Wednesday, September 30, 2015

AynRandy Pissed $500K Down the Toilet

Looks like the KY GOP had already read the writing on the wall when they insisted the Tribble-Toupeed One pay half a mil in advance for his personal, private repug primary caucus so he could run for the Senate and White House at the same time.

Of the remaining ten, it is looking more and more like the next one to go could very well be Sen. Rand Paul.

There have been a couple of stories lately that might signal a move sometime soon. First of all, one of Paul’s SuperPacs has quit raising money for him.


Jonathan Easly reported that this week Paul will take a break from the presidential race to do some fundraising for his Senate campaign.

Of course Paul’s supporters were quick to point out that this doesn’t mean he is giving up on his presidential bid. But you have to wonder how long he can keep this up - and why he’d want to when he’s at under 3% in the polls.
When AynRandy drops out of the presidential race and asks the KY party for his money back, I sincerely hope they laugh him right out of the Senate.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Can Matt Bevin Top NC Repugs on Fucking Over the Poor Just For Fun?

National repugs have pulled their money out of the Kentucky Governor's race, so Bevin's probably desperate.  But is he desperate enough to tell the truth about what he'll do as governor to turn Kentucky into Haiti?

Since GOP Gov. Pat McCrory took over North Carolina in January 2013 and Republicans gained complete control of the government, the NC GOP has cut jobless benefits back so far that the state no longer qualifies for federal unemployment dollars, they have eliminated the state's earned income tax credit for the poor, they have purged the state's regulatory commissions and filled them with McCrory cronies, they have ended medical school programs that taught abortion procedures, they have wrecked the state's public education budget, and implemented a regressive tax on repair and maintenance services.

At every turn, NC Republicans are continuing their crusade to smash the state's poor population and give as much money as possible to the wealthiest. And now, their hatred of the poor in the state is so all-consuming, that they are kicking people off SNAP benefits after three months even though the program is 100% funded by federal dollars and the state won't save a dime by doing it.
People at this point in their lives would easily qualify for SNAP benefits federally, but NC Republicans are literally turning down federal tax dollars just to hurt the poor.

And they're going to go to college?  With what money, exactly?  They're still going to be poor, and these clowns know it.

No, this is just outright punishment of the poor,  It's what Republicans do.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Whore of Babylon Endorses Kim Davis

So popeyfrankie is a hateful homophobe, too. Denying human rights to adult women wasn't enough.  What a surprise.  NOW will you faux liberals stop praising this Catlick piece of shit?

Francis said he didn't know the case in detail, but he upheld conscience objection as a human right.

"It is a right. And if a person does not allow others to be a conscientious objector, he denies a right," Francis said.
No, motherfucker: Kim Davis is NOT a consciencious objector.  She is denying legal rights to other people just because she hates them, and is refusing to do the job she is paid by the taxpayers to do. The victims here are gay couples and Kentucky taxpayers, not Davis.

But she's hating on the homos, so that's just peachy with popeyfrankie.

Catlick piece of shit.

Deport the Native-Born for Being Sick, Criminal Moochers; Keep the Immigrants

Immigrants aren't the problem; racist, xenophobic extremists are the problem.
Think Progress:
The newest arrivals in America are assimilating faster into the society than previous generations, and their experiences don’t fit into the most common stereotypes leveled against them, according to a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine report published this week.

Culling data from the 41 million foreign-born immigrants in the country — a population that includes the 11.3 million undocumented immigrant population — the study authors write in their 400-page report that integration into American society “may make immigrants and their children better off and in a better position to fully contribute to their communities.”
Overall, the immigrants are rapidly assimilating into American society.
“They’re integrating as well as, or even faster, than immigrants who came from Europe in the last century,” lead author and Harvard University sociology professor Dr. Mary Waters told ThinkProgress in a phone interview this week. “In that way, I think it should be reassuring to Americans who are often worried that somehow the immigrants are not learning English, are not progressing well, or becoming full Americans. What we find overall — there’s a lot of details and caveats — but overall, the immigrants are rapidly assimilating into American society.”

Water noted that the study was intended to be “factual and independent of politics.” Even so, her study’s findings do repudiate some of the existing myths about the impact that immigrants have on American society, and could challenge some of the recent xenophobic rhetoric pushed by 2016 Republican presidential candidates with anti-immigrant positions.

Here are the main takeaways from the study that help debunk some persistent misconceptions about immigrants:

Immigrants are healthier than native-born Americans


Immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than native-born Americans


Immigrants are learning English faster than ever


Saturday, September 26, 2015

"Getting smarter about how we address substance use disorders"

The only place to start, Mr. President, is by eliminating programs like Kentucky's KASPER that punish doctors for prescribing needed painkillers and force people in chronic pain to turn to heroin.  End the crime of KASPER first, and the rest will be easy.

Full transcript here.

It's Called "Politics," Matt

What is it with these Bro Faux Libertarians?  So thin-skinned, such Whiny-Ass Titty Babies. Warning to new moms: when you fail to teach your infants the meaning of "no," they grow up to be Matt Bevin and (shudder) Rand Paul.

Joe Gerth at the Courier:

The Kentucky Democratic Party said that Republican gubernatorial nominee Matt Bevin stopped by party headquarters Friday afternoon to complain to a receptionist about a marquee sign on Interstate 64 in Frankfort that said, “You still can’t trust Matt Bevin.”

Party spokesman David Bergstein said that Bevin came into the building’s lobby and began telling the receptionist about civility and then became agitated when speaking about the sign.

“You’not going to believe this,” said Bergstein. “Matt Bevin just came to our headquarters and yelled at our receptionist,” he said. 

Bevin’s campaign acknowledged that he went to the Democrats’ headquarters but gave vague answers to why he was there – but spokeswoman Jessica Ditto said, “There was no yelling.”
But was there the stamping of tiny feet and red-faced crying?
It was the second time Bevin stopped by the Democratic headquarters because of the sign. Earlier this month, he filmed a short video from the side of the road in which he sarcastically thanks the Democrats for featuring his name on the marquee and offering to have a company he owns replace the old sign with a a snazzy new LED sign.
They should take him up on it. Then program the sign to flash:

"Somebody change Matty's diaper; he's getting cranky./"

Friday, September 25, 2015

Good Riddance to Stinking Bad Rubbish

Kim Davis is not gone - yet - but she has stopped lying about being a Democrat.

Rowan County, Kentucky clerk Kim Davis said she and her family have left the Democratic Party because "the Democratic Party left us a long time ago," according to a Friday report from Reuters.
"My husband and I had talked about it for quite a while and we came to the conclusion that the Democratic Party left us a long time ago, so why were we hanging on?" Davis told Reuters while she was in Washington, D.C. to speak at the Values Voter Summit.
No, Bitch. You left the Democratic Party the minute you decided babby jeebus was a great excuse for being vicious and cruel to people you don't like. You've been a repug ever since. 

Nope, no white-supremacist, anti-black GOP voter suppression here, no sir.

Like Florida, Kentucky does not allow incarcerated citizens to vote, but does count them as residents for the purpose of drawing voting districts.  But it counts each inmate as one full person, rather than the 3/5 of a person traditionally allotted to such populations.

(yes, motherfuckers, I'm comparing mass incarceration and vote suppression to slavery.)

Politico reported that state Rep. Janet Adkins (R) made the suggestion regarding U.S. Rep. Corrinne Brown's (D) district in a closed-door meeting of the North Florida Republican caucus.

“It's a perfect storm," Adkins said on the audio recording. "You draw it in such a fashion so perhaps, a majority, or maybe not a majority, but a number of them will live in the prisons, thereby not being able to vote."

Adkins made sure there were no reporters in the room before she made her comments, according to the report.

Brown, who is black, has filed a lawsuit to challenge the proposed redrawing of her district. She also told the Florida Senate Redistricting Committee that she was concerned that redrawing her district to include more prisons would lower its black voting population from 50 to 45 percent, according to Politico.

When Politico approached Adkins, who is white, about the comments she made on the recording, she said she was having a "private conversation" and noted that she does not serve on the state House redistricting committee.
If you do not allow incarcerated people to vote, you are racists and election fraudsters. Period.

It Harms Only Non-Rich Non-Men, So Who Gives a Fuck

Between the adulation for popeyfrankie still refusing to value adult women over blastocysts and government shutdown to force national de-funding of women's healthcare, if Saudia Arabia is going to remain the global leader of anti-woman laws, it's going to have to up its game.

Molly Redden writes (Sept. 11) that the war on women is largely over, and women have lost:
This is what 2015 looks like: Abortion providers struggle against overwhelming odds to stay open, while women "turn themselves into pretzels" to get to them, as one researcher put it. Activists have been calling it the "war on women." But the onslaught of new abortion restrictions has been so successful, so strategically designed, and so well coordinated that the war in many places has essentially been lost.
Most abortions today involve some combination of endless wait, interminable journey, military-level coordination, and lots of money. Roe v. Wade was supposed to put an end to women crossing state lines for their abortions. But while reporting this story, I learned of women who drove from Kentucky to New Jersey, or flew from Texas to Washington, DC, because it was the only way they could have the procedure. Even where laws can't quite make it impossible for abortion clinics to stay open—they are closing down at a rate of 1.5 every single week—they can make it exhausting to operate one. In every corner of America, four years of unrelenting assaults on reproductive rights have transformed all facets of giving an abortion or getting one—possibly for good.
The whole piece is worth reading, but I just want to add one comment. This is the least original comment possible, but here it is: it's really only poor women in red states who have lost this war. Prosperous women in red states can easily purchase a quiet flight to a nearby Sodom if they need an abortion. And most women in blue states still have reasonable access to abortions.
That's why this tidal wave of new abortion restrictions hasn't gotten more attention than it has. If it were happening in blue states, there would be a revolt. If it were inconveniencing affluent women in red states, there would be a revolt. But poor women in Republican-controlled flyover country? Plenty of people care about them—but not enough to mount a revolt. And of course, poor women themselves have no political power of their own. As it is so often, the lesson here is that you can get away with almost anything, as long as you do it to poor people who are far away.
Sarah Erdreich at TPM wonders why no one is talking about forcing freakazoid pharmacists and nurses and doctors and hospitals who deny women reproductive health care to do their fucking jobs or resign.
The law that Kim Davis is so hellbent on defying does nothing more or less than give people equal rights. It provides men and women with a measure of autonomy and choice that had been unfairly denied them for generations. And in this, Davis’s crusade is a perfect parallel to the story of refusal clauses, which also came about because a law gave women autonomy and choice, and some people thought that was wrong. Constraining an individual’s choice in their healthcare decisions due to someone else’s objections is as nonsensical as telling a couple that they can’t get married because some stranger believes they shouldn’t. For too long, refusal clauses have allowed unnecessary outside interference in women’s reproductive healthcare. The same thing must not be allowed to happen in the wake of the landmark Obergefell ruling.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Obama's Giveaways to "the blacks" Skipped African-American Kentuckians

Contrary to the fever dreams of wingnut racists, no, there really is not a secret welfare fund giving billions of dollars to black families in poverty while white families in poverty starve.  Not even in Obama's America.

And here's the proof:

According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, African-Americans living in Kentucky saw their average yearly incomes drop by more than 11 percent in one year.

The Courier-Journal ( ) reports that the data released last week show that for black Kentuckians, household income fell from $30,183 annually to $26,735. The state's overall median household income fell by 2 percent from 2013 to 2014, from $44,097 in to $42,958.

During that same time period the poverty rate went up for African-Americans in Kentucky from 28.8 percent in 2013 to 32.4 percent. The state's overall poverty rate sat at 19.1 percent in 2014.

Incoming Louisville Urban League President and CEO Sadiqa Reynolds says the trend is troubling and underscores an urgency to create policies that will end cycles of poverty.
Why should you care? African-American families with 11 percent less income spend at least 11 percent less money at restaurants and clothing stores and car lots and on college tuition and rent and ball games.

And that means at least 11 percent fewer jobs and less income for everyone.

Something is way the fuck out of whack in this economy, and billionaire tax cheat Matt Bevin and his billionaire tax cheat friends are the reason.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Unspeakable Cruetly of Banning Abortion

So Senate Democrats barely blocked the repug/freakazoid ban on abortions past 20 weeks.  That is bullshit because it will ban a mere handful of abortions per year.

But it's deadly bullshit because the abortions it will ban are almost all of wanted pregnancies terminated because the fetus is fatally damaged or will kill the woman carrying it.

Only genuine motherfuckers support this bill.

Divine Irony:

I lost a baby brother at something like 14 weeks because he’d attached to the uterine wall backward, and when he started kicking he tore himself away and hemorrhaged to death.

You goddamn “pro-lifers” were ready to let my mother die with him rather than “killing him before God’s time.” He was already dead; it was a matter at that point of him bleeding out. My mother was bleeding with him. My mother was dying with him. And the hospital she was in? That fine pro-life hospital? Refused to let her transfer to another hospital to abort. She had a ten-year-old and an eight-month old at home, but making sure Joey didn’t die “before God’s time” was more goddamn important than making sure my mother survived.

My mother asked the nurse if she’d take pictures, saying that the ultrasound images were really blurry and she’d at least like something to remember him by. The nurse, after Joey was dead and my mom was in recovery, threw pictures on my mother’s bed. This fine pro-life nurse gave my mother pictures of a baby that was jet black where he wasn’t blood red. He didn’t even look human. And she threw the pictures in my mother’s face, like it was her fault that there was a terrible, terrible biological mistake that made it impossible for her baby to survive.

We wanted him. Not that the fact that you’ll notice he already had a name picked out would’ve clued you in. I would have had a baby brother just a year younger than me. My sophomore year in college I spent a lot of time crying alone in the student union, thinking it wasn’t right, it wasn’t fair, I should be taking my brother to dinner with friends or helping him study for his first midterms. I’m a big sister with no little brother to show for it, and there was a year that pain and loss came back eighteen years after the fact to wound me when I least expected it. There was a year when there were songs I couldn’t bring myself to listen to without crying because they reminded me of what I could have had. And I still wish, I still wish, they’d aborted him. Because the end result would have been the same. And my family would have been spared a world of pain believing we were losing brother and mother both. I was in ICU at the time after an allergic reaction that left me unable to breathe. How do you suppose my sister felt? Mother dying, sister dying, brother dead–just a matter of time on that one. Ten years old, watching her entire family struggling to breathe, struggling to live.

And you motherfuckers would call my mom a murderer for this. And you cared more for a baby already dying than you did for the two already born who needed their mom.

Fuck you. You’re not pro-life. You’re anti-woman, anti-family, anti-compassion and anti-love.
According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, just more than 1 percent of abortions take place at week 21 or later, many because of devastating medical situations like ours. Each of these mothers must battle through her own hell to decide on and find the medical care she needs, gather her friends and family to lean on, and grieve.

Congress should not take this decision away from any woman — any family — who is in need. Banning abortions after 20 weeks would be arbitrary, and its consequences would place an unimaginable burden on women like me.

When an abortion was the best of only horrible options, I was beyond grateful that one was available in a safe, compassionate medical establishment. And that my family could begin to heal. I hope our senators will consider women and families like mine before casting their votes.

These anti-abortion zealots are cruel busybodies who are determined to control women and their families' most intimate decisions. There is no greater intrusion of the government into the lives of individuals than this. Sorry, taxing your income or regulating the water supply doesn't rate up there with making a woman carry a dying fetus with no brain inside of her in order to appease some fanatics who think she should be forced to do it for reasons that make no sense at all.

And yet these people (people like Rand Paul) who fetishize freedom and liberty in every other case, believe that this is the one exception to their rule.

People like to say that those who are anti-abortion are good people and I'm sure they have many good qualities. But this is a heartless and callous encroachment into the most elemental aspect of women's lives and I'm hard pressed to see it as anything but malevolent.

Stay Out of Laurel County; They've Put Their Invisible Sky Friends in Charge

So if I get stopped for speeding through Laurel Count on I-75, and I tell the deputy that the god he trusts told me to do it, he'll let me go, right?

From the AP:

 A Kentucky sheriff says he is adding decals that say "In God We Trust" to all marked patrol cars.

Laurel County Sheriff John Root said in a statement on Tuesday that he is paying for the patriotic decals with his own money.
Unless you paid for the cruisers and are paying the salaries and benefits of the deputies that drive them, and you inform the populace that the deputies no longer have the public authority of county government - which by the Kentucky and U.S. Constitutions is secular - you're still in violation of said Constitutions.

In other words, motherfucker, no jeebus-fucking stickers.
He says the move is a response to recent violence against law enforcement officers around the nation.
Really, moron? Adhesive paper saying you abdicate your job responsibilities to your invisible sky wizard is going to stop criminals from killing cops?

Whoever runs against you next year needs to run ads pointing out that you are not doing your fucking job.

Good On 'Ya, Alison. Now Let's Have Some Real Voting Rights

Like a month of early voting, polls open 18 hours seven days a week, open precinct voting, more voting machines to eliminate lines, signature-only ID, and vote-by-mail.

Then I might vote for your DINO ass Nov. 3.

Jack Brammer at the Herald

Kentuckians will be able to register online in time to vote in next year's presidential elections, Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes said Tuesday.

Grimes, the state's chief election official, also said online registration will allow Kentucky voters to change their information, such as political party affiliation, on their own computers.

Now, Kentuckians may register to vote or change voting information by mail or in person using voter registration cards, which can be downloaded and printed, or can be picked up at local county clerks' offices.
Register online, so you don't have to see the hate-filled freakazoid face of Kim Davis and her allies.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Kim Davis Spews More Lies on Live TV

Yes, bitch, you are so a homophobe - look it up in the dictionary.  Ask your clerk, who should have your job, what a dictionary is.

No, dignity is not in the Constitution, and neither is the bibble, babby jeebus, or your claim to a windfall of wingnut welfare.

What IS in the constitution is the equal protection guarantee of the 14th Amendment, which prevents freakazoid haters like you from denying civil and human rights to human beings.  

The Supreme Court twice listened to your side, and twice told you to get the fuck back to work and do your fucking job.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Wake Me When Popey Frankie Says Women Are More Important Than Blastocysts

On second thought, better wake me when he goes back to the vatican, 'cause he's never gonna say adult women matter as anything other than walking wombs.

A papal visit to the United States is cool and all, but should progressives even care?
The short answer: Yes. Yes, you should. Especially if you want legislative action on immigration reform, climate change, or income inequality.
No. No you shouldn't.  And for the same reason you should reject any smiling offers from self-described "libertarians" who claim that Rand Paul attracts the same voters that Bernie Sanders does.

Bernie Sanders and his supporters are pro-choice, pro-gay-rights and pro-civil-rights-for-minorities. The Tribble-Toupeed One and his supporters are violently opposed to all three.

Catlicks and other freakazoids are not progressive - just as "libertarians" are not libertarian - and never will be until they accept the full humanity and bodily autonomy of women, gay people and non-white people.

And may they all hang from a rope until they do.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Take Action Monday on International Day of Peace

From Veterans for Peace:

The General Assembly of the United Nations has declared the 21st of September as an International Day of Peace. This day is devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples. The theme of this year’s commemoration is “Partnerships for Peace – Dignity for All” which recognizes the importance of all segments of society to work together to strive for peace.  <Full VFP Statement>
It's not to late, TAKE ACTION on International Peace Day!  

Visit our webpage for ideas on
  • Ways You Can Take Action for International Peace Day
  • Sharing on Social Media
  • Using VFP downloadable resources for this action
  • Find a Peace Day event to attend

The End Game of the "Religious Freedom" Fraud

Forcing everyone to be religious. At taxpayer expense. It's already happening today, and not just in New Mexico. 
In Kentucky and the rest of the South, it's virtually impossible to win a civil case against a church or someone who is ostentatiously church-going, especially if you are not a freakazoid yourself.  Failure to attend church is taken automatically as evidence of anti-social if not outright criminal behavior. Solitary, elderly women have literally lost their homes and freedom to freakazoid relatives for the "crime" of not belonging to a church.

There is a war on religious freedom and religious liberty (both kinds!) in US America right now, as we all know. American citizens are being persecuted and criminalized and jailed just for trying to exercise their First Amendment rights. It’s pretty bad out there these days, so here is a real effed-to-heck story about a single mom whose religious liberty was trampled on, kicked in the groin, decapitated, and left to rot in the hot New Mexico sun.

The family court in Albuquerque, New Mexico, ordered a divorced couple to attend 10 counseling sessions, so they could learn how to be good parents to their 11-year-old twin sons, even while screaming “I NEVER LOVED YOU EITHER!” and splitting up their combined record collection. This is a thing family courts do to divorced parents who can sometimes forget to take care of their children because they’re too busy stalking their exes with their new fucktoys on the Facebook, or whatever.

But the counseling sessions Holly Salzman and her ex attended did not start with the basics of parenting, but rather, mandatory prayer:
“I walked into the session and the very first thing she said to me was, ‘I start my sessions by praying,’” Salzman said. “When I expressed my concerns that I didn’t pray she said, ‘well this is what I do’ and she proceeded to say a prayer out loud.” […]
There were handouts with quotes of Psalms and other religious quotes. Pepper also gave her homework titled “who is God to me?”
“Every session there was some sort of religion that was intertwined with the sessions,” Salzman said.
Now, a thinking person might wonder if the court (aka, The Government) can compel citizens to attend religious-based classes and participate in prayer, because of that whole First Amendment separation of church and state thing. And Holly Salzman was a thinking person, and she did wonder that. So she went to the court and said, “Um, yeah, I think this violates my constitutional rights, and you can’t make me do this.” But the court told her that yes uh-huh it can TOO make her go to this specific counselor to get proselytized, for the good of her children, OR ELSE. Or else what?
The single mother of two said she felt so “offended and disgusted” that she stopped going to the court-ordered sessions. The result was that the court took her kids away. […]
To get her kids back she had to finish the classes.
Court spokesman Tim Korte, while not commenting on this specific case, insisted that the court would never do such a thing:
The court does not refer parties to religious-based counseling. Some of the counseling organizations where individuals are referred may offer optional religious counseling, but the individual is not ordered by the court to participate in the religious counseling.
To be fair, the court-appointed counselor, Mary Pepper, MA, does not currently advertise her business as religious-based counseling. But she isn’t especially shy about being “a believer” and how she incorporates that into her counseling and thinks there’s no problem with her discussing religion in a court-ordered counseling session. Like so:
KRQE News 13 rolled undercover video and audio in the final three classes between Salzman and Pepper. There were several references of religion.\
“The meaning in my life is to know love and serve God,” Pepper told Salzman in one of the meetings. “If you want to explore how God was in your past,  how God was in your life and not in your life…  I know you don’t believe in God which is fine but I know at some points he was in your life in some way.”
Oh, it gets way worse - or better, depending on your view of freakazoids being hypocritcal law-breaking criminals.  Seems Pepper knows goddamn well that her taking tax dollars to proselytize is breaking the law, because for years she has been taking illegal cash under the table to hold her prayer-filled "parenting" sessions in secret.
Meanwhile, Salzman sucked it up and completed her What Does God Mean To Me? counseling with Pepper, and the court certified that she does indeed now know how to parent good and gets to have her kids back. While we’d suggest that the court undertake a more thorough vetting process of the classes it requires parents to attend, we certainly look forward to all the religious liberty activists descending on the courthouse in Albuquerque, with songs and signs and lots of outrage, to protest this blatant trashing of an American mother’s First Amendment freedoms.
 Not just mandatory prayer, but mandatory xian freakazoid only prayer.

HT Ruin a Protest

Divine Irony:

(Source: anonymousatheist420)

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Anti-Muslim Haters Lose in Louisville

Nice first step, Louisville. But the cure for religious extremism - which in this country is primarily christian extremism - is not more religion however compassionate, but rather un-theist freethought and humanism.

From the Courier:

The vandals' message of hatred that marred the outside of the Louisville Islamic Center earlier this week was relatively easy to paint over Friday by a massive outpouring of volunteers, but the problem of religious intolerance is a much more difficult stain to remove.

As hundreds gathered Friday afternoon at the defaced mosque on River Road, Mayor Greg Fischer told the crowd: "There is a lot of extremism in the world today. But today I'm seeing a lot of extreme love and support and I love it."

The Islamic center, 4007 River Road, is the oldest mosque in Louisville, and vandals left graffiti including messages such as "Stop terrorism" and "Moslems — leave the Jews alone."

Instead of expressing anger, members of the mosque asked on Friday that the vandals come forward and help clean up the graffiti. They said they would welcome them and invite them to learn more about their religion and their mission.

Attendees at Friday's rally, young and old, took turns applying brush strokes as the group collectively painted over the graffiti. Children made art about peace and equality, using their paint to tell a much different story than that of the vandals.

"Luckily we have seen a lot of support from media and everyone," said Farhart Hameed, Islamic Center board vice president and the person behind organizing Friday's rally. "It's been quite scary and disturbing for the kids."

Compassionate Louisville, a volunteer organization committed to making compassion a real part of daily life, dedicated a "compassion bench" at the center Friday, with co-host Tom Williams proclaiming: "Today we pray with paint."
"The vandals don't speak for our community," said Ned Berghausen, a teacher at Mercy Academy who went to Friday afternoon's event straight from work. "It really upsets me when I see this attack on people in our community."

Reena Piracha, who has been part of the Islamic Center for 11 years, said she was overwhelmed by the support in the community.

"I thanked one young man for being here. He said, 'Why thank me for coming here? This is my community,' " Piracha recounted. "Islamophobia is almost becoming normal in different communities. I want people to see what Louisville did today and take this into their communities."

"We just have to make the right choices."

Congress hasn't passed a "responsible budget" since the New Deal, Mr. President, and it's not going to do so anytime soon.  But keep calling out the motherfucking repugs who are responsible for unresponsible budgets.

Full transcript here.

Why Does Matt Bevin Hate Kentucky?

Kentucky leads the nation on a positive measure of health and economic well-being for once in our benighted history.

For once, it's not "Thank god for Mississippi" but "We're Number One."  Thanks to Obamacare.

Matt Bevin wants to kill that and send us back to the dark ages of hillbilly healthcare.

Kentucky had the biggest decline among the 50 states last year in percentage of people without health insurance, according to census figures released Wednesday.

The percentage of uninsured Kentuckians dropped from 14.3 percent in 2013 to 8.5 percent in 2014, a 5.8 percentage-point decline, the U.S. Census Bureau said. Stated another way, the uninsured population in Kentucky went from 616,000 to 366,000, a decrease of 250,000.

"This step toward a healthier Kentucky has a direct link to our economic future because better health, especially for our work force, has tangible positive impacts — fewer sick days, more production and a higher quality of life for our citizens," Gov. Steve Beshear said in a statement.

Kentucky's decline in its uninsured population was more than double the 2.8 percentage-point decrease nationally. 


The data also confirmed a large independent survey, the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, which found a statistically significant drop in the uninsured rate for most states since the Affordable Care Act's coverage push began at the end of 2013. States like Kentucky that embraced Medicaid expansion saw bigger declines.

The census results came a day after a televised debate in which the three Kentucky gubernatorial candidates traded barbs about whether the state can afford the costs associated with the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Kentucky's version is called Kynect.

Friday, September 18, 2015

How to Make Enemies and Influence People to Hate Us

Ahmad Muhammed is going to go on to do great things for this country - his country.  But the conservatards of Irving, Texas are going to continue electing racist shitheads like their current mayor and police chief.

Via Digby:
Glenn Greenwald wrote this morning:
There are sprawling industries and self-proclaimed career “terrorism experts” in the U.S. that profit greatly by deliberately exaggerating the threat of Terrorism and keeping Americans in a state of abject fear of “radical Islam.” There are all sorts of polemicists who build their public platforms by demonizing Muslims and scoffing at concerns over “Islamaphobia,” with the most toxic ones insisting that such a thing does not even exist, even as the mere presence of mosques is opposed across the country, or even as they are physically attacked.

The U.S. government just formally renewed the “State of Emergency” it declared in the aftermath of 9/11 for the 14th time since that attack occurred, ensuring that the country remains in a state of permanent, endless war, subjected to powers that are still classified as “extraordinary” even though they have become entirely normalized. As a result of all of this, a minority group of close to 3 million people is routinely targeted with bigotry and legal persecution in the Home of the Free, while fear and hysteria reign supreme in the Land of the Brave.

What happened in Irving, Texas, yesterday to a 14-year-old Muslim high school freshman is far from the worst instance, but it is highly illustrative of the rotted fruit of this sustained climate of cultivated fear and demonization. The Dallas Morning News reports that “Ahmed Mohamed — who makes his own radios and repairs his own go-kart — hoped to impress his teachers when he brought a homemade clock to MacArthur High,” but “instead, the school phoned police.”

Despite insisting that he made the clock to impress his engineering teacher, consistent with his long-time interest in “inventing stuff,” Ahmed was arrested by the police and led out of school with his hands cuffed behind him. When he was brought into the room to be questioned by the four police officers who had been dispatched to the school, one of them — who had never previously seen him — said: “Yup. That’s who I thought it was.” As a result, he “felt suddenly conscious of his brown skin and his name — one of the most common in the Muslim religion.”

Thursday, September 17, 2015

White Repugs Will Never, Never, EVER vote for a Ni**er, Not Even Ben Carson

Carson could stroll into February with 85 percent in the polls and he'll still exit Iowa without a single repug vote, much less delegate.  Ditto New Hampshire, South Carolina, Nevada and the whole damn country.  There are African-Americans who would be tempted to vote for a black republican, but they are all registered Democrats.

Vicious racism is the raison d'etre of the republican party.  Without racism - knee-jerk hatred of everything and everyone who is not white - the republican party Does. Not. Exist. White repugs are telling pollsters they luuuuuurrrrvvvve Ben Carson because it justifies their claims to not be racist, just against traitors like President Obama and thugs like Black Lives Matter.

But when they step into the voting booth or the caucus room, they'll vote for any white candidate rather than the ni**er.  Because that's what Ben Carson and every non-white is to them:  a ni**er.

Carson is increasingly becoming the flavor of the week among the GOP faithful, and in fairness, not at the expense of Trump. It's mostly at the expense of Jeb Bush and the increasingly pathetic Scott Walker. Man, that guy sure is making my political crystal ball skills look bad. Get your act together, Scott! If things keep going the way they are, who knows? Maybe we'll end up with a Carson-Sanders contest next fall. Wouldn't that be a hell of a thing?
Yep, because repug heads would explode before they voted for either.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Yeah, the Wall Street Journal Is Lying About Bernie Sanders' Economic Plan

By $15 trillion.

The Wall Street Journal says Bernie Sanders' domestic policy plan would cost $18 trillion over ten years. Is this true?
It depends on how you look at it. First, there's a set of proposals that the Journal estimates would cost about $3.4 trillion. That's not pocket change, but it's about as much as Jeb Bush's tax cut. The big difference is that Jeb's tax cuts mostly benefit the rich, while Bernie's proposals mostly benefit the poor and the middle class. You can decide for yourself which you prefer.
Then there's the $15 trillion price tag for universal health care. Is this a fair estimate? It's probably in the ballpark. Private health insurance accounted for about $1 trillion in spending last year, and assuming reasonable growth that will probably come to around $15 trillion over the course of a decade.
But here's the thing: this is money we already spend. Right now, employers and workers pay insurance companies $1 trillion for health care. Under Bernie's plan, we'd instead pay that money to the federal government. Generally speaking, this would be invisible to most of us. Behind the scenes, our dollars would flow to a different place, and that's about it.
So the Sanders plan wouldn't actually take money out of our pockets. It's a wash. It needs to be evaluated instead on all the usual metrics. Would the government do a better job of holding down costs? Would government control distort market signals? Would innovation suffer? Would most of us have more choice in health care providers? Would more people be covered? Etc.
Bottom line: You should think of the Sanders plan as costing about $3.4 trillion. You may or may not like the idea of universal health care, but it wouldn't have much impact on how much money you actually take home each week.

Private Guns Way More Deadly Than Public Wars

Via Mother Jones, here is a chart which shows that we have had more Americans killed by gun violence since the Reagan Administration than have been killed in all of our wars combined:

I don't know how we can let this go on.
Obviously, we need lots more wars that chew up millions of boots-on-the-ground grunts.  Also an end to the battlefield medical advances that save so many military lives.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Matt Bevin Promises to Kill Thousands of Kentuckians

Yes, he is.  Because half a millions Kentuckians have health care now thanks to Obamacare and Medicaid expansion, and Bevin is swearing to destroy both.  That's premeditating murder of thousands of Kentuckians. Somebody arrest this motherfucker.

Think Progress:

Though it has been largely ignored by national media and pollsters, Kentucky’s November gubernatorial election could mean striking changes for the Bluegrass State. The nation’s most unlikely Obamacare success story — a state system that has provided more than 500,000 Kentuckians with affordable health insurance — might well be ransacked by a Tea Party candidate named Matt Bevin.


But with Beshear term-limited, Bevin, the GOP nominee, has made it clear he wants to reverse course. The Tea Party-backed candidate vows he’ll do away with both the successful state exchange and the Medicaid expansion that has helped hundreds of thousands get affordable health care — moves that the governor could likely make unilaterally.

It’s a prospect that worries many state-based health experts, business groups, and public officials who spoke to ThinkProgress about the upcoming election and the state of Kentucky’s health care system. One of those officials was Beshear himself, who accused Bevin of playing politics with the hundreds of thousands of Kentuckians who now have insurance for the first time.

“It terrifies me,” Beshear said. “There’s over 300,000 [Kentuckians that are on expanded Medicaid], and Matt Bevin is just going to take it from every single one of them — just because he doesn’t like the fact that President Obama was the one that got it passed.”

Despite Kynect’s popularity and growing support among conservatives for the system, the most recent polls show Bevin locked in a tight race with current Attorney General Jack Conway (D), who has indicated he would continue the state’s current health care regime. So the questions are surely worth asking — who is Matt Bevin? And what would happen to Kentucky’s health care system if he won?


Beshear hopes Bevin will not be his successor, in part because of his adamant and seemingly unwavering stance against Kynect. “It has nothing to do with the benefits or the arguments for or against it,” he said. “It’s just the fact that, who the president was at the time it was passed, makes him automatically against it. And that’s about as short-sighted as you can be. ”

But the end of Kynect is not some far-fetched possibility. The most recent data, a Public Policy Polling survey in June, showed Bevin leading Democratic nominee Jack Conway 40 to 38. With voter turnout typically low in “off-year” Kentucky elections, it is anybody’s guess who will succeed Beshear in January. For hundreds of thousands of people, that result could well determine whether they return to the ranks of the uninsured.
To his credit, Jack Conway is foursquare in support of both "kynect" and Medicaid expansion. But he is losing this race because he's running a campaign that is a carbon copy of how Alison Lundergan Grimes lost the U.S. Senate race last year by 15 points to the most hated man in the Commonwealth.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Put Davis in Federal Prison Now

Now she claims babby jeebus authorizes her to change Kentucky law.  Go on, Kimmie: tell Judge Bunning again how he's not the boss of you.

MOREHEAD - Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis said Monday she will allow her deputies to issue marriage licenses, but the "unauthorized" documents will say they are issued "pursuant to a federal court order" instead of including her name and title.

Speaking to reporters, Davis said she won't interfere as her deputy clerks continue to issue marriage licenses, in compliance with the order of U.S. District Judge David Bunning. But she has further altered the wording of the licenses so that they no longer bear her name or the title of "Rowan County Clerk," which she says wrongly suggests her approval.

"Any unauthorized licenses they issue will not have my name, my title or my authority on it. Instead, the licenses will say that they were issued pursuant to a federal court order," Davis said.

The clerk said she did not "want to be in the spotlight" any longer.
Then stop doing things that draw the spotlight, you lying piece of shit.
In several cases pending before Bunning and the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, local couples sued Davis for refusing to issue marriage licenses following the U.S. Supreme Court's decision June 26 legalizing same-sex marriage. Davis, an Apostolic Christian, has said her religious objection to same-sex marriage trumps her public duty to issue marriage licenses.

The clerk said Monday that she has "grave doubts" about the validity of marriage licenses containing the altered wording. However, Kentucky family law experts say that two qualified adults who marry in good faith typically are considered legally wed regardless of the precise wording on paperwork filed to record their marriage at the courthouse.
You wanna work under the rules set by your invisible wizard in the sky?  Then get your invisible wizard in the sky to sign your fucking paychecks.  You've disqualified yourself from receiving another dime from the taxpayers of Kentucky.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

You Owe Planned Parenthood

All of you, men and women. I know who you are.  Back in the 1970s, when I was in high school, Planned Parenthood meant your girlfriend could get The Pill for free and without her parents finding out.  Planned Parenthood meant you could find out privately that that burning sensation was treatable, not fatal.

And after 1973, Planned Parenthood meant that you didn't have to get married and get a job to pay for a kid instead of going to college and fulfilling your dreams.

So Pay Up.  Pay with your money or pay with your voice.  Stand with the organization that was there when you needed it.  Stand with the organization that stood with you when no one else would.

Katha Pollitt:

 B.J. Isaacson-Jones, who ran an abortion clinic in St. Louis for many years, wrote “An Open Letter to 21 Million Women” in 1988, 15 years after Roe. This year, Roe turns 42, and it’s truer today than ever. It appears in full below.

Where are you?
For over 16 years we have provided
you with choices
Painful choices
I remember—
I sometimes cried with you.
Choices, nevertheless, when you were desperate.

Remember how we protected your privacy
and treated you with dignity and respect
when you
were famous
had been brought to us in shackles
with an armed guard, or
were terrified
that you would run into
one of your students?
I remember each of you.

Our clinic was firebombed.
Do you recall?
Exhausted and terrified we had
been up all night.
We rerouted you to another clinic
because you wanted an abortion that day.
Where are you?

Priding ourselves on providing abortions for
those who cannot pay, we have spent millions
of dollars that we never really
had caring for you. We wanted
to give a choice.
I also gave you cab fare and
money for dinner from my own pocket.
Have you forgotten?

I remember you cried and asked me how
you could carry this pregnancy to term when
you were abusing the children you had,
were having an affair,
tested positive for AIDS,
could not handle another,
were raped by your mother’s boyfriend,
pregnant by your father and
shocked and torn apart when
your very much wanted and loved
fetus was found to be
severely deformed.
Your mother picketed our clinic
regularly. We brought you in after dark.
Have you mustered the courage
to tell her that you are pro-choice?

You are.
Aren’t you?

I recall shielding your shaking body, guiding you
and you husband through the picket lines.
They screamed adoption, not abortion!
You wondered how you could explain your
choice to your young children.
You broke our hearts.

You had just celebrated your twelfth birthday
when you came to us. You clutched
your teddy bear, sucked your thumb
and cried out for your mom who asked
you why you had gotten yourself pregnant.
You replied that you just wanted to be grown.
You’re twenty today.
Where are you?

I pretend I don’t know you in the market,
at social gatherings and on the street.
I told you I would.
After your procedure you told me that you would
fight for reproductive choices (parenthood,
adoption, and abortion) for your mother, daughters,
and grandchildren. You will . . . won’t you?

I have no regrets. I care about
each and every one of you and
treasure all that you’ve taught me.
But I’m angry. I can’t do this alone.
I’m not asking you to speak about your abortion, but
You need to speak out and you need to speak
out now. Where are you?

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Outlaw Private Security

This is neither uncommon nor new.  Pinkertons murdered protesters and union members going back to the Civil War. Private security goons are everywhere, and far more likely to kill or maim you and get away with it than actual cops are.

Not to mention that most private security guards are cop wannabees who flunked the psych evals at a police department. That alone should be enough to bar them from any security job or from owning a gun.

Nobody needs private security. Nobody needs to hire off-duty cops for private security. If we adequately funded our police departments to increase staff rather than buy war toys, and demanded Guardian training, companies could rest easy knowing public security is sufficient.

A private security guard working at Whole Foods in Oakland beat a black man unconscious on Thursday evening, according to witness accounts.

One witness, Zoe Marks, told the Oakland Tribune that she “watched as the guard slammed the man against a concrete pillar, put him in a chokehold until he passed out, and threw him out of the store.” According to Marks, the man was in a verbal argument with a cashier but was not violent before being assaulted by the security officer. “He wasn’t shouting at anyone. He wasn’t violent or disruptive,” Marks said.

Marks also posted an account of the incident — along with graphic photos of the victim — on Facebook.

Whole Foods said they have fired the guard involved and the security firm that employed him.

The Oakland police are investigating.

In the United States, private security guards outnumber actual police officers 5 to 1. Security expert Bruce Schneier notes that they “often receive minimal training, if any. They don’t graduate from police academies.” As a result “[a]buses of power, brutality, and illegal behavior are much more common among private security guards.”

Keep your heads down and your mouths shut, citizens.

"Everyone should be able to find clear, reliable, open data on college affordability and value."

The new scorecard is a start, Mr. President.  But it's not quite as comprehensive or as oriented to public good as the Washington Monthly's College Guide

Full transcript here.

No Justification Necessary

Again, there is no such thing as an unborn baby.  If it's a baby, by definition it's already born.
If it's unborn, it's a blastocyst, a zygote, or in the late stages a fetus.

A NY Times opinion piece asks the question, Does Down Syndrome Justify Abortion? The answer is easy: yes. Yes it does. But then, so does having 46 chromosomes.

The only questions you should ask are whether the mother wants the child, and is well-informed about the risks. If she doesn’t, she doesn’t have to “justify” getting the abortion.

The article does mention something I don’t like: the parents chose to keep the child (and that’s something I support, too — pro-choice means what it says, it is the parents’ choice), and they got a lot of pushback, with the medical staff emphasizing the dangers and compromises to a Down syndrome child, and mildly pressuring them to get an abortion. That shouldn’t happen. Inform them of the risks, but really, it is entirely the parents’ choice.

I wonder if, when a pregnant woman is found to be carrying a healthy wild-type child with 46 chromosomes, the doctors and nurses then urge her to get an abortion because of all the dangers of pregnancy and childbirth, and the horrible excess work and worry and anxiety that having any child causes? If all we cared about was reducing harm, it’s absolutely insane that society allows women to inflict pregnancy on themselves.

But just as no one has to justify getting pregnant, no one should have to justify ending a pregnancy.

Friday, September 11, 2015

14 Years of Hysteria, Stupidity and Waste for No Good Reason

Some of us even predicted it back then.

We know this because, if they did exist, at least in any remotely capable form, they would have succeeded in carrying out dozens or hundreds of attacks by now because it is simply impossible to completely stop motivated terrorists from carrying out attacks in a free and open society with endless targets and no-questions-asked access to automatic firearm.
Could an attack happen tomorrow? Of course. But once every 13 years would still be an anomalous event, not a systemic threat. Remember the talk as the rubble smoldered of hundreds, maybe thousands, of “sleeper cells” lurking out there, waiting to strike? Well, we now know there were none at the time, and apparently none were formed even after we have fought two wars and killed thousands of innocent civilians since 9/11. One would think our actions in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, etcetera would spawn at least a few motivated and effective enemies bent on revenge through domestic attacks. Apparently not.
So, ironically, if we had done absolutely nothing in response to 9/11 aside from hold funerals and shake our heads in disbelief, we would have been no less safe than we are now after two useless wars, trillions of dollars and thousands of lives lost, and a decade of taking off our shoes for domestic flights. I’m not saying this was obvious when 9/11 happened. Far from it. I was just as freaked out as anyone else at the time and I think it would have been foolish to ignore the threat. But the fact is if we had we would have been far better off, because as it turns out there were not hundreds of other Mohammed Attas out there in the wings. In fact, there were none, at least not with any meaningful capabilities (which would exclude folks like the shoe bomber and the Tsarnaev brothers). We know this to be the case because if such people did exist we would have been hit 100 times over by now. It is too damn easy to sow terror and chaos with motivation and even a below average IQ. Think Newtown or D.C. sniper.
A few sad teenagers have committed far, far more domestic terror attacks than all the Islamic militants in the world over the past decade, and that is an outcome I think very few would have predicted, myself included, in the aftermath of 9/11. I’m sure the Rudy Guiliani set would love to take credit for the lack of attacks, but I think any serious expert on stopping domestic terrorism attacks would agree that the only way to bat as close to 1000 as we have is if your enemy is fictional.

Why Kim Davis Is A Criminal

Always read Wonkette comments.

Lord Nash:

Best explanation I've seen so far.

"Think of it this way. Someone who objects to war due to his religious conscience has a right to be a conscientious objector and not serve in the military, even were there to be a draft. But he does not have the right to serve as a military officer, draw a paycheck from the military and then substitute his own personal views of when war is justified for that of the government. The same applies here."

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Where At Least We Know We're Free to Suffer Horrific Injuries Without Compensation

It's easy to forget that it's been less than a century since employers were forced to treat workers as human beings.  Slavery and serfdom were the rule for 10,000 years of human civilization. 

And the corporate whores and billionaires who benefit from that system are fighting like rabid ferrets to get it back.

Above: The libertarian vision of America’s future

Brian Beutler’s piece on libertarians’ goal to return the U.S. to the Lochner Era through the courts should scare you. It’s hardly news to political junkies that libertarians seek to destroy a century of regulations that created what was great about the United States in the twentieth century. But because a lot of seemingly smart people take libertarianism seriously as an intellectual idea, their actual nefarious goals are often muted. Libertarians want to return this nation to an era of workplace deaths, of unlimited working hours, of low wages, of industry polluting wherever they want with whatever substances they choose, etc. They openly say that the nation went off the rails with the Progressive Era (Karl Rove and Glenn Beck have said this on top of the libertarian crew) and hope to return us to the Gilded Age. They’ve gone a long ways toward succeeding, as I have documented on this blog for the past four years.

They are also really close to the big coup. That would be a Republican victory in 2016 and the replacement of a couple of elderly Supreme Court justices with Thomas and Alito-types who are happy to do the bidding of corporations.
All libertarians want to fight federal regulations in Congress and the executive branch. But Barnett and his allies think courts should be empowered to throw regulations out even if political majorities support them. These Lochner revivalist professors have established beachheads at law schools across the country. In 2002, UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh founded a blog, The Volokh Conspiracy, as a hub for libertarian ideas, including Lochner revisionism. Today, it has become the most prominent academic legal blog in the country and now publishes under the auspices of The Washington Post. It boasts nearly two dozen contributing professors and mainlines detailed and informed libertarian legal arguments to thousands of the nation’s top lawyers, law students, clerks, judges, and opinion-makers every day.
The contributors to The Volokh Conspiracy teach at the University of Minnesota, Northwestern, Emory, Duke, and elsewhere. Several hold positions at George Mason University’s law school, which is famous for its conservative faculty and, in 36 short years, has rocketed to prominence as one of the 50 best law schools in the country. In 2011, GMU law professor and Volokh Conspiracy contributor David Bernstein published a book titled Rehabilitating Lochner, and that’s exactly what he, Barnett, and their contemporaries have been attempting to do.
Again, it drives me crazy that people respect what happens at Volokh Conspiracy because these are horrible people. They aren’t hiding it either:
To dismiss the debate between libertarians and traditional conservatives over Lochner as an academic sideshow is to misunderstand the stakes. “A full-fledged return to Lochner would put a constitutional cloud over a whole host of laws that we all take for granted today,” said Sam Bagenstos, a liberal constitutional scholar at the University of Michigan who has argued cases before the Supreme Court. “Laws guaranteeing workers the right to join a union without being fired, and the right to earn a minimum wage and receive overtime if working more than 40 hours a week, laws protecting worker safety, and laws protecting workers and customers against discrimination based on race or other protected statuses, just for starters.”
I asked Barnett whether the social welfare laws on the books today would be permitted under his reading of the Constitution. “Probably not at the federal level,” he said.
That’s why Barnett and his contemporaries prefer to root their arguments in specific injustices rather than categorical abstractions. Why shouldn’t bakers be allowed to work more than 60 hours a week, or individuals be allowed to remain uninsured? Why should the government be allowed to regulate out of existence my right to hail a driver or your right to rent a stranger’s house for a weekend?
These are people who actually want to return us to the the Gilded Age. Let’s look at the past to get a glimpse of the libertarian paradise. Allow me to quote from Empire of Timber.
Both camp and mill workers felt the pain and shock of severe injury in a dangerous and highly mechanized working environment and saw workers die horrible deaths. These technologies made logging a more dangerous and deadly job. Cables and machines broke, becoming deadly whipsaws. The flying logs of high-lead logging crushed workers’ heads. The state of Washington began collecting data on workplace injuries in 1912. Between that date and 1929, between 124 and 261 loggers died every year in the timber industry. In 1914, 63,350 people worked in the timber industry, thirty-five per cent of the state’s workforce. In the first five months of that year, there were 4,928 reported accidents that injured or killed timber workers.
Working in the region’s watery environment contributed to this death toll. The Northwest’s cold rain and snow made workers sick while the workers toiling on floating logs in log ponds or river drives risked their lives. At least nine loggers drowned on the job in 1906, including J.W. Roth of Springfield, Oregon and Ralph Leedy of Hoquiam, Washington who died in separate incidents on log ponds and J.K. Lynn who fell into a river near Hoquiam while rafting logs. Alfred Aasen fell into a cold river while working in the spring of 1916. He did not drown, but he caught pneumonia while riding on a rail car the ten miles back to camp in soaking clothes and soon died.
Machines killed far more workers than water and cold. On August 28, 1905, Clise Houston reached to clear an obstruction from his saw. He fell into it and died. Finnish immigrant John Koski found a job with the Simpson Logging Company in a camp near Matlock, Washington. On June 18, 1904 nearby tree fallers shouted “Timber!” He did not move and the tree landed directly on top of him, crushing him beyond recognition. Koski had no family in America and his co-workers had no way to inform his relations in Finland of his demise. The company paid for the burial. Karl Carlson worked in the Middleton mill in Aberdeen, Washington. In 1905, a belt fell off its course and Carlson tried to guide it back on to the pulley with a shovel. The shovel became entangled with the belt and he lost control of it. The machine tore the shovel from his hands and plunged it, handle first, through his body. Carlson lingered for a day before dying, leaving behind a wife and child.
The lucky workers were merely maimed. Morris Campbell worked in J.E. Nichols’ sawmill in La Conner, Washington. In the last days of 1899, he caught his arm in a mill saw. It was amputated at the shoulder. In 1900, Frank Lang lost most of his left hand running a band saw in the Centralia Shingle Mill in Centralia, Washington. In 1901, Martin Boyer’s foot got caught in machinery in a Centralia mill. Doctors amputated. In a nation without a social safety net, injured workers often fell through the cracks into a lifetime of poverty. Workers like Campbell, Lang, and Boyer faced grim futures as disabled persons, as did many people disabled on the job before the passage of the Civilian Vocational Rehabilitation Act in 1920, which provided occupational training and job placement for those injured on at the workplace. Many workers chose self-medication. Joseph Gillis of Seattle lost a leg while working at the McDougal and Jackson logging camp near Buckley, Washington. He sued for $10,000 but overdosed on the laudanum he used for pain the day before he lost his suit.
This was the reality of Lochner-era America. Workers could do little to nothing about these working conditions because the courts said they had agreed to work under those conditions and thus protecting them would be violating their freedom of contract. Things got so bad that during the years after Lochner, judges, juries, and politicians began pushing back against it. That’s why workers’ compensation was enacted in the 1910s, because juries began awarding benefits to workers and ignoring the freedom of contract ideas and this scared corporations into protecting themselves while still paying as little as possible to injured workers. 

This is the America where Volokh writers hope to take us Even if they say that’s not what they foresee, that’s the reality. In calling for a return to Lochner-era policies, there is no guarantee the Supreme Court won’t rule, say, OSHA unconstitutional. 

This future, which sounds hopelessly dystopian, is entirely possible if Republicans win the 2016 presidential election. And we need to be calling out libertarians for what they are–people who think dead workers is a form of freedom. People who think working 84-hour weeks in a steel mill is totally acceptable. People who want you to experience another Donora Smog in the name of liberty. People who want to eliminate OSHA and the EPA. People who want to tear apart everything that makes this nation livable. And they are this close to succeeding.