Also, you can't abort a baby. It's not a baby until it's born. Until then, it's tissue invading a woman's body.
Wednesday, July 29, 2015
As I've repeatedly said, the entire point of Republicans killing Medicaid expansion is simple: you either die or move to another state. Either way, you're no longer that state's problem.
Bevin absolutely is running for governor of the Commonwealth on that platform, and right now he's ahead in the polls because of it. Meanwhile, Jack Conway is going to learn that as with Alison Lundergan Grimes, if you run away from Obama, you're going to lose.
Yet still again more than ever before proof that freakazoids are unqualified to drive or vote, much less hold any position of public responsibility.The Kentucky Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) has a policy (Policy 912) that requires that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, and intersex (LGBTQI) juveniles be treated with respect for their identities. A minister who volunteered to work with young people at the Warren County Regional Juvenile Detention Center is now challenging that policy after his services were revoked because he refused to comply with it.
Minister David Wells of the Pleasant View Baptist Church in McQuady, KY is represented by the anti-LGBT Liberty Counsel, which sent a letter to the DJJ on his behalf threatening legal action if the policy is not lifted and Wells reinstated. Wells refused to sign a statement promising to refrain from ever telling juvenile inmates that homosexuality was “sinful.” Specifically, the policy requires that volunteers not use “derogatory language in a manner that conveys bias towards or hatred of the LGBTQI community” and that they “shall not imply or tell LGBTQI juveniles that they are abnormal, deviant, sinful, or that they can or should change their sexual orientation or gender identity.”
Superintendent Gene Wade outlined how Wells could comply with the policy, explaining, “You can give a scripture reference to the kids, and let them look it up, but you can’t read it in their hearing. You can’t say ‘sinful'; you can’t discuss sexual orientation — heterosexual or homosexual — period.” These terms were not satisfactory for Wells to continue his volunteer work at the detention center.
This policy, the Liberty Counsel argues, is viewpoint discrimination under the First Amendment. “By restricting speech which volunteers are allowed to use while ministering to youth detainees, the State of Kentucky and the Kentucky Department of Juvenile Justice have violated the protections given to private speech through the First Amendment and the Kentucky Constitution. Policy 912 requires affirmation of homosexuality as a condition of providing spiritual guidance to troubled youth, and singles out a particular theological viewpoint as expressly disfavored by the State of Kentucky. This the State cannot do.”
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
The real issue here is not food safety, but food supply. GMO crops are corporate possessions; farmers cannot save seeds for next year's crop, but must buy new seeds every year from Monsanto. GMO put one of the planet's most toxic and despicable corporations in control of the entire world's food supply.
Regardless of whether genetically-modified organisms in food are dangerous to human health, they are absolutely lethal to the food supply and the ability of farmers to maintain sustainable crops.
But four of Kentucky's six representatives don't give a flying fuck about that.
This is a relatively simple issue. Food activists want to see potentially dangerous GMO food labeled so that consumers can make up their own minds about whether or not to feed it to their families. Monsanto and the GMO-Republicans, led by the Koch brother's Mike Pompeo (R-KS), want to make sure that there is no labeling and that the states that have already passed labeling laws to protect their citizens-- Connecticut, Maine and Vermont-- are over-ruled. I guess the concepts of states' rights and small government are trumped in GOP minds when their Big Business allies squawk loud enough! The bill passed (last week) 275-150.
Monday, July 27, 2015
- struggling with chronic pain because KASPER prevents them from getting necessary medication,
- taking heroin because they can’t get needed pain medication, or
- the friend or family of someone who is
But what House Bill 1 really did was criminalize pain relief. It hit the mosquito of pill mills with a bazooka, taking out the ability of thousands of doctors to prescribe legitimate pain medication at the same time.Since Kentucky’s landmark prescription drug abuse legislation took effect in 2012, the Commonwealth has seen a significant decline in the number of prescriptions for the most commonly abused medications, doctor shopping has decreased by more than 50 percent, and more Kentuckians are seeking treatment for prescription medication addiction.These findings, among others, are part of a yearlong study conducted by researchers at the University of Kentucky Institute for Pharmaceutical Outcomes and Policy and compiled in a report to the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS).Gov. Steve Beshear joined Attorney General Jack Conway, lawmakers and health industry officials today to announce the report.The study specifically researched and analyzed the impact of state law known as House Bill 1, which was passed in a special session by the 2012 General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. Beshear.“House Bill 1 was a bipartisan effort designed to help us fight the epidemic of prescription drug abuse in Kentucky, and it’s doing exactly that,” said Gov. Beshear. “Since the law was enacted, not only have we seen a decline in doctor shopping and prescriptions for heavily abused medications, pill mills have closed and the provider community at large has become more educated and committed to using best practices for prescribing these commonly abused medications.”
Doctors everywhere in Kentucky are refusing to prescribe any pain medication at all for any reason to anyone. That is how draconian the KASPER regs are. Write one scrip, and if the KASPER police wake up with a wild hair, they can strip you of your license to practice medicine. Forever.
So now we have thousands of Kentuckians with legitimate chronic pain desperate for relief, turned away by the medical profession and able to survive only by using heroin.
Sunday, July 26, 2015
Enough of this shit. Taxing the monstrous fortunes freakazoids collect in the name of their invisible friend is not a violation of the Establishment Clause, but allowing them in the name of their sky wizards to flaut laws others must obey is.
Brownback's order aims to protect religious leaders who perform marriages and religious groups that provide adoption services, according to the Wichita Eagle."We have a duty to govern and to govern in accordance with the Constitution as it has been determined by the Supreme Court decision. We also recognize that religious liberty is at the heart of who we are as Kansans and Americans, and should be protected," Brownback said in a statement. "Today’s Executive Order protects Kansas clergy and religious organizations from being forced to participate in activities that violate their sincerely and deeply held beliefs."The American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas on Tuesday condemned Brownback's religious liberty order, calling it "unnecessary and harmful.""As a result of Executive Order 15-05, a homeless shelter that received a state contract or grant could refuse family housing to a gay couple with a child, or a foster care agency could refuse to place a child in their custody with the child’s family member just because the family member was in a same-sex relationship – and the state could not require them to treat all families equally," Kansas ACLU Executive Director Micah Kubic said in a statement. "In addition, singling out just one form of religious beliefs about marriage poses serious constitutional concerns."Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) also issued a religious liberties directive following the Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage. The directive states that Texas agencies should prioritize the First Amendment and ensure that nobody "takes any adverse action against" individuals who are "substantially motivated by sincere religious belief."
The trouble, of course, is that much of the party has already rejected the premise behind the pivot. The Hill reported over the weekend:Congressional Republicans are coming under pressure to respond to the Supreme Court's ruling on gay marriage when they return to Washington next week.Religious organizations aligned with the GOP are concerned the government will punish them for opposing same-sex marriage, and want lawmakers to put in place new protections for people with faith-based objections.The groups are putting their lobbying energy behind the First Amendment Defense Act, a bill that would prohibit the government from retaliating against churches, schools and adoption agencies that only recognize heterosexual marriage.The "First Amendment Defense Act" -- conservatives really do excel in the bill-naming department -- is not just a hypothetical. The legislation has already been introduced in both the House and Senate -- the lead sponsors are Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), respectively -- and it's actually faring quite well. The House version already has 69 co-sponsors (68 Republicans and one Democrat), while the Senate bill has 21 co-sponsors (all 21 are Republicans).Note, Sens. Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Lindsey Graham, each of whom are running for president, are among the bill's champions.
Saturday, July 25, 2015
No, Mr. President: As long as Wall Street exists and its criminals walk free on the earth, "reform" is not working. That's because you can't "reform" a criminal enterprise with no reason for existing except to steal every last penny from the working people of the national and the world. You have to kill it. Burn it to the ground and salt the earth so nothing rises there again.
Full transcript here.
Seriously, what was the last thing repugs sounded the alarm about that actually happened, or even posed a genuine threat in reality?Whenever a new environmental regulation gets proposed, there's one thing you can count on: the affected industry will start cranking out research showing that the cost of compliance is so astronomical that it will put them out of business. It happens every time. Then, when the new regs take effect anyway, guess what? It turns out they aren't really all that expensive after all. The country gets cleaner and the economy keeps humming along normally. Hard to believe, no?Apologies for the spoiler, but can you guess what's happening now that President Obama's new carbon rules for power plants are about to take effect? Mitch "War on Coal" McConnell has been issuing hysterical warnings about these regulations for years, but the Washington Post reports that—sorry, did you say something? You've already guessed, have you?More striking is what has happened since: Kentucky’s government and electric utilities have quietly positioned themselves to comply with the rule — something state officials expect to do with relatively little effort....“We can meet it,” Kentucky Energy and Environment Secretary Leonard Peters, speaking at a climate conference, said of the EPA’s mandate.
Friday, July 24, 2015
State Fair will be fun this year, with the dead-enders parading around in their Treason Flag gear hoping to make white liberals cry and non-white Kentuckians start a fight.
Be interesting and educational if somebody made a Treason Flag census of the commercial booths to see how many vendors ignore the State Fair Board's "strong discouragement." Count 'em on opening day, count 'em again on the last day, and keep a list to compare to next year, when they will be banned.
The Kentucky State Fair Board and Kentucky State Parks will stop selling Confederate flags in gift shops and at future events, officials said Thursday.The fair board voted Thursday to "strongly discourage" the sale of Confederate flags at this year's State Fair and ban them at future events following a request the board received in June from the Louisville NAACP, fair board spokeswoman Amanda Storment said.The ban will include the 2016 Kentucky State Fair, the National Farm Machinery Show and the North American International Livestock Exposition, all of which are owned and produced by the fair board.In addition, future contracts for rental space at the Exposition Center will ban the sales.
The assassinations at Emanuel A.M.E. Church, followed by the public forgiveness from the grieving families, were similarly cited by several South Carolina lawmakers as their reason for voting to remove the flag. What they are really saying is that Black Deaths Matter, not our lives. Black people in the US are only deemed worthy of action in their death, not in their life. In a year that has seen thousands in the streets, young and old, black white and brown, saying to the nation, “Black Lives Matter”, the painful and dangerous message coming from South Carolina this week is: Black Deaths Matter. That’s the painful and dangerous narrative being developed out of South Carolina; it’s a narrative that the oppressed of this land have known for a long time: Only Black Deaths Matter. Our nation is capable of doing the right thing – such as taking down the Confederate flag in the year 2015, a flag that represents the racist, immoral, unconstitutional defense of slavery and Jim Crow – but only when Black deaths happen and are met by a response deemed acceptable by those in power. Ever since this flag was raised in 1961, to send the message that South Carolina would not honor equal protection under the law, tens of thousands of small and large protests have not been enough to move the power brokers to take it down.
Taking down the flag is a good thing. But when we look at the voting and policy records of most of the political leaders who helped to lower it, we should be careful with equating its removal as a history-altering event. Systemic racism is alive and well; they show no intention yet of dealing with the fundamental inequalities racism still causes in our society.But the power of racism has a strange endurance.
SNIPLet us be clear about what's being said: nine Black deaths may get the flag lowered, but it will not get you one pen to sign Medicaid expansion throughout the South, which would save thousands of Black lives. Black deaths will not get full voting rights, which saves Black political power and produces policies that save black, brown and poor white lives. It will not get criminal justice reform, which liberates Black lives. Nor will it get you full funding for public education, a living wage, or economic empowerment that will lift the lives of black people, minorities, and the poor. It will not get gun reform. Black deaths only get you the lowering of a low-down flag that should have never been up. It will get you nine pens as memorabilia and a signing ceremony at the Capitol. It will get you one final insult in the promise that an undignified flag, a symbol of hate, will be lowered “with dignity and respect” as Governor Haley promised white people still committed to the Lost Cause. And you will get this only if Black people die, and the victims’ families and extended family in the human race behave in a manner declared acceptable and ‘Christian’ by people who have supported un-Christian, immoral public policy that continues to institutionalize economic, racial and political inequality.
The perpetrator has been caught. But the killers are still at large. The deep well of American racism and white supremacy that Dylann Roof drank from remains. The families of the nine martyrs challenged the schizophrenia of American morality that allowed political leaders to condemn the crime and at the same time embrace the policies that are its genesis. Many of South Carolina politicians and others in the nation are examples. They decry the killings but steadfastly refuse to support efforts to quell their divisive rhetoric and to cease their push for policies that promote race-based voter suppression. They refuse to vote for the Voting Rights Act. They cut funds for public education in ways that foster, re-segregation. They deny workers living wages. They refuse Medicaid expansion. They proliferate guns. They use racialized code words to criticize the president, all in the name of taking ‘their’ country back to ‘prevent its destruction.’ When will they own up to the fact that there is a history of racialized political rhetoric and policies that directly spawn the pathology of terroristic assassinations and carnages, and of violent resistance to constitutional decisions.
If America is serious about this moment we cannot cry ceremonial tears, while refusing to support the martyred Pastor and his Parishioners’ stalwart fight against the racism that gave birth to the crime. Gov. Haley said the people killed in that Charleston church, and the forgiving actions of their families, set the Confederate flag’s removal in motion. If that’s the case, then the actions of Black-led protests don’t matter. Black political power doesn’t matter. Only in the face of nine Black deaths, and a certain acceptable perceived response, will anything be done. If this is the standard, how many Black deaths will it take to secure restoration of the Voting Rights Act, Medicaid expansion, public education funding, living wages or criminal justice reform? I shudder to think. This nation needs counseling and redemption until Black Lives Matters. And when Black Lives Matter, then all lives will matter. The dehumanization of Black Lives dehumanizes all lives.
Thursday, July 23, 2015
No, he didn't use those exact words. But that's the meaning, anyway.
The day after a federal judge heard arguments over a Rowan County clerk refusing to issue marriage licenses, Governor Steve Beshear is standing behind his view on the issue.
Beshear, during a news conference Tuesday for the state budget, was asked about the clerks who claim their religious freedoms are violated by the new laws.
The governor stood by his previous statements, saying the clerks must comply with the Supreme Court's ruling that same-sex marriage is legal in all 50 states.
"When you voluntarily decide to run for office, and you win, and you raise your hand and you take the oath to uphold the Constitutions of the United States... that oath doesn't say 'I will uphold the parts of the Constitution that I agree with and won't with the parts I don't agree with,'" Beshear said.
The ACLU filed a lawsuit against Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, who stopped issuing marriage licenses because same-sex marriage violates her religious beliefs.