Thursday, December 28, 2017

Jackass Whisperers

Bad Kitty in Wonkette comments:


Fuck wasting any more time on them. VOTE.


The Merry Christmas Atheist

As desperately as conservatives want this "Merry Christmas" thing to be, well, a thing, it's not. Every Jew and Muslim and Hindu I've ever met has no fuckin' problem with "Merry Christmas." A few dicks might, but a few dicks will always be dickish. And some of those dicks exploit minor dickishness in order to show that they are major dicks. 

Trump taking credit for "bringing Christmas back...bigger and better" is like standing in a rainstorm in a boat in the middle of a reservoir that was always full and declaring you have ended a drought. As much of a liar as you are, there will always be people who believe there was a drought and that you made it rain. But then again, that's how we got religions.

Real, confident atheists don't think it's offensive to say, "Merry Christmas." We think it's adorable.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

No, Trump Won't Be the Death of American Christianity

I wish, but I seriously doubt it. Nevertheless, Frank Schaeffer nails the mainstream christian weaknesses that are enabling the Orange Loser.

Tuesday, author and former evangelical Christian right leader, Frank Schaeffer, blew the whistle on the game of footsie being played by the neo-fascist movement and their religionist endeavors. He predicted dire consequences for everyone involved. "You can bet on this," he wrote: "60 percent-plus of Americans will exit the Trump era convinced that conservative Christianity is just white identity politics. They will be right. The white evangelical and conservative Roman Catholic alliance is comprised of the walking dead." 
Trump is setting up a generational schism that will contribute to evangelical and conservative Roman Catholic Christianity’s final American crisis. This crisis began when science proved to anyone with a brain that whole swaths of fundamentalist faith are plain stupid. Nevertheless Christianity for a time almost survived its denial of reality because in their daily lives Christians behaved in rational ways.

No more. These folks didn’t stop at just believing in Noah’s Ark in church but also elected Donald Trump! American Christianity will not survive this marriage to the Trumped Republican Party’s moral and political fall.

When Social Security is cut, Medicaid destroyed, the poor dying as healthcare is removed, our waterways fouled, consumer protection obliterated, and Nazi marchers in the ascendant-- Americans will remember who to thank.

Thanks to Trump, Old, White, Misinformed, Bigot are the first words that come to mind when people under 35 hear the word Evangelical.

The association between white conservative Roman Catholic Christians, white evangelicals and Trump-- who is so proudly un-Christian in word and deed-- is undoing the religious right’s future. In evangelicals’ and conservative Roman Catholic’s muddled brains Trump is defending unborn children and Americans endangered by Islam. In reality Trump has destroyed their brand forever by really only defending himself and his utterly corrupt family’s financial interests. He’s doing this even at the expense of America’s governmental agencies that Trump supposedly leads such as the FBI. He’s attacking our own bulwark of democracy and governance as an act of pre-emptive self-preservation because the Mueller Russia probe closes in. And his evangelical and conservative Roman Catholic storm troopers are echoing Trump’s lies for him.

Christians deny the heart of their gospel when they’re seen to excuse lies, rationalize incompetence and impose double standards. In the Trump era evangelicals and conservative Roman Catholics have offered themselves as exhibit #1 in the secular case for rejecting all Christians as toxic, hypocritical and downright dumb.

White evangelical Christians and conservative Roman Catholics have defended, rationalized and excused Trump’s-- and even Roy Moore’s-- conduct they’d never, ever have condoned in a Democrat. But according to their own theology, there are not two standards of morality depending on judicial appointments for those who claim to have “The Truth.”

Is Trump doing God’s work? Not so much even by conservative Christian standards. Aside from appointing “pro-life” justices, Trump is extremely unpopular with most because he’s enabling a billionaire’s agenda widely hated by everyone outside the GOP leadership, especially by millennials. How has even the white “pro-life” American Jesus wound up helping to make the Koch brothers richer at the expense of poor children?

This betrayal of Christian faith for politics didn’t start with Trump. Where were scandalized white evangelicals when their very own evangelical George W. Bush left Iraqi Christians to face jihadi violence? Of about one million Christians, some 900,000 were ethnically cleansed most of them while US troops still occupied Iraq.

As they do now with Trump evangelicals proved then with Bush that the slavish partisan politics of the GOP drove them, not loyalty to their faith let alone to their fellow Christians. Was it because those particular “brothers and sisters in Christ” were brown that their deaths, rapes and exodus left white evangelicals unmoved? I think it was.

Where Christian leaders like my late father Francis Schaeffer demanded honesty, white evangelical and Roman Catholic Trump supporters rationalize lies. Where Christians like C.S. Lewis once sought evidence of ideological consistency, white evangelical and Roman Catholic Trump supporters proudly glory in Roy Moore-like biblical/political incoherence.

Doesn’t scripture repeatedly condemn the exact kind of moral compromises that white evangelical and conservative Roman Catholics make every day to keep supporting Trump say, even after he endorses a pedophile? Don’t they believe those scriptures like this one anymore: “A [leader] then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior” (1 Timothy 3:2).

Apparently not. They believe in Ayn Rand, power and money if you judge by actions rather than words.

If Franklin Graham, Jerry Falwell Jr and Dr. Dobson or the leaders among the conservative Catholic American bishops were actual Christian leaders not far right white supremacists these days here’s what they’d say: “There’s nothing more dangerous to the church than a lack of faith shown when we rationalize Trump’s bad acts out of a misguided and faithless sense of political necessity.”

And that is what they are not saying. Like Sherlock Holmes’ case he solved based on the fact that a dog did not bark, the Conservative Roman Catholic and white evangelical leadership’s silence speaks volumes. It is the silence of spiritual death. And no resurrection awaits this crucifixion.

R.I.P. Jesus.
The solution, of course, is to just stop pretending there's an invisible sky wizard running the world.  You wanna see who's responsible?  Look in the mirror.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

What Taxing the Rich Brought Us

For more than 40 years, working Americans have paid through the ass for tax cuts for the rich. No more.  Tax the motherfuckers out of existence with 90 percent tax on investment income - the kind they get by sitting on their ass - and estates - which they get by being born - and use it to repay working Americans with infrastructure and renewable energy and publicly owned high-speed wifi and free college and universal health care and basic incomes.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Repug To-Do List

It's nothing new; they've been working this for decades.  And it's not just Congress.  While you're not looking, the repugs in the state legislature and your county commission are beavering away at every law, regulation, program and policy that helps anyone who is not already obscenely rich.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

"Religious Liberty" Doesn't Save Bigoted Kentucky Judge

It's not like he refused to bake a cake for a gay wedding, but the Judicial Conduct Commission still slapped him down.

From the Herald:

A former judge who refused to handle adoption cases involving gay parents was publicly reprimanded Tuesday by the Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission.

The commission found that W. Mitchell Nance, the former family court judge for Barren and Metcalfe counties, violated judicial rules. Bryan Beauman, a Lexington attorney who represents Nance, could not be immediately reached for comment.

Nance’s retirement became effective Saturday night. Nevertheless, the commission said in its order that “a public reprimand is warranted and is the only sanction available.”

Nance issued an order in April requiring lawyers to notify him if they had an adoption case involving a gay parent or same-sex couple so he could recuse himself from the case.

Nance said his religious convictions prevented him from handling such adoptions, because adoption of a child by a “practicing homosexual” would never be in the child's best interest.

The commission charged that Nance violated a number of rules.

Those included rules that require judges to uphold standards of conduct, comply with the law and act in ways that promote public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary. Judges are barred from showing bias or prejudice based on race, sex, religion, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation or socioeconomic status.

Nance also put his recusal rule in place without required permission from the state’s chief justice.
Nance’s attorneys said it is his sincere religious belief that “the divinely created order of nature is that each human being has a male parent and a female parent,” and that the only adoption that serves a child’s best interest would be one that would create the chance for the child to have a parent of each gender.

Read more here:

Read more
Nance issued an order in April requiring lawyers to notify him if they had an adoption case involving a gay parent or same-sex couple so he could recuse himself from the case.
Nance said his religious convictions prevented him from handling such adoptions, because adoption of a child by a “practicing homosexual” would never be in the child's best interest.
The commission charged that Nance violated a number of rules.
Those included rules that require judges to uphold standards of conduct, comply with the law and act in ways that promote public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary. Judges are barred from showing bias or prejudice based on race, sex, religion, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation or socioeconomic status.
Nance also put his recusal rule in place without required permission from the state’s chief justice.
Nance’s attorneys said it is his sincere religious belief that “the divinely created order of nature is that each human being has a male parent and a female parent,” and that the only adoption that serves a child’s best interest would be one that would create the chance for the child to have a parent of each gender.

Read more here:

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Bevin Picks Fight With Wrong Black Woman

There is one and only one black female legislator in the Kentucky General Assembly.  She is Attica Scott.  She took that seat in the 2016 Democratic primary, took it away from longtime wingnut freakazoid Tom Riner, who was so entrenched that the repugs didn't even bother to field a candidate.

Don't mess with Attica Scott.

But Governor I Got Mine Fuck You is a moron.

From Deborah Yetter at the Courier:

State Rep. Attica Scott checked Twitter early Monday hoping to read a post praising charter schools by Gov. Matt Bevin, a Republican who relies heavily on social media to spread his message.

Instead, Scott — a Democrat and the only African-American woman serving in the Kentucky General Assembly — was shocked to find herself among the growing body of people blocked from Bevin's social media accounts.

And Scott, who believes she is the only one of Kentucky's 138 legislators to be blocked from Bevin's account, said she knows why.

"It's pretty clear to me that it's gender and race," Scott said.

By Monday afternoon, Scott's access to Bevin's Twitter account had been restored.

And in a claim that appeared to raise even more questions, Bevin spokeswoman Amanda Stamper said that no one from the governor's office "knowingly blocked" Scott from the  Twitter account, @GovMattBevin. Scott's access was restored and the password to the account was changed, Stamper said in an email.

More: Bevin's office broke law after not saying how it blocks people on Facebook, Beshear rules
Scott said she discovered Monday afternoon that she was no longer blocked but isn't buying the explanation that no one "knowingly" blocked her.

The temporary block triggered a flurry of tweets, most condemning the governor.

"It would not have changed had they not felt the heat," Scott said.

Further, Scott says, it raises questions about how many people have access to the Twitter account that appears to come directly from Bevin.

"At no point do I recall seeing any posting or messages from him that his account was being managed by others," Scott said. "As far as I know and am concerned, he manages that account."

Stamper did not immediately reply to further questions about how many people have access to the governor's Twitter account and who might have blocked Scott.

Scott said she was especially concerned about being blocked because as a lawmaker representing Louisville's 41st House District, she needs to keep up with official announcements and other pronouncements by the governor. Because Bevin often eschews other media in favor of Facebook and Twitter, that's the best way to keep herself and her constituents informed, she said.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Merry Gunmas

Guns are just so very convenient for those holiday family arguments.

A man is dead after being shot during an argument with his grandfather in Laurel County.

The shooting happened in a home on Arthur Ridge Road in East Bernstadt, according to a press release from the Laurel County’s Sheriff’s Office.
Laurel County Sheriff deputies say 26-year-old Anthony Ryan Thompson, of East Bernstadt, was arguing with his grandfather around 7 a.m. Sunday.

At some point during the argument, the two got into “a scuffle,” and police say a pistol fired, hitting Thompson in the chest. Thompson died at the scene. It was not immediately clear if Thompson or his grandfather was the one that fired the shot.
Police will present the case to the grand jury for possible charges after an investigation.
Wonder if that will discourage any of the people stealing guns out of cars in Nelson County, about 150 miles northwest of Laurel County.

Probably not.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

The Enemy is the Money Power

Everything that's wrong with the nation and the world comes down to plutocracy: rule by the rich.

Noah at Down with Tyranny:

Friday, December 15, 2017

The Proud Deplorables

Their candidates are shit, and they are shit. Stop making excuses for them.


I keep hearing this. And it's true that the rest of the country disdains them. It's because they are voting for cretinous monsters who are destroying the country and possibly the world. Maybe if they stop doing that the rest of us would have a little bit more respect for them.

Seriously --- pussy grabbers and child molesters? They have lost all common decency. And they expect the rest of the country to just sit back and say nothing? 

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Quote of the Day

It is the constitutional obligation of the Democrats to beat Republicans anywhere and everywhere until consistent defeat wrings out the insanity that elected Donald Trump, and that nominated Roy Moore, from a Republican Party gone blind and mad.

Do Not Celebrate Dan Johnson's Suicide

It just takes all of them - Johnson, his repug party supporters - off the hook.

Motherfucker should have had to stand trial.

From the Herald:

A Kentucky lawmaker who on Tuesday denied accusations that he molested a 17-year-old girl in 2012 died Wednesday night of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to the Bullitt County coroner.

State Rep. Dan Johnson died of a single gunshot wound on Greenwell Ford Road at an undetermined time Wednesday night, Bullitt County coroner Dave Billings confirmed. 

Gov. Matt Bevin tweeted the following statement Wednesday night: “Saddened to hear of tonight’s death of KY Representative Dan Johnson...My heart breaks for his wife and children...These are heavy days in Frankfort and in America...May God shed His grace on us all...We sure need it...”
No, Governor I Got Mine Fuck You, your invisible sky wizard is not going to save you or the repugs from the righteous wrath of voters.

But cowardly Johnson managed to escape the righteous wrath of a jury.

Read more here:

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Alabama GodDAMN

Bask in it.

No more excuses, motherfuckers.  Doug Jones ran as a bonafide liberal in the reddest of the red states, and won.  He's more proudly liberal than a few blue-state "Democrats" I can name.

Yeah, yeah, he ran against Jeffrey Dahmer, but from now on every repug candidate in the country is going to have to run with "supports child molester" tattooed on his forehead.

And every Democratic candidate gets to say "I'm on the side of the guy who sent cowardly, murdering Klan motherfuckers to prison."

Just one more thing: African-American voters gave Jones this win.  That's where the Democratic votes are. All you have to do to get them is run as a real goddamn Democrat.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Remember That Repugs Destroyed the Economy

The only way to stop this catastrophe is to vote in a Democratic Congress is 2018.  That means you should be out right now knocking on doors and getting Democratic voters off their asses.


As Republicans in the House and Senate hash out their tax bill differences in a conference committee behind closed doors, with the goal of producing a final bill before the holiday break, conservative economists tell TPM that the policies likely to become law will wreak havoc on the country for many years to come. Though Republicans insisted repeatedly over the past few weeks that the $1.4 trillion in tax cuts, most of them geared toward wealthy individuals and corporations, would pay for themselves by stimulating economic growth, they presented no evidence to support their claims.

Instead, the economists and former government officials predicted, the bill will drive up the federal deficit, shrink and destabilize the health care market, exacerbate already historic income inequality, and pressure Congress to make deep cuts to the social safety net and government programs.

When you're cleaning a millionaire's toilets with your tongue for 50 cents an hour, remember that repugs voted this motherfucker in while every Democrat voted against it.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

It Will Be Anarchy

And anarchy is exactly what the freakazoids want.
Although the Court could reinvigorate the principle it stated in the Boy Scouts case, the consequence would be anarchy. It would allow anyone to violate any law if obeying it would conventionally be taken to convey a message with which the objector disagrees.

There is a similar absurdity in Phillips’s claim that the state is discriminating on the basis of viewpoint because the antidiscrimination law, as applied, “favors cake artists who support same-sex marriage over those like Phillips who do not.” The law makes no reference at all to viewpoint. It just prohibits discrimination. It is true that the law favors those who oppose the conduct it prohibits over those who would like to engage in it. But that is true of every law. Again, there is no way to articulate the principle behind this claim that is not an invitation to chaos.
But Wonkette really nails it.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Endorsing Pedophilia

Recognizing Sacrifice vs Collaboration

Speaking of racist murdering cops, someone who made real sacrifices to stop it finally got some deserved recognition.

Public appearances have been few and far between for Colin Kaepernick since he parted ways with the San Francisco 49ers in the spring, but on Tuesday night, he was in New York to receive Sports Illustrated’s Muhammad Ali Legacy Award for the movement he began in late 2016 when he took a knee during the national anthem at NFL games to protest police brutality and racial injustice.
The award was presented by none other than Beyonce, who famously paid tributeto the Black Lives Matter movement at the 2016 Super Bowl halftime show.

The performer thanked Kaepernick for his “selfless heart,” “conviction,” and “personal sacrifice” — alluding to the fact that despite his talent and history of success, the quarterback has not been signed by an NFL team this season because of the protest.
“Colin took action with no fear of consequence or repercussion, only hope to change the world for the better,” Beyonce said. “To change perception, to change the way we treat each other, especially people of color. We’re still waiting for the world to catch up.”
She also called out the people who have questioned Kaepernick’s patriotism because of the protest, and have tried to twist his message from being anti-police brutality to anti-military and anti-American.
“It’s been said that racism is so American, that when we protest racism, some assume we are protesting America,” she said. “So, let’s be very clear. Colin has always been very respectful of the individuals who selfless serve and protect our country and our communities and our families. His message is solely focused on social injustice for historically disenfranchised people. Let’s not get that mistaken.”
Kaepernick, who has not spoken publicly often this year, expressed his gratitude for the honor, and reinforced his commitment to continue following in Ali’s activist footsteps and fighting to end the systematic oppression of minorities in America, with or without a job as an NFL quarterback.

Kaepernick tweeted:

Though I never had the pleasure of meeting Muhammad Ali, he mentored me without ever meeting me. He in many ways laid the foundation of what I saw as the zenith of athlete-activism and perfecting the utilization of your platform as an athlete to force conversations about how America was not living up to what America professes to be. Lonnie Williams, the wife of Muhammad Ali was in attendance tonight. I am equally honored to share this space with her. She once said that, “Muhammad’s legacy is not just for me and his children and grandchildren, it’s a legacy for the world.” I accept this award, not for myself, but on behalf of the people, because if it were not for my love of the people, I would not have protested. If it were not for the peoples willingness to support me, I would not be on this stage today. Thank you very much to Sports Illustrated for the honor of the Muhammad Ali Legacy Award. I am humbled and honored to share this with the people. 

“I say this as a person who receives credit for using my platform to protest systemic oppression, racialized injustice and the dire consequences of anti-blackness in America,” Kaepernick said. “I accept this award not for myself, but on behalf of the people. Because if it were not for my love of the people, I would not have protested. And if it was not for the support from the people, I would not be on this stage today. With or without the NFL’s platform, I will continue to work for the people because my platform is the people.”
The 30-year-old is currently suing the NFL and its owners, alleging that the league has colluded to keep him unemployed during the 2017 season because of his protest during the national anthem. He’s also kept busy during his time as an unsigned free agent, continuing his million dollar pledge, which donates $100,000 a month to organizations fighting oppression, and running the Know Your Rights Camp, a free youth campaign that teaches participants about education, opportunities, self-empowerment, and their rights when interacting with law enforcement.
Unfortunately, some players are letting themselves be co-opted, while others are standing strong with Kaepernick.
NFL owners have, to much fanfare, offered to donate $89 million to “aid causes important to the African American community”—in return, although this is not explicit, they expect players who have been protesting racial inequality during the anthem to shut up and play. Instead of being received as a victory, this offer has caused very public divisions among these activist athletes. Some are describing this offer as a vindication and want to take the money. Others are rejecting the offer as “a farce,” and splitting from the “Players Coalition” that has been negotiating with ownership.
On one side is the Players Coalition led by Malcolm Jenkins. Jenkins has been attempting to address criminal-justice reform by meeting with law enforcement, doing ride-alongs with police, endorsing small-bore legislation in Congress, and taking chummy photos in DC with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. (After speaking to Ryan about criminal-justice issues, Ryan tweeted their photo with the caption, “That moment when half of your fantasy football team shows up at your workplace.”) This is the Players Coalition strategy for change.

On the other side are those like San Francisco 49er Eric Reid, Seattle Seahawk Michael Bennett, and Miami Dolphins Kenny Stills and Michael Thomas: players inspired to act by Colin Kaepernick’s use of the anthem space to protest racism and police violence. They see change coming from a willingness to organize outside the official corridors of power and look to support grassroots political action agitating for change. They don’t want to sit down with Paul Ryan and hear about his fantasy football team. They want to pressure him. It’s a disagreement about where change actually comes from: whether it is handed down from above or achieved from below. It’s the difference between calling for peace and calling for justice.


First, while $89 million sounds like a big number, it is stretched out over a number of years and works out to roughly $250,000 per year per owner, or almost half the minimum salary for a drafted player.
This money is also not going to be just handed over to players to distribute as they see fit. The NFL owners—30 white billionaires and one South Asian billionaire—will have decisive say over where their funds flow.


These speak to the different goals of the Eric Reid faction of players: They want to keep the spotlight on police violence, social justice, and aid organizations that help people navigate oppression. It’s the difference between philanthropy and activism.

No, a jury did NOT find a white cop guilty of murdering an unarmed black man.

After a state jury mistrial on murder, the piece of shit pleaded guilty to federal charges of violating civil rights.  He'll get 20 years in prison, and the judge called it "murder,"but This. Is. Not. Justice.

Not until white cops stop shooting black men and women because the cops are sure that even an all-white jury will find them guilty.

From Crooks and Liars.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

KY-06 Officially a Free-for-All

You just relax, Candy.  Four dems in the primary means you can skate to re-election.  Pay no attention to money-raising and the Democratic voter enthusiasm and the candidate-strengthening effect of a primary fight.  You're cruisin'.

From the Herald:

After months of will-he, won’t-he whispering among Kentucky Democrats, Lexington Mayor Jim Gray made it official early Tuesday: He’s running for Congress.

“We need to bring people together; we need to reach across partisan lines,” Gray said as he launched his campaign in Berea. “This is why I’m running for Congress. Lexington, fortunately, is on the right path. Our country is not. And this is the time for citizens, for leaders to step up.”

Gray enters the race as the presumed favorite in a Democratic field that includes former Marine Corps fighter pilot Amy McGrath, state Sen. Reggie Thomas and perennial candidate Geoff Young. 

The winner of the May primary will take on U.S. Rep. Andy Barr, a Lexington Republican in his third term in Congress.

Read more here:

But It's the Christians Who Are the Only Victims

I don't think this story accurately portrays how courageous this boy really is to endure the abuse that only freakazoids hiding behind the unconstitutional cover of governmental authority can dish out.Yo

Because yes, in Kentucky, taxpayer-supported public fucking schools are openly and blatantly forcing children to endure religious indoctrination.

Coming soon from a homophobic bakery to public facilities near you.

From the Herald:

Heather Estes says her son, fifth-grader Devin Estes, has been bullied by other students at Stanton Elementary in Powell County and has been given a hard time by teachers because he doesn’t believe in God and doesn’t attend a morning religious service at the school. 

“They run it like a Christian school,” Estes told the Herald-Leader. “They have this program called the Upper Room. When I first got the permission slip, I asked around: What is the Upper Room? Why would I have to sign for something that’s during school hours?

“It’s like a little Sunday School program that they have during school hours,” she said.

“I don’t think it’s fair that they bully me because I’m not religious or Christian,” Devin, 10, told the Herald-Leader. “Because I don’t bully them. I’m fine with them being Christian. But for some reason, they are not fine with me being atheist.”

“It makes me feel like a bad person,” he said in a video his mother made one morning at the assembly. “I don’t want to feel like I’m a bad person.”
Don't think you're immune, blue-staters. The Supreme Court is getting ready to gut the Establishment Clause and bring freakazoid authority to every public facility near you.

Read more here:

Read more here:

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

The Tories Are Winning

We should never have let the motherfucking traitors back into the country.

It is a personality type committed to maintaining the "natural" order.

America was very good to New World royalty. They invested in a political party. They're preparing to close on a country.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Not a Person

Congress can pass all the unconstitutional, anti-scientific, inhumane misogynistic crap it wants, because one fact cancels it all.

* A federal judge struck down one of the anti-abortion movement’s most draconian laws.
This week, U.S. District Court Judge Lee Yeakel ruled that Senate Bill 8, a Texas law which restricted a common second-trimester abortion procedure, was unconstitutional.
In a pointed decision on November 22, Yeakel said that the bill “does not further the health of the woman before the fetus is viable.”
“That a woman may make the decision to have an abortion before a fetus may survive outside her womb is solely and exclusively the woman’s decision. The power to make this decision is her right,” Yeakel wrote. “Once the Supreme Court has defined the boundaries of a constitutional right, a district court may not redefine those boundaries. Further, the role of this district court is to preserve a right, not to search for a way to evade or lessen the right.”
"Solely and exclusively the woman's decision."

Start making signs.  We're going to need them. 

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Working Americans No Longer Citizens, Just Peasants

D.R. Tucker at Political Animal:

The Republican tax deform (that’s not a spelling error) bill passed by the Senate on a 51-49 vote early this morning is nothing short of a hate crime against the economically disadvantaged, a declaration of holy war against the poor. In supporting this bill, the GOP has made it clear that for all practical purposes, the party wishes to, in effect, strip anyone not in the one percent of the benefits of citizenship.
Remember: Every single Democratic Senator voted against this un-democratic, un-American monstrosity. And every single repug Senator except Bob Corker voted for it - including Kentucky's Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul.

The deadline for filing to run in Kentuckjy's 100 state house elections and 19 state senate elections is January 29.  The people who win those seats will re-district the whole state and decide whether the repug servants of the rich or the Democratic people's representatives will prevail for the next generation.

Friday, December 1, 2017

All Great Wealth is Stolen

There's an old saying that behind every great fortune is a crime.  That ain't the half of it.

Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates are, together, richer than the half of the population of the United States. Bezos was the fortunate recipient of an abrupt surge in the value of Amazon stock that has given him a net worth of over 100 billion dollars. Which makes this comment particularly appropriate:
One of the best soundbites I’ve heard about modern economics is (paraphrased)) “It’s not possible to earn a billion dollars. It is possible to steal a billion dollars.”
There is nobody smart enough, hardworking enough, trained enough and dedicated enough to earn a billion dollars without leveraging corrupt systems and exploiting people.
The poverty threshold in America is $11,490 for one person. If someone has a billion dollars, that is 87,032 times the poverty line.
It’s possible for someone to be twice as smart as another worker. It’s possible for them to be four or five times as hardworking. It’s possible for one person to have ten times the training of another person. So if you have one person that is half as smart, a fifth as hardworking, and a tenth as trained, they should reasonably earn one percent of the other. That’s the very outside figure. But anyone who takes in more than a million dollars per year did not earn that, they stole it. They found a vulnerable system to exploit or they found a group of people to cheat. Maybe they did it legally. Maybe they paid someone to make it legal to do that. It happens. But “earn”? Actually -deserving- that much money because of their merits and efforts? No.
I don’t mind some inequities in wealth — I buy into capitalism just enough to think that a motivating reward system for human behavior is a good thing — but we’re well beyond what is fair or reasonable. I can live with some people making a million dollars a year, but only if we’re also making sure that no one has to live in rank poverty. But someone “earning” billions while huge numbers can barely keep food on the table, can’t afford rent, can’t go to a doctor when they need to, and their children have no opportunities for a good education…that is an obscenity.

Typical Repug Tax Bill on Steroids

If it didn't fuck the middle class and poor to pour more billions in billionaire's pockets, repugs wouldn't vote for it.

I’ve sort of given up on the latest batch of estimates about the effect of the tax bill. They all say the same thing: It gives big cuts to the rich; big cuts to corporations; big cuts to hedge fund zillionaires; and a few crumbs for the middle class that disappear over time. And none of this has the slightest effect. Republicans just don’t care. It doesn’t matter that the economy is strong and doesn’t need a tax cut. It doesn’t matter that CBO hasn’t had time to produce an official estimate of the bill. It doesn’t matter that American corporations are already among the lowest-taxed in the world. It doesn’t matter that the bill will have virtually no effect on growth. It doesn’t matter that the rich have done so well over the past few decades that they hardly need another windfall.

Republicans are just going to do it, and that’s all there is to it. So why not turn off your brain and go read about Prince Harry instead? He’s also rich, but at least he doesn’t spend his time whining about how meager his allowance is.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

New Renewables Now Cheaper Than Existing Fossil Fuels

Oil, natural gas and nuclear are deader than coal, and their corpses stink even worse.  Get on board, Kentucky: the clean energy train is leaving the station.

In one of the fastest and most astonishing turnarounds in the history of energy, building and running new renewable energy is now cheaper than just running existing coal and nuclear plants in many areas.
A widely-used yearly benchmarking study — the Levelized Cost of Energy Analysis (LCOE) from the financial firm Lazard Ltd. — reached this stunning conclusion: In many regions “the full-lifecycle costs of building and operating renewables-based projects have dropped below the operating costs alone of conventional generation technologies such as coal or nuclear.
Lazard focused on the cost of a power for a plant over its entire lifetime in North America, and how the “increasing economic advantage of renewables in the U.S.” will drive even deeper penetration of solar and wind here.
But Lazard also makes a key global point: It’s more expensive to operate conventional energy sources in the developing world than it is in the United States. So the advantage renewables have over conventional sources is even larger in the rapidly growing electricity markets like India and China.
Since power from new renewables is cheaper than power from existing coal and nuclear, it’s no surprise that the lifetime cost of new renewables is much cheaper than new coal and nuclear power. And that gap is growing.
Lazard notes that in North America, the cost for utility scale solar and wind power dropped 6 percent last year, while the price for coal remained flat and the cost of nuclear soared. “The estimated levelized cost of energy for nuclear generation increased ~35 percent versus prior estimates, reflecting increased capital costs at various nuclear facilities currently in development,” the analysis found.
Indeed, as Lazard shows in this remarkable chart, while solar and wind have dropped dramatically in price since 2009, nuclear power has simply priced itself out of the market for new power.
The lifecycle cost of electricity from new nuclear plants is now $148 per megawatt-hour, or 14.8 cents per kilowatt, while it is 5 c/kwh for utility scale solar and 4.5 c/kwh for wind. By comparison, the average price for electricity in United States is 11 cents per kWh.
So it’s no big shock that there’s only one new nuclear power plant still being built in the United States — or that even existing power plants are struggling to stay competitive.
Indeed, over half of all existing U.S. nuclear power plants are “bleeding cash,” according to a Bloomberg New Energy Finance report released earlier this summer. Even the draft report from the U.S. Department of Energy staff for Secretary Rick Perry conceded that coal and nuclear are simply no longer economic.
Right now, as the chart above shows, new solar and wind are actually cheaper than new gas plants. The variability of solar and wind still give new gas power an edge in some markets. But with the price of electricity storage, especially lithium-ion batteries, coming down sharply, the future of renewable energy is sunnier than ever.