Saturday, January 31, 2015

Secular Government Prevails in Lexington: Mosque Approved

My preference is to ban all construction by religious groups of any and all flavors, but equal treatment is the next best option.

And the more things that make freakazoid xian and racist conservatard heads explode, the better.

Beth Musgrave at the Herald:

After a debate of more than an hour, Lexington's Board of Adjustment voted 6-1 Friday to allow an Islamic community center on Armstrong Mill Road.

The existing Islamic Center, on South Limestone, had applied for a conditional use permit for a worship center on a 9-acre site on Armstrong Mill Road currently zoned agricultural. The planned three-story building would include prayer space on the bottom floor, a gym on the second floor and a walking track on the third floor. It also would include 200 parking spaces.


Charles Payne, president of the River Park Neighborhood Association, said after the hearing that he isn't sure whether the neighborhood would appeal the board's decision.

"I'll have to talk to everyone and see what they want to do," Payne said.

Mahmoud Shalash, president of the Islamic Center, who attended the meeting but did not speak, has said he does not plan to close the current Islamic Center on South Limestone when the new community center opens. Shalash has also said that he must raise additional money before he can build the community center.

Read more here:

Read more here:

KY Dem "Unity" Not Strength But Irrelevance

When the top of your ticket - the purported savior of your party - is the loser who got beat bad by the Tribble-Toupeed One, your party is not in trouble. Your party is the walking dead.

We. Are. So. Fucked.

Sam Youngman at the Herald:

Still, a number of indicators resulting from that loss and previous elections suggested a bleak future for Democrats in Kentucky as Republicans made gains in the state Senate, appeared to have a lock on federal races and were excited about the prospect of winning back the governor's mansion.

But with Grimes deciding to run for the lower-profile office and not challenging Attorney General Jack Conway in the Democratic primary for governor, a possible fatal split has been avoided. That leaves Conway as the presumed front-runner in the governor's race given that the four Republican candidates face a ruthless battle for the GOP nomination.

"I think Jack is definitely the front-runner, and it's all setting up well for him," said U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Louisville.

Shortly after the deadline for candidates to enter the race passed Tuesday afternoon, Conway's running mate, state Rep. Sannie Overly of Paris, emailed their supporters a fundraising plea with "the big news."

"The deadline for candidates to file to be on the ballot has passed and no major Democratic candidate has filed to challenge Jack and me​ in the primary election," Overly wrote. "That means that we can focus on getting ready to defeat whomever comes out of the Republican primary election."

Yarmuth, an early supporter of Grimes in her Senate race and Conway in this year's race for governor, told the Herald-Leader Wednesday that had Grimes announced a run for governor, she "would've risked fracturing the party."

"That was a move toward party unity," Yarmuth said of her decision to seek re-election. "I don't think there's any question about it."

From top to bottom, the state Democratic Party appears to be in a strong position going into this year's election for state constitutional offices, in part because the factional in-fighting that has plagued the party for years seems unlikely given the lack of competition among the warring tribes.

O'Neill and other Democrats said their optimism is largely founded on the fact that Conway and other Democratic candidates can focus their time and energy on raising and saving money and crafting a winning message for November.
How about spending time getting out and meeting actual Democratic voters, asking them what you can do to improve their lives, and imploring them to get out and vote in November?

How about calling out the repug motherfucking liars for lying about fucking their mothers?

How about running like goddamn Democratic candidates?

Friday, January 30, 2015

Eliminate the Rich. Do It Now.

Name one single fucking thing that the rich do that helps this country.

No, they don't create jobs. They sit on their piles of unearned cash like Scrooge McDuck, when they're not flying their private planes to Davos to lecture the unwashed on the virtues of sacrifice.

No, they don't give to charity.  They give to fat colleges like Harvard or fatter art museums to name buildings and galleries after them.  Poor people give to real charities that help people.

No, they don't pay taxes. Not a fucking penny.  The poor and middle class pay the taxes in this country.

Every single thing the rich do hurts and damages and undermines this country. Especially lying about how it's the poor who hurt the country.

Who deserves more to die in the cause of helping the nation?

Erik Loomis at LGM:

If I wrote an op-ed that said my ideology created policy preferences that might lead to the execution of the rich but, hey, we have to make trade-offs, I would not only not get that op-ed published, but I’d probably be reported to the FBI.

If I wrote an op-ed that said my ideology created policy preferences that might lead to the death of the poor, but, hey, we have to make trade-offs, I’d be Fred Hiatt’s new best friend.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Federal Minimum Wage Would Be $25 Per Hour

... if it had kept pace with inflation and productivity since 1968.  The income of the inherited rich, of course, has increase several orders of magnitude more than that.

Erik Loomis at LGM:

Of course it (McDonald's) could pay $15 an hour. It just prefers its workers living in poverty. At least it provides helpful advice on how to live on the minimum wage. From the report:
This paper considers the extent to which U.S. fast-food businesses could adjust to an increase in the federal minimum wage from its current level of $7.25 per hour to $15 an hour without having to resort to reducing their workforces. We consider this issue through a set of simple illustrative exercises, whereby the U.S. raises the federal minimum wage in two steps over four years, first to $10.50 within one year, then to $15 after three more years. We conclude that the fast-food industry could absorb the increase in its overall wage bill without resorting to cuts in their employment levels at any point over this four-year adjustment period. Rather, we find that the fast-food industry could fully absorb these wage bill increases through a combination of turnover reductions; trend increases in sales growth; and modest annual price increases over the four-year period. Working from the relevant existing literature, our results are based on a set of reasonable assumptions on fast-food turnover rates; the price elasticity of demand within the fast -food industry; and the underlying trend for sales growth in the industry. We also show that fast-food firms would not need to lower their average profit rate during this adjustment period. Nor would the fast-food firms need to reallocate funds generated by revenues away from any other area of their overall operations, such as marketing.
I also found this amazing:
This is true, despite the fact that, after correcting for inflation, today’s $7.25 federal minimum is about 33 percent lower than the $10.85 figure as of 1968—46 years ago. This long-term deterioration in the real value of the minimum wage is even more dramatic after we recognize that average labor productivity has risen by roughly 135 percent since 1968. This means that, if the federal minimum wage had risen in step with both inflation and average labor productivity since 1968, the federal minimum today would be $25.50 an hour.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

American Sucker

We'll be rid of racism before we're rid of jingoism.

Rude Pundit:

American Sniper is a film about stupid people who were brainwashed into doing something stupid and it justifies their stupidity so that the stupid people watching can feel good about themselves. See, the one thing you can't separate out from the film is history. It tries to elide over history, but just because it isn't mentioned doesn't mean it isn't there. Because of that, the overwhelming feeling the Rude Pundit had was pity, not pride.

So, in the end, American Sniper is the story of a dumb man who wrecked himself for a worthless cause and about all the young men (and it is all, mostly white, men in it) who were sacrificed for nothing.

It's not the film that tells us it's nothing. We know it was for nothing. We know that one of the great crimes of the new century is the invasion of Iraq for absolutely no rational, demonstrable reason. We know that all those "savages," as Kyle calls the Iraqis, that we killed were for nothing. We know that all those Americans who died lost their lives for nothing. Our military was protecting us from nothing. Our freedoms weren't at risk from Iraq.

And the lie many soldiers from Iraq cling to and the lie we tell ourselves, and the lie that so many have worked so hard to maintain, is that as long as we don't discuss that it was for nothing, as long as we pretend that the fact that soldiers fought when they were told to fight and, mostly, did so nobly, we don't have to face the truly gut-wrenching reality of our national complicity in the crime.


We're supposed to feel proud that men like Kyle defend us.  We should instead feel intensely angry that they died in vain.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Office Sex Is The Most Pathetic

Seriously.  The only way new Kentucky House Majority Whip Johnny Bell could figure out how to bone his latest victim was to hire her? Somebody tell him there's this amazing new invention called the motel.
From the Herald's Jack Brammer, who is either having the time of his life covering this story or shopping his resume all over the planet.
A legislative staffer fired last week by state House Majority Whip Johnny Bell alleged in court documents Monday that Bell's decision was motivated in part "by his desire to have an intimate sexual relationship" with another woman he wants to hire.
Yolanda Costner, one of three legislative staffers who alleged sexual harassment in 2013 by a former state lawmaker from Western Kentucky, also said Bell, D-Glasgow, had illegally obtained a controlled substance —Xanax — from the other woman when she worked for him previously.

Costner also alleged that Bell, a lawyer, kept moonshine in his office and was seen in possession of a marijuana cigarette in front of the Capitol Annex.

Bell did not return phone calls to his cellphone Monday evening seeking comment.
 Also, never smoke pot in front of people you may want to fire someday.

How Marxist, Feminist, Environmentalist Muslims Defeated IS

It's liberal democracy the way it was supposed to be, the one that plutocrats, corporations and freakazoids fear the most.

I expect U.S. drones to "accidentally" obliterate it any day now.


Months after it was supposed to fall, Kobane still stands, and IS has been forced back. The story of the town’s resistance is an epic tale of determination and self-defense, and it’s one U.S. officials would rather not discuss. When the Pentagon claimed there were no ground troops in Kobane, they weren’t exactly telling the truth. In 2012, Syrian forces withdrew from three northern areas, leaving their administration and defense to the Kurdish Freedom Movement. Now the three territories hold more than four million people, half of them refugees from the Syrian civil war or the Islamic State’s advance, and many of them armed and organized. Kobane is one of the three territories that together constitute the autonomous region of Rojava, and it endures today because of the fiercely egalitarian society the people have built, the kind idealized by many leftists around the world.

Most Americans, even the ones who pay close attention to national involvement in the Middle East, have little to no idea about what has been happening in Kobane. The Pentagon has been less than forthcoming with support for these enemies of our enemies; their fighters are still on the State Department list of foreign terrorist organizations. The American media has more or less ignored the political project in Rojava; they’ve been more comfortable painting Kurds as desperate fighters fending off the Islamic State. Besides, there are a lot of acronyms and complicated political affiliations to sort through. But while America isn’t watching, something incredible is happening. At the geographical nexus of so many of the world’s conflicts, a new post-national project is emerging.


In 2005, his death sentence reduced to life in prison, Öcalan made a surprising announcement: He renounced nationalism. The PKK and its affiliates followed suit, dropping the fight for a seat at the UN and adopting a unique political ideology called democratic confederalism. When the Syrian government withdrew from what would be Rojava in 2012, they did not declare independence despite controlling the territory. Just when the world’s largest stateless group finally seems poised to join the modern nation state system, when the dream of a Kurdistan (if not a united one) in northern Iraq is nearly at hand, the PKK has abandoned its foundational agenda. What happened? The simplest answer is they thought of a better idea.

Despite being Turkey’s most notorious prisoner, Öcalan has kept in communication with his comrades (that’s what they call each other) through his writing, some of which has been translated for a western audience that has so far yet to appear. In a pamphlet on democratic confederalism, Öcalan laid out the premise for his unexpected turn:
So far, with a view to issues of ethnicity and nationhood like the Kurdish question, which have their roots deep in history and at the foundations of society, there seemed to be only one viable solution: the creation of a nation-state, which was the paradigm of the capitalist modernity at that time. We did not believe, however, that any ready-made political blueprints would be able to sustainably improve the situation of the people in the Middle East. Had it not been nationalism and nation-states which had created so many problems in the Middle East?
The Kurdish freedom struggle, he explains, had always been about “liberating the society and democratizing it” and resisting “the global domination of the modern capitalist system.” Inspired by decolonization struggles throughout the global south, the PKK’s founders followed their model, attempting a Maoist guerrilla war strategy to establish their own nation. They were always a little behind the times; by the PKK’s founding in 1978, the Cold War period of national liberation had drawn to a close. Even if, against all odds, they were to win, the most likely outcome would be a Cuba-style trade embargo enforced by Turkey. The organization needed a new vision, and democratic confederalism was Öcalan’s answer.

At the geographical nexus of so many of the world’s conflicts, a new post-national project is emerging.
So what is democratic confederalism? Öcalan calls it “a non-state political administration” or a “democracy without a state.” Instead of centralizing political power in a government, confederalism views society holistically, as an association of associations of intrinsically social people. It aspires to flatten the divisions the state places between public, productive and domestic life, linking together sewing cooperatives, neighborhood communes, refugee assistance groups, schools and self-defense forces in a common framework. The higher levels of organization exist to facilitate the grassroots, and decisions flow from the bottom to the top. It’s designed to work without, beneath, between and against nation-states, depending on the situation. Like the Islamic State, democratic confederalism does not recognize borders except as obstacles to overcome. “It is flexible, multi-cultural, anti-monopolistic, and consensus-oriented,” Öcalan writes. “Ecology and feminism are central pillars.”

Monday, January 26, 2015

Flashbanged for Jaywalking, But Only If You're Black

Flashbangs aren't smoke bombs. They're bombs: weapons of war that kill people.

No, cops aren't soldiers.  They're fucking thugs.


These bombs were invented to help special forces in hostage situations. Which makes sense. If civilian lives are in danger then it's reasonable to take risks. When it's over a baggie full of pot, not so much.

I'm sure you won't be surprised to learn that they tend to only throw them into the homes of African Americans:

Read the whole thing. As you know by now, the attitude of the police is that we are at war in the streets of America and their primary duty is to keep each other safe. All they want is to kill the "enemy" and get through their tour in one piece. But selling beer on Sunday is not jihad, African Americans are not the Taliban and protesters are not ISIS. Just because they wear the costumes and carry all the gear it doesn't make them soldiers.
Do your local cops have military bombs? Who are they using them on?

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Not Just Religion in Schools; Actual Churches in Schools

That this does not bring the full wrath of the U.S. Justice Department down on these schools is a terrible sign that the Dominionists are winning the battle with the Constitution, and all of us are doomed.

From the Nation, a long one that is well worth your time:

Far from an isolated incident on the border of church and state, Venue Church’s involvement in Florida’s public schools is part of a national trend. In the evangelical world, the past twenty years have seen the rise of a franchise organizational model, in which a single national or international entity works with local “religious entrepreneurs” to install churches in public-school buildings, or in other relatively affordable facilities like movie theaters, rather than fund its own buildings.

Venue Church appears to be independent, but other churches in public schools are more closely allied with broad evangelical networks. Thirteen miles away, the Celebration Orlando Church, located in Howard Middle School, is part of the Association of Related Churches, a Birmingham,
Alabama–based network that works with “church planters” to assist them in launching and expanding new churches. In 2006, ARC planted nine; in 2009, it was averaging around fifty new church plants per year. Today, with a more developed structure, ARC is training and coaching hundreds of church planters annually.

Evangelical networks that have planted churches in public schools across the United States include Redeemer, Vineyard, the Evangelical Covenant Church, Sovereign Grace, Victory Outreach, Morningstar and many dozens of others. Acts29, a Seattle-based evangelical coalition that has started 350 churches across the nation in the past five years, estimates that some 16 percent of its church plants meet in public-school spaces.

A 2007 national survey by LifeWay, a Christian research agency, found that 12 percent of newly established Protestant churches met in public schools. Today, that number is surely higher. In many cities, just about every public-school auditorium is rented to a church plant on Sunday morning.
In some places, houses of worship have operated inside public schools for years without paying any rent at all—a situation that, in New York City at least, has led to an ongoing battle in the courts. Even when rent is paid, the arrangement is a boon for churches, which are able to obtain safe and comfortable facilities, as well as furniture, heating and air-conditioning, and other benefits, for a fraction of the cost of financing their own facilities.

In recent years, the movement to plant churches has had a particular focus on cities. In October 2014, Movement Day—a conference at the Marriott Marquis in New York City—convened more than 1,000 pastors and other church members to focus on providing social services and bringing the Gospel to the urban “unchurched.” Movement Day speakers advocated “church/school partnerships.” One panel on education brought together Pastor Chip Sweney; Dorothy Parker-Jarrett, the principal of Summerour Middle School in Norcross, Georgia; and Terri Hoye, who champions church volunteers mentoring in public schools. As Hoye commented, “Once [the door to the public schools] is open, it is wide open!”

This phenomenon has given rise to organizations such as Kids Hope USA, which “equips [churches] to mobilize into the schools.” Kids Hope USA has made possible over 1,000 partnerships between churches and public schools. The program it facilitates consists of tutoring and mentoring. Participants in such partnerships are supposed to abide by a strict separation of church and state and refrain from proselytizing.

But the leaders of some of the religious entities involved in these types of partnerships are clear in their view that the separation of church and state is a “myth.” In Texas, for example, where the Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship has established “church-school partnerships” between evangelical entities and over sixty Dallas-area schools, senior pastor Tony Evans has a clear message for those who think that public education and sectarian religion need to be kept separate: “God never intended that such a separation exist in His world.”

What does partnership look like for Oak Cliff? Church representatives implement a “Kingdom Agenda Strategy” by acting as student mentors, participating in academic tutoring and character-education classes. The latter include abstinence-until-marriage teachings and promote a narrow, religion-driven idea of what constitutes an acceptable moral life.

In Raleigh, North Carolina, Crossroads Fellowship produced a slick video promoting its own Adopt-a-School initiative. “One hour a week of your time could be a future and eternity in Christ for a kid,” a woman in the video explains. “All of us are called to be a missionary in our own backyard,” a middle-age man adds. “We just want to show the love of Christ,” says another. “Adopt-a-School is going to ‘ping’ on that in a powerful way.”

While many of the church groups in public schools market themselves as “nondenominational,” evangelicals of a generally conservative type overwhelmingly dominate this new field. The leading groups are committed to the inerrancy of the Bible. Some, such as Morningstar, draw heavily on Dominionism—the idea that Christians should seek to dominate all aspects of secular politics and society until the return of Jesus Christ. Mark Driscoll, a controversial founder of Acts29 who left the organization after scandals involving allegations of plagiarism and psychological abuse, is known for his unapologetic commitment to male-centered authoritarianism. “We live in a completely pussified nation,” he has said.

The new interest of these groups in public schools reflects a significant shift in missionary strategy. It is now accepted wisdom that the most fruitful targets of their efforts are young children, who are thought to be more susceptible to conversion. The focus on schools stems in part from the realization that students, especially in the younger grades, invest a lot of authority in their school, and typically can’t distinguish between what is taught in the school and what is taught by the school.

The legal theory that these groups promote, which makes possible the rise of church-school partnerships, hinges on several key arguments. The first seeks to collapse claims about the freedom of religious exercise into claims about the freedom of speech. The second argument makes a strict distinction between private speech and publicly sponsored or official speech. The third drastically minimizes the weight of peer pressure or social coercion. And the fourth conceives a lack of religion as just another religious view among many, and therefore not to be favored over other religions.
When you put these premises together, you end up with the conclusion that including religious groups in school does not involve an establishment of religion in any meaningful sense, whereas excluding them does involve the violation of their free-speech rights and thus represents discrimination against religion. Justice Clarence Thomas ably sums up this line of argument in a key 2001 Supreme Court decision, Good News Club v. Milford Central School. On the one hand, he dismisses the idea that kindergartners might falsely perceive the private speech of religious groups operating in the school as coming from the school; on the other, he asserts that banning these religious groups from school might be perceived by the community at large as discrimination against religion in favor of secularism.


Divine Irony:

People are entirely too disbelieving of coincidence. They are far too ready to dismiss it and to build arcane structures of extremely rickety substance in order to avoid it. I, on the other hand, see coincidence everywhere as an inevitable consequence of the laws of probability, according to which having no unusual coincidence is far more unusual than any coincidence could possibly be.

Isaac Asimov (via whyallcaps)

Saturday, January 24, 2015

"Now we have to choose what we want that future to look like."

Alright, Mr. President, I choose a future without billionaires, millionaires, homeless people or hungry children. I choose a future of renewable energy, good jobs and Medicare for all. I choose a future in which science, facts and reality are respected and religion - especially christianity - is kept in its place. I choose a future in which our military defends us, not the brutal, fascist dictatorships we used to call allies. I choose a future in which people who are not white or christian or straight or rich or male walk the streets in safety and confidence as valued members of society.

GOP: Biggest Danger to Kids is Not Guns, But Women

Bless their hearts.It must be exhausting constantly manufacturing nonsense in the face of all facts, science and reality.


"The womb is the most dangerous place for a child"
Well, that says it all, doesn't it? It's right out of a dystopian novel. This is basically saying that the half of the population that is biologically programmed to gestate the species is actually an enemy of the human race.

Here's the thing.  If you believe that life begins at conception then that's actually true.  The baby birthing vessels (sometimes called "human beings", "women" and "mothers") lose millions of zygotes, blastocysts and embryos through their natural biological processes. But apparently the birthing vessels don't even know or care that they are committing mass murder over the course of their lives. This slogan tells all of them what they really are.

These people are talking about abortion, but that doesn't change the basic thrust of this argument. If life begins at conception then the womb is an extremely dangerous place for children. The only people who have wombs are women.  Therefore, women are the most dangerous threat to children. You can't separate one from the other.

This is the kind of deeply embedded misogyny that has ruled this world since the beginning.  That bitch Eve tempted poor Adam with the apple and revealed woman's true nature. What I can't figure out is why they think so many of these murderous baby-killers should be trusted to raise children in the first place. Back in the day they solved that little problem by giving men full property rights over their children. If all women are child murderers then that only makes sense. Maybe they'd like to go back to that.

But for some reason these same people tend to immediately lose interest in the whole question of child safety after they emerge from the dangerous, life threatening womb:
Kaleb Ahles' grandparents sobbed as Pinellas detectives investigated the 2-and-a-half-year-old's death.

Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said the boy's father, Kevin Ahles, put his son in the family car. As other family members helped Kaleb's parents move out of their house, at 1094 Misty Hollow Lane in Eastlake, the toddler found a small .380 caliber handgun in the glove box. He suffered a single, self-inflicted gunshot wound around 4:47 p.m. Wednesday, deputies said.

I'm going to say that the most dangerous place for children is any place where loaded guns are left lying around for 2 year old to find. The womb, not so much.

Friday, January 23, 2015


Via Juanita Jean:




Making the GOP look foolish is easy.  Getting voters to show up and punish the fools in the GOP is the hard part.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

New KY House Dem Whip Not Just Racist, Sexist Pig; He's STOOPIT

Bell, the dusky-skinned lady you just fired is going to sue your ass right out of office, you moron.
Jack Brammer at the Herald:
New state House Majority Whip Johnny Bell, D-Glasgow, fired a female staffer in the office Wednesday who alleged she had been sexually assaulted by a former state lawmaker from Western Kentucky.
Louisville attorney Thomas Clay said Yolanda Costner received a letter earlier in the day from Bell that said her service was no longer required.

No other reason was given for the termination that is to take effect Thursday, Clay said.

Clay said Costner, who has 25 years of government service, will amend a complaint filed in Franklin Circuit Court on the sexual harassment scandal that will include Bell as a defendant.

He claimed Bell violated the state law to protect whistleblowers and Costner's civil rights.

Wendell Ford: RIP and Good Riddance

I would dearly love to know what Wendell H. Ford, former Governor, former U.S. Senator, and godfather of the Kentucky Democratic Party since before most current members of it were born, really thought about President Barack Obama.

Because while Governor Ford pushed progressive policies in Kentucky beyond what would be possible even today - massive public spending, getting the General Assembly to approve the Equal Rights Amendment and a coal severance tax - U.S. Senator Ford kept the FDA from regulating tobacco, supported anti-abortion legislation and poured billions of tax dollars down the "synthetic fuels from coal" toilet.

Given his age and background, I am quite certain Ford was a stone racist, though a quiet one. But he was also a stone Yellow Dog Democrat, reviling repugs at every opportunity and supporting Democratic candidates.  In the 2008 and 2012 elections, did the racist or the Yellow Dog win out?  I can't imagine him voting for a repug, but I can't imagine him voting for a black man, either. 

In the end, I can't forgive him for retiring from the Senate in 1998, allowing repug Jim Bunning to replace him. In Ford's day 40 years ago, Kentucky had one of the deepest Democratic candidate benches in the country.  You could predict which Democratic candidate would win the governor's race 20 years out, just by looking at the current holders of state offices. 

Repug voters registered as Democrats just so they could vote in the Democratic primary, the winner of which automatically won the general election.

Now, there's not a Democratic candidate in sight who could beat a widely-hated repug with a 35 percent approval rating last year, or any of the current repug candidates for governor in November.

Ford let that bench collapse. And because of that, by Jan. 2017 Kentucky is likely to have an all-repug state government.

And we'll all be envying Ford, safe in his grave.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Are There In Kentucky No Bathroom Stall Doors?

And how wonderful that the most pressing problem faced by Kentucky public schools is an apparent shortage of bathroom stall doors.

This would be funny if it weren't tragic for thousands of Kentucky students.  From the Fairness Alliance:

  • It's an unnecessary solution in search of a problem
  • Absurdly demands chromosomal and biological proof of gender to use school restrooms
  • Opens the stall door to Kentucky politicians regulating school restrooms throughout the state
  • Violation of Title IX, the federal law banning discrimination in schools based on sex
  • Takes home rule away from local school districts and school principals
  • Targets gender non-conforming students, who are already among the most harassed--nearly nine in ten have been verbally harassed at school and more than half have been physically assaulted
  • Allows students to claim a $2,500 bounty for each encounter with a transgender student and more money for psychological and emotional harm
  • "I tend to think that working through issues such as this are better handled on the local level." -Bowling Green Independent School District Superintendent Joe Tinius.
Meanwhile, the moron is giving interviews to national reporters, who are giving him plenty of rope to hang himself.

Last week, Kentucky State Sen. E.B. Embry, Jr. (R) filed a bill that would ban transgender students from using their appropriate school restrooms and locker rooms and even allow other students to sue schools for $2,500 every time they see a trans student in one of those facilities. In private conversations with a concerned citizen, Embry revealed more about his beliefs about transgender people and the origins of the bill, including an invented problem to justify it.

Angela Swift Hill is a former Kentucky resident, an educator, and the proud mother of a transgender teenager. She reached out to Embry via Facebook to express her concerns about his legislation, lauding the “love and strength” she has found in her own daughter’s journey and suggesting that he was “encouraging hatred.” Hill shared her exchange with ThinkProgress, though Embry kept much of it private.

Embry defended his bill by essentially rejecting the existence of transgender people:
There is no hate involved. It is simple. Children of a certain sex should be the only ones allowed to use the restroom for that sex. Children can present themselves and dress as any sex they want. They can be gay or staight [sic], as they wish and should not have to deal with bullying. Strong action should be taken regarding bullying of any type. Those things have nothing to so with this issue. School children who are girls should use the girls restroom, and the boys the boys restrooms, nothing else is at issue.
His claim to oppose bullying does not jibe with his vote against an anti-bullying bill that would have extended protections to LGBT students.
Here's an idea: How about the Democrats turning this disgusting spew of ignorance, homophobia and hate into a law that protects transgender students from locker room harassment

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

QOTD: The SOTU We Deserve

Charlie Pierce:

"Mr. Speaker, Mr. Majority Leader, thank you for inviting me here tonight to discuss the state of our union. The state of our union is strong, and it's all because of me, motherfkers, and no thanks to your sorry, wrinkled white asses. I did everything I could do to pull the economy out of the shallow grave your deregulatory frenzy and the two-term nitwit who preceded me dug for it. You stood there like squeaking eunuchs and blocked everything you could, and a narrow slice of the electorate gave you virtually unprecedented control over the entire national legislature. I don't care. Your party has sold its soul and lost its mind. I'm not going anywhere. So I'm'a gonna do what I goddamn well please, because the state of our union is strong, motherfkers, and it's all because of me. Nice to see you all again, though."

Unless the speech begins that way, I really don't care about it.

Training Black Families Won't Stop Racist Copping

Only training the cops will do that.

Last Saturday, more than 50 African-American residents of Shelbyville met in the basement of the library to listen to a bunch of cops tell them how their children needed to play Step-n-Fetchit in order to avoid being murdered for being black.

I understand that under the current racist law enforcement inexcusably tolerated in this country, only by submitting to such condescending, racist treatment and forcing their children to obey it can black parents have a hope of seeing their children survive to middle age.

That does not make it in any way excusable.

What should have happened on Saturday was African-American and white and Latino and Asian and Muslim residents of all ages and parental status confronting the sheriff and police chief and all the deputies and officers and demanding that they start treating non-white citizens with respect.

Because deferring to terrorism - and make no mistake, law enforcement in this country is pure, unadulterated terrorism toward everyone who is not white and rich - only empowers the terrorists and guarantees more and worse terrorism.

Down with Tyranny:

Late last month we looked at some solutions to the devastating problems inherent in hair-trigger police brutality. We heard a diverse array of opinions-- from Ice-T, The Clash and Millions of Dead Cops to ex-police officers Frank Serpico and Redditt Hudson. Here are half a dozen from legendary New York City police detective Serpico:
1. Strengthen the selection process and psychological screening process for police recruits. Police departments are simply a microcosm of the greater society. If your screening standards encourage corrupt and forceful tendencies, you will end up with a larger concentration of these types of individuals;

2. Provide ongoing, examples-based training and simulations. Not only telling but showing police officers how they are expected to behave and react is critical;

3. Require community involvement from police officers so they know the districts and the individuals they are policing. This will encourage empathy and understanding;

4. Enforce the laws against everyone, including police officers. When police officers do wrong, use those individuals as examples of what not to do-- so that others know that this behavior will not be tolerated. And tell the police unions and detective endowment associations they need to keep their noses out of the justice system;

5. Support the good guys. Honest cops who tell the truth and behave in exemplary fashion should be honored, promoted and held up as strong positive examples of what it means to be a cop;

6. Last but not least, police cannot police themselves. Develop permanent, independent boards to review incidents of police corruption and brutality-- and then fund them well and support them publicly. Only this can change a culture that has existed since the beginnings of the modern police department.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Wannabe Security Goons Slapped Down in Louisville

People work private security because they couldn't pass even the pathetic excuse for psych tests given by police departments.

And why the fuck are private minimum-wage goons there instead of good federal employees? Austerity strikes again. 

James Bruggers at the Courier:

I guess you might call them the Keystone Kops, those private security officers responsible for breaking up and moving an environmental protest outside Louisville's federal courthouse on Tuesday.
The security guard who told about 75 participants to move along did not have the authority to do so, said Brian Parrish, chief deputy of the U.S. Marshal's office in Louisville.

"I was frustrated by that situation yesterday," Parrish said, adding that he has taken steps to make sure the private security firm, Paragon Systems, doesn't do that again.

The rally had to do with the Keystone XL pipeline, which was being debated yesterday in the U.S. Senate. Environmental advocates oppose the pipeline because they say it will encourage the development of Canadian oil sands, hastening the climate chaos of global warming.

RELATED | Pipeline foes booted from courthouse sidewalk

The security guard worked for a contractor with the Federal Protective Service, part of the Department of Homeland Security. He declined to tell me his name, when I asked yesterday, and he said he was just doing what his boss told him to do. A spokeswoman for the Federal Protective Service said she was looking into the situation.

Repugs Are Terrible at Predictions, Too

As the repug Congress prepares to reverse every step toward progress made in the last 70 years, let's review how good they were at predicting the catastrophe following the 2012 election:

Think Progress:

It’s now 2015, nearly two years after Obama took the oath of office for the second time. A few years ago, prognosticators were very confident about what would happen to America by now because of Obama’s reelection. Let’s check in and see how their predictions turned out:

1. Gas was supposed to cost $5.45 per gallon.


2. Unemployment was supposed to be stuck at over 8%


3. The stock market was supposed to crash


4. The entire U.S. economy was supposed to collapse
Remember: everything repugs stand for and demand is refuted by facts, science and reality.  That's why they have to lie about everything.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Join Us If They Want

Divine Irony:

Big Fucking Deal: Holder Puts Stop to Police Theft

There aren't many single policy changes that can make a huge difference in the lives of the most oppressed among us: minorities, the poor, the marginalized of all kinds whose lives are destroyed by thieving cops just because they can.


This is a big deal:

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. on Friday barred local and state police from using federal law to seize cash, cars and other property without evidence that a crime occurred.

Holder’s action represents the most sweeping check on police power to confiscate personal property since the seizures began three decades ago as part of the war on drugs.

Since 2008, thousands of local and state police agencies have made more than 55,000 seizures of cash and property worth $3 billion under a civil asset forfeiture program at the Justice Department called Equitable Sharing.


A Justice official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to discuss the attorney general’s motivation, said Holder “also believes that the new policy will eliminate any possibility that the adoption process might unintentionally incentivize unnecessary stops and seizures.”
This program was a huge incentive to what can only be called outright theft of private property by police authorities. It's actually hard to believe they got away with it for so long. But interestingly, the alleged anti-federal right (along with the pro-police center) had no problem with it. They get very angry about any kind of taxes on rich people but had no problem with police targeting innocent people and just taking everything they own to fund their own activities. Odd that.

One hopes the libertarians among us will give old Holder and Obama some kudos for this action. It's been easy for Democrats to let this stuff go for both political and economic reasons. It funds police and lets politicians look like they are tough on crime. Ending this is going to make police across the nation --- many of who already hate Holder and Obama --- very angry. Tough.

Your Religion

Divine Irony:


Yep yep

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Why Haven't We Nuked Saudi Arabia Yet?

Yeah, yeah, oil, blah blah. The fact is that the one action by the United States that would go further than any other to end terrorism would be to nuke Saudi Arabia.

First, no nation or terrorist group has been more responsible for terrorism on American soil that the motherfucking architects of 9/11:

DSWright at Firedoglake:

Zacarias Moussaoui, the so-called “20th hijacker,” has written to federal courts in New York and Oklahoma claiming to have information that would directly implicate the government of Saudi Arabia in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Moussaoui, currently serving a life-sentence for his role in 9/11, has claimed that a member of the Saudi royal family paid for the hijackers flight training and offered to identify various financial institutions that were involved in funding the attack.

Moussaoui ultimately admitted after years of legal proceedings and furious denials that he was planning to be involved in the 9/11 attacks with his target being the White House. Whether or not the US government is aware of the government of Saudi Arabia’s role in 9/11 is difficult to say exactly, but Moussaoui’s potential testimony is most valuable at the moment to lawyers involved in lawsuits against Saudi Arabia – some of whom have interviewed him.
The most sensational Moussaoui filing is a four-page handwritten letter dated Oct. 23 and docketed this month in federal court in Oklahoma City. In it, Moussaoui claims that a Saudi prince helped him financially in 2001 when he was studying at a flight school in Norman, Oklahoma, and also funneled a large amount of money to some of the 19 men who hijacked planes on Sept. 11. The prince “was assisting me in my Islamic terrorist activities … and was doing so knowingly for Osama bin Laden,” he said.
Moussaoui described how bin Laden got the religious instruction necessary to go forward with the terrorist attacks from Saudi religious leaders and carried them out over the objections of the Taliban. He also claimed he shared information this year with a Secret Service agent about a 1990s plot by al-Qaida to shoot down Air Force One and assassinate then-President Bill Clinton and first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton with assistance from a top Saudi Embassy employee.
The issue with Moussaoui seems to be questions of competence and motivation. During his trial there were mental competence concerns and given he is in a super-max prison he could be searching for attention or someway to escape his boredom. Of course, that does not mean he is not telling the truth.
Saudi Arabia’s fingerprints are all over 9/11 from Al-Qaeda’s leader, Osama Bin Laden, being the son of a Saudi oligarch to an overwhelming majority of the hijackers themselves being Saudi citizens. But the Saudis through their oil wealth have bought considerable influence in DC and have remained generally unscathed by their connection to 9/11. If Zacarias Moussaoui’s allegations can be proven, the Saudi government is going to have a lot of explaining to do.
Second no nation or terrorist group more frequently and publicly commits the kind of barbaric torture than the leading freakazoids of Wahabbi:

hom Sullivan at Hullabaloo:
Stonings. Did we mention the stonings? And it's not just Syria:
Raif Badawi, the Saudi liberal convicted of publishing a blog, has been told he will again be flogged 50 times on Friday – the second part of his 1,000-lash sentence which also includes a 10-year jail term.
The US, Britain and other western governments had all called for the punishment to be dropped but there has been no sign of any diplomatic action against Riyadh. Amnesty International on Wednesday urged the UK government to challenge Saudi Arabia, which has ignored all protests over the case.
Badawi will be given 50 more lashes outside a mosque in his home city of Jeddah unless a Saudi prison doctor determines he is not yet fit to face the punishment owing to injuries sustained last Friday. If nothing changes, he will be flogged every Friday for the next 19 weeks.
Kate Allen, Amnesty International’s UK director, wonders why British authorities are so vocal about the Charlie Hebdo attacks, yet "tone everything down" when it comes to the Saudis. U.S. authorities, too, we might add.

QOTD: Terrorism Fear-Mongering

Charlie Pierce:

We are back in the hands of the spooks again. In all of our institutions, secrecy and the magical thinking of the intelligence priesthood inflitrates itself like foul water after a storm, bringing rot we cannot see until it brings everything down. Then the members of the priesthood put on their most glittering robes and blame the heretics out there who did not believe, the infrastructure of disbelief that the priesthood's own mendacity constructed within the incense-clouded cathedral it has made of our fears.

Just a Stupid Rock


David Horsey

"Reason to start the new year with confidence"

The very minute you tax the billionaires and millionaires out of existence, Mr. President.

Full transcript here.

Kentucky Is Bringing You National Gay Marriage, America

So proud of our brave couples.

From the Fairness Campaign:

The United States Supreme Court has decided it will take up same-sex marriage cases from Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee!

Congratulations to the plaintiffs in Bourke v. Beshear and Love v. Beshear and their legal representation on this momentous and historic step towards LGBT Fairness!

From the Supreme Court:

The cases are consolidated and the petitions for writs of certiorari are granted limited to the following questions: 1) Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex? 2) Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state?

We've collected more than 20,000 messages to Kentucky legislators in support of Fairness! Now, we need dozens of volunteers to help process the legislative messages in our office.

If you can spare an hour or two in the next several weeks, please contact or (502) 893-0788!

Andrew Wolfson of the Courier covers it here.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Report on Ky Lege So Bad It's Kept Secret

Nine hundred and ninety-nine times out of a thousand, reports like this recommend the firing of a couple of low-level scapegoats. At worst, it might wrist-slap legislative leaders for letting things get out of control.

But what in this report could be so terrible that the lege has buried it where no one will ever find it?

John Cheves at the Herald

In October 2013, the Kentucky legislature faced a growing scandal: a lawmaker who resigned over accusations that he sexually harassed women at the Legislative Research Commission; allegations that sexual misconduct and favoritism made the LRC a hostile workplace; and the abrupt departure of longtime LRC director Bobby Sherman, whom police investigated for shredding documents at the Capitol days after he quit.

Hoping to restore public confidence, Senate President Robert Stivers and House Speaker Greg Stumbo gave a $42,410 contract to an outside group — the National Conference of State Legislatures — to perform a top-to-bottom performance audit of the $19-million-a-year LRC, the bureaucracy that runs the legislative branch of state government. The leaders pledged to publicly air and fix any problems identified.

"There's a lot of interest in what has occurred," Stivers, R-Manchester, said at the time.

That was the last the public ever learned about it.

The National Conference of State Legislatures, or NCSL, flew a team to Frankfort to interview scores of legislative staffers and lawmakers, and pore over data and documents. The group submitted a draft report of its findings in April to Stivers and Stumbo, co-chairmen of the LRC. But the leaders never responded.

As of last week, the LRC considered the report a "preliminary draft" and so refused to release it to the Herald-Leader under the Kentucky Open Records Act.
Call girls in the hearing rooms?  Meth cooking in the leadership offices?  Butt sechs in the stairwells?

Nah, probably just the usual boring Big Coal buying up everybody's ass and nobody giving a shit about some dusky-skinned secretaries whining about a little harmless attempted rape.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

KY Ruling Big "Fuck You" to the Sixth Circuit

Freakazoid deniers of human rights to human beings are pissing into the wind. It's game over, morons. It might take a year for the Supreme Court to put it in writing, but it's over. Teh Gheys won, and you motherfuckers lost. LOST.

Bruce Schreiner, AP:
A Kentucky judge has granted a divorce to a same-sex couple — even though the state does not recognize gay marriage.
Kentucky law says that same-sex marriages performed elsewhere are void in the state, and any rights granted by virtue of the marriage, or its termination, are unenforceable in Kentucky courts. But in his recent ruling in Louisville, Judge Joseph O'Reilly said that denying same-sex couples the right to divorce would run counter to constitutional protections.

"The Bill of Rights of the Kentucky Constitution recognizes and provides that all persons are equal," wrote O'Reilly, a Jefferson County Family Court judge. "That includes same-sex couples. ... To permit legally married heterosexual couples to dissolve their marriages and deny legally married same-sex couples the right to dissolve their marriages constitutes the grant of separate privileges to legally married heterosexual couples in violation of the Bill of Rights of the Kentucky Constitution."
Both attorneys in the case said they believe the judge's action was a first in the state, and said their clients were satisfied with the outcome. It was first reported by The Courier-Journal.

"I'm thrilled that Judge O'Reilly had the courage to do what he did," said Louis Waterman, who represented Alysha Romero in the divorce from Rebecca Romero. The ruling will not face an appeal because the only parties who could have sought one were the Romeros, Waterman said.


Chris Hartman, director of the Louisville-based Fairness Campaign, a gay-advocacy group, said the judge's ruling was historic.
"Even divorce is a fundamental right if we're going to afford LGBT couples all the legal rights of marriage," he said. "So it simply is one more step in the direction of LGBT couples having the same legal rights.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Eat the Rich. But Kill Them With Fire First

In the latest no-shit-sherlock news, we learn that a study finds that rich people think poor people have it easy.

That would be the rich people who inherited every penny they have and think reading their bank statements is work.

Wonkette nails it.

Being A Rich Person sounds pretty great and is probably a nice balance of challenging and fun! So being A Poor Person must be great, too, if the Rich Persons think Poor Persons have it easy! Let’s imagine, together, what A Poor Person’s life is like, we can hardly wait!
Read the whole brilliant thing.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Want Better Schools? End Poverty. That Works.

The really cool thing about charter schools is that you get to funnel millions of tax dollars to your freakazoid and corporate friends while destroying the public school system and keeping poor, uneducated black kids poor and uneducated forever.

It's a three-fer!

No wonder racist, plutocrat-loving legislatures like Kentucky's love them,.

Daniel Luzer at Washington Monthly:

And that’s because it might not be school funding that’s really crucial to fixing this problem. The article mentions that a 2014 study by the Civil Rights Project at the University of California, Los Angeles, characterized the problem this way: “The children who most depend on the public schools for any chance in life are concentrated in schools struggling with all the dimensions of family and neighborhood poverty and isolation.”

That’s probably a more important thing to worry about here: the neighborhood poverty and isolation. America already spends far more money on public education than other industrialized nations, and we have lower performance. American education performance is low not because we have bad schools; it’s low because we have a lot of poor people. We should work on fixing that problem.

How much money do we have to throw at schools to avoid addressing America’s high poverty rate?

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Dear "Liberal Christians:" This Is Your Real Religion

I know what you're going to say: "that's not MY god."  Which is exactly the point.  As Ronald Lindsey explains in Free Inquiry:

Paul’s statements of ignorable advice are whatever one doesn’t find congenial to one’s own outlook. Carter simply did what millions of believers have done before him and what believers do now. They cherry-pick those scriptural passages that support their position and explain away contrary passages. 
Because God says whatever we want him to say, he is no moral arbiter. Instead, God is the ultimate ventriloquist’s dummy. We don’t even have to worry about not having our mouths move. We move our mouths, and then we attribute what comes out of them to God.

Pretending the freakazoid god is different from the free love hippie god you say you worship allows you to ignore the horrific crimes against humanity the freakazoids use god to justify.

And your silence grows their power. Child abuse, torture, murder: it's on YOUR heads, liberal christians.

Divine Irony:

I never get tired of reposting this. Every quote you see above are actual texts from the Bible itself. These are just a few examples of the gruesome stuff your pastor never tells you about.

Golden Age

Divine Irony:

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Letting the Left Lead the Fight

This is only happening because the political mess 40 years of conservadem, DINO, "Third Way" politics created is so huge, disgusting and unfixable that the establishment figures trying to clean it up might just kill off the left once and for all.

Now it's up to the left to show what it can do - and, once it succeeds, hang on to power instead of handing it back to those who created the mess.


"I can tell you, if Democrats try to adopt a Third Way, Democratic Leadership Council-type philosophy where we abandon average working Americans, we're not going to be successful [in 2016] or in general," Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, told TPM. "This is a time where people talking about raising wages, fair trade bills that do not offshore our jobs, strengthening the right to organized labor unions. This is that moment to grab those issues in order to be successful. And if we abandon those issues and we sort of become Republican-lite, we're not going to be successful."
David Atkins at Political Animal:
More importantly, the establishment centrists have clearly failed the country. The public has never had less faith in social or government institutions than it does today. Every other month seems to produce some new moral or institutional crisis demonstrating the failure of American elites to police their own. Wages refuse to go up no matter what happens with the rest of the economy, and the middle class is shrinking and unstable. The only utterly indefensible position is that major changes aren’t necessary, and that due respect for the mores of the Washington elite should trump blunt talk and sharp moves away from the status quo.


So why, exactly, shouldn’t the progressive wing have its own response? One that promotes policies that are not only objectively wiser and proven right, but are also politically popular per public polling? The American people want comprehensive immigration reform. They want to reduce both wealth and income inequality. If the deficit must be reduced (and it’s not entirely clear that it must be), they want it reduced by taxing the obscenely wealthy. They want Wall Street curbed, and to break up banks that are too big to fail. They want to take action on climate change and move faster toward renewable energy. They want cheaper healthcare. They want more privacy protections, and fewer military interventions overseas.

And it just so happens that our best available evidence from social, environmental and economic science suggests that the American public is right about all these things.

So why shouldn’t there be a coalition in Washington that stands up for them? Why shouldn’t there be a group that threatens to primary leaders, play hardball with budget negotiations and upend longstanding traditions to achieve those legislative goals? What could possibly be wrong with that, when done in the service of the right policies? We already know from experience with the Tea Party that such an approach can be successful in defeating the centrists from a tactical standpoint.
The greatest error would be to join with the failed establishment types who treasure process over policy in protecting their social conventions. Change is needed. It’s just a question of what kind of change we’re going to get.

"We can make sure that the middle class is the engine that powers America’s prosperity for decades to come."

Not until you tax the billionaires and millionaires out of existence, Mr. President. Plutocracy and Democracy cannot share the same economic space. It's one or the other, and right now too many of your policies are expanding the latter and shrinking the former.

Full transcript here:

Thank you, every KY voter who kept the state House in Democratic hands

Because the list of catastrophic bills out of the repug state Senate that will die without a hearing in the House gets longer every day.

Jack Brammer and John Cheves at the Herald:

Senate Bill 4, sponsored by Sen. Julie Raque Adams, R-Louisville, would require women to have face-to-face counseling in the same room with a doctor or nurse at least 24 hours before they get an abortion.

The Senate voted to approve the bill 30-5. House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, said the measure will die in the House. He compared its fate to vultures flying around the Capitol.
The list of catastrophic bills the House dems will come up with all on their own, to the everlasting job of the repug Senate, is a whole 'nother kettle of fish.

Read more here:

Friday, January 9, 2015

KY Lege Out to Kill Us All With Corporate Education Camps and No Rights At Work

Why charter schools are bad here.  Why No-Rights-At-Work means slave labor here.

But to the KY lege, all those middle-class-killing effect are features, not bugs.

Valerie Honeycutt Spears at the Herald:

State Sen. Mike Wilson, chairman of the Senate Education Committee, said Fayette County Public Schools would be included in a bill he intends to introduce to create a pilot program for charter schools in Kentucky.

Kentucky is one of eight states that do not have charter schools.

Like traditional public schools, charter schools are funded by local, state and federal tax dollars based on student enrollment but are touted as having more flexibility. They may be run by groups of parents, teachers or nonprofit organizations. Wilson, R-Bowling Green, said the legislation for Kentucky's General Assembly is still being written, but the limited pilot program would be aimed at districts with an "unconscionable" achievement gap between minority, disabled and low income students and other students.


Emerging research shows charters are performing at higher levels in several large urban districts across the country. 
Wow, Valerie, that's completely false.  Charter schools in Philadelphia, D.C. and other large cities are failing left right and center.  The few who are not imploding like neutron stars are either cherry-picking the best students and rejecting the troubled ones, or just sucking up tax dollars as fast as they can while the students rot.

But that kind of false information is what happens when you fail to quote - or apparently even attempt to talk to - a single opponent of charter schools.  Or when you're auditioning for Faux News. You're a better reporter than that, Valerie. Get your act together.

Meanwhile, Jack Brammer shows how it's done on right-to-be-slave-labor legislation.
A state Senate committee on Wednesday put on the fast track a bill that would allow people to work for unionized employers without joining the union, but the measure is expected to die in the House.

On a partisan 7-3 vote with Republicans in the majority, the Senate Economic Development, Tourism and Labor Committee approved Senate Bill 1, which would allow workers to receive union-negotiated benefits without paying union dues.

Labor leaders contend the bill is designed to bust unions, but business leaders say the legislation would help Kentucky create more jobs.

The Republican-led Senate is expected to vote Thursday on SB 1 and send it to the Democratic-controlled House for its consideration.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, said the bill's chances in the House were "slim and none."

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Formalized Panic

Divine Irony:


via We Fucking Love Atheism

via We Fucking Love Atheism

KY Whistleblowers Beware: New House Leadership Is Out to Get You

The man announces to reporters that he is planning to punish the victims of a disgraced sexual predator and the lovely Dems of the Kentucky House elect the motherfucker Majority Whip.

Jack Brammer at the Herald:

House Democrats also elected Rep. Johnny Bell of Glasgow to be their whip — the leader who counts members' votes behind the scenes.

Bell was the subject of accusations last week that he intended to "clean house" if he were elected to leadership by terminating the employment of one of the women staffers in the legislature who alleged they were sexually harassed by former state Rep. John Arnold, D-Sturgis.

Yolanda Costner, who worked for former Majority Whip Tommy Thompson of Owensboro, said in an email that a candidate for House leadership planned to fire her. Her attorney, Thomas Clay of Louisville, identified the candidate as Bell and said Bell was angling to replace Costner with one woman in particular.

Read more here:

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Dangerous Books

Divine Irony:

Money Won't Stop Heroin Overdoses. Only Decriminalizing Painkillers Will Do That

John Cheves at the Herald:
The state will provide $105,000 for three urban hospitals, including the University of Kentucky's in Lexington, to buy about 2,000 naloxone kits to send home with heroin overdose patients, Gov. Steve Beshear said Tuesday.

Read more here:
People in genuine, severe, chronic pain cannot get the prescription painkillers they need for love nor money because Kentucky law threatens to prosecute any doctor who dares to write a legitimate prescription for narcotics.
People are fucking desperate, so of course they're buying heroin on the street and of course they're dying of overdoses.
But throwing people in agonizing pain into jail will not solve the problem.

Only repealing the cruel, deadly, lunatic KASPER law will save lives.

But neither KASPER nor Conway's initiative are intended to save lives.  They are intended to do exactly what they are doing, which is maintain the insane War on Drugs.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Kirby Delauter, You Are An Ass. Go Ahead, Try to Sue Us

This is what happens when you elect people who hate government and don't know how it works.

Juanita Jean:

Kirby Delauter got himself elected to the council of Frederick County, Maryland.  He apparently ran for this office of his own free will.

A local reporter by the name of Bethany Rodgers wrote a story for the newspaper and quoted Councilman Delauter.  She called the councilman for a comment prior to publishing her story but he refused to return her call.

She wrote her story and the duly elected councilman did not take kindly to that.  He took it to Facebook.  You know, where he has “friends.”
In a Facebook post, Delauter slammed reporter Bethany Rodgers of the Fredericks News-Post “for an unauthorized use of my name and my reference” in an article over the weekend.
“So let me be clear,” he continued, apparently addressing Rodgers, “do not contact me and do not use my name or reference me in an unauthorized form in the future.”
He added that he’s aware that she has “a liberal agenda.”

Woooooooo.  A liberal agenda?  Why haven’t charges been filed, bygawd?

Ms. Rodgers informed Kirby Delauter that she does not need his permission to write about him.  She says that it’s responsibility to do so and she will continue to contact him to give him an opportunity to respond.

So Kirby Delauter responded:

So what he’s saying is that Fox News cannot mention President Obama’s name without President Obama’s permission?  Cool.

Kirby Delauter has a small problem with the First Amendment.  It, too, apparently has a liberal agenda.

So, in honor of Bethany Rodgers, please let me say ….

Kirby Delauter Kirby Delauter Kirby Delauter Kirby Delauter Kirby Delauter Kirby Delauter Kirby Delauter  Kirby Delauter Kirby Delauter Kirby Delauter Kirby Delauter

Obviously, Delauter never heard the old warning: "Never start a fight with a man who buys ink by the barrel."

Protesters are Pro-Community, Not Anti-Police.

Because the police are anti-community.

It is this mindset that undergirds the punitive nature of the “broken windows” theory and the mindset of many police. Therefore, when people talk about restricting the power of the police in any way, they aren’t just threatening the power of police as such, they are threatening the very stability of society. And many police deeply resent the criticism because they really do feel they risk their lives for the well-being of others.

In order to get out of this dysfunction dynamic, we need to focus intently on the ways in which communities can be made safe and functioning without relying on people with handcuffs and guns. Every time a community calls for more police to solve their crime and disorder problems, it is re-empowering not just the police but a deeply conservative ideology that is, at root, demeaning to poor people and dismissive of the ability of the state to use social programs and market interventions to empower and reinvigorate communities. The challenge is not to be anti-police or pro-police, it is to be pro-community.

Jerry Brown is Right; Kentucky is Wrong and Steve Beshear Knows It

Coal is killing Kentucky. Even the people who mine and sell and shill it know it. As long as Kentucky clings to the rotting corpse of coal we are doomed: economically, environmentally, eternally.

Every politician who claims otherwise - I'm looking at YOU, Alison Lying Lundergan Deserved to Lose Grimes - is lying for the express purpose of destroying Kentuck's economy.

We're feeding our murderers, people.

Think Progress:

Brown listed three main goals to be accomplished within the next 15 years: First, to increase the amount of electricity the state derives from renewable sources from one-third to 50 percent. Second, to reduce petroleum use in cars and trucks by up to 50 percent. And the governor’s final goal is to double the efficiency of existing buildings and make heating fuels cleaner.

While all three of these are ambitious, the one with real teeth is the push for more renewable electricity. California currently has a goal of getting one-third of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020. Brown just moved the conversation forward a decade. If this goal is adopted it could provide the kind of regulatory stability needed for clean energy sources to thrive and for investments to soar.

Speaking at length about the importance of these actions, Brown said that “taking significant amounts of carbon out of our economy without harming its vibrancy is exactly the sort of challenge at which California excels.”
And at which Kentucky fails miserably. Our politicians - repug and Democratic - are wrapping us in barbed wire to the rotting corpse of Big Coal and we're voting to let them keep doing it.

Repugs Wrong on Everything Still, Again, Always: Jobs Edition

And now that they're in the majority in Congress again, they'll take credit for every good thing and blame President Obama for every bad one.  Repugs really are the Eddie Haskell of American politics, as someone smarter than me said back in the Clinton years.

Ed Kilgore at Political Animal:

Now that the economy is improving, we have the wherewithal to assess some of the predictions made by conservatives that this or that progressive policy would doom the recovery. At TNR Adam Nathaniel Peck looks at three of the more common ones and finds them almost entirely lacking in merit:
On January 1, 13 states raised their minimum wages as part of a larger nationwide effort—not only by progressives, but moderates and even a few conservatives—to help low-income workers who were struggling to make ends meet.
Still, such hikes were not without opposition. Notably, fast food companies sounded the alarm over the possible consequences of minimum wage hikes—namely, that consumers would pay higher prices and companies would be forced to cut jobs….
Six months after California’s minimum wage rose to $9, the state’s job growth continues to outpace nearly every other state in the country. In November, California added more than 90,000 jobs, its highest single-month total in almost two decades.
The Golden State is not alone. Of the 13 states that saw minimum wage hikes go into effect on January 1, all but New Jersey saw positive job growth in 2014. And as a group, those 13 states averaged significantly higher job growth than states that did not raise the minimum wage.
Then there’s the argument that allowing long-term unemployment benefits to expire, as Congress did at the end of 2013, would be good for the unemployment rate. Wrong.
2014 has come and gone, and the rate of long-term unemployed has shown exactly no relationship to the loss of benefits. The unemployment rate had been falling at a steady pace for years even with 99 weeks of benefits, and in the last 12 months the rate of decline has not quickened—meaning that the upside of eliminating unemployment insurance for nearly 5 million people was a fiction, and families were left without a safety net.
And finally, we have the suggestion that Obamacare would lead a vast number of companies to reduce the hours their employees worked to avoid Obamacare mandates:
A recent study from the Urban Institute concluded that, nine months since the insurance marketplace opened, there was little evidence that employers were hiring more part-time workers because of Obamacare.
There was some evidence of job losses related to the ACA in 2014, though: States that refused to expand Medicaid are expected to lose out on thousands of jobs and millions of federal dollars over the next several years. A George Washington University report estimates that North Carolina will lose out on 43,000 jobs by 2020, while a White House Council of Economic Advisers report said that rejecting expansion will cost Florida 64,000 jobs by 2016.
Think we’ll hear any mea culpas from the false prophets on these three topics? I sincerely doubt it. 
And the repugs are still, again, always lying about it, per Digby:
Before it's all over the Republicans will all be patting themselves on the back for saving the country from another depression. It's what they do. The GOP presidential candidate will run on tax cuts and slashing spending. After all it will be morning in America and you deserve to get some of your hard earned money back.

The Republicans mess everything up, Democrats do their dirty work and cut spending and enact painful "reforms" then the Republicans take credit for it, turn into Santa Claus and roll back into power promising free money for everyone. It happens over and over again.