The bigots have been doubling down in recent days, and the far-right Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas - which pioneered the Tea Party's tactics - is no exception.
Now - for no apparent reason - they plan to picket a "Weird Al" Yankovic concert in Kansas City. They put out a press release attacking the iconic singer and mocking his deceased parents.
The press release also suggests, "Weird Al should be taking a lesson from fellow parody performers WBC and write his songs to glorify God." Westboro admits they're a parody now? What this likely refers to is Westbozo congregants - who are almost entirely Fred Phelps's family members - infamously butchering "We Are The World" in a YouTube video. Surely, this is one of the most ridiculous things they've put in their press releases since they said Frank Sinatra was responsible for "Sesame Street making Big Bird a fag" (in their words).
Weird Al has posted a copy of Westboro's press release on his Instagram site...
The Far Right hasn't been taking things too well lately. Now there's 5 counties in Kentucky that won't comply with Obergefell v. Hodges. (Then again, there's probably just as many school districts that defy Tinker v. Des Moines, so why should we be surprised?)
Tuesday, June 30, 2015
The bigots have been doubling down in recent days, and the far-right Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas - which pioneered the Tea Party's tactics - is no exception.
Posted by Bandit at 11:14 AM
Sunday, June 28, 2015
If anyone out there still thinks the Tea Party is just a movement against excessive government spending and has no interest in social issues, think again.
Let's be clear: Nationwide marriage equality is a positive development. I'm wary about the Supreme Court undermining progress on other issues in other cases, but America got lucky in the marriage equality case. However, the Tea Party is blowing their stack like we haven't seen since, well, the last time they blew their stack. I thought Team Tyranny was going to finally cool their crappers a bit, because it's hard to claim you're for limited government if you oppose marriage equality in 2015, but instead they're doubling down.
And it's as hilarious as you might imagine.
The Northern Kentucky Tea Party sent out an e-mail newsletter that thunders...
"Friday's Supreme Court decision represents a collective shaking of our fists in God's face saying, 'We don't care what You say about life's most important relationship. We know best.'"
That's a rather odd thing for a limited government group to say, isn't it? Some folks think the Tea Party is largely separate from the Religious Right, but this is one of many instances where they've couched their fury in religious terms. The Tea Party is a dominionist movement. Another recent e-mail from the Northern Kentucky Tea Party invites people to a presentation by a dominionist speaker.
Meanwhile, Boone County refuses to abide by the Supremes' ruling. It is reportedly the only county in Kentucky not to comply. The Far Right is defending Boone County, saying the other 119 counties are guilty of illegally modifying state-issued marriage forms.
Posted by Bandit at 8:54 PM
Friday, June 26, 2015
So far, today has been a bad day for the "right-to-work" gestapo.
This morning, the U.S. Supreme Court quite justifiably ruled that marriage equality is the law of the land. This is of course a good ruling, but I thought the court would rule 5 to 4 against marriage equality. Instead it ruled 5 to 4 in favor.
But what does it mean for other cases? Americans are right to celebrate, but will the celebration drown out news of other rulings the Supreme Court might make? As Justice Anthony Kennedy was the only conservative Justice who voted with the majority, was Kennedy's surprise vote just a ruse to get people to forgive bad rulings? In other words, did the court's conservative bloc concede this case so that people will put up with other cases?
Folks are also still celebrating yesterday's ruling in the King v. Burwell case - in which the Supreme Court quite rightly upheld Obamacare subsidies, rejecting a frivolous lawsuit that sought to gut them. I didn't think this ruling was a surprise, because the Supremes had already balked at a chance to gut the Affordable Care Act - and much of that law is actually fairly conservative by any raw measure. Remember, much of the ACA was based on ideas conservatives had 20 years ago to stave off single payer.
Marriage equality. It's fair, and it's the law.
Posted by Bandit at 11:24 AM
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
Look, folks, you can vote for whoever you damn well feel like voting for. Just don't expect to be free from ridicule for it.
Republican gubernatorial candidate Matt Bevin, for instance, admits to voting for some straaaaange people (and not just himself). In 2004, Bevin was a staunch backer of Michael Peroutka for President. Peroutka, as you may recall, was the candidate of the far-right Constitution Party. Last year, Peroutka was elected to public office in Maryland as a Republican running on a dominionist platform.
Bevin boasted, "I have a 'Peroutka for President' t-shirt from 2004 in my drawer."
Peroutka has stated that he wishes Maryland had joined the Confederacy. The Human Rights Campaign has called Peroutka an "active white supremacist."
But it's not fair to pick on only Matt Bevin over his 2004 presidential choice. Most other Republicans voted for George W. Bush, also an active white supremacist.
Posted by Bandit at 5:20 PM
When we let utter incompetents take power, this is what happens.
Officials from Kentucky's Cabinet for Health and Family Services say 92 cases involving child abuse or neglect in Boone County have been completely, thoroughly lost. Records of these cases could not be found - and languished for months before they turned up again.
We allow this? How can Boone County lose something as important as this?
That they accidentally lost the records isn't even the worst-case scenario. Since most Tea Party members beat or molest their kids, the records were probably lost on purpose by some hacks who were hired because of their Tea Party support.
Meanwhile, the Cincinnati media that ostensibly covers Boone County has ignored this story.
Posted by Bandit at 4:29 AM
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
It's yet another scandal for Kentucky gubernatorial candidate Matt Bevin (R-The Media).
In recent days, it's been discovered that nationally known Republican politicians - including most of their leading presidential aspirants - have received campaign contributions from Earl Holt, president of the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens. This is the same Council of Conservative Citizens that says racist mass murderer Dylann Roof has "legitimate grievances."
But this scandal has a Kentucky connection too. Not only has Holt donated to Rand Paul, but it turns out that Holt also gave to Matt Bevin's ill-fated Senate campaign.
The usual suspects have defended Bevin, but if the Republicans don't want to be linked with racism, they should stop adopting racist policies. Then racists like Earl Holt will have less reason to fund their campaigns. I guess they'd rather appeal to rich racists and risk getting caught than do without their money. At the very least, we can hold the GOP accountable for racist policy stances.
The Council of Conservative Citizens has been linked with the Republican Right for decades now, and everyone knows about the CCC's racist views. Why hasn't the GOP done a single damn thing to show the CCC the door?
God help us if Bevin wins the election.
Posted by Bandit at 9:45 PM
Sunday, June 21, 2015
James Comey - the former Bush regime official who now serves as FBI director - should resign or be fired.
The recent terrorist attack at a church in South Carolina sets a new low in hate crimes. But Comey says that the mass shooting that killed 9 people is not actually terrorism.
What is terrorism then? Why do we even have a word for terrorism when it doesn't even apply to a racist mass murder? I guess it's so it can be applied to everything except this action, as right-wing gasbags seem to call everything else "terrorism." They think Occupy is "terrorism." They think tearing up a golf course after it expands into your yard is "terrorism." But killing 9 people in a racially motivated massacre? Comey says that's not terrorism.
Who's surprised? The government used to have an office specifically dedicated to investigating domestic terrorism such as this mass killing - but the office was closed amid right-wing pressure.
Anyone should have been able to see that Dylann Roof was on a collision course with trouble - because militant racists usually are - but I guess people were conditioned to overlook it until it was too late. When we have a system that denies right-wing domestic terrorism even exists, I guess many folks internalize this denial.
It's also factual to say that conservative media outlets and organizations have some responsibility for the massacre. Dylann Roof adopted racist views after reading the website of the Council of Conservative Citizens - a group that itself has had its leaders appear at Tea Party events. Right-wing pundit Megyn Kelly has tried to make excuses for police misconduct that took place recently in McKinney, Texas. Statements by Kelly and other right-wing talking heads fuel viewers' racism.
In the eyes of many Americans, right-wing elitism and propertarianism are increasingly untenable. But conservative elites - who falsely claim to represent the public - have doubled down more and more lately. It is a recipe for guaranteed disaster.
Some won't call it terrorism. But I will.
Posted by Bandit at 12:18 AM
Wednesday, June 17, 2015
Sanitation District 1 - which governs northern Kentucky's sewer system - was long a target of Tea Party wrath. That is, until Tea Party leaders ordered county officials to appoint them to SD1's board, and county officials eagerly obliged.
Lately, urban areas like Covington and Newport have passed resolutions urging SD1 to bring back a program that fixed broken sewer lines and relieved homeowners and residents of costly repairs. But Tea Party supporters on SD1's board not only refused to reinstate the program but also raided $4 million from SD1 reserves so it can be used on future luxury housing as far away as Richwood and Hebron.
It was luxury subdivisions that overloaded the region's sewers in the first place. What's more is that customers whose sewer lines are breaking are being forced to pay for this new expense!
City officials are furious!
This story is further proof that when the Tea Party claims to be for fiscal restraint, you can't trust them. Team Tyranny has a history of raiding public coffers for pet projects - even while claiming to support limiting spending.
Posted by Bandit at 12:15 PM
Tuesday, June 16, 2015
After a couple weeks of being bogged down by various important errands, the June issue of The Last Word is finally pub!
You're gonna love this ish, because it talks about the many hilarious things that cool people think are hilarious. There's also a couple minor pee and poo stories, as usual.
So read The Last Word now before The Last Word reads you...
Posted by Bandit at 3:00 PM
Monday, June 15, 2015
"Butbutbutbutbutbutbutbut...southern Campbell County doesn't have drive-bys! Stop overreacting! Be thankful you don't live in Seattle in 1974 like Kenny G!"
What happens when it's finally confirmed that Tim Brown was right and everyone else was wrong?
The area from roughly Highland Heights to Alexandria is the one part of greater Cincinnati that I'm actually scared to visit. It's been years since I've been scared of Over-the-Rhine or West End, but I won't go very far out in Campbell County without carrying a huge rock. This fear was confirmed last night by a series of 3 drive-by shootings in Alexandria.
Two men on motorcycles were hit by someone shooting them with a pellet gun from a moving vehicle. A juvenile male in a parking lot was also hit. All 3 victims were hospitalized.
The River Cities News website and Channel 9 have covered this story, but as far as I can tell, the rest of the local media has completely ignored it. Most of the press doesn't want people to think the right-wing suburbs aren't some sort of utopia.
It's unknown whether the assailants in this story were adults or juveniles. I bet it's Bishop Brossart kids again.
Posted by Bandit at 12:06 PM
Sunday, June 14, 2015
When the Cincinnati media speaks of a "drought", you can rest assured it's not like what other areas would call a drought. In California, for instance, a drought is a drought.
Recently, California officials ordered folks to reduce water usage by 25% to fight the drought there. But some people in the wealthy San Diego suburb of Rancho Santa Fe think rules are just for the little people. After the water conservation order was issued, water usage in Rancho Santa Fe actually increased by 9%.
Rancho Santa Fe's affluent residents began deliberately wasting water just because they were told to conserve it. One resident groaned on the Internet that he and his neighbors "should not be forced to live on property with brown lawns, golf on brown courses or apologize for wanting their gardens to be beautiful." But shouldn't everyone share the burden of reducing water usage, regardless of their personal opulence? "No, we're not equal when it comes to water," he went on to say. Another resident sniffed, "What are we supposed to do, just have dirt around our house on 4 acres?"
Yes, they really said that.
Even before the order, Rancho Santa Fe - which is full of country clubs and gated neighborhoods - used 5 times as much water per person as the statewide average.
Because of locals wasting water, Rancho Santa Fe is now forced to enact water rationing - for the first time ever.
Wealthy crybabies are also shooting their mouths off in other rich California suburbs. A resident of another rich community cried, "I call it the war on suburbia." Well, I call suburbia a war on America. So tough toilets.
Laugh it up all you want, but the rhetoric about the "war on suburbia" has already wriggled its way into the Far Right's lexicon. If you read any article online about any issue of public interest, you'll notice the comment page is full of diatribes by paid trolls about how rough it is to be a rich suburbanite.
The 1% is all about taking entitlement to new levels.
Posted by Bandit at 2:34 PM
Friday, June 12, 2015
Republican gubernatorial candidate Matt Bevin is already facing what seems to be his first new scandal since winning the primary.
Bevin - a Tea Party favorite - failed to disclose his positions with Bevin Bros. Manufacturing and Academic Merit on his financial disclosure statement. In doing so, he violated Kentucky ethics laws.
It's not a possible ethics violation as the media seems fond of reporting. It's a certain ethics violation. The statement of financial disclosure requires candidates to reveal these positions. Period.
Imagine if you can if a Democrat - even a mediocre one - had committed a violation like this. That would be the end of their candidacy. But rules don't always seem to apply to Republicans - especially Tea Party blunderkinds like Matt Bevin.
Posted by Bandit at 10:47 AM
Wednesday, June 10, 2015
I said it months ago: I was going to do more to expose individual right-wing loudmouths who clutter Facebook and other websites with their garbage. I exposed a few at the time, and now I've encountered another. This is how they treat us, so I fight back. Fair is fair.
And (as they say on the news) she's right here in the Tri-State!
The person I'm talking about is one Melissa Mcintosh who claims on her Facebook profile to be from St. Augustine, Florida, but lives in Florence, Kentucky. That's a common name, so we have to make sure we have the right one.
Why do we let right-wing extremists move from other areas into our area? It's bad enough that we have some who are homegrown. Is there something around here that attracts them from out of town? Florence is relatively far from some of the local trouble spots that always come to mind, so I'm not sure what the lure is.
Extreme right-wingers have no place in the Tri-State - unless extreme right-wingers are what most of us around here already are, which I doubt. The area is still pretty conservative, yet it's too liberal for the sorry excuse for a person who is the topic of this entry - so she can't adjust, and she lashes out. Her face would explode if she actually had to adjust to a genuinely liberal city.
She needs to go let it explode somewhere else. Not in our community.
Posted by Bandit at 12:01 PM
Sunday, June 7, 2015
I told you right after the Madison roadmeet that I was going to step up my campaign against the Far Right in a whole new way. There had to have been somebody somewhere who didn't believe me, but now their faces are caked Soupy Sales-like with humble pie. It's like I said: Don't call my bluff when I'm not bluffing.
Key among my innovative new efforts is mapping the local Tea Party presence - literally. This project moved slowly in May, because some of the data was unwieldy. But I found a data source that's much easier to use and much more up to date, so now things are cookin'!
The first item in this series is a map of Campbell County showing Tea Party power and support. This is measured by several different factors. The pink shaded areas have a higher Tea Party presence, and the darker the shade, the worse it gets...
If it's any constipation, the worse areas usually have fewer people. Plus, Tea Party blight in Campbell County is nothing compared to Boone County these days. My preliminary observation is that parts of Boone County will be even darker pink than anything in Campbell County.
Why do I bring you this data? Because knowledge is power! If you're smart, you know what to do with this data. The Tea Party has to know we mean biz, and we can't be bullied. I think they know I can't, but can you?
Posted by Bandit at 3:35 PM
Friday, June 5, 2015
America has broad protections for offensive and even blasphemous speech - as it should. The Constitution quite rightly does not give us freedom from insult. This fine land also has wide safeguards for the right to bear arms - as it should. Weakening the First Amendment - or the Second - should be off the table forever.
But since when is it constitutionally protected to intimidate someone on the basis of their religion or ethnicity? When speech and actions cross the line into outright threats, how is it not a criminal matter?
As right-wing hatemonger Pamela Geller has stepped up her campaign against Muslims, it's gotten out of control in Phoenix, Arizona. Last week, a group of bikers held a rally against the Islamic Community Center in Phoenix. Two gunmen who attacked a Geller appearance in Texas had attended this mosque, but there's no evidence the mosque supported violence like this. Conducting a protest against the Islamic Community Center over that attack would be like if I had held a protest against a local church because a classmate who went to mass there assaulted me.
The more important point is this: The bikers were armed and appeared right outside the mosque at the same time the mosque was having worship services. If any of these conditions weren't met, they'd probably be in the clear legally, even though I disagreed with what they said. But they managed to select a precise combination of circumstances that was designed to openly threaten the mosque.
Some states have specific laws on religious and ethnic intimidation. If Arizona has such a law, how does this not violate it? It's hard to see how the event wouldn't put people in fear of actual injury. I think that was the intent of the event.
Make no mistake: If the Texas gunmen had survived, they should have been punished. But their actions do not excuse legislators and prosecutors who are soft at fighting against religious intimidation. There is no constitutional prohibition against toughening the intimidation laws. Indeed, America is obligated to pass and enforce laws against religious intimidation under international human rights law. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights obligates the United States to act. For America to act is mandatory - not voluntary.
Why should we value the "rights" of violent bigots like the bikers in this story over the rights of those who are threatened by them? Religious intimidation is actually a form of censorship. It threatens its victims into silence.
Insult and offense go with the territory in our constitutional system. Intimidation and violence should not.
Posted by Bandit at 5:28 PM
Friday, May 29, 2015
A former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives - completely disgraced.
After the indictment of Dennis Hastert, a federal law enforcement official now says Hastert paid a man millions of dollars to hide a sexual relationship that they had while the man was a student at the high school where Hastert taught.
To repeat, Hastert was once the Speaker of the U.S. House. This is the man who was next in line to become President after the Vice-President. He was perhaps the most powerful Republican in Washington before Bush seized power - and effectively the leader of the Republican Party.
An actual former Speaker of the House - completely shamed in front of the entire nation. Think about that for a moment.
Posted by Bandit at 4:21 PM
Thursday, May 28, 2015
Remember Dennis Hastert, the miserable clod who served as Speaker of the House during the terrible years of what has been rightly termed the "culture of corruption"?
Now the Illinois Republican has been indicted on federal charges that he evaded reporting requirements and lied to the FBI. The indictment alleges that Hastert illegally transferred funds to avoid IRS detection. The charges also make a vague reference to unspecified "bad acts." It appears that Hastert committed some sort of misconduct years ago and tried to pay off the victim with $3.5 million.
It's taken them this long to indict him? It really would have been nice if this indictment had happened back in 1999.
Posted by Bandit at 7:08 PM
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
A far-right group in Texas has a court case called Evenwel v. Abbott. Look it up sometime. I'm shocked they even filed a case like this.
This case would actually make it illegal to use the "one person, one vote" standard for congressional apportionment and redistricting - a standard that's been established for decades. Instead of districting based on actual population, states would be required to draw their congressional and state legislative boundaries based on the number of registered voters.
"One person, one vote" is supposed to mean "one person, one vote." Period. Full stop. This means that even people who are not eligible voters are supposed to be counted in redistricting. This has never been in doubt in modern times. For example, kids under 18 can't vote, but they still count in redistricting, because children use public facilities and programs.
That anyone would challenge "one person, one vote" would be laughable if it wasn't such a serious matter. This has become a serious matter now that the Supreme Court has - shockingly - decided to hear the case. Lower courts have quite properly rejected the plaintiffs' argument, but the Supremes have been launching a frontal attack against the Constitution and issuing a lot of ideologically based rulings in recent years.
Plus, this case is part of a larger effort to erase the groundbreaking Reynolds v. Sims ruling - which is what truly settled the "one person, one vote" question. Having failed so far at carving out North Colorado as the 51st state, the Far Right is chomping at the bit for activist judges to do their dirty work for them. If they succeed at this, it's hard to see how there's any hope for America.
Posted by Bandit at 8:47 PM
Monday, May 25, 2015
It wasn't just the sky that rained on Tea Party gubernatorial candidate Matt Bevin's parade this morning.
Each year, the Tea Party has a float in the Bellevue-Dayton Memorial Day Parade. The Tea Party float goes over about as well as a case of salmonella on Thanksgiving. This year was no exception, and this time they even brang along the Bevster.
Nobody cheered Bevin. Nobody.
I don't think Bevin saw me scowling at him, because he was swaggering along the parade path pretty quickly - with that same stupid facial expression he always has. The November election will be sure to wipe that smirk off his face.
Also, a person bubbled.
Posted by Bandit at 11:59 AM
I attended the Sunday installment of Taste of Cincinnati - or as I call it, Baste of Cincinnati. Baste of Cincinnati is said to be the most durable food festival in America.
It's not really that exciting, but it's more interesting than staying at home and playing with chunks of dead skin from my foot. I remember going to this event with my family when I was about 9 or 10, and thinking it was the dullest experience ever. I don't think I ever went back until 2 or 3 years ago.
Baste of Cincinnati is starting to rival Ploptoberfest for ploppings. At yesterday's festivities, I noticed somebody put a Dr Pepper bottle in the garbage can - and I don't mean the regular garbage can. I mean the funny garbage can - i.e., the toilet. Later, I noticed someone put a plastic cup in the toilet.
The day seemed to drag, and one of the food items I tried out was clearly spoiled. But later in the evening, I saw a young woman being arrested on Fountain Square.
Also, I saw 2 people who were in a festive enough mood that they bubbled.
Posted by Bandit at 12:09 AM
Saturday, May 23, 2015
This is the type of story that'll make you miss the days when John Kasich was a congressman instead of Governor of Ohio (back when he looked like Jim Carrey's character in Dumb And Dumber). At least back then, Fox News Channel was pretty new and wouldn't have been able to cheer him on as much.
This week, Kasich issued an order that bans health care and child care workers under contract with the state from joining a labor union.
I don't even need to tell you this - because you're smart enough to already know - but this order is clearly unconstitutional. The right to unionize is guaranteed as part of the right to freely associate. A majority of the workers had voted for the union. Federal labor statutes also apply.
Maybe what workers need to do instead is form a cult, call it a religion, and sue the government for special rights and taxpayer-funded bailouts. That's what our "friends" on the right do, so why not?
Posted by Bandit at 11:34 AM
Friday, May 22, 2015
With Matt Bevin the apparent gubernatorial choice of the Kentucky GOP (and by extension, the region's media), we have to steel ourselves for an extended cavalcade of Matt Bevin stupid.
Kentucky Republicans have a history of nominating outright fascists, and Bevin is no exception. And make no mistake, I would consider Bevin a fascist.
And a liar.
Not only does Bevin lie about growing up poor (he actually comes from a prep school background), but he also lied about attending MIT. On his LinkedIn page, he claimed he was a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. MIT officials say Bevin never even attended the school. Bevin was forced to revise his LinkedIn page.
This scandal actually got some coverage - a teensy-weensy bit - when Bevin challenged the hated Mitch McConnell for Senate. But don't expect it to receive any mainstream press coverage now. That's why I have to expose it again here.
Nonetheless, during Bevin's Senate race, some nobody from Jim DeMint's far-right Senate Conservatives Fund defended Bevin, saying Bevin was "certainly not the first person to puff up his resume." So Bevin is right to lie about his educational record just because other people did it too? What would society be like if everyone had this mindset?
I never thought I'd be this enthusiastic about voting for Jack Conway, but I guess there's a first time for everything.
There's more Bevin scandals where this came from. Trust me on this. Yes, scandals you probably haven't heard of yet. I research these things. Meanwhile, the latest poll has him losing to Conway by 11 percentage points.
Posted by Bandit at 8:12 PM
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
What a disgrace.
The race for Kentucky governor is the most important election in America this year, and the Republican primary was just won by...Matt Bevin???
This is yet more proof that the GOP is ready for the trash heap of history - though, to be fair, I'd have every justification to say the exact same thing if any of the top 3 Republican candidates had won.
Yes, the GOP field was that bad.
Posted by Bandit at 8:18 PM
Gentleladies and gentlemen, adults of all ages, I now present to you the biggest story about American elections that you've never heard - except from me...
Wichita mathematician Beth Clarkson, Ph.D., has discovered statistical anomalies in recent elections, particularly in Kansas. These irregularities have significantly favored Republicans. Clarkson's analysis says only 3 things can be possible:
1) That there is a "demographic trend that has not been picked up by extensive polling." But we know that's not what happened, since younger voters are becoming more Democratic.
2) That there is a built-in error in the state's voting system.
3) That there is widespread election fraud.
I have pointed out that the 2014 results - in many states, not just Kansas - show a very specific pattern of fraud that seems to be built into voting machines. I know this because partisan elections were generally affected, while nonpartisan elections and referendums typically were not.
Clarkson's study actually follows a 2012 report that found election tampering in many states - including Kentucky. The Kansas study confirmed this pattern.
Now - at long last - there are increasing demands for these reports to be taken seriously. But will they? Judging by The Media's past performance, don't bet on it.
Posted by Bandit at 6:03 PM
Saturday, May 16, 2015
Is Eureka Springs, Arkansas, the town with guts?
When fascist state lawmakers passed antigay legislation recently, City Councilor James DeVito countered by saying the state couldn't stop Eureka Springs from passing its own antidiscrimination ordinance. DeVito said, "We don't go by convention. If somebody tells us you can't do something, well, watch us."
Indeed, Eureka Springs did pass an antidiscrimination measure in February - issuing a bold challenge against the state law that would gut such ordinances. The Tea Party got a referendum on the ballot this week that would have repealed the Eureka Springs ordinance - but the town's voters rejected the Tea Party's bigotry by an overpowering 71% to 29%.
"Well, watch us." The world watched Eureka Springs, and Eureka Springs came through for the forces of justice.
Why aren't other cities and towns this brave? Eureka Springs is right to pass a human rights ordinance. But antidiscrimination laws aren't the only battlefront where the cities need to stand up and be counted. Municipalities also need to flex their muscle on environmental, labor, and other laws - in the face of state regimes that are running roughshod over the cities' autonomy. I'm waiting to see what will be the first city in a "right-to-work" state to nullify "right-to-work" laws. I can't believe it hasn't happened yet.
What's the point of incorporating a town if it can't act for the good of its citizenry?
Posted by Bandit at 10:22 AM
Friday, May 15, 2015
Did you know that the latest edition of The Last Word is now up and bipping? Sure. Sure you did.
This ish talks about my recent travels - namely the roadmeet in Madison, Wisconsin, and my subsequent trip to Texas in which I saw the Bushes' right-wing propaganda mills.
So peep, weep, and eep...
Posted by Bandit at 8:03 PM
Sunday, May 10, 2015
The British know how to react to stuff like this. In America, we've sat on our asses for the past 35 years. But in jolly old Britain, all hell breaks loose when elections go awry.
After the Conservative Party defied all polls by scoring an upset victory in Britain's recent elections, protests have erupted in London. Several hundred people have participated in the demonstrations.
Why hasn't there been something like this in America? Sure, we have Occupy, but where were they this past November? Where were the protests before Occupy? Why wasn't all of 1995 just one big protest?
What's wrong? Are people skeered? Bwok bwok bwok!!!
Posted by Bandit at 10:20 AM
Friday, May 8, 2015
Vermont State Sen. Norman McAllister is a Tea Party favorite in his second term as senator. The Republican has championed discredited ideas like mandatory drug testing of welfare recipients.
But now the wealthy, powerful legislator has been charged with sexual assault and human trafficking because of allegations that he accepted or solicited sex from 2 women in exchange for overdue rent. Plainclothes police arrested McAllister during a break in legislative debate.
Posted by Bandit at 1:26 PM
Former House Speaker Jim Wright died Wednesday at the age of 92. As with the defeat of his successor Tom Foley, bitter memories of Wright's resignation linger.
The Texas Democrat served as Speaker from 1987-89. One of the first things in Wright's Wikipedia entry is the statement, "Wright resigned from the House in 1989 because of a scandal."
This irritates me. In many ways, Wright was an above-average congressperson. He voted for the 1957 Civil Rights Act when most other Southern lawmakers did not. He chaired the 1988 Democratic convention that nominated Michael Dukakis for President.
Wright's downfall came when Newt Gingrich filed ethics charges accusing him of using bulk purchases of his book to earn speaking fees above the permitted maximum. Gingrich and the right-wing media actually targeted Wright largely because of his criticism of the CIA's illegal actions in Nicaragua. This pursuit of Wright's "scandal" boosted Gingrich's credentials among the Far Right - which eventually led Gingrich to become Speaker himself after the rigged 1994 "elections." As Speaker, Gingrich got in trouble for his own book deal that was far worse than anything Jim Wright did.
Later in life, Wright was denied a voter ID card because of unconstitutional voter suppression laws that had recently been enacted.
Do the Republicans have a lock on the U.S. House and the Speaker position now? Gerrymandering, right-wing media bias, and rigged elections have hardened GOP power. But Republican voters are aging, and America's schools would have to double down on their right-wing brainwashing to churn out enough new blood to keep the GOP alive.
Posted by Bandit at 12:56 PM
Thursday, May 7, 2015
While I was on my Texas trip, a major scandal involving Kentucky's Republican Party blew wide open: Jamie Comer - the serial liar who serves as Agriculture Commissioner and who is now running for governor - had been the target of allegations that he physically abused his former girlfriend Marilyn Thomas. Now Thomas has come forward with more details in a 4-page letter to the Louisville Courier-Journal. Thomas's former roommate has corroborated her account:
This isn't the first scandal like this in the GOP, and it's one of many reasons why the party has to be consigned to the sanitary sewer of history. Domestic violence is a serious matter, and the Republicans - a party that has displayed a pattern of harboring abusers - have to face the stiffest fallout possible for this scandal. I've briefly alluded to Comer's scandal in some of my past writings, but part of my job is to maximize the consequences for disgraces like this. I owe Kentucky nothing less than the permanent ruin of the Republican Party.
This is not a selfish political goal. The response by Republicans to the scandal shows why. After the story finally hit the papers, local Republicans haven't abandoned Comer. Shockingly, they've doubled down on their support for him. In fact, for the first time in months, Comer's chance of winning the Republican primary has improved. That's because the GOP base doesn't think like normal people like you and me.
Over the past few days, Jamie Comer has abused Marilyn Thomas nonstop in the media. Comer can't go 5 seconds without dishing out more abuse - just like how the Republican Party can't go that long without abusing the country.
I'm not letting up in my fight against Team Tyranny, but with stories like this, my work might not even be necessary to get them off the game board.
Posted by Bandit at 2:55 PM