortal sojourn, not a temporary circumstance for us to wait out before we act."

"All our pains are growing pains and so we must embrace them and learn from them. We live in a nation conceived in liberty and raised up in freedom. Though we may as Americans and as Kentuckians dispute among ourselves the shapes that liberty and freedom shall take we must persist in inviting the proper spirit to dwell within us as we sharpen the fine points of our public policy and the status of our shared destiny."

"We may among ourselves see differently the nature of prayer and prayers but let us not confuse their purpose -- which is personal growth. We may among ourselves see differently some of the doctrines and details pertaining to the hearer of our prayers, but let us not mistake the attitude we must embrace for our prayers to have and give to us true, unconquerable, and divine power."

"That attitude, of course, is an attitude of gratitude. We can hardly expect to be blessed with greater blessings if we are not sufficiently grateful for the blessings we already have. Indeed, we will lose the freedoms we possess if we take them for granted."

"Expecting a great battle in our time and wearing an armor of gratitude and optimism will prepare us well for the victory that lies ahead."

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

U.S. Senate primary opponents in Lexington

Possible U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul will be in Lexington Saturday morning for a Republican party breakfast at the Hilton Suites. Cost is $10 at the door.

Secretary of State Trey Grayson will speak to the Women Republicans of Central Kentucky lunch meeting on Wednesday, May 13. Reservations can be made here.

Kentucky Post falls into Steve Beshear vortex

This afternoon when Gov. Steve Beshear put out a bogus press release stating falsely that Kentucky has the 5th most competitive economy in the nation, it was just a matter of time before a hapless media outlet got sucked in. (Debunking here.)

Enter the nearly-dead Kentucky Post:

No word on why it took a whole hour and a half to copy the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development press release word-for-word and post it to their web site. It will be interesting to see how others handle this.

Change a policy, fix a school building

The Kentucky Opportunity Coalition pointed out Wednesday that repealing the state's expensive Davis Bacon requirements would save enough money repairing two schools in Adair County to completely repair another school in Kenton County.

This is a heck of a time for our politicians to be clinging to taxpayer-funded political payoffs to labor unions.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Now THIS is what the tea parties are about

Here and here.

Everyone likes a food fight...

Fox News Channel will be in Louisville on Saturday night for the state GOP Lincoln dinner featuring Sen. Mitch McConnell, Sen. Jim Bunning, and Secretary of State Trey Grayson.

"Practically giving 'em away!"

This is what happens when your federal government gets in the car business: flimflam money deals that sound great but benefit only the scam artist.

All we need now is President Obama on tv commercials telling us he must be going crazy and slapping the hoods of the cars before he takes us in the back room, takes our money, and gives some of it back with a flourish.

And while he is doing this, Kentuckians have to hope Japan doesn't go after its own companies with business interests in other countries and put the Toyota plant in Georgetown at risk. But then Japan surely wouldn't be that stupid.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Obama murders school choice hope

You read that right. Now watch this.

What is Kristine Lafoe saying?

With the Fayette jail inmate abuse trial one month away, attorneys for defendant Kristine Lafoe have been working overtime hunting down potential witnesses to interview. Multiple sources report she has agreed to a deal with federal authorities limiting her prison time in exchange for testimony against others.

Meanwhile her husband, Officer Darren Lafoe, still employed by the jail, is feeling the wrath of those who don't want anyone talking.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Cutting through the crap in Kentucky

Did the Courier Journal on Sunday really whine and complain because some of us have had enough of their touchy-feely nonsense in our public schools?

From the Sunday CJ editorial page:
"What's likely to result is a narrower, lazier effort at accountability, with weak but expedient "program review" substituted for effective testing in some important parts of the curriculum. Certainly the emphasis that has been placed on writing portfolios will be diminished, if not lost, unless eventually salvaged by those who create a replacement for the Commonwealth Accountability Testing System (CATS). And, worst of all, the Kentucky Education Reform Act's original and longtime opponents now will be free to impose on the state the kind of inexpensive, off-the-shelf nationally normed testing they prefer — testing that gets at low-level knowledge and skills, in limited disciplines."

"It's the long-awaited opening for those who prefer the kind of accountability attached to the federal No Child Left Behind law, which, as Jefferson County teacher spokesman Brent McKim complained last year, "fails to address the needs of the whole child, and reduces the guiding purpose of education from the development of effective and contributing citizens to an unending quest for higher scores on tests that cannot assess what we value most in a democratic society — things like critical and creative thinking, problem solving, effective and persuasive communication, cooperation, perseverance, caring, respect and appreciation for diversity.""

Yes, I believe they did. Fortunately, more of us are catching on to their game.

Resolution of Kentucky's CATS testing mess should serve as encouragement to those of us who still believe we can turn things around in America.

Rand Paul weighs in again

Potential U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul just said the following:

"Some politicians travel to Washington, DC to ask permission to run for office or recieve some regal blessing. I will travel to Teresa's Restaurant at 509 Gordon Ave Bowling Green this Thursday at 7am to ask Kentuckians what they're concerned about."

On Friday, Paul will speak in Paducah at the Downtown Gazebo at 4pm about preserving liberty in the era of big government.

Paul will also be in Lexington next Saturday for a discussion about Republicans and taxes.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Ready for Round Two?

Wanna bet on sin taxes again?

Can we all agree that saving the state with sin taxes hikes is a horrible idea? Perhaps not. But that is mainly because those who still think they are a great idea just won't pay attention to the facts.

The experience of some other states might help.

And when Kentucky's state revenue numbers come out on Monday, May 11, the first month of the new, higher, cigarette tax rate should convince us all how dumb it is to gamble on bad tax policy. Unfortunately for us, we've already lost the bet.

"Can I run my Ipod on switchgrass?"

One competitive advantage Kentucky has had for decades has been low energy prices. At the rate we are going, soon all we will have left will be Mint Juleps and fast horses.

And we'll be riding the horses to school and work.

A job-killing, consumer suffocating energy tax hike Dems slipped into the recent Obama budget, in addition to efforts to destroy coal mining, and plans to tax exhaling should leave no doubt as to where we are headed.

Rep. John Yarmuth and Rep. Ben Chandler have supported every bit of this. Remember that.

Road trip

I'll be in Elizabethtown this morning speaking to the Rotary Club. Meanwhile, please check out a new blog -- Kentucky 912.