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Archive for July, 2016

Kentucky Unemployment At Lowest Since 2001

Unemployment 12-2015 to 06-2016Even as Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin has taken to social media to tout the occasional creation of new jobs—whether it’s 310 new jobs and $57 million in investment, or 150 new jobs in Russell County with a $43 million investment—Kentuckians have a good right to be proud of the turnaround in the state under the new administration. What’s more impressive is the declining rate in unemployment in the state. The truth is that the last time the unemployment rate was this low was in June 2001, fifteen years ago.

Steve Beshear liked to claim that his administration halved the unemployment rate —without admitting that they first doubled it. During the corresponding period of the first 7 months of the Beshear administration, the unemployment rate rose from 5.5% to 6.3%. The former governor left the state with a higher rate of unemployment than the one he inherited. Bevin, meanwhile, has reversed the trend and seen the unemployment rate drop from 5.6% to 5.0% today. This translates to 34,845 more Kentuckians earning a paycheck today than the day Matt Bevin was sworn into office.

None of this is likely to be celebrated by an antagonistic media, they’re more worried about a building that was named for Jane Beshear in the days before her husband left office. Priorities, Kentucky, priorities.


Source: U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov)

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KY Journalists Feel Beshear’s Pain

July 16, 2016 1 comment

Poor Kentucky journalists, they feel a barrage of rejection emanating from Governor Matt Bevin’s office. Some reporters who generally avoid politics have also been drawn into offering editorial comment on the ostensible feud between the current and former governors. Tara Anderson of WFPL News went so far as to call it “Shakespearean”. Meanwhile, Al Cross, frequent columnist at he Courier-Journal, lamented Governor Bevin’s loss of the “high ground.” (We have no recollection of a time when Cross or any other prominent political journalist conceded the high ground to candidate or Governor Bevin.)

Domestic Violence Awareness Month 2013

The journalists’ latest wound was inflicted when former First Lady Jane Beshear’s name was removed from the Capitol Education Center adjacent to the Governor’s mansion in Frankfort. It hurt so badly that an empathetic Jack Brammer, the Lexington Herald-Leader’s man in Frankfort,  wailed on KET “Would he want someone to treat his wife like that?” Press conferences in Frankfort must make for deeply depressing experiences.

In most of the stories covering the former First Lady’s building story, few, if any, point out that hubby Beshear waited almost three years after the building was commissioned before he named it for his wife. In fact, he waited until after Matt Bevin was elected to give her this special shout-out. Coincidentally, it was his last day before he nominated her to the board of the Kentucky Horse Park Commission. The former governor was in such a hurry to secure a spot for his wife on the KHPC that his order—an executive order nominating her to the board—accidentally referred to it as the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.

Democrats in the state have a voice. It takes the form of whiny rants on social media and comments on articles by Cross, Brammer, and others among the press faithful. The insult du jour is to call Bevin “petty.” As long as Kentucky’s media focus on the relationship between Bevin and the Beshears, chances are that the state’s voters will never know that the unemployment rate has dropped dramatically under the current administration, or that the state’s pension fund is on its way to solvency, or that the debt is being paid off.

Bevin’s accomplishments are proving to be too painful to acknowledge by the press, because it hurts the narrative that he’s a one-man wrecking ball. Fortunately for the state, Bevin doesn’t care for liberal opinion and is taking care of the real business of the state.

 

Photo credit: Steve Beshear via Flickr under a Creative Commons copyright.

Trans Restrooms: Good Intentions Make for Bad Results

It’s been just under three months since Target, the superstore chain, made an announcement that it was “continuing to stand for inclusivity.” Its celebration of diversity, as they described their decision, would permit transgender people, or those who self-identified as transgender to use a restroom or fitting room which matched their gender identity.

The definition of “gender identity” is more fluid than gender itself. So when a man walked in to a Target store in April and asked permission to use the ladies room, he didn’t meet with any opposition. In fact, the store management offered to explain their policy in the event that women were uncomfortable with a male and were to demand an explanation. Andy Park was not even pretending to identify as a transgender female and posted a video of his conversation for the whole world to bear witness.

Target didn’t treat that as a lesson. More on that in a moment.

We’ve heard that a middle-aged male named Sean Patrick Smith, who calls himself Shauna Patricia Smith (how clever!) has felony charges of voyeurism for holding his camera over a Target changing room wall to film a woman in the next stall. Critics of Target’s inclusivity policy should not be surprised—the threshold for identifying as a person of the opposite sex is low—all it takes to identify as a person of the opposite sex is to say so.

Its celebration of diversity triggered a pledge by over 1.2 million Americans to boycott its stores. In mid-May, Target’s CEO was still quite uncertain that the boycott had impacted their sales. Investors, usually reliable with their own money, have been dumping target stock and have watched the price drop from a 52-week high of 85.31 to $73, a drop of over 14% in less than three months. The loss in Target’s market value is $7.28 billion.

A quarter of the world’s countries have an annual GDP that is less than the value of the loss in Target’s market capitalization. That’s a high price to pay for faux diversity and endangering our womenfolk.