Thursday, October 30, 2014
The Rude Pundit nails what's really behind the repug fear-mongering:
Goddamnit, American motherfuckers, every single one of us: Aren't you tired of being afraid all the time? Isn't it exhausting? Aren't you tired of being told that you're just a fuckin' wimp who would be murdered the second a terrorist touched our precious soil? Aren't you sick of these assholes making you think that Ebola is going to jump out of the Dark Continent and turn you black or whatever the fuck we're supposed to fear it does?Election Day is next Tuesday, November 4. Polls are open in Kentucky from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Find out where your polling place is from your local County Clerk.
The new Democratic ad, the closing argument, if you will, should be: "Don't let Republicans tell you that Americans are pussies. You're not a pussy. Vote for the Democrats.
Not for nothing, but if you are not white or male, people literally died for your right to vote. Not voting is pissing on their graves.
And not voting Democratic is handing victory to the very people who don't want you to vote.
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Fort Campbell, of course, is the home of the storied 101st Airborne, the Screaming Eagles. Many of them are now on deployment to West Africa to help set up hospitals and other logistics for the doctors and nurses fighting the Ebola epidemic. Have to wonder if this well-meaning resident has a problem with the color of the people the 101st is helping.
A pretty disturbing incident from Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
What was purportedly a Halloween display on the front lawn of a residence at Fort Campbell was not surprisingly deemed "offensive in nature" by base officials who requested that the resident remove the display. As you can see in the picture, the display appears to depict an African-American family, with each member being hanged from a tree. The child in the display has a knife in its back.Fort Campbell Public Affairs officer Brendalyn Carpenter said that it was "her understanding that the display was not intended to be offensive, but authorities deemed it could be interpreted as such. She said the occupant did extend an apology about the decorations."
Ed Whitfield, Brett Guthrie and Hal Rogers voted to take money away from disease
prevention programs; John Yarmuth and Ben Chandler voted against that deadly
mistake. Thomas Massie and Andy Barr were not elected to office yet, but Massie's
repug predecessor Geoff Davis voted in favor of a budget that literally killed
Down with Tyranny:
On February 19, 2011 the Republican Party decided to cut funding for the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in 2011. Although Ron Paul didn't vote that day, only 3 Republicans recognized the folly of what the House Republicans were doing: John Campbell (R-CA), Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Walter Jones (R-NC). Although every single Democrat-- even the most corrupt reactionary Blue Dogs and New Dems-- voted NO, the bill passed 235-189.
When asked what the biggest challenge facing the CDC was 4 months later, Thomas Frieden, who had been director for exactly two years, went right to the point: "CDC’s budget was cut by $740 million between fiscal ’10 and fiscal ’11. That’s an 11 percent reduction in our budget authority and the lowest budget authority CDC has had since fiscal 2003. We’ve had to make very difficult and painful choices that are resulting in program reductions and eliminations, reduction in the number of staff working on projects, reductions in dollars going out to state governments for prevention, for preparedness, for lead poisoning prevention, for asthma management. State and local governments have had to cut about 45,000 public health jobs in the past two years, and the CDC budget cuts may require them to reduce staffing by another 1,000 staff. So this, to me, is the biggest challenge."
Republican scare-mongers have been going on TV and falsely telling voters that doctors are wrong on Ebola and that the virus is airborne. Republicans all say they aren't scientists when it comes to Climate Change but when it comes to ebola, they are doing everything they can to stoke fear and panic and the undercut health care professionals and experts.
If you want to run a Washington-vs.-our-state campaign as a Democrat, you need to make that campaign about the issue of who it is that determines specific Washington policy—in other words, about whether it’s the Kochs who effectively write legislation and dictate what legislation is filibustered or never brought to a vote, or instead small-business owners or ordinary individuals who play some meaningful role in this process. A campaign for Congress by a Democrat that amounts to a generic ideological “Washington vs. our state” is a campaign that is incoherent. Grimes’ campaign is Exhibit A, but it’s certainly not the only current Exhibit.
The Louisville Courier-Journal, in its endorsement editorial, points out that Grimes supports such policies as a raise in the federal minimum wage and federally sponsored universal access to preschool. But these are federal programs; she’s running for the United States Senate, not the Kentucky Senate. “Washington vs. our state” as a generic ideological precept precludes these. If Grimes’ ideology is really the same as Joni Ernst’s, then she should switch parties. If it’s not, then she should make that clear, and make clear why it’s not.
And if Grimes wins, it will be precisely because of why it’s not—and because McConnell, not Grimes, finally made that clear to Kentucky’s voters.
And next time someone like Ashley Judd wants to run for Senate in a state like Kentucky, the Democratic Establishment should not insist that she not run because, after all, a “centrist” would have a better chance. Judd would win this election comfortably, I’d bet.
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Well of course he will. You're not rich, white, straight xian and male, are you?
Steve Benen at Maddowblog:
Under the McConnell approach, the spokesperson told Stein, when it comes to the Affordable Care Act, everything must go – the Kynect website could exist, but consumers would no longer be eligible for subsidies to purchase coverage for themselves or their families. Medicaid expansion, coverage for young adults, prescription-drug benefits for seniors, et al, would all be eliminated as quickly as possible.As a practical matter, McConnell, in the race of his life, is running on a curious platform: he fully intends to take health care benefits away from roughly 500,000 of his own constituents, leaving most of the state with higher premiums and worse insurance.Team McConnell emphasizes, of course, that once the senator succeeds in tearing down the American health care system, the Republican hopes to replace it with something else, but McConnell hasn’t told anyone what the new system might look like and/or how many Kentuckians will be worse off. Working families are apparently just supposed to trust the longtime incumbent – he’ll take away their access to affordable medical care, but he’ll replace it with … something. Eventually. Maybe.No state has been more successful in implementing health care reform than Kentucky. No senator is more desperate to destroy this success than Mitch McConnell. It’s arguably the strangest platform of any statewide candidate in the nation.
Funny how policies that help employees also help business. It's almost as if labor is what creates capital.
The Container Store pays its 6,000 employees an average of $48,000 a year, according to CEO Kip Tindell’s new book Uncontainable.
As he told Business Insider, “That’s a lot of money for a retail sales clerk.” In fact, median pay for retail sales workers is just $21,410 a year. The company also gives “big” raises each year, he said, from 0 percent for low performers to as much as 8 percent.
The company still performs well while paying more than double what’s typical for the industry. It has annual sales of nearly $800 million. And Tindell credits at least some of that performance with the higher pay. His theory is “one equals three,” he told the Wall Street Journal: “one great person can easily do the business productivity of three good people,” which means a company can pay that one high performer “50% to 100% above industry average.”
And that brings returns back to the company. He told Business Insider that the company gets three times the productivity even while paying two times as much in wages. “[Y]ou save money, the customers win, and all the employees win because they get to work with someone great,” he said. Plus the company has a 10 percent turnover rate, while the rate for the entire industry is about 75 percent, and turnover is very costly. Tindell credits high wages for the low rate, saying, “[P]ay is more important than most people realize, particularly if you’re trying to attract and keep really great people.”
Beyond the business incentives, he believes he has a responsibility to pay more. “If you’re lucky enough to be an employer, you have a moral obligation to create a great work environment,” he said.
To that end, he thinks other companies should compensate their employees the way his does. And he may have the ability to influence them as incoming chairman of the National Retail Federation (NRF), which has opposed a minimum wage increase. “I’ll work to get the NRF to actually moderate and review that” stance, he said. “I also think certain companies will soon come out in favor of raising the minimum wage because they’re going to have to politically. Better pay leads to better profitability.”
Some other retailers do take that route, such as The Gap, Costco, Whole Foods, and others, which pay above the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. The Gap, for example, saw the immediate benefit of a spike in job applicants after it announced a higher minimum wage for its employees.
Monday, October 27, 2014
Sunday, October 26, 2014
* A striking cultural shift: “If you’re dismayed that one in five Americans (20 percent) are ‘nones’ – people who claim no particular religious identity – brace yourself. How does 38 percent sound? That’s what religion researcher David Kinnaman calculates when he adds ‘the unchurched, the never-churched and the skeptics’ to the nones.Add the non-freakazoids to that list and the Krap Kristians are definitely in the minority.
And they know it. Which is why they are so hysterical in their insistence that this is a christian nation. Never has been, never will be.
It's about power. It's always been about power. It's always been about the kind of faux power that is the only kind the truly weak can ever acquire: power by demonizing the other and labeling them as sub-human.
Women, minorities, gays, non-conformists of all stripes: Other, and therefore su-human.
Ophelia Benson in Free Inquiry:
... James Conley, bishop of Lincoln, Nebraska, who does indeed have a Facebook page on which he shares the columns he writes for the Southern Nebraska Register. He published a column on the Hobby Lobby ruling and what he takes to be its implications on July 11. SNIP
What the bishop seems to want is not religious liberty but religious power and authority. He wants to impose his religion’s rules and taboos on all of us, including people who don’t share his religion.
Saturday, October 25, 2014
No, requiring a hospital transfer agreement isn't an "undue burden" on women seeking an abortion.
Not unless all the hospitals around are owned by freakazoid bullies.
It looks like the Planned Parenthood surgical center in Cincinnati has finally been cited for lack of a hospital transfer agreement, and has until next week to come up with a solution or risk being shut down for good.Just a reminder: abortion is the safest medical procedure performed in the U.S. It does not require a hospital, or a surgical facility, or
The Elizabeth Campbell Surgical Center was last inspected in June, but the health department waited until last week to notify the clinic that it was out of compliance with acontroversial state law passed last year. That could be the first step in moving to revoke the clinic's surgical license, which would make Cincinnati the largest metropolitan area in the U.S. without an abortion clinic, according to an Enquirer analysis.The other two clinics in southwest Ohio are in the same boat. Mercy Health, formerly Catholic Health Partners (I bet you're seeing where this is going) is the largest hospital chain around. They've basically bullied everyone in the area to revoke their transfer agreements or face their wrath, and everyone folded, most notably the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.
Abortion clinics in Ohio now must have agreements with private hospitals willing to take abortion patients in an emergency. Many private hospitals are religious and have declined to form agreements with abortion clinics. Planned Parenthood found itself in such a situation and asked the health department to grant an exception to the rule -- a so-called "variance," which is allowed by law.
Confident declaration of false belief in the face of factual proof to the contrary: Does Democratic Mayor Fischer know his police chief is a repug?
Matthew Glowicki at the Courier:
Black drivers are nearly twice as likely to be searched and arrested than white drivers after being pulled over by metro police, according to a vehicle stop study released Friday morning.I see. The fact that they were searched because they are black does not mean they were searched because they were black.
Police Chief Steve Conrad called those disparities "areas of concern," but said the report, which was conducted by University of Louisville researchers, does not definitively show racial bias was a factor in vehicle stops.
Blacks are also more likely to be arrested during a police stop, with 5 percent of stops involving blacks resulting in an arrest, compared to 3 percent of stops involving whites and 4 percent of stops involving Hispanics, according to the report.Well, they have to justify those
They lie because they know they're going to get away with both the lies and the baseless stops and arrests. And they're going to get away with the baseless stops and arrests until the residents of Louisville black and white stand up and say No More.
Friday, October 24, 2014
Yeah, I know, what else is new. But now there's data.
Comprehensive sex ed classes that emphasize healthy relationships and family involvement can encourage more middle school students to put off having sex, according to the results from a new study published in the Journal of School Health. The results have big implications for school districts that are trying to decide what type of health classes to offer to kids in sixth, seventh, and eighth grades.Or as Wonkette puts it:
The three-year study was conducted by researchers at the Wellesley Centers for Women, who wanted to figure out whether Get Real — a comprehensive sex ed program developed by Planned Parenthood — has an impact on middle schoolers’ sexual behavior. In order to do that, the researchers tracked a group of racially and economically diverse kids at 24 different schools in the Boston area, half of which implemented Get Real and half of which continued with their existing sex ed programs. Kids were periodically surveyed about their sexual activity.
The results were “quite strong,” according to the lead researchers on the project. The study found that 16 percent fewer boys and 15 percent fewer girls became sexually active by the end of eighth grade after participating in Get Real, compared to the kids who didn’t participate in that curriculum.
It’s particularly significant that Get Real helped both girls and boys delay sex. The previous research into other sex ed programs has been mixed, and hasn’t been able to demonstrate such clear results for both genders.
Wow, it’s almost as if having open and honest conversations with kids about sex and its consequences leads kids to be more knowledgeable and responsible and to make exactly the kinds of choices that the very people who oppose real sex ed say they should make. Weird!
And you thought Planned Parenthood just built multi-billion dollar abortionplexes, huh? (No, you didn’t really think that because you are not A Idiot. Or Rep. John Fleming. But we repeat ourselves.)
We assume this study will lead all the conservatives who want to shut down Planned Parenthood and defund real sex ed to rethink their strategy and perhaps support this program. We also expect to see pigs fly by our window any second now …