Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Giving thanks

There are many things to be thankful for as Thanksgiving approaches, but one thing we are especially grateful for is the fact that we haven't been invaded by the avid Rand Paul supporters, unlike a lot of other blogs on both sides of the ideological spectrum.

The Paul supporters, not so affectionately dubbed "Paultards," are frequent posters on media blogs as well as both conservative and liberal sites. Any attacks on their hero and his unorthodox views or those of his father, Texas Congressman and former GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul, are met with a vehement and passionate response.

We make no bones that we are not fans of Rand Paul. We disagree with several of his views, particularly regarding national defense and the war on terrorism. But likewise, we are not fans of Trey Grayson, who does not demonstrate enough conservative views and traits so as to warrant consideration for an important office like senator or governor. We won't be supporting either Paul or Grayson in the Senate campaign.

We'll continue to be thankful if the "Paultards" continue to keep their rants confined to other sites.

Enjoy your turkey, everyone, and be careful out there if you venture out to the stores on Friday.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A real waste of state resources

In his continuing vendetta against Lt. Gov. Dan Mongiardo's U.S. Senate campaign, Jacob Payne at the Page One Kentucky blog has been railing about Mongiardo's press office's habit of attaching PDF versions of the original Word document of press releases and media advisories to the e-mails. Last week Payne lamented this terrible waste of state resources, talking about the time and effort and electricity required to create the PDF file and attach it to the e-mail message.

That's laughable. The amount of time and energy that requires is miniscule.

A real waste of state resources is coming from the way Frankfort sends unemployment checks.

Earlier in the year, the federal government funded a supplemental unemployment benefit giving each recipient an extra $25 per week. Seems it would be a simple matter to just add the money to the regular check and be done with it.

But no. Nothing Frankfort does is as simple or easy as it should be. Each unemployment recipient gets two checks mailed to them every two weeks. One check contains the normal benefit. The second check contains the extra $50 for the two weeks, minus any taxes that are withheld.

This strikes us as a monumental waste of money and resources. The state prints two checks and mails them separately, incurring two separate postage charges. This doubles the amount of money it takes to put the unemployment funds in the hands of the recipients. Even if the regular and supplemental benefits come from two accounts, seems like it would be a simple matter to pool those funds and keep track of them administratively instead of having to print and mail two separate checks.

If Frankfort is hurting for money so badly that most state agencies are being told to prepare for 6 percent cuts, it seems to us that a very simple way to recover some costs is to quit mailing two checks when one combined check, at half the cost, would do.