Friday, March 6, 2015

Yes, We Are Alive, No, We Are Not Moving to Florida, and Stay the Fuck Off of I-65 What Were You Thinking

There are no words, snarky or otherwise, except GLOBAL WARMING MEANS FUCKED UP WEATHER, YOU MORONS, so have some local Kentucky links:

Stuck on I-65 overnight.

Legendary storm

Digging out just in time for sub-zero temps

Many pix

Protecting and serving, for real


Why Do White Cops Still Have Jobs?

Fire them all.  Do it now.

If it's happening in Missouri, it's happening everywhere.

During the summer of 2012, one Ferguson police officer detained a 32-year-old African American man who had just finished playing basketball at a park. The officer approached while the man was sitting in his car and resting. The car’s windows appeared to be more heavily tinted than Ferguson’s code allowed, so the officer did have legitimate grounds to question him. But, with no apparent justification, the officer proceeded to accuse the man of being a pedophile. He prohibited the man from using his cell phone and ordered him out of his car for a pat-down search, even though he had no reason to suspect that the man was armed. And when the man objected – citing his constitutional rights – the police officer drew his service weapon, pointed it at the man’s head, and arrested him on eight different counts. The arrest caused the man to lose his job.
Unfortunately, this event appears to have been anything but an isolated incident. Our investigation showed that members of Ferguson’s police force frequently escalate, rather than defuse, tensions with the residents they encounter. And such actions are sometimes accompanied by First Amendment violations – including arresting people for talking back to officers, recording their public activities, or engaging in other conduct that is constitutionally protected.
 Undercover Blue at Hullabaloo:
This is a department that might properly be prosecuted under RICO and likely won't be. And for the same reason Dick Cheney, the torture master, is still fly fishing instead of swatting flies in a jail cell; for the same reason banksters walk free after defrauding courts, plundering people's homes and throwing families into the street; for the same reason HSBC pays a fine for laundering drug money, and those too poor to pay parking fines face debtor's prison.

Justice, which was never equal in this country, has utterly broken down along class lines, rigged like the economy. The scales of justice aren't just out of balance. They've been thrown out. Medieval is right.
And if non-white cops start treating white citizens the way white cops have been treating black and hispanic citizens?

Good.  Couple-three centuries of that and we might be ready to start talking about justice.

Read also Steve M.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Holding Opinions

Divine Irony:

The essence of the liberal outlook lies not in what opinions are held, but in how they are held: instead of being held dogmatically, they are held tentatively, and with a consciousness that new evidence may at any moment lead to their abandonment. This is the way opinions are held in science, as opposed to the way in which they are held in theology.

Bertrand Russell (via whats-out-there)

Putting Bull Connor in the Shade

Yes, worse than firehouses.  Yes, worse than bullwhips.  Yes, worse than lynchings.  The KKKops of Ferguson, MO.

The Rude Pundit:

Random Thoughts Reading Through the DOJ's Ferguson Police Report

1. You should read it. It's compelling, and it's like a look into Birmingham in the 1960s, except it's now. It makes you understand that the riots in Ferguson, Missouri, were not simply the result of the shooting death of Michael Brown. It was an explosion that the city had earned after years of abusing its black residents.

SNIP

Appalling. Disgusting. Now let's say an adult was there, a man with a gun, and he saw the dog biting the kid and he saw the cops stomping his head. At what point do the cops become bad enough that they need to be stopped? At what point are they the bad guys? At what point would you say that the man with the gun needs to do something? Or that the community needs to do something against the cops? At what point would you not blame them if they did? (By the way, there's a whole section on the overuse of force against students by cops in schools.)

5a. Or, if it's you the Ferguson cops are attacking, at what point are you standing your ground? At what point does your self-defense count? Never, of course. You always have to let the cops do whatever they want and hope that someone gets a written reprimand for breaking your skull.

6. The final sickening feeling the Rude Pundit has reading this is caused by the knowledge that this is just one town and that in towns big and small, all over the nation, the same things go on, the same racism, the same violence against citizens, the same. It's a shame that it will probably take a Michael Brown in each town to shine a light on even a small part of it.

6a. Not that the cop who shot Michael Brown will face any charges.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

How to Get Back All the Money the Rich Stole

The next time somebody says that the government doesn't have the money to do something, print out this article, wrap it around a brick and then smack that somebody in the head with it.

There's plenty of money. Trillions of dollars in fact.  Blatantly stolen by the motherfucking rich, who are sitting on it and laughing their asses off at the rest of it.

Let's get it back.

David Sirota:

Roads are crumbling, bridges require repairs, schools need upgrades and public pension systems remain underfunded. How can states and cities find the money to address any of these problems? One way could be through their tax codes.

According to a new report, if the rich paid the same state and local tax rate as the middle class, states and cities would have hundreds of billions of dollars more a year in public revenue.

Last month, the nonpartisan Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy found that the poorest 20 percent of households pay on average more than twice the effective state and local tax rate (10.9 percent) as the richest 1 percent of taxpayers (5.4 percent).

That preceded the new report from the left-leaning groups Good Jobs First and the Keystone Research Center which finds that if tax laws were changed to compel the highest income earners to pay the same rate as everyone else, states and localities would rake in up to $128 billion a year in new revenue. If just the top 1 percent of earners were compelled to pay the typical middle-class tax rate, the report says the change would raise more than $68 billion in new annual revenues.
Join Kentuckians for the Commonwealth on Economic Justice Day at the Capitol. Find your legislators and ask them why Kentucky taxes working people more than the lazy rich (in Kentucky, poors pay 12 percent in state taxes; the rich pay 6 percent.)
Join us on Wednesday for KFTC’s Economic Justice Lobby Day in Frankfort!
We’ll of course be lobbying on bills that have an impact – minimum wage, housing and renters’ rights, tax fairness and revenue that makes sense.
It’s also important that our legislators understand the impact of the wealth gap in Kentucky. So we’ll be doing a demonstration to lift up Kentucky’s income gap to legislators, reminding them of their important role in closing the gap with good economic policy that puts people first.
Meet in the Capitol Annex Room 171 starting at 8:30 a.m.! Wear black if you can, and bring something small that symbolizes what economic stability means to you. Register here to let us know you’re coming!
KFTC’s Economic Justice Lobby Day is Wednesday, March 4, and you can take action today, too!
HB 374 would close some corporate tax loopholes to raise about $66 million in revenue. This revenue would fund a 7.5% state Earned Income Tax Credit, which would help low-income working families become more financially secure. Rep. Jim Wayne is sponsoring the bill, and Speaker Greg Stumbo is the primary cosponsor.
The bill is getting called up in the Appropriations and Revenue Committee on Tuesday at 10 a.m. We need to make sure that the members of that committee have the opportunity to vote on the bill.
Take Action
Call the Legislative Message Line at 1-800-372-7181 (open 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.). Leave a message for your representative, the House Appropriations and Revenue Committee, and House leadership: “I’m another Kentuckian for tax fairness. Please vote yes on HB 374, and send it to the Senate.”
Learn more from the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy:
  • Find a map that shows how your county would benefit from an EITC like the one in HB 374. It’d be great to add a sentence about how many people in your county would benefit from a state EITC in your message above!
  • Find a policy brief about HB 374.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Attention KY Democratic Candidates: This Is How You Beat Repugs

Go ahead, steal her whole speech.  Senator Professor Warren won't mind.

Wonkette:

Recently Republicans seem to have discovered the struggles of America’s middle class. Out of nowhere, they’re suddenly talking about this problem. Well that’s great, but talk is cheap and when it comes to action, these Republicans seem to have amnesia about what they’ve actually done to hard-working Americans.

Republican trickle-down policies created tax breaks and loopholes for the wealthy while leaving working families to pick up the pieces. I’ll believe Republicans care about what’s happening to America’s middle class when they stop blocking legislation that would require billionaires to pay taxes at least at the same rate that teachers and firefighters do.

Republican trickle-down economics blocked increases in the minimum wage that would have lifted 14 million people out of poverty. I’ll believe that Republicans care about what’s happening to America’s working families when they stop blocking minimum wage increases and agree that no one, no one in this country should work full time and still live in poverty.

Republican trickle-down economics squeezed billions of dollars of profits out of people who had to borrow money to go to college. I’ll believe Republicans care about what’s happening to America’s future when they agree to refinance student loans.

I could go on, but the point is the same: Talk is cheap. It’s time for action — action that will strengthen America’s middle-class families and build a strong future, action that will produce good jobs now and in the future. It is time to put up or shut up.

I have a message for my Republican colleagues: You control Congress. Stop talking about helping the middle class, and start doing it.
"Put up or shut up" goes for you, too, Kentucky DINOs. Start campaigning with this speech right now, or you're not only going to lose the Governor's Office this November, you're going to lose the House next year, too.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

THIS Is American Exceptionalism

When we save lives, not take them. When we prevent civil wars through aid and assistance, not cause them with military attacks. When we make friends instead of enemies.

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf paid emotional tribute to the American people on Thursday as the United States formally wound up its successful five-month mission to combat the west African nation's Ebola outbreak.

With Liberia now in recovery from the worst outbreak of the deadly virus in history, the visiting Sirleaf thanked the United States for coming to the region's aid in its hour of need.

"America responded, you did not run from Liberia," Sirleaf told US lawmakers in Washington, expressing the "profound gratitude" of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

Liberia, once the country worst hit by Ebola, has registered 4,037 of around 9,600 deaths in the epidemic, which began in Guinea in December 2013.

At its height in the final four months of last year, Liberia and Sierra Leone were recording between 300 and 550 confirmed, suspect and probable cases a week.

It was in some of the darkest days in August when the Liberian leader said she reached out to US President Barack Obama and to the US Congress amid "grim and terrifying" international predictions that before the end of January at least 20,000 people would die every month.
But with US help, including a military force which reached 2,800 personnel at one point, there are now only one to three new infections each week in Liberia.

"We are chasing the very last element of the chain of transmission we have," Sirleaf said, praising all the international and regional military and aid workers who "reached beyond their fears and ran towards the danger and not from it."
When I traveled in Europe thirty years ago, there were people there still living who remembered the American troops who liberated them during World War II in France and Italy and Belgium and the Netherlands. People in Germany who remembered the Marshall Plan that saved them from starvation and economic catastrophe. People who would never forget, and would always view Americans as heroes, as saviors.

That's the "essential nation" I love, the one I think President Barack Obama loves, too.

That's the nation vicious morons like George W. Bush and torture-porn-lovers like Dick Cheney will never even know.

The nation repugs and freakzoids and warmongers and gun nuts can't even imagine.