Saturday, February 16, 2019

One Answer to Why

From TPM commenter Maximus:

Duplicitous Weasel

Nancy LeTourneau of Political Animal, on Mitch McConnell giving the west wing baby what he wants:
So it is McConnell’s response that is worth noting. He jumped right on Trump’s bandwagon. I hope that the people of Kentucky notice that their senator is behaving like a duplicitous weasel who’s getting bullied by a narcissistic toddler.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

"Prove It"

Robyn Pennachia with yet another knock-you-back jeremiad against malignant stupidity that gets people killed, concluding:

How many times do we have to learn the lesson that there are consequences to just letting people have their stupid beliefs? Damage to the environment, measles outbreaks, idiots showing up to pizza parlors with assault rifles, assholes assaulting immigrants because they think all immigrants are murderers, people opposing social welfare programs because of weird lies they have been told about the kind of people who use those programs, people opposing affirmative action while screaming about "quotas," which for the love of god have been illegal in this country since 1978 -- not to mention Fox news anchors spreading listeria, probably, because they don't believe in germs and therefore do not wash their hands. 

There are far too many problems in this country that could be solved with a simple "prove it."

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

ICE Unchained Won't Stop With Just the Browns

Still got an "I'm With Her" sticker on your car? Belong to the ACLU, NAACP or Human Rights Campaign?  Ever publicly express a less-than-worshipful opinion about the Pumpkin Traitor?

Get your affairs in order, because no obviously fake "papers" are going to save you now.


This is a war being fought right now.  ICE is saying that they reserve the right to come in and raid any city in America, demand identification, and round people up for non-compliance or even documenting the atrocities.
This is Trump's America in 2019.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Eliiminate the Rich. Do It Now.

By taxing them at 99.9999 percent or chasing them into the sea with pitchforks and torches, I don't care.  Just do it.

I think the rich assume they're bulletproof now. They think they'll maintain their ability to hoard all the nice stuff even if the rest of America (or the world) burns. And I wish I believed they were wrong about that. I support progressive politicians, but I suspect it may be impossible now to make significant improvements to ordinary Americans' lives through conventional politcal means. I fear the rich won't allow us to do that unless we threaten to destroy their world.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Greedy Pigs of Legislature Stealing Real Workers' Pensions

This is blatant, daylight theft.  State employees with 30 years of full-time service are lucky to get barely $2,000 per month in retirement, and they won't get even that if the repugs get their way and eliminate the broken state pension system.

Meanwhile, part-time legislators - 60 days per year, or 1/5 of a full-time job - are pulling down retirement checks five times the size of a real worker's retirement check.
And when I say "real workers" and "state employees," I mean the cops and firefighters who put their lives on the line. I mean the social workers who protect children from abuse.  I mean the engineers  who get roads paved and the park rangers who keep the trails clear and the park housekeepers and cooks who keep the lodge always ready. I mean the tax auditors who keep people honest and the corrections officers who guard the ones who aren't.  I mean all the people who make Kentucky livable.

As the General Assembly resumes its debate over pensions — who should get one, who shouldn’t and how should Kentucky pay for what’s owed — public records show that some of state government’s larger pensions belong to current and former legislators, who serve part-time at the Capitol.

There are 186 retired legislators drawing pensions from their own separately managed retirement system, with an average annual payout of $23,934. (They also get free health insurance for themselves and their dependents.) By comparison, the average payout from the largest pension fund for retired state government workers is $21,587. For retired local government workers, it’s $11,739.

But those are just rank-and-file averages. Thanks to a pension-sweetening law the General Assembly passed for itself in 2005, nearly two dozen past and present legislators collect or expect to get lifetime pensions above $50,000 a year — roughly twice the state’s per capita income. And that’s on top of whatever retirement plans they’ve made elsewhere in their full-time jobs.

Members of the $50,000 club include Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, who is in line to collect $56,448 a year when he retires, and former House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, who is drawing $77,196 a year as he runs for attorney general.

And unlike Kentucky’s primary state workers’ pension system, which is only 13 percent funded, the publicly subsidized legislators’ pension system is 98 percent funded.
Thanks to a pension-sweetening law the General Assembly passed for itself in 2005, nearly two dozen past and present legislators collect or expect to get lifetime pensions above $50,000 a year — roughly twice the state’s per capita income. And that’s on top of whatever retirement plans they’ve made elsewhere in their full-time jobs.
Members of the $50,000 club include Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, who is in line to collect $56,448 a year when he retires, and former House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, who is drawing $77,196 a year as he runs for attorney general.
It gets worse.  Way worse.  It ends with a list of legislators drawing more than $50,000 a year from Kentucky's taxpayers, most of whom earn far less for far more and harder work.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Abortion By Mail Is Here

And just in fucking time.  Details below, but first,  KY AG Andy Beshear again warns the repug state legislature that they are freakazoid misogynist assholes violating the state and U.S. Constitutions.

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear sent the legislature’s top two leaders a letter Thursday informing them that he thinks a bill in this year’s General Assembly that would ban abortions if a fetal heartbeat is detected is unconstitutional.
Not that they give a shit.  They have been passing unconstitutional forced-birth bills since literally the day after Roe was decided 46 years ago."

All together now:  It's impossible to abort a "baby," "child," "innocent life" or "preborn" anything, because they do not exist inside a woman's uterus.  Inside a uterus is a mass of cells that is none of your fucking business. 

Maybe clinics have a sign outside:  "No children were harmed in the performance of this abortion."

But the ridiculous "heartbeat" bill is not the only forced-birth bill in the KY lege.  From Senator Reggie Thomas:
Senate Bill 50, which passed 30-6, would require that the dispensing of certain prescriptions be reported to Vital Statistics. The report on these drugs, which can be used to induce abortion, would be made available on the cabinet’s website. With so many important health issues facing Kentuckians, I do not understand why we want to use our scarce resources in this manner. These drugs are used for many procedures other than abortion. They are used to dilate a woman’s cervix to insert an IUD to prevent pregnancy; they are used to facilitate a miscarriage, and they are used to accelerate childbirth.  I opposed this bill.  
Fear not, however.  Abortion by mail is here.

From the Washington Monthly:
Contrary to what Sen. Susan Collins would have you believe, the addition of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court means that it is only a matter of time before Roe v. Wade is overturned and the legality of women’s access to abortion is left to the states. That was made obvious by the support Kavanaugh got from court evangelicals and other anti-abortion activists. Conservatives might not go there immediately, opting instead to continue to chip away at the ruling. But there is no doubt about where this is all headed.
As that reality sets in, it is important to keep in mind that a lot has changed since Roe v. Wade was decided back in 1973. The idea that its demise will return this country to the days of back alley and bloody coat hanger abortions is something that should be soundly rejected, because science has provided us with alternatives. That’s why I found this report from Olga Khazan to be extremely important.
For years, an organization called Women on Web has given women a way to perform their own medication-induced abortions at home. The organization would, remotely, do online consultations, fill prescriptions, and ship pills that trigger miscarriages to women who live in countries where abortion is illegal. Several studies have shown that the service is safe.
For American women who’ve wanted pills, though, there’s been one major problem: Women on Web wouldn’t ship to the United States. American women could (and do) instead search online for abortion pills, but some of the medicines and pharmacies they’ve found have been less than reliable. Now Women on Web’s founder, a doctor named Rebecca Gomperts, has launched a new service that she says is just as safe as Women on Web, and it does ship to the United States. The cost is $95, but the website says the service will try to help women who can’t pay.
Just like Women on Web, the new service, Aid Access, will screen women for their eligibility to take the pills—they should not be more than nine weeks pregnant—through an online process. (If the pills are taken later, they are less likely to work.) Gomperts will herself fill each woman’s prescription for misoprostol and mifepristone, which together are about 97 percent effective in causing an abortion within the first trimester and already account for a third of all abortions in the United States. She then sends the prescriptions to an Indian pharmacy she trusts, and it ships the pills to women at their homes in the United States.
Need legal help because your woman-hating state legislature has made self-abortion a crime?  An abortion legal hotline is here for you.

Purvi Patel was sentenced to 20 years in prison for allegedly terminating her own pregnancy with medication she ordered online. By the time the Indiana Court of Appeals overturned the feticide conviction in 2016, Patel had been incarcerated for three years.

Patel is one of at least 20 people who was arrested or investigated for a self-induced abortion since 1973.

“We don’t want anybody else to have to suffer that fate,” said Jill Adams, chief strategist of the Self-Induced Abortion (SIA) Legal Team.

The growing hostility to abortion rights could mean an uptick in arrests, and so lawyers with the SIA Legal Team formally launched a free, confidential helpline and website on Tuesday to help anyone who’s criminalized for “self-managing,” or performing an abortion themselves.
These statements are not made out of a belief that would happen, or concern for babies who might not get to experience the joy of taking one breath at birth and then dying from their crushed lungs. They are made out of a desire to paint women and their doctors and those who support abortion as horrible, cruel and selfish monsters who kill simply for the joy of killing, like so many lady Ted Bundys -- and they're willing to put parents through hell in order to make that point.
 Oh, yeah, one more thing. Andy Beshear is running to beat Gov. Women Are Incubators Bevin.