Friday, October 28, 2016

No Health Insurance? Blame Bevin

Fucking over defenseless Kentuckians is not the only reason Bevin took away the health insurance of hundreds of thousands of Kentuckians.  Now he gets to run for president on the platform of actually killing Obamacare in Kentucky. 

Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration says it expects a smooth transition Nov. 1 as open enrollment begins for health insurance and Kentuckians looking to buy coverage in 2017 switch from the state exchange, which Bevin is closing, to the federal exchange.

However, health care advocates worry that some people will be left behind. They say the state’s was a one-stop website that allowed people to shop for insurance and either be approved for a private plan — possibly with tax credits to make the plan more affordable — or be enrolled in Medicaid if they were near or below the poverty line, usually in one sitting.

The federal website could require multiple sessions and an indefinite waiting period while applications are processed, and applicants will be sent to a state-run public benefits website,, if they are found to be eligible for Medicaid.

“What we’ve seen in Kentucky is tremendous success with Kynect,” said Emily Beauregard, executive director of Kentucky Voices For Health. “It’s not going to be nearly as simple with Delays with application transfers and error messages have been a significant problem in some of the states that have been using already.”

Advocates also praised Kynect because it came with an advertising campaign to promote it and employed more than 500 navigators, called Kynectors, who went into communities and walked people through the application process.

Gov. Fascist Dictator Declares Self Above Law

Scratch that.  It's Gov. Screaming Toddler whose only response to be caught in a crime is to scream "you can't do that! Mommmmmmmmyyyyyy make them stop!"

Yes they can do that and yes they are doing exactly that.

Gov. Matt Bevin said Thursday a special House committee does not have the authority to investigate his handling of a multimillion-dollar road project in Jessamine County and summon witnesses for testimony under oath.

Bevin’s general counsel, Steve Pitt, informed the committee’s chairman, Democratic Rep. Jim Wayne of Louisville, of the governor’s opinion in a two-page letter Thursday. Pitt also told Wayne in the letter that two Transportation Cabinet employees will not be testifying at a scheduled meeting Friday of the House Investigatory Committee on Executive Actions.

Wayne said he was studying Pitt’s letter and would not comment on it until Friday’s meeting.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, appointed the panel earlier this month to investigate claims that Bevin delayed an $11 million extension of East Brannon Road in Jessamine County as political retribution against Democratic Rep. Russ Meyer of Nicholasville for not switching political parties last December.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Taliban Matt Hits the Burka Trail

Skirts below the knee?  Are you fucking kidding me?

Let's see if we can figure out the real goal here.

Shame female employees?  Check.

Shame low-paid employees who can't afford the new fascist "professional" look?  Check.

Vague guidelines that make it easy for Bevin appointees to fire non-repug, non-freakazoid, non-white, non-straight and non-male employees without just cause?  Check.

No flip-flops. No bare midriffs. No camouflage. And watch the hemline on that skirt.

Gov. Matt Bevin's administration is rolling out a new dress code for state workers, but some departments' individual tweaks to the rules – including a ban on  "extremely low necklines" – are raising eyebrows at the state workers' association.

Employees recognize that employers have the right to set standards, said David Smith, executive director of the Kentucky Association of State Employees, but who's to say what the proper length for a dress is? "You're dealing with a fashion issue, and fashion changes," he said.

Personnel Cabinet Secretary Thomas Stephens said in a recent memo announcing the new guidelines that the executive branch's roughly 31,000 employees should maintain "a neat, professional appearance" because they represent the commonwealth.

However, agencies are free to tweak their dress codes since different departments do different kinds of work, and people can request accommodations if they have a medical, religious or disability-related need. Violations could result in employees being asked to leave the premises or being subjected to disciplinary action, including possible dismissal.

Stephens also is instituting several additional rules that only apply to the Personnel Cabinet's 206 employees.

Personnel Cabinet employees can wear casual dresses and skirts only if they are knee-length or longer and cannot wear spaghetti-strap dresses unless they're covered by a sweater, according to an early-October memo from Stephens. Tops with "extremely low necklines" are prohibited, as are pajama pants, exercise pants, camouflage-patterned clothes and shorts. Men must keep their dress shirts tucked in, although polo shirts don't have to be.

Smith said the association has members who work in every state cabinet and every state agency, and some employees – the majority of whom have been women so far – have reached out with concerns about the new dress codes.


And the Personnel Cabinet cannot oversee how each agency and manager enforces these rules, Smith said. Supervisors potentially could use a dress code violation as an excuse to discipline or fire someone they dislike.

"Is it too interpretive, and do we believe it could cross a line? Absolutely," Smith said.
If someone has religious or personal views about what is modest or appropriate and what isn't, those ideas shouldn't be forced on employees, he said.

He also said state workers may have to buy new clothes to meet their agency's dress code if, for example, their skirts fall above the knee. Employees will make an effort to meet whatever requirements their agencies institute, Smith said, but professional clothes can be expensive.
Especially for employees hired since Governor Fascist Dictator cut the state employee minimum wage from $10.10 to $7.25 about 10 seconds after he was inaugurated.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Right Is A Hoax

It always has been.  Trump has just carried it past its logical extreme.

It is not “liberal elitism” to declare that those who think chasing Mexicans and Muslims out of the country, repealing Obamacare, rolling back civil rights protections and cutting taxes for billionaires will lead to widespread prosperity are factually off-base. It’s basic common sense.
Trump made it this far because he understood that mainstream-media entities would not call stupidity by its name. He made it this far because he understood that there are millions of Americans who still, after all these decades, don’t understand that the Right–all of it–is a hoax, a scam to separate suckers from their money and their dignity. He made it this far because he understood that there are plenty of citizens who will fall for the simplest of cons–and that the Fourth Estate won’t even attempt to tell those citizens that they are just marks for the con.

The marks will continue to be played for suckers even if Trump loses by a significant margin. They will continue to demonstrate their limitless intolerance. They will continue to attack elected Republicans they regard as not being hateful enough. They will continue to denigrate our democracy…and they will continue to slow down our march towards progress.
So beating Trump is not enough.  Exposing and defeating the right-wing hoax is the goal.  And that will take a lot more work than just winning elections.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Defending Your For-Clinton Vote

There are literally no persuadable voters in this election, so trying to pull repug voters over to the dem side is a waste of time and energy.

Preventing Trump from getting within a light-year of the presidency is more than sufficient justification for a vote for Hillary Clinton, but if you need to defend your vote from a positive perspective, Political Animal has what you need:
Clinton has a whole array of proposals that would actually benefit white middle and working class Americans.
If you are unemployed, she has a plan to create thousands of new jobs via an investment in infrastructure.
If you aren’t earning enough money to make ends meet, she wants to raise the minimum wage.
If you want to go to college or are weighed down with college debt, she has a plan to make college debt-free and to allow former students to refinance their debt.
If you are elderly and trying to make it on Social Security alone, she has a plan to shore up the Social Security Trust Fund and increase benefits to the elderly poor.
If you are raising a family or taking care of elderly relatives, she has a plan for paid family and medial leave.
If you need affordable child care, she has a plan to make pre-k universal and ensure that no one pays more than 10% of their income on high-quality childcare.
If you are living in poverty, she has a plan to change the refundability threshold of the child tax credit.
If you live in coal country, she has a plan to revitalize your community.
Beyond that, a President Clinton would continue the executive orders issued by President Obama on things like overtime pay and the fiduciary responsibilities of investment advisors.

Monday, October 24, 2016

How to Rig An Election

Sure, it'll be easy!

As CrunchyFrog demonstrated last night, it wouldn’t.
I know they’re all grifters, but man are they stupid, too. He actually thinks that Democrats are bussing (sic) in black people to vote multiple times in different precincts. This reminds me of an article once by a journalist who went undercover for a few months as a car salesman. He had the usual exposes about the car dealership industry, but one side comment was about how every sales dude (almost always dudes) was also involved in some multi-level-marketing scam or another and how their best customers were the other sales dudes. Gullible is as gullible does.
Regarding the black voter busing scheme. Let’s think about this logically (not possible for the GOP, I know, but bear with me). If I were running such a scheme what would I have to do to make an effective dent in the results? As a starting point, a lot of Colorado wingnuts think that Obama won there in 2012 by cheating. He won by 138k votes, so let’s use 140k votes as a starting point. So let’s say I have a bus full of black voters – say 66 people (common capacity limit on school buses). So if every bus is filled to near capacity that’s about 2200 bus-visits to the polling stations. How many polling stations can a given bus hit in a day? Well, your typical precinct has 2-3 people checking voters in and each one processes about 2 per minute, so that’s over 30 minutes just to check in (of course there will be other voters, too), plus time to drive between precincts. Seriously, if you are counting on more than 10 precincts per bus per day you’re going to be disappointed. So that’s 220 buses chartered for the day, and a total of about 14k fraudulent voters.
Holy freaking crap. The logistical problems of arranging that many fraudulent voters, ALL of whom are risking felony sentences and NONE of whom have ever talked about it to anyone. Now plan to arrange for 140k fake registrations using the matching photos for each person and arrange it so that the manager of each bus makes sure that every voter gets the exact fake ID for each precinct. And NO MISTAKES – remember no one has ever been caught doing this because Democrats, who are inept in government, are utter geniuses when it comes to vote fraud. So that means there NEVER can be a situation where a fake voter encounters a registrar who says “Hey, I live on that street, I’ve never seen you” or similar.
By the way, the absolutely easiest logistical part of this scheme is arranging for photo ID. Assuming you have that many people willing to commit felonies for whatever you are paying them and have arranged everything else in detail, getting fake photo IDs for them is simple and routine. So photo ID laws do absolutely jack shit to stop massive vote fraud – but of course that wasn’t their real intention, was it?
And when the O’Keefe’s find nothing we need not worry – all wingnuts everywhere will remain convinced that it is happening everywhere.
 No, wait - that's not the plan.  The plan is to scare so many white people about non-existent voter fraud that they install voting restrictions specifically designed to prevent all Democratic-leaning groups from voting at all.

Yeah, that's how it works. 

Sunday, October 23, 2016

"Do You Think She's Going to Win?"

Yeah, yeah: one person, one anecdote, I know.  Bite me.

She glanced at my shirt as she was taking my order.  Middle-aged white woman working food service in Kentucky.

"Do you think she's going to win?" Her voice was wistful, almost pleading.

It took me a second to realize she was referring to the Hillary 2016 image on my T-shirt.

"Oh, yes she is," I said in my most encouraging voice.

"I really hope so."  She took my money and gave me my food.

"Be sure to vote!" I sang as I turned away.

It didn't hit me until later.  As bad as a Trump presidency would be for people like me, it would be infinitely worse for minimum-wage workers like the woman who had just sold me some food.

Maybe I imagined the longing and hope I heard in her voice.

But when I vote on November 8 - no early voting in Kentucky without proof you will be out of the state on Election Day - I will be voting for more than just a* historic victory for progressives, Democrats and women.

I will be voting for - and with - the ignored, unsung working poor women of Kentucky for whom Hillary is more than a symbol.

* Yes, "a historic."  "Historic" has an aspirate "h," meaning it is pronounced, not silent, and therefore takes the article "a," not "an."  "An historic" is illiterate.

Ghost Hunting

Saturday, October 22, 2016