Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Messiah Mode

I enjoy talk radio, but I just can't listen anymore right now to commentary on the grinches in Washington. They may be able to steal our earthly treasures, but they can't steal our heavenly ones. Handel's Messiah will be the only thing coming out of the car stereo for the next 48 hours.

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

McCain Delivers GOP Weekly Address

Sen. John McCain gives a clear overview of the Democratic plan to take over health care in this weeks Republican Address.

He characterizes the process that produces the 2,000 page bill as "confused and secretive." He decries the lack of bipartisanship and the Democrats refusal to do anything substantive -- like tort reform -- to control costs.

The Democratic bill, McCain argues, spends $ 2.5 billion to create an "unsustainable entitlement program" that will require $500 billion in taxes to take effect almost immediately.

Meanwhile, seniors will suffer massive cuts in Medicare Advantage. And those few "reforms" that the bill seeks would not take effect for four years.

McConnell Forces Reading

The Clerk of the Senate is now reading an amendment designed to appease Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE), the lone Democratic hold out on the health care take over.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell invoked Senate rules that the amendment be read. It was completely appropriate for McConnell to force the reading; it's the only way to buy the public enough time to digest the 2000 page bill.

Previously, Democrats had promised that the bill would be available online for 72 hours, but as the vote is now scheduled, Democrats have broken that pledge in their attempt to ram through their plan to pay for six years of benefits with ten years of (raised) taxes.

Senate Republican Ad on Health Care

Senate Republicans have released an Internet ad opposing the Democratic health care over (scheduled for a 1:00 a.m. vote Monday morning).

Seriously, is this the best opposition we can mount?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

U.S. Senators Are Left Behind In Reiding Class

Does Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid think we are idiots? He certainly behaves like United States Senators are remedial readers. Here's what Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell had to say in a press release issued earlier today:

Thursday, December 17, 2009

‘And here’s the most outrageous part: at the end of this rush, they want us to vote on a bill that no one outside the Majority Leader’s conference room has even seen. That’s right. The final bill we’ll vote on isn’t even the one we’ve had on the floor. It’s the deal Democrat leaders have been trying to work out in private’

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor Thursday regarding the importance of getting it right on health care reform:

“Senators on both sides acknowledge that the health care bill we’re considering is among the most significant pieces of legislation any of us will ever consider.

“So it stands to reason that we’d devote significant time and attention to it.

“Indeed, some would argue that we should spend more time and attention on this bill than most — if not every — previous bill we’ve considered.

“The Majority disagrees.

“Why? Because this bill has become a political nightmare for them.

“They know Americans overwhelmingly oppose it, so they want to get it over with.

“Americans are already outraged at the fact that Democrat leaders took their eyes off the ball. Rushing the process on a partisan line makes the situation even worse.

“Americans were told the purpose of reform was to reduce the cost of health care.

“Instead, Democrat leaders produced a $2.5 trillion, 2,074-page monstrosity that vastly expands government, raises taxes, raises premiums, and wrecks Medicare.

“And they want to rush this bill through by Christmas — one of the most significant, far-reaching pieces of legislation in U.S. history. They want to rush it.

“And here’s the most outrageous part: at the end of this rush, they want us to vote on a bill that no one outside the Majority Leader’s conference room has even seen.

“That’s right. The final bill we’ll vote on isn’t even the one we’ve had on the floor. It’s the deal Democrat leaders have been trying to work out in private.

“That’s what they intend to bring to the floor and force a vote on before Christmas.

“So this entire process is essentially a charade.

“But let’s just compare the process so far with previous legislation for some perspective. Here’s a snapshot of what we’ve done and where we stand:

• The Majority Leader intends to bring this debate to a close as early as this weekend — four days from now, on this $2.5 trillion dollar mistake

• No American who hasn’t been invited into the Majority Leader’s conference room knows what will be in that bill

• This bill has been the pending business of the Senate since the last week of November — less than four weeks ago.

• We started the amendment process two weeks ago.

• We’ve had 21 amendments and motions — less than two a day.

“Now let’s look at how the Senate has dealt with previous legislation.

“No Child Left Behind (2001):

• 21 session days or 7 weeks.

• Roll Call votes: 44

• Number of Amendments offered: 157

“9/11 Commission/Homeland Security Act (2002):

• 19 session days over 7 weeks.

• Roll Call votes: 20

• Number of Amendments offered: 30

“Energy Bill (2002):

• 21 session days over 8 weeks

• Number of Roll Call votes: 36

• Number of Amendments offered: 158

“This isn’t an energy bill. This is an attempt by a majority to take over one sixth of the U.S. economy — to vastly expand the reach and the role of government into the health care decisions of every single American — and they want to be done after one substantive amendment. This is absolutely inexcusable.

“I think Senator Snowe put it best on Tuesday:

‘Given the enormity and complexity,’ she said, ‘I don’t see anything magical about the Christmas deadline if this bill is going to become law in 2014.’

“And I think Senator Snowe’s comments on a lack of bipartisanship at the outset of this debate are also right on point.

“Here’s what she said in late November:

‘I am truly disappointed we are commencing our historic debate on one of the most significant and pressing domestic issues of our time with a process that has forestalled our ability to arrive at broader agreement on some of the most crucial elements of health care reform. The bottom line is, the most consequential health care legislation in the history of our country and the reordering of $33 trillion in health care spending over the coming decade shouldn’t be determined by one vote-margin strategies – surely we can and must do better.’

“The only conceivable justification for rushing this bill is the overwhelming opposition of the American people. Democrats know that the longer Americans see this bill the less they like it. Here’s the latest from Pew. It came out just yesterday.

“A majority (58 percent) of those who have heard a lot about the bills oppose them while only 32 percent favor them.”

“There is no justification for this blind rush — except a political one, and that’s not good enough for the American people.

“And there’s no justification for forcing the Senate to vote on a bill none of us has seen.

“Americans already oppose this bill. The process is just as bad.

“It’s completely reckless, completely irresponsible.”

Please note: The postings of "G. Morris", written by John K. Bush and which end in 2016, stated his views as of the dates of posting and should not be understood as current assertions of his views. The postings, which have not been altered since they came to an end, remain on this blog to preserve the historical record. In 2017, Mr. Bush took a position that precludes further public political comments or endorsements. He will no longer be contributing to this blog.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Poor Illinois

It's the ultimate bait and switch. President Barack Obama flew to Europe to bring back the Summer Olympics to Chicago -- to no avail. But he does have a little something for his home state.

Obama is sending Gitmo terrorists to an Illinois prison 150 miles from Chicago.

So instead of Michael Phelps in a Speedo, Illinois gets a group of Islamofascists who'd like to break out and kill everyone.

2010 Looking Good For GOP Senate Candidates

Stuart Rothernberg finds the outlook for Republican Senate candidates much improved.

Eleven months ago, Rothenberg notes, "Sen Jim Bunning (R-KY) was in trouble" as were other Republicans.

The national landscape has changed considerably since then, leaving more and more Democratic incumbents vulnerable.

Rothernberg gives Republicans a narrow lead in Kentucky:

Other races, where there hasn't been such movement, remain tight, with the race a statistical dead heat (in Missouri, for example), or with the Republican nominee holding a narrow advantage in most polling (including Kentucky, North Carolina, Illinois and Louisiana).

Republicans have an opportunity to pick up seats-- and maybe control of the Senate.

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid may not have to worry about losing more bodies in his caucus, because Reid may not even get reelected. Reid is polling around 41 percent against his most likely GOP opponent.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Harry Reid's Bill Will Raise Costs by $234 Billion

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (part of Health and Human Services) have crunched the numbers on Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid's latest iteration of the health care take over: Reid's bill would raise the cost of health care $ 234 billion.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell was right. Just last week, Sen. Max Baucus complained, "The Republican Leader a few moments ago said that this bill raises costs. With all due respect to my good friend from Kentucky, that statement is false."

McConnell was right on cost, just as he has been right about public opposition to the bill.

Yesterday, three more polls found that the more Americans learn of the Democratic plan, the more they oppose it. A CNN poll showed 61 percent of Americans oppose the Senate health care bill. Fox News found that 57 percent oppose the proposed legislation. Even the New York Times noted that only 42 percent approve of the Obama administration's handling of health care, down five points from last month.

U of L CRs Invite Candidates to Debate

The University of Louisville College Republicans are attempting to put a debate together between the GOP U.S. Senate candidates.

The Rand Paul campaign has said he can attend any of the proffered dates: January 21, 27 or February 4, 15, or 25.

Trey Grayson will have to debate him at some point; might as well give the CRs a boost.

Tiger Beat

As Tiger Woods's mistresses scurry about for fallen crumbs like cock roaches in a dirty kitchen, two questions remain.

First, why did Tiger not have a separate, secret phone for calling his babes? This is standard practice among professional athletes of his, uh, propensities. Moreover, as the AT&T spokesman, he probably could have procured said phone for free. Not that money is an issue for Tiger.

Second question. Sportswriters who have traveled with Tiger have (privately) said for years that he has a girl in every town, lots of hookers and cocktail waitresses. So why has no Louisville mistress stepped forward? He played Valhalla, but is that all he played in Kentucky?

Are we really to believe that after winning the PGA Championship at Valhalla in 2000 Tiger didn't go celebrate? Perhaps Kentucky women don't kiss and tell.

Jenny Sanford Dumps the Gov.

South Carolina First Lady Jenny Sanford has filed for divorce from her cheating scum of a husband, Gov. Mark Sanford. He's the former Republican star who lied about hiking the Appalachian Trail while trysting in South America.

Barbara Walters named Mrs. Sanford one of the "Most Fascinating People of 2009," apparently for maintaining her dignity while her husband lost his.

Mrs. Sanford, for her part, schooled Baba Wawa when the later asked, "Are you your husband's soul mate?"

An icy Mrs. Sanford replied, "Clearly not."

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Former Louisvillian Saves Girl From Stabbing

Former Louisville resident Ken Schulz saved a 16 year-old girl's life in his new hometown of Anchorage, AK. Schulz, a UPS pilot who recently relocated to Alaska, was cross-country skiing at noon when he saw a teenage boy and girl behind a high school. The boy, a Junior, appeared to be punching the girl. As Schulz got closer, however, he saw that the boy was repeatedly stabbing the girl.

Schulz kicked the assailant, who then threatened Schulz with a knife and then fled. Schulz called the police.

According to the Alaska Daily News, while the nearby school remained on lock-down, police used dogs and helicopters to chase the boy for an hour before capturing and arresting him.

The boy had lured the girl behind the girl behind the school by promising to give her a silver ring. This is what comes of schools failing to teach Odysseus; the girl should have known to beware of jerks bearing gifts.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tiger/Obama Laugh Of The Day

The Hill reports:

In a statement given to The Hill's ITK, Rep. Joe Baca (D-Calif.) said, “In light of the recent developments surrounding Tiger Woods and his family, I will not pursue legislation awarding him the Congressional Gold Medal this session."

One of the comments:

Maybe Rep. Baca can nominate Tiger for the Nobel Peace Prize!
Please note: The postings of "G. Morris", written by John K. Bush and which end in 2016, stated his views as of the dates of posting and should not be understood as current assertions of his views. The postings, which have not been altered since they came to an end, remain on this blog to preserve the historical record. In 2017, Mr. Bush took a position that precludes further public political comments or endorsements. He will no longer be contributing to this blog.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A way to really reduce pollution

Reports have it that over 140 ozone layer destroying private jets and 1200 gas guzzling limos are being used to get to and around the Copenhagen climate conference. This is not to mention all the hot air that will arise from all the meetings. A great way to really limit greenhouse gases would be to not have such conferences.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Jack Conway Lauds Useless "Message" Amendment

Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate Jack Conway issued a press release to demonstrate his heart-felt support for an amendment to the the health care bill. (H/t: Page One.) The amendment was pushed by Colorado Democrat Sen. Michael Bennet, who was appointed to his seat and faces a tough election to keep it.

Bennet's amendment was intended to address the public furor over the Democrats' proposal to pay for their health care take over by cutting Medicare. Jack Conway wants us to know that he agrees with Bennet:

It is of the utmost importance to me to protect Kentucky’s seniors. Senator Michael Bennett’s (D-CO) measure will preserve guaranteed benefits for the 720,000 Medicare beneficiaries in the Commonwealth. (Emphasis added.)

"This is a message amendment," his office informed fellow Democrats in an e-mail unintended for publication, indicating its purpose was political. "The Senate bill already does these things and this amendment makes these facts absolutely clear and succinct." It passed 100-0.

Unfortunately for Conway, he was not on the email list from Bennet's office. Consequently, Conway was duped into thinking that the Senate's non-binding posturing would "preserve guaranteed benefits."

It does not. The vote was pure symbolism; that's why it passed 100-0.

But Conway's release revealed more than just his naivete about Senate procedure. He misspelled the name of the Democrat he applauded.

The U.S. Senator from Colorado who pushed the "message amendment" is not, as Conway twice referred to him "Senator Michael Bennett’s (D-CO)." It's Bennet with one "T": Michael Bennet.

He Wrote Back!

I wrote to Congressman John Yarmuth the first week of August to suggest that he hold a real, live town hall on health care as opposed to the fake teleconference town halls he had held up to that point.

He (or rather, one of his minions) has replied -- four months later. I am so glad for the instantaneous nature of email; it really improves constituent relations between the elected and we the little people.

It is unclear why the staffer bothered to even respond at this late date. Maybe he or she noticed that on a a near daily basis, new Republicans are announcing their candidacy to challenge Yarmuth.

As form letters to constituents go, it's a fine letter. I especially like how Yarmuth sought to reassure me that he will not turn us into Canada, Britain or France as he takes over one-sixth of the U.S. economy: "Speaking with so many people and hearing so many different personal experiences only reinforced my belief that our current health care system is unsustainable, and I will do all I can to ensure that we find a uniquely American solution that works for the American people."

One interesting turn of phrase: Yarmuth -- who is, after all, a designated messenger for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi -- describes the health care take over as "reform." As in, "As a result of constituent feedback during the month of August many changes were made to the health care reform legislation being considered by the House. " (Emphasis added.) And to reiterate this change of nomenclature, "With my support, H.R. 3962, the Affordable Health Care for America Act was passed on November 7, 2009. H.R. 3962 is now on hold until the Senate approves its health reform bill." (Emphasis added.)

Reform sounds so modest and incremental. Not nearly so draconian as what the Democrats' plan actually is: a trillion dollar, two thousand page monstrosity that will make health care more expensive while reducing quality.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

An Obama Cover to Collect

It would not normally be newsworthy that President Barack Obama will appear on yet another magazine cover -- no. 12,576 of his administation

But this cover, on Golf Digest, partners the president with pig Tiger Woods, under the headline, "10 Tips Obama Can Take From Tiger."

Tip number one: hide the golf clubs from the your wife.

h/t Instapundit

Dems Attack Each Other Over Health Care

Perhaps the most interesting fights on the Senate floor these days are between Democrats. Take this exchange on proposed cuts to Medicare.

Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) likes the cuts, arguing that "what is cut are private health care plans under the Medicare Advantage Program." As if the quasi-private nature of the plan should console the elderly recipient who loses her benefits.

Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) represents a state with a large population of senior citizens, and therefore viewed the cuts differently: "I think it would be intolerable to ask the senior citizens on Medicare who have [Medicare Advantage] to give up substantial health benefits that they're enjoying under Medicare." Nelson pledged to offer an amendment to shield seniors form the proposed cuts.

Trey Reacts to Obama Speech

Here are the remarks of U.S. Senate candidate Trey Grayson in response to President Barack Obama's speech on Afghanistan. Grayson is on the mark:

I support the President’s decision to finally accept the recommendations of commanders on the ground and order a surge of forces in Afghanistan. I disagree with those who believe we should set a date certain for withdrawal from Afghanistan and believe that we must show the necessary commitment to success for the Afghan people, for our allies, and to our enemies. We all want our troops to come home, but not until Afghanistan Security Forces are sufficiently able to secure the country and prevent it from being overrun by Al Qaeda again, creating a situation that could lead to another attack on the United States. I will be watching with great interest as more details on the President’s strategy are provided in testimony before Congress. Key to success is a clear mission with measurable results in the ability of Afghan Security Forces to secure the country.

Now we need to hear from Dr. Rand Paul.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Swine Flu Vaccines Really, Really Late

Jefferson County children will finally get vaccinated for the Swine Flu, more than a month after H1N1 peaked in local schools.

The absence rate at my children's school exceeded 30 percent the week leading up to Halloween; it has been back to normal for some time since.

It's great that schools are making the vaccine available to students on-site. But where was the vaccine when we needed it last month?

The Obama administration had nearly a year's lead-time to prepare for the Swine Flu. And yet we are just now getting the vaccine, after the flu has run its course.

If this is how the administration reacts to a public health crisis when it has this much advance notice to plan and prepare, how it will handle a crisis that by its nature gives only a few days warning --like a hurricane.

By the way, more than twice as many people have died from Swine Flu than from Hurricane Katrina.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Support For Health Care Bill Plunges

A new Rasmusson poll shows that support for the Democrats' health care plan has reached an all-time low: 38 percent support it, the lowest number since the tracking polls began in June.

In contrast, 56 percent of Americans said in the telephone poll that they oppose President Obama and the Congressional Democrats' health care plan.

This is why the debate that will now take place in the Senate is good for Republicans; the more Americans learn about the Democrats' plan to increase health care costs, raise premiums and cut Medicare, the less they like it.

Notions to blame Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell for "obstructing" the health care takeover, moreover, sound like blaming the fire extinguisher for impeding the progress of a conflagration.

Friday, November 20, 2009

A Botox Tax?

The Senate Health Care monstrosity includes a five percent tax on cosmetic surgery, according to Politico. The tax may raise eye brows, but not those of Vice President Joe Biden or Sen. John Kerry.

How is it that Nancy Pelosi omitted this gem from the House bill?

Grayson Goes On Offense

Secretary of State Trey Grayson is finally drawing a substantive distinction between his positions and those of Dr. Rand Paul.

Earlier this week, Grayson sensibly condemned the Obama administration's decision to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammad and his co-conspirators in a New York City civilian court, rather then in the military tribunal at Guantanamo Bay.

Paul quickly issued a release stating that he, too, thought the 9/11 mastermind and company should be tried at Gitmo, and criticizing the Obama administration. According to Paul,

Foreign terrorists do not deserve the protections of our Constitution. These thugs should stand before military tribunals and kept off American soil. I will always fight to keep Kentucky safe and that starts with cracking down on our enemies.

Well said on Paul's part, though it was a bit of a surprise, given that some in the libertarian end of the party are not exactly aggressive about the War on Terror. Paul's statement tended to reassure that he would approach issues like the terrorist detainees with clear-eyed common sense.

But then the Grayson campaign trotted out three statements that Paul made last May -- statements that appear to contradict his condemnation of the Obama administration's decision to hold the KSM show trial in civilian court.

One such statement appeared on Paul's campaign site; it has since been removed, but is available by Google cache snap shot. That post said that Paul "couldn't agree more" with those who believe that Gitmo "significantly damaged the reputation of the United States" and should be "shut down." The Paul campaign now says that a volunteer posted the language without the campaign's permission.

Assuming, for sake of fairness, that the web site post cannot be attributed to Paul, we turn to two other statements that Paul spoke himself. In both, he asserts that the U.S. should just dump the terrorists back from whence they came.

On the Alex Jones radio show (May 21, 2009), according the the Grayson campaign, Paul said,

it's kind of unclear whether these people are guilty, not guilty. . . . So I really think deportation, sending them back to their country of origin might be the best way to go. And none of it's fair, because some of them have been held years and years.

Of course, that begs the question of what process is appropriate to determine whether "these people are guilty, not guilty." Deportation -- without an adjudication -- seems to give the suspected terrorists a pass; it's certainly not a conviction.

In Paducah (May 8, 2009), Paul said of terrorist detainees, "I think they should mostly be sent back to their country of origin or to tell you the truth I'd drop them back off into battle . . . you're unclear, drop them off back in Afghanistan. It'd take them awhile to get back over here."

The problem with Paul's approach is that it does not account for the recidivism rate among terrorists. What happens after we ship terrorists back to Afghanistan, as Paul suggests? Are these thugs more likely to wave American flags at our troops or set IEDs to kill them? If the latter, then we have just sent reinforcements to kill more Americans -- sort of a reverse surge.

Republican primary voters need to pay close attention to what Grayson and Paul say about Gitmo and the War on Terror. Grayson and Paul are virtually indistinguishable on fiscal issues: both support limited government and low taxes. Republicans must therefore identify those issues on which they differ -- such as what to do about foreign terrorists.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Did Eric Holder go to law school?

In response to criticism for having the KSM trial in a civilian court, Eric Holder said that acquittal is not an option. What?!?! Under the U.S. Constitution, acquittal is ALWAYS an option. That is what trials are for. This is law 101. For the highest lawyer in the land to make this statement is amazing.

If KSM gets some bright defense attorneys, as he most certainly will, there will be a real opportunity for them to to get him off on some technicality. How about violation of his Miranda rights for a start? Who knows how clever they can be.

It is unconscionable that a war criminal is being tried in a civilian court, but then unconscionable has become routine under the current regime. I am not sure that anything they do should surprise or shock us anymore.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Grayson Condemns Obama 9/11 Show Trials

Secretary of State and U.S. Senate candidate Trey Grayson has condemned the Obama administration's plan to use civilian courts to try the master-mind of the 9/11 attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, and his co-conspirators.

In an email blast, Grayson states that he

disagree[s] strongly with this decision and have launched a petition against this policy on my website. I hope you will sign the petition to President Obama today and join me in opposition to bringing captured terrorist suspects to U.S. soil for prosecution in civilian courts instead of prosecuting them using military commissions outside our borders. I see no need to threaten the security of Americans and spend untold additional millions of dollars trying to mitigate those risks on our own soil. If I am elected to the U.S. Senate I will support measures such as Sen. Jim DeMint’s legislation to extend the ban on moving Guantanamo detainees to the U.S.

It is a welcome relief to see the Grayson campaign finally focus on an important issue of national security, rather than how long his opponents have lived in Kentucky.

No word yet on how Grayson's opponent in the Republican primary Dr. Rand Paul views the use of civilian courts to try foreign terrorists.

If Paul gets his way, however, we will soon hear he and Grayson compare their positions on this and other issues. Paul today called for Grayson to debate him: "I challenge Mr. Grayson to debate before any impartial group. Several universities and media outlets have expressed an interest and I've indicated that I relish the idea of debate."

Meanwhile, President Obama -- flailing to defend his decision to try KSM in New York City's federal court -- gave a curious lesson on the rule of law to the Communist Chinese: Obama promised that the terrorists will be convicted. In addition to tainting the jury pool, Obama made the whole judicial exercise look like a sham with a pre-ordained conclusion.

Wisdom of a Founding Father

"As there is a degree of depravity in mankind which requires a certain degree of circumspection and distrust..." James Madison

One of the beauties of the U.S. Constitution is that its drafters recognized the natural "depravity" of man and the need to set limits on a government comprised of men and women. History had taught them that no matter what the form of government, the possibility for abuse of power was omnipresent when governmental powers were not limited. Embodied in the U. S. Constitution is that precious wisdom. Madison understood, perhaps better than anyone, that all men deserved a degree of "circumspection and distrust" simply because they were men.

Unfortunately, we today have a government that seeks to break the bonds of this most special document to institutionalize a form of depravity. It is not going too far to label currently proposed legislation, namely healthcare reform and cap and trade, as depraved. These are job and life destroying initiatives that will only accrue to the benefit of a selfish and overreaching government. These are clearly instances of arrogant and prideful man attempting to break the bonds of a limited government as embodied in the Constitution.

We can only hope and pray that this depravity can be stopped.

Friday, November 13, 2009

McConnell Reacts to Obama Trying 9/11 Terrorist in NYC

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell reacted to the administration's decision to bring the 9/11 perpetrators to trial just blocks from ground zero.

“The White House’s decision today to bring the 9/11 plotters within our borders and into our communities instead of trying them at the secure detention facility at Guantanamo is a step backwards for the security of our country and puts Americans unnecessarily at risk.

“This misguided decision is based on the false belief that the terrorists who killed 3,000 Americans in one day on U.S. soil are common criminals—not war criminals. But there are needless risks from this decision: classified information can be inadvertently leaked, as it was in the first World Trade Center trial; our cities will face enormous security problems; and our communities will be potential targets for attack.”

Likewise, the Obama administration undercuts its supposed commitment to teaching the world about the rule of law: there's no way that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his co-terrorists can get an impartial jury in the venue of New York City.

President Barack Obama said on 60 Minutes in March "Do these folks deserve Miranda Rights? Do they deserve to be treated like a shoplifter down the block? Of course not." So then why is the Obama administration doing just that?

Certainly the KSM's trial will require extraordinary security measures -- more than Obama's hypothetical shoplifter. But the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure will entitle KSM and other terrorists to exculpatory evidence, lists of witnesses and all the rest. Consequently, the terrorists will get to avail themselves of the same rights as the "shoplifter down the block."

Porkulus, the bailouts, the health care takeover, all of these were foolish ideas on the part of the Democrats. But bringing the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks to New York City for trial is not just foolish: it is cruel to the families of the victims and dangerous to America's security.

WSJ Inteviews Rand Paul

The Wall Street Journal online has an interview with U.S. Senate candidate Dr. Rand Paul. (Hat tip to Page One.)

He notes that unlike his father, Rep. Ron Paul, he would abolish the earmark system altogether. That is certainly correct on a macro level but would be hurt Kentucky so long as we are fortunate to have a party leader represent us.

Note that his indictment of the earmark system was in response to a question regarding to what extent he disagrees with his father on the issues. He identified earmarks as one of several "minor issues" with which he disagrees with his father.

Rand Paul needs to specify the other "minor issues." For the most part, however, he seems to embrace his father's failed presidential platform. That means Rand Paul now owns all of Ron Paul's positions (as well as his internet lists).

Asked about the legalization of drugs, Rand Paul responds that "It's a state issue. All issues of crime are better addressed at the state level."

He is correct that the constitution leaves the police power to the states. He is running for a federal office, so I don't view his answer as waffling (which it clearly would be were he running for governor.)

And though his respect for federalism is laudable, on the issue of the criminalization of narcotics, it strikes me as simplistic. It is not enough for Kentucky to criminalize a drug that has not only crossed state lines but in fact is being smuggled into our country from other nations. The interstate and international nature of drug smuggling makes this an appropriate area for some federal coordination with the states.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

This Paperwork Is Really Stimulating!

The Obama Administration's trillion dollar porkulus plan -- the one that was supposed to stave off double-digit unemployment but did not -- comes with lots of strings.

Just ask Campbelsville, KY shoe store owner Buddy Moore, who accepted an $889.60 order from the Army to provide nine pairs of work boots for a porkulus project. The Army Corps of Engineers then called the shoe owner, according to the Wall Street Journal, to demand that he fill out his Recovery Act paperwork, showing how many jobs he had created or saved. Next the government called back to see how those forms were coming along.

Moore has been filling orders for the Army for decades, but has never seen anything like the paperwork required by the Recovery Act. He asked his daughter, Paula Moore-Kirby, to help him with the on-line form.

Moore-Kirby spent eight hours trying to fill out the form as accurately and completely as possible. Eight hours for an eight hundred dollar government contract. After calling the assistance hot line, and told that she could revise the filing if necessary, Moore's daughter reported that the store's share of stimulus funds had created or saved nine jobs -- because Moore sold the Army nine pairs of boots.

Moore-Kirby wonders how the job creation question should have been answered: "Did we create zero? Is it creating a job because they have boots and go out and work for the Corps?"

Little did Moore know when he agreed to sell the Army nine pairs of boots that he was about to become the poster-child for the Recovery Act's red tape and inflated claims of job creation.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

David and Betty Jones Give $1 Million to McConnell-Chao Archives

Philanthropist and Humana co-founder David A. Jones stunned a University of Louisville audience today when he presented a $1 million check to the Mitch McConnell and Elaine Chao Archives at its ribbon-cutting.

Jones said the donation from him and his wife Betty was unsolicited. He praised the McConnell Center's development of leaders for U of L and Kentucky. He singled out Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell's dedication to many"issues big and small" -- for example, to conservation and parks, as well as McConnell's aid when the Jones's son was injured in the first Iraq war.

Jones also took an opportunity to praise McConnell for his relentless defense of the first amendment. McConnell has defended the first amendment's application even to unpopular speech, including the right to burn the U.S. flag, and the right for corporations to engage in political speech.

The first amendment, Jones said, is central to our survival as a country, and that includes the free speech rights of corporations.

Jones's comment seemed aimed at the Obama administration's gag order of Humana, imposed after Humana notified its subscribers of the potential impact of proposed health care legislation. McConnell vigorously criticized the Obama administration for censoring Humana and other insurance companies.

Likewise, Jones's remark could be an implicit criticism of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law, which hinders corporations from engaging in political speech. That bill's sponsor, Sen. John McCain, was the guest of honor of today's dedication of the archives. McConnell and the ACLU sued to have McCain-Feingold declared unconstitutional; McConnell lost and the law was upheld. McCain and McConnell both noted that their mutual respect and friendship transcends their differences of opinion on some matters of public policy.

Best Line of the Day

Sen. John McCain (quoting Sen. Tom Coburn) describes the Democrats' takeover of the health care industry: "No Child Left With a Dime." So true, it hurts.

McCain Calls a Terrorist a Terrorist

Sen. John McCain, who was in Louisville this Veteran's Day to celebrate the opening of the McConnell-Chao archives, said what many have thought: the shooting rampage at Fort Hood was an act of terror. WHAS has the video. McCain insisted that political correctness must not be allowed to impede national security.

Some argue that the Fort Hood shootings were a crime, perpetrated by a lunatic. To be sure, the tragedy is both a crime and a symptom of madness. That, however, proves too much: any act of terrorism -- including the attacks of 9/11 -- is both a crime scene and the product of insanity. What distinguishes terrorism from a crime is the political motivation of the person pulling the trigger or flying the plane. When, as at Fort Hood, the shooter screams "Allah Hu Akbar," there is no question as to the motivation.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Basic Human Rights

A letter to the editor of the “The American Legion” November 2009, this Legionnaire John S. Duty, from Winchester Kan, states it so succinctly:

Health care is not a basic human right; “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are basic human rights. Health care is a service. No basic human right exist where others have to pay for it.”

You can always count on a veteran to point out the obvious. Thank you John Duty and have a great Veteran’s Day tomorrow.

Monday, November 9, 2009

NYT: We Need More Stimulus

In the world of the New York Times, down is up and up is down. How else to explain the Paper of Record's editorial today, urging the government to pass yet more stimulus -- because the last trillion worked out so well for the poor slobs formerly known as its subscribers.

The Times opines, "government spending, as large and as necessary as it has been, has not been enough to revive hiring." To the contrary, the more the Obama administration spends, the worse unemployment gets.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

McConnell Reacts to Health Care Vote

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell issued the following statement in response to the House's vote to approve the latest health care debacle:

"Rarely has the disconnect between Congress and the American people been clearer than the vote tonight. Americans want lower costs, less government intrusion, a simpler approach and less spending. Instead, the Democrat leadership has just forced through a partisan, 2,000-page bureaucratic monstrosity—a trillion-dollar government experiment that raises premiums, raises taxes and slashes Medicare to create more government programs. That’s not reform.

As this bill moves to the Senate, Republicans will continue to offer commonsense reforms to lower costs and increase access."

How many of the 220 members who voted in favor of the trillion dollar health care takeover even bothered to read the bill?

Friday, November 6, 2009

Yeah, About Those Jobs

President Barack Obama warned that unless he got his way -- unless Congress appropriated billions upon billions of dollars in new government spending, unemployment would reach double digits: “If We Don’t Act Swiftly And Boldly, We Could See A Much Deeper Economic Downturn That Could Lead To Double Digit Unemployment," Obama said last January 3, 2009

One month later, he repeated his warning: “[I]f We Don't Act Immediately, Then Millions More Jobs Will Disappear; The National Unemployment Rates Will Approach Double Digits."

Congress caved and gave Obama the vast sums he said he needed to stave off double-digit unemployment.

Bottom line: the Obama plan did not work. Unemployment has now broken the 10 percent mark for the first time in more than two decades.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell called the Obama plan a failure: “I know the administration shares our goals of job creation and economic growth. But more debt, more spending, higher taxes and growing the size of government clearly has not worked—particularly in a time of double-digit unemployment.”

While Nation Grieves, Obama Gives A Shout Out

President Obama's My Pet Goat moment came yesterday. Robert A. George writes:

President Obama didn't wait long after Tuesday's devastating elections to give critics another reason to question his leadership, but this time the subject matter was more grim than a pair of governorships.

After news broke out of the shooting at the Fort Hood Army post in Texas, the nation watched in horror as the toll of dead and injured climbed. The White House was notified immediately and by late afternoon, word went out that the president would speak about the incident prior to a previously scheduled appearance. At about 5 p.m., cable stations went to the president. The situation called for not only his trademark eloquence, but also grace and perspective.

But instead of a somber chief executive offering reassuring words and expressions of sympathy and compassion, viewers saw a wildly disconnected and inappropriately light president making introductory remarks. At the event, a Tribal Nations Conference hosted by the Department of Interior's Bureau of Indian affairs, the president thanked various staffers and offered a "shout-out" to "Dr. Joe Medicine Crow -- that Congressional Medal of Honor winner." Three minutes in, the president spoke about the shooting, in measured and appropriate terms. Who is advising him?

Anyone at home aware of the major news story of the previous hours had to have been stunned. An incident like this requires a scrapping of the early light banter. The president should apologize for the tone of his remarks, explain what has happened, express sympathy for those slain and appeal for calm and patience until all the facts are in. That's the least that should occur.

Goerge's comments appear on the website of NBC's affiliate in Chicago, of all places. Mmmm. The White House hunt may need to expand to go after more game than just foxes.
Please note: The postings of "G. Morris", written by John K. Bush and which end in 2016, stated his views as of the dates of posting and should not be understood as current assertions of his views. The postings, which have not been altered since they came to an end, remain on this blog to preserve the historical record. In 2017, Mr. Bush took a position that precludes further public political comments or endorsements. He will no longer be contributing to this blog.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Two More GOP Governors

The White House and liberal press can spin it anyway they want, but yesterday's victories in New Jersey and Virginia show that independents can and will dump Obama and return to the GOP.

It is particularly significant that both races were for the governor's mansion. Governors historically have been the farm team from which presidential candidates come, so it essential to the national party's survival to keep winning these state races.

For Team Obama, the only consolation last night was the Democratic win in NY-23. This race was sui generis, and therefore little can be extrapolated from it with any certainty. However, it shows that conservatives will not be marginalized in the candidate selection process. And it shows that it is important for the GOP to cure its dysfunction say, a little before the last week of the general election. The shock is that poor Mr. Hoffman was able to do as well as he did.

But NY-23 is no mandate for Obama or Obamacare. It is, however, a warning to Michael Steele and Newt Gingrich.

Monday, November 2, 2009

C-J's Freudian Slip

Joe Gerth has been dutifully reporting the attacks between the campaigns of Attorney General Jack Conway and Lieut. Gov. Dan Mongiardo in their bids for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate. Lots of stalkers with camcorders filming each other. Now an accusation that Mongiardo is blurring the line between his official and campaign events, improperly excluding Conway's campaign staff.

Check out Gerth's coverage of the Kentucky Society of Health System's Pharmacists in Lexington:

Mongiardo's lieutenant governor's office sent out a notice last week announcing that Mongiardo would be speaking at them. [Emphasis added.]

After the primary, Mongiardo won't have anybody to speak at.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Why is it important to recruit friends, business associates, etc to make calls to our representatives?

Last night at the excellent American Small Business Partnership meeting a question was rhetorically asked whom had made a phone call to their representative today? I was happy to think to myself, check, did that!

I am trying to do some research on polling our community on health care insurance reform and I found out the C-J is not going to do this poll since it is not an election year and money is tight so they just don’t want to do it!!!! You might think if they had an interesting story then they could print it, improve readership, increase circulation, and sell more advertising but NOPE, that ain’t going to happen.

So I called Congressman Yarmuth’s office to see if they have done some polling, very quickly I was given the answer of NO. I asked again if they knew of some polling. NOPE. (Yeah right!)

Well they were on the phone so I took the opportunity to voice my opinion again to them that I hoped Congressman Yarmuth would reconsider his position on this important legislation and look for other options to solve the problem we all recognize needs some help.

Here is the curious part. I was asked to wait just a minute since the person on the other end of the line wanted to get to the computer. He took my name and he asked, “On Chenoweth Lane?” Yep, they had me recorded on their computer and knew whom I was. (Chenoweth Lane is my business address) So being the skeptic that I am, I realize that their computer will be able to break down the number of calls they take with positive and negative responses. I am sure that they will then review how many people called more than once and negate the multiple calls.

For this reason we need to recruit others to make these phone calls to our representatives.

Don’t quit calling yourself but insure that you get others as well to make these critical calls. Today the House has rolled out their version of the Health Care Insurance Reform and were cheered on by President Obama.

It is happening.

Let me provide the contact so all you have to do is make the call.

Congressman John Yarmuth 502-582-5129

Romano Mazzoli Federal Building
600 Martin Luther King, Jr. Place,
Suite 216Louisville, KY 40202

502-582-5129 FAX 502-582-5897

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Grayson Operative Stalks Rand Paul

Someone from the Grayson campaign has been following Dr. Rand Paul around, videotaping his every move.

The Paul campaign had a little fun with the guy and made a video of him filming them. It's sort of like the zoo animals taking pictures of the tourists taking pictures of the zoo animals. Except instead of the tourist feeding the zoo animal, it was the Paul campaign that invited the Grayson worker to have a bite to eat. (He was too busy filming to say "no thanks.")

The guy filming Paul is not wearing a Grayson campaign shirt or buttons, so it is not obvious that he is aligned with Grayson. However, Chris Hightower from the Paul campaign said that the man parks his car at Grayson's headquarters.

Less clear is why the Grayson campaign thinks it is effective opposition research to film Paul, an opthamologist, serving beans and cornbread to senior citizens at a Lion's Club fundraiser to buy eyeglasses for the indigent. Not exactly a Macaca moment, unless the beans contain botulism.

Update: Joe Arnold has a slightly different You Tube of the same guy videotaping the same Lion's Club event, in which it becomes clear that Paul was flipping pancakes to a very disturbing remake of "Leaving On a Jet Plane."

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

How Stumbo Will Steal From the Schools

House Speaker Greg Stumbo has issued a press release to attempt to defend why the state should be able to seize the contingency funds of local schools, and to explain how he would do it.

Stumbo clarifies what many had expected: rather than take the funds outright, he would off-set a local district's state funding and then tell the school to make up the difference from its contingency fund.

Stumbo boasts that because he will not take school contingency funds and use them elsewhere, this is not "robbing Peter to pay Paul." But make no mistake: he wants to rob Peter nonetheless. In Stumbo's own words:

As Governor Beshear and the General Assembly prepare for the upcoming legislative session, it is becoming increasingly clear that the state’s two-year budget will be the most challenging Kentucky has faced since the Great Depression.

Federal stimulus dollars have helped significantly, but unless Congress provides additional funds, the stimulus dollars will run out by the budget’s second year. Barring an economic miracle, there will be considerable budget gaps and no painless way to fill them.

We must also consider sky-rocketing health insurance and retirement costs, increases in a Medicaid program that already covers a fifth of our population and the growing needs of our schools and universities. Each of these areas must be adequately funded if we hope to move forward as a state.

It was with this in mind that I discussed the possibility of using a portion of surplus funds that are kept by our elementary and secondary schools for unplanned expenses and “rainy days.”

I want to make it clear that I do not believe these funds can be used for any programs or expenses outside of the school’s district. In fact, as Attorney General, I filed litigation to protect education dollars.

The surplus funds are a mixture of local and state dollars prudently set aside by the school districts for future needs and expenses. It would be patently unfair to “rob Peter to pay Paul,” but it may be time for Peter and Paul to help themselves more during these rainiest of days.

I believe all options need to be considered as we begin writing the state’s budget in the next several months. If this is an unprecedented suggestion, it is because we are in unprecedented times.

In our current budget, kindergarten through high school accounts for more than 40 percent of our state tax dollars; when you add postsecondary schools, the figure for education jumps to 58 percent. Critical health and family services and the judicial and justice systems push the total over 90 percent.

Because so much of the state’s budget goes to these areas, they are the ones most affected by cuts that have topped more than $1.5 billion during the last two years. Additional cuts are expected to exceed a billion dollars in the upcoming two-year budget. Federal stimulus dollars have helped us balance our current budget, but these are one-time funds and not a permanent revenue source.

I have no doubt that we will find a way to live within our means, but it will not be easy. My goal is to continue protecting, if not increasing, school funding. Reducing money for education would have negative effects lasting for generations. School surplus funds may or may not be part of that equation, but if they can be a bridge to better days, it is an idea that at least deserves to be discussed.

Schools have looked to their contingency funds every time the state issues an unfunded mandate -- like last year's salary increases -- or cuts funds, as it did this year with text books and professional development. Given the number of schools with dilapidated and over-crowded buildings, however, the contingency funds are an important safety net for emergencies of the sort to which old buildings are prone.

By Stumbo's reasoning, the state should dock his pay to help make up for Kentucky's dire finances. Stumbo can make up the difference from his savings account. That's what savings accounts are for, after all. It wouldn't be robbing Stumbo to pay Frankfort; it would just be robbing Stumbo. To each according to his need, from each according to his ability to pay. And by all means, lets sock it to the poor fools who thought it was responsible to save for a rainy day.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Barack the Golfer

For all you Bush haters who tried to paint him as a lazy playboy, guess what, he has competition. CBS news reports that Barack Obama, the man of the people, has played more golf in his first 9 months of office than George Bush played in his first two years!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Porkulus Watch

Democrats said that if America elected Obama, life would be beautiful. And they were right.

Now we learn that $2.3 million in stimulus money is gong to train hairdressers, nail technicians and masseuses -- and that's just in Tampa Bay, Florida. The joy of living in a pivotal electoral college state. (How did the Ohio beauty salons fare?)

Obama promised that he would cut out governmental fraud and waste by going through the budget "line by line." It was a nuanced promise. That's why he didn't pledge to go through budget hair by hair.

H/t: Hot Air

State Education Leaders Prepare to Fight Stumbo Plan

Kentucky's educational organizations for superintendents, school boards and school administrators have drafted a sample resolution for schools to protest House Speaker Greg Stumbo's plan to seize school contingency funds.

The resolution notes that the contingency funds come from local tax dollars in many districts: "taxpaying voters and property owners who reside in within the boundaries of this school system have contributed their local tax dollars to meet those local education expenses, which in turn have been incorporated both in the district’s budgeted allocations and planned contingency funds."

The point is that Stumbo does not seek to transfer state funds between state agencies, but rather to take local funds to give to the state. It's sort of like one level of government exercising eminent domain on a lower level of government.

The resolution takes a swipe at the Beshear administration for mandating schools to raise salaries -- but not providing any state money to help pay for the raise. That forces schools to use their contingency funds to pay for this and other unfunded mandates. To be sure, teachers should be well paid. But Democrats in Frankfort have dictated the timing and amount of the raises, without contributing any state money, and now Stumbo seeks punish those schools who tried to budget around his ham-fisted use of unfunded mandates.

Accordingly, the resolution criticizes Stumbo's plan to punish schools for having built contingency funds "through careful and effective financial management and effective budgeting, planned for unexpected expenses and the elimination of federal stimulus funds with conservative budgeting of reserve monetary resources."

Finally, the resolution urges citizens to contact their state senators and representatives to protest the Stumbo plan and fight to retain local "community control of this district’s vital financial resources for the teaching and learning of our children."

Stumbo is going to wish he'd thought of a different place to raid for money than local school districts. Even if he can muscle the votes, he will have bought himself a law suit. And he will forever be known as the guy who tried to steal the schools' contingency funds.

Republican Weekly Address: Sen. Johanns

Sen. Mike Johanns (R-NE) gave the weekly Republican address. The focus is health care, and the Democrats' new 1,500 page bill.

He makes an interesting point about how Senate Democrat Leader Harry Reid has picked winners and losers among the states.

Nebraska loses "$126 million for home health services, and many of the 38 Nebraska hospices would be in danger of literally shutting their doors."

But Democrats have given deals to senators from some states. As Johanns notes, "Why do Michigan, Rhode Island, Oregon and Nevada get special deals on Medicaid costs? Why do New Yorkers with Cadillac plans get a pass on paying the tax? It is shameful."

Democrats hope that if they negotiate the bill off camera and then make it so long that most won't read it (including most senators) they can claim to have achieved health care reform. "President Obama has promised open deliberations in front of C-SPAN cameras for all Americans to learn how reform will impact them," Johanns reminds us.

So much for the vaunted transparency of the Age of Obama.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Obama the Uniter

President Obama's third war -- against Fox News -- has the unintended consequence of uniting the mainstream media. When the administration tried to exclude Fox from the pool coverage of an unelected and unconfirmed Pay Czar, the other networks refused to go along -- they sided with Fox against the White House.

Who knew that the Old Time Networks had such resolve, such journalistic integrity? All those special interviews live from the White House either failed to persuade or have lost their allure.

As for Fox, every time Obama singles it out for criticism, Fox's ratings go up. It's almost like Obama is a mole for Roger Ailes.

This comes just as the administration has managed to send more than a dozen Democratic Senators screaming to other side of the aisle when Senate Democrat Leader Harry Reid called for his first real vote on health "reform." Reid could only deliver 51 votes out of the 60 who caucus with Democrats.

So in addition to uniting the media, Obama has, as promised, ushered in a new age of bipartisanship.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I'm More Kentucky Than You Is

Secretary of State Trey Grayson and Dr. Rand Paul are drifting further from the issues, into the terrain of silliness. From Paul's press release:

Reminiscent of the schoolyard, Trey Grayson whines that he's more of a Kentuckian than Rand Paul, that Paul is not a Kentuckian.

Rand Paul responds, "I've been a Kentuckian longer than Grayson's been a Republican!"

"I've voted in every Kentucky Republican primary since 1993. When did Grayson start voting in the Republican primary?"

I've raised all of my children here. Kentucky is the only home they've ever known. My wife's family arrived in Kentucky in the 1790's as surveyors. I've spent my entire medical career in Kentucky."

"If that's all
Grayson has to run on, empty shells, this campaign will be easier than we anticipate."

Seriously, boys. It is irrelevant how long Trey Grayson has been a Republican, so long as he adheres the core principles now (he does). Ronald Reagan started out as a Democrat, and few would doubt his conservative bona fides. It is likewise irrelevant how long Dr. Rand Paul has lived in Kentucky, so long as he thoroughly understands the problems of the Commonwealth and desires to enact public policy that would benefit Kentucky. Recall that though he was born in Alabama, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has been relentless in seeking ways to improve the lives of Kentuckians.

McConnell vs. Reid

President Barack Obama paid a bank-handed compliment to Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, while simultaneously dissing Senate Democrat Leader Harry Reid.

According to Obama, "Democrats are an opinionated bunch. You know, the other side, they just kinda sometimes do what they're told. Democrats, ya'll thinkin' for yourselves."

Yeah, that's it. We Republicans are mindless sheep. Democrats, in contrast, suffer from such creative intellect that not even Harry Reid can channel their progressive exuberance. Maybe Reid should ask McConnell for some pointers, or at least his Shepherd's hook.

Greg Stumbo Wants to Steal From Our Schools

School superintendents are beginning to push back against House Speaker Greg Stumbo's plan to raid school districts' contingency funds to make up for the state's budget shortfall.

The most outrageous thing about Stumbo's plan is that it punishes those schools that were fiscally responsible, to bail out a state government that was not.

State law requires schools to maintain a contingency fund between 2 to 5 percent of the school's budget. Some districts, on the advice of their outside auditors, maintain a little more than five percent.

Thus, a district with a Category 4 or 5 school -- that is, decrepit -- might put aside extra contingency fund money in case the boiler blows, the roof leaks or it needs to build an addition. Likewise, a school with an experienced staff of teachers should have a contingency sufficient to pay its share of the unused sick leave a teacher gets to cash out upon retirement.

And if geniuses in Frankfort or Washington decide to pass an unfunded mandate, the contingency fund is the school's safety net.

Rather than commending these schools that have scrimped to prepare for such scenarios, Stumbo wants to punish these schools by confiscating their contingency funds. He may be a little more subtle than just taking the contingency funds outright; he may reduce SEEK funds -- the State per pupil allocation to the school -- and tell schools to make up the difference from their contingency funds. But the net affect is the same. That's why schools were asked to provide information about their contingency funds last winter: Stumbo has been planning this for months.

Stumbo's tactics reflect what his party does at the national level: punish responsibility and reward profligacy. Just take from the school's who planned and saved and award a bailout to whomever Stumbo deems deserving.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Way To Go, Brett Guthrie

Congressman Brett Guthrie, though newly-elected, is proving to be a voice for common sense on the Hill. Guthrie has co-sponsored legislation that would withhold funds from the Obama administrations myriad "czars" unless and until they go through Senate confirmation.

Guthrie's press release states:

"I am pleased to co-sponsor legislation to ensure that no public funds are appropriated for the salaries of czars who have not been confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

"Only a few of the over 30 Czars that have been appointed by the president, have actually been confirmed by the U.S. Senate. The Administration relies on these unique appointments to advance the President's agenda and these Czars are given a tremendous amount of power over important policy areas.

"Czars should be put through the same constitutionally-mandated process that all executive appointments must go through. I am a cosponsor of H.R. 3226 and look forward to supporting this bill when it comes before the U.S. House of Representatives."

BACKGROUND: Congressman Guthrie is a co-sponsor of H.R. 3226, which was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on July 15, 2009, by Congressman Jack Kingston (R-GA). The bill requires any task force, council, or similar office (including Czars) which is established or appointed by the President, to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

An Equal Opportunity Offender

President Obama has done plenty of things to anger and offend those on the Right, but he seems equally committed to offending and angering those on the Left.

President Obama talks a good game on gay rights, but he has not done anything to further them and it does not look like he as any plans to in the near future. Gay rights activists should be furious with him for the empty promises he made during his campaign.

President Obama has snubbed the Dalai Lama by refusing to meet with him. George Bush happily met with this poster boy for the Left, what's up with that?

While President Obama is no hawk, he has shown some signs of being committed to winning the wars we are currently fighting. Again, many of the peaceniks that elected him have right to be angry for his stance.

When you get the Right AND the Left mad at you, I am not sure that is a good thing. But maybe it is. I am sure our President has it all figured out.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Native Son

In his recently published book, Republican Leader a Political Biography of Senator Mitch McConnell, John David Dyche provides a fine biography of this native son, with an emphasis on the political dimension of his life. In Mitch McConnell's case, the political dimension of his life is overarching. Dyche writes in a very readable style and he provides a very objective look at Senator McConnell's rise to power. He mentions McConnell's successes as well as his failures and he cannot be accused of fawning over his subject.

It can well be argued that Mitch McConnell is the second most powerful politician in this country, behind President Obama. While Senator McConnell is not currently in a position to be proactive on the passing of legislation, he is a key leader in opposing it. The success, security and well being of all Americans, especially the poor and middle class, depend on his efforts and the efforts of his peers to prevent much currently proposed legislation from becoming law.

There are many Kentuckians who probably do not have a true appreciation for McConnell's accomplishments, or have an appreciation for how truly fortunate we are to have this Kentuckian leading the loyal opposition.

Dyche's book provides an excellent insight into the man and his political motivation and evolution. A highly recommended read.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Supremes Grant Cert. in Chicago Gun Ban Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has granted certiorari to decide whether the second amendment applies to states and municipalities. The Court had several cases to choose from, given the split in the circuits, but chose the case involving Chicago's ban on hand-guns -- arguably the most restrictive law of its kind in the country.

Notably, this case is brought by Alan Gura, the same attorney who won Heller, last Term's opinion that held that the second amendment is an individual right rather than a collective right. Heller concerned a gun ban in the District of Columbia, a federal enclave, and therefore could be limited to federal gun bans.

Judge Larry Silberman (who wrote the D.C. Circuit opinion in Heller which the Supreme Court affirmed) notes for National Review that the Court can apply the second amendment to the states without incorporating it into the 14th amendment. The plain text of the second amendment is not limited to the issue of Congress infringing upon the right to bear arms; the language is much broader: ". . . the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

The use of the passive voice suggests the right "shall not be infringed" applies to any level of government, including states and local governments.

For what it's worth, while on the Second Circuit, Justice Sonia Sotamayor voted that the second amendment is not incorporated into the 14th amendment.

The Court is considering incorporation not just through the due process clause of the 14the amendment, but also through the "privileges or immunities clause."

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Obama's Internet Grab

[Guest posted by Annie Lee Mann]

Obama Adminstration Seeks Control of the Internet

The Obama administration is engaged in an effort to take control over internet and citizens’ freedom of speech and press under the guise of providing internet infrastructure security. If you don’t believe me, check it out: This link provides analysis, full text of bill and a PDF summary of key provisions. The Electronic Frontier Foundation is independent and a reliable source. I don’t think anyone could accuse them of being part of a right-wing conspiracy (I don’t think a lyricist for the Grateful Dead is a card-carrying member of the Klan or the NRA.).

It got too much attention as a single bill and has since be dissipated into 14 (!) other bills, but you should know about it. It wouldn’t cost as much as a government takeover of health care, but it might be even more frightening. This bill provides for outrageous and unprecedented power to be given to President to invade citizen privacy and even to shut down the internet. They seek to control – not just regulate – all electronic means of communication, both commercial and private.

Am I overreacting? Reading dire possibility into an honest effort to prevent cyberterrorism?

I don’t think so!

Okay, President Orwell, Mr. “judge me by the people with whom I surround myself.” For an extended version of the web surrounding our president, go to .

For now, let’s just look at his Czar for Diversity at the FCC, Mark Lloyd. The following are excerpts from his book “Prologue to a Farce,” subtitled “Communication and Democracy in America.” .

I can’t get free access to all the book, (and certainly don’t want to buy it!) but just in the first few pages Lloyd makes clear his passionate belief that the government should control all media because “Corporate America” doesn’t serve to inform our citizenry. Don’t take my word for it. Read for yourself:

“The ongoing American experiment in democracy is failing. And it is failing because we have allowed our public sphere to be dominated by the interest Madison called merchants.” (page 11) “The most powerful communications tool was deliberately placed in the hands of one faction in our republic: commercial industry. This faction has had many names over the course of our history. Madison called them the mercantile faction. . . today we call them Corporate America.” (p. 16, lamenting the slippery slope public communication went down when the decision was made not to have government-controlled telegraph)

[I can’t resist a sidebar. Everyone has seen , right? The cute little cartoon movie about the evils of capitalism that is being shown to schoolchildren nationwide? (complete with tests administered by teachers at the end to insure the Obama Youth get it?]

“The ideals of political equality and a government that operates in response to the informed consent of the governed are for most Americans only romantic notions. Our republic, the unique American mechanism for realizing the will of the people, is something warm and fuzzy to salute or sing about at best. At worst it is viewed as a dysfunctional and unreliable interference. But, in the main, it is regarded as merely another service provider, an odd cousin to the market.” (p.11) . [No, never mind singing the national anthem. Much better we should sing the praises of our f├╝hrer . ]

“The real questions is: What is the governing structure that will allow us to address the serious public injustices in our present?” (P.13)

“I will counter…[Thomas Jefferson’s outdated canard that that government is best which governs least, p.14] that … Americans clearly want many things that only government can provide: a clean environment, affordable health care, safe streets and so on. The answer to the problems of achieving our ideals of political equality and democratic deliberation is not to be found in limiting the only mechanism that can help us improve our society. “ (p. 15, emphasis added)

“We should never have allowed one faction to dominate our public sphere. Corporate liberty has overwhelmed citizen equality.” (p. 17)

“Indeed, as communications technologies become even more important to democratic participation, the government’s inherent responsibility to protect and advance democratic engagement is increased.” (p. 20) [all well and good unless you’ve read the provisions of the Cyber Security Act of 2009!!)

“[under the chapter sub-heading] The Altar of the First Amendment” p. 20

This book does not ignore the First Amendment. The First Amendment deserves our attention. . . I only seek to place it in a context with other communications policies.”

Not vital link, but interesting if you have time, because it leads to so much more: I missed the Daily Show, so was glad to see the clip!

The internet is key to bringing down totalitarians around the world, which is why they seek to ban or control it in China, and now in the U.S.A.