Wednesday, June 28, 2017

No Compromising on Health Care

 Like I keep sayin', there is no compromising with people who want you dead.
 
Pretending that both parties just have very different approaches to solving a commonly agreed upon problem is really just a lie. It’s not true. One side is looking for ways to increase the number of people who have real health insurance and thus reasonable access to health care and the other is trying to get the government out of the health care provision business with the inevitable result that the opposite will be the case.

If you’re not clear on this fundamentally point, the whole thing does get really confusing. How can it be that both sides flatly refuse to work together at all? As Bash puts it, “Why can’t these parties work together on something that is such a huge part of the economy, that is something that is so vital to everybody’s lives, all of their constituents’ lives, [it’s] mind boggling.”

If you had an old building and one group wanted to refurbish and preserve it and the other wanted to tear it down, it wouldn’t surprise you that the two groups couldn’t work together on a solution. It’s an either/or. You’re trying to do two fundamentally opposite things, diametrically opposed. There’s no basis for cooperation or compromise because the fundamental goal is different. This entire health care debate has essentially been the same. Only the coverage has rarely captured that. That’s a big failure. It also explains why people get confused and even fed up.

Bevin Says RepugNoCare Doesn't Kill Enough People Fast Enough

A bill deliberately designed to kill tens of thousands of working people in order to give a trillion-dollar tax cut to the already obscenely wealthy - like himself and his buddies - is not cruel and stupid enough for Governor Piece of Shit.

Kentucky's Republican governor said he reluctantly supports the Senate's plan to replace the Affordable Care Act and blamed its shaky prospects for passage on "mushy moderates" who "don't have enough spine" to pass the bill.

Kentucky was one of 31 states that expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. It did so under a previous Democratic governor who supported the law. The expansion added another 400,000 people to Kentucky's Medicaid program, causing the state to have among the largest coverage gains in the country.

Bevin told WVHU radio host Tom Roten on Tuesday the Senate proposal was "not really a good bill" but said it would start the process of giving states more control. He said he understands some conservative opposition, but said Republican lawmakers who support the Medicaid expansion should be ashamed.
Yeah, that would be the same Medicaid expansion that has brought billions of dollars into Kentucky, rescued struggling rural hospitals and oh yeah SAVED THOUSANDS OF KENTUCKY LIVES.

But keep voting repug, Kentucky trumpians.  You will die in a ditch, but you really showed that Ni**ger in the White House.

Conservatives Chaining Democracy

Yes, conservatives have always hated and feared democracy.  Yes, it all goes back to slavery. Yes, they will do anything to establish autocracy.

You already knew that.  But Nancy MacLain proves it.

Democracy in Chains is a revelation, as politics and as history.
We know a lot about the rise of the Right in postwar America ....
Democracy in Chains assembles all of these fragments into a much more coherent, and much more frightening, whole.
It establishes the Jim Crow roots of the modern right, not just through the GOP’s southern strategy but through shared doubts about the compatibility of property rights and democratic rule. It demonstrates that the lurch right in North Carolina, Wisconsin, Kansas, and Iowa represents not some existential crisis of a forgotten working class but the triumph of a long push to use statehouses as laboratories for autocracy. It understands the post–Citizens United wave of “dark money” as but the most recent chapter in a long history of corporate stealth and influence.
And it reminds us that, however incompetent the current White House and legislative leadership, they are winning handily.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

But Blue Lives Matter

It ends with Sam DuBose and Philando Castile and Eric Gardner and Tamir Rice and all the rest.  
 
But if anyone has any further lingering questions about why black people might have some issues with the police, I suggest they take a moment and think about how they would feel if this was how they were treated for getting caught jaywalking or selling water, and reconsider things. Because boy, this is all very fucked.
New Rule:  saying, writing or typing "Blue Lives Matter" or "All Lives Matter" is irrefutable proof of irredeemable racism.

RepugNoCare in Pictures

Kevin Drum has the graphs in all their fuck-workers glory. Here's one with the guy who is sacrificing 22 million Americans to give a trillion-dollar windfall to the already obscenely rich.

 

Need words?  Kevin's got 'em.  He concludes:

Reading the CBO report in its entirety, it’s hard to see that BCRA offers any improvements over Obamacare aside from cutting taxes for the rich. Net premiums go up for most people—quite massively in the case of older consumers; deductibles go up; out-of-pocket expenses go up; the working poor are virtually shut out of the insurance market; the quality of coverage gets worse; and 22 million people lose insurance.

The only plausible path for any improvement is the increased flexibility states would have to run their own health care progams. Historically, this has accomplished little except to allow conservative states to cut back on health services to the poor, so you’d need to be mighty starry-eyed to think that it will produce amazing innovations this time around. But that’s about it: believing in the power of states to innovate because they have less money is the only path for defenders of BCRA.
It's making liberals puke and scream and cry, and it cancels the primary achievement of That Ni**er in the White House, so in the eyes of trump voters, it's perfect.

They'd rather watch their children die in agony from lack of health insurance than let Those People win. 

Monday, June 26, 2017

Don't Fall for the Kabuki on TrumpNoCare

Call.  Call some more.  Keep calling. Don't stop calling.


Steve M:
I wonder if the plan, or at least the backup plan, is this: Allow a limited freakout that possibly sends the bill to defeat, or at least inspires McConnell to pull it from the floor. We do a victory dance and go back to talking about Russia. Then McConnell quietly makes a few cosmetic changes, returns the bill to the floor even faster, and gets it passed. The House rubber-stamps it hours later and it's all over but the bill-signing.

I've seen it argued that that was the trick that got the House bill passed -- you show the public an unappealing baseline bill, which doesn't pass, then make minor changes to it and it does pass ... and it's assumed that the revised bill must be less awful than the original version. Also, you pass the revision after the opposition's energy level has peaked.

Is that what going to happen? Is "must pass this by July 4" the real kabuki here? Is the plan (or at least Plan B) to fail now and succeed after the holiday? That's what I'm afraid of.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

The Resistance: A Tool for Taking Action Now

Each Tuesday, “Take Action Now” will feature a list of three actions curated by Nation editors to make the biggest impact—one of which will be an option that takes a few minutes to complete, another that will take a few hours, and the last will involve a deeper commitment. You can pick and choose which one to involve yourself with, no matter your schedule.

While we are all united in our desire to take action, most of us are busy, and our access to time and resources varies, day to day and week to week. So instead of a comprehensive list of everything that’s happening, “Take Action Now” will highlight three meaningful ways you can get involved each week—even if you already have a full plate. We don’t expect anyone’s activism to end at what they find in their “Take Action Now” emails, but we hope you’ll find it a great place to start.

Through “Take Action Now,” we intend to connect readers of The Nation both new and old to more of the vital work being done daily by women’s rights groups, climate justice activists, and immigrant-led community organizations, to name just a few of the people and institutions we admire and whose work we hope to lift up. Below you’ll find our first featured actions. Please sign up for “Take Action Now” here or using the form below—and we’ll be in touch!

NO TIME TO WASTE?

Call your senators at 202-224-3121 or their individual offices and demand that they stop Trumpcare and protect the Affordable Care Act. This is particularly important if you live in one of the 10 key states with senators who are more likely to vote against the bill, listed here. For Republican senators, demand that they oppose the bill. If you’re calling a Democratic senator, we recommend following Indivisible’s call script for demanding that the senator use a tactic called “filibuster by amendment.” (The link includes details about this tactic.)

GOT SOME TIME?
Host or attend a dinner to connect with your community. This Sunday, June 25, the Dream Defenders in partnership with United We Dream, the Women’s March, and other groups, are organizing a Day of Dinners across the country. These dinners are intended for people from all walks of life to connect and “start a new conversation about the country we want and the future worth fighting for.” Sign up here to attend or host a dinner.  Dream Defenders is a Florida-based youth organization formed in the wake of the murder of Trayvon Martin and United We Dream is the largest immigrant youth-led organization in country. Both are great organizations to support. The work of the Dream Defenders is particularly important now, less than a week after the acquittal of the police officer who killed Philando Castile near Minneapolis and just a few days after the killing by police of Charleena Lyles in Seattle.

READY TO DIG IN?
Organize a sit-in outside your senator’s office. We cannot overstate how important the fight to protect the ACA is right now. If you can organize your own sit-in, Indivisible has a step-by-step guide (step four on the list). If you’re not sure you have the time and resources to organize people on your own but want to connect with others who may have already gotten started, you can find an Indivisible group in your area here.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

KY So Bigoted, California Bars State Travel Here

Of course the bigotry is disguised as "religious freedom." Next up: Freakazoid beats gay person to death on live video and isn't even arrested, because "religious freedom."

USA Today:

California's attorney general blocked state-funded travel to Kentucky and three other states on Thursday in response to what he considers anti-LGBT rights laws enacted this year.

Chris Hartman, the director of Louisville's Fairness Campaign, said that the bill the California AG is retaliating against, Senate Bill 17, could have indirect repercussions on the LGBT community in one of the nation's more gay-friendly cities. 

"This is a clear example of the unforeseen consequences that even a vaguely anti-LGBT bill can have," Hartman said. "This is a bill that we opposed, and here we have a real-world economic consequence of passing this bill."

The worry is that SB 17, which goes into effect this summer, could lead to scenarios where LGBTQ students are prevented from joining a Christian club led by students who disagree with homosexuality.

Kentucky's Only Abortion Emergency Is That Kentucky Women Can't Get Them

More secret unconstitutional rule-making in the dark. It's the repug way.

(AP) — Gov. Matt Bevin's administration has filed emergency regulations that some abortion providers say are designed to shut them down. 

The Courier-Journal reports the Kentucky Health and Family Services Cabinet filed the regulations June 15. They took effect immediately because they were filed as an emergency.

State law requires abortion clinics to have agreements with hospitals and ambulance services to transfer patients in case of a medical emergency. The new regulations say those agreements have to be a legal contract with a hospital within a 20-minute drive of the clinic.

Documents filed with the regulations say they are needed to "minimize risks" in an emergency.
"The e-reg simply establishes written standards for transfer agreements so that facilities will have even more certainty as to what the law requires of them," Health and Family Services Cabinet spokesman Doug Hogan said.

But Donald Cox, an attorney for the only abortion clinic operating in Kentucky, says the regulations are designed to shut it down.

"It's my view that these are illegal," said Cox, who represents EMW Women's Surgical Center.
The Bevin administration tried to shut EMW down earlier this year. EMW sued in federal court, and the Bevin administration agreed to renew the clinic's license until after the lawsuit was resolved.
Planned Parenthood of Kentucky and Indiana is also seeking a license to perform abortions at its clinic in Louisville. Attorney Karen G. Johnson-McKewan said there is no emergency requiring these new regulations.

"This is just an after-the-fact justification of these actions they're taking against abortion facilities in Kentucky," she said. "There is no medical reason for this. There is no public safety reason for this."
For the 90 millionth time, surgical abortion is the safest medical procedure in existence.  And medical abortion is a shitload safer than boner pills.

Except for illegal abortion.  That's just plain murder. And that's the only kind Kentucky will have if Bevin gets his way.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Republicans Vote for Republicans. Always.

Like I been sayin' for years, Charlie Pierce:
The biggest mistake the Ossoff campaign made was relying too heavily on the notion that there were Republican voters in that district that could be broken off from their party. This almost is never the case. Through decades of constant and unrelenting pressure, and through finagling with the franchise in a hundred ways in a thousand places, the Republicans have compressed the votes they need into an unmovable, diamond-hard core that will vote in robotic lockstep for whoever it is that wins a Republican primary. In American politics today, mindlessness is one of the strongest weapons you can have. Republicans vote for Republicans in Republican districts.
Not just in republican districts, either.  There is no force in the universe that will compel republican voters to vote for anyone who does not have a "R" next to her name.

That's why the myth of the Obama voters who voted for Trump is such a vicious, motherfucking lie.  In a Venn Diagram of "people who voted for Obama" and "people who voted for Trump" there is zero overlap between the two circles. Someone who voted for Obama then voted for Trump is a fish that suddenly sprouted wings and flew to the moon.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Trumpie Bevinism Fires Teacher for Being Bisexual

Confidentiality, my ass.  It's a convenient cover for anti-gay hate.

According to Breiner, Thompson told him to remember "we live in a small town."

In 2014, the population of Montgomery County was 24,474.  That puts it in the top third of Kentucky counties. There are 83 counties in Kentucky with smaller populations.  Statistically, between 247 and 2,447 people who live in Montgomery County are LGBT. 

Montgomery County, your school superintendent is a lying, gay-hating piece of shit.

Racist, Anti-Gay Hate Flourishing in Trumpie Bevin's Child Service

president and governor have made it clear that only white, straight, male christians have rights in this country now.
 
A Clark County couple has filed suit against the Department for Community Based Services of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services and three related individuals after they say their foster parental rights were revoked because they are black and gay.

Tiniqua Gay and Felicia Gay, both of Winchester, received their foster parent certificates in 2013, according to the suit. In May 2015 and June 2016, the couple became foster parents for two baby girls who are sisters. In January, the couple told the Cabinet they wished to adopt the babies as the biological mother’s parental rights were being terminated in May.
An April incident involving a case worker's failure to intervene in an argument led to the Gays filing a complaint against the case worker.
After the complaint was filed, the couple received a phone call from Kristy Kidd, a regional supervisor for the department for Community Based Services, saying that the babies would be removed from their care because of the fight and the Cabinet could not “allow a situation to exist that is not in the best interest of the children” and that the couple would not receive any future foster children placements, the lawsuit said.

In May, the Cabinet closed the Gays’ foster home, despite the Gays writing a letter saying they would not close their home.
Kentucky's child services are begging for foster parents. There is an enormous emergency need for homes for abused and abandoned children.  But apparently black and gay parents need not apply.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Do Or Die Time: Mitch Schedules Health Care Execution for Thursday


The Rude Pundit says it best:

Look, it's time to stick a pin in the left's Russia hard-on right now in order to get all hands, voices and boots on deck to stop the American Health Care Act from passage. It's a terrible bill filled with terrible ideas, concocted by terrible human beings.  So it's time for Maddow/Hayes/O'Donnell/Reid and whoever else to knock off the financial conflict and espionage stories for a while and go whole hog on this.

Right now, Democrats are doing something by denying unanimous consent to proceed on any votes in the Senate, and they are holding the floor in a "talkathon" speeches about the unfair process. But these delay tactics need to be followed by even more. The "filibuster by amendment" is one approach, where Democrats keep proposing amendments that have to be voted on until Republicans agree to hold hearings on the bill. Pressure needs to be brought to bear on the seemingly wavering Republican senators, who need to be reminded who will be blamed when the AHCA doesn't do any of the shit voters were promised.

One last thing needs to happen, and I'm frankly stunned that it hasn't happened yet. The Affordable Care Act is the signature achievement of the Obama presidency.  Where the fuck is he? Why the fuck isn't Barack Obama barnstorming the country, riling people up? He gets to protect his legacy.  Enough of being above the fray.

Fuck that.  Lives are on the line, man,and a bunch of vicious assholes are shitting all over him.

Obama, Biden, get 'em all out there, giving interviews, tearing into the cruelty of those who want to turn back the clock. 

This is life and death, motherfuckers. Let's all act like it is.
Call your Senators.  Do it right now.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

No Healthcare for Working People, But a Quarter-Million for Freakazoid Fraud

So Kentucky taxpayers are just tickled to death - literally - that their healthcare dollars are now going to ensure that only straight, white, christian, conservative, repug married couples get to adopt.

Next "reform": firing all child protective workers who are gay, muslim, atheist, darker than a paper bag or just too liberal.  I give this motherfucker six months to purge the department.

Democratic lawmakers have vocally opposed Bevin’s hiring of Dumas, criticizing his qualifications and the amount he’s slated to earn when compared to salaries for child-protection workers in the state.

“I don’t think this particular individual was qualified for the job,” Carroll said after the meeting of the Government Contract Review Committee. “My personal opinion is that [Bevin] was playing for the religious vote. He constantly does and that’s his privilege.”

Bevin has defended his hiring of Dumas to overhaul Kentucky’s adoption and foster care systems, saying the criticism is unjustified.

SNIP

The number of substantiated child abuse and neglect findings in Kentucky increased 55 percent from 2012 to 2016. There are more than 8,000 children in Kentucky’s foster care system. An estimated 1,200 of those are available for adoption.

Despite the testimony lauding Dumas’ leadership qualifications, Carroll remained skeptical.
“I don’t see any justifiable reason to pay a minister who knows absolutely nothing about adoption, he knows nothing about the operation of state government,” Carroll said. “He’s had one adoption, so now he’s an expert at adoptions?”
Nope.  He's an expert at establishing and enforcing Dominionism.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Hell Yes Let's Place Some Blame

While we contemplate the white murderer of black Philando Castile walking free even though the victim's death was live-streamed, let's remember who keeps it impossible for anyone who is not white, male, straight, christian, conservative and rich from getting justice in this country.

How did things get so "caustic"? Well, who was it that mainstreamed Rush Limbaugh, and all the little mini-Limbaughs who still haunt the radio dials all across the country? Who was it that bought and sold the Purple Heart Band-Aids that mocked John Kerry's service? Who cheered on the Swift Boat liars? Who were the people who accused the Clintons of murder and drug-running? Who were the Birthers? We certainly know who the Birther-in-Chief was. He was the guy who also called upon "Second Amendment people" to confront Hillary Rodham Clinton, and what price has he paid for his lies and slander? He's the damn President* of the United States.

Who was it that brought automatic weapons, out in the open, to rallies held by the previous President of the United States? As it happens, one of the latter incidents happened in Phoenix, where Gabby Giffords got shot, and the reaction to it was a combination of lethal weapons and radio talk, via HuffPost:
"Oh, it's not a game," Chris interjected.
"—-with what I imagine is a loaded weapon," Sanchez continued.
"We know what we're up against," Hancock continued. "We're up against a tyrannical government that will rob the next generation as long as they can get away with it."
Come to think of it, who was it that sold all those T-shirts about "watering the tree of liberty," and who was it that led the cheers for armed sedition at the Bundy Ranch and at the bird sanctuary in Oregon?

Who was it that tweeted out the following, almost a year ago?
.: Why do we have a Second Amendment? It's not to shoot deer. It's to shoot at the government when it becomes tyrannical!
Why, that was Senator Rand Paul, a former presidential candidate and someone who might have been wounded himself on Wednesday had the Capitol Police not stepped in when they did.

Are there destructive people on the left? Of course there are. But this kind of politics and this kind of rhetoric has been part and parcel of the conservative Republican mainstream for decades now. (It was telling that the sound clip Todd used came from Newt Gingrich, because a lot of that original mainstreaming is his responsibility.) The Democratic Party doesn't elect one of those black-masked idiots to Congress. But the Republican Party is more than happy to send this guy. From USA Today:
"Not a single radicalized Islamic suspect should be granted any measure of quarter," Higgins, the Louisiana Republican and freshman congressman, posted Saturday after an attack on unarmed people in London. "Their intended entry to the American homeland should be summarily denied. Every conceivable measure should be engaged to hunt them down. Hunt them, identity them, and kill them. Kill them all. For the sake of all that is good and righteous. Kill them all."
Civility means more than cooling down what we say to each other. It also means treating our fellow citizens with dignity and respect in the policies through which we govern ourselves. The everyday violence of poverty is no less destructive to our national character than are our now-predictable mass shootings, over 150 of them this year.
And yes of course the cowardly motherfuckers are using the shooting to justify not holding town halls.

Cowardly KY Gov. Blocks and Threatens Critics

Just like his hero the Orange Loser, Whiny-Ass Titty Baby Mattie can't deal with the reality of elected office.

WEKU:

But as Bevin ramped up his criticism and online dispatches, he’s also blocked more than 500 Twitter users from following him, according to records released this week by ProPublica, a national investigative newsroom. 

Bevin’s list of blocked social media users — obtained by ProPublica through a records request — includes many people who have shared their disdain for Bevin or President Donald Trump.
We're not talking about stalkers or people who threaten violence; those should be reportedto police anyway.  No, we're talking about people who dared to express on social media  their contempt for the poor-bashing, rich-fellating repugs who are destroying the country
Attorney General Andy Beshear said his office, which weighs violations of the Open Records Act, has never issued an opinion “about the nature of social media and whether blocking someone violates the open records law.” 

To date, no one has filed an appeal challenging a public official’s social media blockade.
Beshear declined to share his views on the matter and called it inappropriate because the office may have to tackle the issue in the future. 

Beshear said he has never blocked anyone on Twitter. The Twitter account of his predecessor, Attorney General Jack Conway, had barred several followers. Beshear said he had his staff unblock those users.
Democracy sucks, and public office is not a fucking vacation. Deal with it, cowards.

Whoops, almost forgot this little gem: After  playing Governor Freakazoid for a year and a half, telling churches to violate the Constitution by getting into partisan politics, our poopy-diapered "leader" is threatening critical pastors with hell

Friday, June 16, 2017

Last Chance to Save Healthcare and Your Own Life

Got an extra $26,000 a year to spend on health insurance?  I don't. Even though that is how much more I will have to pay every year because of my pre-existing condition that Trumpcare will now allow.

And that's nothing compared to how Trumpcare will literally rip healthcare away from 23 million people, including those of us with employer plans.

It's not just no more Obamacare protections.  It's actually worse than the horrific system we had before 2010.

From Democracy for America:

The Senate could vote anytime on Trumpcare -- and they may not give us any time at all to see what the bill looks like. Mitch McConnell is trying to find ways to pass Trumpcare just a few hours after publishing the bill. As DFA's Karli Thompson explains below, the bill would lead to 50 million people uninsured. We also know it would restore insurers' ability to limit how much they can pay to cover your bills each year and over the course of your life -- making health care even more expensive. We have to stop this right now by flooding Senate Republican offices with calls. 


The New York Times has been reporting that Senate Republicans have nearly finished their Trumpcare legislation, and could vote on it very soon -- but they still have no intention of showing the public the details. 

When asked why the Senate GOP won't release the bill, a GOP staffer responded, "we aren't stupid."
It's extremely telling that Republicans are putting so much effort into keeping this bill a secret. They know that the only way this disastrous legislation can pass is if they can sneak it through before the public has the chance to respond.

We need to make it crystal clear to Senate Republicans that we are watching every single move they make -- and they aren't going to get away with attacking our health care without a fight.
Can you call your Senators and tell them to vote NO on the super-shady Senate Trumpcare bill today?

We may not have seen the exact text, but we already know that the Senate Trumpcare bill will have much in common with the trainwreck that passed the House last month. The GOP goal on health care remains the same: They want to slash access in order to maximize corporate profits and hand a fat tax cut to the rich.

There's one important issue that we know will be in a final Trumpcare bill: a major attack on birth control, abortion access, and women's health. Republicans and Trump are determined to defund Planned Parenthood. They will eliminate free birth control. Their attack on Medicaid will mean millions of women lose health care access.

The Senate vote might be our last opportunity to stop Trumpcare. We only need THREE Republicans to defect in order to kill this bill and protect the health care of millions of Americans.
Numbers here.

Secrecy: Authoritarianism's Dead Giveaway

This is so fucking cute. Bevin snatches a quarter-million dollars from Medicaid patients losing their health coverage in a secret repug Senate bill to pay for a secret hotline run by political hacks to keep state government corruption - wait for it - secret.

Your ass is showing, motherfucker.

Jack Brammer at the Herald:

Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration is spending nearly $250,000 this year for a new hotline and website that state employees and Kentucky residents can use to report wrongdoing in government.

Attorney General Andy Beshear said he has “serious concerns” about the new hotline, calling it redundant and lacking independent, trained investigators.

“I, like all Kentuckians, want to ensure that reports of unethical or illegal actions are reported to and investigated by a trained, independent and nonpartisan government agency,” Beshear said in an email.

Beshear, a Democrat, noted that state employees may anonymously report any questionable activity to his office through its Department of Criminal Investigation at 866-524-3672. That number is answered by sworn law enforcement officers, who are career merit employees, not at-will employees, he said.

Under Bevin’s hotline, reports “will not go to an independent law enforcement agency, but to his political employees who will then decide which allegations are investigated and which are not,” said the state’s chief law-enforcement official.

“That is putting the fox in charge of the henhouse,” Beshear said.




Thursday, June 15, 2017

Jeff Sessions Still a Motherfucking Liar

Call me an elitist snob if you like, but whenever I hear a Southerner talking about "mah honah," I reach for William Tecumseh Sherman's phone number.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Shut Down the Fucking Pump

A parable Digby has had to tell far too many times, and we still don't get it.
By using a geographical grid to chart deaths from the outbreak and investigating each case to determine access to the pump water, Snow developed what he considered positive proof the pump was the source of the epidemic... Snow was able to prove that the cholera was not a problem in Soho except among people who were in the habit of drinking water from the Broad Street pump. He also studied samples of water from the pump and found white flecks floating in it, which he believed were the source of contamination.

On 7 September 1854, Snow took his research to the town officials and convinced them to take the handle off the pump, making it impossible to draw water. The officials were reluctant to believe him, but took the handle off as a trial only to find the outbreak of cholera almost immediately trickled to a stop. Little by little, people who had left their homes and businesses in the Broad Street area out of fear of getting cholera began to return.
It took many more years before it was widely accepted that cholera came from the water. (In fact, it took a priest trying to prove that it was God's will to finally do it!)

But here's the relevant takeaway: they didn't need to cure the disease to end the epidemic. What ended it was shutting down the pump.

SNIP
The Port Arthur massacre in 1996 transformed gun control legislation in Australia. Thirty five people were killed and 21 wounded when a man with a history of violent and erratic behaviour beginning in early childhood opened fire on shop owners and tourists with two military style semi-automatic rifles. Six weeks after the Dunblane massacre in Scotland, this mass killing at the notorious former convict prison at Port Arthur horrified the Australian public and had powerful political consequences. 
The Port Arthur perpetrator said he bought his firearms from a gun dealer without holding the required firearms licence.

Prime Minister John Howard, then newly elected, immediately took the gun law proposals developed from the report of the 1988 National Committee on Violence and forced the states to adopt them under a National Firearms Agreement. This was necessary because the Australian Constitution does not give the Commonwealth power to enact gun laws. The proposals included a ban on all semi-automatic rifles and all semi-automatic and pump-action shotguns, and a tightly restrictive system of licensing and ownership controls.

Some discussion of measures to allow owners to undertake modifications to reduce the capacity of magazine-fed shotguns ("crimping") occurred, but the government refused to permit this.

Surveys showed up to 85% of Australians supported gun control,but some farmers and sporting shooters strongly opposed the new laws.
This did not solve the problem of mental illness or end the primitive capacity of human beings to commit murder and mayhem. Those are huge problems that their society, like all societies, is still grappling with every day. But it did end the epidemic of mass shootings. They have not had even one since then. 

The lesson is this: End the epidemic and then we can --- and must --- talk about root causes, extremist ideology, mental health facilities and our violent culture. But first things first --- shut down the damned pump.
James Hodgkinson notwithstanding, the vast majority of gun massacres and domestic terrorism in the country are committed by right-wing freakazoids and anti-government fanatics.

And the problem is still the easy access to guns.

After Taking Your Health Care, Bevin Arranges to Kill You By Radiation and Overweight Trucks

Seriously, repugs are just flat-out doing everything they can to kill everyone who is not rich.

From the press release:

FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 12, 2017) - Gov. Matt Bevin will join state and local officials in Paducah on Wednesday to ceremonially sign the recently enacted Senate Bill 11. The legislation, known as the “Leeper Act,” lifts Kentucky’s 33-year-old moratorium on nuclear power plant construction.
McCracken County is home to the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant, which produced enriched uranium from 1954 until 2013 and employed more than 1,000 local residents at its peak.
And if you think that is no big deal, the Leeper Act nuclear moratorium saved Kentucky from  a dozen Three-Mile-Islands-in-waiting. Every new coal and gas plant built since 1986 would be a Chernobyl waiting to happen. And now we get to find out just how dangerous they are.
We already know how dangerous overweight trucks are; before the legislation repugs are killing, overweight trucks killed dozens of Kentuckians.  But hey, they were probably Democrats anyway so who cares.
From the press release:
FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 12, 2017) - Gov. Matt Bevin will join state and local officials in Henderson on Wednesday to ceremonially sign the recently enacted House Bill 184. This measure increases roadway weight limits for trucks, bringing them in line with competing states.
This legislation will positively impact a wide array of Kentucky businesses, including the aluminum industry—which directly employees 18,000 workers and supplies the Commonwealth’s auto manufacturers.
Oh, yeah lots of new jobs.  Repairing the highways turned to asphalt dust by overweight trucks. Scraping the bodies off the highways after overweight trucks pancaked their cars.

The deadline for filing to run for repugs seats in the General Assembly is January 30, 2018.  That's just seven and a half months away. Throwing their medieval asses out is the ONLY way to reverse Bevin's destruction.  Start raising money and knocking on doors NOW.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Freakazoid Failure Fucking Over Kentucky Taxpayers

Not just predictable, but predictED by many of us who screamed bloody murder about $18 million in state tax dollars and millions more in local tax dollars going unconstitutionally to a creationist boondoggle.

Now the locals who stupidly put their faith in grifters touting an invisible sky wizard are reaping what they sowed.

I'd laugh, except that it's my tax dollars they are stealing.

Plants’ partner, Matt Griffith, moved to Williamstown from West Virginia last September, when he opened the restaurant, and he readily admits that those hordes have not yet appeared. In fact, he closed it down for three months over the winter.

“No one really knows it’s here,” he said. “Signage is our biggest issue,” partly because the restaurant sits on one side of Interstate 75 and the Ark is on the other. “But I like to be optimistic. We’ve been here a year and it’s going to grow.”

Stormey Vanover is less hopeful.

She has operated Country Heart Crafts on Williamstown’s Main Street for the past nine years, sometimes with a profit, sometimes at a loss.

“We do get a few people from the Ark, but they don’t really know we’re here,” she said amid the Kentucky-made soaps, candles and ornaments featured in her store, which is surrounded by empty storefronts. “It’s just not impacting us the way we thought it would.”
Maybe because impact has no meaning as a verb except in reference to teeth or bodily orifices.
It has been almost a year since Ark Encounter opened, promising a surge of economic development in the county of 24,000 people in return for generous state and local tax breaks.

Ark co-founder Mike Zovath said the attraction will attract its 1 millionth visitor by July, but there is no way to independently verify that number. He says all of Answers in Genesis, including the Creation Museum, will employ about 900 people this summer.

Locals do see cars and tour buses full of tourists eager to see the life-size wooden boat, filled with exhibits of young-Earth creationism, an animatronic Noah and friendly dinosaurs. What they don’t see is those tourists crossing over I-75 to drive the mile or two into downtown Williamstown to eat, drink and shop.

Main Street has been in decline since the 1970s, when I-75 replaced KY-25 as a major north-south artery that was filled with cars and people, locals say. The Ark was the first ray of hope the city had seen in years.

In his office at the old county courthouse, Grant County Judge-Executive Steve Wood has heard all the complaints. Dry Ridge, about five miles north on I-75, has seen an uptick in hotel and restaurant business, but Williamstown, which sits farther off the interstate, hasn’t appeared to share in the bounty.

Wood knows that tourism revenue is up based on hotel tax receipts, but as the anniversary of Ark Encounter approaches, he doesn’t think the benefits are yet outweighing what Grant County and the state gave away.

“It’s a really bad deal for taxpayers,” Wood said of the Ark Encounter’s agreements with the county and city, which were made before he took office last year. The biggest property tax break will be in place for 30 years. “It was a shock for me because I didn’t really know all the details. Maybe I should have.”
Ya THINK?!
Answers in Genesis received a generous combination of state and local incentives, acknowledging in numerous documents that without them, the $100 million attraction would not be built in Grant County.

Former Gov. Steve Beshear’s administration awarded the project a sales tax rebate under the state’s Tourism Development Incentive Program for as much as $18 million over 10 years. It was later canceled after state officials found out that the attraction would require declarations of Christian faith from potential employees. Ark officials sued and won in federal court. Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration then reappproved the initial request.

The company will report its first-year sales to the Tourism Development Finance Authority in August, officials said.

The state also agreed to expand the I-75 interchange at costs that ranged between $9 million and $11 million. State transportation officials recently decided to rebuild the exit ramps at a cost of $2.4 million, making them wider so traffic doesn’t back up onto I-75. That project is scheduled to start this fall.WEB170604ArkEncounterMap

Grant County and Williamstown officials also offered a series of incentives, none of which have accountability measures, such as requiring the company to maintain a certain number of jobs.

SNIP

The first year of the Ark park has coincided with the near-bankruptcy of Grant County, troubles that stem from inefficiencies and overspending at the county jail. Wood and the fiscal court recently implemented a 2 percent payroll tax, which will infuse a much-needed $3 million into county coffers. That tax will drop to 1.5 percent in the second year and 1 percent in the third.

SNIP

“The Ark’s growth is great for their success,” Murphy said. “But until we see some of that here, it’s really not done as well as we hoped.”

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Is Kentucky Smarter Than Kansas?

Not if Billionaire Bevin and his all-repug legislature get their economy-destroying tax cuts for the rich this year.

Because their plan is exactly the same fuck-everybody-who's-not-rich plan that turned Kansas into Haiti so completely that this week even Kansas'  vicious repug motherfuckers voted overwhelmingly to start taxing corporations and the rich again.

The news out of Kansas is highly amusing, as you can see in this report from the The Wichita Eagle:
Lawmakers rolled back Gov. Sam Brownback’s signature tax policy over his objections Tuesday night, forcing into law tax increases to fix a budget shortfall and provide more money for schools.
The legislation ends the “march to zero” income tax cuts that Brownback heralded for much of his time as governor…
…The Senate and House voted 27-13 and 88-31, respectively, to override Brownback’s veto…
…The override represents a blow to the legacy of one of the most unpopular governors in America, amid speculation that he may not serve out his remaining time in office but instead take a federal position.
Kansas is such a Republican state that even Brownback’s epic mismanagement hasn’t turned the state purple or blue, but he’s done his best. He’s made Republicans sound like Democrats. For example, look at this:
Rep. Larry Hibbard, R-Toronto, said some residents would feel taxed too much and others would feel that certain services weren’t funded enough. But the compromise was good, he said.
Hibbard said the state had become a national laughing stock for its recent fiscal troubles, including a tax system that allowed situations where “the employee was paying the taxes and the employer wasn’t.”
“This tax bill starts us on the road to recovery,” he said.
Or this:
“It’s hard to celebrate because Kansas is in such shambles. The magnitude of the problems that we have to correct is so great,” Rep. Melissa Rooker, R-Fairway, said.
Here you have one Republican highlighting the absurd injustice of a tax code in which employers pay nothing, echoing Democrats who complain about corporations like General Electric that contribute nothing to the treasury. And you have another Republican who wants to celebrate what the governor correctly called “a $1.2 billion tax hike, making it the largest in state history,” but is not quite able to pull it off because the state’s coffers are still so drained.
Apparently repug legislators resent Brownback for turning the state into "a laughingstock."  Will Kentucky's repug legislators wake up in time to stop Governor Not From Here from doing the same or worse to the Bluegrass State?

Monday, June 5, 2017

How Is the Orange Loser Fucking Over the Military Todeay?


By leaving their children alone in the streets while their parents defend the country.

If President Trump has his way, more military families will struggle to find child care.

Last week, Trump proposed a budget with a $100 million cut to child care and youth programs for military families. These programs provide early education programs to children aged 6 weeks to 12 years old as well as after-school and summer enrichment activities for school age children. In total, 700,000 children of military service members receive such services. The budget would defund these programs — despite calls for increased child care funding from military families and advocates.

The military has a model child care program designed to support the unique needs of military families. Ninety-five percent of programs are nationally accredited, and all teachers participate in training and professional development to improve their skills. Parents pay on a sliding scale based on their income so that programs are affordable for all service members.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Gov. Bevin's New Anti-Crime Program: Pray It Away

And of course this is not just a cynical ploy to exploit African-American religiousness to put black community activists in the path of black criminals.  No, of course not.

This is not about race, because nothing is ever about race.

Juanita Jean:

The Republican Governor of Kentucky, Matt Bevin, has a solution to crime in his capital city: “Volunteer patrols that will not report or stop criminal activity, but pray it away.”
 
Bevin suggested at a community meeting that volunteer groups of between three and 10 people would adopt specific blocks and walk around them while praying, according to WHAS, the Louisville ABC station.
You know, you walk to a corner, pray for the people, talk to people along the way,” Bevin said, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal. “No songs, no singing, no bullhorn, no T-shirts, no chanting. Be pleasant, talk to the people, that’s it.”
That’s it, y’all.

We will meet at the south gate of the White House and pray like the dickens that God shoves Donald Trump out so we can change the locks.  Apparently, that’s all there is to it.
A couple of points:  Frankfort, population 27,557, is the third-smallest capitol city in the nation.  While it boasts a couple of sketchy neighborhoods, one just a few blocks from the Capitol where Bevin works and Governor's Mansion where he does not live, it ain't the kind of urban core Bevin and his conservative buddies like to terrify the suburban white folks about.

"Pray Away the Crime" is bullshit and Bevin knows it.  I just hope the people he's really targeting figure it out and tell him to pray his own damn crimes away.