Kentucky Education Commissioner Stephen Pruitt says that if charter schools are inevitable for Kentucky, they should be public, authorized by local school boards and overseen by the state board of education.Charter schools are relieved from certain state and local regulations in exchange for a higher level of accountability. Charter schools may provide programs not available in traditional public schools.Gov. Matt Bevin has said he wants public charter schools in Kentucky.
Thursday, December 31, 2015
That's where the jobs are and will be.
And there's nothing older and declining faster in the industrial economy than coal. Go wind, young people, wherever you can find it.Couple of points:1) It’s hardly surprising that health care is the fastest growing overall work sector, although it’s also notable that the single biggest category of job growth is wind turbine technician, which I hope turns out to be true. (emphasis mine)2) It’s equally unsurprising that the fastest declining job categories all revolve around the old industrial economy, with both production and movement of goods in collapse. I didn’t even know the U.S. still had sewing machine operators as a job except for often illegal sweatshops in California, but whatever is left of that sector is still declining.
Wednesday, December 30, 2015
Gov. Matt Bevin announced Wednesday he has begun work to transform Kentucky's Medicaid program by 2017.
But in the meantime he envisions no major changes in the government health plan that covers nearly 1.3 million Kentuckians.
Because that's all that government is for, as far as faux-libertarian greedheads like Bevin and his minions are concerned: making billionaires and corporations even more obscenely rich and keeping working people - the working poor who pay taxes the rich avoid - too sick and poor and beaten-down to fight back.
Our Only Governor is going to announce at 10 a.m. just exactly how he is going to strip 400,000 Kentuckians of health care.
Meanwhile, he's dictating major changes in state government policies that affect 4.5 million people without even pretending to attempt a proper policy analysis. Everybody who thinks that he applied the list below to his first ridiculous "executive orders," stand on your head.
Public policy analysis is the discipline that considers what actions would best serve the public interest in a given situation, and how those actions can be implemented through actual institutions. Like any discipline, it seeks the truth, but the truth sought is pragmatic, in the original sense of that term: truth about what is to be done, rather than merely about how the world is to be described.But of course the "public interest" is the last thing Bevin gives a flying fuck about, unless you define "public" as "all my billionaire friends and campaign donors."
That differentiates policy analysis from social science.
Policy analysis differs from policy advocacy in that it regards policy choices as instrumental: it reaches a policy conclusion at the end of its argument, rather than starting with a preferred policy and seeking arguments in its support.
A full policy analysis, if one were feasible, would answer the following questions:
So we should not expect the application of policy-analytic methods to lead everyone to agree. What we should expect it to do is to eliminate options that don’t make sense under any reasonable set of values, and to help identify the factual and normative bases of actual disagreements. It also forces it practitioners, at least while they are doing it, to step back from individual or group self-interest, and from received opinion and factional loyalty, and try to reason in the public interest.
Tuesday, December 29, 2015
Already forgotten in the aftermath of the San Bernardino shootings is a more persistent terrorist threat to average Americans: right-wing extremists. Robert Lewis Dear, who shot and killed three people at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, has since pleaded guilty to being a “warrior for the babies.” His actions follow a long tradition of violence against abortion providers. That violence is increasing: The number of clinics reporting threats and targeted intimidation has increased from about 25 percent to more than 50 percent since 2010.
Dear’s terrorism hasn’t affected the GOP’s congressional crusade against the women’s-healthcare provider, however. Immediately after the shooting, Senate Republicans said they would proceed with efforts to defund Planned Parenthood, which currently receives about $500 million from the federal government. About 80 percent of Planned Parenthood’s clients are low-income (which is measured as being at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty line).
Unintended pregnancies among poor women have been increasing, while those among well-off women are falling.
What terrorists like Dear and Republicans in Congress want is basically the same: to shut down Planned Parenthood and deny women access to abortions. If they got their wish, it would serve only to make poor women poorer and increase the number of unintended pregnancies.
Shutting down Planned Parenthood wouldn’t just affect access to abortion, of course. The group provides many other services to low-income women. Poor women are more likely to have sex without birth control—and access to affordable contraception would shrink further without the existence of Planned Parenthood. Among 491 counties with Planned Parenthood clinics, 103 have no other place where low-income patients can obtain affordable contraception.
Access to reproductive healthcare is certainly about women’s right to bodily autonomy. But doing away with that right also comes with devastating economic consequences, especially for those already at the bottom. Eliminating Planned Parenthood would create a vicious cycle of impoverishment and unwanted pregnancies for the most vulnerable women among us.
Monday, December 28, 2015
No, The Gooch never voted Democratic - except, as Joe Gerth noted, for House Speaker, when it really counted - but his defection means that state House dems are one seat away from losing the chamber they've held for almost a century.
FRANKFORT, Ky. - State Rep. Jim Gooch, of Providence, released a statement Monday saying he is switching from the Democratic to the Republican Party.And when the repugs take over all of state government - probably sometime this week - it's the Randian Paradise of Kansas for us. Nuke us now, please.
The makeup of the Kentucky House is now 50 Democrats, 48 Republicans.
Sunday, December 27, 2015
Saturday, December 26, 2015
No, honey: you did not think they were muslims. You saw that hated dark skin and knew that anti-muslim hate gave you an excuse to attack people you think of as ni**ers. Cuz all them browns is ni**ers, ain't they?
From PZ Myers:
A racist woman mistakes two Brazilians as Terrorists. While filming a YouTube comedy skit in front of a local airport, a racist woman stopped her vehicle on the side of the road and started calling my friend and I terrorists. Being that I’m an aspiring filmmaker, I pulled out my camera and started recording the incident. I served the U.S Air Force and I honestly never thought this would happen to me. It’s disgusting how ignorant and blind people are nowadays. People like her need to be shunned out of society, because that’s the mentality that keeps us from progressing. SHARE this, we need this negativity shunned!It's not negativity, son; it's racism. And no amount of "shunning" is going to stop it. 800,000 dead in a civil war couldn't stop it.
It's the Rude Pundit's fantasia, so you know it's rude and crude and brilliant. Just read it.
Is there really a Hillary voter who would be dismayed by this? Or even a potential Hillary voter? What could it hurt?
Thursday, December 24, 2015
And once again, this is completely irrational. We have had a small handful of Islamic terrorist attacks since 9/11 which were perpetrated by alienated losers looking for a reason to shoot up or blow up a bunch of people --- something that happens almost every day in this country. The idea that this particular problem in America has anything in particular to do with Muslim extremism and therefore requires that we ban Muslims from entering our precious country is daft. If it's safety we're looking for we'd be better off deporting angry white guys with gun collections.
Wednesday, December 23, 2015
Sheesh. Some holiday-enraged idiot with a gun tries to get past the extremely heavy security at the Health and Family Services building on Main Street, and would-be good-guys-with-guns are locked and loaded all over town.
Rumors flying, people racing for home, but not a peep out of emergency management about anything but approaching tornadoes.
If anybody gets shot, it's going to be the unlucky coworkers of the idiot concealed carriers who have been breaking state law by bringing weapons onto state property.
UPDATE: Yeah, it;'s bullshit. But that won't stop the hysterical ammosexuals from demanding open carry in state office buildings.
Hey, he promised he would establish a lords-n-serfs economy in Kentucky and he's well on his way.
In other, factual word, Bevin:In his first major policy action, Republican Gov. Matt Bevin issued a series of executive orders Tuesday that shield religious county clerks - like Kim Davis - from being named on marriage licenses and roll back efforts by the Beshear administration that would have restored voting rights to thousands of ex-felons.Bevin, who campaigned on conservative platforms during this year's heated race for governor, said in a statement that he was upholding his commitments to voters.Among the five orders filed Tuesday, he also implemented a hiring freeze in state government, repealed Beshear's order raising the minimum wage for state employees and abolished the governor's employee advisory council.Roavernor Bevin issued five Executive Orders pertaining to marriage licenses, minimum wage, hiring practices within the state government, the restoration of rights to felons and a superfluous state board.
- Took the first un-Constitutional steps toward establishing an xian theocracy, in which any slope-headed, mouth-breathing moron can break any law by pleading jeebus.
- Eliminated any hope of any workers in the Commonwealth getting a living wage. You wanted to actually feed your family? Get a fourth job, moocher.
- Began implementing the fiscal austerity that has ruined the economies of every European country that tried it. Because Haiti is a libertarian paradise.
- Proved that he lied when he said he was in favor of restoring felons' rights, and signaled that he will sign any voter-suppression bill the legislature sends him.
“Today, I took action to uphold several commitments I made during my campaign so that we can implement real solutions that will help the people of Kentucky,” said Governor Bevin. “While I have been a vocal supporter of the restoration of rights, for example, it is an issue that must be addressed through the legislature and by the will of the people. As we move into the New Year and upcoming session, I look forward to working with legislators and stakeholders to build consensus and drive policy that makes a meaningful impact on the lives of all Kentuckians”The following Executive Orders are being filed today:• To ensure that the sincerely held religious beliefs of all Kentuckians are honored, Executive Order 2015-048 directs the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives to issue a revised marriage license form to the offices of all Kentucky County Clerks. The name of the County Clerk is no longer required to appear on the form.• Executive Order 2015-049 relieves executive branch agencies and vendors of the obligation to comply with the higher minimum wage established by Executive Order 2015-370, except as to classified employees with status who have already received increases as a result of the Executive Order. Their remuneration will not be affected.• Executive Order 2015-050 prioritizes effective and efficient management of state government operations by implementing a new moratorium on hiring. This order removes all oversight of the merit system hiring from the Governor’s Office. Unlike Governor Beshear’s Executive Order which had the Secretary of the Governor’s Executive Cabinet approve all personnel actions regarding merit employees, this Executive Order transfers that responsibility to the Personnel Secretary. Approval of non-merit employees will remain the duty of the Secretary of the Governor’s Executive Cabinet. Furthermore, effective immediately, all vacant positions in any agency will be reviewed to determine if they are necessary to the maintenance of essential government services.• Executive Order 2015-051 rescinds Governor Beshear’s Executive Order 2008-471 which established the Governor’s Employee Advisory Council (GEAC). The GEAC was created to discuss issues pertaining to wages, hours, and terms of employment for merit employees, but is non-value added given that the Governor has no power to extend negotiation and collective bargaining rights to employees of the Commonwealth. The merit system, along with the policies and procedures enacted through the Personnel Cabinet, provide sufficient protections and oversight of these issues and functions in a streamlined and efficient manner.• While Governor Bevin has been a strong advocate for the reinstatement of non-violent felony offenders’ voting and civil rights, Executive Order 2015-052 suspends the provisions of Executive Order 2015-871 as that order is contrary to the Kentucky Constitution and undermines the very right it seeks to restore by circumventing elected representatives in the state legislature and the voice of the people at the ballot box. The Office of the Governor will continue to utilize the processes and procedures under current law in the same manner as the previous administration pending further study and consideration by the Kentucky General Assembly. This Executive Order does not affect anyone whose rights have already been restored by the previous Executive Order.
Tuesday, December 22, 2015
Because the federal government has just freed states to legalize medical marijuana.
Tucked deep inside the 1,603-page federal spending measure is a provision that effectively ends the federal government’s prohibition on medical marijuana and signals a major shift in drug policy…
Congress for years had resisted calls to allow states to chart their own path on pot. The marijuana measure, which forbids the federal government from using any of its resources to impede state medical marijuana laws, was previously rejected half a dozen times.Heroin use is epidemic in Kentucky and other states not because suddenly a bunch of law-abiding people achieved their lifelong ambition of becoming heroin addicts.
Heroin use is epidemic because people in chronic pain can no longer get pain-relieving legal medications, thanks to the Drug War Idiots in the state legislature and their destructive, ridiculous, addict-creating KASPER.
You know what relieves pain faster, better and cheaper than either heroin or legal opioids like oxycodone? MEDICAL FUCKING MARIJUANA.
You know why the criminal morons in the Kentucky state legislature will never, ever, EVER legalize medical marijuana?
No, not because they are pants-shitting Drug War Idiots, although that's a good guess.
It's because lobbyists for the private prison industry and the law enforcement industry and the failure-to-manage-pain industry and all the other motherfuckers who profit off the desperation of people in pain will buy off the legislature and leave Kentucky wallowing in feudal stupidity. Again. Still. Forever.
Monday, December 21, 2015
Maybe Americans don't understand the role of civilian control of the military because it's been so fucking long since we were invaded.
Because the limeys burning the White House in 1813 is the closest we've come to an actual existential threat, and even that fell far short of threatening us even seriously, much less to the point of erasing our existence.
Although we came a hell of a lot closer to elimination as a nation 150 years ago, when the only threat was from the idiot and criminal slaveholders* of the south whom we should have slapped the fuck down decades before.
In fact, that's the real existential threat we're facing today. Not from "outsiders," but from the vipers we've nourished at our breast since abandoning Reconstruction: the descendants of Traitors in Defense of Tyranny and their camp followers and apologists. They're the ones perpetrating more than one mass shooting in this country Every. Single. Fucking. Day.
They're the ones whose fear-mongering and slander of muslims are giving aid and comfort to those syphilitic desert punks raping and beheading because they don't have a real military.
They're the ones who don't understand that presidents lead the country; mommies keep you safe.
When Abraham Lincoln took actions based on military considerations, he gave himself the proper title, "commander in chief of the Army and Navy of the United States." That title is rarely—more like never—heard today. It is just "commander in chief," or even "commander in chief of the United States." This reflects the increasing militarization of our politics. The citizenry at large is now thought of as under military discipline. In wartime, it is true, people submit to the national leadership more than in peacetime. The executive branch takes actions in secret, unaccountable to the electorate, to hide its moves from the enemy and protect national secrets. Constitutional shortcuts are taken "for the duration." But those impositions are removed when normal life returns. But we have not seen normal life in 66 years. The wartime discipline imposed in 1941 has never been lifted, and "the duration" has become the norm. World War II melded into the cold war, with greater secrecy than ever—more classified information, tougher security clearances. And now the cold war has modulated into the war on terrorism.—Garry Wills, 2007.
I needed to put that on the record because its basic truth was completely lost in a dark land of fear and amid the waving poison ferns in Wolf Blitzer's amygdala.
*Yes, including my ancestors.First of all, none of these people will be my commander in chief. None of these people will have the job of keeping me "safe." The first priority of a president is not keeping the country safe. The first priority of a president—indeed, the only priority of a president—is to preserve, protect and defend not me, but the Constitution of the United States. So sitting there, listening to a bunch of people who never served a day in combat talk about how they're going to turn the Middle East into obsidian glass and how they will keep me safe, it was hard not to fall off my chair. Frankly, I wouldn't hire any of these people to watch my car in a valet parking lot, let alone lead the country into what they never miss a chance to call, "the Third World War." Chris Christie? Ted Cruz? Marco Rubio?
Sunday, December 20, 2015
As we brace for the onslaught of xian theocracy bills disguised as "religious liberty" bills in the Kentucky General Assembly, let's remember what we're really talking about.
Of course, the legislature’s entire argument for the bill was “religious liberty,” which translates roughly to “whiny ass wingnut Christians shouldn’t have to follow laws they don’t like.”
Saturday, December 19, 2015
Because real threats take hard work and tax money to deal with. Fake threats just take demagoguery.
In fact, most of the things that are actual threats to the vast majority of Americans were either ignored or barely mentioned (Tuesday) night. Here's a short list of Things That Are Way More Likely to Kill You Than Muslim Terrorists or Hispanic Immigrants. These are the real threats to national security:
a. Christian white men with guns. Hell, you could probably just say, "All the fucking guns," and leave it at that. Not once did domestic terrorism from white people get mentioned, and that's probably because we still have a bizarre inability to label shit like Sandy Hook or the Planned Parenthood shooting "terrorism." And gun deaths in general are the security threat that Republicans dare not speak of.
b. Climate change is going to murder the fuck out of millions of people, barring drastic action. And it is going to propel the citizens of poor nations to ever-increasing acts of desperation, which will lead to more terrorism, which we'll probably deal with by bombing the famine-fucked or drowning nations.
c. Infrastructure collapsing around us. The Department of Transportation estimates that 14,000 people are killed annually due to shitty roads and bridges. By the Rude Pundit's mystical mathematical abilities, that adds up to...carry the three...a fuckload more people dying from the failure to invest in infrastructure than from every terrorist attack on the U.S. in the last, hell, let's say 100 years.
So, really, you could say that the entire debate was theatre. It was like a bunch of high schoolers telling each other their favorite creepypastas while sharing some cheap wine they stole from their moms. Ooh, who's gonna scare us worse? Even though, at the end of the night, Slender Man is fuckin' fake and drunk driving is real, but guess which one they're afraid of?
There is no fever to be broken, no moderate leader hiding in the wings, no hope of cooperation if only dems would stop being so darn partisan.
We fight the crazy motherfuckers they have always been and always will be, or we lose.
The point here is that the conservatives have been like this forever. Nutty fruitcakes, scared of their own shadows, seeing the seeds of our destruction in everything from fluoridated water to the replacement of incandescent light bulbs.Robert Taft was basically a McCarthyite:Had these loons taken control of the party in 1952, it’s doubtful that there ever would have been a point that people could look back to fondly and say that Washington DC used to function– that there was a postwar consensus on anything.As early as March 23, 1950 — four weeks after McCarthy’s famous speech in Wheeling, West Virginia — Taft gave McCarthy his firm support, telling McCarthy, “If one case [accusing a State Department official of being a Red] doesn’t work out, bring up another.” And added, for good measure, “Keep it up, Joe.”
Their rhetoric is old. Their tactics are old. Their beliefs systems have been warped forever.
For a while, though, they were sidelined.
That’s no longer the case.
Friday, December 18, 2015
The pervasive stigma associated with ending a pregnancy influences patients’ assumptions about what will happen once they walk through the doors of an abortion clinic. They may imagine that abortion is a frightening or dangerous procedure. They might be intimidated by the tight security measures in place to protect abortion providers against violence and harassment. They could encounter aggressive protesters on the sidewalk. And, thanks to the highly publicized flood of restrictions on abortion over the past several years, they may wonder whether these clinics are even allowed to continue offering the procedure in the first place.Cockrill understands why the Arkansas woman had that reaction. “She entered a space that had an armed guard outside, people milling around outside, bars on the window. And she had to pay cash,” she recounted. “It was a quality health care provider that was taking precautions because of the environment of stigma around abortion — but from a patient’s perspective, it can actually reinforce this sensibility that they’re doing something illicit and wrong.”When Cockrill asked that interview subject what she would have preferred for her abortion experience, she said she wished it had been more like a spa.That interview took place more than five years before Carafem, a health clinic in the D.C. metro area that’s recently made headlines for touting its spa-like atmosphere, first opened to the public. But it was a prescient commentary about what women are looking for in an abortion provider.Carafem president Christopher Purdy, who has a background in global health, decided to launch the new clinic after observing that the abortion pill is more accessible in many foreign countries than it is in the United States. Purdy and his team were interested in eliminating some of the barriers that make it difficult for U.S. women to obtain an abortion.One of those barriers, they decided, can be the environment that patients first walk into and their subsequent expectations about how they’re going to be treated.You can’t get a pedicure or a facial at Carafem — but you can sit back on a purple couch and take the abortion pill in an environment that feels much warmer than a traditional doctor’s office. The clinic offers the full range of birth control options as well as medication-induced abortion up to 10 weeks of pregnancy.“It was important to us to have natural wood finishes, natural light, nicer finishes, spaces that look really clean,” Melissa S. Grant, the vice president of health services for the clinic, explained during a tour of Carafem’s facilities. “We want to challenge the social myth that abortion clinics are scary, that they’re these sad places where no one would ever want to work, that you can walk in and tell immediately it’s an abortion clinic. This health center doesn’t feel that way.”
Carafem, which has been serving patients for about eight months, is tucked away in a large office building in an affluent neighborhood on the outskirts of the nation’s capital. The organization’s name is just a tiny line in the expansive directory in the lobby, which makes riding the elevator up to the health center feel a bit more anonymous than walking into a standalone Planned Parenthood clinic.One thing that helps Carafem feel indulgent is the high level of convenience and ease it extends to people interested in its services. You can call, text, or chat a staff member at any time to book an appointment, and they can be flexible enough to fit you in the very next day. Appointments typically don’t last longer than an hour.SNIPThere’s a lofty goal behind Carafem’s careful attention to these details: “It’s our hope that when a patient enters this facility, she’ll feel at peace and at ease because she doesn’t feel like she’s hiding this secret,” said Carin Postal, the organization’s communications director.SNIPGrant conceded that abortion providers in the United States have been fighting to stay open for years amid mounting attacks and restrictions. Still, she said she remains hopeful about continuing to break down patients’ barriers to abortion access — starting with stigma.Carafem’s health center is filled with subtle reminders about the societal shift that Grant and her colleagues are pursuing. For instance, there aren’t any photographs of tearful or anxious women, a departure from the most common images used to represent the experience of unintended pregnancy. The women at Carafem are smiling.“The visit itself is one of empowerment, and we want to reflect that,” Grant said.
Thursday, December 17, 2015
And you should know that, Greg Stumbo. You should have started fighting this 10 years ago.
From the Courier:
Democrats said Wednesday that they are ready to defend their majority in the Kentucky House even as Gov. Matt Bevin continues peeling off Democratic lawmakers and opening seats that could help Republicans win control for the first time in 95 years.BEGUN recruiting? The deadline for filing for legislative offices is January 29. Forty--three days. You should have had candidates lined up and filing MONTHS ago.
In his latest move, Bevin appointed state Rep. Tanya Pullin on Tuesday to serve as an administrative law judge for the state Department of Workers' Claims.Pullin, a Democrat whose district covers all of Greenup County and part of Boyd County in Northeastern Kentucky, starts Jan. 1, and her vacant seat in the House will need to be filled through a special election.Democrats hold a clear advantage in the district's party registration, with 57 percent of voters registered as Democrats and 35 percent as Republicans. But Bevin carried 57 percent of the vote in Greenup County during last month's gubernatorial election, and Pullin's departure is yet another hit to House Democrats.SNIPHouse Speaker Greg Stumbo told reporters Wednesday that Pullin had notified colleagues long in advance that she wouldn't seek re-election and that Democrats have already begun recruiting.He also accused Republicans of trying to buy a majority and said he fully expects Democrats to remain in power when the session starts Jan. 5.“It’s a shame that they result to these tactics - these special elections cost money,” Stumbo said. “It’s obvious they are trying to take the House by this tactic. But we’re going to be prepared to meet them on the election grounds.”
The repugs sure did.
Not to mention bitches fucking.
Listen, you freakazoid motherfucker: Send back to the state every fucking penny of tax dollars you've gotten for running a "homeless shelter." Because you're not running a homeless shelter. You're running an anti-woman sex-shaming center that ISIS would love.
A homeless shelter in Williamsburg will no longer accept women as a way to stop people from having sex.
The director at Emergency Christian Ministries said people are having sex at the shelter and they cannot accept that.NOW can we stop giving tax dollars to freakazoids to fail to perform public services?
"It seems like these last days it's getting worse ... the ungodly type," Director Billy Woodward said.
About 10 to 12 women were asked to leave the shelter over the past two weeks.
Woodward said they have more men than women at the shelter, so he decided to send the women to a female-only facility nearly 30 minutes away.
Woodward said in some cases, they will not accept children either.
"Right now, no because of the female factor," Woodward said.
However, Woodward added he would accept a male child if his father and he were homeless.
Some say this decision does not make much sense.
The shelter is the only place in Williamsburg for people without a home.
Wednesday, December 16, 2015
America’s 20 wealthiest people — a group that could fit comfortably in one single Gulfstream G650 luxury jet – now own more wealth than the bottom half of the American population combined, a total of 152 million people in 57 million households.The Forbes 400 now own about as much wealth as the nation’s entire African-American population – plus more than a third of the Latino population – combined.The wealthiest 100 households now own about as much wealth as the entire African American population in the United States. Among the Forbes 400, just 2 individuals are African American – Oprah Winfrey and Robert Smith.The wealthiest 186 members of the Forbes 400 own as much wealth as the entire Latino population. Just five members of the Forbes 400 are Latino including Jorge Perez, Arturo Moreno, and three members of the Santo Domingo family.With a combined worth of $2.34 trillion, the Forbes 400 own more wealth than the bottom 61 percent of the country combined, a staggering 194 million people.The median American family has a net worth of $81,000. The Forbes 400 own more wealth than 36 million of these typical American families. That’s as many households in the United States that own cats.
Tuesday, December 15, 2015
A Tennessee woman who tried to abort her own pregnancy in September has been charged with first degree attempted murder.According to the Murfreesboro Post, Detective Tommy Roberts determined that 31-year-old Anna Yocca attempted to "self-abort" her pregnancy in September.Police said that Yocca filled her bathroom tub with hot water, got in and then "took a coat hanger and attempted to self-abort her pregnancy.”Roberts wrote that Yocca became "concerned about her safety" after she lost a lot of blood. She was taken to Saint Thomas Rutherford Hospital by her boyfriend.Doctors at the hospital said that Yocca stated that she wanted to end her pregnancy. However, doctors were able to save the baby, which weighed only 1.5 pounds at birth. It will reportedly need medical care for the rest of its life because of damage done to the lungs, heart and eyes during the abortion attempt.Yocca, who is employed at an Amazon fulfilment center, was indicted on charges of first degree attempted murder by a grand jury last week. She was being held at the Rutherford County Adult Detention Center in lieu of $200,000 bond.
To a certain extent, the Secretary of an executive Cabinet does not have to be an expert in the areas his cabinet oversees. She's got professional staff for that. As long as she takes their advice seriously, she'll be fine.
But Public Protection is a different kettle of fish.
The Public Protection Cabinet and its employees touch the lives of many Kentucky citizens. If your money is deposited into a state bank or other financial institution, if you have ever watched a horse race, purchased an insurance policy or played a bingo game sponsored by a local charitable group, you have benefited from our work. If you have ever appealed a property tax assessment or applied for a building permit, you have dealt with one of our agencies.Public Protection does exactly what it says. It protects people. All people. With government regulation. From fraudulent businesses. So of course Bevin appointed a businessman to run it.
Jack Brammer at the Herald:
Gov. Matt Bevin continued making appointments Monday to his new administration, naming former Barren County Judge-Executive David A. Dickerson to be secretary of the Public Protection Cabinet and former Lexmark official Daniel Bork to be commissioner of the Department of Revenue.Destroying a government agency's ability to do its job protecting the people is easy: just slash its budget to nothing. Keep an eye on the budget Bevin sends to the legislature the first week of January. That will reveal his real plans.
Dickerson was Barren County’s chief official from 1994 to 1999. He most recently was corporate officer for his family business, Dickerson Lumber Company.
Congratulations again, Kentucky voters, for electing someone who hates government to run your, you know, government.
Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/news/politics-government/article49758490.html#storylink=cpy
Monday, December 14, 2015
Because the repugs can't get it up unless we're massacring brown folks. And they can't win elections unless they've got everybody terrified of a boogeyman under the bed.
Maybe some of these right wing panic artists will listen to Daniel Larison at the American Conservative. (I doubt it, but it's worth a try.)The truth is that ISIS and its affiliates don’t pose an “existential threat” to Western societies, and it is laughable to think that they ever could. They arguably don’t pose an “existential threat” to anyone except the people that have unfortunately fallen under their control and possibly their immediate neighbors. At the very least, the threat they pose to us and to other Western nations remains a relatively small and manageable one. The only real “existential threat” that Western nations have faced since WWII was the Soviet Union and their satellites, and in the end the threat from them proved to be a manageable one that the U.S. and its allies successfully faced down and outlasted. ISIS poses a much smaller threat to the U.S. and its allies than the Soviets ever did, and we should not inflate that threat into something that it clearly isn’t. The problem isn’t just that threat inflation is bad analysis (though it is), but that it often leads to reckless and irresponsible policies that aren’t even required to address the danger. Threat inflation prompts us to favor unnecessary and excessive measures here and overseas, and it causes us to obsess over combating certain adversaries to the detriment of other more important interests. Describing something as an “existential threat” is the worst and most irresponsible kind of threat inflation. It is a phrase that ought to be reserved to describe only the most dire threats to our very survival. That doesn’t apply to ISIS or indeed to any terrorist group.Thank you. But I suspect this is just spitting into the wind. These people deeply desire an "existential" threat so they can justify their free-floating fear of everything and their deep desire for violence to be the silver bullet that will fix it for them. It's primitive human species stuff which civilized leadership from institutions like the church and the government are supposed to mediate. Instead they're stoking it for their own ends.
Sunday, December 13, 2015
I don't know how old D.R.Tucker is, but my guess is at least a generation younger than me. He hasn't watched the fossil fuel industry win every single battle for the last 40 years. He doesn't know that all Exxon-Mobil has to do when some little country - and compared to Exxon-Mobil, even the U.S. and China are little countries - demands it stop drilling/fracking/mining is say "Make me."
Because I don't think we can. But I do sincerely hope D.R. Tucker is right.
The next time somebody tells you change cannot happen, that hope is a hoax, that good men and women cannot win the biggest fights of the day, remind them of December 12, 2015.
Representatives of 195 countries reached a landmark climate accord on Saturday that would, for the first time, commit nearly every country to lowering planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions to help stave off the most drastic effects of climate change.Delegates who have been negotiating intensely in this Paris suburb for two weeks gathered for the final plenary session where, suddenly, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius of France asked for opposition to the deal and, hearing none, gaveled the session closed.With that the delegates achieved what had been unreachable for two decades: a consensus on the need to move away from carbon-based fuels and a plan for the 195 nations to do so.Thought the final deal did not achieve all that environmentalists, scientists and some countries had hoped for, it set the table for further efforts to slow down the slide toward an unlivable planet.In the end, it was an extraordinary effort at international diplomacy. Supporters of a deal have argued that no less than the future of the planet was at stake, and in the days leading up to the final session worked relentlessly to push skeptical nations to join their ranks.I am fighting back tears as I write this. Do you know what this moment means? It means the most rapacious and destructive industry on the face of this warming Earth is on the downfall. It means that we will finally race towards the day where fossil fuels are kept in the ground where they belong, and children born today can have clean air, clean water and a stable future.
Do you know what this moment means? It means men and women of goodwill can succeed in the face of impossible odds.
Do you know what this moment means? It means that the deniers, the disinformers and the demagogues have been humiliated and humbled once and for all.
This is history’s golden moment. This is a moment where hope won in a blowout against cynicism. This is a day to be proud, damn proud, of being alive, of being compassionate, of being human.
Caring won. Hope won. Science won. The better angels of our nature won.
Saturday, December 12, 2015
The Republicans want to go back to the 50s, and we always assume it's because it was a time when America was the colossus left standing after the war and the country was prosperous. I don't think that's right. They want to go back to the 50s because that's when white people were allowed to dominate people of color and the red scare gave the right wingers license to use the government to intimidate and harass their political enemies with impunity.
Welcome back to the 50s.
Friday, December 11, 2015
Steve Beshear tried this move six years ago in an attempt to flip the state Senate to the dems. It backfired to the point that the state Senate is now repug forever and the state House - a dem bastion for decades - is now just four seats away from flipping repug.
And Bevin thinks bribing dem House members with six-figure cabinet posts will do it.
I can't wait to see how it blows up in his face.
Mike Biagi, executive director of the Republican Party of Kentucky, called Tilley's district "a winnable seat that we're going to recruit for and find a strong candidate to run." Biagi added that he expects to have more candidates than ever before in the 2016 elections as the GOP tries to take control of the House for the first time in nearly 95 years."We expect to be in a good position to run and flip the state House ... It's not a question of if the House is flipped, but when," Biagi said.Tilley will be the second Democratic defection in the House, where the Democrats have a narrow 53-47 advantage following state Rep. Denny Butler's decision to switch parties a week after Bevin won a near-landslide election over Jack Conway.Stumbo accused Republicans of using unethical means to seize control of the House.
"What the Republicans have not been able to accomplish at the ballot box they believe they can accomplish by opening their pocket books up and offering lucrative jobs and opportunities for members of the legislature who have been elected by constituents to serve," Stumbo said.Tilley's seat will have to be filled through a special election at some point over the next few months. Two GOP House seats in Georgetown and Danville also will be filled in special elections to replace two members who won statewide offices in November.Tilley's Western Kentucky seat is in a region that has seen numerous seats move from Democratic to Republican control over the past decade, but Stumbo said he believes the Democrats can hold onto it because of redistricting, Democratic seats have become more Democratic and Republican seats more Republican in recent years.
Thursday, December 10, 2015
As Charlie Pierce warned:
Kentucky's not listening.Charterism is privatization on the public's dime, the worst of all possible worlds. It doesn't matter if the tap gets turned on slowly, or all at once. It's about corporations being allowed by law to get their mitts in the till.
Wednesday, December 9, 2015
They're looking at the shadow cast on the wall and exaggerating the danger. Every danger.
I think that Peter Beinart has done a good job of describing the difference between how Republican presidential candidates and President Obama assess the threat from ISIS.
Because the GOP candidates see violent jihadism as a powerful, seductive ideology, they think that many American Muslims are at risk of becoming terrorists, and thus that the United States must monitor them more aggressively. Because Obama sees violent jihadism as ideologically weak and unattractive, he thinks that few American Muslims will embrace it unless the United States makes them feel like enemies in their own country—which is exactly what Donald Trump risks doing.Obama…believes that powerful, structural forces will lead liberal democracies to triumph over their foes—so long as these democracies don’t do stupid things like persecuting Muslims at home or invading Muslim lands abroad. His Republican opponents, by contrast, believe that powerful and sinister enemies are overwhelming America, either overseas (the Rubio version) or domestically (the Trump version).All the chest-thumping coming from Republicans is based on an elevated assumption of the real threat posed by ISIS. But that’s what happens when the only card you have to play is fear. Behind all the bravado, their message makes America look weak and easily intimidated. President Obama isn’t buying into that for a minute.
Yeah, that's what Ernie Fletcher said, too. Right before he started firing merit-protected Democrats just to fuck them over.
Pour yourself a double shot of Knob Creek (for the GUNZ) and count the lies.
Tuesday, December 8, 2015
The public swearing-in is at 2 p.m. Eastern, but Matt Bevin was sworn in as governor at midnight. By now, he's already signed executive orders destroying everything worthwhile in the Commonwealth.
Four hundred thousand working-poor Kentuckians stripped of health insurance.
Thousands of minimum-wage state workers losing their $10.10 per hour pay, dropped down to $8.00 per hour.
The death of the bourbon, horse and tourism industries as oil and gas fracking poison groundwater throughout the Bluegrass.
Crumbling roads and bridges and mass unemployment as conservatard austerity slashes the state budget.
Tens of thousands of non-freakazoids forced into a christianist theocracy.
Heading for the hellscape Sam Brownback created in Kansas; ultimate goal the Galtian paradise of Haiti.
Live on KET.
Monday, December 7, 2015
Sunday, December 6, 2015
Amateurs who killed as many as they did only because being in the Land of the Gun gave them easy access to major weapons,.
But ask yourself an important question: if this was a sophisticated plot, years in the making, does targeting a Christmas party full of county bureaucrats in San Bernardino really make a lot of sense? If this "sleeper" had been trained and groomed for this job, you'd think she would have come up with something with a little bit more political impact.Yes, terrorism, albeit amateur. But so are all the shooting attacks that happen in this country literally every single day.
No, this is probably exactly what Engle says, an amateur pair of Lone Wolf killers in a land where they can easily get their hands on as much firepower as they want who carried out their own little jihad. It's no less devastating to the victims of their insanity, of course. But everyone needs to take a breath and recognize that this is likely no different than all the other mass shootings we've had this year.
And that is bad enough.
Oh, and by the way, the Republicans in congress once again voted down any restrictions on gun rights for suspected terrorists. Yesterday.
Like Colorado Springs.
Saturday, December 5, 2015
It's long past the time to break the power and influence held over our politics by a splinter faction of one form of American Christianity. It's long past time to make refashioning the Gospel into talking-points—and, worse, a vehicle for ratfcking—a political liability rather than a political asset. It's long past time to ignore the bleating of self-professed Christians who specialize in marinating in their victimology, who build their own Golgothas, and who drive the nails into their own palms. If so-called "prayer-shaming" is the first step in that direction, then Chris Murphy's entire career in politics has been worthwhile.
I am heartily fed up with this nonsense. I am heartily fed up with people whose personal relationships with their personal Lords And Saviors lead them to knuckle the poor, subjugate women, brag about their gunmanship, and topple inconvenient regimes that happen to be sitting on an ocean of oil. I am heartily fed up with people whose support for Israel is based on a couple of misunderstood passages from the craziest book in the Bible in which Jesus comes back to Earth as an X Man and gets into some enthusiastic disemboweling. And I am heartily fed up with alleged Christians who contribute to some very curious damn poll numbers.SNIPI decline to be outraged that this tinpot piety is becoming something of a drag for these people. It's about damn time.
Friday, December 4, 2015
She's forgetting the mandatory trans-rectal probe. No, it doesn't have anything to do with buying a gun, but neither does a trans-vaginal probe have anything to do with getting an abortion.Missouri State Rep. Stacey Newman (D) has a creative idea for tackling the high rates of gun violence in her state: regulate gun purchases as tightly as abortion services.According to St. Louis Magazine, Newman pre-filed a bill this week that would make it just as difficult to buy a deadly weapon in Missouri as it currently it to get an abortion — including imposing a 72-hour waiting period for prospective gun buyers and requiring them to receive information about alternative to guns, like “peaceful and nonviolent conflict resolution.”Missouri, which is home to just one clinic that performs abortions, has some of the harshest restrictions on the procedure in the country. Patients must wait three full days before they’re allowed to end a pregnancy and make two separate trips to the state’s lone clinic.“It is logical we borrow similar restrictions to lower our horrific gun violence rates,” Newman said in a statement. “If we truly insist that Missouri cares about ‘all life’, then we must take immediate steps to address our major cities rising rates of gun violence.”Under Newman’s proposed legislation, prospective gun buyers would be required to jump through multiple hoops before legally obtaining a firearm.At least 72 hours before attempting to buy a gun, they would be required to meet with a licensed physician to discuss the risks of gun ownership. After the three day waiting period, they would need to locate a licensed firearm dealer located at least 120 miles from their home, which is the average distance that women currently must travel to get an abortion.Before the sale, the buyer would also be required to complete several educational requirements. Newman’s bill stipulates that they must tour an emergency trauma center treating victims of gun violence, meet with at least two families affected by gun violence, and talk to two local faith leaders who have performed funerals for children who have been killed by guns. Then, before walking out of the store with their gun, they would need to watch a 30-minute video in the presence of the firearm dealer that details fatal gun injuries and review information about alternatives to purchasing a firearm.
Thursday, December 3, 2015
Before 8 a.m. this morning, coworkers were already taunting me with "NOW do you understand why everybody needs to be armed?"
I understand that no amount of reality can penetrate the conservatard/gunnut bubble of epistemic closure. The mountain of dead bodies will never rise high enough to dissuade them.
Here's the cover:The Daily News has always taken a firm anti-gun violence stance. After two Virginia journalists were killed on-air, the tabloid's cover read "AMERICA'S FULL OF IT" with an editorial calling out the country's gun obsession.After the rampage in Santa Barbara in 2014, the paper's cover read: "AMERICA IN DENIAL."
Wednesday, December 2, 2015
Or maybe he does. These are exactly the lies Sam Brownback spread to justify gutting Kansas' economy to further enrich the obscenely wealthy mooching people and corporations.
Tom Loftus at the Courier:
Gov.-elect Matt Bevin said Tuesday that he is inheriting a "financial crisis" from departing Gov. Steve Beshear.
"According to the Beshear administration, they are leaving Kentucky burdened with a projected biennial budget shortfall of more than $500 million," Bevin said in a news release naming John E. Chilton, of Louisville, as the new state budget director. "The appointment of a highly qualified budget director, therefore is of tremendous importance."Asked to elaborate on Bevin's comment about a financial crisis, the Bevin transition office released an analysis of the state's 2016-18 budget outlook by the Beshear administration's budget office.But Beshear said in a statement later Tuesday that there is no shortfall and that Bevin is simply confronting a problem he confronted repeatedly the past eight years of dealing with needs and requests that outstrip available revenues."I have had to balance and rebalance the state's budget 15 times," Beshear said. "We are leaving the state's finances in much better shape than what I was presented with my first year in office," Beshear said.
The refugee "debate" is backwards. The question isn't which state will take the risk and spend the money to help refugees; the question is which state gets to enjoy the economic, social and moral power that refugees and other immigrants have brought to this nation from the beginning.
Appalachia needs all the immigrants it can get.
Dee Davis of the Daily Yonder:
Rural America is falling further behind. Farms don’t need farmers. Manufacturing moved offshore. And the rate of rural kids living in poverty is worse than it is in the inner cities.
Here’s a solution. Let’s take in the Syrian refugees. Make them rural Americans. As many as we can feed.
I live in a small town. The billboard says welcome to Whitesburg, Kentucky, population 1,534 friendly people plus two grouches. We are losing industry, businesses and people with alacrity. We are losing alacrity too. Small towns often struggle to hang on to critical mass to keep a tax base or to have enough tuba players for the school band. In small towns everyone is necessary. Not even the grouches are expendable.
We’ve got room here for more folks. Rural downtowns have empty buildings where dime stores and haberdasheries once catered to customer needs.
In the Appalachian Mountains, Syrians, Lebanese, Persians and Palestinians came in throughout the 20th-century booms and stayed through the busts. They were coal miners and merchants and soldiers in the great wars. This nation welcomed strangers then, and strangers pitched in. Steve Jobs’ people were Syrian. eBay’s Pierre Omidyar is Iranian. There is an upside to an open-door policy.
Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/opinion/op-ed/article46837720.html#storylink=cpy
But why should rural people be scared of new neighbors now? This is no time to buckle. Sharing the future with people who want to be here cannot be as daunting as preserving a present that’s straining under the load. The Statue of Liberty’s plaque plainly states: “The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me.”
That sounds like a plan. And it’s a more thoughtful rural policy than any we have now.
Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/opinion/op-ed/article46837720.html#storylink=cpy
Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/opinion/op-ed/article46837720.html#storylink=cpy
Tuesday, December 1, 2015
When someone carrying a semi-automatic rifle saunters into the restaurant where you're eating, or the office where you're working, do you feel more or less free?
But only if they're white. Blacks and browns get the SWAT team dropped on their ass.
And yes, that's terrorism.