Monday, March 26, 2018

The Ghost of the FBI Past --

University of Louisville Law Professor Justin Walker has an important op-ed in today's Wall Street Journal.  He reminds us of the consequences of an "independent" FBI. Independence became lack of accountability to democratically elected presidents.

I am generally aware of the misdeeds of the FBI under J. Edgar Hoover. The recent movie, Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House does a good job of illustrating that in the aftermath of Hoover's death, during Watergate.

What Walker's piece reveals, however, is that Hoover's abuse of civil rights extends to thousands more ordinary Americans than I had previously thought; this was not a problem limited to Hollywood stars and prominent politicians.

Walker's op-ed is a condensed version of a piece that will be published later this year in the George Washington Law Review, which I look forward to reading. 

Monday, February 5, 2018

More Crony Capitalism from GOP in Frankfort

Senate Bill 5 should be filed under "what were they thinking" or "why bother winning elections if you're going to govern like Democrats." Sen. Max Wise (R-16) is the sponsor.

Wise's bill basically reverses a successful practice of the private companies overseeing pharmacies dispensing drugs and brings it back into state government. That's right, it grows state government -- at a time when programs like education are being slashed due to Kentucky's desperate financial shortfall and the pension mess.

Not surprising, it's expensive (and inefficient) to grow government.  The price tag for Senate Bill 5:  $36 million a year.

Where on earth will the state get $36 million?  This is lunacy.

The only people to benefit from this bill are small town pharmacists. That is, it's crony capitalism -- Frankfort pols picking winners and losers.  In this case, the small town pharmacists win, and tax payers lose. If enacted, the pharmacies will get the Obamacare payment of $10.64 per each drug dispensed -- compared to under a dollar they now get. That's quite a raise. 

Nothing against small town pharmacists. But why should they get preferential treatment over other businesses and industries?  I bet some now defunct independent booksellers are wondering where their handout was.