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Rep. John Yarmuth, On the Wrong Side Again

2012 December 20
by robertnew


“You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.” So said Rahm Emanuel, President Obama’s former Chief of Staff, and it seems every politician in America is piling on.

While the parasites of the network news outlets were still shoving microphones in the faces of grieving residents of Newtown, the politicians in Washington were already politicizing a tragedy.

Rep. John Yarmuth, D-KY, has jumped on the bandwagon with his share of statements. Yarmuth said he has been quiet for too long on gun control. Yes, he has. Where was his outrage when the Obama justice department failed to classify the Ft. Hood shooting as what it was, a terrorist attack by a Muslim extremist, instead of “workplace violence”. Where was his outrage when the Obama justice department purposefully allowed “assault weapons” to be sold to known Mexican drug cartels under the Fast and Furious program? Did he release statements when this resulted in the murder of an American border patrol agent, 300 Mexican men, women, and children, and now Mexican beauty pageant winner Maria Susana Flores Gamez, using Department of Justice supplied guns? Where is his outrage on the torture and brutal murder of our Libyan ambassador?

Now Rep. Yarmuth is all for stricter gun laws, facts be damned. He doesn’t care that FBI statistics show gun related violent crimes are declining, while gun ownership is up. Does he really think some nut case intent on committing a violent crime is going to have second thoughts because they will be breaking a gun law?

Rep. Yarmuth is doing what career politicians do best, seizing an emotional moment to run off at the mouth and pass onerous legislation affecting only law abiding citizens. Yarmuth said in his statement, “…And while no specific gun regulation may have prevented the deaths of the 20 Sandy Hook Elementary children, 6 and 7-year-old children, the answer simply cannot be a gun in every elementary school lunchbox.”

Really? Has anyone advocated arming 6 and 7-year-olds, giving them guns to carry in their lunch boxes? Rep. Yarmuth and many others who govern by knee jerk reaction admit that the very gun control law they want to pass would not have stopped the shootings in Newtown, or Aurora, or Ft. Hood.

Meanwhile Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-OH, is out negotiating with himself on trying to stop us from going over the fiscal cliff, President Obama is packing for his next vacation, and Sen. Harry Reid, the top dog in the Senate, has yet to bring up a budget vote for the last four years and blames Mitch McConnell, the minority leader, for obstructing everything.

Here’s a novel idea for politicians–do your job! Pass a budget, get our debt under control, and get off our backs. Morality can no more be legislated than a politician can pass up a television camera. There is an old saying– you’re either part of the problem or you’re part of the solution. It seems Washington is bent on trampling over the solution to become a bigger part of the problem.

What’s the ROI on Economic Development?

2012 December 11
by robertnew

OpenIn 2011 Berea “invested” a fairly significant amount of money in bringing in business consultant Michael Shuman to help us with economic development. Mr. Shuman did some analysis, held a couple of meetings, and facilitated the startup of several committees to focus on different areas identified as potential growth areas.

A web page was started, updates were also on the City of Berea web page, and Mr. Shuman cashed his check and went home. Today there is no evidence of Mr. Shuman’s work here other than a few outdated posts on the city’s web page. Do we have anything to show for our investment? Are any of the committees still meeting? Has even one idea that came out of this expensive program been implemented?

We have our own Director of Business Development on the payroll. Mr. Tom McCay. I have yet to see a report from him on any results of this or other projects in work.

Every council meeting the city administrator, Randy Stone, stands up and gives a report on paving projects, on drainage projects, and on lighting projects. Everything he reports on is revenue negative. It is costing us money. Why isn’t Mr. McCay, our economic development director, giving a report every council meeting? Shouldn’t he be reporting on his work with the small business community in Berea? Shouldn’t he report on his work with the large businesses that support Berea so much with their payroll and property taxes? Shouldn’t he report on the work he is doing in recruiting new businesses to locate to Berea? These are all things that should be revenue positive to Berea.

Perhaps our ROI in economic development is one area the city needs to take a hard look at.

Free Money Isn’t Free

2012 November 30
by robertnew

Last week I attended one of our city council meetings and I heard one of the council members make a statement that I hear all too often in local politics. In a discussion of a project by the city administrator and the cost of the project, the council member said, “And this didn’t cost the taxpayers a dime, it was all paid for by federal money.”

Perhaps this guy watches too much TV and thinks the federal government is like that Geico television ad. The one with the guy made of money, riding around on his motorcycle leaving a trail of twenty dollar bills behind him. Or perhaps he thinks Geithner and Bernanke just print money magically to send to cities who want to build some quarter of a million dollar bicycle bridge to nowhere. Actually the printing part may be all too close to reality!

I hate to break it to this councilman, who I know personally and is a really nice guy, but that free money isn’t free. That federal government money still comes from our pay checks in the form of taxes. And it never ceases to amaze me how local and state politicians think that taking my dollar, sending it to Washington, laundering it through 5 levels of bureaucracy, and sending back 30 cents to spend on a project is a better idea than keeping the entire dollar here to use, or better yet, let me keep most of it to spend with local merchants. Education and energy are prime examples. The Department of Education doesn’t educate anyone. The Department of Energy doesn’t produce any energy.

When I hear statements like this by local politicians it makes me realize just how much work remains for we conservatives to educate the misinformed

Governor Beshear Has Some Explaining To Do

2012 November 27
by robertnew

A task force looking in to revamping some of Kentucky’s alcoholic beverage regulations is getting ready to report back to Gov. Beshear. But according to reports they are “intentionally avoiding some of the larger issues surrounding alcohol sales.”

Here in lies one of the biggest problems facing Kentucky. Governor Beshear appoints all these commissions to study and look at problems, but they are afraid to do anything. The same thing is happening now with the tax commission. They had a deadline but now the governor gave them an extension because they can’t do their job.

We had a task force looking at the pension crisis facing our state and everything they recommended you could have come up with in an hour watching the Suze Orman show.

Perhaps it is time for some of these groups to realize that we can’t keep doing the same thing over and over and expect different results. Kentucky, as well as many other states, will have to make some tough decisions. The hole we are in is getting deeper every year and our debt is mounting.

We already have a poor credit rating, we were named the worst managed state in the nation in 2010, and Gov. Beshear was given a grade of D by CATO Institute’s Fiscal Policy Report Card on America’s Governors for 2012 ranking him near the bottom.

Don’t you wonder how we can be in such a mess by a governor who claims on his website:

“Despite repeated budget shortfalls, Governor Beshear has balanced Kentucky’s budget eight different times, yet has prevented significant cuts to our priorities of education, critical public safety programs and job creation efforts. And he has balanced the budget without any broad-based tax increases on Kentucky families and businesses.

Governor Beshear shrank state government to its smallest size in a generation, and continues to find ways to improve government efficiency with fewer taxpayer dollars. Some steps have included cutting political appointees and contracts, as well as selling off unneeded state property and vehicles. In addition, Gov. Beshear and his senior staff and cabinet secretaries have each taken 10 percent paycuts. Recognizing the growing cost of the state employee pension systems, Governor Beshear proposed and signed a landmark pension reform bill to reduce out-of-control costs while honoring the commitment to teachers, police officers, firefighters and state employees. This reform also helped ease the burden on the budgets of county and local governments and school districts.”

I think the governor has some explaining to do to the tax payers of Kentucky.

Are Lazy Journalists the Reason for News Outlets Declining?

2012 November 21
by robertnew

In “A move to the political center?” by Ronnie Ellis (Nov. 10th Richmond Register) he piled on the old attacks of Mitch McConnell’s statement misquoted by President Obama during his first term. The quote by Obama actually got two “Pinocchio’s” by Washington Post fact checkers.

The actual quote about making Obama a one term president was in regards to the 2010 Republican victories in Congress and in context is, “We need to say to everyone on Election Day, “Those of you who helped make this a good day, you need to go out and help us finish the job.”

The interviewer asked “What’s the job?”

McConnell responded, “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”

McConnell then went on to say, “… if he’s willing to meet us halfway on some of the biggest issues, it’s not inappropriate for us to do business with him.”

McConnell also said, “I don’t want the president to fail; I want him to change. So, we’ll see. The next move is going to be up to him.”

Mr. Ellis’ column is an example of what is lacking in today’s world of journalism. Gone are the Woodward and Bernstein journalists who doggedly pursued Watergate. Today the popular and easy way out is to blindly run with the talking points spoon fed them by the White House PR team.

Why do we ignore the brutal murder of an ambassador and three Americans who gave their lives protecting him during a terrorist attack and overlook the misleading statements by officials all the way up to the President while a basketball player suffering from lack of energy is front page news?

Is it any wonder our newspapers are going the way of the Twinkie?