Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Beshear can't amend Constitution by himself for felons or anyone else

Governor Steve Beshear's executive order granting convicted felons voting rights and the right to run for office violates Kentucky's Constitution in the plain language of Section 77, so he should rescind the order immediately.

"Beshear has the right as governor to pardon felons individually when they apply for reinstatement of their civil rights and Section 77 requires that the applications for each case be kept as public records forever, but Beshear takes it upon himself to strike the application process from the Constitution," Kentucky Progress publisher David Adams said. "If we allow this usurpation of power to stand, what's to stop this or any other governor from striking other words from the Constitution, like the right to bear arms or an individual's property rights?"

Since Governor Beshear clearly can't be counted on to do the right thing, Governor-elect Matt Bevin should make clear his intention to rescind Executive Order 2015-0871 on his first day in office. The regular constitutional amendment process can then be followed by the legislature if they so choose.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Steve Beshear to challenge Rand Paul

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear plans to announce in early January a run for the United States Senate against Rand Paul. The hope appears to be that his shameless profligacy might draw millions of dollars in leftist donations from around the country.

"Beshear gave us billions in new appropriation-supported debt, billions more in pension debt, signed us up for the Common Core fiasco and ObamaCare so he now wants to put on his diaper and a onesie and go to Washington D.C.," Kentucky Progress publisher David Adams said. "It would be a lot cheaper to let him have a pajama party at the Governor's Mansion this weekend with President Obama, Harry Reid and whoever else he wants to have over."

Thursday, November 19, 2015

"Minimum wage" is Left's new ObamaCare

Kentucky Democrats just got their heads handed to them in statewide elections while waiting for 500,000 ObamaCare "beneficiaries" to storm the ballot box for their candidates. The same level of self-delusion is evident in their "minimum wage increase" strategy.

The line of thinking goes like this: unskilled workers will forever vote for left-wing politicians who force evil employers to overpay them for unskilled work. What could possibly go wrong with this plan?

The small number of sick people who have benefited from government forcing health insurers to charge their customers premiums as if they were all sick people was dwarfed by the number of people forced to pay. Similarly, when prices go up on everything because the cost of sweeping floors and taking out trash is raised by government force, the relative handful of unskilled workers who don't realize their prices went up too will be far too few in number to elect the next round of left-wing politicians.

Louisville's Metro government is already in court trying to explain how their minimum wage tax increase makes sense legally. Lexington's Council is expected to vote on their own such increase Thursday night.

The vote looks to be a close one, but Council members Richard Moloney, Shevawn Akers and Susan Lamb probably have the most to lose if Lexington's Minimum Wage Tax Increase becomes a reality.

Save taxpayers, kill Herald Leader subscriptions

All state and local government offices should hit the delete key on subscriptions to the Lexington Herald Leader.

"Any state office you walk into in Frankfort or around the state has fresh copies of the dead tree version of both the Herald Leader and the Courier Journal laying around at massive expense to taxpayers," said Kentucky Progress publisher David Adams. "We are spending way too much money each day for something anyone who can clear cookies off their computer can get for free and now is the perfect time to cut this waste."

Friday, November 13, 2015

Frankfort Obamacrats want their big win forgotten

In June of this year, the United States Supreme Court rewrote ObamaCare to allow the IRS to give tax dollar subsidies to people who bought health policies on the federal exchange after authorities realized their attempt to force states to set up their own exchanges had failed. Now that Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear is watching his failed legacy about to be reversed by Governor-elect Matt Bevin, he wants Kentuckians to forget that win.

From their luxurious retail locations at Fayette Mall and Mall St. Matthews, Frankfort Obamacrats hope to catch consumers and voters alike unaware by claiming falsely that ObamaCare "discounts" are only available on Kynect, despite the five month old ruling they fought so hard for which validated their position that subsidies also flow through the federal exchange.

"Frankfort Democrats can't get their story straight and clearly haven't learned any lessons from their failed election strategy of lies in 2015," said Kentucky Progress publisher David Adams. "Surely Greg Stumbo's 'Democrat Jesus' wouldn't condone their actions."

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Herald Leader accuses Bevin of killing people

Lexington Herald Leader Government Editor John Stamper continued his paper's tradition of bizarre, false and misleading statements about ObamaCare today by suggesting on Twitter that shutting down the illegally-created Kynect and moving ObamaCare operations to the federal exchange would kill Kentuckians.

Stamper summarized a news story quoting Senate President Robert Stivers' claim shutting down Kynect might provide additional funding for the state's pension plans. Stamper added to his "tweet" in parenthesis "Plus, lifespans might shorten," repeating a common left-wing canard about any attempt to reduce waste and duplication in ObamaCare somehow killing people.

Stamper made no immediate attempt to clarify his statement.

"Jack Conway just got shellacked running on lies about 500,000 Kentuckians losing their health insurance, but the Lexington Herald Leader continues to pine for the glory days when people really paid attention to them," said Kentucky Progress publisher David Adams. "The garbage they are selling just isn't selling anymore and the Kynect exchange should be shut down right away."

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Shut down Kynect on December 9

Governor Steve Beshear "created" the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange, Kynect, with an executive order in 2012 and then after the legislature declined to ratify his order as required by law, he tried again in 2013, 2014 and 2015. Each attempt failed. Governor-elect Matt Bevin should waste no time in correcting this gross usurpation of power by the outgoing chief executive.

Bevin can accomplish this by filing a temporary reorganization executive order clarifying the exchange was created illegally and no longer exists. He should do this as soon as he is sworn into office. The Senate could affirm the order in January and if House Democrats try to fight back, they could be made to pay the price in the November elections just like their gubernatorial candidate did this year.

In his order, Bevin could make clear how Beshear's multiple attempts betray utter contempt for the law since the exchange sought and received $253 million in federal grants to set up the exchange by falsely claiming the governor had the ability to create it unilaterally. Beshear should be held personally liable for his fraud, not the Commonwealth's taxpayers.

Waiting a year to hand over the reins of the exchange is not necessary because Kynect never legally existed. Plenty of other states have stood down and let the feds set up their scheme. Legally speaking, Kentucky has done the same. There's no sense continuing the charade only to prevent Beshear and friends from facing consequences for their actions.

Monday, November 09, 2015

Gov. Matt Bevin should clarify free speech rights

The Center for Public Integrity hired journalists in all fifty states to fill out report cards purporting to grade how good state governments are at keeping themselves honest. Frankfort's Stumbocrats ranked ninth this year, but that's not the funniest part.

The funniest part of this "integrity study" is that Kentucky's highest grade and highest rank came as a result of our campaign finance laws, which violate our Constitution.

Kentucky is the only state in the nation which guarantees freedom of public expression of political ideas, limits personal contributions -- and forbids corporate contributions -- to political candidates and does not exempt corporate media outlets from these limitations. KRS 121.015 defines a contribution to a candidate as a "thing of value" for the benefit of a candidate and exempts services provided "without compensation by individuals volunteering a portion or all of their time." Section 8 of the Kentucky Constitution forbids the existence of any law which restrains the right to speak, write or print. Corporate media reports, stories, editorials and endorsements are clearly things of value for which writers and reporters are paid. Since they gain wide distribution and are often easily worth more than the $1000 campaign contribution limit, either the contribution limit or the corporate speech are forbidden.

The language of Section 8 is clear: "no law shall ever be made to restrain the right" to speak right and print.

Senate Bill 62 in 2009 sought to exempt "news stories, commentary or editorials by the media." The bill failed.

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Kentucky's 2015 Lie of the Year

Watching Kentucky Democrats try to figure out how they got decimated in the November elections has been a lot like an old Seinfeld episode. Sorting through all the "yada yada" has been funny to watch -- thanks Speaker Stumbo -- but what is most interesting is the lack of self-awareness evident in all the self-delusion.

While Stumbo's infamous "Democrat Jesus" tirade attempted to make elephants' lack of availability in ancient Bethlehem an issue and Jack Conway spent millions trying to convince Kentuckians that Matt Bevin's taxes should keep them awake at night and left-wing shysters Bluegrass Family Values tried to win in 2015 by recycling Mitch McConnell's worst lies from 2014, none of these held a candle to Kentucky's 2015 Lie of the Year.

The really big lie that ran Jack Conway and friends out of contention in 2015 was that Matt Bevin was going to take health insurance away from 500,000 people. Conway and Steve Beshear even doubled back and labeled Bevin "callous" for doing what he was never going to do.

The 500k lie first of all reminded everyone that Frankfort Democrats are really just Obamacrats, just as Republicans were spending millions of dollars telling them the same thing. Obamacrats lie a lot and the multiple layers of fraud behind the 500k lie may well serve to turn Kentuckians off of Democrats for a long time because they continue even now to repeat it ad nauseam.

We don't know how many Kentuckians were added to Medicaid by ObamaCare because Frankfort Obamacrats really haven't kept track. We don't know how many people who had health insurance they liked and could afford were tossed off of that and forced into Medicaid, to be touted among the lucky 500,000. We don't know, really, how popular or unpopular ObamaCare is in Kentucky because of misleading poll questions, bad polls and incessant media chatter about how wonderful ObamaCare is.

Shutting down ObamaCare has been the best rallying cry for Republican candidates in many years. Kentucky Democrats love to tell us how different they are than Washington D.C. Democrats, but when it counted in 2015 they couldn't help showing us they were the same. Governor-elect Matt Bevin couldn't reverse the Medicaid expansion now by himself even if he wanted to and shutting down the Kynect nonsense and sending those people to the federal exchange makes sense in every honest analysis. Democrats' claim that Republicans are going to take health insurance from 500,000 Kentuckians is the 2015 Lie of the Year.

Friday, November 06, 2015

Why Matt Bevin won

Matt Bevin will be sworn in next month as Kentucky's Governor for lots of reasons beyond a campaign's control such as speaking ability, relatability and relative trustworthiness, but four things the competing campaigns did have major public policy implications and bode well for Kentucky's future.

Bevin was always staunchly anti-ObamaCare, just as Jack Conway devoted tremendous campaign resources into informing Kentucky voters he saw nothing wrong with keeping them locked into the federal healthcare takeover. This alone made the race competitive as even those who feel better off under the 2010 reform have to wonder where the money will come from to keep their good deal.

Secondly, Matt Bevin got the social issues right. He opposes abortion, supports religious liberty and sought middle ground on the marriage issue versus a pro-abortion opponent who sought a hard line on marriage, which now apparently includes jailing those who seek clarification in the law.

Third, Bevin met with and expressed strong support for supporters of medical marijuana while his drug warrior opponent ignored the consistent super-majority of Kentuckians who believe government has better things to do than fight those seeking natural medical remedies.

Fourth, Bevin met with and expressed strong support for activists seeking acceptance of new technology to help people quit smoking -- electronic cigarettes -- while his opponent took the side of Washington D.C. control junkies eager to tax and regulate another easy victim out of existence.

Take a look around nearly any town in Kentucky and you will see electronic cigarette retailers popping up everywhere. These are small businesspeople, investors, employers and early adopters of proven effective new technology that Kentucky should be supporting and, fortunately for all of us, our state's next governor has gotten the memo. If we can get this right, we can get a lot of things right.

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Why you should care if "vaping" goes up in smoke

Cigarette smokers are the redheaded stepchild of American life.

Technology and market-based freedoms have combined to create a powerful alternative to cigarettes just in time, for both a smoking-averse society and those hoping to avoid the stigma and negative health effects of smoking. Government taxers and regulators here have set their sights on this new technology, electronic cigarettes, just as evidence of its efficacy should be grabbing our attention instead.

Big Tobacco's propagandists have launched a full scale attack on electronic cigarettes and their attacks have been effective. Deep-pocketed monopolists blasting upstart competitors and using government to do it is nothing new, but that is exactly what is happening with e-cigs and all of us, whether we own Big Tobacco or not, will pay the price if they succeed. Throwing away a powerful smoking cessation tool to protect Big Tobacco hurts people who want to quit smoking and those who pay the social costs of tobacco-related illness as well as anyone who might ever enjoy a new technology which upsets the established order. Seeing this game played out again at the expense of a new technology and those who benefit from it to maintain the status quo can't be countenanced by anyone who values the way technology and freedom make life better for everyone.

Courier Journal fires pollster while touting same bad data to keep selling ObamaCare

After the second straight general election featuring a last-minute media poll overstating support for left-wing candidates by fifteen points, the Louisville Courier Journal announced it has fired polling firm SurveyUSA. At the same time, reporter Deborah Yetter couldn't resist using the same debunked polling data in yet another "news" article about ObamaCare.

"A recent Bluegrass Poll found that 54 percent wanted to keep the Medicaid expansion, while 24 percent said they wanted the next governor to reverse it," Yetter reported today, from the same poll for which SurveyUSA was fired.

Given the CJ's pollster's track record for overstating left-wing support by fifteen percent, it is reasonable to assume support for the failed program is more like forty percent. Under the incredible avalanche of pro-ObamaCare media propaganda in Kentucky, that is a pretty low number. Incidentally, it also tracks closely the real electoral support Democrat Jack Conway received on Tuesday against a staunchly anti-ObamaCare Matt Bevin.

The Courier Journal's funhouse numbers from this article also tout polling data suggesting Kentucky's rate of uninsuredness is now only nine percent, thanks to ObamaCare, but then elsewhere pegs the number of uninsured in the Bluegrass State at 285,000. Nine percent of Kentucky's 4.2 million population would be 378,000 uninsured people. The article doesn't state where the missing 100,000 Kentuckians went, but it's almost certain that when they are found 15,000 of them won't be as supportive of ObamaCare as Deborah Yetter wants you to believe.

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Mike Harmon can lead on pensions by RETIRING

Kentucky's next Auditor of Public Accounts Mike Harmon has a great opportunity to lead on our public employee pension crisis by taking immediate retirement from the legislature rather than rolling his legislative pension over into his new Executive Branch pension, costing taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Others have let the chance to do this slide with horribly embarrassing consequences.

This issue disappears as a problem for Harmon when he retires from the legislature and then makes public evidence that he took this step to protect taxpayers. It then gives him a very powerful platform from which to lead the discussion in the right direction.

Where are Jack Conway's 500,000 zombie voters?

Perhaps the most encouraging news from last night's elections is that Jack Conway's nonsensical line about Matt Bevin wanting to kick half a million people off their health insurance did not succeed.

"Jack Conway put the flesh-eating undead ObamaCare on the ballot thinking its biggest victims would carry him into the Governor's Mansion," said Kentucky Progress publisher David Adams. "If putrid ObamaCare were the massive success its purveyors keep insisting it is, his scheme would surely have worked."

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Vape the election TODAY

Leading small government activist Grover Norquist has been encouraging Republican candidates for years to catch the vision of embracing the concept of "vaping" (electronic cigarettes) and the tax and freedom issues behind it in an effort to catch a libertarian wave just as Democrats push hard in the wrong direction. If Matt Bevin wins tonight, his efforts to "vape the vote" will have played a notable role in a come-from-behind victory.

Jack Conway has been and will likely continue to be hostile to most things that reduce government power in favor of individual freedom, like vaping. In contrast, Matt Bevin is a supporter of vaping's market-regulated mechanism for helping people quit smoking even if it means less government tax revenue and a healthier alternative to the government-created cigarette cartel.

Government opponents seem gleeful in their attempts to regulate and tax "vapers" as convenient victims.

Kentucky vapers should make themselves heard by voting in today's election. Further, users of vaping technology who can should show up tonight at election parties for the two major-party gubernatorial candidates with their electronic cigarettes in their hands. Matt Bevin and his supporters will be at the Galt House in Louisville tonight and Jack Conway and his will be at the Convention Center in Frankfort.

If you are a "vaper," make sure your e-cig is seen. If you aren't but see someone with an e-cig in hand, welcome them to the party and celebrate your freedoms together.

Monday, November 02, 2015

Protect yourself from tyranny by protecting others

I don't smoke and I don't use tobacco products or electronic cigarettes -- a non-tobacco process called 'vaping.' But I see an illegitimate attack coming from government against people who produce, distribute and use electronic cigarettes that is worth a closer look if you value freedom from government intrusion or coercion in any way.

State and federal regulators and taxers have set their sights on e-cigs and those leading the charge seem unlikely to let anything get in their way. This kind of zealotry always seems to be evident in the worst kinds of official abuse. If you need examples of that, look at the "War on Drugs'" decades-long attack on hemp as a drug, the "War on Poverty's" decades-long attack on stable families and the "War on Terrorism's" persistent attacks on individual liberties which seem to be well on their way to lasting decades.

Leading U.S. Senators speaking last Friday made clear their desire to destroy e-cigs, even though a recent study in England found vaping to be 95% safer than smoking and concluded doctors should prescribe e-cigs for smoking cessation. Meanwhile, an NPR-Truven Health Analytics poll suggests 53% of vapers use e-cigs to quit smoking or as a healthier alternative to smoking.

Allowing politicians to go to war against a proven smoking cessation tool and a preferred alternative because it looks like something that offends them is just like suspending seven year olds from school for pointing a PopTart "gun" at another student.

If we don't stand up to government's unfair attacks against people who think and act differently than we do, who can we expect to help us when we find ourselves in the crosshairs?

Sports fans, homeschoolers unite for KY "Tebow Bill"

Continuing decline of public schools in Kentucky increase the likelihood of budding star athletes opting to gain their education in a private or home school with little or no sports opportunities. A new bill for the 2016 General Assembly would allow such students to join the public school system only to participate in extracurricular activities, a provision known widely as a "Tebow Bill" since former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow came to prominence as a homeschool student playing football in a Florida public school.

"House Bill 76 is, of course, sponsored by Republicans, but Frankfort Democrats will surely set their hostility for educational choice aside at least for this issue," said Kentucky Progress publisher David Adams. "Kentucky's Tebow Bill would be a good last-minute issue for which to get the gubernatorial candidates on the record."