Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Will Jack Conway Indict Louisville Courier-Journal?

Louisville candidate Jack Conway really, really wants to be Attorney General. Maybe he just wants the office so he can prosecute the Louisville Courier-Journal for "journalistic malpractice."

Alternative Minimum What?

GOP candidate Billy Harper keeps calling the Alternative Minimum Calculation -- actually the LLET -- an Alternative Minimum Tax.

This is brilliant. What's Governor Fletcher going to do, correct him on the name of this insidious tax? Nope. But the General Assembly really should stop taxing unprofitable Kentucky companies.

"Wage Controls Reduce Poverty," "Bush Lied"

Sen. Barack Obama wants to make it illegal for Republicans to lie in political campaigns and The New York Times loves it.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

"You Can't Have It Both Ways"

Our Next Attorney General

Health Insurance Give-Aways Cost Too Much

In 2007, Congress is expected to reauthorize the SCHIP subsidy for medical expenses of children in families who don't qualify for Medicaid. No one can seriously think this won't happen, but we could do better. A long-term fix would be to enact the FairTax and allow people to go across state lines to buy health insurance.

Time To Change Debate On Taxes

Fifteen states tax food purchased in grocery stores. Tennessee tops the list with the highest tax rate at 8.35%, and some people there want to get rid of that tax and instead tax incomes. They suggest, of course, that doing so will benefit the poor.

In Kentucky, where we tax incomes but not grocery food, we should go in the exact opposite direction our neighbors to the south are contemplating for exactly the same reason.

A food tax is regressive, hitting low-income earners harder than others. But there is no ripple effect through the economy caused by consumption taxes. The ripples -- a type of multiplier effect -- hit the more vulnerable citizens harder and make upward mobility that much harder. Corporate taxes, however, get passed on through every layer of production and hit the consumer as well. If we really want to help lower-income people with tax policy, we should move away from taxing profits, incomes, and business activity. Taxing consumption only, even at rates that look pretty high at first glance, would cause less collateral damage to our economy.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Democratic Congressman Apparently Can't Read

Earlier today, Rep. Baron Hill (D-Indiana) said "access to health care is a constitutional right."

Last time I checked, HillaryCare wasn't in the Constitution.

February GOP Showdown In Jessamine County

Word is circulating that the annual Republican Party of Kentucky Lincoln Dinner in Louisville is completely sold out.

If you haven't gotten tickets, don't worry. If you really want to see the GOP gubernatorial candidates go toe-to-toe, you can head out to the Jessamine County Republican Party Lincoln Dinner on Saturday, February 10 at the Bluegrass Sportsman's Club. The event runs 11 AM to 1 PM.

Is Dan Rather Doing Crowd Counts For CBS?

Bob Schieffer at CBS would like to see "hundreds of thousands" come out and protest the war, which is his prerogative. Reporting it when it didn't happen, though, is noteworthy.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Hillary Clinton Goes Hard Left On Iraq

Will Cindy Sheehan love President Rodham now that she is demanding Bush surrender Iraq before leaving office?

Legislative Sessions As Economic Development?

Here is an interesting article.

With Brain Drain Myth Gone, Improve Kentucky Higher Ed With Competition

My son graduates high school this year and will very likely receive the maximum $2500 annual KEES stipend for four years of college. The strings attached to the money are supposed to keep him at an in-state school.

It won't work. But new data suggests we need not try so hard to force our students to stay here for school.

Now that it appears we are not experiencing a brain drain, perhaps we should explore improving the educational opportunities of our young citizens by doing away with this provision of the KEES program.

Currently, Kentucky high school graduates can take their KEES money out of state only to participate in programs that aren't available at in-state schools. While it is positive that we can expand our offerings in this way, our economy would probably benefit even more if we allowed students to take KEES money to out of state programs that are available here but are demonstrably superior to those available at state schools.

Armed with the confidence that Kentucky can retain its educated citizens, shouldn't we do even more to ensure they get better preparation?

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Breaking: GOP Lawmakers Running For Statewide Offices

Rep. Lonnie Napier is running for Treasurer and Rep. Stan Lee is running for Attorney General.

Bloodbath: Dem Gov 2007 Will Be Fun For Sure

Greg Stumbo is running with Bruce Lunsford. What can that possibly lead to except millions of dollars spent on ripping up the eventual primary winner and -- as a bonus -- a trip to the private sector for Stumbo?

Good luck building golf courses with your own money, Greg.

Friday, January 26, 2007

What Is It About Kentucky College Students That So Offends The Good Folks At AFL-CIO?

Rep. Joe Fischer wants Kentucky's public college students to have a few rights in the classroom and around campus. The Kentucky AFL-CIO voted earlier this month to oppose what seems like a pretty straightforward proposition.

Bush Calls Dems Bluff On War

The same people who are apoplectic that President Bush has dared state "I am the decision maker" on Iraq punt very quickly when he challenges naysayers: "They have an obligation and a serious responsibility therefore to put up their own plan as to what would work."

What Not To Do When No One Shows For Your 8 AM Press Conference -- Candidate Billy Harper

The delivery, setting, and just about everything else around this announcement is a disaster. But is the message the right one?

By the way, I'm told there were three reporters present.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Harper Campaign Blasts Fletcher Over Ford

Billy Harper for Governor campaign manager Stan Pulliam laughed out loud at comments Governor Ernie Fletcher made about Ford Motor Company's financial woes.

"These guys are unbelievable," Pulliam exclaimed in response to public comments from Fletcher that he would try to get state funds for the struggling automobile manufacturer. Ford posted quarterly losses of $5.8 Billion today.

"So they are going to help Ford Motor Company after they tax them for being unprofitable," Pulliam said. "This is a perfect example of why we need to repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax."

Obama Loves HillaryCare

Who needs Sen. Barack Obama if all he is going to do is agree with Sen. Hillary Clinton and her extreme ideas?

Four years ago, all the Democratic presidential candidates were for socialized medicine. Looks like we are headed in that direction again. Unfortunately, this time Kentuckians should probably be asking gubernatorial candidates of both parties if they will push universal mandated coverage.

The best argument for socialized medicine is that it doesn't kill everyone in Europe and Canada. And if that makes you angry, please read this before responding so we can discuss it.

One Interesting Thing About Dem Primary 2007

Will all the other candidates eat Jody Richards due to his apparent ambivalence toward casino gambling? Will Richards jump on the bandwagon to avoid being eaten?

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Vindication For Voodoo Economics

Cut taxes, raise revenues.

John Kerry Cuts And Runs From 2008 Bid

...and he has a new website to celebrate his courage, wisdom, and foresight.

"Big Ed" Gatewood Should Stick To Smoking Pot

Gubernatorial candidate Gatewood Galbraith has eschewed his support for legalizing marijuana, but when it comes to education policy he might as well keep on smokin'.

Giving a $5000 higher education voucher to every high school graduate might score some points with the income-redistribution crowd, but even trying to contemplate all the ways this is wrong (tuition inflation, overcrowded classes full of unqualified students, worst ROI for any government plan ever, etc.) is a bad trip, indeed.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Did Someone Give A Speech Tonight?

President Bush's approval rating is going down after that one.

Enough of this getting along with the opposition stuff. Other than out-flanking the Democrats on the war -- the actual war, not the political fallout -- Bush giving up the farm on the domestic front gives warm fuzzies to someone, but it mainly just wastes precious time.

I wish I hadn't bothered watching the State of the Union. Yuck.

Harper Bus Tour Starts Next Week

Gubernatorial candidate Billy Harper says Frankfort is starving for real leadership and that someone who isn't a politician might be better able to lead state government.

"With fourty years in business, I've learned you can get a lot more done if you don't worry about who is getting the credit," Harper said.

The Harper for Governor campaign takes that message on the road next week, crossing the state by bus. Campaign manager Stan Pulliam says the bus tour will continue "for the duration."

Harper's discussion of issues includes cutting taxes and controlling spending. He scoffs at the idea that the elected officials lining up to express their support for either of his opponents will keep his campaign from gaining traction.

"All the endorsements are like pigs running for the trough," he said.

What quickly becomes clear in talking to Harper, however, is that his passion is for improving Kentucky's schools.

"Education is moving forward in Kentucky but not fast enough to keep up with the rest of the world," Harper said.

Harper expresses enthusiasm for changing laws to allow Kentucky students to escape failing schools and take their state funding with them.

"School choice is a great opportunity for creating competition in the school system," he said.

Explaining Why Johnny Can't Do Math

Richard Innes nails it again.

Hillary's First Cup Of Coffee Lie For Tuesday

Sen. Hillary Clinton is on The Early Show and is lying right out of the gate.

Harry Smith asked her how she could win over any of the Republicans and Independents who dislike her so much and she responded with her first whopper.

"They told me I couldn't win in New York," she said.

I couldn't find any polls that suggested she would do anything but squash any opponent in liberal New York back in 2000.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Is Miller For Governor First Casualty of 2007?

Jonathan Miller still hasn't filed to run for Governor. To be fair, Greg Stumbo hasn't filed either and Miller is certainly waiting for him to move.

But Miller has been very quiet recently, giving momentum to speculation that he is on his way to the sidelines.

Surprise, Surprise: RomneyCare Busts Budget

State-by-state socialized medicine looks like it is about to be dealt a serious setback in Massachusetts.

McCain Feingold Gets Another Look

While Hillary Clinton was getting ready to escalate her battle for the White House, the U.S. Supreme Court was making plans to restore free speech to federal campaigns.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

One More For The GOP?

Rep. Lonnie Napier looks like he is going to make the gubernatorial primary a foursome in a 1/27/07 press conference at 11:00 a.m. at the Garrard County Courthouse.

Baby, It's Cold Outside

The Weather Channel is busily trying to destroy its credibility by going AlGore on global warming.

Top-rated Lexington meteorologist Bill Meck has said publicly that the Gore version of our self-destruction is bogus. In fact, you can check out his blog, page down to the July 28 entry, for an extensive discussion about the man-made global warming farce.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Not Missing An Opportunity To Miss An Opportunity

President Bush is going to propose making individual health insurance coverage tax deductible on federal tax returns.

There is nothing wrong with this idea except that it is a few decades late and a few billion dollars short of having a real impact on anything.

Yeah, color me unimpressed.

If we do nothing else, we should allow tax filers who do not itemize deductions to pay health premiums with pre-tax dollars. Even this, however, doesn't come close to real tax reform.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Why Did The Chicken Cross The Road?

Looks like Steve Henry has finally found a running mate and will be running for governor.

Howard Dean, Call Your Office

Lexington businessman Dick Robinson sounded like a pretty nice guy earlier in the month when he talked about running for Secretary of State in Kentucky. He even said his foray into politics was "not a reflection on Trey Grayson" and hoped to continue some of Grayson's innovations.

Today, though, Dr. Dick went Deaniac, earning accolades from the far left when he said:

Unlike Mr. Grayson, I will not require a judge’s order to know not to attempt to certify a citizen of Indiana as the winner of a Kentucky legislative election.

Here Dr. Dick shows that he is just hopping on the D Train and hoping to ride it all the way to Frankfort. Grayson is one member on the Board of Elections and only votes in the event of a tie. The vote Dr. Dick is talking about was 6-0.

Not the best start for a statewide campaign.

Liberal Economics Is Contagious

America's left coast is famous for raising taxes. Currently, Washington state is trying again to change its constitution to implement an income tax.

While there is little surprising in a group of politicians digging around for more vote-buying money, a justification for this one almost caused me to spit hot chocolate all over my desk. From the liberal Economic Opportunity Institute:

By not having a state income tax, Washington loses its opportunity to take advantage of shifting part of the state’s tax burden to the federal government. Taxpayers that itemize deductions on their federal tax returns are allowed to deduct state and local income taxes from their federal taxable income[3]. For example, if a Washington family in the 27% federal tax bracket pays $1,000 in state income taxes they can deduct this amount from their federal taxable income for a savings of $270. By virtue of the deduction, the federal government has paid part of the family’s state tax bill.

Did you catch that? They want to create a new $1000 tax so some families -- less than one-third of taxpayers itemize deductions on federal returns -- can reduce their federal taxes by $270.

Washington is one of seven states without a state income tax. I can't imagine any of the others falling for such flimsy reasoning.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Saving Detroit One Student At A Time

School Choice is having a huge impact in Detroit. There is no reason to imagine the same thing wouldn't happen here.

Another State Goes For Socialized Medicine

This time it is Pennsylvania.

More details on the plan will be available February 6, but the idea is nothing new -- force people to buy health insurance and make large numbers of people sign up for income-based taxpayer subsidies to pay their premiums. The devil will be in the details of course, but it looks a lot like a garden variety government takeover of healthcare.

Admitting Guilt In The Newspaper Should Preclude Later Claims of Vindication

I really wanted to stay out of the "Fletcher Critic Tax Flap" story. One-car pile-ups have a way of sitting still to be examined slowly. That is what this was.

But the effort to spin this into some kind of false and malicious prosecution story angered a reader and motivated him to call me.

His point was that even though tax cases usually aren't brought to court after restitution is made, the crime occurred. Should the prosecutor drop the case -- and he probably will -- any gloating and charges of dirty tricks can't go unanswered.

Remember that.

Conceding Too Many Points To The Left

Governor Fletcher spoke about budget priorities in Richmond on Tuesday, addressing the problem of 550,000 people "without health insurance," lowering college tuition, and spending more on social services and child care.

These are all black holes that taxpayer dollars will never provide enough support to fill. Think about it. Every new program to lower tuition costs leads to more wild inflation. And when are we going to try market-based solutions to expanding health coverage instead of slathering on more mandates and answering those with higher subsidies? And we still haven't figured out that spending more on social services and child care succeeds mainly in generating higher demand for more such "free" services.

The story concludes with most in the audience suggesting additional funds should go to the state retirement plans. This is good. Public employee pensions have to be taken care of first.

The focus on the wrong-headed stuff isn't something Governor Fletcher created and no one expects him to repair such entrenched sentiment. But until we get people off government solutions that we know only make things worse, we will have massive problems with trying to move forward as a state.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Congressional Dems Next Target -- Wal-Mart?

The Maryland law that was to mandate health coverage for Wal-Mart's employees in that state was found illegal in federal court today.

According to the ruling, there is no way the states can carry out the War on Wal-Mart. It will have to be done on the federal level. Given the weakness of the Democrat agenda so far this year, it isn't unreasonable to assume they may well go in that direction.

Jody Richards Pre-Announcement Appearance

House Speaker Jody Richards had lunch today in Louisville at Harper's with John Y. Brown III.

By meeting so publicly they are trying to generate buzz for an upcoming official announcement, but they will need Bruce Lunsford there in May to even give Richards another close-but-no-cigar moment.

Biggest Tactical Blunder On The Net

Consumers of political information on the internet have grown used to checking out for free polling data for which others have paid.

You can't do that anymore.

The site is now a pay-only 2008 presidential what-if game.

I hope they are making some money on this, but basically I think they are just destroying their franchise.

Be$hear Auditions For Casino Contributions

Steve Be$hear upped the ante for the pot of casino gambling contributions yesterday, saying casinos would bring $500 million into state coffers.

Outbid was scandal-plagued Senator Ed Worley who made his pitch to be the gambling candidate by promising only $450 million.

Will Jonathan Miller go for $550 million?

Casino interests and the politicians who support them like to tell people there are no public costs associated with operating casinos and that all the revenue will be available for them to spend.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Billy Harper's "Job Killer" Radio Ad

Gubernatorial hopeful Billy Harper has a radio ad coming out tomorrow that stays on the theme of repealing the the Alternative Minimum Calculation:

"This job killer has taken more than $100 million from taxpayers and given it to politicians."

The snorting pig in the middle of the commercial might have been too much in a state where we like to use dogs in our political commercials, but in this one it works.

Winner Of 2002 Powerball Blew It All

Wasting $113 million in four years is pretty sick, don't you think?

It is interesting that so many of Jack Whittaker's problems seemed to occur in and around casinos. And we want to set our under-educated, over-entertained population loose in gambling houses as a way to finance bigger government in Kentucky.

Annie, Get Some More Guns

Cities and towns would do well to get serious about fighting crime by promoting gun ownership.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Stan Lee Gets CJ Love

How about this?

The rumors about Rep. Lee running for Attorney General will get a little push from this write-up.

Greg Stumbo, You Have The Right To Remain Silent

Attorney General Greg Stumbo should consider himself lucky Kentucky doesn't still have a statute on the books that deems adultery a felony.

Michigan's Attorney General, another prosecutor who is a known adulterer, isn't so lucky.

Still Eating Our Social Security Seed Corn

Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) says the Bush administration needs to get off the idea of Social Security solvency as the top priority of reform and focus on creating a better deal for young people. He suggests this could be an issue in 2008.

Republicans surrendered the high ground when they didn't end the practice of spending the current payroll tax surplus each year. Personal accounts need to happen and will happen eventually, but the argument has likely been too damaged for that to happen very soon.

Of course Pence is right that raising payroll taxes would be a horrible idea. The tragedy is that this even has to been stated.

Scary Truth About California's Health Plan

If you have read a little about California's proposal to provide universal coverage, you have probably been misinformed. The plan would not hit the state for much; it is mostly federal money that will finance this monster.

Can Kentucky be very far behind in trying to implement this very dangerous idea?

Sunday, January 14, 2007

A Glimpse Into Our Future: New Jersey For Sale

The next time someone tells you how casinos will solve Kentucky's budget woes, tell them about this.

And of course the MSM hasn't told you anything about the massive higher education budget cuts in Blue State New Jersey, home of a dozen casinos.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Jody Richards' Proliferation Of Nonsense

I waited all week for someone else to say something dumber than House Speaker Jody Richards' whopper on Monday in defense of Certificate of Need laws.

It didn't happen.

Bear in mind that every single analysis of CON has determined that by artificially limiting supply of health care services, CON laws cause prices for medical services to go higher than they would with repeal of these laws.

From the Kentucky Tonight television program on Monday night, here is Speaker Richards' comment:

"Since so much of hospital costs are paid by Medicaid and Medicare, I think if you allowed a proliferation of this very expensive technology I think you are going to see in the long run rates go up and I think it is going to be counterproductive. I'm very much in favor of keeping the current Certificate of Need laws."

Proliferation of technology?! What on Earth is he talking about? In what alternate universe does limiting supply lower costs?

With everyone else trying to find ways to lower healthcare costs, it would seem logic might trump partisanship and we could repeal Kentucky's CON laws. Richards is expected to announce a run for Governor soon. Is this the kind of rhetoric we can expect from him between now and May?

UK: Unmarried Bennies To Cost You $633K/Year

The University of Kentucky's effort to become a Top Twenty Research University is obviously on the ropes if their best idea for moving forward is spending tax dollars for their employees to sign up "domestic partners" to their benefit plans.

What a pathetic waste.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Upcoming Harper Ad Hits Hard

Now this is a real issue worth talking about.

Some in Frankfort say repeal of the AMC tax would be a bad thing. The Bluegrass Institute says the tax is the bad thing.

"Blogging Mayor" In Illinois A Role Model

Governing Magazine's blog has the story of a small town mayor whose outreach effort is worthy of emulation here.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Mitt Romney In Kentucky

Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney is coming to Louisville and unlike last time, there is no disaster in Massachusetts that will prevent him from coming.

The then-Governor was scheduled to appear in the Derby City last July to meet with Republicans and talk to legislators about his healthcare plan. Unexpected state business prevented him from appearing, though an aide was on hand to make an uninspiring pitch for universal coverage.

Romney's campaign has been dogged by his evolving positions on some key issues.

Northup in 2007

So, would Anne Northup be an upgrade in the Governor's Mansion, a downgrade, or just business as usual?

Have to imagine with the former Congresswoman in the race that the field is set. Will the GOP primary be about real issues like fiscal policy and meaninful education reform or, well, not?

For now at least, I am more interested in an upgrade at Attorney General.

Democrats Declare War -- On George Bush

Still without a "plan" of their own, Congressional Dems say it is time to expect more from Iraqis. That's just what President Bush said.

There is no reason to believe the anti-war fist-shaking contains any substance now.

I don't believe they will really do anything on this.

Indiana Gambling Expansion On Steroids

Gambling-for-tax-revenue enthusiasts want to put slot machines in 3500 new locations in the Hoosier State.

What's interesting is that even the Louisville Courier Journal sees this gambling revenue deal doesn't work as well as promised.

The last sentence in the editorial -- "There would be more losers than winners." -- is obviously true, but also misses the point. The point is there is far more losing than winning. Taxpayers wind up getting hosed in these set-ups. And the proliferation of illegal gambling is a pretty poor excuse for capitulation to gambling interests. Illegal gambling hits government once when problem gamblers and their families wind up on the dole. Legal gambling hits government twice -- once when families get wiped out and once more when new gambling revenue gets spent on politician-enhancing projects instead of on cleaning up its own mess.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

On Priorities And Polar Bears

Kentucky may not have a Bridge to Nowhere, but we do have a proposed polar bear exhibit at the Louisville Zoo that will not die until it gets $6 million in tax dollars.

Seems like there are a lot of things we could do with that money that would benefit the state more than creating a fake arctic monument to the public welfare.

In fact, the Louisville Zoo would probably benefit immensely from an effort to wean it off tax dollars permanently.

Avoiding Obvious Solutions On Healthcare

Speacking on last night's Kentucky Tonight program, gubernatorial wannabe Speaker Jody Richards actually spoke in favor of Kentucky's archaic Certificate of Need laws that are proven to keep medical costs artificially high. He even went so far as to decry the proliferation of technology that would occur without the "protection" of CON laws.


Monday, January 08, 2007

California Scheming

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is talking about a plan that would prohibit his state's insurers from denying health insurance coverage to people based on their health problems.

That's the same great idea that destroyed Kentucky's health insurance market in 1994.

How To Turn A Scandal Into Campaign Freebie

Attorney General Greg Stumbo is touting $500 checks car dealer JD Byrider has been ordered to issue to customers. The whole scandal got started when AG Ben Chandler's Louisville consumer office head Bob Winlock got caught arranging special deals for himself on JD Byrider cars.

Nice spinning, guys. I wonder if Winlock got his $500 check yet.

Saving For College? This Is Easy And Free!

Take the time to plan for your child's future.

This Should Get Them Worked Up

Again, when you hear "embryonic stem cell research," think "government cheese."

No amount of snark will change the facts on this one, guys. The private sector would be all over the embryos if they worked for this kind of therapy. Embryonic stem cell research with taxpayer dollars is a key plank in the Democratic Party platform.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Getting The Money Out Of Bribery

The Next Counterproductive Wage Fix Scheme

If you have enjoyed watching economic illiterates pimp minimum wage increases as serious policy and get away with it, you are going to love the effort to run women out of academia in the name of "gender pay equity."

More than 100 faculty members at the University of Georgia signed a letter of complaint because a national study released in November showed female faculty at the school receive 85.2% as much pay as male faculty members.

Female faculty at the University of Kentucky are at 82.6% and those at the University of Louisville get 78.5%, so the feminist wackos in the bluegrass have so far missed a fabulous excuse to shriek frantically.

Fixing labor costs based on gender at public universities would be impossible to defend if more than sloganeering were necessary. It isn't, of course, so the opportunity shouldn't stay missed for long.

Have at it, ladies. But don't thank me for the heads up. If we force schools to pay female professors above-market salaries, jobs will become more difficult for them to get.

Is Kentucky's Future Growth Urban Or Rural?

With all the bubbling turmoil in the state legislature, one element of contention that deserves more attention is whether we want to keep trying to use tax dollars from urban areas to support rural parts of the state.

If we do, how do we make continued transfers less detrimental to both rural and urban communities?

Saturday, January 06, 2007

The War On Terror Is About To Change Shape

The term "nuclear deterrent" has much less meaning in a world teeming with suicide bombers than it did during the Cold War. Our fear of the Russians seems almost quaint now; we knew they didn't want to die any more than we did. We have no such comfort in dealing with our Islamic terrorist enemies.

So when military officials in Israel start talking to journalists about planning a nuclear attack against Iran, it is hard to be very surprised. In fact, after reading this I feel almost a sense of relief that it is coming to this now. A nuclear showdown has been inevitable for some time. It will be awful and it will make things worse. But let's get the show on the road.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Deep Thought

It occurs to me we are watching Democrats pander to their base as the majority party in Washington because Republicans didn't pander to their base when they were the majority party in Washington.

The same thing could well be about to happen in Kentucky if the Senate Republican leadership doesn't change its tune on getting rid of the AMC.

...And The Democrats Want To Raise Them More

I didn't know this about our corporate taxes. Did you?

Make More Money

Stein Named Judiciary Chair

The face of Kentucky's Democratic Party just got a whole lot more liberal. Also, Jody Richards just ended his gubernatorial campaign with this move.

Pelosi's House Sets Up Tax Increases

You won't read about this in the Mainstream Media.

After the Bush tax cuts have brought record-level revenues into Washington, the desire for tax increases can't be about bringing in more money. It is just about control.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Top Hog At The Trough

House Budget Chairman Harry Moberly knows how to pack the budget with illegal changes to the law. This is how he plans to cover his tracks.

Feel Good, Do Little At U of L

The University of Louisville is going to get more warm fuzzies in the media with its plan to "fight rising tuition" costs for low-income students than it will ever be worth as an investment of tax dollars.

What this amounts to is putting more students in federal work-study jobs that generally don't involve much in the way of work. A lot of students from moderate or low-income families already figure out a way to get through college. I fail to see how letting a few of them study on the clock at the library instead of getting a job will change much.

OK, I've Had Enough Of This...

Gubernatorial hopeful Billy Harper's tv ads tout his role in putting together the Kentucky Education Reform Act.

In a press release issued today he does it again, claiming KERA "helped dramatically improve Kentucky ’s education system starting in the 1990s."

Somehow I missed this "dramatic" improvement. Any help?

Nancy Pelosi Is In Charge Now

To commemorate Rep. Nancy Pelosi's ascension to the office of Speaker of the House, here is San Francisco-based Recliner's monster smash hit from 2004 "Hey Kid."

By the way, if you are looking for some deep political meaning in the song, forget it. One of the band members was my college roommate and I just like the song.

KY Club Takes On CON

Brian Richmond of the Kentucky Club for Growth lays out a solid analogy for why our state's Certificate of Need laws hurt our citizens.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

You Want A Real Scandal?

How about trying to unwind the Kentucky Retirement Systems?

Get Ready For More American Nuclear Power

I missed this one in the Christmas rush: U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman said he expects 12 American utilities to file for permission to build 18 nuclear reactors over the next three years.

No new applications have been filed since 1973.

Waste disposal continues to be an issue -- how about the Middle East? -- but this will be a good way to combat rising energy costs. And Ahmadinejad can just eat his heart out, because he has proven himself to be too untrustworthy to be allowed to mess around with nuclear anything.

Like Satellite TV? You'll Love This!

Income Study Shines Light On Kentucky

Kentucky has the 6th highest percentage of personal income from government transfer payments, according to the National Center for Policy Analysis.

Surely all of us except for Jonathan Miller can agree this is not a good thing.

The best way to decrease our dependence on government largesse is to spur business growth. And that starts with not taxing companies that aren't making a profit.

This shouldn't be so hard when we have a Republican governor and a Republican Senate.

The Virtual Campaign Of John Edwards

The Edwards for President blog ad flashes the words "Iraq. Poverty. Energy. Universal Healthcare. Global Warming. Join Us."

It will be interesting to see how long Edwards or any other Democrat can keep this up. He is trying to build a campaign in 2007 by pretending that it is still 2006. When Democrats were in the minority, they could get away with just throwing rocks. I'm not saying shallow campaign slogans can't win the Presidency, but if Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid can't deliver more than empty promises in 2007 it will be more difficult for Edwards and friends to stay that course in 2008.

So what could be the issue that carries one Democrat hopeful to the nomination for the White House? Probably Universal Healthcare. Watching the various candidates trot out their plans for a government takeover of medicine could be very interesting. I can see it now: Edwards takes the Canadian model, Hillary goes for Belgium, and which way will Obama go?

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Hot GOP Primary Rumor

Washington D.C. sources report a Republican primary challenger to Governor Ernie Fletcher has committed to run and will announce soon.

Need A Lawyer?

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Stan Lee Wins Whip Slot

Rep. Stan Lee (R-Lexington) has been elected House Minority Whip.

This is a very good thing. We need to get some fiscal conservatism back in the legislature. This move should help.

Update: And the Democrats move Left by electing Charlie Hoffman of Georgetown as Caucus Chairman. Interestingly, defeated Chairman Bob Damron's biggest accomplishment in the legislature was passage of the 2004 fetal homicide bill he stole from Rep. Lee.

Kavanaugh On Health Care Costs

Dr. Kevin Kavanaugh of Somerset, chairman of Health Watch USA, makes the case today in the Lexington Herald-Leader for repealing Certificate of Need. As he says, before we try to improve pricing by trading out big corporations for big government, we should try releasing the stranglehold providers have on pricing information.

Repeal of Certificate of Need is a no-brainer for legislators who aren't bought and paid for by hospitals. This should have wide bipartisan support. It's a sorry shame this does not.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Back Door Benefits Scam Will Fail

Unmarried University of Kentucky employees currently pay $25 per month for full health insurance benefits. If the Rainbow Alliance has its way, these same single employees will be able to add a boyfriend or girlfriend to their plan -- the administrators at UK are spending your money, so they don't care which -- for a mere $221 per month.

The real cost for a single plan is $380 per month. Since the real PPO premium for an employee's spouse and children is $568 ($948-$360=$568) and with the combined credit the total monthly cost of adding a non-spouse partner and children would be only $126 per month ($151-$25=$126), this whole "homosexuals are more creative than straight people" scam really just amounts to clamoring for a $5304 a year sex-based goody($568-$126*12=$5304) per domestic partnership. Being as compassionate as they are creative, the homosexual ones of course don't mind demanding more taxpayer dollars to give the same goody to their less creative, but also unmarried, fellow employees.

House Speaker Jody Richards is basking in the glow of liberal blogger love for now, but when this whole thing is viewed properly as just another money grab, even the politicians in Frankfort will come to their senses on this one.