Monday, July 31, 2017

Foreign Policy Blowback

Because if a normal president had set out to make Central America the source of our own destruction, she could not be more successful than the Orange Loser is about to become.

But for as terrible as all of this is, it’s only getting worse under Trump:

The Trump administration has made clear that human rights considerations are inconsequential to its foreign policy. But the human cost of these policies in Central America and Mexico will be incalculable, and will create blowback. Instead of suppressing migration and stabilizing the region, these measures will escalate the rampant violence that has sent desperate refugees fleeing from their communities to the United States in search of sanctuary, perpetuating a cycle of misery for which Washington bears significant responsibility, but from which it offers little relief.
There is much more horrifying detail at the link. Given what the United States owes Central America for more than a center of war and exploitation, at the very least, we should open our borders to any Central American who wants in. It’s the least we can do. But we can do much more and we should. Alas, Central America is always seen as a problem in American foreign policy circles, with at best a shrug about how the U.S. did so much to create these problems.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Keep Fighting and Laughing

From the great and good Doc Zoom at Wonkette:

The Resistance: Keep Fighting Zombie Trumpcare

It's ON!  Today, in every town where someone will die if Trumpcare passes, we will gather to say why our health is on the line.

Zombie trumpcare never dies, and neither will our protests.

In Shelbyville, it's going to be at Fifth and Main, in front of the county Courthouse, 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.  Bring signs.  There will be a line on which to hang the reasons Our Lives Are On The Line.

In Louisville, it will be at Metro Hall, 11 1 p.m.

Join us on Saturday, July 29 at Metro Hall in Louisville, 527 W. Jefferson St. Americans are coming together all across the country to say: OUR LIVES ARE ON THE LINE if Republicans pass Trumpcare and strip our health coverage.

Healthcare reform should be a deliberate, thoughtful, and bipartisan effort. Neither the house nor the Senate versions of healthcare legislation achieve bipartisan support and both seek to undermine core tenets of the Affordable Care Act that have helped more than 20 million Americans gain equitable, comprehensive coverage. Don’t let Congress turn back the clock on all the progress that has been made.

Organized by Indivisible Kentucky, this is Louisville’s event in Our Lives On The Line, a nationwide day of action being hosted on July 29 by a diverse group of organizations including The Tax March, The Women’s March, Indivisible,, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Our Revolution, Center for American Progress, and others.

WHAT: Our Lives Are on the Line! Rally for Healthcare for All
WHERE: Metro Hall in Louisville, 527 W. Jefferson St.
WHEN: Saturday, July 29, 2017, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Friday, July 28, 2017

If Only Democrats Had Gotten Something Done

Some dumb twat twitted a stupid question, and Wonkette nailed the moron to the wall:
That is one excellent question! Why didn’t the Dems pursue a progressive agenda when they had the chance? Why, they could have come up with some kind of plan that would have resulted in the largest reduction in Americans without healthcare in history, for instance, and maybe passed a bill to ensure women could more easily sue after experiencing employment discrimination.
If Democrats had really wanted to be progressive during the Obama administration, they could have changed the way student loans worked, so they were issued by the government instead of private banks, with more options to repay based on students’ actual income, and maybe a rule that would forgive loans for students becoming doctors or teachers or social workers in under-served areas (of course, Trump will reverse that last one, so it doesn’t count). And maybe Obama could have cracked down on scammy for-profit colleges, if Dems had only cared about ordinary Americans getting ripped off.

You know, if Dems actually had wanted to push a Better Deal for ordinary Americans, maybe they would have put in place some kind of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that would have had the power to protect people from predatory lending practices and scammy credit card companies, and which — at least until Trump nixed it — was in the process of cracking down on ripoff payday and car-title lenders? Heck, maybe they could have instituted — even in the face of enormous obstruction and pushback — some kind of system to regulate big banks to prevent another economic collapse like the one in 2008.

For that matter, maybe if Democrats had had even the least scintilla of concern for everyday folks, from a progressive perspective, they might have passed some kind of stimulus to head off a second Great Depression, or they could have saved American auto manufacturers and tens of thousands of jobs, instead of letting them collapse like Republicans wanted.

And gosh, if Democrats wanted Americans to have better lives, maybe they would have taken some kind of action against racist police departments, or worked to reform mandatory minimum sentences and sentencing disparities. They might even have tried to protect the planet by committing to the Paris climate agreement or protect sensitive lands by declaring new national monuments.

Damn. That sure was a heck of a legitimate question. Why would anyone think Democrats might have a legitimate economic agenda anyway? They had so many chances but accomplished so little.
Doktor Zoom, fighting the lies.  What repug lie have you refuted today?

Grimes to Kobach: You. Shall. Not. Pass.

She knows what the trumpie repugs are up to.  She knows their goal is to suppress and eliminate every Democratic vote they can get their hands on. She knows what's at stake: not just the 2018 and 2020 elections, but redistricting after the 2020 census, which will be in the hands of whoever has the Kentucky General Assembly after those elections.

From the Herald:

Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes has once again declined to give detailed information about Kentucky voters to a committee President Donald Trump set up to investigate election integrity.

The request, sent from the committee’s vice chair Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, once again asked for detailed voter information including names, addresses, party affiliation, last four digits of Social Security number and voter history from 2006 onward.

“The compilation of every American voter’s information would build a national voter registration database, which is unnecessary to improving our elections, opposite our constitution and state’s rights, and puts voters’ privacy and personal data at risk,” Grimes said.
Oh, and a big Fuck You to Kentucky repugs specifically:
“Alison Lundergan Grimes is using her office to grandstand and further her political career,” said Tres Watson, the communications director for the Republican Party of Kentucky. “In doing so, she has taken actions in an official capacity that clearly lie outside the powers vested in her as Secretary of State.”

Grimes’ office shrugged off the allegation.

“Not sure what part of ‘chief election official’ in KRS 117.015(2) is unclear to the party,” said Bradford Queen, the spokesman for Grimes.
Yep, repugs definitely shitting their pants over having to run against Grimes for a Congressional seat next year or Governor in 2019.

Read more here:

Read more here:

Bevin Turning KY Into Deadbeat

Crushing working Kentuckians with 30 percent sales taxes on food is not going to solve this problem.  Only forcing a crowbar into the bulging wallets of rich people and corporations is going to prevent the Commonwealth from declaring bankruptcy.

Moody’s has downgraded the debt issued by Kentucky’s state government by one level, to a Aa3 rating, warning bond investors that the state does not collect enough revenue to resolve its $37 billion public pension shortfall.

“The commonwealth has one of the heaviest unfunded pension burden of all states,” Moody’s wrote in a report that it published for bond investors last week. “The commonwealth's ability to stop the decline in pension funding levels will be crucial to its credit profile.”

Gov. Matt Bevin is expected to call a special session of the General Assembly later this year to address the state’s pension debt and its tax code. The new Moody’s report is only the latest alarm to draw attention to both of those subjects.

The state expects to face tens of billions in unfunded liabilities in coming years at Kentucky Retirement Systems, which provides pension benefits for state and local government retirees, and Kentucky Teachers’ Retirement System, which covers educators. Officials blame several factors for the shortfall, including inadequate contributions by the state and poor investment returns.
It's not just the fact that for 30 years Kentucky governors and legislators have stolen billions from the pension system to balance budgets and avoid raising taxes on the rich.  It's also that Kentucky still has a resource-extraction economy that rivals Mississippi for third-world stupidity.

Bevin's special session will aggravate that feudal economy by stripping money from the middle class and poor to further enrich the already obscenely rich.

But it will earn him raves from the GOP donor class who will fund his national political ambitions.  Because Gov. Connecticut Carpetbagger has always seen Kentucky as nothing more than a piggy bank to rob.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Poor, Meek, Abused Conservatards

Yeah, I call them conservatards.  As in conservative plus retard.  You know, an insult.  Lock me up!

But the idea that libs are just constantly barging into Superbowl parties to lecture people and knock meat out of people’s hands is kind of ludicrous. The complaint here is that liberals are silently (mostly) judging people. But I’m not quite sure why our judgement should matter if these Real Americans aren’t doing anything wrong.

I get weary of conservatives painting women who have abortions as murdering sluts. I also worry about people who view LGBT people as alien sex-monsters, and the reason I do is because these people VOTE…for actual legislation that can hurt actual people.  So forgive me if I don’t find the idea that I am…annoying…particularly compelling.


Where are these meek, quiet conservatives? I want to meet them.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

It's a church! It's a business! It's a Lying Bunch of Grifters

The Big Gay Wooden Box is revealing the true soul of religion: use it to justify whatever you want to do.

Three days after state tourism officials suspended an $18 million tax incentive, officials at a Noah’s Ark theme park have sold their main parcel back to their for-profit entity for $10.

The issue started in late June after Ark Encounter LLC sold the parcel to its non-profit affiliate, Crosswater Canyon for $10. The deed continues to describe the property as worth $18 million even though the Grant County PVA has assessed the land for $48 million.

Ark Encounter officials have declined to say why they sold the property in the first place, but the move in June coincided with their refusal to pay a safety assessment tax levied by the city of Williamstown. City officials worried that the sale might be the first step in the ark park claiming non-profit status, which would exempt it from property taxes.
Thanks to the Freedom From Religion Foundation for demanding Kentucky withdraw the tax incentives.  If only we had a non-freakazoid governor who would use the money for the benefit of all, rather than his co-religionists.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Unfortunately, Neither Hypocrisy Nor Homophobia Are Crimes

I have just a few points to make about this cowardly attack.
  • Asking someone for consensual sex is not against the law.
  • Expressing disgust at someone's legal and consensual sexual acts is a dead giveaway that the critic is about to get caught doing or seeking those very acts.
  • Julian Carroll is a christanist freakazoid and is, like all of them, a hypocrite.
  • Julian Carroll has been corrupt to his toes for 60 years.  Anybody who's surprised by anything he does needs to read some Kentucky state government history.
  • Julian Carroll is the last Kentucky voice for New Deal and Great Society Democratic values. He's the bulwark against not just greedy repug fuckheads, but elitist neoliberal techbros in his own party.
  • Kentucky Democrats calling for Carroll's head are idiots and hypocrites.
  • Note to reporter Daniel DesRochers:  It's called "a hand job," not "masturbation."

Sunday, July 23, 2017

The Resistance: Hit the Streets


I'm glad to see it. This is from Move On, but I think it's happening with every Resistance group in the country:
Host a Mueller Firing Rapid Response Event
New revelations of Russia's meddling in our elections are increasing the odds that Donald Trump will try to block the investigation of his Administration's potential collusion with Russia and obstruction of justice.
Experts believe that there is a good possibility that Trump will fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

If Trump fires Mueller, we want to be ready to take the streets to protest within hours - to demand that Congress respond quickly and forcefully – to protect our democracy and justice system.
This isn't hysteria. People need to be prepared for what they will do in case this constitutional crisis comes to pass.

The Wages of Homophobia Are $225K

Davis, Huckabee, Bevin and every freakazoid pervert who cheered her on should have to pay.

And everybody who thinks this will slow down Governor "Only Straight Whites Have Rights" Bevin in his race to beat Mississippi back to the seventh century stand on your head.

John Cheves at the Herald:

The couples who sued Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis in 2015 for the right to be granted marriage licenses are entitled to nearly $225,000 in legal fees and court costs, and the state of Kentucky — not Davis herself or Rowan County — must pay them, a federal judge ruled Friday.

Although Kentucky county clerks are elected at the county level, the Rowan County Fiscal Court had no influence over Davis’ decision in summer 2015 to protest the legalization of same-sex marriage in the United States by refusing to issue marriage licenses to anyone, U.S. District Judge David Bunning wrote in his decision. Therefore, it would be unfair to hold the county government responsible for her actions, Bunning wrote.

By contrast, Bunning wrote, Davis’ authority to issue marriage licenses was awarded to her by the state government.
 Bevin's fanatic support of kimbo may have gotten him elected that fall.  For that alone Davis should spend the rest of her life in prison.

Read more here:

Friday, July 21, 2017

Only Repugs Commit Voter Fraud

How shameless are the Orange Loser Kris "Kissing Ass" Kobach and the rest of the repug voter-suppression machine to be throwing Democratic voters off the books in the name of "voter fraud" that is only committed by repugs.

Fraudulent-voting white repugs who get a slap on the wrist while minorities making innocent mistakes go to prison.

As over forty states step forward in refusing The Trump Administration’s embarrassing voter fraud fishing expedition, a real actual case of voter fraud just made its way through court. Unsurprisingly, the voter in question was for Trump–and unsurprisingly she was caught. This is what actual voter fraud looks like:
A woman from Des Moines, Iowa, pleaded guilty to election misconduct for attempting to cast two separate ballots in the 2016 presidential election for then-Republican nominee Donald Trump.
According to the Associated Press, Terri Lynn Rote, 57, entered her plea for the felony charge on June 27. Court documents state that lawyers affiliated with the case are recommending Rote face up to two years of probation with community service on the side.
Rote told police why she tried to vote more than once. She was convinced her first vote for Mr. Trump would be manipulated and changed to a vote for then-Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. According to her statement to the police, Rote believed Mr. Trump’s claims about widespread election rigging.
There is no evidence of widespread and organized voter fraud anywhere in the United States. Trying to organize hundreds of people to impersonate other people on the voter roles and vote in their place would be a herculean task, not worth the marginal statistical advantage, and an enormous risk of getting caught. It just doesn’t happen in the modern era.

The real risks to election security are manipulable electronic voting machine software, hacked voter registration lists, and compromised scanning machines. A corrupt local official might try the old-school approach of stuffing paper ballot boxes–though there’s been no evidence of such behavior for decades. All of those problems are on the back end of the election process–it’s counting fraud, not voter fraud. And in terms of actual voter fraud? Well, it’s extremely rare and almost impossible on an organized basis. The most plausible and worrying fraud on the voters’ side is vote-by-mail ballots in assisted living centers and by family members of the elderly and disabled–which, while troublesome, would be a small number of cases and wouldn’t typically affect any but the most hyperlocal elections. Beyond that are a literal handful of paranoiacs like this Trump voter, or the occasional green card holder who didn’t know they couldn’t vote. And those ones are quickly caught.

It’s worth noting that in yet another example of unequal justice in America, a Latina green card holder who made an innocent mistake was recently sentenced to eight years in jail. Meanwhile, this white woman who knowingly and intentionally tried to vote twice for Tump will get at worst two years of probation.

That’s not an accident. “Voter fraud” is a term used to scare racist whites by conjuring images of urban minorities coming into their precious bedroom communities en masse by busloads, voting multiple times for fake and deceased people on the rolls. This doesn’t happen, of course, but try telling that to the legions of loyal Fox News watchers. “Voter fraud” is then used as an excuse to ramp up ID and other requirements that disenfranchise the poor, the young and the otherwise disadvantaged to benefit Republican constituencies. It’s no surprise that minorities who get caught voting innocently face far harsher penalties than white conservatives committing knowing fraud.

KY Lawmakers Addicted to Opioid Stupidity

Like I've been saying for years.  But here's some official confirmation.

As the death toll from opioid overdoses in Kentucky and the rest of the Midwest continues to soar, it’s truly disconcerting to see that policymakers are taking steps that are not only devoid of medical and common sense, but virtually guaranteed to make matters worse.

The recent passage of the ill-conceived House Bill 333, which imposes a three-day limit (with certain exceptions) on opioid prescribing, reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of the reasons behind the addiction epidemic.

All this new law will accomplish is to make matters worse for both pain patients and addicts. The former will suffer needlessly; the latter will die in even greater numbers.

The absence of common sense in Kentucky’s approach to this problem is mind-boggling. Lawmakers, who believe that further tightening of the already-stringent legal prescription practices of opioid painkillers will stop the wave of deaths that has hit the region so hard, have it dead wrong.

It is crystal clear in multiple states across the country that the overwhelming majority of opioid overdose deaths are not a result of pills. Death from opioid pills (in the absence of other drugs) is uncommon.

Perversely, the increase in deaths we are seeing now is a direct result of the difficulty in obtaining pills. Within the past decade, opioid pills became difficult to get and prohibitively expensive, which caused addicts to switch in droves to heroin. This is the root cause of soaring overdose deaths, not pills from pharmacies.

Second, and far worse, heroin is no longer the “safe” drug that it once was. Over the past three years, it has been increasingly mixed with, or replaced entirely by, fentanyl and its far more potent chemical cousins. It is this progression from pills to heroin to fentanyl that is responsible for the skyrocketing overdose deaths we are now seeing.

Although it is convenient and plausible to blame today’s crisis on prior over-prescription of pain medications, this is simply a false narrative. This is seen in multiple literature analyses, including a review of 30 studies in the journal Pain and a comprehensive Cochrane review, which examined 26 more.

Patients who are being treated responsibly for moderate-to-severe pain rarely become addicted. The Cochrane review found that only 0.46 percent of pain patients became addicted. The vast majority of today’s addicts became so by using opioid pills recreationally and later progressing to injectable opioids once the supply of pills dried up.

But the real victims here are pain patients.

Many of them, who have been treated for very painful chronic injuries or medical conditions for decades, are terrified of being cut off from the medicines that are essential for their survival. That’s because states are already beginning to impose arbitrary limits of maximum daily doses of the drugs.
That is both cruel and scientifically flawed, especially since it’s known there is a very wide range in how people metabolize opioids — as much as a 15-fold difference between individuals, which drastically affects blood levels of the drugs.

This ensures a “one-size-fits-all” approach is doomed to fail. Although anecdotal, stories involving suicides of pain patients who have been unable to obtain the drugs that they need just to exist are easy to find.

When states and government agencies crack down on a legally prescribed, essential medicine, they are not only addressing the wrong problem but also are making matters worse for both addicts and patients. Laws such as Kentucky’s may seem to make sense on the surface, but even a little digging reveals how flawed they really are. Everyone gets hurt.

Josh Bloom is director of chemical and pharmaceutical sciences at the American Council on Science and Health. 
Legalize pot.  It's the only way out.

Why Are You A Democrat?

I'm a Democrat because as pathetic as it can be, the Democratic Party is still the only thing standing between me and Feudal Fascism.

But Al Franken says it best:

Thursday, July 20, 2017

BevinCare will more than double uninsured population in Kentucky

No, Trumpcare is not dead.  It will not be dead until Democratic candidates take back the House and the Senate.  So let's not forget just how horrible Bevincare will be in Kentucky.

The folks at Vox called our attention to this amazing—and terrifying—chart produced by the Urban Institute that purports to show the state-by-state increase in their non-elderly uninsured populations if Mitch McConnell manages to pass his big tax-cut bill with the health insurance provisions still attached. Some of the numbers are staggering. Some states are in triple digits; not coincidentally, they are mostly states that embraced the Affordable Care Act in one way or another. For example:

West Virginia: 299 percent.
California: 138 percent.
Colorado: 131 percent.
Oregon: 179.8 percent
Washington: 144.1 percent
Michigan: 192.6 percent.

If you're wondering about what the chart says regarding the states represented by the allegedly wavering Republican "moderates" in the Senate, the uninsured rate in Rob Portman's Ohio would increase by 184 percent and in Dean Heller's Nevada by 76.5 percent. Oh, and in Kentucky, which is represented by Rand Paul, who thinks that even the current bill is too liberal, the uninsured rate is estimated to climb 231 percent. I'm sure this is all Obama's fault somehow.

If It Quacks Like A Meth Whore

Rude Pundit nails it:

But at some goddamned point, if you keep sucking dicks for money for meth, you're a meth whore. Sure, sure, you suck one or two dicks and get paid and then go buy meth, maybe we can let it slide as tweaker shit. But if you're doing it every day, then you, my friend, have a problem with meth. And handling your finances. But mostly meth.
It's becoming more difficult to deny that the Trump administration is a meth whore. And we know who the john is.

Tax Reform That Will Actually Help Kentuckians

While Governor "I Got Mine, Fuck You" Bevin plots to kick your granny into a ditch, make you pay a 20 percent tax on food and give you a stick to bite on in place of pain relief, dems in Wisconsin have found a way to increase revenue painlessly.

Legalize marijuana, of course.  $40 million a year.  Not even selling poorer Kentuckians into slavery would bring in that much money. As a bonus, no more opioid crisis!  The longer Kentucky waits, the more market share the smart states are gobbling up. 

The Wisconsin state budget is 14 days overdue. 

Democratic state rep. Tod Ohnstad says it's striking that Republicans are fighting amongst themselves over where to scrape together money for schools and roads.

"One solution is staring us in the face and that is the legalization of marijuana," Ohnstad said.

Ohnstad is a supporter of the latest attempt to legalize recreational marijuana in Wisconsin. He says there's a pile of money waiting for lawmakers trying to finish the budget.

"It is estimated that between 30 to 49 million dollars a year in revenue would be generated actually, if it was legalized," Ohnstad said.

The new measure would, among other things, allow growing pot plants for personal use and calls for consumer protection to insure the quality of marijuana getting sold.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

trumpcare Failed Because It Didn't Kill Enough Poor People

Remember: this bill failed because even though it took away health coverage from 22 million low-income people, it wasn’t harsh enough toward the poor. This is what the modern Republican Party has become.
But don't let up on the pressure.  This is exactly what happened in the House:  everybody relaxed and celebrated when the bill died, then woke up the next morning to a revived and passed trumpcare bill.

Mitch McConnell is a devious, cunning motherfucker who still has a slush fund with which to bribe wavering senators.

It's not dead yet.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Bible in School? Then Let's Have Atheism in Church.

No, I mean it.  Freedom OF religion is also Freedom FROM religion, so let's have a fair fight.

Truthfully, Bevin's new Inquisition is not new.  When I was in Kentucky high school in the 1970s, there was an English class elective in "The Bible as Literature."  Everybody took it because easy A, right?

"Bible Literacy," however, is quite a bit more blatant about its religious indoctrination.

So I say: bring it on, motherfuckers. As long as it also requires churches to provide an "elective" Sunday School class in Atheism.

Only we won't call it Atheism.  We'll call it "Reading the Bible Word for Word."

Because that is the never-fail recipe for turning christianists into atheists.

No more taking your preacher's word that the Bible condemns gays and blacks and muslims and poor people.  Read it for yourself!  Read what a vicious, bloodthirsty, genocidal piece of shit the Old Testament god really is. Decide for yourself if Liviticus' ban on shellfish makes sense.

Read the gospels of the New Testament and try to fit jesus' words about helping the poor and the sick into the repug kill-the-poor-to-enrich-the-obscenely-wealthy platform.

Ask converts to atheism what turned them against the christianist upbringing, and they all tell the same story: In order to become a better christian, they started really studying the Bible.  And what they read opened their eyes to the scam all religions are.

So read your bible, Kentucky students!  Read it really, really well.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Gov. "I got mine, Fuck you" is throwing your MeeMaw into the street

Medicaid, not Medicare, pays for nursing home care in this country.  Obamacare, not private insurance, keeps thousands of elderly Kentuckians on Medicaid and receiving neededBevin just tossed 9,000 Kentucky grannies and Papaws out of nursing homes.

Deborah Yetter at the Courier:

In a move the state says would save money but cut another 9,000 people from Medicaid, Gov. Matt Bevin's administration is seeking permission from the federal government for more changes to the state-federal health plan that serves 1.4 million Kentuckians.

The changes, filed this week, revise a sweeping plan to the state's Medicaid program Bevin proposed last year seeking federal permission, or a "waiver," to reshape the program in order to impose more costs and personal responsibility on consumers.

The Bevin administration said the changes, aimed largely at "able-bodied" adults, are part of an effort to "provide dignity to individuals" and help them toward "independence from public assistance."

The changes are not designed to cut anyone from Medicaid, according to Doug Hogan, a spokesman for the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. Rather, the administration expects Medicaid enrollment to drop as people transition to employer health plans or choose not to participate in requirements such as work or volunteering.

But health care advocates in Kentucky said the changes do nothing to improve the proposal Bevin introduced last year and worsen it in several ways, most significantly increasing from about 86,000 to 95,000 the number of people expected to lose health coverage over the five-year life of the plan.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

God Logic

If leprechauns aren’t real

Then why is there a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow?

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Remember Who We Are

Nancy LeTourneau at Political Animal nails it:

A little more than two years ago, conservatives were having a field day questioning the patriotism of our first African American president, Barack Obama. That is what was obviously on his mind as he prepared a speech for the 50th Anniversary of the Selma March. He used that commemoration as an opportunity to push back against all of that nonsense and define his patriotism. So in this dark moment, I decided to revisit what he said.
The first thing that strikes me is that, while we are currently living in dark days, the people who marched across the Edmund Pettus bridge were facing a darkness that I have a hard time even contemplating.
We gather here to honor the courage of ordinary Americans willing to endure billy clubs and the chastening rod; tear gas and the trampling hoof; men and women who despite the gush of blood and splintered bone would stay true to their North Star and keep marching towards justice…
As we commemorate their achievement, we are well-served to remember that at the time of the marches, many in power condemned rather than praised them.  Back then, they were called Communists, or half-breeds, or outside agitators, sexual and moral degenerates, and worse –- they were called everything but the name their parents gave them.  Their faith was questioned.  Their lives were threatened.  Their patriotism challenged.
And yet they marched. Is that not the very definition of patriotism?
What greater expression of faith in the American experiment than this, what greater form of patriotism is there than the belief that America is not yet finished, that we are strong enough to be self-critical, that each successive generation can look upon our imperfections and decide that it is in our power to remake this nation to more closely align with our highest ideals?
That’s why Selma is not some outlier in the American experience.  That’s why it’s not a museum or a static monument to behold from a distance.  It is instead the manifestation of a creed written into our founding documents:  “We the People…in order to form a more perfect union.”  “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.
These are not just words.  They’re a living thing, a call to action, a roadmap for citizenship and an insistence in the capacity of free men and women to shape our own destiny.
Here is what patriotism means in a democracy:
Fellow marchers, so much has changed in 50 years…But what has not changed is the imperative of citizenship…That’s what it means to love America.  That’s what it means to believe in America.  That’s what it means when we say America is exceptional.
For we were born of change.  We broke the old aristocracies, declaring ourselves entitled not by bloodline, but endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights.  We secure our rights and responsibilities through a system of self-government, of and by and for the people.  That’s why we argue and fight with so much passion and conviction — because we know our efforts matter.  We know America is what we make of it.
Finally, Obama took us through a review of our history. This is my story and your story: the story of America:
Look at our history.  We are Lewis and Clark and Sacajawea, pioneers who braved the unfamiliar, followed by a stampede of farmers and miners, and entrepreneurs and hucksters.  That’s our spirit.  That’s who we are.
We are Sojourner Truth and Fannie Lou Hamer, women who could do as much as any man and then some.  And we’re Susan B. Anthony, who shook the system until the law reflected that truth.  That is our character.
We’re the immigrants who stowed away on ships to reach these shores, the huddled masses yearning to breathe free –- Holocaust survivors, Soviet defectors, the Lost Boys of Sudan.  We’re the hopeful strivers who cross the Rio Grande because we want our kids to know a better life.  That’s how we came to be.
We’re the slaves who built the White House and the economy of the South. We’re the ranch hands and cowboys who opened up the West, and countless laborers who laid rail, and raised skyscrapers, and organized for workers’ rights.
We’re the fresh-faced GIs who fought to liberate a continent.  And we’re the Tuskeegee Airmen, and the Navajo code-talkers, and the Japanese Americans who fought for this country even as their own liberty had been denied.
We’re the firefighters who rushed into those buildings on 9/11, the volunteers who signed up to fight in Afghanistan and Iraq.  We’re the gay Americans whose blood ran in the streets of San Francisco and New York, just as blood ran down this bridge.
We are storytellers, writers, poets, artists who abhor unfairness, and despise hypocrisy, and give voice to the voiceless, and tell truths that need to be told.
We’re the inventors of gospel and jazz and blues, bluegrass and country, and hip-hop and rock and roll, and our very own sound with all the sweet sorrow and reckless joy of freedom.
We are Jackie Robinson, enduring scorn and spiked cleats and pitches coming straight to his head, and stealing home in the World Series anyway.
This is why I love my country. Those people are not simply a source of inspiration, they are our legacy.
That’s what America is.  Not stock photos or airbrushed history, or feeble attempts to define some of us as more American than others.  We respect the past, but we don’t pine for the past.  We don’t fear the future; we grab for it.  America is not some fragile thing.  We are large, in the words of Whitman, containing multitudes.  We are boisterous and diverse and full of energy, perpetually young in spirit.
American isn’t some fragile thing that an idiot like Donald Trump can take away from us—not if we remember who we are!

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Your All-Purpose Response to Anything Repugs Do

From Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, who was talking about the Trump Gestapo's demand for private data on every Bluegrass voter, but who hit on the perfect response for all repug/trumpian stupidity:

There is not enough bourbon here in Kentucky to make this seem sensible.*
* Keeping in mind that Kentucky is the galactic capital of bourbon production and at any given time there are several million metric liquid fucktons of bourbon sloshing around the Commonwealth.

Repug Women Don't Know What Sexism Means

Or they do, but are happy to lie to protect the cowardly guv hiding behind the curtains. A Democratic official stated facts about a female repub offical, therefore sexism. Because reasons. 

After Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear suggested Senate President Robert Stivers faces political pressure because his wife, Regina, works for Gov. Matt Bevin's administration, a few prominent Republican women have criticized his comments as sexist.

"Women have been standing on their own merit in the workplace for decades. We earned our spots in the Bevin admin," Republican Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton said Thursday on Twitter.

Regina Stivers earns $118,000 a year as deputy secretary of the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet.
On Wednesday — just before Beshear announced that he plans to sue companies for illegally marketing and selling opioids in Kentucky — her husband, a Republican, publicly questioned whether Beshear has a conflict of interest in a similar case against the maker of OxyContin, Purdue Pharma, which the state settled for $24 million right before he became attorney general.

In response, Beshear criticized the Senate president for politicizing a drug crisis that has devastated thousands of Kentuckians.

"I know that that $100,000 job that the governor has provided to your spouse, who he could let go at any time, creates pressure," Beshear said, directing his comments at Stivers during a Wednesday afternoon press conference. "But this is far too important."
Either Regina Stivers is  a strong professional woman doing her job, or she's a melting snowflake who must be coddled and protected from the heat of professional politics.

Make up your damn minds, ladies - and that's not a compliment.