Indiana’s law allowing discrimination against gay people is not the only reason that the state deserves our opprobrium. It’s also about to become the first state to imprison a woman for what it says is the death of a baby born after an attempted abortion.
On Monday, 33-year-old Purvi Patel, an unmarried woman from a conservative Hindu family who bought abortion drugs online, was sentenced to twenty years in prison for the crimes of feticide and neglect of a dependent. It was not the first time that feticide laws, passed under the guise of protecting pregnant women from attack, have been turned against pregnant women themselves. Indiana, after all, was also the state that jailed Bei Bei Shuai, an immigrant who tried to commit suicide by poisoning herself while pregnant, and whose baby later died. But the Patel case is still a disturbing landmark. “Yes, the feticide laws in other states have been used to arrest and sometimes punish the pregnant women herself,” says Lynn Paltrow, executive director of National Advocates for Pregnant Women, which advised Patel’s defense. “This is the first time it’s being used to punish what they say is an attempted self-abortion.”
Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear says the state's ban on gay marriage should be upheld in part because it is not discriminatory in that both gay and straight people are barred from marrying people of the same gender.
In an argument labeled absurd by gay marriage advocates, Beshear's lawyer says in a brief filed last week at the U.S. Supreme Court that "men and women, whether heterosexual or homosexual, cannot marry persons of the same sex" under Kentucky law, making the law non-discriminatory.
The argument mirrors that offered by the state of Virginia nearly 50 years ago when it defended laws barring interracial marriage there and in 15 other states, including Kentucky, by saying they weren't discriminatory because whites were barred from marrying blacks just as blacks were barred from marrying whites.
The Supreme Court in 1967 rejected that argument in the historic case of Loving v. Virginia, in which Richard Loving, a white man, and Mildred Jeter, a black woman, were charged with a crime for marrying.
You've drifted into Reality World, my boy, and the conservatard base will declare you UNCLEAN!
Sam Youngman at the Herald:
While proclaiming President Barack Obama's health care law "the worst piece of legislation in my lifetime," Kentucky gubernatorial candidate James Comer unveiled a health care policy platform Monday that assumes "Obamacare" will be the "rule of law" for the next governor.Ah, there it is: "packed with health care executives." The ones whose profits depend on the Affordable Care Act surviving and thriving. The ones who will not be writing campaign checks to candidates who swear to destroy Obamacare.
Two of Comer's opponents — former U.S. Senate candidate Matt Bevin and recently retired state Supreme Court Justice Will T. Scott — have said they would end Kentucky's state-run health insurance exchange, Kynect, on their first day in office.
Although Comer described Kynect as a "tool to greatly expand Medicaid," he stopped short of calling for its demise. Doing so probably would increase costs for Kentucky taxpayers, the state's commissioner of agriculture said at a news conference packed with health care executives.
But can even corporate money overcome Comer's apostasy? The primary election is May 19. Stay tuned.
Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/2015/03/30/3776393/comer-breaks-with-field-on-obamacare.html#storylink=cpy
Monday, March 30, 2015
(Sniff!) I'm so proud!
Steve Benen at Maddowblog:
The religious right movement is looking for a presidential candidate to rally behind. It seems the junior senator from Kentucky believes he can be that candidate – and if that means shameless pandering, so be it.Speaking to a group of pastors last week, Rand Paul went so far as to say, “The First Amendment says keep government out of religion. It doesn’t say keep religion out of government.”Oh my.If the Republican senator is going to quote the First Amendment, he should probably read it first. The first 16 words of the Bill of Rights are as follows: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” As Thomas Jefferson later explained, the point of the language was to “build a wall of separation between church and state.”I don’t have a problem with Rand Paul swearing fealty to constitutional language, but if he’s going to do so, it’s important that he at least get the language right. The senator claims to have deep, passionate beliefs about the First Amendment, but it appears we now have yet another issue that the Kentucky Republican addresses without any real depth of understanding.That said, the larger political point of the senator’s efforts is also coming into focus. Social conservatives and so-called “values voters” are looking for a standard bearer, and in general, this constituency doesn’t see Rand Paul as a natural ally. Clearly, the senator hopes to change that impression, emphasizing his opposition to marriage equality, his opposition to reproductive rights, decrying the nation’s moral crisis, misquoting the First Amendment, and even telling pastors, “We need a revival in the country. We need another Great Awakening with tent revivals.”Time will tell if this has the desired effect on the religious right, but in the meantime, one wonders if Paul’s libertarian-minded allies will stop recognizing their one-time champion.
If the NCAA sacks up this week and pulls the tournament from hoosierville because Indiana passed a right-for-freakazoids-to-discriminate bill two years AFTER Kentucky passed its own version, the only reason they wouldn't bring it to Rupp Arena in Lexington is because it's the home of the UK Wildcats, current favorites to take the championship.
Because nobody seems to notice Kentucky's only-god-botherers-can-discriminate bill passed in 2013.
Maybe because it passed over Governor Steve Beshear's veto and therefore there is no repug hate-figure like Steve Pence?
Or because the corporations who think gay-bashing discrimination is stupid and anti-business don't do business in Kentucky?
Or is it because big corporations headquartered in Kentucky are perfectly happy with their employees and customers being treated like shit by the freakazoid motherfuckers who run this state?
Hey, Humana: Why do you hate your gay employees and customers?
Hey Brown and Williamson: You just sponsored the ACLU of Kentucky's annual Fairness Dinner - open bar and four-course meal shindigs for 400 don't come cheap. Are you trying to cover up for the fact you're not holding the General Assembly accountable for this abomination?
Why all the hate for Indiana and none for Kentucky, national business leaders? Boycott us, too! And make sure no repug state legislators get national corporate campaign cash.
Taking away their money is the only thing likely to get through to them.
Sunday, March 29, 2015
Yeah, I'm a liberal elitist and so are all my friends. You know why? Because we know what's true.
Here’s a great list of 9 things many Americans just don’t understand — I’ve distilled it down to just the main headings, but you should read the whole thing.You know who doesn't understand these obvious things, and you know why they don't. So what do we do about it?
1. Universal Healthcare Is Great for Free Enterprise and Great for Small Businesses
2. Comprehensive Sex Education Decreases Sexual Problems
3. American Exceptionalism Is Absolute Nonsense in 2015
4. Adequate Mass Transit Is a Huge Convenience
5. The Bible Was Not Written by Billionaire Hedge Fund Managers
6. Learning a Second or Third Language Is a Plus, Not a Character Flaw
7. Union Membership Benefits the Economy
8. Paid Maternity Leave Is the Norm in Most Developed Countries
9. Distrust of Oligarchy Is a Positive
Somebody tell these morons that far older, more popular and long-lasting religions than the sex-terrified Abrahamic ones made temple-based sex their primary focus.
If sex-celebrating churches have to pay taxes, so should all the motherfuckers.
A church, Panama City Beach’s Life Center is no longer tax exempt, because authorities decided that they didn’t like its sacraments…which involved nude body-painting events (but the human body is one of god’s greatest creations, how can you object to celebrating it?) and selling sexually explicit t-shirts (again, sex is holy, isn’t it?). They were specifically appealing to college youth who were in town for spring break.Wonkette has the sexy deets.
The city appraiser passed judgement in a clear act of discrimination.
"A bottle club, charging $20 at the door and selling obscene T-shirts is not being used as a church," Sowell said. "A God-fearing, God-honoring church in January does not sponsor this type of debauchery in March."He does have a point. Here in Minnesota, the churches don’t encourage debauchery until late May, when the weather is a bit more forgiving. But Florida has been blessed by the Lord with warm sunny weather, and debauchery season reasonably starts a little earlier.
But otherwise, why is selling sex grounds for removing a church’s tax exemption, but selling threats of damnation and false promises of paradise not?
Saturday, March 28, 2015
As of this writing, no recipients of corporate tax credits, farm price supports, federal military contracts, oil subsidies, or tax incentives to build union-free factories are required to prove that they can pass a piss test.
"I don’t think our top economic priority should be helping a tiny number of Americans who are already doing extraordinarily well, and asking everybody else to foot the bill."
Thank you, Mr. President, for calling out the repugs on this one. Keep doing that.
Full transcript here.
They hate what they're afraid of, and they're afraid for good reason.
Remember Solyndra, that failed solar tech startup the GOP tried to hang around President Obama's neck like an albatross? Mitt Romney campaigned in front of the closed Solyndra factory in 2012, trying to deflect attention from his vulture capitalist record at Bain Capital. See, the problem was that Big Gummint was perturbing the economic gods with clean energy subsidies, "stifling free market competition by picking economic winners and losers."
Yesterday, I concluded a post noting that it is some kind of article of faith on the right that "government shouldn't pick winners and losers." Rather than call them hypocrites this fine Sunday morning, let's just say they apply that principle somewhat unevenly.
The Washington Post this morning looks at the growing threat rooftop solar poses to the big utility companies. Industry executives met in Colorado three years ago to plan how to fight back, Joby Warrick reports:
If demand for residential solar continued to soar, traditional utilities could soon face serious problems, from “declining retail sales” and a “loss of customers” to “potential obsolescence,” according to a presentation prepared for the group. “Industry must prepare an action plan to address the challenges,” it said.The warning, delivered to a private meeting of the utility industry’s main trade association, became a call to arms for electricity providers in nearly every corner of the nation. Three years later, the industry and its fossil-fuel supporters are waging a determined campaign to stop a home-solar insurgency that is rattling the boardrooms of the country’s government-regulated electric monopolies.Those free-market zealots among the Koch-backed American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) have been trying to roll back solar expansion that threatens the fossil fuels industry with "potential obsolescence," as the Post described it above. They've been trying to leverage their influence with Republican lawmakers. The free-marketeers want government help in guaranteeing they stay winners. There's one big problem:
The average price of photovoltaic cells has plummeted 60 percent since 2010, thanks to lower production costs and more-efficient designs. Solar’s share of global energy production is climbing steadily, and a study last week by researchers from Cambridge University concluded that photovoltaics will soon be able to out-compete fossil fuels, even if oil prices drop to as low as $10 a barrel.Turns out that instilling that free-market fervor can really bite when you're operating a government-sanctioned monopoly and even conservatives and evangelicals in red states like Utah like putting solar panels on their church roofs. Trying to impose a solar surcharge offends their free-market sensibilities, so carefully cultivated by the right.
Legislative efforts in Indiana and Utah to slow down solar's expansion by outlawing "net metering" (homeowners selling excess power they generate back to the grid) have failed. "Some of the proposals were virtual copies of model legislation drafted two years ago by the American Legislative Exchange Council," Warrick writes.Meanwhile:
It's not easy being mean.
Hawaii is on track to pass legislation this year requiring the state to go 100 percent renewable by 2040.
Earlier this month, committees in the Hawaii House and Senate both unanimously recommended bills that would raise the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) from the current target of 70 percent by 2030 to the ultimate goal of 100 percent by 2040. Hawaii has had an RPS since 2001, and right now the state gets just over 21 percent of its power from renewable sources — a 12 percent increase in just six years.
This is huge for our state’s future.
“Even our utility is saying we can hit 65 percent by 2030, so 100 percent is definitely doable,” Sen. Mike Gabbard (D), sponsor of the Senate bill, SB 2181, and chair of Hawaii’s Energy and Environment Committee, told ThinkProgress. “This is huge for our state’s future. Each year, we spend $3 to $5 billion importing fossil fuels to power our economy. Our electricity bills are roughly three times the national average.”
Friday, March 27, 2015
Five Trillion dollars cut from every domestic spending program that does not engorge the already obscenely rich, fossil fuel companies and military contractors.
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has the details.
Fortunately, it's dead on arrival, thanks to the Kenyan Usurper. Unfortunately, the budget that would actually rescue the country from Greece's fate will never make it to the president's desk.
But it's amazing what you can do with a budget when your goal is to make the economy work for the non-rich.
Crooks and Liars:
Once again, I've yet to hear our corporate media talking about this progressive budget, which includes things that voters actually want. I wonder why! Via Vox:
Every year, the Congressional Progressive Caucus releases a budget proposal, and every year it gets roundly ignored. As the big budget plans — the White House's, the House Budget Committee's, the Senate Budget Committee's — are vigorously covered in the press (including by me!), nary a word is said about the CPC's offering.
This makes sense, of course. The CPC represents a little more than a third of the minority party in the House and has one member in the Senate; its plans are objectively less important, and less likely to shape policy, than ones coming from the president or the majority parties in the House and Senate.
But its budget — or "the People's Budget," as CPC likes to call it — deserves your attention. It's a far better contrast to the aggressive spending cuts of the House and Senate GOP budgets than President Obama's much more timid offering. Like the congressional GOP, and unlike Obama, the CPC isn't trying to lay out a realistic spending course or create a starting point for negotiations. It's trying to lay out a comprehensive vision for transforming the federal government, to give grassroots activists something to rally around and to pressure presidential contenders. It sets out a clear theory for where the Democratic Party should head next that Hillary Clinton and others need to reckon with.
House and Senate Republicans would cut trillions from the budget, mostly from health and social welfare programs. So naturally the CPC budget adds trillions to the budget. While the Congressional Budget Office projects the federal government will spend about $49 trillion between 2016 and 2025, the progressive budget envisions $52.4 trillion in spending — a net increase of about $3.4 trillion.
And with those trillions, it does just about everything a progressive could ask for, short of fully implementing Swedish social democracy in America:
$745 billion goes to an infrastructure program, meant to both create jobs and repair deteriorating roads, bridges, and the like.
$128 billion goes to a new tax credit for low- and middle-income workers.
The debt limit deal of 2011 — including the budget sequestration — is repealed in full, and more spending on non-defense discretionary programs is added on top of that, for a total discretionary spending hike of nearly $1.9 trillion.
A bevy of new education programs are introduced, including universal pre-K and a matching fund to help public universities "increase aid to students to help them cover the total cost of college attendance without taking on debt."
While the budget declines to change Social Security (believing that to be an issue best addressed outside of the budget process), it calls for the program to be significantly expanded.Go read the rest, and share with your friends. The media continues to turn this into the Invisible Budget -- don't let them!
Thursday, March 26, 2015
Last week, Gov. Steve Beshear and a state economist took Republican gubernatorial candidate Hal Heiner to task for saying that Kentucky had lost 20,000 jobs over the last two years.I'm going to change my election prediction for the gubernatorial race: it's still going to be a repug, but Heiner instead of Comer. Not that Jack Conway could beat either of them, or even Matt Bevins, but Heiner's Louisville ties are going to crush Conway before the polls even close in Western Kentucky.
Since then, Commissioner of Agriculture James Comer's claim that Kentucky had lost 50,000 jobs had disappeared from his campaign website.
"Kentuckians are frustrated at the lack of good-paying jobs in Kentucky," the website said last week. "In fact, Kentucky has lost nearly 50,000 jobs over the last two years."
On Monday morning, the second sentence was gone.
Edwin King, director of Comer's campaign for governor, said Monday that the claim should have specified that 50,000 Kentuckians had dropped out of the labor force, which is why Beshear and his folks took issue with Heiner's numbers.
King said the campaign was making some "cosmetic" adjustments to the site.
Looking at labor force participation does not tell the whole story, according to Beshear and his team, who say that other stats show an increase in jobs over the past two years. In essence, there are more jobs but fewer people working in them as an increasing percentage of the population retires, goes back to school or is disabled, according to the state.
Wednesday, March 25, 2015
The good guys won one, and that includes the high school students who did not give up when repug senators sabotaged their good-government bill to improve school administration. Their bill may have ultimately failed, but the students now know who the enemy is, and they'll be back.
Congratulations, hateful repugs: you just made lifelong Democratic voters out of every one of those students.
From the Fairness Coalition:
Thanks to your help, Senator C.B. Embry's anti-transgender "Bathroom Bully Bill" failed last night in the Senate's last-ditch effort to save it!
As many of you recall, after Kentucky's Democratically-controlled House refused to hear the bill, Senator Embry attached his legislation to an unrelated measure, House Bill 236, written by high school students to give them a role in helping choose new school superintendents. Senator Albert Robinson also added a "Student Religious Speech" amendment to that legislation.
This week, hundreds of Kentucky high school students rallied against the amendments, and last night, Republican Senate leadership introduced House Bill 236 without the "Bathroom Bully Bill," killing Senator Embry's legislation for session. Unfortunately, Senator Robinson's amendment remained on House Bill 236, which stalled permanently in the House.
It's a great victory that Senate Republicans removed the "Bathroom Bully Bill" from House Bill 236 before debate, and it's undoubtedly thanks to the many calls, e-mails, and conversations you shared with elected officials in opposition to this unnecessary, mean spirited, and discriminatory legislation!
Please make a call of thanks to Senate leadership today and consider making a donation of $25, $50, $100, or whatever is comfortable for you to honor the hard work of the Fairness Campaign and our allies to defeat anti-LGBT legislation in the 2015 Kentucky General Assembly!
Monday, March 23, 2015
If the Tribble-Toupeed One is really the libertarian small-government champion he wants everyone to think he is, why is he so gung-ho for American soldiers to fight and die in the desert to save Saudi Arabia from the Islamic State the Saudis themselves created?
C'mon, Randy: you don't give a shit about how the Saudis treat the sub-humans sometimes known as "women." Your Dominionist buddies would do worse if they thought they could get away with it.
A boycott? Of what? The only economic connections the Saudis have with the U.S. are the oil they sell to us and the military hardware they buy.
Military hardware that sits in the desert and disintegrates from non-use because the Saudis don't fight their own wars; they get us to fight and die for them.
Boycotts won't change the Saudis; only being forced to fight their own fucking wars will do that.
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., called for a boycott of Saudi Arabia on Saturday, saying Americans should shun the kingdom as it did the apartheid regime in South Africa.
"Remember when South Africa was misbehaving? We organized a boycott of South Africa. We should be boycotting Saudi Arabia and not taking money from Saudi Arabia's government," Paul said.
At that time international sanctions were levied against the nation, along with a divestment campaign.
While the senator in his statements did not differentiate a government boycott from one by individuals, a spokesperson later said in a statement that Paul was "not calling for a governmental boycott, but rather options for private citizens and investors."
Sunday, March 22, 2015
You know why you haven't heard anything about the Bluegrass Pipeline toxic chemical death funnel through the heart of Central Kentucky's bourbon and horse industries?
First, because local resident stood against the mother frackers and got a court to make the companies stop terrorizing elderly landowners with illegal threats to take their land by eminent domain.
It was the most effective purely grassroots effort seen in the Commonwealth since Daniel Boone led a bunch of crazy people over the mountains to the clean water and fertile soil of the Bluegrass.
But the Stop the Pipeline folks aren't done yet. Because the motherfrackers are at it again. Help us stop them. Again.
From Kentuckians for the Commonwealth:
to protect Kentucky communities
from hazardous liquids pipeline
Kinder Morgan wants to transport highly dangerous hazardous liquids through Kentucky. The company plans to re-purpose the decades-old existing Tennessee Gas Pipeline to carry massive volumes of natural gas liquids from the fracking fields of Ohio and Pennsylvania to processing and export facilities along the Gulf Coast.
The pipeline runs through 18 Kentucky counties, near many homes, through popular business districts, across busy roadways, across waters that supply public drinking water systems, and even within view of schools. A study by the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration concluded that the “blast zone” for a pipeline of the size and volume proposed by Kinder Morgan is nearly one mile.
Kentuckians have a better view of our commonwealth and don’t want a pipeline that puts our water, land and safety needlessly at risk.
Kinder Morgan has applied to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to abandon natural gas service, the current use for the pipeline, in order to re-purpose it for hazardous natural gas liquids. Would you take action with KFTC and residents all along the route of the pipeline by co-signing our letter to FERC asking that it protect the safety of communities along the pipeline’s path?
A year ago, Kentuckians stopped the proposed Bluegrass Hazardous Liquids Pipeline. Let's do the same for this proposal.
It's just as obviously false and pointless as the SODDI (Some Other Dude Did It) claim by criminal suspects.
It has no place in politics or public life. Confine it to the toilet from which it came.
The Rude Pundit:
It's a nonsensical thing that religious right-wingers of all stripes do, bringing G/god into an argument that G/god has no place in, If your G/god were real, he'd probably think, "The fuck I got to do with that? I made your fuckin' planet. Deal with it." Instead, we get, for example, Rep. Paul Ryan, who said in 2012, "Our rights come from nature and God, not government." How did they come from God? Or does he mean the Bible? Conservatives say this shit and don't think about the implications.
Whether it's your G/god says to blow yourself up on a bus or your G/god thinks gays getting married is icky, what you're really saying is that your almighty being is either too lazy or too weak to do shit himself. Or he's an asshole who does things on his own time. And you better shut the fuck up and smile because here's some figs or here's a red-hot anus-poker. Which do you want?
Saturday, March 21, 2015
Go ahead and say it, Mr. President: she's not get confirmed because she's a ni**er without even a penis. You know that deep in the repug cloakroom they're calling her what they called Barbara Jordan in the Texas lege: "that ni**er mammy washerwoman."
Full transcript here.
Huh. Treat your employees with dignity and respect, let them share in the product of their labor, and you succeed. Who'd a thunk?
William Street Common has been open for less than two weeks in Philadelphia, but owner Avram Hornik says it’s already hitting its numbers even with a totally different business model than most restaurants.
The “indoor beer garden,” as he calls it, which serves up comfort food and craft beer at communal tables, pays all of its employees, from the servers to the dishwashers, at least $15 an hour plus paid sick leave and health insurance benefits. The customer experience is unique as well: tips aren’t mandatory and all the prices for different beers are the same. So every drink costs $6: $5 for the drink itself plus a 20 percent service charge.
“We wanted people to compare apples to apples,” he said. “Instead of charging $6 and no tip, we wanted the customers to understand that the staff is being taken care of.”
The service charge also doesn’t go straight to the individual server. It goes into a pot that’s used to make sure everyone is making that $15 wage, although management will make up the difference if what they make in revenue falls short. If there’s money left over at the end of a pay period, employees divide it up based on a point system related to experience and other factors. “We’re projecting, based on our budgeting and depending on the employee, between three to ten dollars an hour in addition from that bonus pool,” he said. On top of that, 5 percent of gross sales gets put in a different pot to pay for paid sick leave and health insurance for full-time employees, but any extra after that will be put toward whatever uses a committee of workers wants.
Thursday, March 19, 2015
Anybody doubt that Aramark is doing this and worse here? Anybody think inmate riots are not an appropriate response? Anybody want to try to defend privatization?
Rodent saliva is on the dessert menu in Michigan’s prisons thanks to Gov. Rick Snyder’s (R) decision to hand over prison food service to Aramark, one of the largest private prison food vendors in the country.And nibbling rats are just the tip of the disgusting iceberg, you can be sure.
In July, 2014, an Aramark employee discovered an inmate who worked in the kitchen throwing the rodent-marred cakes into the trash. The Aramark worker instructed the inmate to stop tossing the desserts and start slicing off the parts that had visibly been “eaten or pawed at” and adding frosting to cover the cuts. “The Aramark employee allegedly ordered him to cut the sides of the cake off and serve it to the population,” reads one of the July 20, 2014 emails unearthed by a Freedom of Information Act request from the liberal group Progress Michigan. No illnesses resulted from the incident, the state spokesman told the site. In subsequent emails, staff ordered a full cleaning of the kitchen in question and sought a pest control crew.
Aramark, a food service vendor conglomerate that has described its prison contracts as a primary driver of company growth in previous correspondence with shareholders, fired the worker who had ordered the cake served on the following day, according to the emails.
The incident might like an isolated screwup by one reckless individual, but Aramark has earned a reputation for putting the company’s bottom line ahead of prisoners’ well-being in both Michigan and other states. Aramark once served rotten-smelling meatballs that had thawed in a broken freezer, though the company maintains they were not rotten. More than a hundred inmates at another Michigan prison were quarantined with a serious digestive bug that Michigan Department of Corrections officials said was probably linked to food. In Ohio last August, 1,000 incarcerated women threw their lunch trays out in protest after maggots were found on Aramark’s food serving line. The company’s operations have been accused of underfeeding inmates and been linked to prison unrest, including a 2009 riot in a Kentucky facility.
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
It's getting harder every year to find seeds that are not genetically modified to put real farmers out of business and turn a giant profit for Monsanto.
But in some countries, farmers are doing it for themselves.
In the face of overwhelming competition skewed by the rules of free trade, farmers in El Salvador have managed to beat the agricultural giants like Monsanto and Dupont to supply local corn seed to thousands of family farmers. Local seed has consistently outperformed the transnational product, and farmers helped develop El Salvador’s own domestic seed supply–all while outsmarting the heavy hand of free trade.Here in the States, try Seed Savers to find untreated, heirloom, non-GMO seeds.
Monday, March 16, 2015
Remember back in 2010, when nobody thought he had a chance against Jack Conway for Senate, and the Tribble-Toupeed One told Rachel Maddow live on the teevee that restaurant owners should be able to refuse to let black people into their restaurants because FREEDUMBS?
He hasn't changed.
Senator Paul is a history buff. And as an ophthalmologist, he’s interested in the history of science. Except that anyone who actually knows the history of the smallpox vaccine knows that it was anything but voluntary, at least for the many African and African-American slaves the vaccine was experimented on (including by Thomas Jefferson) and whose blood streams served as the best and cheapest way to transport the vaccine across the Americas.
I have no idea whether Paul knows this history, despite being its big and great fan. But it’s not just for rhetorical effect that conservatives and libertarians like Paul and Sarah Palin “invoke slavery for all sorts of things that,” as The Washington Post’s Jonathan Capehart points out, “don’t come anywhere close to matching the evil it represented.”
The “right to health care,” Paul once said, is “basically saying you believe in slavery.” That sounds like a ludicrous statement, except that there’s a reason he, along with other likeminded individualists, can’t stop talking about slavery.SNIP
The ideal of freedom they champion was born in chattel slavery, by the need to measure one’s absolute freedom in inverse relation to another’s absolute slavishness. And try as they might, this patrimony is inescapable: individual supremacy is white supremacy.
That feedback loop, which has its origins in the history of American slavery, has two basic beats: Individual rights (to property, guns, speech, etc.) are freedom. Social rights (to education, medicine, and a decent, dignified life) are slavery.
Sunday, March 15, 2015
No, 19 percent is not a majority, but it's more than Catholics or Mainline Protestants or anybody but the freakazoids, who don't have anything close to the majority, either.
We're stronger than we think. Come out, Kentucky atheists! We have nothing to lose but our minority status.
And the Public Religion Research Institute published an interesting report this week, highlighting the religious diversity by state. In quite a few states, especially in the Northeast, “unaffiliated” wasn’t a majority, but it was a plurality.confrontingbabble-on:
It is time for the religiously unaffiliated to exert their significant influence…to stop religious institutions hijacking the country…
“The U.S. religious landscape is undergoing a dramatic transformation that is fundamentally reshaping American politics and culture,” PRRI Director of Research Dan Cox told The Huffington Post.
Beyond the 23 states with the largest religiously unaffiliated populations, there are 15 states where the second-largest religious group is religiously unaffiliated. Some states have multiple religious affiliations that share the position of largest or second-largest group. That includes Wisconsin, where the largest religious groups are made up of white Catholics (22 percent), the unaffiliated (22 percent) and white mainline Protestants (22 percent).”
Patients in recovery mode:
Alaska: Unaffiliated (28%), Second largest: White evangelical Protestant (15%)
Arizona: Unaffiliated (25%), Second largest: Hispanic Catholic (16%)
California: Unaffiliated (27%), Second largest: Hispanic Catholic (20%)
Colorado: Unaffiliated (28%), Second largest: White mainline Protestant (17%)
Delaware: Unaffiliated (25%), Second largest: White mainline Protestant (20%)
Florida Unaffiliated (21%), Second largest: White evangelical Protestant (17%)
Hawaii: Unaffiliated (26%), Second largest: Other non-white Protestant (24%)
Idaho: Unaffiliated (27%), Second largest: Mormon (20%)
Illinois: Unaffiliated (22%), Second largest: White Catholic (19%)
Maine: Unaffiliated (28%), Second largest: White Catholic (25%)
Michigan: Unaffiliated (24%), Second largest: White evangelical Protestant (18%) and White Catholic (18%)
Montana: Unaffiliated (29%), Second largest: White evangelical Protestant (26%)
Nevada: Unaffiliated (27%), Second largest: Hispanic Catholic (15%)
New Hampshire: Unaffiliated (35%), Second largest: White Catholic (28%)
New Mexico: Unaffiliated (21%), Second largest: Hispanic Catholic (19%)
New York: Unaffiliated (22%) and White Catholic (22%), Second largest: Hispanic Catholic (9%)
Oregon: Unaffiliated (37%), Second largest: White evangelical Protestant (17%)
Vermont: Unaffiliated (32%), Second largest: White Catholic (17%) and White mainline Protestant (17%)
Washington: Unaffiliated (33%), Second largest: White evangelical Protestant (16%)
Condition is still critical:
Connecticut: White Catholic (31%), Second largest: Unaffiliated (22%)
Indiana: White evangelical Protestant (29%), Second largest: Unaffiliated (21%)
Kansas: White evangelical Protestant (26%), Second largest: Unaffiliated (24%)
Kentucky: White evangelical Protestant (39%), Second largest: Unaffiliated (19%)
Saturday, March 14, 2015
That is still true, Mr. President, only because all the other tickets to the middle class - like unionized manufacturing jobs - have been systematically destroyed by the mooching rich. And they're already well on the way to destroying the college degree ticket, too. The only way to save the middle class is to tax the rich out of existence. But you know that.
Full transcript here.
If poor people stopped working, this country would come to a screeching halt. Nothing that really needs to get done - the cooking, the cleaning, the caretaking, the cashiering - would happen, and that would keep anything else from getting done.
If rich people stopped working, nothing would change. Because rich people don't work. They just scheme new ways to steal all the money from working people.
Susie Madrak at Crooks and Liars:
Towns will do anything to harass homeless people now. This is one of the more egregious examples I've seen, taking place in Portland, Oregon:
This past July, a homeless Portland woman was charged with third-degree theft when she plugged her cellphone charger into an outlet on a sidewalk planter box in Old Town.Cases in which people are charged with theft for plugging electronic devices into private outlets are uncommon, but defense attorneys say they’re another example of resources wasted for frivolous offenses.In this case, the theft was first reported by Portland Patrol Inc., and two Portland police officers followed up to issue the woman and her co-defendant, a homeless man who was also charging his cellphone at the planter box outlet, citations to appear in court for third-degree theft of services — a Class C misdemeanor.According to the Electrical Research Institute, it costs about 25 cents a year to charge the average mobile phone. If the phone in this scenario had gone from zero charge to full charge, the cost would have amounted to mere fractions of a penny.“Jackie,” (who did not want her real name used), says she was shocked when four uniformed officers all agreed her actions warranted not only their response, but also charges and a court summons.Jackie has never been convicted of a crime. If this charge led to a conviction, it would mean the difference between checking “no” or “yes” to questions about criminal history on a job or housing application.Her attorney, Metropolitan Public Defender Stacy Du Clos, says Jackie’s main concern at the time was how this pending case might hurt her chances of getting a roof over her head – she’s homeless and on several waiting lists for affordable housing units.Additionally, a theft charge is more likely to be associated with shoplifting or taking personal property, not plugging a charger into an electrical outlet. Jackie says the charge would give the wrong impression of what she had done, should someone see her record.“It’s just my sense of right and wrong, and it just feels so damn wrong,” says Jackie.SNIP
"Jackie" has muscular dystrophy and is living on the street while waiting for a housing slot to open up. What a great country we are.
Friday, March 13, 2015
If a majority of Kentuckians want to reinstate slavery for African-Americans and lynching for undocumented immigrants, would that be a good reason to do so?
From the Herald:
Bucking the national trend, a majority of Kentuckians continues to oppose same-sex marriage, according to the latest Bluegrass Poll.
Fifty-seven percent of registered voters told pollsters they opposed allowing gays and lesbians to marry in Kentucky, up slightly from two Bluegrass Polls last year. Thirty-three percent favored it, down slightly from last year, and 10 percent were not sure.
These results come as the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments April 28 in lawsuits challenging same-sex marriage bans in Kentucky and three other states.
Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/2015/03/12/3742741_bluegrass-poll-majority-remains.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy
Kentucky already bends over and begs for ass-fucking from any company dangling the prospect of three new jobs. What more does Comer want?
Thursday, March 12, 2015
They arrested the first black kids they came across, and kept them in jail for 70 days. $1.5 million is a pittance. These kids' lives are ruined.
I doubt this is a unique incident, or that Louisville Metro police procedures could stand up to the glare of a DOJ investigation.
From the Courier:
Metro Louisville will pay a $1.5 million out-of-court settlement to four young black men who were misidentified and wrongly arrested in March 2014 after mob violence downtown, according to attorneys on both sides.Larry Simon, local counsel for the men, who were dubbed the "Misidentified 4," said details will be announced at 10 a.m. Thursday at a news conference.In a statement issued Tuesday, Simon said attorneys also will announce a "call to action regarding flawed witness identification procedures that have repeatedly resulted in egregious wrongful arrests and convictions."
SNIPThey were arrested through an identification process that the Metro Louisville Police Department acknowledges in its policy manual is inherently suggestive.A Courier-Journal story last March described how a woman reported that she was robbed at gunpoint of her cellphone and purse but, with her boyfriend, could only describe the perpetrators as black, ages 16 to 20, and wearing black hoodies.The story described how Louisville Metro Police confronted the first four black men they found two blocks away — only two of them were wearing hoodies — and violated department policy in allowing the victim and witness to remain together as they identified the men, who were standing on the sidewalk under the glare of a police spotlight.
Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Call your damn state senators, Kentucky, and remember this shit on election day.
Valerie Honeycutt Spears at the Herald:
Henry Clay High School junior Eliza Jane Schaeffer was reaching out on Tuesday to anyone she thought could help remove controversial amendments that threaten a bill that would allow high school students to sit on superintendent screening committees.
House Bill 236, sponsored by Rep. Derrick Graham, D-Frankfort, the House Education Committee chairman, passed in the House and was approved Monday by the Senate Education Committee.
But then Sen. C.B. Embry Jr. R-Morgantown, attached an amendment to the bill that would require transgender students to use school bathrooms designated for males if they were born male and for females if they were born female.
State Sen. Albert Robinson R-London, filed an amendment to House Bill 236 to permit students to voluntarily express religious or political viewpoints in school assignments free from discrimination.
Both amendments, which contain language from individual bills that have not seen movement in the House, threaten the passage of House Bill 236, said Rachel Belin, the student voice team director for the Prichard Committee.
Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/2015/03/10/3738147/republicans-attach-riders-on-transgender.html#storylink=cpy
"Yeah, we'll stop these satanic kids and their prevert friends at the same time, yuk, yuk, yuk."
From the Fairness Alliance:
Because the Kentucky Senate can't just let a bad thing die, they've resurrected the anti-transgender "Bathroom Bully Bill" as an amendment on House Bill 236, legislation Kentucky teenagers have worked hard on to give students a say in helping choose new school superintendents.
From the Courier-Journal story:
"Students are really confused," said Rachel Belin, Student Voice Team director for the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence. "They did all their homework. They followed all the rules, and they are utterly confused why people would try to piggyback on their hard work."
PLEASE call or e-mail your Senator to OPPOSE HB236 Senate Floor Amendment 1. You can leave a message at (800) 372-7181 or click below.
Click here to look up your Senator's e-mail contact and phone number!
Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/2015/03/10/3738147/republicans-attach-riders-on-transgender.html#storylink=cpy
But what's a wounded 4-year-old compared to FREEDUMB!
Karla Ward at the Herald:
A 4-year-old girl was accidentally shot in the leg by one of her parents in Campbellsville on Sunday morning.Ten bucks says not only no criminal charges, but no CPS investigation either. Because dirty dishes are cause to snatch your kids away, but guns are just good parenting.
The initial investigation indicates that one of the girl's parents was repairing a gun when it accidentally went off, according to a news release from Campbellsville police.
When asked whether charges would be filed against the parents, police said Tuesday that they are still investigating.
Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/2015/03/10/3738280_parent-accidentally-shoots-4-year.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
From the Courier:
The Kentucky Republican Party's Executive Committee gave preliminary approval Saturday to U.S. Sen. Rand Paul's request to hold a presidential caucus in 2016 rather than a primary election.
The move would rescue Paul from the consequences of a state law that could have prevented him from seeking both the presidential nomination and renomination for his Senate seat simultaneously.
"I just want to be treated like many other candidates around the country who have not been restricted (from running for two offices at the same time)," Paul said in an interview.
The party's central committee will be asked to formally adopt a more specific plan in August after a committee of 13 people create a detailed proposal that will likely address issues like ballot security, absentee voting and cost of a caucus, which must be borne by the party.
Monday, March 9, 2015
The Tribble-Toupeed One is all for your freedom, as long as you're not a gay person wanting to get married, or a black person wanting to sit down at a lunch counter, or a female person wanting to take care of her reproductive health in private, or a working person wanting a living wage, or a poor person wanting to feed her children, or a homeless person wanting a place to live, or a non-christian person wanting a secular government, or a parent wanting his children protected from food poisoning. or a sick person wanting medical care ....
In short, if you're anyone who's not AynRandy, fuck off and die.
This is why it's hard to take libertarianism seriously. This man is the acknowledged leader of that faction. And he is unable to say that it's none of his business who marries whom or admit that women own their own bodies (but says they do own their children!)It's inconsistent on such a fundamental level that it gives away the game: he's either whoring for the social conservative vote or he's philosophically incoherent. Libertarians believe they are the "principled" members of our political family and yet when push comes to shove the only principle most of them really care about is the one that says they shouldn't have to pay a dime toward the greater good.
Sunday, March 8, 2015
Saturday, March 7, 2015
Money won't get 62 million girls around the world to school, Mr. President. Only freeing them - including the ones right here at home - from the oppression of religion will do that.
Full transcript here.
I was wrong; training cops to more respectfully arrest poor and minority people for minor offenses won't solve the problem.
Only ending the War on (some people who use some categories of) Drugs (tm Lawyers, Guns and Money) and de-criminalizing being poor, minority or homeless will do that.
From The Nation:
What is not discussed in the report is dialing back in any meaningful way the war on drugs, police militarization or the widespread use of “broken windows” policing that has led to the unnecessary criminalization of millions of mostly black and brown people. Well-trained police, following proper procedure, are still going to be engaged in the process of arresting people for mostly low-level offenses, and the burden of that will continue to fall primarily on communities of color, because that is how the system is designed to operate—not because of the bias or misunderstandings of officers. A more respectful and legally justified arrest for marijuana possession is still an arrest that could result in unemployment, loss of federal benefits and the stigma of a drug arrest.
We cannot produce true justice by reforming police procedures. Instead, we need to call into question why we have come to rely so heavily on the police to manage social problems in a time of growing racial and economic inequality.
Friday, March 6, 2015
Yes, We Are Alive, No, We Are Not Moving to Florida, and Stay the Fuck Off of I-65 What Were You Thinking
There are no words, snarky or otherwise, except GLOBAL WARMING MEANS FUCKED UP WEATHER, YOU MORONS, so have some local Kentucky links:
Stuck on I-65 overnight.
Digging out just in time for sub-zero temps
Protecting and serving, for real
Fire them all. Do it now.
If it's happening in Missouri, it's happening everywhere.
During the summer of 2012, one Ferguson police officer detained a 32-year-old African American man who had just finished playing basketball at a park. The officer approached while the man was sitting in his car and resting. The car’s windows appeared to be more heavily tinted than Ferguson’s code allowed, so the officer did have legitimate grounds to question him. But, with no apparent justification, the officer proceeded to accuse the man of being a pedophile. He prohibited the man from using his cell phone and ordered him out of his car for a pat-down search, even though he had no reason to suspect that the man was armed. And when the man objected – citing his constitutional rights – the police officer drew his service weapon, pointed it at the man’s head, and arrested him on eight different counts. The arrest caused the man to lose his job.
Unfortunately, this event appears to have been anything but an isolated incident. Our investigation showed that members of Ferguson’s police force frequently escalate, rather than defuse, tensions with the residents they encounter. And such actions are sometimes accompanied by First Amendment violations – including arresting people for talking back to officers, recording their public activities, or engaging in other conduct that is constitutionally protected.Undercover Blue at Hullabaloo:
This is a department that might properly be prosecuted under RICO and likely won't be. And for the same reason Dick Cheney, the torture master, is still fly fishing instead of swatting flies in a jail cell; for the same reason banksters walk free after defrauding courts, plundering people's homes and throwing families into the street; for the same reason HSBC pays a fine for laundering drug money, and those too poor to pay parking fines face debtor's prison.And if non-white cops start treating white citizens the way white cops have been treating black and hispanic citizens?
Justice, which was never equal in this country, has utterly broken down along class lines, rigged like the economy. The scales of justice aren't just out of balance. They've been thrown out. Medieval is right.
Good. Couple-three centuries of that and we might be ready to start talking about justice.
Read also Steve M.
Thursday, March 5, 2015
The essence of the liberal outlook lies not in what opinions are held, but in how they are held: instead of being held dogmatically, they are held tentatively, and with a consciousness that new evidence may at any moment lead to their abandonment. This is the way opinions are held in science, as opposed to the way in which they are held in theology.
Yes, worse than firehouses. Yes, worse than bullwhips. Yes, worse than lynchings. The KKKops of Ferguson, MO.
The Rude Pundit:
Random Thoughts Reading Through the DOJ's Ferguson Police Report
1. You should read it. It's compelling, and it's like a look into Birmingham in the 1960s, except it's now. It makes you understand that the riots in Ferguson, Missouri, were not simply the result of the shooting death of Michael Brown. It was an explosion that the city had earned after years of abusing its black residents.
Appalling. Disgusting. Now let's say an adult was there, a man with a gun, and he saw the dog biting the kid and he saw the cops stomping his head. At what point do the cops become bad enough that they need to be stopped? At what point are they the bad guys? At what point would you say that the man with the gun needs to do something? Or that the community needs to do something against the cops? At what point would you not blame them if they did? (By the way, there's a whole section on the overuse of force against students by cops in schools.)
5a. Or, if it's you the Ferguson cops are attacking, at what point are you standing your ground? At what point does your self-defense count? Never, of course. You always have to let the cops do whatever they want and hope that someone gets a written reprimand for breaking your skull.
6. The final sickening feeling the Rude Pundit has reading this is caused by the knowledge that this is just one town and that in towns big and small, all over the nation, the same things go on, the same racism, the same violence against citizens, the same. It's a shame that it will probably take a Michael Brown in each town to shine a light on even a small part of it.
6a. Not that the cop who shot Michael Brown will face any charges.
Wednesday, March 4, 2015
Tuesday, March 3, 2015
The next time somebody says that the government doesn't have the money to do something, print out this article, wrap it around a brick and then smack that somebody in the head with it.
There's plenty of money. Trillions of dollars in fact. Blatantly stolen by the motherfucking rich, who are sitting on it and laughing their asses off at the rest of it.
Let's get it back.
Roads are crumbling, bridges require repairs, schools need upgrades and public pension systems remain underfunded. How can states and cities find the money to address any of these problems? One way could be through their tax codes.Join Kentuckians for the Commonwealth on Economic Justice Day at the Capitol. Find your legislators and ask them why Kentucky taxes working people more than the lazy rich (in Kentucky, poors pay 12 percent in state taxes; the rich pay 6 percent.)
According to a new report, if the rich paid the same state and local tax rate as the middle class, states and cities would have hundreds of billions of dollars more a year in public revenue.
Last month, the nonpartisan Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy found that the poorest 20 percent of households pay on average more than twice the effective state and local tax rate (10.9 percent) as the richest 1 percent of taxpayers (5.4 percent).
That preceded the new report from the left-leaning groups Good Jobs First and the Keystone Research Center which finds that if tax laws were changed to compel the highest income earners to pay the same rate as everyone else, states and localities would rake in up to $128 billion a year in new revenue. If just the top 1 percent of earners were compelled to pay the typical middle-class tax rate, the report says the change would raise more than $68 billion in new annual revenues.
Join us on Wednesday for KFTC’s Economic Justice Lobby Day in Frankfort!
We’ll of course be lobbying on bills that have an impact – minimum wage, housing and renters’ rights, tax fairness and revenue that makes sense.
It’s also important that our legislators understand the impact of the wealth gap in Kentucky. So we’ll be doing a demonstration to lift up Kentucky’s income gap to legislators, reminding them of their important role in closing the gap with good economic policy that puts people first.
Meet in the Capitol Annex Room 171 starting at 8:30 a.m.! Wear black if you can, and bring something small that symbolizes what economic stability means to you. Register here to let us know you’re coming!
KFTC’s Economic Justice Lobby Day is Wednesday, March 4, and you can take action today, too!
HB 374 would close some corporate tax loopholes to raise about $66 million in revenue. This revenue would fund a 7.5% state Earned Income Tax Credit, which would help low-income working families become more financially secure. Rep. Jim Wayne is sponsoring the bill, and Speaker Greg Stumbo is the primary cosponsor.
The bill is getting called up in the Appropriations and Revenue Committee on Tuesday at 10 a.m. We need to make sure that the members of that committee have the opportunity to vote on the bill.
Call the Legislative Message Line at 1-800-372-7181 (open 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.). Leave a message for your representative, the House Appropriations and Revenue Committee, and House leadership: “I’m another Kentuckian for tax fairness. Please vote yes on HB 374, and send it to the Senate.”
Learn more from the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy:
Monday, March 2, 2015
Go ahead, steal her whole speech. Senator Professor Warren won't mind.
Recently Republicans seem to have discovered the struggles of America’s middle class. Out of nowhere, they’re suddenly talking about this problem. Well that’s great, but talk is cheap and when it comes to action, these Republicans seem to have amnesia about what they’ve actually done to hard-working Americans."Put up or shut up" goes for you, too, Kentucky DINOs. Start campaigning with this speech right now, or you're not only going to lose the Governor's Office this November, you're going to lose the House next year, too.
Republican trickle-down policies created tax breaks and loopholes for the wealthy while leaving working families to pick up the pieces. I’ll believe Republicans care about what’s happening to America’s middle class when they stop blocking legislation that would require billionaires to pay taxes at least at the same rate that teachers and firefighters do.
Republican trickle-down economics blocked increases in the minimum wage that would have lifted 14 million people out of poverty. I’ll believe that Republicans care about what’s happening to America’s working families when they stop blocking minimum wage increases and agree that no one, no one in this country should work full time and still live in poverty.
Republican trickle-down economics squeezed billions of dollars of profits out of people who had to borrow money to go to college. I’ll believe Republicans care about what’s happening to America’s future when they agree to refinance student loans.
I could go on, but the point is the same: Talk is cheap. It’s time for action — action that will strengthen America’s middle-class families and build a strong future, action that will produce good jobs now and in the future. It is time to put up or shut up.
I have a message for my Republican colleagues: You control Congress. Stop talking about helping the middle class, and start doing it.