Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Governor Condescending Elitist Lectures the Rubes

Last week it was scolding a teacher leader for daring to exercise his rights of free assembly to hold a rally at the Capitol.

Now he's sneering at his opponents for being too "unsophisticated" to understand his genius plan for stripping Kentucky's economy down to bedrock before he launches his presidential campaign.

Keep it up, Gov. Craven Heartless Worm.  Just like your idol in the White House, every word out of your lying mouth opens more voting eyes to what you really are.

From the Herald:

Opponents of a plan to reform Kentucky’s ailing pension systems lack “the sophistication to understand what’s at stake,” Gov. Matt Bevin said Monday as he urged Lexington’s business leaders to publicly support his proposal.

“The fact of the matter is, this is not good for Kentucky,” Bevin said of the state’s pension crisis. “The people who do not have the sophistication to understand what’s at stake, but will bear the brunt of it, are the ones that are going to suffer if people like us who get it, who are willing to fight for it, don’t step up.”

Bevin’s public push to win over business support for his plan comes as public employees express fierce opposition.

Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/news/politics-government/article181743536.html#storylink=cpy
SNIP

Last week, the Kentucky Education Association held several forums where teachers confronted state lawmakers about the plan, which would require school teachers and state and local government employees to pay an additional 3 percent of their salaries into their retiree health insurance funds, shift most future workers into 401(k)-style investment plans and freeze cost-of-living increases for retired teachers for five years.

After promising teachers in Madison County that he wouldn’t vote for a bill that adversely affected them, state Rep. Wesley Morgan of Richmond became the first Republican to publicly announce he would not support the bill.

“I will not go along to get along,” Morgan posted on Twitter. “I will do what is right for my constituents. This is just one example of me keeping that promise.”
This isn't Connecticut, Gov. Carpetbagger.  The majority of voters you need are working people who don't have a family trust fund to support us in our old age.

You are not only going to lose this pension fight, you're going to lose reelection in two years, too.

Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/news/politics-government/article181743536.html#storylink=cpy


Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/news/politics-government/article181743536.html#storylink=cpy

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Not Old, Not New, Just Good

Atheism is what you do with it.  If you use your atheism to work against racism and misogyny and homophobia and all the other evils of religion, you're an activist atheist and good on ya.  If you use your atheism to justify your racism and misogyny and homophobia, or even just to pretend you don't have to make the world a better place, then you're a pig and shame on you.

PZ Myers:
I have a problem with this description.

Old Atheism: "there is no God."
New Atheism: "we need to bomb more Muslims. European culture is superior. Also modern feminism is a cancer."


They forgot the usual immediate followup:
New Atheism: “But all atheism means is that there is no god, and so we’re going to exclude any attempt to insert your values into it.”
But then, somehow, their heads fail to explode at the contradictions and hypocrisy. I don’t get it.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

The NRA's Finest

Yeah, let's spend time and money trying to get votes from these folks.

Digby:

This story about the followers of Donald Trump's favorite conspiracy theorist Alex Jones attacking the victims of the Las Vegas massacre makes me believe this country is doomed. It is so, so awful that it's hard to believe we'll come through this without something catastrophic happening:

Via The Guardian:


Braden Matejka survived a bullet to the head in the Las Vegas massacre. Then, the death threats started coming.

“You are a lying piece of shit and I hope someone truly shoots you in the head,” a commenter wrote to Matejka on Facebook, one week after a gunman killed 58 people and injured hundreds more. “Your soul is disgusting and dark! You will pay for the consequences!” said another. A Facebook meme quickly spread with a photo of him after the shooting, captioned: “I’m a lying cunt!”

The 30-year-old victim – who narrowly escaped death in the worst mass shooting in modern US history – has faced a torrent of online abuse and harassment, forcing him to shut down his social media accounts and disappear from the internet. The bullying, taunting and graphic threats have also spread to his family and friends.

“There are all these families dealing with likely the most horrific thing they’ll ever experience, and they are also met with hate and anger and are being attacked online about being a part of some conspiracy,” said Taylor Matejka, Braden’s brother, who shared with the Guardian dozens of screenshots of the abuse. “It’s madness. I can’t imagine the thought process of these people. Do they know that we are actual people?”

Conspiracy theorists – some of whom claim that the government staged the shooting on 1 October or that the tragedy was a hoax – have targeted survivors and victims’ loved ones, spamming every social media platform with misinformation and abuse. On Facebook and YouTube in particular, users have published viral posts and videos calling people like Braden “crisis actors”, alleging they were hired to pose as victims.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Homophobic Judge Forced Off Bench

Good on the state judicial commission for holding the freakazoid to account.

From the Courier:

A Kentucky Family Court judge who refuses to hear adoption cases involving gays and lesbians will resign amid an ethics and misconduct inquiry. 

Judge W. Mitchell Nance submitted a letter of resignation to Gov. Matt Bevin on Wednesday, saying he will retire on Dec. 16, according to documents made public Thursday by the state's Judicial Conduct Commission. 

In April, Nance drew national attention when he said he would no longer hear adoption cases involving "homosexual parties" because he believes allowing a gay person to adopt could never be in the child's best interest.

The Barren and Metcalf county judge further said he would recuse himself from such cases because ethics rules require judges to do so when they have a personal bias or prejudice.

Last month the commission, which investigates complaints of judicial misconduct and wrongdoing, notified Nance that it was charging him with multiple violations of judicial ethics rules, including those banning bias or prejudice based on sexual orientation.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Bevin Lying About Retiree Health Insurance, Too.

Somebody ask him about his morning bowel movements.  I bet he can't tell the truth about that, either.

Additional Contribution for Retiree Health Benefits Is an Unnecessary Wage Cut

By Jason Bailey
October 24, 2017
 
The state’s proposed framework for pension legislation would require public employees to pay three percent more of their salaries toward retiree health benefits, the effect of which is the same as a three percent cut in wages. However, Kentucky’s retiree health plans are much better funded than most similar plans around the country, and the resources available for the plans are growing rapidly without the need for extra contributions from public employees who are already undercompensated.

If the new contribution applies to all current employees, it would cut wages by approximately $158 million annually for state workers (including teachers) and another $85 million for local workers — and many of these employees have not received raises for much of the last decade. For a teacher who spends 27 years in the classroom at present-day salaries, the 3 percent contribution would mean the loss of about $40,000 in lifetime income.

Kentucky’s retiree health plans are already far better funded than most around the nation

Kentucky’s retiree health plans are in much better condition than most similar plans across the country. Combined, the Kentucky Retirement Systems (KRS) and Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS) retiree health plans have 47.9 percent of the assets they need to pay future benefits. Several of Kentucky’s plans are actually overfunded, with the Kentucky Employees Retirement System (KERS) hazardous retiree health plan holding 125 percent of the assets it needs, the legislators’ plan holding 127 percent and the judicial plan holding 105 percent.

In contrast, the Center for Retirement Research reports state and local retiree health plans across the U.S. are only 7 percent funded in the aggregate. And as the state’s consultant PFM noted, Standard and Poor’s recently reported that the median funded ratio for state retiree health plans in 2015 is actually zero percent, because most states have not been pre-funding this obligation. Kentucky has been far more aggressive than most other states in putting monies into its retiree health plans.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Gov. Craven Heartless Worm Throws Trumpie Trantrum Over Pension Truths


Just like his Dear Leader the Orange Loser, Bevin can't deal with anyone criticizing him, especially when the critics are right in pointing out the lies and corruption.

Bruce Schreiner at the AP: 
Gov. Matt Bevin fired back Tuesday at critics of a GOP plan to revamp Kentucky’s chronically underfunded public pension systems, saying they have no alternatives and warning that doing nothing is a “path to insolvency.”


Speaking to a business group, Bevin said structural changes are needed to sustain the pension systems.

“Everybody would love to ignore it - all the fear mongers and the ‘chicken littles’ - the ‘sky-is-falling’ crowd that are just so upset about the fact that anything is changing,” the Republican governor said. “And yet the path we’re on is literally a direct path to insolvency financially.”

His comments came a day after Kentucky Education Association President Stephanie Winkler warned the pension plan would “devastate” public education.
Don't lie to teachers, gubner: they will always catch you out and make you pay for it.

OK, But Not Nearly Good Enough

Unless they replace the plaque with one identifying Davis as a Traitor in Defense of Slavery, an Embarrassment to the Commonwealth and a Permanent Symbol of Racism, Slavery and Treason, the next step must be removing the motherfucker and installing Mohammad Ali in that place.

From the Herald:

A plaque proclaiming Jefferson Davis as a hero and a patriot will be removed from Kentucky's Capitol, the latest effort to alter Confederate monuments across the country following outbreaks of racially motivated violence.

The Historic Properties Advisory Commission voted to remove the plaque, which is attached to a 15-foot-tall (5-meter-tall) marble statue of Davis in the rotunda of the state Capitol. The plaque declares Davis is a "patriot, hero, statesman" and lists his accomplishments in both the United States and Confederate governments. Last month, a committee recommended the state remove the plaque because of its "subjective" language.

"There are people who don't think he was heroic. And so we just decided to remove it to eliminate that subjective word," commission chairman Steve Collins said.

Leslie Nigels, director of the Division of Historic Properties, said the plaque would be removed in a few days.

 The decision angered both supporters of the statue and those who want it removed because it honors someone who led the fight to preserve slavery. The statue was erected in 1936 with the help of the United Daughters of the Confederacy and $5,000 in taxpayer money approved by the state Legislature. Tuesday, a past president of the Kentucky division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy vowed to file a lawsuit to keep the plaque in place.
First: There's a fucking Kentucky division of the shameful females defending treason in defense of slavery? They're not just treasonous, they're stupid.  Kentucky never joined the confederacy.

Second: When you donate something, it belongs to the organization to which you donated it.  If you don't like what they do with your gift, tough shit.

Third:  Let's think of a way to not just remove Davis, but to destroy that statue in a publicly humiliating way that will put the traitors in defense of slavery in their place forever.



Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/latest-news/article180619981.html#storylink=cpy

Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/latest-news/article180619981.html#storylink=cpyThe decision angered both supporters of the statue and those who want it removed because it honors someone who led the fight to preserve slavery. The statue was erected in 1936 with the help of the United Daughters of the Confederacy and $5,000 in taxpayer money approved by the state Legislature. Tuesday, a past president of the Kentucky division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy vowed to file a lawsuit to keep the plaque in place.

Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/latest-news/article180619981.html#storylink=cpyThe decision angered both supporters of the statue and those who want it removed because it honors someone who led the fight to preserve slavery. The statue was erected in 1936 with the help of the United Daughters of the Confederacy and $5,000 in taxpayer money approved by the state Legislature. Tuesday, a past president of the Kentucky division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy vowed to file a lawsuit to keep the plaque in place.

Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/latest-news/article180619981.html#storylink=cpy

Monday, October 23, 2017

Genuflect, Citizens, or Suffer the Consequences

The people who destroyed this family vote.  Do you?

Zandar:

When the man in the Oval Office demands retribution against those who question authority, his cultists respond with brutal efficiency, even in blue strongholds like Massachusetts.
Last week, Kato Mele’s 23-year-old daughter said some things on Facebook that many people found appalling. She wrote that the White Rose Coffeehouse in Lynn, which her mother owns and where she worked, would never host a “coffee with a cop” event, klatches designed to build goodwill between police and the community.

“I will not be part of the false rhetoric that cops are just misunderstood good guys,” Mele’s daughter wrote, among other things. “They uphold an unjust system and murder without consequence.”
For this opinion, the family business was targeted and destroyed.

The chief of police in Lynn responded beautifully.

“This is a non-story,” Michael Mageary told Lynn’s Daily Item on Sunday. “This young lady has the right to say whatever she wants and we respect that. We will continue to do our job every day. My sense is that most officers will avoid the establishment, but that is their choice.”

But by then, it was already too late. A mob had descended within hours of the Facebook post, whipped up by a website that specializes in (and makes money from) marshaling drooling goons for mass attacks, mostly on victims who express left-of-center views.
SNIP

The opinion that police shouldn't murder people is so unacceptable in America in 2017 that this is the result: internet Brownshirts burn a business to the ground and harass a family out of their livelihood in the space of a week.

Whenever you hear somebody complaining about "Social Justice Warriors" and "liberal intolerance", remember the story of the Mele family.  I've been personally targeted before for my opinions on this blog, and I've paid a price for those opinions in the past, but never like this.  The threat to do to me what was done to the Mele family has been made on several occasions, and so far I'm still here.

And yet these are the same assholes who will tell you every day, at length, on multiple media platforms, that they are being silenced every day of their lives.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Religious Liberty is Neither

When it is the kind defined by conservatives and freakazoids.

What struck me are the assumptions that everyone made about this memo. That is because the words, “religious liberty” have come to mean something very specific in our current political climate. The truth is that, when people use that term, they most often don’t mean religious liberty, but the liberty of white evangelical Christians to both practice their religion and impose it on others. For example, Sessions should consider distinctions such as this:

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Poor Suffering Corporations

And this doesn't even count the billions in direct subsidies.  Down with Tyranny:

 
 
And no, corporations do not create jobs.  Minimum-wage workers who have to spend every dime they make create jobs.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Believe What They Want

Here's a new game:  name something - anything - that the Orange Loser could do that would turn freakazoids against him.

No, not public admission of sexual assault.  Not the utter dearth of anything resembling religious belief or devotion. Not telling stories about sexual orgies to 10,000 Boy Scouts.

And of course not embracing, protecting and promoting white supremacy and violent racism.


They believe what they want to believe. As long as he isn't gay, I guess they're fine with anything he does. And even then, at this point I think they'd probably all roll with that too. Many of them read Breitbart obviously and have no problem with Milo. Michael Flynn feted him like a rock star.

It's all just depressing as hell because we all know that there are many Democrats looking for ways to appease these people by selling out people of color and women (or at least telling them to go sit in the back of the bus and be quiet) so they can appeal to these people. It won't work. It never works. They are right wing extremists in every way, not just religious conservatives. You can't break them off with appeals to their "traditional morality" because they don't believe in it themselves. It's obviously a pose. But you knew that. Look at Ted Haggart, Jimmy Swaggart, Jim Bakker --- pretty much all of them.

Capitalism and Patriarchy Created Harvey Weinstein and the Orange Loser

As if sexual harassment, abuse and rape weren't invented until the '60s. As if women have not been screaming about this for decades. As if the solution weren't obvious.

There is a a particularly repulsive footnote to the explosion of public consciousness around sexual abuse and exploitation caused by the Weinstein revelations. Religious social conservatives have been hard at work arguing that Hollywood libertinism, liberal sexual mores and the sexual revolution itself are to blame for the behavior of the Weinsteins of the world. Bret Stephens’ much-lampooned New York Times op-ed hit the “Hollywood values” angle, while David French took on the full-throated promotion of Handmaid’s Tale theocracy this weekend in The National Review.
Let’s be very clear about something: conservative social mores aren’t about protecting women and never were. They’re about controlling women.

The sexual revolution gave women options: the birth control pill allowed women to control their reproductive destinies and have children at a time of their choosing, which in turn gave them economic independence and the ability not to become indentured servants to whatever man happened to have sex with them and father children with them. The revolution empowered women to make choices of sex partners based not on the approval of their parents or the economic necessities of marriage, but based on their own personality preferences and physical desires. The revolution also allowed women to compete in previously gender-exclusive industries and become primary economic providers for households. In later decades it also allowed gay and gender-non-conforming people to pick identities and partners entirely of their own choosing.

All of this terrifies conservative men. Conservative white men have long lived in a bubble where they were able to objectify women and use both physical and economic coercion to force more talented, more capable and more physically attractive partners to stay with them despite their own gross deficiencies.

A world where a woman had to marry the first man she had sex with, is a world where superior women could be saddled for the rest of the their lives with inferior men based on a single mistake. A world where women were trapped at home with children while men dallied outside it, was one where men could grope and fondle their secretaries in abusive relationships while women had far fewer opportunities for relief from their oppressive marriages and domestic prisons.

When all else failed, the watchful eye of a patriarchal God would keep women in line, subservient to their domineering marriage partners. This same angry divinity did not, of course, prevent men from sexually exploiting and harassing any woman unfortunate enough to be within their economic power.
The sexual and civil rights movements changed all that. Not only could women pick their partners–and as many of them as they wanted–suddenly the pool of potential partners opened to men (and, eventually, women) of all races, too. Much of conservative resentment ever since, distilled to that now-so-common “cuck” insult in Trumpian circles, has centered around abject terror that white women would find men of color or other women a more pleasant alternative to their own less attractive and less interesting selves.

Which brings us back to Harvey Weinstein. Liberal culture and Hollywood values did not create Harvey Weinstein. Patriarchy and capitalism did.

Harvey Weinsteins have existed ever since the dawn of civilization when rich and powerful men have predated on exploited women in no position to defend themselves, long before the sexual revolution and in eras governed explicitly by strict sexual moral codes. Aflred Hitchcock did it to Tippi Hedren. Thomas Jefferson did it to Sally Hemmings. Supposedly Christian men from popes to barons have done likewise. Rape and abuse of women by men is the norm in social conservative society, whether in Christian Victorian England or Islamist Afghanistan; liberal sexual mores are the cure.

Harvey Weinstein isn’t just an alleged rapist and abuser. He’s a gross, wildly unattractive man who used his financial position as a capitalist owner and his patriarchal position as a man of power to force himself on women who would never have been in his league voluntarily. Harvey couldn’t compete for the affections of the women he wanted, and he didn’t bother to try. So he used money and power to get what he couldn’t objectively earn through charm, effort, grooming and good will.
This is the conservative program in a nutshell: allowing mediocre white men to use unjustly gained money and social privilege to earn rewards they do not deserve, protected and enforced by arsenals of private firearms and an angry, judgmental God. It’s a program that the sexual revolution has done a great deal to destroy, but there remains much work left to do.
May the work continue.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Easy Path to Gun Control

It just may come to this.

Another beauty from Noah:

President Obama Defeats ISIS; Orange Loser Takes Credit

Yes, of course we know he's lying.  The problem is that we're not his audience.  His mouth-breathing voters are.  And all they hear is what he says and how his Faux News cheerleaders repeat it.

This is how bad history gets written in stone.

ISIS is hardly Barack Obama’s finest moment. He was late to understand what was happening and slow to do anything about it. But in the end he did do something about it, and he did the right thing: he kept the US footprint light; he avoided rules of engagement that would inflame the very people we were trying to liberate; and he understood that the only route to victory lay in a slow but steady campaign. It wasn’t sexy, but it worked.

In a few weeks or months, Donald Trump will announce that we’ve won the war against ISIS. Will he give Obama any recognition for this? Of course not. So that means the rest of us will have to do it for him.
Trump did nothing. The plan to take both Mosul and Raqqa was initiated under Obama, and Trump famously refused to approve a new plan for months because the military kept telling him that Obama’s approach was working. So he put them off and put them off until he finally approved a plan in August that was mostly the same as the plan we already had. And now he’s claiming that this new plan turned things around in eight weeks.

I know we don’t expect anything else from Trump. But he can always be even worse than you think, can’t he? Hell, he didn’t even give the military any credit, let alone Obama. What a jackass.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Traitor Statues Removed in Lexington

No, the confederacy is not dead, treason in defense of slavery has not yet been defeated and Jim Crow still lives, but this is a victory.

Let us celebrate, then get to work removing Jefferson Fucking Davis from the People's House in Frankfort.

John Hunt Morgan: DOWN

John Breckinridge:  DOWN

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Not Difficult

If you're a normal human being and not walking, talking, harrassing scum.

Known gay male person Evan Hurst of Wonkette nails it:
Barro writes in his column that the WEINSTEIN situation and others like it “require more than just the hand wave of ‘don’t harass women, it’s simple.'” But honestly, we think it is indeed that simple! The cultural change we need isn’t about changing the workplace environment or enshrining strict conservative Christian Jesus rules so men don’t get all rapey. The change we need is STOP TEACHING MEN, TACITLY OR OUT LOUD, THAT IT’S OK TO HARASS/ASSAULT/RAPE WOMEN.

To all the men, straight or gay (Barro!), writing their #HotTakes assigning blame anywhere away from HARVEY WEINSTEIN’S dick and the dicks of other men like him, we’re gonna need you to take a million steps back, STFU, do something wild and crazy like listen to women for once, and then come back when you have a #HotTake about changing the culture so that men, cradle to grave, are all taught that women ACTUALLY FOR REAL weren’t put on this earth to satisfy their sexual harassing/groping/assaulting/raping urges.

Proof of god

PZ Myers:

I’m a hardcore atheist, but I’m not claiming to possess absolute truth, Catholics are. I’m saying that 1) believers have failed to provide an internally consistent definition of a god that does not contradict available evidence, and 2) have failed to provide specific evidence that their god is the best possible explanation. 
Saying that “things exist” is not evidence for “my specific model for why things exist”, especially when there are better alternative models that don’t have the shortcomings of the god hypothesis. There is a fundamental distinction there that they consistently fail to notice.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

How to Save Obamacare

Oh, dear Terrible Ones, you know this one: Organize. Speak up. If you’re currently in an exchange plan, make sure you and everyone you know signs up during the much-shortened open enrollment, November 1 to December 15. Call your representatives and tell them you won’t tolerate the president tearing down Obamacare from within. Organize more. Work to get Democrats elected and for fuckssakes stop refighting the 2016 primary. Try not to get too discouraged, and read Saint Molly Ivins if you need inspiration. Raise hell. Did we mention Organize? This is probably the biggest threat to America’s healthcare yet, and we can’t let it happen.

Gov. Craven Heartless Worm Lies About Pot



Twenty years ago we knew this shit was false, but didn't have the real-world proof to show.  Now we do.  Colorado. Washington. Nevada. Maine. Massachusetts.  California. 

Kentucky is missing out on the pot economic bonanza that could not only solve all our budget and pension problems but also the opioid epidemic.

But no. Because only rich white men are entitled to money and good drugs.

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) appeared on a local radio show this week and called legalized marijuana a “sucker’s bet,” and something that will never happen so long as he’s in office. Why? Bevin says he’s concerned about overdoses.
“We are not, while I’m governor, going to be legalizing the use of marijuana in this state for recreational purposes or for revenue-generating purposes,” Bevin said on Terry Meiner’s WHAS radio show. “There are people overdosing based on ingestion of products that are edibles and things.”
Contrary to what the governor believes, however, while an individual can certainly have a “bad trip” from marijuana usage, there have been zero reported deaths from marijuana “overdoses,” according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Bevin points to the uptick in marijuana-related emergency room visits in Colorado, one of the first states to legalize marijuana, as evidence of the danger it poses. It is true, Colorado did see an increase in emergency room visits following legalization, according to a study released by the state’s Department of Public Safety. From 2014 to mid-2015, 956 emergency room visits per every 100,000 were possibly related to marijuana consumption. In the years before it was legalized, from 2010 to 2013, that figure was 739 per every 100,000 visits.
The study’s authors, however, attribute that rise to the decrease in stigma surrounding marijuana; after legalization, more people were open to trying the drug for the first time who may not have been aware of the side effects.
“The most common reason someone goes to the ER for a marijuana reaction is anxiety,” says Dr. Larry Bedard, former president of the American College of Emergency Physicians told The Cannibist. “Part of an anxiety reaction is you have an impending sense of doom. So a lot of people come in (to the hospital) thinking they’re dying, when they’re actually having a panic attack. That’s very common. If you’re smoking a joint and suddenly you can’t breathe and your chest feels tight and you start to get numb and tingly, you start to think you’ve been poisoned.”
And even though Bevin calls the notion of legalizing marijuana a “sucker’s bet,” Colorado has been consistently reaping its economic benefits.
Legalized marijuana roughly 8,005 full-time jobs and added about $2.4 billion to the state’s economy last year, an analysis from the Marijuana Policy Group (MPG) shows. The pot business is a stronger economic driver than nearly 90 percent of industries active in Colorado.
Meanwhile, legislators and cops are flooding the state with STOOPIT.

From the Legislative Research Commission:

Marijuana’s impact on public safety examined

FRANKFORT – As Kentucky lawmakers explore ways to pay for public employee pensions, a coalition of law enforcement groups say legalizing marijuana for recreational use isn’t the answer.

“I’m not willing to risk my grandchildren’s health to save my pension,” Kentucky State Police Commissioner Richard W. Sanders said yesterday while testifying before the Interim Joint Committee on Veterans, Military Affairs and Public Protection. “I don’t think that is the right way to go with this thing.”

Sanders is a 40-year law enforcement veteran with 21 years vested in the state’s hazardous duty pension.

Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy Executive Director Van Ingram testified (sic: LIED) that marijuana is harmful to society.

“Sixty years ago big tobacco downplayed the risk of tobacco,” Ingram said. “We can see where that brought us: Huge settlements and big changes to that industry. Thirty years ago big pharma told us there was no risk of addiction to opioids. We can see where that brought us: The largest drug epidemic in the nation’s history.”

He added that 10 to 15 percent of people who use marijuana develop addiction issues.

“We are getting led down another path so some folks with a lot better suits than I have can make a lot of money,” Ingram said. “We certainly got enough addiction issues in this state without bringing more to the table.”

Rep. Tom Burch, D-Louisville, however, said Prohibition gave rise to crime …”and criminalizing marijuana has done the same thing.”

National Marijuana Initiative (MMI) Director Ed Shemelya testified that marijuana is legal for recreational use in eight states. He said at least one form of marijuana is legal for medical use in more than 21 states. He said Colorado is on track to sell $1 billion worth of marijuana this year and generate roughly $200 million in tax revenue.

“That’s a lot of money,” Shemelya said. “There is no disputing that.”
Again, states like Colorado are reaping all the benefits: massive tax revenues, reduced opiod use, more jobs and less crime because dealers of illegal pot are now out of work.

But Kentucky under repug rule can never have nice things.

Friday, October 13, 2017

It's Always the Same



Via Political Animal:


Repugs Just Murdered Obamacare and Millions Who Depend On It

They've stabbed it in the neck and it's bleeding out.  Do NOT let them get away with claiming it collapsed on its own.

This is an attempt to do the exact opposite of what the president* took an oath to do. This is an attempt to make sure a law is not faithlessly executed. It's government by renege, which was this president*'s true gift as a businessman. A landscaper in New Jersey or an invalid in Idaho, he'll find some way to stiff them all. 

SNIP
None of the "alternatives" that his order now makes possible are to the benefit of consumers, sick or otherwise. They're all designed to ensure that the Affordable Care Act cannot work, which is the primary goal not only of the president*, but of his enabling political party as well. The executive order turns health insurance back into a bull market for thieves and grifters and once again allows some disreputable characters a chance to coin sickness into gold.

SNIP
The sheer meanness of the calculations behind the effort to deprive millions of people of their health insurance, including the millions of people who found relief from this nightmare only in the past eight years, is hard for the decent mind to comprehend. On Thursday, the president* signed an order guaranteed to corrupt health insurance marketplaces all across the country, and that corruption will not be an unintended consequence. It will be a deliberate act of vandalism, like cutting a gas line into a house and waiting for the explosion that inevitably will occur.

Trump and that pack o'bastards applauding him are the perps, giggling and sweating into their palms across the street, waiting for the detonation that will shatter so many lives.
 And Kentucky's own AynRandy was there cheering it on.

The Confessed Sexual Predator in the White House

You'll have to forgive me for not spending a lot of time fulminating about a piggish movie producer when we have an unfit demagogic moron in the White House who's threatening to incinerate the planet largely because too many people voted for this documented sexual predator over a qualified woman. The problem runs a lot deeper than Hollywood.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

It's Still Happening, and NFL Owners Are Still Entitled Cowardly Motherfuckers

The kneeling is now and always has been about protesting the nationwide police brutality and murder against unarmed African-American men and women.

And the NFL is now and always has been about exploiting black bodies while denying them civil rights.


Because men like David Derbish and Andrew Miller depend on the benefit of the doubt provided by their occupation and their whiteness to intimidate, threaten, assault, rape, paralyze and kill men and women like Leon Ford, knowing that juries will refuse to convict them.

Which is exactly what happened Monday in the federal lawsuit filed against them. Miller was cleared of assault and battery, and the jury was deadlocked on Derbish’s excessive-force charges.

That benefit of the doubt is how a kid with no criminal record is left without the use of his legs after a chance encounter with them. It’s how qualifiers like “no criminal record” are necessary, even though they shouldn’t be. Because a person’s criminal record isn’t—well, shouldn’t be—a pass for men with badges to break someone’s body with impunity. Just as blackness shouldn’t be. Just as being perceived as a threat shouldn’t be. Or being thought of as “scary” or “big” or “superhuman.”

But it is, which is why David Derbish and Andrew Miller are free to sleep in their beds and eat dinner at their kitchen tables today, while Leon Ford is reminded that justice is conditional, arbitrary and cruel.

And if justice is conditional, arbitrary and cruel, justice doesn’t exist.
But Roger Goodell and Jerry Fucking Jones don't care about that.  All they care about is jingoistic faux-patriotic displays and the billions of dollars it brings in from the rubes who tune in to watch black men get permanently disabled.


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Proud

 
Noah at Down with Tyranny is out of control wonderful with his Midnight Memes.


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

To Attack and Suppress

This is the militarization needed by tin-pot dictators with massive insecurity complexes, not policing by a democratically-elected administration ...  Oh, wait.

One of the scariest parts about this horrible administration is how law enforcement at all levels, from local cops to the fascists who work for ICE to the Border Patrol union, are chomping at the bit to do whatever Trump wants. We’ve seen this most aggressively from ICE of course, but our law enforcement loves a fascist president and will do everything they can to ensure more of them. Sarah Jaffe has a good piece detailing this.
This is no longer an issue of one election; Trump may not have kept many of his promises, but he is keeping the ones he made to the police officers who supported him. And it’s also not just about Trump; around the country, police work hand-in-hand with far-right politicians orchestrating crackdowns on immigrants, harsher penalties for crimes, and so-called “blue lives matter” bills that make crimes against police equivalent to crimes against marginalized and oppressed groups. In California, for example, the California State Sheriffs’ Association is working hard to bury a “sanctuary state” proposal, and one sheriff even publicly floated the idea of her county simply ignoring the law if it were to pass.
While the occasional story of an officer with neo-Nazi tattoos or apparent ties to white supremacist websites does surface from time to time, this is not a matter of individual officers going rogue. It is a belief system produced through the decades of American policing, a history that includes police collusion with white supremacist vigilantes in the South and elsewhere, as Vitale points out. There is also police overlap with militia groups like the Oath Keepers—in 2015, reporting for my book, I spoke with Sam Andrews, a former Oath Keeper who had left the organization over its refusal to endorse an open-carry march he held with black residents of Ferguson and the greater St. Louis area. For the police in the organization, he said, such a thing was a bridge too far.
These days, open collusion with white supremacist groups might be less common, but an offensive post made to the Instagram account of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association of Newburgh, New York, this August struck a nerve because it seemed to echo the policy on the ground in Charlottesville.
The image, rapidly denounced by the PBA and the police department, showed a Confederate flag juxtaposed with a photo of young black men with sagging pants, with the words “This does not offend me” emblazoned over the flag and “This bullshit does” over the photo. It was a sign, once again, of just who “us” and “them” is.
And so, in the age of Trump, police and the institutions that represent them continue to double down on their siege mentality. As protesters confront white supremacists in city after city—as I write this, Berkeley’s streets are full of red flags and tear gas—police still seem to see protesters, particularly protesters of the political left, as a sign of disorder. The movement for black lives, along with its demands for accountability or even abolition of the police, is felt to be a particular threat to police officers, and Trump has done his best to encourage this feeling. With his approval ratings at an all-time low and officials departing his administration like proverbial rats from a sinking ship, Trump has sent a signal to what Marcy Wheeler has noted is the “respectable” part of his base—the police—that anything goes. This should concern us.
This is also incredibly dangerous. If the worst nightmares of Trump severely eroding democracy do come to fruition, law enforcement will be at the center of it. And yet even today, law enforcement are almost immune to real criticism in the public sphere. Yes, we all need law enforcement from time to time. What we don’t need is a Providence police officer coming to my house after it gets robbed and telling me to my face that if voters don’t put Buddy Cianci in the mayor’s office next month, the animals are going to take over the city. We can have policing without fascism, beatings of protestors, and mass deportations of peaceful people. But we may not get that with the police as presently constructed. There also needs to be a lot more deep diving into the salting of police forces with white supremacists, which is something I hear a lot of rumors about but haven’t seen anything real solid.
And we conclude, as is our wont, in the Great State Of Oklahoma, where Blog Official Copper Dowser Friedman Of The Plains brings us yet another tragedy that has befallen our brave men in blue. From The Daily Beast:
He was pronounced dead at the scene. The 35-year-old was on his front porch holding a two-foot-long pipe when police arrived in the area to investigate a hit-and-run accident. Police ordered Sanchez to drop the pipe, but he could not hear them. He walked toward the officer and waved the pipe in his right hand, officials said. Neighbors nearby saw the situation unfolding and ran toward officers, screaming. “Don’t kill him! He’s deaf,” a 12-year-old girl yelled. “Don’t do it!” Six other neighbors joined in before another officer arrived and shot him.
He should have complied. Being deaf is no excuse for not obeying orders that you can’t hear. Also, he could’ve laid waste to six young, well-trained police officers with that pipe of his. Did I cover everything?
If you want me to feel like the police aren’t my enemy STOP SENDING THEM TO GAS ME FOR DOING MY FUCKING JOB AS A JOURNALIST.
 
If you don’t want people to get het up about how many black people you’ve killed, STOP KILLING BLACK PEOPLE.
Meanwhil, the FBI is pulling out all the stops to arrest activists, not the criminals the activists exposed.