Because there are no crazies in Hollywood who’ve ever done anything stupid with guns right?
“Apparently, they have blanks or they have phony magazines or something.” – NY Gov. Cuomo
CLICK HEREto read the rest of this classic liberal hypocrisy. Guns are bad in the hands of law abiding citizens. But Hollywood brings jobs, and more importantly political contrabutions, so they should be exempted.
I never thought I’d live to see this kind of craziness happening in my country — and yet here we are.
Baretta is about to release an awesome new gun (one of those dasterdly “assault weapons” as ignorant liberals call them.) Ironically, the gun they are about to produce, could soon be illegal in the state that produces them. So, Beretta appears to be joining the chorus of gun makers that are pushing back against draconian gun laws. They are threatening to leave Big Government Happy Maryland.
Hey Gov. McDonnell! Now would be a great time to send them an invitation to come to Virginia! We’d be happy to have a Beretta here, and happy to have the jobs since the Sequester now appears to be a forgone conclusion.
WAPOhas the whole story. And Clicky, Clickyhere if you want to see the more than 40 other gun and ammo manufacturers who are standing up for your Second Amendment rights.
There’s been a lot of buzz lately about a bill in the state legislature to make Sudafed a prescription drug. Well, more specifically, any drug that contains the ingredient pseudoephedrine. In addition to being an incredibly effective drug in combatting allergies, it unfortunately also happens to be the most important ingredient in the making of a terrible narcotic – methamphetamines, otherwise known as Meth, or Crystal Meth.
Apparently, makers of Meth can use over the counter drugs with pseudoephedrine in them, combined with several other easily accessible chemicals and materials to quickly whip up a batch of this nasty concoction. Through a process known as “smurfing” the makers or their hired errand runners will go from store to store picking up supplies. Despite valiant efforts by law enforcement and a large database, this process can still be very difficult to stop.
Further complicating the situation is the fact that the making of Meth through the combination of these chemicals can be extremely dangerous and has led to many “Meth lab” explosions, as well as injuries and deaths.
Because the manufacture of Meth has become so rampant in Kentucky, many lawmakers believe they can stop or slow the spread of it by making drugs containing pseudoephedrine available by prescription only. Thus, Senate Bill 50 would do just that.
While I agree with lawmakers and law enforcement that something needs to be done about this situation, I disagree that the answer to the problem is to make it harder and more expensive for law abiding Kentuckians to obtain a common remedy that is very effective in fighting allergies.
Given the fact that Kentucky already has a huge problem with pill mills, corrupt doctors will simply add these drugs to the list of pills they prescribe. I believe this bill will not solve the problem, but rather cause a shift in the supply chain.
In the meantime, it will cost Kentuckians more by forcing them to see their doctor before they can get the effective drugs for the allergies all too common to the Ohio Valley. You may now have to miss work and pay a doctor’s visit co-pay in addition to the cost of the drug itself, just to get sinus relief for yourself or your children. Meanwhile, the scourge of meth will most likely continue.
Laws like this tend to make criminals out of law abiding citizens by accident, and fail to stop the real crime. For instance, what happens if you go on vacation to another state where the drug is available over the counter, come down with a sinus infection and pick up a box? When you come back home to Kentucky, are you guilty of possession if you don’t have a prescription? These are the kind of accidental situations that have to be worked out, and they have nothing to do with solving the Meth problem.
There is an alternative however. Representative Brent Yonts (D – Greeneville) has put forth a compromise bill that may just solve the problem. We currently have to show ID to purchase any drug containing pseudoephedrine. Under Yonts’ legislation, nothing would change for law abiding citizens. However, anyone who has been convicted of a meth related crime would have to have a prescription making it much harder for them to access their supply.
Fighting Meth doesn’t have to mean limiting freedom. I believe this approach is the best compromise to help law enforcement more effectively fight a terrible problem facing Kentucky, while at the same time maintaining the balance of liberty in our state.
Did you know that your legislator doesn’t have to be “on the record” when he or she votes for a spending bill? That’s right, there’s no way to track how your representative voted on raising or spending your taxes.
I’ve been covering politics here in the Bluegrass State for over five years, and even I wasn’t aware of this complete lack of accountability. Apparently, the Speaker of the Kentucky House of Representatives can use the “voice” vote procedure for spending bills rather than a “roll call” vote. That means Frankfort can decide how much you will pay in taxes and how they will spend the money with simply a show of hands. No paper trail or real record of each legislator’s individual vote exists. Isn’t that neat?
Whether you are on the political left or right, you have to agree that this isn’t a good way to conduct the state’s business. In fact, it’s so absurd, that I’m really surprised no one has addressed the issue more publicly before now. I’m even more surprised that there isn’t a massive public outcry over this.
Imagine the following scenario: Frankfort votes to raise taxes. You bump into your legislator in the local grocery store and proceed to tell him how mad you are about the increase. Your legislator nods his head and agrees with everything you say. He then says, “I know, I just can’t believe all those big spenders up there I have to work with.” Then he walks away smiling. Because he’s the only one in that conversation that knows, he actually voted for that tax hike. You have no way to hold him accountable.
State Representative Kim King, (R-Harrodsburg) has proposed a piece of legislation that would solve the problem. House Bill 81 requires all votes pertaining to spending to be taken via the “roll call” method, thus creating an electronic and paper record of the vote that each legislator casts. Sadly, this bill won’t even get a committee hearing unless you get mad enough to put pressure on the Appropriations and Revenue Committee members. If we don’t demand accountability from unaccountable legislators, why would they vote for it on their own?
Let’s face it folks, Frankfort has become nothing more than a dirty pig trough. Most legislators spend a lot of time building and consolidating power and influence and they do it by blowing through your tax dollars at the speed of light.
The recent discoveries of massive amounts of missing tax payer property at the Department of Agriculture under former Commissioner Richie Farmer should set off alarm bells across all of state government. The wanton waste is everywhere, but it’s here to stay and will only get worse if you are not willing to express your righteous anger over the current lack of transparency, accountability and accessibility of our state government.
Start sticking up for yourself and your hard earned money today by calling Rick Rand, chair of the Appropriations and Revenue Committee at (502) 255-3286. Until they feel the pressure from the voters, they’ll have no reason to police themselves.
This argument over a 2% payroll tax cut is stupid. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for a tax cut. I believe the economy works best, when we regular folks get to keep more of our hard earned money. But that doesn’t change how dysfunctional Washington has been during this whole process.
First, let me point out that we have spent the last two years listening to the Democrats whine that Republicans want to kill Grandma by making changes (or as they call them “cuts”) to Social Security. Then, for the last few months of 2011 we hear them talk about cutting taxes for the middle class through this payroll tax cut. Unfortunately, most Americans don’t seem to realize that it’s the payroll tax that funds Social Security – so, cutting the payroll tax means cutting funding for social security.
Ironically, back in August, the President said that if we didn’t raise America’s debt ceiling, we wouldn’t have the money to send out Social Security checks. Less than a month later, he’s arguing that we cut funding for social security so we can give the rest of America a tax cut? Now who’s trying to push Grandma off the cliff?
But this column isn’t meant to criticize Democrats while praising Republicans. If the Republicans wanted to advocate a tax cut, they should have argued to permanently lower the income tax rate by 2%. Then Grandma and Grandpa could keep getting their social security checks and everyone else gets to keep more of their own money. See how easy that was? It’s not rocket science.
Yet the Republicans nearly shut down government over the Holidays, not because they wanted to make a principled stand but rather because they wanted to argue with the Democrats over how long to cut funding for social security, two months or a year. If the Democrats in Washington are downright mean for falsely accusing the Republicans of cutting into Grandma’s retirement nest egg while actually doing it themselves, then the Republicans in Washington are just plain stupid for not seeing it coming.
This whole argument was never about what’s best for the country, but rather who gets to keep pulling the strings on the status quo.
The Democrats should be ashamed of themselves for being deceitful and mean. The Republicans should be embarrassed for getting the wool pulled over their eyes. I demand an apology from both of them.
The real discussion we need to be having in this country is over broad-based tax reform, not incremental tax relief. It’s the difference between operating on the open wound, versus trying to stretch a thin Band-Aid across it.
There’s no question that there are some at the top of the income chain that are getting away with paying nothing. Just ask President Obama’s friends at GE and Solyndra. But at the same time, nearly 48% of Americans pay no income taxes at all. Guess who gets squeezed?
The real answer lies in broad cuts to a bloated government and in broadening the tax base and lowering the rates, while closing the loopholes.
Both parties like to drone on about a level playing field, while both of them attempt to do the opposite. An economy where everyone plays by the same rules is a healthy economy. Real leaders would know this. Unfortunately, we haven’t seen such a situation in decades.
2012 could be a make or break year for our nation. Will we descend into an ugly class war, with its well documented outcomes? Will we continue to let the rich get richer while the little guy gets squeezed? Or will the statesmen step up and once again put America on the path to prosperity?
So, what’s with this flurry of hiring friends by outgoing Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer? Multiple news sources have reported that Farmer hired his girlfriend for a $5000 per month job, just eight days before the gubernatorial election that Williams/Farmer would lose in a landslide. Mr. Farmer is term limited, and wouldn’t have been able to serve another term as Ag commissioner even if he had wanted to, so he had to know that this wouldn’t pass the smell test.
Farmer has also hired a couple of other friends in the last month or two for positions within his department. Both will make between $1950 and $2500 per month for all of two months. So what gives? Was there work to be done that could only be done by Mr. Farmer’s closest friends in the final two months of his second term?
Grant it, these were appointed positions so legally, Mr. Farmer can do this. But why do it when he has only two months left in office? The next commissioner will get to appoint his own staff, why disrespect someone who won the vote of the people by filling these positions at the last minute when everything is likely to change soon? Wouldn’t a true conservative relish an opportunity to leave some taxpayer money unspent?
I’m not going to venture any farther into the realm of speculation as to why Farmer made these questionable hires – for now we’ll just stick with being upset with the fact that they are indeed questionable. This isn’t the first time his management of tax dollars has come into question. There were questions about the purchase of SUV’s, mileage reporting, big screen TVs and hotel stays during the Kentucky Sweet 16 Basketball Tournament. Richie Farmer has to know that this stinks. It appears to be slap in the face to Kentucky taxpayers. It is either colossal ignorance or willful arrogance.
Does Farmer actually think that he can run for statewide office again after this? Is he even concerned about the appearance of impropriety? Does he think that because he played basketball for the Big Blue that no one cares what he does with taxpayer dollars, or how it looks?
It’s sad, because the people of this state trusted him with public office because of his name. As is always the case with former basketball players, Kentuckians treat them well – even if they weren’t huge stars. If you wore the jersey, it can be your ticket. Do you think it was a coincidence that the Williams/Farmer campaign logo had a basketball in the middle of it? Surely no one actually thought that had anything to do with policy?
For Farmer to display this kind of deliberate superciliousness in front of the taxpayers who gave him a pretty nice post basketball career is downright mean, and it gives me a small sense of relief in retrospect to know that he’s not going to be the Lt. Governor.
Nonetheless, the damage is done. Republicans haven’t held the Governor’s office but once in 30 years. It’s rare in this “conservative Democrat state” for Republicans to hold any statewide office. This isn’t exactly good PR for the party of small government.
I am hopeful that incoming Commissioner James Comer – the only candidate I endorsed, and the only Republican to win – can erase some of this bad mojo. He’ll have to work twice as hard to rebuild the trust of the taxpayer. Maybe he can repair some of the damage done by being wiser with taxpayer dollars and lending more than lip service to cutting the size of government.
Do we want to expand gambling in Kentucky? It’s a question we’re sure to be discussing in the coming months. Governor Steve Beshear has made no secret of his support for expanded gambling and members of the legislature are already discussing a new push.
Both sides of the issue have begun circling the wagons around well staked out ground. There will be vigorous debates over the social costs and whether or how much the horse industry should benefit directly from any shift in state policy.
Other states are certainly benefitting from money spent by Kentuckians who venture onto gambling boats within shouting distance of our own shores. One might easily ask, why let that money go elsewhere when we can presumably keep it here?
For those against expanded gambling on social grounds, I would ask why such an effort to stop this one activity? There are lots of behaviors that individuals engage in that lead to negative social consequences. Do we really want government to be the social police?
If you are in the horse industry and support expanded gambling I would ask, would you be just as supportive of this policy if a free standing casino, with no connection to the Horse industry could also be built directly across the street to compete with your favorite track?
So what do we do?
We would do well to remember that when debating an issue like this, we should look at the intentions of those who support or fight the change in policy – and the broader effects of such changes on every Kentuckian. How will the legislation be written? Will it be written to protect some at the expense of others? Or will it be a piece of legislation that treats all businesses and individuals exactly the same?
Already legislators from both parties are lining up to argue over where the “increased state revenue” will go. Some to the horse industry they say, and then some to law enforcement and some to the children and so on and so forth. Like Santa Clause handing out presents, elected officials will dole out the good will and cheer to the highest bidding constituency.
Is this really the way to decide whether or not a business can be legal in our state? Should we blindly accept whatever risks are associated with it as long as state government gets more revenue? And where does that increased revenue come from? It comes from excessive taxation and regulation of a business sector. Thus ensuring that in a business already fraught with corruption and crime, there will be more of it – with the assistance of the government of course, and as always, in our own best interest.
If we are to expand gambling in our state, why not do it for everyone and let the market determine the winners and losers rather than the government? If it is successful, won’t the state still benefit from increased tax revenue as it would from any business? Won’t the horse industry benefit from being allowed to increase their offerings at their tacks? Won’t competition be good for employment and the economy?
At a time when we should be drastically reducing the size and cost of government, politicos are already salivating over a new revenue pie to redistribute. I fear that allowing the Governor and a select few state legislators to pick who wins or loses in a given industry will bear more negative consequences than good.
As citizens who are concerned with the economic future of our state, it would do well for us to be vigilant and involved in the coming debate.
Leland Conway is the Executive Editor and Co-Founder of www.conservativeedge.com and the Host of the Pulse of Lexington on News Radio 630 WLAP.
The time has come for the Kentucky Republican Party to rethink its strategy. The results of the recent statewide election prove that the Tea Party can neither be co-opted, nor ignored.
After pouring over the election returns from last week, I came to the following conclusion. The Tea Party remains the most powerful, unified political force in the state.
If you look at the results of each of the statewide races you actually see a trend.
It could be argued that the three tried and true tea party candidates were John Kemper (auditor), Bill Johnson (Secretary of State) and James Comer (Ag Commissioner elect.)
I’m not saying this as a dig at the other three candidates. I thought David Williams had a stellar economic plan, Kacie Crosbie is a fantastic person and she’s reliably conservative, and Todd P’poole had it right in his strong desire to fight the Obama administration. But none of these three were involved when the tea party got started. Comer, Kemper and Johnson on the other hand have been there from the beginning.
If you look at the results, the Tea Party candidates received almost the same percentage of votes as the establishment candidates (David Williams excluded.) Yet people I’ve talked to have confirmed my sense that the “GOP Establishment” did little to help the Tea Party candidates beyond a few platitudes here and there.
Yet despite their massive funding and organizational disadvantage Tea Party candidates still managed in each case to pull in 40% or more of the vote.
And then there’s James Comer, the only Republican to actually win. Comer got more votes than any other candidate, Republican or Democrat – including the Governor’s race. Grant it, he was running against a horrible candidate in Bob Farmer who, 1.) Didn’t have a plan, 2.) Had never been a farmer and 3.) Made fun of people from Eastern Kentucky. Still, 63% is a butt whooping’ no matter how you look like it.
But James Comer ran a different campaign from the establishment. He took unequivocal stands on controversial issues and he didn’t waiver. He went straight to the people who would be most affected by his office and built a principled coalition of Democrats and Republicans. Regardless of the media’s false template of us, that’s exactly what the Tea Party is all about.
The longer the Kentucky Republican Party denies the importance of the Tea Party, the longer it will be before they find themselves occupying the Governor’s mansion.
The Tea Party is simply a leaderless coalition of small government, principled conservatives – and in Kentucky that means both parties. You can’t just give lip service to those principles when the time comes to try and win our votes. Overtures during election time mean absolutely nothing to us when your record doesn’t match your rhetoric.
Some are complaining that the Tea Party has become a divisive force and will ruin the GOP’s chances for future wins. I disagree. Whether or not the Republican Party has future success depends entirely upon their future actions.
When they are ready to take up a real conservative agenda for Kentucky, we’ll be standing here waiting.
It’s not about being divisive. It’s about standing firm. As Winston Churchill was once supposed to have said, “A principled man has but to stand his ground and the world will yet come round to him.”
I’m proud to be a Republican because I’m proud of the platform of limited government, personal responsibility and free markets. These are the principles upon which I have always stood. If the leadership of my party departs from these principles, I am not being divisive by simply standing where I have always stood. I’ll be here when they are ready to come back.