Monday, December 10, 2018

Legal to Rape in KY, As Long As the Bitch Had a Drink First

This is fucking bullshit.  Shame on you, Lexington grand jury members.

Rape and sodomy charges against the son of Franklin County Sheriff Pat Melton were dismissed by a Lexington grand jury this week, according to court documents.

Patrick Melton, a 22-year-old University of Kentucky student, was accused of “sexual and deviate sexual intercourse” without the consent of the alleged victim on July 7 at his residence on University Avenue in Lexington, his citation stated.

He was arrested in August. The woman allegedly tried to squirm, push and kick Melton, according to his original arrest citation.

Multiple witnesses confirmed the victim’s statements that she was intoxicated and passed out prior to the incident, his citation stated.

The grand jury met Tuesday and dismissed Melton’s first-degree rape and first-degree sodomy charges, according to court documents.
It's Justice Rapey McLiarFace's world now.  We just live in it.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Alternative

From Wonkette commenter Shanonigan:

Thumbnail

The Wrong Way to Legalize Pot

After trillions of wasted dollars and millions of wasted lives, the repugs are finally giving up on the War on (Some Classes of People Who Use Some) Drugs.  But not before they make sure all the profits from legalization will keep going to already filthy rich white repug men.

Michigan voters overwhelmingly approved the legalization of marijuana earlier this month in order to gain tax revenue to pay for schools and roads.  But Republicans in the state's lame duck session are making sure that tax money goes to cops instead, with nothing for students, and that the profits go to corporate growers with both deep ties and deep pockets to give to lawmakers.
A bill proposed by outgoing Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof, R-West Olive, would significantly change the voter-approved recreational marijuana program in Michigan, including by drastically lowering the tax revenue the state is set to receive.

Proposal 1 passed with 56 percent of the vote Nov. 6. It will take effect next week.

Meekhof, R-West Olive, introduced the bill Thursday.

In addition to lowering the tax rate from 10 percent to three percent, the bill cuts out Michigan's schools and roads from receiving tax revenue from legal marijuana. The state's six percent sales tax would still apply, said Amber McCann, Meekhof's spokeswoman.

"It's disrespectful to the political process and it's disrespectful to the voters of Michigan," said Josh Hovey, spokesman for the coalition behind the ballot proposal, of Meekhof's bill.

"The people of Michigan have spoken. They knew what they were voting on."

Tax revenue from marijuana sales could reach $287.9 million by the time the market matures in Michigan under the tax structure in Proposal 1, according to a Senate Fiscal Agency analysis. It's unclear how much revenue Meekhof's proposal would draw.

Under Proposal 1, Michigan has one of the lowest tax rates on adult-use marijuana in the country. Under Meekhof's proposed bill, Michigan would have the lowest tax rate in the country. The bill redirects the revenue to municipalities (25 percent), counties (30 percent) and county sheriffs (5 percent) that have marijuana facilities, and 30 percent for state police, police training and first responder disability benefits.

Meekhof's bill, Senate Bill 1243, proposes other major changes to the voter-approved Proposal 1; including eliminating the ability for individuals to grow marijuana at home and cutting out a micro-grower's license.

Proposal 1 allows for individuals to grow up to 12 plants at home, and up to 150 plants at home with a micro-grower's license.
Republicans have such a huge majority in Michigan thanks to gerrymandering that there's a chance that this passes, but it'll take Democrats too because the measure would need a 75% margin to pass. But sending all the tax money to counties with state-approved growing operations (all rural, natch) means Detroit gets zero, and it means that the growing can become yet another industry in the pocket of corporate owners and donors.

That was the plan all along, and it's dank as hell.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Rising seas are 500 miles east and 700 feet down, but Global Warming will destroy Kentucky, too

Everywhere on the planet, humanity's days are numbered and the number is few.  Kentucky's distance and elevation from the ocean is not going to save us.

It's all here in Chapter 19 of the official U.S. Government report the Pumpkin Traitor tried to hide on Friday. 


Regarding the Southeast, including Kentucky, the report reads:

While all regional residents and communities are potentially at risk for some impacts, some communities or populations are at greater risk due to their locations, services available, and economic situations. In fact, a recent economic study using a higher scenario (RCP8.5)11 suggests that the southern and midwestern populations are likely to suffer the largest losses from projected climate changes in the United States.
Yep, Governor I Got Mine Fuck You, by stripping Kentucky's treasury, education system and support programs thus keeping us poor, sick and stupid, is making our suffering from global warming even worse than the coasts.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Blood On Their Hands: Bevin and Trump Order 95,000 Kentuckians to Death By Neglect

Even their lies are pathetically obvious. They're not even trying to hide that their goal is to eliminate everyone who is not white, male, straight, rich and republican.


From the Herald:

The Trump administration has again approved new rules for some of Kentucky’s Medicaid population, requiring them to either get a job, volunteer in the community or go to school to keep their government-funded health coverage.

The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services announced the approval on Tuesday, nearly five months after a federal judge blocked the state’s first attempt. State officials say the new rules can begin as soon as April 1 and will be phased in regionally over several months. They will require adults ages 19 to 64, with some exceptions, to complete at least 80 hours per month of “community engagement” to keep their health benefits. That includes getting a job, looking for a job, going to school, volunteering for community service or taking a job training course.
What's the catch?  Working people on Medicaid will have to verify their working hours every month. So, you're struggling with three jobs and taking care of your kids but you have to drop everything and drive to the nearest Medicaid office - oh, you don't have a car?  Well you can call the Medicaid office - oh, you aren't allowed to make personal calls at work so you can't call during business hours? Well, you can go online ... oh, you live in the 95 percent of Kentucky that has no reliable wi-fi?  Well, guess you're shit out of luck.  And the Bevin-Trump plan is working like a charm.
Kentucky is one of 37 states that has expanded its government-funded health insurance program to include low-income adults with no children and no disabilities. More than 400,000 people signed up for the program, dramatically dropping the state’s uninsured rate and propping up some rural hospitals who depend on the revenue.

But Republican Gov. Matt Bevin has criticized the program, saying it is too expensive and does not make Kentucky’s citizens healthier as the state is still behind most of the country in some key health indicators.
Because the best way to make people healthier is to .... wait for it .... take away their health insurance.
Kentucky Voices for Health, an advocacy group, said they were “deeply disappointed” with the decision. Executive Director Emily Beauregard said during the public comment process, thousands of Kentuckians said access to health care was vital to their ability to be productive and successful.

“Reapproving a waiver that makes hardworking Kentuckians jump through hoops to keep their coverage will no doubt have the opposite effect,” she said.
It's perfectly clear.  If you are not white, male, straight, rich, xian and republican, the people who are those things want you dead.


Read more here: https://www.kentucky.com/news/politics-government/article222012570.html#storylink=cpy

Read more here: https://www.kentucky.com/news/politics-government/article222012570.html#storylink=cpy

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Repugs/ Freakazoids Employ Lies, Mythology in Latest Abortion Case

There has never, in the millenia-long history of abortion, been a baby killed. Not a child, not an infant, not an "innocent life."  All of those things - babies, children, infants, "innocent life" have the same characteristic in common: they breathe air.  Tissue that is removed from a woman's body does not breathe air.  It is not "alive." It is not a human being.  It is tissue rejected by its biological host, also known as a "woman," an adult human being who does breathe air.

But those scientific facts get in the way of freakazoids and conservatards exercising control over women's bodies, denying them bodily autonomy and the humanity of sexual freedom.

So they lie, and make up stories, and cite fiction composed by bronze-age desert goatfuckers, and appeal to the myth of an invisible wizard in the sky.

From the Herald:

Attorneys for Kentucky's socially conservative governor and the state's only abortion clinic opened their latest legal fight Tuesday, this time over a lawsuit challenging a new state law aimed at a common second-trimester procedure to end pregnancies.

Anti-abortion activists gathered outside the federal courthouse and inside the courtroom as the trial began over the law that its critics, led by the American Civil Liberties Union, say would amount to an impediment for women seeking abortions in their second trimester.

During opening statements, an attorney for the clinic told the judge that the law is unconstitutional because it would "all but eliminate" abortions for women past the 14th week of pregnancy. ACLU attorney Alexa Kolbi-Molinas said the procedure targeted by the state law is "safe and medically proven," and she accused the state's lawyers of "demonizing" the method with inflammatory rhetoric.

Steve Pitt, lead attorney for Republican Gov. Matt Bevin's legal team, described the procedure as "brutal, gruesome and inhumane" that results in a fetus being torn apart "limb by limb." He stressed the need to protect the weak, adding: "There are none so weak as an unborn child."
Nope.  There is no such thing as an "unborn child."  If it is a child, it is already born and breathing oxygen.  If it is not born, it is not breathing oxygen and is therefore not a child.

Late-term abortions are not brutal, not gruesome and not inhumane.  They do not tear a fetus limb from limb.  They extract dying, non-viable tissue that will never, under any circumstances, live to breathe oxygen, much less become a human being. 


Second-trimester abortions alleviate the tragedy of a desired pregnancy turned toxic because of birth defects. Forcing a woman to carry a dead or dying fetus for months simply to please the fetus-fetishists is what is cruel, brutal, gruesome and inhumane.

These vicious motherfuckers must be defeated, sent back to their medieval madrassas with their tails between their legs.


Read more here: https://www.kentucky.com/latest-news/article221578385.html#storylink=cpy
 

KY Repugs Cheating to Get Court Wins

Never occurs to them that Judge Shepherd rules against them all the time because they are always wrong. They never consider maybe they should stop passing unconstitutional legislation, and stop breaking laws to get that legislation passed.

No, their solution is to take state cases away from that mean old liberal judge.

From Tom Loftus at the Courier:

Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd’s order striking down the new Republican-backed pension law led to a lot of criticism from majority-party leaders, including from the governor himself.

Now, some of those leaders are looking at ways to keep all the important state government cases from going to Franklin Circuit Court.

“You basically have a super circuit judge, or judges, because the venue for so many cases are exclusively here. And that shouldn’t be,” Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, said in an interview.

Stivers made the point on Friday as part of a panel discussion at the Health Care Leadership Conference of the Kentucky Hospital Association.

House Speaker Pro Tem David Osborne, R-Prospect, said during the discussion he sees support for the idea. “You’ll see some continued discussion and talk about this…But there are a lot of details that have to be worked out that haven’t been, so it’s a little bit tough to say where it’s going.”

State Sen. Morgan McGarvey, a Louisville Democrat who – like Stivers – is an attorney, said he believes any such move “would be blatantly political and an abuse of legislative power.”

Shepherd, who has served as a Franklin circuit judge since 2006, declined to comment on the matter.
 That's because whiny-ass titty babies are beneath his contempt.

Read more here: https://www.kentucky.com/news/politics-government/article221607280.html#storylink=cpy


Read more here: https://www.kentucky.com/news/politics-government/article221607280.html#storylink=cpy

Monday, November 12, 2018

Simple Answers to Simple Questions: Because Bevin Is A Stone-Cold Racist

And don't be stupid by pointing to his adopted non-white kids.  That is a classic racist move: adopt black kids to prove both that White Supremacy is best for everyone, and that you can't possibly be a racist - you have black kids!

Joe Gerth in the Courier asks "Why didn't Bevin order state flags lowered for the two black victims of the Kroger shooting."

On Thursday, Gov. Matt Bevin ordered the state’s flags to half-staff to honor the 12 people who were killed in last week’s shooting at a California bar.

He did the same thing in the days after a gunman walked into the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh and opened fire, killing 11 worshipers.

SNIP

But the question is, why didn’t Bevin order the state’s flags to half-staff to honor the two people who were shot and killed at the Jeffersontown Kroger grocery store just a couple of days before the synagogue shooting?

SNIP

This was more troubling than even the shooting two years ago on Thanksgiving weekend at the Juice Bowl at Shawnee Park. That's because the Kroger shooter appeared to have chosen his victims purely because they were African-American.

“Whites don’t shoot whites,” the shooter allegedly told one white man he encountered during his spree.

And before he went and killed black people at the Kroger, Gregory Bush apparently tried to get into a predominately African-American church — where he would have found more potential victims — but couldn't get beyond the locked doors.
You want a racist governor? Go on, keep voting for the motherfucker.  But don't pretend that you can vote repug and claim to not be a racist.  You are.

Bevin Admin to Give Tax Dollars to For-Profit Charter Scam-Schools

Because  all charter "schools" are scams.  Whether White Supremacy Apartheid charters, christian Dominionism Madrassa charters, Skimming Top Students Away From Public Schools charters, Killing Public Education For Fun and Profit charters or just plain old-fashioned Sucking Tax Dollars Into Private Pockets charters, they are all scams.

And Bevin will strip the public treasury bare to make all his billionaire buddies rich.

From the Herald:

Kentucky Education Commissioner Wayne Lewis said Friday that he will ask the 2019 General Assembly to create a funding mechanism or process for charter schools, but that doesn’t mean that he is asking for extra money.
Of course not.  He'll take the money away from public schools, then use the resulting failure of unfunded public schools to justify making all schools charters.
“It’s simply a mechanism that shows how dollars — already appropriated public schools dollars — would follow a kid to a public charter school if their parents decide to enroll them in a public charter school,” he said.

At a meeting in Frankfort of the newly configured Kentucky Charter Schools Advisory Council, Lewis said he would advocate for anything else the state could do to raise achievement and close achievement gaps.

“It’s my job as Commissioner of Education to do everything that I can to move achievement ... to close achievement gaps ... and high quality public charter schools are one of the tools ... particularly with low income kids, kids of color, that’s what the research shows us.”
That is a blatant lie.  Many studies have shown that the handful of exceptional charter schools - non-religious and non-profit - at best do no worse educating students than do public schools.  Far more commonly, religious charters teach nothing but religion and for-profit charters teach nothing at all because all the funding goes to make the rich owners richer.
The General Assembly passed a law in 2017 to allow public charter schools in Kentucky for the first time. But none have opened.

Those who want to open charters in Northern Kentucky, Louisville and Richmond have said they are hesitant to file applications with their local school board as the law requires because there’s no current funding process for dollars to flow into charter schools, in state law. 
Northern Kentucky, home of Catholic freakazoids and John-Bircher-style conservatives.  I wouldn't put a dog I hated into the kind of charters NKY is likely to come up with.

And it turns out that charter schools make all schools worse because they fail to address the real root of poor schools:  poverty and racism.

You don’t say! You mean the problem with American education is poverty? Kids living through domestic violence? Kids lacking nutrition? Who fucking knew! Glad Gates spent $700 million discovering that the only way to fix education is to fix poverty and racism. It’s not like he could have discovered that before he spent the money by just asking people. Or, I don’t know, watching Season 4 of The Wire. Speaking of which, I love how David Simon went after charter schools scammers long before it was cool to do so, back when they were supported by internet liberals, not only in The Wire, but in Treme, even as it was a relatively minor theme in Season 2.

But then those solutions don’t fit the profiteers behind charter schools or the privatizers who hate public goods. No money to be made fighting poverty!


Read more here: https://www.kentucky.com/news/local/education/article221407295.html#storylink=cpy

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Violence is Repugs' Only Response


They won. Rapey McLiarFace is on the Supreme Court, where he can force the nation into a Lords-n-Serfs economy and an only-rich-straight-white-men-are-human-and-have-rights society.

But constant attacks, death threats and violence is all they know. And domestic terrorism to prevent anyone from ever challenging any rich, white, straight, repug man again is what they do.



From NPR:

Christine Blasey Ford is still being harassed after leveling sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, her lawyers say.

"Justice Kavanaugh ascended to the Supreme Court, but the threats to Dr. Ford continue," said Ford's lawyers, Debra Katz, Lisa Banks and Michael Bromwich, in a statement to NPR.

Kavanaugh stridently denied the allegations about the assault and went on to win confirmation in the Senate. Ford is still working to get her life back on track, her lawyers say.

She has had to move four times, she wrote last month. She has had to pay for a private security detail. She hasn't been able to return to her job as a professor at Palo Alto University. A spokeswoman for the school did not respond to a question about whether there was a timeline for Ford to return.
Ford's accusation that Kavanaugh had assaulted her when the two were in high school — and Kavanaugh's emotional response — took place before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Sept. 27. Ford detailed the intimidation she was receiving then.

"My family and I have been the target of constant harassment and death threats," she told the committee.

"People have posted my personal information on the Internet. This has resulted in additional emails, calls, and threats. My family and I were forced to move out of our home. ... My family and I have been living in various secure locales, with guards."

Although the spotlight has receded, the danger has not, Ford's lawyers say, but she is not interested in trying to turn her story into something that could make the experience lucrative.


Friday, November 9, 2018

Never Forget: Repugs Win Only By Cheating

Whether by the subtle cheat of voter suppression through denying voting rights to felons, as here in Kentucky (how many McGrath supporters could not vote because of a long-ago one-ounce pot possession?), or poll taxes by another name (demanding street addresses from Native Americans in North Dakota) or the blatant daylight theft of votes we're seeing in Georgia and Florida, the story is the same:

Repugs cannot win a fair election.  They have to cheat. If they don't, they lose.

Every single repug "victory" is stolen.  Every single elected repug is illegitimate.

Remember, and pass it on.  They cheated.  They always cheat.

Because they know that when everybody votes, Democrats win.


Monday, November 5, 2018

Vote Against Fascism

(1) Donald Trump is a fascist.  Whatever the “fascist minimum” may be, he’s now exceeded it as surely as Mike Trout has already exceeded the Hall of Fame performance minimum (Trump and Trout have both constructed first ballot resumes in record time.)
(2) The Republican party is now controlled in every relevant respect by Donald Trump, who is a fascist.  This makes the Republican party Donald Trump’s party, which makes it the party of fascism.
(3) Voting for a Republican candidate for anything is voting for fascism. It’s not “arguably analogous to voting for fascism,” or “uncomfortably close to giving support to fascism,” or “potentially helping the advancement of American fascism.” It’s voting for fascism.
(4) Voting for Democrats is voting against fascism.  You don’t have to like your local Democrat, or even any Democrats.  You just have to hate them less than you hate fascism. Vote against fascism by voting for Democrats.
(5) If you’re even thinking about voting for a third party candidate you need to think again.  A vote for a third party candidate is, objectively, a vote that is not against fascism. A vote not against fascism is, functionally, a vote for fascism.  Don’t vote for fascism.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Your Angry Sarcasm of the Year

From Digby:

There's nothing to see here folks, nothing at all. The fact that members of the Democratic coalition are being violently threatened and killed by people with motivations that echo the grievances stoked by Trump and his cult is purely coincidence.
Anybody else hearing joking-not-joking recommendations that we just lock up all the white men now, as a precautionary measure? 

If four black men had murdered 15 white people, injured a dozen others including three cops and sent pipe bombs to 10 people, including two former presidents, in the space of two weeks, there would be massive nationwide roundups underway.

Maybe lock up just the trump-supporting white men.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

3 days

McGrath finally fights back against Candy Barr, and the Herald has it, but can't resist opening with a mendacious slap at the girl in the race.

Democratic congressional candidate Amy McGrath has spent the past few months talking about how she plans to run a different kind of campaign, one without negative attack ads to help restore civility in politics.
But from the opening question of the only debate between U.S. Rep. Andy Barr and McGrath on Kentucky Educational Television, the two candidates went on the attack.
In fact, McGrath has been running a high-road campaign all year, while Candy has run nothing but vicious, lying attacks on McGrath.  Shame on you, Herald.  Bothsiderism is not journalism, it's cowardice and incompetence.
Though the candidates talked about tax reform, the national debt and election security, the majority of the debate centered around the one issue McGrath has made the centerpiece of her campaign, health care. Not mentioned were immigration and abortion, two issues Barr has featured prominently in his attack ads.

At one point, as McGrath was accusing Barr of lying about her stance on health care, the congressman interrupted her.

“Is this a positive campaign?” Barr said. “Calling me a liar?”
McGrath paused.

“Are you done?” she said before continuing.

Across the country, House Republicans have had to defend their votes for an unpopular bill to replace the Affordable Care Act that ultimately failed in the Senate.

Barr defended the bill, saying it was one of the best opportunities Congress had to reform entitlement programs, while emphasizing that he supported replacing the Affordable Care Act in a way that wouldn’t eliminate protections for people with preexisting conditions.

McGrath said she wants to make the Affordable Care Act better and emphasized her support of a Medicaid buy-in plan for people over the age of 55 and a public option for health insurance.
SNIP
McGrath pushed back, calling Barr a liar for continuing to say she supported a single-payer system.
“Look, I came from an institution where if you lie, cheat or steal you get kicked out,” McGrath said.
And Candy belongs to a party that has to lie about everything, because its real agenda of stripping the middle class and giving everything to the idle rich wouldn't get five votes anywhere.

Tuesday.  THIS Tuesday.  6 a.m. to 6 p.m.  If you don't know your polling place, go here

Sunday, October 28, 2018

The Republican Party IS the problem

And until we defeat it into the ground - with votes! - it will get exponentially worse and harder to solve.

Outside of deeply progressive media, our pols and PACs never simply say simply that the Republican Party is the problem. And we don't link right-wing extremism to the GOP -- Republicans now are pounding the message that Antifa equals the Democrats, even though Antifa despises both major parties, whereas Democrats aren't even running ads linking the pro-violence Gavin McInnes and his Proud Boys to the GOP, despite the fact that this unabashed advocate of violence was invited to deliver a talk at a Republican club, where he valorized a right-wing political assassin from Japan, after which his followers rioted in the streets.

It's the Republican Party, stupid. Democrats will struggle to gain power until they make this their explicit message.

Your Tax Dollars Protecting Treason in Defense of Slavery

Defacing monuments to Treason in Defense of Slavery is patriotism. Protecting those monuments is defense of treason.
 
President Donald Trump’s Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has “quietly” spent millions of dollars on private security for Confederate cemeteries since the violent “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in August 2017.

The effort is “aimed at preventing the kind of damage that befell Confederate memorials across the U.S. in the aftermath of the Charlottesville violence,” according to a new report from the Associated Press, which reveals the VA has already spent almost $3 million on round-the-clock private security for at least eight Confederate cemeteries.
Records obtained by The Associated Press through the Freedom of Information Act show that the VA has spent nearly $3 million on the cemetery security since August 2017. Another $1.6 million is budgeted for fiscal 2019 to pay for security at all Confederate monuments, which could include other sites. The agency has not determined when the security will cease.
There have been no incidents of vandalism in the privately-guarded cemeteries since paint was added to a Confederate monument in Springfield, Missouri right before Trump visited the city in September 2017. A spokeswoman for the VA defended the spending in a statement.
Private security was needed “to ensure the safety of staff, property and visitors paying respect to those interred,” Jessica Schiefer, spokeswoman for the VA’s National Cemetery Administration, said in a statement. The agency “has a responsibility to protect the federal property it administers and will continue to monitor and assess the need for enhanced security going forward.”
Heather Heyer was killed in August 2017 when James Fields Jr., a white nationalist, drove his car into a crowd of protesters. Fields Jr. has pleaded not guilty to federal hate crimes.

Despite near-universal condemnation of the white supremacists who rallied in Charlottesville to oppose the city’s plan to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee, Trump instead said “many sides” were to blame for the violence in an infamous press conference. The president’s remarks were praised by white supremacists.

Numerous Confederate monuments have been torn down or vandalized since the violence in Charlottesville.

Trump has defended Confederate monuments and recently praised Lee at a rally in Ohio.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Here's Your Winning Democratic Speech Calling Out Repug Hate, Lying, Corruption

Courtesy of Kevin Drum.  Send it everywhere.
The entire Republican Party is dedicated to lying all the time. Climate change is a hoax. Sexual assault victims are making stuff up. Tax cuts are for the middle class. Heh. That’s because the closest they ever come to a real middle class voter is some Wall Street broker making a million dollars a year. And now they’re lying about terrorists marching their way up through Mexico to kill us all. They’re all just lies and everyone knows it. The Republican Party has turned into the party of lies.

There used to be at least a few Republicans compassionate enough to feel bad about ripping immigrant children from their mothers. Not anymore. The ugliest, meanest parts of the Republican Party love it when Jeff Sessions takes those babies away. It gets big cheers at all those creepy rallies that Donald Trump puts on for Fox News. The Republican Party has turned into the party of hate.

Democrats believe in the rule of law. Donald Trump believes the attorney general’s job is to help his friends and punish his enemies. And what do Republicans think of this? Well, the ones in Congress sure don’t seem to have any problem with it. The Republican Party has turned into the party of corruption.

Friday, October 26, 2018

The Kroger Shooting Was Racist Violence

White asshole shot just black people, passing up potential white victims, telling one armed white witness "don't shoot me, whites don't shoot whites."

Who do you think he voted for in 2016?

Minutes before a deadly shooting began Wednesday at the Kroger in Jeffersontown, the shooting suspect is believed to have tried to enter a nearby predominantly black church, authorities said.

Jeffersontown Police Chief Sam Rogers said during a Thursday news conference that surveillance footage from First Baptist Church of Jeffersontown captured an individual attempting to gain access into the church on Wednesday afternoon, about 10 to 15 minutes before the shooting at Kroger started.

'Whites don't shoot whites': What one man says Kroger shooter told him
 
Rogers said the individual is believed to have been Gregory Bush, the man arrested and charged with killing two people Wednesday at the Kroger at 9080 Taylorsville Road.
The individual was unsuccessful in entering the church, and possible motives for the attempted entry were not immediately available, Rogers said.

First Baptist Church of Jeffersontown is located at 10600 Watterson Trail, about two miles away from the Jeffersontown Kroger.

The first call reporting shots fired inside the Kroger came into MetroSafe at 2:54 p.m. There were reports of "multiple injuries."

By 4 p.m., authorities said they had secured the scene. Two people were dead: a man in the store and a woman in the parking lot.  

According to Jeffersontown police, Bush, 51, entered the grocery store and "gunned down" the first victim, and then exited the store where he killed the second victim. 

Thursday, October 25, 2018

We all know goddamn well what's going on here and who's to blame.

A coworker who is a republican and trump voter just commented on a shooting at a Louisville Kroger yesterday, and asked me "what is going on?"

"No comment," I replied, which he took exactly as I meant it:  "we both know goddamn well what's going on here and who's to blame."

We've got a wannabe dictator with the mind and temperament of a toddler who is blatantly ordering his ravening hordes to attack, injure and even kill those he designates as enemies.  Which conveniently includes the entire Democratic Party and the non-Fox media, plus everyone who is not white, male, straight, rich, christian and repug.

And they are following orders.  The pipe bombs weren't the beginning and they won't be the end.

Josh Marshall at TPM reveals how the current fetish for demanding "civility" plays into the hands of the violence-mongers.

Decency, being nice, presuming all speech and political actions are based on good faith rather than ill will – these are all fine enough things if you can manage them. But those mores can be difficult to sustain when society is attempting to litigate fundamental disagreements which are difficult and maybe impossible to solve through compromise.

The real line is the one President Trump crosses almost daily: ‘jokes’ about state violence against political enemies, apocalyptic or dehumanizing rhetoric like calling the press the “enemy of the people” which invites violence, the kinds of casual slanders we hear about Jewish billionaires or the Democratic party organizing hordes of immigrants to storm the country’s borders. These are the kinds of actions that start to make civic life, democratic life, difficult and then impossible.

I don’t deny that a certain level of polarization, coarseness in the way we talk to each other or reflexive presumptions of bad faith can lead us toward Trumpian type rhetoric. But that’s like a gateway drug argument. Sure, it happens with some people. But mostly not. The simple truth is that we can live with our politics being raucous, aggressive and even mean. What kills civic life is not only violence but violent incitement, rhetoric of dehumanization and the politics of aggression and hate that is still largely the exclusive possession of the political right in the United States today.
(emphasis mine)

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

13 Days

The rest of us have to show up and vote, because there's about a 99% chance guys like Talmadge Strickland will show up and vote.  If we don't, they win every time.  And there's every reason to believe that Americans have been so burnt out by the Trump regime that they just don't see the need to vote, maybe ever and have simply tuned everything out.

So no, I don't buy the big turnout numbers at all.  Like I said a month ago, I'll be shocked if total turnout is above 40%.

But we have to vote or it really won't matter, ever again.
I don't care how many double-digit leads Democratic candidates have in the polls.  Every race is going to be dead close because of repug fuckery.  

Of course repugs are cheating everywhere.  They know that if everybody votes, Democrats win.  They will stop at nothing to prevent Democratic voters from getting to the polls.

The only way we can beat them now is just by overwhelming the polls with every single Democratic, Democratic-leaning, Democratic-curious and Democratic-lapsed voter out there. 

Monday, October 22, 2018

Camping Overnight in Line: Not for Ticket, But to VOTE

C'mon, Kentucky: you gonna let FLORIDA show you up like that?


And if you miss voting because you didn't get a flu shot and are too sick to get to the polls Nov. 6, Wonkette's own Carlos Sagan will come to your house and slap you with an octopus.

15 Days, Bitches!

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Protester Dumps Mitch's Leftovers

This is really my favorite part of this story.  No take-home empanadas for traitors!

From the Herald:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his wife, Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, were interrupted by a heckler who made a scene while the couple dined at a Cuban restaurant in Louisville Friday night.

TMZ first reported the confrontation Saturday morning, sharing a video that shows the man waving his arms and talking loudly, while McConnell sits silently in a booth, hands folded.

“Why don’t you get out of here,” the man can be heard saying, along with the statements, “Why don’t you leave our entire country alone?” and “they’re gonna come for Social Security.”

A woman behind the camera calls out, “Ditch Mitch!”

The Courier Journal reported that a man picked up McConnell’s leftovers and dumped them out on the sidewalk during the incident and that a woman in the restaurant “approached their table” and called McConnell a “traitor” before leaving.
Don't anybody go blaming Havana Rumba for trying to appeal to all of its customers.  As much as I'd love them - and all other Louisville restaurants - to ban repugs from the premises forever, it's not really good business practice.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

17 Days

When they go low, we go vote.

18 days to .

LGBTQ Pride in Pikeville

This is exceptionally good news.  This is a huge step forward for liberal values and progress in a deeply conservative part of Kentucky.  All is not lost, fellow progressives, as long as we can make this happen.

Kyle May always thought he would have to leave Eastern Kentucky to find a place he belonged.
“For years I tried to get out,” said May, who is gay. “I tried to move. I tried to get jobs elsewhere. I tried interviewing relentlessly.”

But the chance to leave never came for the Pikeville native who graduated from Morehead State University in Rowan County, went to graduate school at Alice Lloyd College in Knott County and eventually moved to Paintsville.

May, 29, now works as a clinical director at Mountain Comprehensive Care in Prestonsburg.

May’s urge to leave reflects the feelings of many LGBTQ people who grow up in this rural and mostly-conservative part of the state, said Gina Bryant, who helped organize a gay pride event in Pikeville this weekend — the first of its kind for the city.
The festival, planned for Saturday afternoon in Pikeville City Park, will include music, a drag show, a “free hugs” booth, vendors and speakers. The restaurant Bank 253 will host an after-party.
Bryant and May, who also helped organize the event, hope the celebration signals a more inclusive and progressive future for Pikeville and Eastern Kentucky.

LGBTQ people who grow up here often feel isolated because of the lack of an organized and active community, Bryant said, and that feeling of isolation drives them out of the region, often to Lexington or Louisville.

“Most of us felt like we would have to move out of this area to really feel accepted and to really find a community,” said Bryant, who is bisexual. “So I think this is something, for most of us, that we’ve been wanting our entire lives.”

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Dare to Do Our Duty

Christine Blasley Ford is still in hiding from right-winger threatening to kill her and her family.  She knew that would happen, knew Kavanaugh would be confirmed regardless, but testified anyway.

It's going to get a lot uglier even if Democrats do not take the House.  And if we do ....

Lincoln had this to say to his fellow Unionists about how to proceed in a situation such as this:
Neither let us be slandered from our duty by false accusations against us, nor frightened from it by menaces of destruction to the Government nor of dungeons to ourselves. Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith, let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it.

Amy McGrath and Joe Biden: Video and Live Tweets From Bath County

2,000 people in tiny Owingsville screaming "Amy! Amy! Amy!"

Bluegrass Politics brings it

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Of Course We Can Afford A Civilized Nation

And this doesn't even count how much more we could do if the non-working rich actually paid their fair share.

 Down with Tyranny:


 
 
27 Days.  VOTE.  Vote for the Democratic candidates who agree with that list and pledge to implement it.
 
VOTE!


Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Best KY Colleges for the Country


The college ratings of the Washington Monthly are different.  They rank colleges not by how "selective" they are (seeking only Rapey McLiarFace types), but by how inclusive they are, opening doors to the non-rich and the un-privileged.

They rank colleges by how much they promote public service among their students - the military, non-profits, etc.

They rank colleges by their investment in and promotion of scientific research.

Here, let them explain it:

Thirteen years ago, the Washington Monthly set out to solve a problem. The higher education market was dominated by the U.S. News & World Report rankings, which reward wealth, fame, and exclusivity. College leaders responded to the temptation of better U.S. News scores by raising prices, chasing status, and marketing themselves to the children of privilege.
We thought the nation needed exactly the opposite: smart, well-run colleges that enrolled students from all walks of life and helped them earn a high-quality diploma at an affordable price. Colleges that instilled a sense of service and public obligation while producing groundbreaking research.
So we decided to do something about it and create our own ranking—not based on what colleges do for themselves, but on what they do for their country. After all, everyone benefits when colleges push the boundaries of scientific discovery and provide paths to opportunity for the next generation of low-income students. And everyone pays for college, through taxes and other forms of public support.

Check out the complete 2018 Washington Monthly rankings here. 



Today, the Washington Monthly rankings are often listed alongside (or above) U.S. News when colleges tout their national standing. We rate schools on three equally weighted criteria: social mobility, research, and public service. Instead of rewarding schools that reject 95 percent of applicants, we give high marks to colleges that enroll lots of low-income students and help them graduate and earn a good living without too much debt. We factor in pure research spending and the number of undergraduates who go on to earn PhDs. And we give extra weight to colleges that send their graduates out into the world to serve the community at large.
Kentucky colleges and universities are ranked on the Washington Monthly list:  some high, some low.  Here are this year's:

Berea College ranks number one in the country among liberal arts colleges.  It's been number one for years, mostly because tuition is free, but also because the education is superb.  It will likely stay there for a while.

Among vocational certificate programs, Ashland Community and Technical College in Ashland is rated third best in the nation for Welding.   No Kentucky program made the "worst in the nation" lists.

Among best 4-year colleges for adult learners, the University of Kentucky lands at 69 and Midway University at 94 out of 100.

Among "Best Bang for the Buck Colleges," listed by region, the list for the South has Berea College at number one, of course, but Alice Lloyd College made number 6 and Midway College made number 23 out of 50.

On the list of 316 national universities, the highest ranked Kentucky school was the University of Louisville, at 169.  The University of Kentucky followed at 180, University of the Cumberlands at 249, and Spaulding University at 310.

And finally, among 150 Baccalaureate Colleges, Kentucky Weslyan is the 15th best in the nation, and Alice Lloyd College is 31st.

These are schools that genuinely serve their students as well as the country.  Kentucky can do better than this, people. Stop the hemorrhaging of funding leading to massive cuts in programs and ridiculous tuition and fees. Restore real liberal arts education to our state schools.  Ignore that ignorant billionaire philistine in the Governor's mansion and remember what tax-payer-funded education is supposed to do.

Victory for Workers in KY Bourbon Strike

This happened three weeks ago, but it's still important because union solidarity and determination killed the devastating pro-owner contract provision that has destroyed unions nationwide for the last 40 years:  the two-tier contract.

The Four Roses strike ended Friday afternoon (Sept. 21) after the unions representing striking workers and the bourbon maker reached a tentative agreement.

SNIP

"We're all just excited. It's a good day for Four Roses and it's a good day for workers," said Jeff Royalty, president of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 10d.

SNIP

The workers left the job Sept. 7 and had picketed outside both locations until Friday afternoon, when the parties emerged from a day-long bargaining session.

A major issue for the unions was a company proposal to change the sick leave policy for incoming employees, providing workers 10 sick days per year but prohibiting them from carrying them over to the next year or bank them, as current employers can.

Instead, the new hires would have been eligible for short-term disability. The unions balked at what they described as a two-tier package for benefits that treats current workers differently from those hired later.    

In the end, Royalty said, the parties agreed that workers would get the option to keep the current sick leave policy or sign up for short-term disability. Both new workers hired in and those now on the payroll can choose either program, he said.

"We stood our ground on two tier," Royalty said, adding that the company was receptive to reaching a compromise.

 Production work came to a halt at the Four Roses Distillery in Lawrenceburg on Sept. 7 and at the company’s bottling facility in Nelson County. The workers, who are represented by three different unions, have been in prolonged and fractious negotiations with the company for several weeks. After the company issued its “last, best, and final offer,” the workers nearly-unanimously rejected it and voted to go on strike. 

But this is no ordinary strike. What’s happening at Four Roses has implications for both the broader labor movement, as well as future generations of American workers.

Kirin Brewery Company, the parent company of Four Roses, has proposed a partial “two-tier” contract, in which future workers will have less paid time off than current workers. Two-tier union contracts have become increasingly common over the past several decades, but have only recently begun to capture the public’s attention. If you’ve followed the brewing unrest at UPS over their contract, you may have already heard of the concept. Essentially, a two-tier contract creates a second level of benefits and/or wages for workers hired after the effective date of the contract, while wages and benefits for current workers remain generally the same. 

 
Obviously, companies seek to implement such systems in order to cut labor costs over the long term. And the evil genius of them is that their likelihood of passing in a vote by the workers is quite high because in theory, current workers have nothing to lose from such a setup. That’s what makes these workers’ resistance to the company’s proposal so uniquely selfless. These workers understand that two-tier contracts are potentially devastating for the survival of a vibrant American labor movement. 

These types of contracts create a divided workplace atmosphere. To give a hypothetical example, two workers on an assembly line working side by side and doing the same job, may have wildly different rates of pay, with the worker who’s been at the company three years making $25/hour with possible top-out pay of $40/hour over the course of his career, while the newer worker makes $17/hr with a maximum top-out pay of $30/hour by the time he retires. 

The story around this strike goes further than two-tier contracts, though. Generally, unions have come to expect companies to demand concessions during difficult times in the industry. But right now, the bourbon industry, and Four Roses in particular, is booming. Global demand for Kentucky’s signature spirit and profits for bourbon manufacturers are through the roof, and Four Roses has just completed a multi-million dollar expansion of their production facility. That leaves only one explanation for why Four Roses is offering its workers the worst contract since Prohibition: corporate greed. 

Just as President Reagan’s firing of striking air traffic controllers nearly 40 years ago set off a new era of anti-union sentiment among American businesses, so too has Gov. Bevin’s relentless assault on workers’ rights – particularly passage of the so-called “Right to Work” law – unleashed a wave of anti-worker attacks by Kentucky employers. Emboldened by a government that tells them that, in the words of Gordon Gecko, “greed is good,” Four Roses and other employers across the commonwealth are waging a campaign of attrition on workers both union, and non-union. And at the end of the day, it won’t just be union workers who suffer. 

The whole country should be watching this strike. How the two sides end this dispute will likely help drive the next phase of negotiations at UPS and other companies locked in similar conflict. 

As Kentucky celebrates the Bourbon Heritage Festival this week, all Kentuckians should unite in supporting the workers putting it all on the line to ensure a brighter future for all workers.

Embracing Malice

From LGM:
The Trump era is such a whirlwind of cruelty that it can be hard to keep track.

SNIP

Once malice is embraced as a virtue, it is impossible to contain.
28 Days. VOTE.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Here's the Message

From Digby:

Make Karma a Real Bitch for Repugs

We tried "going high," and it got us a Supreme Court that is going to reverse not just the 20th century, but the entire Enlightenment.
This time, no "looking forward" until we have tracked down every motherfucking traitor and thrown them in Guantanamo.
This time, no more "working across the aisle" until we have eliminated every illegal path to power for the GOP. 

This time, no more pretending voters will vote Democratic if we just act repug enough.

Bipartisanship is dead.

Susan Collins dealt the coup de grace, armed with a dishonest and partisan speech capping a norm-destroying extremist far-right conquest of the Supreme Court. And upon regaining power in Washington, Democrats will need to behave accordingly.

SNIP

Despite a recent upsurge for Republicans, Democrats are still likely to win the House in November 2018. And it’s a good bet that Democrats will ride a wave of electoral fury compounded by the investigative findings of Mueller’s probe and likely House investigations into a White House victory and a solid majority in the Senate.

If and when that happens, there will be a temptation to attempt to restore a sense of bipartisan normalcy. But that would be a mistake. Republicans, having made their bed as an anti-normative, anti-democratic party of wealthy white male privilege enforced by anti-majoritarian structural advantage seeking, will not become responsible minority governing partners. And Democrats should not treat them as such.

Instead, Democrats will need to embrace their own inner Mitch McConnell. Their leaders will be tempted to immediately move to tackle the enormous legislative priorities their Republican opponents sabotaged or neglected, from climate change to healthcare to economic policy. But it will be just as important to secure structural initiatives that will make it difficult for Republicans to continue thwarting the will of an increasingly progressive majority. That is precisely what McConnell would do if a man of his instincts and temperament were serving the public welfare and society’s marginalized, rather than corporations, the wealthy and the privileged.

SNIP
It is the instinct of many liberals to shy away from such moves as overly partisan or process-focused. But they are essential if democracy is to survive in the face of an opposition determined to hold onto anti-majoritarian power at all costs through illegitimate and socially destructive means.
We start by voting the mother fuckers OUT.  29 Days.  VOTE.

Make Every Repug Candidate Pay For Kavanaugh

Rapey McLiarFace is now the raping, lying face of the republican party.  His despicable performance in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee and the screaming hysteria of repug fanatics spouting ludicrous conspiracies have laid bare the true nature of their party: despising and degrading women in order to promote and protect privileged, rich, straight, conservative, freakazoid white men.
 
To repugs, either you are one of them, or you are scum to be assaulted and kicked into the trash.
 
Which side are you on?
 
29 Days.

VOTE

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Petty, Malicious Scumbags

Because it's more important to this maladministration to score anti-LGBTQ points with their freakazoid hordes than to protect human rights.

The Trump administration began denying visas to same-sex partners of foreign diplomats and United Nations employees Monday, the latest chip at LGBTQ rights in the United States.

The only way same-sex partners will be legally recognized and allowed to stay in the country moving forward is if the couple is married, regardless of what the laws in their home countries allow.

The move is a reversal of a 2009 State Department directive that granted visas to the same-sex domestic partners of foreign workers.

Couples will have only three months to make the decision to marry. After December 31, they will have to show proof of marriage or leave the country within 30 days.  “As of 1 October 2018, same-sex domestic partners… seeking to join newly arrived U.N. officials must provide proof of marriage to eligible for a G-4 visa or to seek a change in such status,” the new guidance states.
At least 10 U.N. employees are impacted by the change, meaning they must marry in the coming months if they want their partners to be able to stay with them.

The policy change purports “to help ensure and promote equal treatment” for all couples. However, because the world does not treat all couples equally, the new directive means the United States will essentially be punishing people based on nationality. Only 12 percent of U.N. member countries — a total of 25 countries — recognize marriage equality for same-sex couples. In at least 70 others, homosexuality is criminalized.

“If that’s how you advance equality between same-sex and opposite sex partners, then we have an enormous problem on our hands,” said David Pressman, who served as the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Security Council for special political affairs during the Obama administration. He went on to call it a “creative and cynical way to use the expansion of equality at home to vindictively target same-sex couples abroad.”