Saturday, March 25, 2017

The Resistance: Victory! Now, Get Back to Work

Repugs are sneaky motherfuckers and they haven't given up, but just for today let's bask in the win.

From the Courier:

U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth of Louisville said the collapse of the GOP plan to repeal and replace Obamacare on Friday "feels like vindication" and said that American citizens deserve a lot of the credit for its defeat.

“They walked out on a plank and somebody sawed it off," Yarmuth said of the Republican leaders who backed the failed plan. "It was really the American people that sawed it off.”

Yarmuth said that this is a big moment for the Americans who have banded together in the wake of Trump's election to oppose the new administration.

"I think this is going to further energize and empower the resistance movement," he said. "They deserve a lot of credit."

Former Gov. Steve Beshear, who led Kentucky's effort to create its own health insurance exchange and expand Medicaid coverage, proclaimed a victory for everyone who benefits from the programs, not only here but across the country.

"The winners today are the millions of Americans and hundreds of thousands of Kentuckians who have been able to receive health coverage through the Affordable Care Act, many of them for the first time," Beshear said in a statement. "It's now time to put people over politics and collaborate across party lines to improve the (Affordable Care Act) and further reform our health-care system."

Friday, March 24, 2017

Why We Do It

And this is why it's pointless to try to reach trump voters.  They think it's stupid.  Even when it's their own kids liberals are feeding.

Stop Coddling the Deplorables

For a start, stop listening to earnest "training" on how to talk to trumpies about the Affordable Care Act.  You're wasting your time training and your breath trying to overcome deplorableness with facts and numbers.

They know Obamacare is the worst because that nigger in the white house invented it, even though they themselves have had their lives saved because of it.

No matter what happens to Obamacare in Congress, trumpies will always and forever blame Obama for everything, because that's the only way they can justify their pathetic, racist lives.


But I do know that as a citizen and a woman I remain deeply, deeply offended by Trump's voters and the way they behaved during the campaign. I find it hard to see why their economic anxiety, if they really have it, excuses the despicable, gross way they acted and the way they cheered that twisted piece of work we call a president. It was indecent. 
I'm all for policies that will help those people economically. I always have been. Far more, by the way, than the libertarians and the conservatives have ever been. I would never vote against the economic interests of the working class. But I don't think I have an obligation to give them a pass for their deplorable beliefs at the same time. Everyone has certain lines they cannot cross. Coddling racist, misogynist, xenophobes is my line. They are not children. They are adults who have agency. 
As far as electoral strategy, this is how I feel about that.

.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Return of Boiling Alive

Every single supposedly progressive white person who says "I don't see color" should be held to account for horrific torture like this.  Because it is exactly the refusal to acknowledge what happens every fucking day to non-white people that makes it not even a crime to murder them by literally boiling them alive.

On June 23, 2012, Darren Rainey, a schizophrenic man serving time for cocaine possession, was thrown into a prison shower at the Dade Correctional Institution. The water was turned up top 180 degrees — hot enough to steep tea or cook Ramen noodles.
As punishment, four corrections officers — John Fan Fan, Cornelius Thompson, Ronald Clarke and Edwina Williams — kept Rainey in that shower for two full hours. Rainey was heard screaming “Please take me out! I can’t take it anymore!” and kicking the shower door. Inmates said prison guards laughed at Rainey and shouted “Is it hot enough?”
Rainey died inside that shower. He was found crumpled on the floor. When his body was pulled out, nurses said there were burns on 90 percent of his body. A nurse said his body temperature was too high to register with a thermometer.
And his skin fell off at the touch.
But in an unconscionable decision, Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle’s office announced Friday that the four guards who oversaw what amounted to a medieval-era boiling will not be charged with a crime.
“The shower was itself neither dangerous nor unsafe,’’ the report says. “The evidence does not show that Rainey’s well-being was grossly disregarded by the correctional staff.’’
What is there even to say at this point?
 Only Blue Lives Matter.

Thomas Massie Is Still Not Your Friend

He's voting against the Obamacare repeal today, but not because he wants you to have good health coverage.  He's voting against the Obamacare repeal because he wants only rich people to have health coverage. 

He wants you to die suffering and starving in a ditch. 

One firm NO vote is Thomas Massey, a Libertarian-leaning independent thinker from Kentucky. He says he knows over 35 Republicans against it and he feels they can force Ryan to raise the white flag and repeal ObamaCare without replacing it. "This is worse than Obamacare," he told the media, "and we’re going to own it. We’re going to own it lock, stock and barrel." He tweeted jokingly that he had changed his vote late yesterday, sending out this as a tweet:


Monetized Nation

Yes, we've always been capitalists.  But capitalists who tried to outlaw corporations (the Founding Fathers) and capitalists who abolished the capitalist epitome that was chattel slavery and capitalists who alleviated its worst abominations with a social safety net.

Fuck, even as late as the 1970s, corporations acknowledged a responsibility to their customers and their communities - at least until the "share price uber alles" movement took over the nation.

Not any more. Now it's so bad the Ferengi aren't a satire of greed so much as a glimpse of tomorrow's world.

Slate's Jordan Weissmann writes:
Got that? Mulvaney says the White House is cutting Head Start to make sure it doesn't waste the taxes of single mothers in Detroit, because it's just that compassionate. Honestly, I would have more respect for the man if he'd stood up on stage with a stock pot and said the administration had decided that the poor should be boiled into bone broth. At least then he'd have the courage of his convictions.
"Proper function" is a most curious turn of phrase. In What is America for? a few weeks ago, I noted that caring for money has taken the place of caring for people in American governance. Mulvaney's response confirms that, as does Trump's choice of Goldman Sachs veterans for high positions in his administration (and Obama's before him). Serving money takes precedence over serving people — unless they have lots of money.

At Netroots-Detroit in 2014, Anat Shenker-Osorio spoke to the conceptual shift that makes not feeding hungry children and the elderly "compassionate." With schools, for example:
We've moved from this garden metaphor to the language of the factory, right? So we have inputs, and we have outputs and we ratchet up expectations, and the kid is a product of a good school.

The entailments of that metaphor are that children are like widgets, they're all uniform and why would the widgets need art? And the teachers are factory workers and they do a thing to the kids, and it's all the same and they're on a conveyor belt and they move to the next one after they've been tested and a stamp is put on their ass and they're... none are left behind.

This mechanistic language is so widespread, that we have now monetized children, right? We invest in the future and we invest in our kids, and they're too small to fail. And we can kid ourselves all we want, but the prevailing understanding of the investment frame is financial return. That is how it is used in language. And so we are saying, "The reason to do a thing, the reason it's right, is because it's lucrative"

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

As Pothole Season Opens, a Driver's Thoughts Turn to 45's Infrastructure Lies

And, of course, as Paul Krugman noted in November, what was proposed was never very populist:
To understand what’s going on, it may be helpful to start with what we should be doing. The federal government can indeed borrow very cheaply; meanwhile, we really need to spend money on everything from sewage treatment to transit. The indicated course of action, then, is simple: borrow at those low, low rates, and use the funds raised to fix what needs fixing.

But that’s not what the Trump team is proposing. Instead, it’s calling for huge tax credits: billions of dollars in checks written to private companies that invest in approved projects, which they would end up owning. For example, imagine a private consortium building a toll road for $1 billion. Under the Trump plan, the consortium might borrow $800 million while putting up $200 million in equity — but it would get a tax credit of 82 percent of that sum, so that its actual outlays would only be $36 million. And any future revenue from tolls would go to the people who put up that $36 million.

... what reason do we have to believe that this scheme will generate new investment, as opposed to repackaging things that would have happened anyway?

Monday, March 20, 2017

Anti-Abortion is Anti-life.

This is real terrorism.  Denying life-saving procedures to women already grieving because a wanted pregnancy has gone irretrievably bad is viciously cruel.  Justifying it with scare tactics that describe a safe, effective medical procedure as "barbaric" is nothing less than terrorism.

It's amazing their tongues don't flip right off their rollers when they lie like this.

From the press release:

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin is joining with 21 other states in filing an amicus brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in support of Alabama’s ban on the barbaric procedure of dismemberment abortion. The effort to support Alabama through the amicus brief is being led by Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry.
 
The Commonwealth joins Louisiana, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wisconsin in filing the supportive document asserting that Alabama’s law is constitutional and that the federal district court applied the wrong legal standard in enjoining the enforcement of the ban.
  Forbes:
“There is no such thing as a ninth month abortion.” Those who seek late-term abortions are seeking them before a pregnancy reaches full term but often and unfortunately after they have discovered in the second or third trimester some problem with the fetus or danger to the mother.
SNIP
As noted, these types of abortions are extremely rare. Although both the rate and number of abortions have steadily fallen in the U.S., an estimated 1 million procedures are performed each year, according to the Guttmacher Institute. These procedures remain very safe, considerably more so than pregnancy and birth, in fact. Of these abortions, 91.4% are performed in the first trimester, less than 14 weeks into pregnancy. Just 1.3% of abortions are performed at or after 21 weeks, and an estimated 0.2% of all abortions involve the dilation and evacuation procedure. And why would women seek them in the first place?

“The kinds of cases that fall at the end of pregnancy are often the most heartbreaking, painful decisions for families to make,” Clinton said at the debate. “I have met with women who toward the end of their pregnancy get the worst news one could get, that their health is in jeopardy if they continue to carry to term or that something terrible has happened or just been discovered about the pregnancy. I do not think the United States government should be stepping in and making those most personal of decisions.”
This is not about babies, who by definition cannot be aborted.  They breathe air and are therefore alive and human. 
This is about men using freakazoid religion to control women's sexuality.  Every time they hear the word "abortion," they're jacking off in their pants.
In the immortal words of Charlie Pierce, these really are the fucking mole people.


Sunday, March 19, 2017

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Incentives

As someone once said, repugs claim that giving more money to the rich makes them work harder, but giving money to the poor makes them work less.  Right.






Friday, March 17, 2017

Out of Irish Mouths

Via PZ Myers:


In other words, Cic Maith Sa Tóin Atá De Dlíth Air.

If It's Not Breathing Air, It's A Tumor

Kevin Drum makes a heroic effort to expose the mendacity of anti-woman freakazoids who talk about blastocysts as if cell clumps are kindergartners, but in trying to be "reasonable," he drops the ball.
 
Science Fact: Fetuses are not human beings.  This is not a question on which reasonable people can disagree.  It is a science fact.  Shame on supposed pro-choicers who claim otherwise.
Over at The Corner, Alexandra DeSanctis is unhappy that Dawn Laguens, Planned Parenthood’s executive vice president, refuses to say whether she considers a fetus to be a human being:
She avoided the questions because the abortion industry is built on the lie that the unborn child isn’t a living human, and if they acknowledge that this claim is fiction, their entire system will collapse.
....People on either side of the abortion debate can disagree on what rights that human being has. We can argue over the relevance of fetal viability, and we can differ on whether a woman’s right to “bodily autonomy” is more important than her child’s right to life. But these two fundamentally contradictory positions about the child’s humanity cannot both be correct; either each unborn child is a living human being, or it isn’t.....Until pro-abortion leaders such as Laguens are willing to admit to this humanity, it will remain impossible to have an honest disagreement about the competing rights at stake in this debate.
Well, I'm not on TV and nobody cares what I think, so I can say what Laguens wouldn't: a fetus is not a living human in any sensible way. I can't prove this. It's like asking whether a beanbag is a chair. It's an opinion, not a fact. 

As for why Laguens wouldn't answer, it's not because she's dishonest. Certainly no more so than pro-lifers who refuse to say whether women who get abortions should be thrown in jail for murder. In both cases there are arguments to be made either way, but none of them really matter. The real reason for reticence is that neither side wants to make scary-sounding statements that might drive moderates away from their side. 

In any case, it's not as if this is a bewildering mystery. "Life," in anything other than a technical biological sense, is a matter of human judgment.1 We decide when it starts and when it ends. Both of these are gray areas, but they're gray areas where we set up semi-arbitrary rules: 20 weeks or viability or third trimester or EEG flatline or lack of retinal response or something similar. What other choice do we have? If you're going to have the government involved, you have to create a reasonably bright-line rule for people to follow.
Speaking personally, I offer up this hypothetical. On your left you have a baby. On your right you have a vial with an embryo in it. At the end of 60 seconds, one of them will be randomly crushed unless you make a choice of which to save. So which is it?

I don't think anyone, pro-life or otherwise, would hesitate. You'd save the baby even if the vial had two embryos in it. Or a hundred. Or a thousand. There's simply no visceral sense in which we genuinely feel that a fertilized egg is a human being. You can make an intellectual argument for it, but not one that will survive contact with the real world.

1Needless to say, none of this applies to religious arguments. Dogma is not open to debate with nonbelievers.
Also, there is no such thing as an anti-abortion argument that does not boil down to freakazoid stupidity.  It's religion all the way down.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The Crime of Existing

Existing while darker than a paper bag, that is.

From The Nation, first this:

“Get out of my country” may as well be the slogan of the Trump administration, directed at anyone who is not white or Christian or straight. But this country doesn’t belong to Trump; it belongs to all of us. We must stop it from being turned into a crime scene.
Trump himself called for the DHS to go after nearly every undocumented immigrant, by pursuing those who (1) have been convicted of crimes, (2) have not been convicted but merely charged with a crime, (3) have committed any act that could be construed as a “chargeable offense,” (4) have used a fake Social Security number to work or pay taxes, (5) have availed themselves unlawfully of public benefits like food stamps or public assistance, (6) have a deportation order against them, or (7) pose a public-safety risk in the eyes of any immigration officer. These categories are so broad that they eliminate any veneer of “prioritizing” enforcement. The fourth category—using a fake Social Security number to work and pay taxes—is part and parcel of undocumented life. The seventh category offers immigration agents and law-enforcement officers so much discretion as to basically invite racial profiling. The second and third mean that immigrants will be particularly vulnerable in locales where policing and patrolling is discriminatory—which, in the United States, is many places.

SNIP

Herein lies the real messaging sleight of hand from a president who boasted that, on immigration, he has “the biggest heart of anybody.” The only way to achieve a mass-deportation agenda of the scope that Trump intends is to turn a person’s very existence into a crime. The DHS memos released last week show us just how that will be done.
 And yet again, no one who isn't 100 percent full-blooded Amer-Indian Native Americans has the right to criticize immigrants of any kind for any reason.  They're here, they're Americans.  You're American, you're an immigrant.

Monday, March 13, 2017

The Blue Lives KY Repugs Think Need Protecting

This is what they do with the power they already have.  The "Blue Lives Matter" bill now on Gov. Matt "Trump's Butt Boy" Bevin's desk will give them unchecked power to rape, steal and murder without consequences.

In a lawsuit packed with explosive allegations, a former member of the Louisville Police youth program says he was raped and sexually abused by two officers during a two-year period and the police concealed it.

The plaintiff, identified as "N.C.," said he was sodomized by Officer Kenneth Betts and Brandon Wood from the time he was 17 to 19 years old and that the abuse occurred in their homes and police vehicles. The suit also alleges that Betts and Wood recorded the episodes and used them to make pornography.

The suit, filed Wednesday in Jefferson Circuit Court, was sealed by Judge Judith McDonald-Burkman, but the Courier-Journal obtained a copy. The man’s attorney, David Yates, who moved to seal the complaint, has previously said his client was sexually abused by “people in power” and that Yates believes there was an attempted cover-up.

"N.C." also says in the suit that the “deliberate conduct” of Betts and Woods was designed to intimidate, degrade and control him for their sexual gratification and to force him to remain silent.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Friday, March 10, 2017

The Resistance: Mennonites in the Streets

Not for nothing, but the last thing that got them this involved in politics was the Civil Fucking War.

Charlie Pierce:

Give the current administration credit. It's managed to energize American politics in the most unlikely places. And as I know from personal experience, and from a campaign a long time ago in an election far, far away, one of the hardest places to energize secular politics is in among the Mennonite communities in Pennsylvania. That takes a master's hand, as we can see from this report from McClatchy, courtesy of The Wichita Eagle.

SNIP

The Mennonites are the kind of stubborn people of faith for whom the First Amendment was designed and for whom the American principles of religious freedom was a beacon—namely, those against whom the power of the state was exercised in a fashion more direct than having to provide birth control to their heathen employees.


The first of them fled to America to avoid persecution in Europe at the invitation of William Penn. In 1688, the Mennonites wrote the first formal protest against American slavery. They declined to serve in the military in any American wars, including the Revolution itself. (This became particularly acute during the Civil War, when the Mennonite opposition to slavery collided with their opposition to military service. In Pennsylvania, their great patron was abolitionist Senator Thaddeus Stevens.) Their idea of a separation of church and state is ironclad, but it's the product of centuries of debate and serious contemplation. Being apolitical during a war is a very political act.

So, while it's unusual to see Mennonites as active as they are today, it's hardly inconsistent with their history.

SNIP

The Mennonites are in the street. Something's building out there.
You're not going to let the Mennonites hog all the fun, are you?

 

Because Elected Power is Never Enough for Republicans

They have to have permanent dictatorship. And they'll cheat to get it.

Zandar:

Kentucky Republicans in Frankfort have decided that since the state Attorney General is Democrat Andy Beshear, that maybe the office needs a hefty chunk of its power removed so that GOP Gov. Matt Bevin can do whatever he wants to.

The President of the state Senate has filed a change to a bill that would strip power from the attorney general and give the governor exclusive authority to represent the state in many legal matters. 
On Wednesday morning, attorney general Andy Beshear called the measure “an unprecedented power grab and one of the worst constitutional overreaches since the adoption of our current constitution.” 
“The attorney general is not the governor’s lawyer, he’s not the General Assembly’s’ lawyer, he is the people’s lawyer,” Beshear said. “Because, as the Supreme Court explained, in Kentucky, the people are the sovereign, the people are the king. Not the government and not the governor.” 
Beshear said the proposal amounted to a “get-out-of-jail-free card” for the governor.
 SNIP

Odds are really fantastic that this will pass and that Bevin will sign it.  Whether or not it gets past Kentucky's Supreme Court I couldn't tell you, but giving most of the office's statewide power to Matt Bevin seems like a horrendous idea.
It's also a serious ethical and oversight breach, but then again these are Republicans we're talking about.  Using government power for their own purposes is absolutely fine.  Using it to help the people of the Commonwealth, well that's unfair.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

The Resistance: Fact-Correcting To Their Faces

No, you do not have to sit there and seethe or scream obscenities when trumpies repeat the lies and fantasies they have been fed by wingnut media.  Give 'em facts and watch them deflate.  A lady in a focus group teaches you how.

Wonkette:

What we didn’t think we’d see today was a whole mess of “regular people,” as focus grouped by none other than Frank Fucking Luntz, who had a hell of a lot more to say — correctly — than the pundits did. They were not buying his bullshit! Not even for a second! (Well, a few guys did, for a second, and they were SHOUTED DOWN by people who KNOW THE SCORE.) We know you never watch the videos, but make like an Abba song and Take a Chance on this one! It’s FUN! 

OOOH BOY they are SPITFIRES! Whenever any of them are incorrect, the others hoot and shout him down with FACTS! Like, one dude says “hey, he gave an olive branch to the Democrats,” and they are like NO HE DID NOT, HE SAID THEY HAD TO WORK WITH HIM, and then another guy claims the Congressional Black Congress wouldn’t even meet with poor President Trump and the big black woman is all NUH UH UH and she backs it up with the real facts of the matter — that they had sent him a letter in JANUARY and he STILL HASN’T RESPONDED TO IT, and she is not having that dude’s JIVE. (She didn’t say “jive,” but she didn’t even need to, she was so rad and good and loud and facty.)

Frank Luntz: “OKAY, WE’RE NOT ALL GOING TO JUMP ON MARK AT ONE TIME.”
No, they will TAKE TURNS.

And this is how we must all be, every single fucking day, when we are met with half-baked alternafacts from people who get their info from Alex Jones or Trump (same thing) and shout them all down with TRUTH, and also #RESIST.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Freakazoids Stealing Public Rado Waves

Yes, stealing.  I don't care how much they paid for it.  That's a public radio station using broadcasts bands owned by the public. Public radio stations are the sole source of unbiased radio news in almost all the communities they reach.  Now that's gone in Northern Kentucky.

And it's being replaced by freakazoid propaganda, indoctrination and lies about creationism and the property status of women and children.

The Northern Kentucky University Board of Regents on Tuesday approved the sale of campus radio station WNKU.
The radio station, which began broadcasting in 1985, will be sold to the Bible Broadcasting Corporation for $1.9 million, reported The Northerner, NKU’s independent student news organization. The university also sold WNKE for “$700,000 to Educational Media Foundation, which syndicates Christian programming through Air1 and K-LOVE,” The Northerner also reported.
WNKU was sold due to dwindling state funding and the $1 million subsidy the university expected to pay at the of this year for the station, said university spokesperson Amanda Nageleisen. The station had about 20 full and part-time employees.

WNKU will remain on the air until its sale is approved by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Citymusic.com organized a rally early Tuesday at the Northern Kentucky University Student Union Hall to decry the sale.

“While the executive session is closed to the public, we hope to send a message to the board before and after the session that the over 3,000 member stakeholders who fund WNKU will not stand idly by while NKU’s Board of Regents determines the fate of our station,” Citymusic.com wrote on Facebook.
The motherfuckers have already bought up every public hospital in the state, ensuring that medical values will adhere to those of Bronze Age desert goatfuckers.

Now it's the broadcast band.  Public schools are next, with libraries and bookstores to follow.


The motherfuckers started by buying

Sunday, March 5, 2017

The Religion of Fossil Fuels

It's no coincidence that freakazoids are also fossil fuel fanatics.  It's the same blind, mindless clinging to destructive myths.

Divine Irony:

Ya’ll gon use up all the wind!

Ya’ll gon use up all the wind!

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Stop Pretending These People Are Normal

DR Tucker at Political Animal:

If there are any doubts remaining in the progressive mind about just how fundamentally ruthless and ideologically barbaric members of the Trump Administration are, Sessions’s refusal to resign should set such doubts to rest. These are stone-cold diabolical people, every last damned one of them. Morals and ethics are punchlines to their jokes.

Trump and Sessions long ago declared unholy war on all things progressive, all things Democratic, all things rational and reasonable. There has indeed been a pivot in the Trump Administration. That pivot is the point where they became even worse.
And their voters are egging them on.  No amount of progressive appeasement is going to change them.

Friday, March 3, 2017

The Lying Piece of Shit


How anyone with family members who are veterans or active-duty military can support this disgusting excuse for a human being - much less a commander in chief - is beyond me.

Josh Marshall:

Military missions go wrong. It is always the President's responsibility. But that doesn't mean it's the President's fault. President Trump has displayed an uncanny refusal to take any responsibility for what happened in this raid, even going so far as to all but deny that he even authorized it. As he said yesterday morning: “This was a mission that was started before I got here. This was something they wanted to do. They came to see me, they explained what they wanted to do ― the generals ― who are very respected, my generals are the most respected that we’ve had in many decades, I believe. And they lost Ryan."

This is a moment when we'll see how just how earnest the press is about holding the President to account. This 'presidential' moment was the most shameless kind of exploitation and it would seem a straight up lie.

KY Repug Senators Aid and Abet Child Abuse

That headline is a gross understatement, by the way.  Repug senators in the Kentucky general assembly just announced to the world that parents who abuse their children should be allowed to take their children out of school to hide that abuse.

Not. Even. Kidding.

From John Cheves at the Herald:

The Republican Senate majority won’t hear a bill that would require abused or neglected children to remain enrolled in school because it doesn’t wish to get involved in the sensitive subject of home-schooling, a key senator said Wednesday.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Whitney Westerfield, R-Hopkinsville, said his committee won’t give a hearing to Senate Bill 181. Under the bill, parents who have a substantiated instance of child abuse or neglect on their record would not be allowed to remove their children from public school without court approval.

“There is some resistance on it,” Westerfield said. “I’ve spoken to people, and I don’t think it has the votes to get out. Members of the Senate have concerns about getting into home-schooling.”

In a fiery 13-minute speech on the Senate floor Wednesday, the bill’s sponsor, Senate Democratic Leader Ray Jones of Pikeville, criticized GOP senators for calling themselves “pro life” while refusing to hear a proposal that could protect children from being isolated at home, without witnesses, and fatally abused.

Jones filed his bill after reading in the Herald-Leader last month about an 8-year-old Berea girl who was tortured nearly to death by her father and his girlfriend. The father withdrew the girl from her elementary school, falsely claiming that he would home-school her, after school employees reported the girl’s injuries to social workers.

 “When you no longer have principals and teachers and school nurses and others involved in the child’s life, this kind of abuse can easily be shielded,” Jones said. “You say that you’re a pro life chamber, that you’re a pro life party, and yet even a simple bill to protect the lives of innocent children like this 8-year-old little girl can’t get a hearing.”

Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/news/politics-government/article135781683.html#storylink=cpy

Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/news/politics-government/article135781683.html#storylink=cpy

KY Bill to Kill Public Education Not Dead Yet

You're not fooling anybody, Johnny boy; the minute defenders of public education relax their vigilance for a second, you'll shove that sucker down our throats.

A charter school bill backed by Gov. Matt Bevin could be in trouble in the 2017 General Assembly.
“I want to pass a version that’s best for our kids and if that means continuing to work on it in the interim, then that’s certainly a possibility at this time,” state Rep. John Carney R-Campbellsville, sponsor of House Bill 520 and chairman of the House Education Committee, said Wednesday.

“We could put something out and pass a charter bill but my goal, and I think all of our goals, is to pass what’s best for our students. Let’s don’t rush that. It would be nice to get it done. We’re still hopeful we can get it done by the end of the session, but obviously the clock’s ticking and I’m not going to rush to pass a bill that I don’t think that helps kids,” Carney told the Herald-Leader. “If we have to work on it over the interim that’s certainly a possibility.”

“There’s still some other things that we’re trying to work on,” Carney said Wednesday afternoon. He said he was working on language regarding the financing of public charter schools.

SNIP

Jason Bailey, executive director of the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy, said charter schools could “divert resources from already underfunded public schools.”
That's the whole point.  Charter schools are nothing but a vacuum sucking tax dollars away from public schools and pouring it into the pockets of corporations and freakazoids.

OK, class. Because Johnny Carney and his greedy friends are hiding the facts, let's review:

When Betsy DeVos, your new Secretary of Education, forced charters on Detroit, those struggling schools went from struggling to catastrophic.
By 2015, a federal review of a grant application for Michigan charter schools found an “unreasonably high” number of charters among the worst-performing 5 percent of public schools statewide. The number of charters on the list had doubled from 2010 to 2014.

“People here had so much confidence in choice and choice alone to close the achievement gap,” said Amber Arellano, the executive director of the Education Trust Midwest, which advocates higher academic standards. “Instead, we’re replicating failure.”
And of course they're cheating and abusing students of color and poverty, because denying good education to poor and minority children is another major charter goal. 

Wonkette:
Hope you’re ready for some edu-outrage this morning, because the good folks at investigative journalism nonprofit ProPublica have published a damning look at how some school districts have found an ingenious way to raise test scores and graduation rates at their top schools: All they have to do is nudge the academically weakest students out of the good schools into private charter schools where they can be warehoused until they drop out. The “good” schools win awards for excellence, the charters turn a healthy profit for the companies that plop the low achievers down in front of computers all day, and everyone’s happy, except maybe the low-achieving students who, instead of getting extra help and a second chance for academic success, get shunted off to a dead-end school where they’re allowed to quietly fail. It’s OK! Those losers would have just dragged everyone else down anyway!

To illustrate how this nationwide problem plays out, the ProPublica report looks closely at two high schools in the Orlando, Florida, school system: the high-achieving Olympia High School, which “offers more than two dozen Advanced Placement courses, even more afterschool clubs, and an array of sports from bowling to water polo,” and Sunshine High School, a for-profit charter located in a strip mall, just a couple doors down from a liquor store. Olympia High wins awards, attracts scholarships, and got listed in US News and World Report’s top 1,000 high schools. Sunshine High has its students sit at computers for four hours a day, and they’re lucky to ever see any live teaching. Big surprise: More than 85 percent of Sunshine High’s students are black or Hispanic. You know, disposable kids. ProPublica explains the sick symbiotic relationship between the prize-winning public school and the charter dumping ground:
Sunshine takes in cast-offs from Olympia and other Orlando high schools in a mutually beneficial arrangement. Olympia keeps its graduation rate above 90 percent — and its rating an “A” under Florida’s all-important grading system for schools — partly by shipping its worst achievers to Sunshine. Sunshine collects enough school district money to cover costs and pay its management firm, Accelerated Learning Solutions (ALS), a more than $1.5 million-a-year “management fee,” 2015 financial records show – more than what the school spends on instruction.
But students lose out, a ProPublica investigation found. Once enrolled at Sunshine, hundreds of them exit quickly with no degree and limited prospects. The departures expose a practice in which officials in the nation’s tenth largest school district have for years quietly funneled thousands of disadvantaged students — some say against their wishes — into alternative charter schools that allow them to disappear without counting as dropouts.
There is one thing and one thing only that improves public education for children of poverty: Money.  Lots and lots and lots of money.  Money to eliminate poverty. Money to build new schools.  Money to hire outstanding teachers and get class sizes down to 20. Money invested in schools, not corporate profits and freakazoid indoctrination.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

The Resistance: Shadow Cabinet

Political Animal:

* When it comes to the resistance movement, it is worth noting that 15 progressive policy experts have formed a “Shadow Cabinet” to become an agency-by-agency one-stop portal debunking Trump & staff. Included on the roster are Citizen AG Laurence Tribe, Citizen Secretary of Labor/Commerce Robert Reich and Citizen Secretary of Treasury/Trade Laura Tyson. They’re slick enough to have put together this video, because who says the resistance can’t be fun?

Click here for the video.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The Resistance: Sometimes It Takes Real Courage

Real Courage to just do the right thing.
Back in December, we remembered two heroes on the occasion of their deaths. One was John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth. The other was Larry Colburn, an American soldier. On March 16, 1968, an 18-year-old door gunner in a helicopter in Vietnam, Colburn joined with Hugh Thompson in drawing down on the U.S. soldiers engaged in slaughtering the inhabitants of the village of My Lai.

As The New York Times recounted:
"Mr. Thompson was just beside himself," Mr. Colburn recalled in an interview in 2010 for the PBS program "The American Experience." "He got on the radio and just said, 'This isn't right, these are civilians, there's people killing civilians down here.' And that's when he decided to intervene. He said, 'We've got to do something about this, are you with me?' And we said, 'Yes.' " Mr. Thompson confronted the officer in command of the rampaging platoon, Lt. William L. Calley, but was rebuffed. He then positioned the helicopter between the troops and the surviving villagers and faced off against another lieutenant. Mr. Thompson ordered Mr. Colburn to fire his M-60 machine gun at any soldiers who tried to inflict further harm. "Y'all cover me!" Mr. Thompson was quoted as saying. "If these bastards open up on me or these people, you open up on them. Promise me!"
"You got it boss," Mr. Colburn replied. "Consider it done." Mr. Thompson, Mr. Colburn and Glenn Andreotta, the copter's crew chief, found about 10 villagers cowering in a makeshift bomb shelter and coaxed them out, then had them flown to safety by two Huey gunships. They found an 8-year-old boy clinging to his mother's corpse in an irrigation ditch and plucked him by the back of his shirt and delivered him to a nun in a nearby hospital.
On Tuesday, I received an e-mail from Michael Manley, who was Larry Colburn's cousin. With his permission, I share it with y'all now.
A quick note to thank you for the piece you wrote about the passing of both John Glenn and my close cousin, Larry Colburn. The timing of your article and the context of leadership in today's world, let's just say your article stood out from the pack. I was not sure if you knew Larry or had met him, he was a humble and thoughtful man - with a well founded cynical view of government and power - as a result of his experiences in Vietnam and how the government behaved afterwards. Larry had 3 sisters, no brother and I was the only one from the extended family in the northwest that would travel down to GA regularly. Since the mid 90's - I would stay with Larry, and his family a few times a year - to the point where Larry would always say "Your room is waiting for you." We became close as brothers immediately. Talked about the details of My Lai, many times. Larry often told me "Mike, anyone would have reacted the same way Hugh, Glenn and I did that day, we were simply being sane in an insane situation. It wasn't a choice. It was a moral human reaction."
Larry's father passed away when Larry was 13 years old, and my father, Joseph Manley, filled in as sort of a surrogate mentor in Larry's life at times, and as Larry told me "set me straight" when I needed it. He was fond of my dad who passed away in '98 and had great stories for me about his "Uncle Joe." I spent the last week with Larry, Lisa, Connor (his son) and 2 of his sisters, down in Atlanta in early December. He was humble and completely himself to the very end. He never lost his wit or humility. I'll never forget his last words to me, "I'll be looking after you from the other side of the stars." I had shared your article with family and friends, and it was very thoughtful of you - gave my family, Larry's and our extended family - a great deal of pride. I'm sure Larry would be blown away to see such an article and be spoken of in the same context as John Glenn. Larry was a peace maker to the end. War sickened him, especially how we have marginalized human loss these days and look at war as "TV war" that doesn't affect us so who cares.
It was beyond my honor to write the post. I thought I'd share it because Colburn's description of what happened in Vietnam that day—"Anyone would have reacted the same way Hugh, Glenn and I did that day. We were simply being sane in an insane situation. It wasn't a choice. It was a moral human reaction."—gives us as Americans a helluva lot more credit for courage than we deserve, especially in these days when, confronted with the choice of being sane in an insane situation, safe here at home, with nobody shooting at them, too many of our alleged leaders can't even summon up the courage to vote "no."
Thanks again, Mike. And eternal rest be unto your cousin, and let perpetual light shine upon him.

Giving Every Racist Fuckhead a Badge

There used to be a joke that the only people qualified to be President of the United States are people who sincerely do not want the job.

Now we need to put that into effect for federal law enforcement, because job openings there are bringing out of the woodwork all the criminals, crazies and KKKers slavering for official permission to shoot darkies down in the street.

Digby:

The number of errors in both law and common sense among customs and border officials since Trump first implemented his ban does not bode well for an orderly or professional implementation. Now, according to Foreign Policy, the desperate need for thousands more agents has made it difficult to find people who can pass polygraph tests and background checks — so the administration wants to drop those requirements. What could possibly go wrong?