Sunday, September 30, 2007

Hey, Let's Make Another Law!

The best thing about the Courier-Journal story on bogus campaign contributions is that anyone could have put this one together, but no one did.

The all-too-predictable response will be to make new campaign finance laws. But after we all got caught ignoring law-breaking, let's not lose sight of the fact that the necessary laws already exist.

Too Much Socialism For The Communists

As Kentucky lurches checkbook-first into the world of heavily subsidized "energy production," the world's largest experimenter in coal-to-liquid technology, China, is backing off. This is according to the Chinese National Development and Reform Commission.

Kentucky has already sunk more than $106 million into this stuff that has failed to be self-sufficient any place else.

We should cut our losses there.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

No Newt In 2008

Newt Gingrich ended speculation today that he might run for president in 2008.

Over the past few months, Gingrich had stoked speculation he might enter the crowded GOP field. He noted that Republicans, especially conservatives, were unhappy with the candidates already in the race.

Yet he also has spoken positively of all the leading contenders, including former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson and Arizona Sen. John McCain.

Splitting The Difference With Socialism

Thanks to the Club for Growth for pointing out this one:

Honor Among Thieves

I love this one:

A request by Caesars Indiana to dismiss a Tennessee woman's lawsuit claiming that the casino took advantage of her gambling addiction was rejected yesterday by a Harrison County judge.

Circuit Judge H. Lloyd Whitis' ruling in the case of Jenny Kephart could open the door to a trial examining a casino's duty in handling compulsive gamblers.

Given the potential public policy implications of such a lawsuit, can gambling proceeds recipients really afford to have disgruntled gamblers suing to get some of their money back using what amounts to a "temporary insanity" plea?

What's next, nicotine addicts suing the state and federal governments to get their tobacco taxes back? And what would that mean for the "the children" whose government health insurance is funded by those smokers?

Would "the kids" have a lawsuit against the smokers? Maybe "the kids" should start working up a lawsuit against compulsive gamblers.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Californial Dreamin' Makes Sense For Kentucky

Newport Beach, California city council members killed a proposal this week to require a public vote before increasing pension benefits for public employees.

Kentucky and all its municipalities should do what Newport Beach didn't have the courage to do. And we should do it immediately.

If nothing else, by pushing back against the multi-billion dollar sea of red ink our politicians have poured on us with pension goodies for their cronies, we might get to see some serious issues aired out like this:

The Pilot also quoted the head of the city's firefighters union, arguing that the initiative would "be ground zero of a statewide war. … We don't want to go there." Well, a political war is brewing, as government pensions have gotten out of hand and as pension debt has soared. We know why the unions don't want to go there, given that they have the cushiest deal imaginable. But someone is going to have to go there, given that the current situation cannot be sustained without leading to bonds, tax increases or reduction in other government programs.

Writing in the Register's Orange Grove earlier this month, Lincoln Club officials Richard Wagner and David Bahnsen pointed out that San Francisco has had such a pension-vote measure for 100 years, which has resulted in that city having a fully funded pension system that is the model for the nation. San Diego voters approved a similar measure after "a string of pension mismanagement scandals resulted in a $1.3 billion retirement-fund shortfall that nearly caused the city to declare bankruptcy and led to five felony indictments of union, city and pension officials in January 2006."

Better Yesterday Than Never

They probably should have hopped on this wagon over the summer when everyone else was hot on immigration, but the Fletcher administration has engaged on getting tough with illegals.


College Affordability Challenge

In an email to constituents this morning, Congressman Ben Chandler repeated a bogus "statistic" that 200,000 students don't go to college each year because they can't afford it.

That is complete bunk.

I will personally show anyone struggling with financing a college education how to get it done. Just email me.

And the less money you have, the easier it will be.

Thanks To Bunning And McConnell

Kentucky's U.S. Senators both voted yesterday against the liberal "Middle-Class Kids Need HillaryCare Now" bill.

The bill passed by a veto-proof margin in the Senate, but as long as the House Republicans hold strong, Hillary will not get her way on this one.

Rep. Yonts Incentivizing Crime-Free Students

Rep. Brent Yonts pre-filed a bill yesterday that is worthy of discussion. The bill offers a financial incentive for high school and college to avoid illegal use of drugs and alcohol and other various forms of illegal activity. It also provides some tax deductibility for college tuition costs.

Unfortunately, a discrepancy between the actual bill and the Legislative Research Commission's description of the bill may cause some confusion.

The bill refers to assistance with tuition expenses, but the bill description claims the program will provide scholarships for "up to 100 percent of the total cost of education." This is not correct.

Anyone who has financed a college education knows "tuition" is only a fraction of the "total cost of education," which includes room and board, transportation, books, fees, and -- more frequently these days -- purchase of a computer.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Update On Jody Richards Paycheck Scandal

He's giving himself a huge payday loan, I guess.

Jody Richards keeps telling people he is going to turn in the excess taxpayer money House members received after Democrats surrendered the special session in July.

He still hasn't paid up. Should we check his freezer at home?

Would Governor Beshear Tax Health Benefits?

Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm is threatening to shut down state government starting Monday if she doesn't get some tax increases, pronto.

Here's one Steve Beshear will like a lot: some Michigan legislators want to start taxing health insurance benefits.

How better to raise money to pay to resuscitate and hospitalize the thousands of Kentucky middle-class surburbanites dying in the streets for lack of government health insurance?

This plan would mesh well with Beshear's welfare for politicians plan and his plan to subsidize the out-of-state casino mafia.

Liberal Has-Beens For Beshear

Let's Destroy All Farming Like We Did Tobacco

A funny thing happened to the tobacco industry that was supposed to die with deregulation and the tobacco buyout.

It is booming and there's no reason to expect other domestic agriculture products would respond differently to getting government out of the way.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Carpet Bombing The Fayette County Jail

The FBI hit the jail in Lexington again today to drop off subpoenas in the ongoing inmate abuse scandal.

The grand jury meets tomorrow.

With $10 Million In The Bank, He Should Be Able To Do Better Than This

Mitch McConnell has a blog.

While We're Talking About Gambling

The Democratic party's candidate for Treasurer Todd Hollenbach actually wants to expand the money-losing KAPT program, which our legislature has mercifully closed to new losses. This drain on taxpayer funds hasn't been explored as Steve Beshear's plan to soak Kentuckians with casino gambling losses has gotten all the attention.

GOP candidate Melinda Wheeler has a much more sensible plan: she promises to shut down the Treasurer's office, which serves currently as an expensive resting place for politicians.

Supporting Republicans Who Act Like Republicans

Kentucky's entire GOP delegation in the U.S. House voted yesterday against expanding government health insurance to more middle-class families.

Good. Much of what ails America can't be fixed without entitlement reform. And that means fewer entitlements for people who are better off without them.

Immigration wouldn't be a problem if everyone were coming here to be productive. Public and private pensions wouldn't be melting down absent the short-sighted greed of union negotiators. Medicare and Social Security are on a collision course with reality. Hillary and her storm troopers march determinedly toward making it worse as soon as possible.

Predictably, Democrats think Hal Rogers, Ed Whitfield, Geoff Davis, and Ron Lewis made a political mistake on this vote. They deserve our thanks and our support for this vote. The only thing that would make it better would be to let the program die off completely. But I suspect we will have to be happy for now with slowing its rapid expansion.

When the left's prediction of death of middle-class kids in the streets fails to materialize, we will have more hard evidence for avoiding socialized medicine once and for all.

That's what liberal critics are afraid of.

1:02 Update: Nicholasville Conservative recommends an article from John Stossel on this subject. It's a good one.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Acting More Like Democrats

DNC Chair Howard Dean is pushing the Democratic party to the left through the organization that survived his run for president. He is raising money for more consistently "progressive" candidates like Donna Edwards who is running against Maryland Congressman Al Wynn, who Dean refers to as a "Bush Democrat."

And yes, I know Democracy for America is officially run by Mad Howard's brother Jim. If Jim were really going too far left for Howard, though, DFA would be shut down immediately.

Is Beshear Playing Dumb Or Is It You?

As Ryan Alessi's latest revelation about Steve Beshear's role in the destruction of Kentucky Central comes to light ...

The court-appointed liquidator of Kentucky Central at one point barred Steve Beshear from doing further work on the case and informed Beshear that his law firm would have to pay for an ethics investigation, documents show.

This comes after Beshear, the Democratic nominee for governor, has repeatedly claimed he didn't recall anything about a secret ethics report by a Cincinnati firm, Porter, Wright, Morris & Arthur. And he recently said he wasn't aware his former firm, Stites & Harbison, paid more than $100,000 for it.

... Beshear's previous memory-related comments make a little more sense:

"When I say 'I don't recall,' if later you come up with something that says I was there, that's OK because I'm being up front in saying I don't recall because this is, what, 14 years ago?" he said.

Just don't say you weren't warned.

And, of course, when it comes to policy we always have this:

Monday, September 24, 2007

Beshear Campaign Staff Gains As UAW Strikes

General Motors union employees across the nation walked off the job today in a massive strike larger than any seen in the automobile industry in thirty years. Now they will have more free time to campaign for the Democratic campaigns.

Good thing Beshear and friends haven't succeeded in unionizing Toyota yet.

Jody Richards Agrees To Return Unearned Money

The unearned checks distributed to legislators after the House Democrats surrendered the July special session will be returned today, House Speaker Jody Richards' spokeswoman reported this morning.

2:27 pm UPDATE: Frankfort sources report Speaker Richards will refuse again today to send back the taxpayers' money.

We need to have a little fun with this while we wait for Jody Richards to pay up. Whoever can get closest to the time and date which confirmation goes out that the unearned paychecks are turned back in wins.

Where Are Steve Beshear's Barking Dogs?

Kind of funny to see the Beshear campaign still proudly touting their unsurprising support from former state Rep. Steve Nunn, who was run out of office last year in part because of a hilarious barking dog radio ad that hounded him for supporting a variety of tax increases.

After Beshear's casino gambling plan bites the dust in the legislature again, he and his dogs would have little choice but to try biting us with tax increases as well.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Socialized Medicine Plans Shrink In Sunlight

Maybe we should call California's ArnoldCare and Sen. Clinton's HillaryCare "the Shrinky Dinks."

Hillary couldn't take the heat in the '90's. This time won't be any different.

The claim that no new bureaucracies are created will be challenged. Like Gov. Schwarzenegger, Mrs. Clinton envisions requiring everyone to prove they have health insurance. But she's vague on the details: "At this point, we don't have anything punitive that we have proposed." You can bet she will have some ideas.

Even so, making certain people have insurance is easier said than done. California has had a law mandating that drivers have car insurance since 1970 and has required physical proof of insurance to register a car for a decade. Even so, the Insurance Research Council says 25% of the state's drivers remain uninsured.

• Illegal aliens and their access to health insurance will be controversial. Mrs. Clinton promises health care for all, but is punting on the issue of whether the illegal aliens, who often use emergency room services, will be covered. Ms. Rubiner admits it's a "huge issue," but says "that's one we're going to have to think through a little bit."

"Let The Liberal Editorial Boards Decide!"

Just heard Hillary Clinton describe public financing of political campaigns as her solution to her own campaign finance scandals.

If Steve Beshear wins the governor's race -- and after his casino plan falls flat -- it will be fun next year running against this and other really bad ideas he and Hillary share.

Destroying Business As Fast As They Can

Sen. Barack Obama's idea to save Social Security without paying a political price among the middle class would make HillaryCare look like a bounced check fee.

What he hopes you fail to realize is that employers pay half of Social Security taxes. And taxes on businesses have a funny way of hitting everyone with price increases and job cuts.

Meanwhile, it's a terrible shame Republicans squandered the opportunity to stop spending the annual Social Security surplus while we still have one.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Frankfort's Own Frito Bandito

Jody Richards still has the taxpayers' money he promised to return after the House Democrats surrendered the special session in July. Maybe we should check under his hat.

Reading Past First Paragraph For The Real Story

Which do you think is more newsworthy, that Steve Beshear's law firm paid $100,000 for research into its role in the destruction of Kentucky Central Life Insurance Company, or that the head of the firm's Louisville office now says the report "will be 100% discredited" even though he hasn't seen it and no one in the firm can seem to remember seeing it.

To the Herald-Leader's credit, they did include that interesting quote (albeit near the end of the story) as well as this classic from Beshear:

"When I say 'I don't recall,' if later you come up with something that says I was there, that's OK because I'm being up front in saying I don't recall because this is, what, 14 years ago?" he said.

Left Can't Stop Lying About SCHIP

U.S. Census data clearly shows (page 19) that the rate of uninsured in America has been unchanged for almost fifteen years.

But that doesn't stop some group called Mathematica Policy Research from making this up:

SCHIP was enacted at a time when the number and rate of uninsured children were growing rapidly, especially among those just above the poverty threshold— too poor to purchase private coverage but not poor enough to qualify for Medicaid.

And, of course, Daily Kos bit hard.

President Bush is promising to veto expansion of SCHIP, though his own original proposal was to expand it as well. He just wanted to expand it less than Congress wants to.

SCHIP has served mainly to increase government spending and increase the cost of health insurance. I'm not holding my breath, but the data strongly suggests scrapping the whole thing would be great fiscally. And I suspect that when the sky didn't fall, it would be a great thing politically as well.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Laptops And Library Cards

Steve Beshear's education plan (spend more money and give kids library cards) would be pretty easy to ignore if he weren't 20 points up in the polls.

Musical Chairs In Lexington's City Hall

Some observers thought Lexington Mayor Jim Newberry might be serious about cleaning up the mess in Lexington's public safety bureaucracy when he fired Rebecca Langston from her post as Public Safety Commissioner.

Alas, it was not so.

Langston has re-upped as Council Administrator, Grade 121E, and is being paid more than $85,000 a year for her trouble.

Union Attorney Champions Government Healthcare

Polwatchers just needs a different headline on this post.

Battling It Out In A Casino Town

Since Ernie Fletcher reported from Aurora,Illinois, the town has been in an uproar. The hubbub isn't because of the controversy over its casino, but because Planned Parenthood is trying to sneak a huge abortion clinic into the town.

There has already been a big pro-life rally. Next Tuesday, the pro-abortion folks will take to the streets.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Just Like Being Homeless, Except When It Isn't

Cardboard box? Check! Outside all night? Check! Pizza, movies, and live music? Check!

In what is easily the most ridiculous thing I have heard since Speaker Jody Richards blew up the July special session and promised to return legislators' paychecks but didn't, Eastern Kentucky University students are going to sleep outside overnight to "to create a sense of empathy for problems the homeless face every day."

If you've seen the movie "The Pursuit of Happyness," this next part will infuriate you:

Participants will partake in free pizza and refreshments, as well as enjoy live music during the event. At 9 p.m., a speaker from United Way will take the stage, followed by a screening of the Will Smith film "The Pursuit of Happyness." The film was chosen for its relevance to the issue at hand.

"We have a big outdoor screen," said David Fifer, student body president. "It's a moving tale on the plight of homelessness."

There is more, but I just can't stand it. Read it yourself.

"Honey, The Union Thugs Are At The Door Again"

Kentucky's most politically active union members will be knocking on doors this Saturday to benefit the big government, high tax, anti-growth policies of gubernatorial candidate Steve Beshear.

Don't Lose Jack Conway's Pants If He Wins AG

Remember the story of the bozo judge who sued his Washington D.C. dry cleaner for $67 million after his pants went missing?

Well, the bozo didn't get the money but he did destroy the business.

The bozo judge has graciously lowered his demand from $67 million to $54 million.

By the way, if anyone finds Jody Richards' pants let us know. He is carrying around hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars.

George W. Bush The Fiscal Liberal

Alan Greenspan says George W. Bush has been a big spender. Dick Cheney says it ain't so.

The data says -- Republicans deserve to lose when they spend like Democrats.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Taking A Break From The Action

Still waiting for Jody Richards and the House Dems to pay back our tax dollars? Me too. While we are waiting, hit this link and play a little chess.

If you can beat that darn thing, you are a better man than I am. Pay up Jody.

Beshear Can't Back Up Education Statement

The Louisville Courier Journal reports Steve Beshear wants to depend more heavily on CATS testing because, he says, it is a better measure of skills than NCLB.

Better at what, keeping liberal hacks employed at the Kentucky Department of Education?

In the face of no evidence to back up his confidence in CATS testing, Beshear should have to explain what he means by this.

Can Ernie Fletcher make him do it?

BIPPS Rips Questionable School Data, Spending

The conclusion of this article is that Kentucky public schools don't need more money as much as they need more honesty and greater accountability.

These incremental rates of educational improvement seem out of whack with the massive new spending that accompanied the Kentucky Education Reform Act. So those expecting reform from within the Kentucky Department of Education best look elsewhere.

Research Report 338 published last year by the Legislative Research Commission found that while educators now devote more money to improving key educational outcomes, “spending for programs linked to specific accountability areas, such as reading and math core content, currently cannot be analyzed” due to misreporting of expenditures. The report stated that such misrepresentation “limits the ability to evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of these programs.”

For several spending categories at some schools, the commission found it impossible to determine where much of the money went, concluding in its report that “there is no way to identify the specific purpose of the expenditures or to evaluate the impact of the spending.” Due to this atrocious accounting, it’s likely that even a competent audit could not track the money.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Following Through On Jody Richards' Political Stunt

Remember after the aborted special session this summer when legislators promised to return the paychecks they didn't earn?

Those checks still haven't been returned.

Get them in now, folks, and let us know when you did it.

The 45 Million Uninsured Looks More Like 8 Million

Before you run off to your next "Socialize Me More" rally, please watch this:

What The AG Race Poll Numbers Tell Me

Attorney General candidate Stan Lee needs to start talking about why he voted against the budget bill that heaped over $2 billion in debt onto future Kentucky taxpayers.

The poll released last night says Lee won't win unless he clearly displays his record of independence.

Monday, September 17, 2007


I just spent an hour watching our gubernatorial candidates not talk about the elephant in the room: our public employee benefit plans.

On Having, And Eating, Government Cake

Ohio is considering a couple of bills to cut down on public employee double-dipping.

We should do the same here.

Where's My Socialized Car Insurance?

Despite existing laws mandating car insurance, Kentucky has as high a rate of uninsured drivers as it does of people without health insurance.

So on the day President Hillary is set to announce how she is going to force everyone to buy health insurance and then make taxpayers pick up the cost for everyone who "can't" afford it, I have to wonder when she is going to socialize our car insurance as well.

But, of course, if we "go Canada" on car care, will we have to wait a year to get our cars fixed in the event of an accident? Cars are a necessity, you know. Actually, they are a right...

Can I get an Amen for universal cars?

Make mine a Mercedes!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Rewriting History Of Recent Fiscal Insanity

The Club for Growth points out liberal former Senator Lincoln Chafee is no longer a Republican.

There is one point in the article about Chafee that needs to be addressed, though.

Yesterday, he criticized Republican leaders for abandoning fiscal conservatism, once a mainstay of Republican politics, by passing tax cuts without spending cuts to balance the resulting loss of revenue.

The truth is federal tax revenues are at an all-time high. Excessive "Republican" spending -- championed by RINOs like Chafee -- was the problem, not "Republican" tax cuts.

"Let The People Decide" Baloney

The Lexington Herald-Leader has released another poll about how overwhelmingly the people of Kentucky want to vote on casinos.

The only question that matters needs to be asked of Senate President David Williams and House Speaker Jody Richards.

If they won't both bring it up for both chambers of the legislature to approve, it is a moot point.

And they won't.

Wouldn't it be great if they did a poll instead on public pensions, prevailing wages, repealing certificate of need, repealing prevailing wage, making Kentucky a "right to work" state, public school accountability, or economic development accountability?

Casinos + Cigarette Tax Increase = ???

You wouldn't know it from reading the Lexington Herald-Leader or the Louisville Courier-Journal, but a couple of issues Kentucky will face in 2008 are hitting Indiana now.

We would save ourselves a little time if we paid attention.

Indiana already has casinos, but they just raised cigarette taxes another 44 cents per pack to expand health insurance coverage.

This is happening while gubernatorial candidate Steve Beshear is promising to expand government-paid health insurance and several other initiatives with new casinos alone.

Beshear's scam might get him elected, but his questionable proposals have done little to inspire confidence that anything more will come of that than putting Democrats back in charge of abusing the merit system.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Yellow Jacket Family Day Open Thread

I'm in Atlanta for Georgia Tech's Family Weekend and don't expect to have time for getting online.

By the way, my son just got his KEES scholarship money credited to his checking account. So for all you lottery ticket buyers -- and losers -- thanks again.

And since KEES' open-ended promise and declining lottery sales cause us to dip into the General Fund now, thanks to everyone else.

And ... for the parents who encourage their kids to take easy high schoool courses so their kids can maximize KEES awards -- and then flunk out freshman year due to lack of preparation -- thanks even more. I'll have two kids using your money next year!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Is Steve Beshear Banking On A Cover-Up?

Don't hold your breath waiting for the investigative report on Steve Beshear's law firm's actions to appear, despite the motion filed today by the Lexington Herald-Leader "to allow the Cincinnati law firm Porter, Wright, Morris & Arthur to release" the report.

With all the hulaballoo about that report since yesterday, the attorney who said yesterday he "may still have one of the reports but that it could only be released with the permission of a court," Mark Elsener, just told me he still doesn't have it.

"I haven't searched for it," he said.

A hearing to force the firm to turn over the report should take place the week of September 24.

That's a lot of time for a file folder full of paper to disappear.

Stumbo For Senate Fading Fast

Disgraced Attorney General Greg Stumbo's bid for the Democratic nomination in next year's U.S. Senate race against Sen. Mitch McConnell seems to have ended about as quickly as it started.

Stumbo is expected to announce next week that he has abandoned his campaign and, of course, won't be refunding any contributions he received since July.

New England Governor Steals Steve Beshear's Idea

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick says his state may need a massive revenue infusion from casinos to fund state government. Apparently the hoped-for savings from socialized medicine have been a little slow to materialize.

Fortunately for Patrick, Massachusetts has more big banks and insurance companies to pillage than Kentucky does.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Eating Chicken, Making America A Better Place

The American Family Association of Kentucky and the Family Foundation of Kentucky are joining forces Tuesday September 18 in Lexington at an event that will make left-wing ACLU-types' heads explode.

The title of the event is "Bringing America Back To God."

Go here for details.

Next Week's Big Frankfort Story

Since the Executive Branch Ethics Commission dropped its investigation against Governor Fletcher, not much has been said about the previously pardoned Anne Northup supporters who remain under charges.

That is about to change.

Frankly, this is Ernie Fletcher's second chance to wrap up an ugly political situation quickly and set everything right while limiting somewhat the damage to his electoral prospects.

Will he botch this one as thoroughly as he did the first?

Gambling Issue, Not Opposition, Is Dead In State

Okay, I'm ready to let the people decide on casinos in Kentucky. Bring it on.

There is no support for casinos in the General Assembly. It is a dead issue.

Governor Fletcher deserves kudos for his strong opposition to this snake oil solution this summer. He probably would have scored more political points by opposing it so strenuously a little earlier in the game, but the issue is just as dead.

Steve Beshear needs to go on a "secretive investigation tour" in search of another issue.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

There Might Be A Slight Problem With Steve Beshear's White Knight Image

Insiders are buzzing about a Lexington Herald Leader story coming out Thursday discussing Steve Beshear's role in the destruction of Kentucky Central Life Insurance Company.

Beshear's campaign has tried so far to cast him as a protector of the people in the collapse of this once-great company. The facts suggest otherwise.

UPDATE: Here is the story. Nothing much here, though several sources suggest it is far from over.

Elian Gonzalez Hunting Practice

From the folks who think guns are for arming jack-booted thugs to return six year-old Cuban boys back into captivity, we have a nice Jack "Janet Reno" Conway political prop for your viewing pleasure.

Fortunately, stunts like this didn't fool the NRA, who has endorsed Rep. Stan Lee for Attorney General in Kentucky.

If The French Can Do It, Shouldn't Kentucky?

While Kentucky is Blue-Ribboning its way around the dire need to spend less on state public pensions, France is going head-first into necessary cuts even in the face of strike threats.

And the best part is that it appears to be good politics:

Opinion polls show overwhelming support for reform of retirement schemes for railway and utility workers that let them retire as early as age 50 with pensions totaling 70% of their top salaries. In a poll by the CSA survey group in June, 56% of respondents said they wanted these so-called "special regimes" reformed quickly.

The Way For The Republican Party To Win

I went down to City Hall in Lexington yesterday to show support for my friends who rallied to keep what's left of the city's blue laws.

If the local economy depended on my family going out and spending money on Sunday, it would utterly collapse. We go to church and we go home. But we are in a tiny minority. So too are those Lexingtonians who sought to make their voices heard yesterday.

And I'm not about to suggest any of these good people compromise their principles for a political agenda. But, clearly, something has to change or we will continue to see Christian ideals unceremoniously discarded.

The Republican party has become a fiscally liberal, socially conservative organization. This is a serious problem. Fiscal liberalism is a recipe for disaster for America and a pathway to an even worse socially liberal decadence than anything we see now.

The Republican party was taken over by social conservatives in the 1980's and began caving in on fiscal issues. Truth be told, Ronald Reagan did this to us more than anyone else.

We don't need another Reagan to get America back on the right track; we need to focus on fiscal conservatism first. There is plenty of room for opposing abortion-on-demand and various forms of government-sanctioned moral degeneracy in a party that focuses on getting our fiscal house in order first. In fact, look around. Feel your social issues voice slipping in influence? Doing the same things in the same way doesn't change anything else in your life, does it?

Start demanding your elected officials cut spending and watch your Christian ideals return to prominence. Reagan's social issues have to be combined with Goldwater's fiscal restraint in order for us to have either.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Time's ... Up?

Our liberal friends are going to have a field day with this one.

The Kentucky Association of Manufacturers will hold a six city tour starting at the end of this month with the unfortunate title "Time's Up for Changing Kentucky."

Actually, the tour, which involves stops in Louisville, Florence, Lexington, Bowling Green, Paducah, and London, will involve discussions of the KAM 2008 legislative agenda.

Registration is free and can be completed online at

Time To Ask The Question

If Governor Fletcher loses in November, who will lead the Republican Party/Conservative Movement in Kentucky and why?

Would Beshear Fix Kentucky If He Knew How?

Steve Beshear's answer to a gambling question veered quickly onto turf a Republican governor should be taking him apart on, namely, socialized medicine. When asked if gambling is a sin, Beshear responded:

The real sin is that in 2007 more than a half-million Kentuckians, including 81,000 children, have no health insurance.

Recent U.S. Census data clearly indicated that after a decade of pouring more and more tax dollars into buying health insurance for people, the rate of uninsured in America hasn't budged.

How many more billions will we pour into this enterprise before we get the hint that it's the wrong approach?

We have the same thing with education in Kentucky. We continue to throw more money at education bureacrats and a graph of our student achievement continues to be defined by a flat line.

Can't help thinking a Governor Beshear lacking real solutions -- and casino gambling, with no support in the House or Senate is not a real solution -- has already picked out the slogan for his re-election campaign:

Monday, September 10, 2007

Thanks, And A Request

Thanks to Senators McConnell and Bunning for voting against the mis-named College Cost Reduction Act of 2007, which will do nothing to reduce the cost of college.

Our gubernatorial candidates should explain their plan for dealing with CCRA at the state level.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

We're Off To A Bad Start With Promise Grants

Well, that didn't take long.

Friday, Congress passed an anti-accountability bill for college students and by the next day Eastern Kentucky University took its place in line for the gravy train.

RICHMOND, Ky. (AP) -- Eastern Kentucky University officials have revealed a plan to boost enrollment by nearly 5,000 by the year 2020.

The board of regents discussed the "20K2020" plan on Saturday afternoon.

Given our high failure rate for students in our state colleges, it makes little sense to merely throw more money and more students at the same system. Congress is dismantling the student loan system that requires families to consider college costs and replacing it with a massive federal grant program that just needs bodies.

In Kentucky, too many of those bodies are graduating high school unprepared for college work.

It is understandable that a college like EKU would respond to this set of circumstances by making room for thousands more federally-funded students.

But before we bond the billions of dollars necessary to expand our state schools for the coming flood of remedial students, we need to consider the costs to our higher education system when they drop out.

Kentucky Must React To Promise Grants

The U.S. House and Senate passed a higher education spending bill Friday that requires an immediate response from Frankfort.

It is the largest higher education spending bill since the G.I. Bill. And it all goes to finance a trip to college for students whose main qualification is financial need.

As soon as President Bush signs this bill, Kentucky must shift all its resources from need-based aid to merit-based aid and raise the standards on merit-based aid. Doing this may help keep middle-class families from being shut out of a college education merely because they have some ability to pay for it.

There are several party line-type criticisms I could make about this bill as there are some serious unintended consequences in it that liberals often seem to fall for. But there is no time for that. President Bush has said he will sign the bill.

A massive shift in state financial aid may be critical to the survival of our state colleges.

Friday, September 07, 2007

NewsFlash: Socialized Medicine Not A Panacea

It seems RomneyCare isn't meeting everyone's expectations.

"That is discrimination," said Evelyn Hartrey, a 60-year-old who found that the least-expensive plan would cost her $352 a month, while a 27-year-old would pay $176 for the same coverage.

Apparently some people thought the new law would somehow repeal all forms of reality. Of course, we can expect it to work differently in Kentucky.

What's Six Million Dollars Between Friends?

Looks like we are about to pay EDS $33.2 million over the next five years to set up an automated income tax payment system. If the state government chooses not to pick up the last two option years of the contract, the cost would be $23.4 million over three years.

The primary benefit of this deal seems to be that taxpayers could file state taxes online.

11:38 UPDATE: The Finance and Administration Cabinet is now disputing the amount of the five year contract EDS is giving out. According to spokesperson Jill Midkiff, it is $27 million instead of $33.2 million.

11:53 UPDATE: EDS spokesman Brad Bass said the Commonwealth of Kentucky approved the press release with the $33.2 million figure, but that he will double-check it.

5:24 UPDATE: Mr. Bass from EDS says it appears the company may have erred in its press release, but that he would call back when he had details.

The Finance and Administration Cabinet released the following statement: "The Comprehensive Tax System (CTS) will provide much more than electronic filing for taxpayers. The long-term goal of CTS is to replace all of our existing systems with a system that uses new technology that is easier to maintain, more cost effective, user and taxpayer friendly, and will better prepare the Department of Revenue for technological advances in the future. The purpose of CTS is to provide the Finance and Administration Cabinet the means to enhance the administration and collection of revenues using optimal processes and technology to benefit the citizens of the Commonwealth."

5:38 UPDATE: Mr. Bass from EDS called back to confirm the company was indeed wrong to claim the contract was worth $33.2 million over five years and would actually only be worth that much if the service agreement were to run for nine years. Otherwise, the state was right to claim that the five year contract is for $27 million. Which gets me back to my original question: "Is it worth the money?" For that, they will get back to me on Monday. Stay tuned.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

A Very Bad Traffic Day

Next Tuesday afternoon on Main Street in Lexington around 4 pm won't be a very good time or place to be driving. That is because hundreds of people will be standing outside City Hall in support of maintaining local blue laws.

The Lexington city council is expected to vote next week to remove the remaining prohibitions of Sunday alcohol sales.

Two Buses For Fred Update

The unofficial effort to send two busloads of Kentuckians down to Tennessee to see Fred Thompson on Septempber 15 now officially has two buses, rented this morning.

On Saturday the 15th, one bus will leave from Lexington and one will leave from Louisville. Both buses will return late Saturday evening.

If you can definitely make the trip, let me know at kyprogress(at)

Fletcher Campaign Calls Stumbo's Bluff

Good move.

Will AG Stumbo really sue to force a couple of political appointees to change their party registration from Republican to Democrat?

Don't you have more important things to do with the end of your political career, Greg? I thought you were busy running for U.S. Senate to give Hillary Clinton one more vote for partial birth abortion, giving our country away one taxpayer-provided doctor visit at a time, and teaching Mexicans how to live like welfare queens.

Protest Like A Pervert

Leave it to Che Guevara wannabe Daily Kos to suggest if only Senate Democrats were more like Sen. Larry Craig, they could surrender the war faster.

Gee, much of the public favors a withdrawal from Iraq. Who knew? Apparently not "some Democrats" in the Senate. I guess it takes a Republican like Larry Craig to see and know how to exploit the weakness in the GOP caucus. He's putting the Dems to shame.

I guess that means the Iraq ball is now in Speaker Pelosi's court.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Beshear Is Re-Inventing His KY Central Role

The Courier-Journal reports on a minor dust-up between the Fletcher and Beshear camps about court records in the case of the defunct Kentucky Central Life Insurance Company.

Fletcher's campaign has criticized Beshear for fees of about $20 million paid to Beshear's former law firm, Stites & Harbison, for representing the state Department of Insurance in the complex litigation to recover money for policyholders, creditors and shareholders in the wake of the financial collapse of Kentucky Central in the 1990s.

Beshear and the firm say the state was charged rates far below what the firm charges private sector clients and that the firm did an excellent job in recovering money for policyholders and others from those whose actions contributed to the company's collapse.

The litigation wasn't nearly as "complex" as it was unnecessary. The company had already been raped and pillaged by insiders, but was still quite salvageable and would very likely still be operating today if Stites & Harbison hadn't taken the money and run. Beshear and some of his pals in the media have worked diligently to spin this sad tale as one of lawyers riding in on white horses to save the day. In truth, they were more like vultures who swooped in on their prey and, finding it still alive, they killed it.

The Fletcher folks are on to something here. I can only hope they will make something of it.

Economic Development Idea: Big Bread

Now that Kentucky taxpayers are going to be funding all these carbon capture-ready facilities, maybe we should start building bread factories as well.

California is running off a major bread manufacturer because baking bread gives off carbon dioxide.

Destroying Federal Property One Beer At A Time

If you are looking for one reason why socialized medicine won't work in America, look here.

Some British pols want to reward good health habits with extra benefits and strip National Health Service access from those with bad health habits:

But heavy smokers, the obese and binge drinkers who were a drain on the NHS could be denied some routine treatments such as hip replacements until they cleaned up their act.

Those who abused the system - by calling an ambulance when a trip to the GP would be sufficient, or telephoning out of hours with needless queries - could also be penalised.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Beating The Casino Gambling Horse To Death

I understand the strategy of keeping the gubernatorial race on casino gambling. But the lack of issue discussion in this race is driving me crazy.

The most important long-term issues in the state are education and economic development and the most pressing immediate issue is the public pension/health insurance unfunded liability.

We have real problems demanding real solutions. But we won't be getting any of those this fall.

Thinking Before We Double Expenditures

There are two Kentucky bills coming up in January, HB 12 and HB 22, to double the dollar amount of Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarships awards. The KEES awards already incentivize taking less challenging courses. Before we just throw more money, we should cut out all awards for students with GPAs of lower than 3.0 and pay more for accelerated courses. We should also put more emphasis on ACT scores. Currently, students who get as low as a 15 on the ACT get a supplemental award to their KEES award ranging from $36 a year for a 15 to $500 a year for a 28. As high as our drop-out rate is already, it makes no sense to subsidize ACT scores or grade records of students who demonstrate a very high likelihood of dropping out, such as those who score below a 21 on the ACT. Maybe we could cut off more kids who graduate high school with poor records and then give them higher awards later if they gain a degree from a community college. Similarly, we could lower awards for some students with mediocre records in high school but increase those awards for good results in college.

School has started and the KEES awards are going out to colleges. Now is the time to have a real discussion about how we spend these dollars.

Monday, September 03, 2007

On The Bus To Go See Fred Thompson

Thanks to Mark Hebert for the link about the Kentucky bus caravan to the Fred Thompson rally Saturday, September 15, in Lawrenceburg, TN.

It's a quick trip down Saturday, coming back late the same night.

There is no charge for riding the bus.

Anyone who wants to come or just wants more details as they are made available, please email me at

More Mess In Transportation Cabinet

The braintrust running the state Transportation cabinet has cooked up another fine mess and they are just about to jump into the soup and pull the lid down over their heads.

Rumors have been swirling the last few weeks about lawsuits against the Fletcher administration from Transportation Cabinet employees and those rumors are about to be proven true.

It seems Cabinet officials are selectively enforcing internet usage rules -- and utilizing a special brand of fuzzy math along the way -- against certain staff attorneys and threatening disciplinary actions.

Bad idea.

A few people with more power than brains are doing things in the name of Ernie Fletcher that will not work out well for them. Or him.

American Cancer Society Needs More Dead People

Last week we learned China is crediting its forced government abortion program with slowing global warming because dead Chinese babies don't have a carbon footprint.

And now we learn the American Cancer Society is going to blow its entire annual marketing budget pushing Hillary Clinton's socialized medicine program. The Cancer Society's CEO even claims lack of access to the American healthcare system might soon become a "bigger cancer killer than tobacco."

Given U.S. Census Bureau statistics released last week showing the rate of uninsured Americans hasn't changed since Hillary hid the Rose Law Firm billing records in the White House, we can only assume ACS is talking about cutting the population.

The only question then is to figure out if the American Cancer Society is talking about euthanasia (which is what we get with rationed, socialized medicine) or Chinese-style abortion.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Poverty Is A Great Motivator

An editorial about "poor kids" in the Lexington Herald Leader this morning is thought-provoking.

I have some things to say about it, but that will have to wait until after church.

Your thoughts?

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Kentuckians For Fred Road Trip

A group of Fred Thompson supporters will rent a bus Saturday, September 15 in Louisville to head down to Lawrenceburg, Tennessee for a rally with the presidential candidate. They have room for a few more Kentuckians.

E-mail me at kyprogress(at) for details.

Kentucky Needs Entrepreneurs

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