Saturday, September 15, 2018

The Face of Cowardice

Down with Tyranny:

Massa Bevin: Slaves Were Just Apprentices

When your racism and White Privilege are so ingrained that you can't even pretend any more.

Joe Gerth at the Courier:

When Master Matt Bevin thinks of the “good ol’ days,” who knew he thinks about the late 1700s?

Marse Bevin — according to WFPL — went to the Kentucky Registered Apprenticeship Summit on Monday and extolled the virtues of indentured servitude as being something akin to an early form of an apprenticeship.

According to the radio station, Marse Bevin said that a couple of his ancestors came to America as indentured servants, learned how to make bells from their master and went on to form their own company after they were freed.

He hailed the harsh practice of keeping people in bondage as a way to give workers hands-on experience.

Well shackle me up and teach me to cast bronze.

Indentured servitude, of course, was the practice of paying one’s way across the pond by selling oneself into bondage for a prescribed number of years — essentially a form of slavery.

It differed from the enslavement of Africans practiced throughout the South, though, in that with Southern slavery, there was no contract and the prescribed number of years was the rest of one’s life, and the rest of one's children’s lives and the rest of their children’s lives, and so on.

So, slavery was far worse. But indentured servitude was no picnic, either.

Sure, a few indentured servants learned trades, but the vast majority of serfs were field workers and household servants, working alongside the African slaves, or doing the same jobs in lieu of the African slaves.

For Master Bevin, this is not to be thought of as a time we should regret and think “thank heavens we’ve gotten past that and don’t allow such a barbarous practice any longer.”

No, for Master Bevin, it is the age of enlightenment. A time of great learning.

(Someone should point out right here that labor unions, which Bevin has harshly criticized and pushed to neuter or kill with right-to-work and other anti-union legislation, run amazing apprenticeship programs that don’t require bondage or a period of servitude.)

Friday, September 7, 2018

Open Season on KY Toddlers: 3 Shot Dead in 3 Weeks

But of course toddlers and children within a country mile of a gun are always in season.

A 2-year-old child died after being accidentally shot by a sibling Tuesday in Western Kentucky.

The Barren County sheriff’s office said they were called to the home of an Amish family on Buck Creek Road after the shooting at about 8:45 a.m.

“The children had been sent upstairs to get some items for their parent prior to the incident taking place,” the sheriff’s office said in a news release.
The sheriff’s office said the juvenile sibling had been handling a loaded rifle when the toddler was shot. The child was pronounced dead at the scene.

It was the third fatal shooting of a small child in Kentucky in less than a month.

 
A 2-year-old boy died Aug. 15 after shooting himself in the head in Louisville.

A Herald-Leader investigation last year found that at least 36 Kentucky children had accidentally shot themselves or another child over the previous five years.

Monday, September 3, 2018

First, Let's Kill All the Bosses

This weekend I saw an NBC promo that featured some CNBC analyst purporting to advise people who are having problems with their boss.

Short version: stop forcing your boss to "explain your behavior to other people."

Fact: If your boss is spending even five seconds "explaining your behavior to other people," then you do indeed have a big problem.  Your big problem is that your boss is an asshole.

Your boss is an asshole because your boss is undermining and sabotaging you by publicly disparaging your skills and professionalism.

More broadly, your boss is an asshole because 45 years ago repug/conservative capitalism began to flip the New Deal system of powerful labor/worker that prevented owners and bosses from abusing workers to one that allows employers to treat employees as serfs without rights.

It's Labor Fucking Day, people. Let's stop giving bosses power.  Let's stop putting employers in charge. Let's stop pretending owners are "job creators."

If every boss, employer, owner disappeared tomorrow, the work - the actual work of keeping the economy humming - the work would continue without a hiccup.

Workers create jobs. Workers build and run the economy.  Workers are irreplaceable.

What would a worker-centered economy look like?  Let's start with what we lost 45 years ago and build on that.

  • Criminalize non-worker interference with organizing and collective bargaining. Every workplace that votes to unionize gets a union. Every unionized workplace requires collective bargaining.
  • Repeal all pro-rentier, anti-worker legislation, regulations and tax breaks.
  • Permanently bar from all government contracts, tax breaks and subsidies all corporations that take anti-worker actions (not just layoffs and off-shoring but also a worker-management pay ratio of more than 50 to 1). 
  • Ban all future and reverse all previous mergers/acquisitions that give any entity control of more than five percent of any economic sector. Criminalize anti-trust behavior.
  • Minimum wage of $25 per hour, indexed to inflation.
  • Social Security equal to minimum wage, and available at age 55.
  • Medicare for All or Single Payer medical insurance.
  • Universal Child Care.
  • Construct 100 million new units of affordable housing.
  • Build mass transportation that gets every worker to their workplace.  
This is fun!  Let your imagination run wild!  No pro-worker policy or program is too much!

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Friday, August 31, 2018

Repug Trumpies Trying to Swift Boat Amy McGrath

C/mon, Herald: Don't fall for this shit.  Just because these critics are "veterans" doesn't mean they are not partisan shills doing the bidding of Cheeto Twitler.

Not to mention the extreme hostility of old white male veterans toward any vagina-haver who dares to  tread on "their" turf

From the Herald:

It’s where Democratic candidate Amy McGrath, a former Marine Corps fighter pilot, was inducted into the Kentucky Aviation Hall of Fame two years ago. It’s near where she filmed campaign ads that drew national attention last year. And it’s where a group of veterans who support U.S. Rep. Andy Barr, a Republican, rallied for more than two hours Wednesday night to say she shouldn’t be elected in November. 
 
“McGrath’s commercials accuse Andy Barr of being scared,” said Travis Cassidy, a retired Marine Corps sergeant. “I am here to tell you Andy Barr has no reason to be scared. U.S. Marines know war is won on the ground, not by the air.”

Um, Sergeant? You do know that Candy Barr has not spent a single minute in the uniform of his country, right?  You do know that Candy's response to 9-11 was to suck up to Kentucky repugs even harder, right?  You do know that Candy has yet to say a word against the "president" who has publicly confessed treason, right?
McGrath, a retired lieutenant colonel, has made her military service the bedrock of her candidacy. She calls her campaign her 90th combat mission and has featured fighter jets in each of her ads. In her stump speech, she often talks about how her experience in the military will help her cross party lines to fix the nation’s problems.
SNIP
Mostly, the event served as a way to diminish the importance of McGrath’s military experience, her largest strength as a candidate.
Precisely.  These are the same mindless repugs who libeled genuine war hero John Kerry  to promote a Vietnam War draft dodger who deserted his post in wartime.

The same blind partisans who cheered the Pumpkin Traitor - another Vietnam draft dodger - when he slandered John McCain as a "loser" for getting captured and surviving 5 years of torture.

Read more here: https://www.kentucky.com/news/politics-government/article217570495.html#storylink=cpy

Veterans can support any political candidate they choose.  But when they use their veteran status to lie about another candidate, it is the duty of reporters and editors to call them out for it.

Candy Barr and Cheeto Twitler don't give a flying fuck about you, veterans. Stop doing their dirty work.


Read more here: https://www.kentucky.com/news/politics-government/article217570495.html#storylink=cpy

Bevin's Fucking With Medicaid Costing Kentucky Hundreds of Millions of Dollars

Gov. Steve Beshear's expanded Medicaid brought billions of dollars into Kentucky. Not just direct federal payments, but the economic growth of saved regional hospitals, retained doctors and nurses, and healthy residents.

But Gov. I Got Mine Fuck You destroyed that, and now the bill is coming due.

From the Herald:

Warning of a nearly $300 million potential shortfall in Kentucky's Medicaid program, officials say they could eliminate health coverage for more than 480,000 people to balance the state's budget.
This is the same old repug shit they're been pulling for 40 years: Sabotage a successful Democratic program then claim it doesn't work.  Use that lie to demand more massive cuts to successful social programs in order to shove more tax dollars down the gullets of the obscenely rich.

That's not a Medicaid shortfall: it the result of repugs stealing the state Treasury.  The chief thief is a billionaire: make him pay the $300 million.

Read more here: https://www.kentucky.com/latest-news/article217580810.html#storylink=cpy

Hands Off Social Security, Motherfuckers

Killing Social Security is the repug holy grail.  Once the social program that allows workers disabled by destructive corporations and exhausted by decades of unpaid overtime to retire with dignity is dead, then the billionaires can force everyone who is not filthy rich to work literally to death without relief, and the New Gilded Age will be permanent.

Ddown with Tyranny:

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Normalizing Crimes Against Humanity

These people are not bumbling goofs to laugh at.  They're not political incompetents in need of adult supervision.  They're not even anti-government idiots determined to burn the house down around themselves.

They are war criminals, turning their sick fantasies into atrocities.

No, the real crisis is an upsurge in hatred — unreasoning hatred that bears no relationship to anything the victims have done. And anyone making excuses for that hatred — who tries, for example, to turn it into a “both sides” story — is, in effect, an apologist for crimes against humanity.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

The 50-Year-Old Reason to Fight

Undercover Blue at Hullabaloo:

If I may, check out this thread from Will Bunch on why we do what we do.
I'm Bunch's age, I watched it too, and I'm here for the same reason.

Cowardly Bevin Terrified of Icky, Scary Transpeople

If we're going to start discriminating on the basis of gender identity, then let's start with cis, hetero white men.

And top of the list to be fired will be Gov. If You Don't Have a Penis That You're Proud Of, Drop Dead.

Think Progress:

A group of sixteen states has filed a brief calling on the Supreme Court to rule that it’s legal to fire people for being transgender.

SNIP
 
The states represented in the suit include Nebraska, Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming, as well as Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R), Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R), and Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant (R). Utah and Maine have state laws protecting against anti-LGBTQ employment discrimination, but none of the rest do.

There has already been significant backlash against the brief.

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear (D), who refused to sign the brief on behalf of the state, called Bevin’s decision to sign on “surprising” given that Kentucky state employees do enjoy protections against anti-LGBTQ discrimination, thanks to an executive order that Bevin has not rescinded. The Fairness Campaign, Kentucky’s state LGBTQ group, has also decried Bevin’s decision.
 Shut up, Andy: you'll give the motherfucker ideas.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

A Real Memorial to Jim Crow

In tiny Russellville, Kentucky, where 110 years ago four African-American men were lynched by a cheering mob.  Today, a gut-wrenching exhibit ensures they are not forgotten.

From Wes Swietek at the Bowling Green Daily News:

"It was as easy to raise a (lynch) mob in Logan County in those days as to drop a hat ... ."

That was the observation of Bowling Green lawyer John Rhodes in 1944. Rhodes was looking back three decades on the power of mob violence he saw firsthand as one of the lawyers in a 1908 shooting case in Russellville involving an African-American named Rufus Browder.

Extraordinary steps were taken to protect Browder from lynch mobs — including having a jailer hide him overnight in a cemetery — but four other African-American men were not so fortunate.

 They were hanged one by one from a cedar tree on a small rise in Russellville on the morning of Aug. 1, 1908, in a lynching case that would go on to have national repercussions, but remain largely forgotten for a century. An effort is now underway, however, to erect a historic marker for the quadruple murder and other racial killings in the county.

Read more here: https://www.kentucky.com/news/local/article217361810.html#storylink=cpy

 SNIP

Logan County is also unusual in that it houses a powerful memorial to the legacy of lynchings.
. . .
The West Kentucky African American Heritage Center in Russellville stretches across several buildings that chronicle the experiences of African-Americans in the region.

Perhaps the most powerful exhibit fills a small room. At the center is the work of folk artist Willie Rascoe — a small tree with nooses dangling from the branches. The surrounding exhibits tell the story of numerous Logan County lynchings, with an emphasis on the quadruple 1908 lynching.

Read more here: https://www.kentucky.com/news/local/article217361810.html#storylink=cpy

Read more here: https://www.kentucky.com/news/local/article217361810.html#storylink=cpy

The New Confederacy

If even after the blatantly anti-constitutional decisions of the Gorsuch Supreme Court this June you still think elections don't matter, think again.

Scott LeMeiux at LGM:
This is a flatly neoconfederate Court, refusing to enforce the Reconstruction Amendments to stop racial discrimination but willing to use them to stop integration. 
 
One of the many things that’s at stake in presidential elections is whether the Constitution’s mist critical provisions will be meaningfully enforced. If you’re wondering when I’ll stop passionately arguing against people who see elections as fora for atomistic consumer expression, the answer is “never.”
And Brett Kavanagh is going to make it exponentially worse, and for generations to come.

VOTE on Nov. 6. Vote early, vote often.  Take your family, take your friends, take your neighbors, take your dogs.  Issue non-violent threats to every Democrat you know who is not planning to vote (i.e., no more sex for you, no more homegrown tomatoes, no more using the pool, no more sharing high-speed wifi - you get the idea.)

Monday, August 27, 2018

They're Coming After Public Education, Too

You really don't have to keep track of the millions of things that repugs hate and are systematically destroying; just ask, is this something that makes Americans smart and strong and independent and able to govern ourselves?  If the answer is yes, repugs hate it and are determined to end it.

For example, free and equal public education.
 
By the way, destroying America's public education system and turning it into something only the 1% will be able to afford in the future is absolutely the goal of the GOP right now, and they're hard at work dismantling education as a right.
A Michigan judge ruled last week that children do not have a fundamental right to learn how to read and write. 
The ruling came in response to a lawsuit filed by Public Counsel, the nation’s largest public interest law firm, on behalf of Detroit students that sought to hold state authorities, including Gov. Rick Snyder (R), accountable for what plaintiffs alleged were systemic failures depriving children of their right to literacy, according to the Detroit Free Press
"I'm shocked," said Ivy Bailey, president of the Detroit Federation of Teachers, the newspaper reported. "The message that it sends is that education is not important. And it sends the message that we don't care if you're literate or not." 
The suit also sought fixes to crumbling schools that, among other measures, Detroit Public Schools Community District officials reportedly said would amount to more than $500 million.
After all, the future is going to need a lot of prisoners for private lockups.
Everybody who thinks the repugs running Kentucky state government don't already have plans in place to kill public education here, stand on your head.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Bevin Running for Re-Electio; Dems Delirious With Joy

In 2007, repug guv Ernie Fletcher ran for reelection after spending 3-1/2 years illegally firing the  state employees who in 2003 had handed him the first repug guv victory in 36 years.

That November, those state employees busted his ass and elected Democrat Steve Beshear in a landslide.

But Ernie Fletcher never accused Kentucky teachers of enabling the sexual molestation of children.  Ernie Fletcher never called state employees stupid for exposing the evil corruption of his pension DEform plans.  Ernie Fletcher never signed legislation stripping teachers and other state employees of state pensions.

Compared to the epic loss facing Gov. I Got Mine Fuck You next year, Ernie Fletcher is going to look like a winner.

From the Courier

Gov. Matt Bevin surprised a gathering of Kentucky Republicans on Saturday night and announced he will be seeking re-election as governor in 2019.

At the very end of his remarks as the final speaker at the GOP's Lincoln Day Dinner, Bevin said there was one matter he wanted to clear up.

“You bet I’m running again, you bet I'm running again, seriously," Bevin said.

The declaration was met with a standing ovation from the approximately 500 Republicans who packed the Hilton hotel in downtown Lexington for the dinner.
Just as Beshear's election in 2007 foreshadowed Barack Obama's victory in a year later, Kentucky's new Democratic governor (very likely another Beshear) in 2019 is going to foreshadow the epic 2020 electoral overthrow of Cheeto Twitler.

ohboyohboyohboy is this going to be good.

Aunt Lydia Not Welcome in This Lexington, Either

LOL Candy Barr thinking the HuckaBeast would help his campaign,

From the Herald:

Protesters came out in droves to voice their displeasure as the Republican Party of Kentucky prepared for its annual fundraiser in downtown Lexington Saturday night.
A chanting, sign-waving and, in some cases, Amy McGrath t-shirt-wearing crowd packed the sidewalk at Triangle Park for the Kentucky for Decency Rally, organized by the Kentucky chapter of the National Organization for Women and the Bluegrass Activist Alliance.
McKayla Weaver, who helped organize the event, said she had been asked if the rally was an anti-Republican event.
“I told them that it was an anti-deceit rally,” she said. “...What everybody here is hoping to get is transparency from their elected officials. Kentucky deserves better. I’m here because I love Kentucky. They’re here to make money for their campaigns.”

Read more here: https://www.kentucky.com/news/politics-government/article217284270.html#storylink=cpy

Xian Protest

From Noah at Down with Tyranny:

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Dem Compromisers Are Behind the Times

Stop listening to them, and stop supporting the candidates they push forward.  Doing so is an invitation to annihilation.

When you are facing fascists, there is no room for compromise. But for Johnson–and for so many Clinton and Obama-era officials–this is not something that computes. For them, compromising with reasonable Republicans and shunning the left is always the right answer.
These are people are now behind the times. There is no room for old-school centrist Democrats in setting the policy agenda anymore. Lead, follow, or get out of the way. That doesn’t mean a primary challenge to Tammy Duckworth is in order or anything–she did her centrist party mission by dismissing AOC but she’s been a perfectly fine vote so far. She will learn in the next 5 years.
The only road ahead for the Democrats is as an anti-fascist party with a bold agenda that combines racial, economic, and gendered justice. For those who fret about that, understand that actual fascism is descending upon America, that the Supreme Court is in the first of a multi-year process that will likely repeal a century of progressive law, and that the future of democracy in this nation is in doubt. There is no room for mealy-mouthed DLC compromise any longer, if there ever really was. It makes about as much sense today as centrist politics did as the fascists took power in Europe.
In the immortal words of Jim Hightower, the only things in the middle of the road are yellow lines and dead armadillos

Friday, August 24, 2018

Thursday, August 23, 2018

A Lot of Empty Space Voted for Cheetoh Twitler


More






This map is a brilliant data visualization. Here's a brief thread on why it's so much better than past efforts.


Kill the Electoral College.  Do it now.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

It's Not Obama's Job Anymore

Part of me wants the Obamas to leave this trumpian hellhole of a country for a real Democracy before the slavering Maga hordes show up to drag Barack, Michelle and their daughters to a windowless cell in Guantanamo from which they will never emerge.  You know it's going to happen.

Damn right we miss him. But now we're the ones who have to do the marching and building and believing. Let's just roll out that Molly Ivins quote we're so fond of, just to remind us that we've made it through some apocalyptic-looking messes before -- not because it was predestined, but because politics should be all about making our corner of the world work a little better:
So keep fightin' for freedom and justice, beloveds, but don't you forget to have fun doin' it. Lord, let your laughter ring forth. Be outrageous, ridicule the fraidy-cats, rejoice in all the oddities that freedom can produce. And when you get through kickin' ass and celebratin' the sheer joy of a good fight, be sure to tell those who come after how much fun it was.
Stay fired up. Stay ready to go.
VOTE! November 6.  Bring your family,  bring your friends.  Bring your neighbors, bring your dogs.  It is both the easiest, quickest and most effective way to make real change, and the most important.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Give Beto ALL THE VOTES

I was in a public place listening to this and just broke down crying.  When have you ever heard a candidate talk so straight-forwardly, so honestly about such a controversial subject? Barack Obama on race, maybe.

This is a Democratic candidate in the red fuckingest state in the union, taking on the haters and beating them bloody with the power of his words and his liberal values.

Democratic candidates in red states have NO EXCUSE not to stop mealy-mouthing progressive values (I am talking to YOU, Amy McGrath) or even denying them in hope of winning over repug voters.  THIS is how you win as a liberal in a red state.

Watch. Cry.  And on Nov. 6, VOTE!

Monday, August 20, 2018

Bevin Loses on Medicaid Again

How many is that now? Four? 27? Doesn't matter, it's way more times than any other governor has lost in court.  Gov.  I Got Mine Fuck You is on track to be the losingest governor in Kentucky history, if not nationally.

From the Herald:

A federal judge in Frankfort on Monday dismissed Gov. Matt Bevin’s lawsuit against 16 Medicaid recipients in which he had hoped to defend his controversial changes, including co-pays and work requirements, to the state’s Medicaid program.

The lawsuit was the reverse of a suit the same 16 people successfully brought against Bevin’s Medicaid changes in a federal court in Washington, D.C. — a fact that U.S. District Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove noted in his dismissal order.

Bevin already chose to participate as a defendant in the Washington case, where a different judge ruled against him and the federal government in June, and he failed to show what injury the Frankfort court was supposed to redress, Van Tatenhove wrote.

“Not all disputes are capable of federal judicial review,” Van Tatenhove wrote. “Federal courts are limited in their jurisdiction, and they can only hear cases where the plaintiff can establish jurisdiction. Here, the commonwealth failed to do so.”

Read more here: https://www.kentucky.com/news/politics-government/article217012085.html#storylink=cpy

Scoundrels and Hypocrites

Hate is what drives them.  Always has been, always will be.

Trump won because Russia and Comey interfered in our election, yes. But the fact is that there were just enough supporters of Trump to give him that plausible “win.” People saw in Trump a chance to exact revenge on all the people they dislike–feminists, liberals, and people of color.

For Trump voters the chance to punish women for being sexual is dream come true; it’s their raison d’ĂȘtre. It’s why they get “teary-eyed” when they talk about abortion. They’re so excited about having a chance to exert control over women they dislike.
 
The evangelicals, meanwhile, are in a death cult. They would genuinely rather the world end than have to share the it with people who aren’t exactly like them.

The Trump coalition is  fine group of scoundrels and hypocrites.
Novermber 6: VOTE, goddammit!  Take your family, take your friends, take your neighbors, take your dogs.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

They Are Homophones for a Reason *

Yes, every religious group has its child rapists.  There are child rapists even among atheists, who have no religion to hide behind.  And every religion denies, hides and protects its child rapists who are employees of the church. But none can compete with the ability of the catholic church to maintain an air of utter probity while doing so.

Via Brad Blog:


* Here.

Trial Runs for Fascism

By the time it's obvious, it's too late to prevent it.

Irish Times:

To grasp what is going on in the world right now, we need to reflect on two things. One is that we are in a phase of trial runs. The other is that what is being trialled is fascism – a word that should be used carefully but not shirked when it is so clearly on the horizon. Forget “post-fascist” – what we are living with is pre-fascism. 

It is easy to dismiss Donald Trump as an ignoramus, not least because he is. But he has an acute understanding of one thing: test marketing. He created himself in the gossip pages of the New York tabloids, where celebrity is manufactured by planting outrageous stories that you can later confirm or deny depending on how they go down. And he recreated himself in reality TV where the storylines can be adjusted according to the ratings. Put something out there, pull it back, adjust, go again.
Fascism doesn’t arise suddenly in an existing democracy. It is not easy to get people to give up their ideas of freedom and civility. You have to do trial runs that, if they are done well, serve two purposes. They get people used to something they may initially recoil from; and they allow you to refine and calibrate. This is what is happening now and we would be fools not to see it.
One of the basic tools of fascism is the rigging of elections – we’ve seen that trialled in the election of Trump, in the Brexit referendum and (less successfully) in the French presidential elections. Another is the generation of tribal identities, the division of society into mutually exclusive polarities. Fascism does not need a majority – it typically comes to power with about 40 per cent support and then uses control and intimidation to consolidate that power. So it doesn’t matter if most people hate you, as long as your 40 per cent is fanatically committed. That’s been tested out too. And fascism of course needs a propaganda machine so effective that it creates for its followers a universe of “alternative facts” impervious to unwanted realities. Again, the testing for this is very far advanced.

Then VOTE. Vote like your life depended on it. Because it does.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

The Vote is Our Only Hope

Every time somebody says "impeachment" to you, ask them if they're going to vote Nov. 6. Tell them to vote early, vote often.  Take your family, take your friends, take your neighbors, take your dogs.
 
Everybody votes, or we're fucking done.
 
Political Animal:
George Packer documents how all of that is different from the days of Richard Nixon and Watergate.
The institutional clout that ended the Presidency of Richard Nixon no longer exists. The honest press, for all its success in exposing daily scandals, won’t persuade the unpersuadable or shame the shameless, while the dishonest press is Trump’s personal amplifier. The federal courts, including the Supreme Court, are rapidly becoming instruments of partisan advocacy, as reliably conservative as elected legislatures. It’s impossible to imagine the Roberts Court voting unanimously against the President, as the Burger Court, including five Republican appointees, did in forcing Nixon to turn over his tapes. (Brett Kavanaugh, Trump’s nominee to succeed Anthony Kennedy, has even suggested that the decision was wrong.) Congress has readily submitted to the President’s will, as if legislation and oversight were burdens to be relinquished. And, when the independent counsel finally releases his report, it will have only the potency that the guardians of the law and the Constitution give it.
That is why the title of Packard’s article is “All That’s Left is the Vote.” He opens by making a deeply disturbing, but perhaps accurate, prediction.
…three months from now, American democracy will be on the line. The midterm elections in November are the last remaining obstacle to President Trump’s consolidation of power.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Candy Barr Insults All 300,000 Kentucky Veterans

Public service is not military service, Candy, you chicken hawk piece of shit.

But Candy can't even do public service right, the way he supports the Chicken Hawk in Chief, Cadet Bone Spurs, who got five deferments from Vietnam and then compared his Studio 54 days of avoiding venereal disease while fucking everything that moved to combat experience in Vietnam.


From the Courier:

U.S. Rep. Andy Barr compared his political experience to the military service of his Democratic opponent, Amy McGrath, a 20-year Marine Corps fighter pilot who flew bombing missions against Al Queda and the Taliban. 

Barr, the Republican incumbent who is running for re-election in Kentucky's sixth district, made his comments in a New York Times report published Thursday. 

“We both served our country,” Barr told the New York Times. “I’ve served in a position where ideas matter. My opponent has served her country in the military, where execution matters.”

The comment immediately drew backlash from Democrats. 

Marisa McNee, a spokeswoman for Kentucky Democrats, said Barr's comments were "out of touch."
"Andy has obviously lost his mind and is out of touch if he thinks serving six years as a politician is comparable to military service,” McNee said in a statement. "It’s an insult to our current and retired military members to suggest that wearing a suit and dining with bank lobbyists in Congress is the same as putting your life on the line for your country.”
American Bridge, a progressive super PAC known for giving to Democratic candidates, called Barr's comments "outright shameful."
Candy was born in 1973.  He was 28 on Sept. 11, 2001.  He kept lawyering and polishing some important political knobs in Lexington and Frankfort.

Amy McGrath was born in 1975.  She was 26 and a Marine pilot on Sept. 11, 2001.
After the 9/11 attacks, McGrath, as one of the more junior WSOs, was one of the first to report to duty at the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar base before the closing of the gates due to DEFCON 3. She was paired with a senior pilot on the flight line waiting for the order to protect Los Angeles, San Diego, and the west coast to potentially shoot down one of the hijacked aircraft, an order that did not come to pass.[2][17]
In classic repug fashion, Candy is attacking McGrath's strengths:  her military service and her proud support of progressive values.

Ya got nothin', Candy.  And you're gonna lose to a girl.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

GOP Delenda Est

Today, the Republican Party exists for one and only one purpose: to pass tax cuts for the rich and regulatory rollbacks for corporations. They accomplish this using one and only method: unapologetically racist and bigoted appeals to win the votes of the heartland riff-raff they otherwise treat as mere money machines for their endless mail-order cons.

Like it or not, this is the modern Republican Party. It no longer serves any legitimate purpose. It needs to be crushed and the earth salted behind it, while a new conservative party rises to take its place. This new party should be conservative; brash; ruthless when it needs to be; as simpleminded as any major party usually is; and absolutely dedicated to making Democrats look like idiots. There should be no holds barred except for one: no appeals to racism. None. Not loud ones, not subtle ones. Whatever else it is, it should be a conservative party genuinely open to any person of any color.

When that happens, I will change my mind about how we should fight the Republican Party. Until then, no, I don’t think Brett Kavanaugh deserves any help from Democrats and I don’t think liberals should waste any time tut-tutting over Twitter mockery from 2013 that all of us know perfectly well doesn’t represent any genuine anti-white sentiment.

GOPus delendus est. That’s it. Whatever works best, I’m in.
Tuesday, November 6.  Vote early, vote often.  Take your family, take your friends, take your neighbors, take your dogs.

Because Sending Them to Their Deaths is the Goal

Sending innocent people to their avoidable deaths to own the libs is Republican policy now.
And how perfectly it fits the hatred and fear-mongering that is all the rest of the racist, misogynistic, homophobic GOP.

Monday, August 6, 2018

For the Win: A GOTV Nuts-and-Bolts Manual

It works!  In North Fucking Carolina, by Dog.  And it's free!

Tom Sullivan, AKA Undercover Blue, at Hullabaloo:

Just over a year ago, I started placing a link to For The Win, my get-out-the-vote planning primer, at the bottom of my morning posts. This is a particularly wonky project no one else seems interested in pursuing, but it means to address a chronic infrastructure gap. It's a "lead a horse" effort. This is nuts-and-bolts, supply and logistics so basic nobody thinks it important enough to train. Creating and distributing sample ballots. Recruiting, training, and supplying electioneers for dozens of polling stations. Coordinating manpower and logistics for dozens of local, state, and national campaigns. It's not sexy, just vital.

Progressives by nature immerse themselves in issues, policy, and candidates. When they first engage in party politics, we expect we can dance before we can crawl. We want to engage in an ideological contest of ideas. but what we lack starting out are basic skills. We want to drive the car. Now. We're not interested in how to build one from parts. We want to do all the sexy stuff before we can put our pants on one leg at a time and tie our shoelaces, in that order.

If you're like me, you learned whatever you know about GOTV mechanics by the seat of your pants over multiple election cycles, and when you left what you knew left with you, and the next generation began again from scratch.

Sadly, that's still the way most people learn — from those around them. Problem is, if those around them know little, that's what they learn. Many local committees don't do more because they don't know what more looks like. If you live in a more rural county, odds are the governor's race isn't setting up shop out there. Barack Obama isn't parachuting in a team from Michigan Ave. to show you how a high-energy, months-long campaign operation runs. This cannot stand. That learning curve has to shorten. It's good to be right. It's better to be good, too.


For The Win is not messaging or strategy or targeting or canvassing or fundraising — things campaigns can and should do for themselves — or precinct organizing state parties teach every year. I'm trying to teach under-resourced and less-experienced counties the raw mechanics, the nuts-and-bolts no one teaches for coordinating a countywide effort to elect all their candidates. It's about tasks that supplement, not duplicate, what candidates and their campaigns are already doing. It's about how to make them happen with little money and minimal computer skills. In fact, I de-emphasize "techy" answers many retirees (often a county's volunteer base) will struggle to master. Basic Office software can do a lot.

A lot of planning goes into a county committee's election operation, things like appointing election judges that by law (here anyway) go through the party infrastructure. As I wrote the other day, affiliated groups getting people to promise to vote is terrific. Once they arrive, convincing them to vote for all the down-ballot candidates they've never heard of (school board, for example) builds a party's farm team for state legislative and federal offices. Recruiting and supporting down-ballot candidates and point-of-sale electioneering for important ballot initiatives (and state judges, where applicable) has to happen in 3,141 counties. And it doesn't happen on its own. It takes planning, mechanics, and logistics.

An experienced election protection attorney from Boston was in our headquarters on GOTV Weekend in 2014. On Election Day, he walks up three hours before the polls close and says, "I've never seen an operation like this." Now, we're exporting it.

With so many post-2016 activists facing their first-ever general election, For The Win may help bring them up to speed fast. Democrats need more than good candidates and money this fall. They need county-level teams with "game."

We've touched 2,300 counties in 48 states and given webinars for dozens of NC counties. Over 1,000 have downloaded For The Win since last August.

Winning starts with a plan. So does fundraising.

* * * * * * * * *

For The Win 2018 is ready for download. Request a copy of my county-level election mechanics primer at tom.bluecentury at gmail.com.


Sunday, July 29, 2018

What Fiendish Medicaid Fuckery is Bevin Planning Now?

First he reversed the denial of vision and dental coverage, and now he's cancelled the higher co-pays.

He didn't do it because a judge ordered him to, he didn't do it because he suddenly saw error of his libertarian ways, and he sure as fuck didn't do it out of the kindness of the sewage pump that pretends to be him heart.

He did it to throw everybody off while he perfects some massive plot to eliminate all the Kentucky poors, once and for all.


Thursday, July 26, 2018

For the Zillionth Time, Stop Wasting Money on Repugs Who Will NEVER Vote Democratic

The DINO poobahs and consultants still selling the same old centrist bullshit that has failed for 20 years do not have Democratic best interests at heart.  The hand-wringers pleading for the compromise with people who Want. Us. Dead. are not on our side. The repug trolls who handed the election to the Pumpkin Traitor and now dare to dispense campaign advice cannot be trusted.

White evangelical Christians will never, ever, ever, ever leave Donald Trump, and Democrats need to stop wasting time, resources, manpower and money chasing after them, and I hope the Washington Post article on the members of a Southern Baptist church in Alabama makes this painfully clear.  They are lost.

SNIP

They are lost.  They thought Obama was going to "end racism" by absolving white America of slavery and Jim Crow and lynch mobs and history, and when Obama pointed out that racism still existed, they turned on him and the Democrats in frightening numbers.  And they are lost.  They aren't coming back.  Not when Trump's GOP is gladly the white supremacy party.

SNIP

They are lost, and they are done.  Trump's evil won't repel them, and appeals to economic populism will fall on deaf ears.  They believe their reward for fighting for Trump and for white Christianity lies in heaven.  They are a lost cause.  All Democrats are doing is ignoring their own base in order to try to shave a few off the margins in the suburbs and exurbs, and it's coming at the direct expense of black, Hispanic, and Asian voters.  It's a fool's trade.

SNIP

Their hearts are closed and their minds are made up.  We have fifteen weeks left from tomorrow.  If Dems do not regain control of the House at the minimum, we are done as a nation.  The damage by the time November 2020 rolls around will be incalculable if they still control the country. I understand the need to grow the Democratic party brand, but that means getting new voters out that we can reach, not chasing Obama-Trump voters who are not coming back this year and may never come back.

If we don't get our crap together now, we will be the ones who are lost.  If the events of this week where it became clear that Trump is compromised by Russia and no longer cares if the world knows about it didn't cause a crippling and obvious collapse in support for Trump, there is nothing that will, save Donald Trump becoming a Black Lives Matter fan on national TV.

It is time to move on.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

"No Colusion (sic) = "It's Not Treason Because I'm the President"

Down with Tyranny:

Civility Never Won Anything

Erik Loomis at LGM warns us not to fall for the civility trap.

This of course included ACT-UP one of the bravest and most successful protest movements in American history. These are the actions that we should follow and emulate. Don’t listen to this civility garbage. It’s just a ploy by conservatives to stop the left from succeeding. Unfortunately, liberals will all too often fall into this trap themselves and fret about what those crazy radicals are doing. They also should be ignored. The future of change is direct confrontation with power. Go for it. 


Saturday, July 21, 2018

How the Free Market Kills People

This is capitalism without regulation, without universal health care, without anti-monopoly and anti-price-gouging laws and heavy enforcement.  This is killing poor people for profit.

Did you know there is an actual vaccine against HIV and has been for six fucking years?  But unless you can afford $20,000 a year for it, you're fucked.

On July 3, 1981, this newspaper wrote about a “rare cancer” killing gay men in New York and California. Though few knew it, what followed would be a generation-defining battle: for attention, for legitimacy, for our very lives. Today, after 37 years, we finally have a proven pathway to ending the AIDS epidemic in this country.
The only catch? Poor policy and pharmaceutical price-gouging have blocked the way, making critical drugs a luxury rather than an imperative.
The solution comes in a pill: Taken daily, Truvada, the brand name for a type of pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, is up to 99 percent effective at preventing H.I.V. infection. Used as directed, it’s one of the most effective methods of preventing a viral infection ever discovered, as good as the polio vaccine, the miracle of modern medicine. When you combine PrEP’s effectiveness with the discovery that people living with H.I.V. cannot transmit the virus to others once they become undetectable, we could be on the verge of a swift end to the epidemic.
Truvada was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2012. But over six years later, the United States is failing miserably in expanding its use. Less than 10 percent of the 1.2 million Americans who might benefit from PrEP are actually getting it. The major reason is quite clear: pricing. With a list price over $20,000 a year, Truvada, the only PrEP drug available in the United States, is simply too expensive to become the public health tool it should be.
Gilead Sciences, the company that makes Truvada, maintains a monopoly on the drug domestically. In other countries, a one-month supply of generic Truvada costs less than $6, but Gilead charges Americans, on average, more than $1,600, a markup from the generic of 25,000 percent.
Infuriatingly, American taxpayers and private charities — not Gilead — paid for almost all of the clinical research used to develop Truvada as PrEP. Yet the price stays out of reach for millions, and will for at least several more years.
The disparities in PrEP access are astounding: Its use in black and Hispanic populations is a small fraction of that among whites. In the South, where a majority of H.I.V. infections occur, use is half what it is in the Northeast. Women use PrEP at drastically lower rates than men, and while there’s no national data on PrEP and transgender Americans, it’s almost certainly underused. The issue of PrEP access has become an issue of privilege.
But hey, what is more important in New Gilded Age health care than very rich people making even more money? Actually, I know the answer–it’s taxpayers funding the research that rich people make even more profit from and terrible racial and gendered disparities.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Keep Calling Amy McGrath a Radical Liberal, GOP: It'll Get Her a Landslide Win

The more you lionize her as a liberal, the more you burnish her progressive bonafides, the more disappointed dems you draw back to the polls. 

And Candy Barr's cowardly lying and hiding since Monday guarantees he'll get none but the most fanatically trump-taint-licking votes.  That won't be enough.  Even in Kentucky.

From the Herald:

The Republican Party of Kentucky criticized Democratic congressional candidate Amy McGrath Tuesday for her opposition to President Donald Trump’s U.S. Supreme Court nominee, their latest attempt to paint McGrath as too liberal for Kentucky’s only swing district.

Republicans were responding to a Facebook post McGrath made a week earlier, on July 10th, in which she echoed the concerns many of national Democrats about Brett Kavanaugh, Trump’s nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court. 

“Despite Ms. McGrath’s attempts to con the voters of Central Kentucky into believing she is a moderate, her attack on the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh shows the real Amy McGrath: a far left liberal who will be another cog in the Pelosi political machine,” said Sarah Van Wallaghen, executive director of the Republican Party of Kentucky.

SNIP

 “He has shown himself to be against women’s reproductive rights, workers’ rights, consumer protections, and will be among the most partisan people ever considered for the Court,” McGrath said of Kavanaugh on Facebook. “Apparently, he will fall to the right of (Neil) Gorsuch and (Samuel) Alito on ideology, and just to the left of the arch conservative (Clarence) Thomas. Kavanaugh will likely be confirmed and we are starkly reminded, again, that elections have consequences, and this consequence will be with us for an entire generation.”

Read more here: https://www.kentucky.com/news/politics-government/article215036320.html#storylink=cpy

Read more here: https://www.kentucky.com/news/politics-government/article215036320.html#storylink=cpySNIP

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Candy Barr Still Hiding While McGrath Speaks Out

So what do you say, Sixth District Democratic voters?  Is this fighter pilot worth getting out to vote for?

From the Herald:

Democratic congressional candidate Amy McGrath said she was “outraged” Monday with President Donald Trump’s refusal to support the conclusion of the U.S. intelligence community that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election. 

“Today, the commander-in-chief again sided with a foreign adversary rather than on our own intelligence community,” McGrath said. “It’s breathtaking. When will Republicans in Congress put the country before their political party and flat out condemn these actions?”

The retired Marine fighter pilot was reacting to a Monday summit between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. In a joint news conference after a one-on-one meeting between the two world leaders and their translators, Trump did not push back when Putin denied that his government attempted to interfere with the U.S. Presidential election.

SNIP

Trump’s remarks brought swift criticism from both Republican and Democratic politicians, but U.S. Rep. Andy Barr, R-Lexington, was not among them. Jodi Whitaker, his spokeswoman, said Barr was in meetings and hadn’t seen Trump’s comments.

SNIP

When McGrath was asked about Putin Saturday as she opened her Anderson County campaign headquarters, she made a similar criticism of the Republican-led Congress.

“It does come down to leadership, it does come down to putting your country above your political party,” McGrath said. “There is a reason Congress is doing nothing right now and it’s because it’s controlled by Republicans who care more about their political party and the ramifications of this to their political party than their country.”

Read more here: https://www.kentucky.com/news/politics-government/article214965550.html#storylink=cpy

Read more here: https://www.kentucky.com/news/politics-government/article214965550.html#storylink=cpy

Read more here: https://www.kentucky.com/news/politics-government/article214965550.html#storylink=cpy

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Well Of Course It's Treason

The dotard admitted it, live on TV, with the whole world watching.

Paul Campos at LGM:
Today was a dark, dark day in American history.  The president openly admitted that he was OK with a foreign power installing him in office, and nothing is going to be done about it.  This is how democracy dies and authoritarianism triumphs.
Digby:
In fact, in the Sean Hannity interview he sounded downright frightened:
I thought President Putin was very, very strong. I think we're doing really well with Russia as of today. I thought we were doing horribly before today. I mean, horribly, dangerously,I think it was great today, but I think it was really bad five hours ago. I think we really had a potential problem.
It's possible that Trump is trying to pass this off as another example of him "solving" a crisis that doesn't exist. But when you think about it, it sounds for all the world as if Putin threatened Trump in that 2 hour private meeting and Trump did exactly what he was told to do in that press conference. If Putin does have something on him it's got him scared to death.
What Bob Mueller did today was begin to lay out the case for treason. Not for obstruction of justice, not for mere conspiracy. The Russian military conducted a cyber attack against this country. Our cities aren't in ruin. But something equally as precious is under threat: the idea of who we are as Americans. That can be just as destructive.
Read the whole thing.