Thursday, March 31, 2011

Protest occurs; media blackout continues

I attended the Rally for Workers' Rights today in Cincinnati! It wasn't quite as smashing as the protests against the fascist Pathway Family Center cult, but it wasn't bad either.

First thing I noticed was that the rally had been moved at the last minute. It was supposed to be at 4th & Broadway but it was relocated to 4th & Sycamore. I didn't know this until 15 minutes after it had begun. I have no idea why it was moved, but I'm suspecting it was because of high-handed harassment.

One of the main concerns of the event was the fact that the city of Cincinnati gave $77,000,000 in taxpayer funds to Western Southern Life to build its Queen City Tower - under the condition that the company would create good jobs. But Western Southern broke its promise by hiring a nonunion janitorial firm that provides no wage or benefit standards.

Why the city isn't suing Western Southern for breach of contract is beyond me.

The Rally for Workers' Rights received absolutely zero media coverage. The media is more interested in the 12 idiots who showed up at the national Tea Party this week.

Meanwhile, Ohio's totalitarian S.B. 5 was signed into law today by ol' Scissorhands. There's already talk of a lawsuit to have it thrown out for being unconstitutional.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Supreme Court guts ruling for exonerated prisoner

Hay Stupreme Court! Ya fucked up again!

The Supremes have just overturned a $14,000,000 judgment that had been awarded to a former death row inmate who had been exonerated. The prisoner received this award because New Orleans prosecutors withheld evidence in order to convict him of a murder he didn't commit.

The Supreme Court's activist ruling to overturn this award was 5 to 4. Yes, the usual cast of fools composed the majority.

A side note: The prosecutor sued by the inmate is one Harry Connick. You know who his son is? "It had to be you..." Yes, that guy. Also, the elder Connick is a big advocate of drug tests for high school students - which is lucrative for him because he serves on the board of directors of a drug testing firm.

Who's surprised? People who go around supporting drug testing because they're too unimaginative to come up with real solutions can't really be depended on to do their job right.


Kasich has money for vouchers but not workers

If there were any doubts that Ohio Gov. John Kasich is nothing but a liar when he says the state has to bust public employee unions to stay in business, this story should kablammo these doubts to smithereens.

Ohio is one of the most spendthrift states regarding school vouchers - which are actually bailouts for private schools that don't need the money. Vouchers have failed to improve academics and have drained money from public schools. Despite media support, vouchers are one of the most dangerous and insidious right-wing programs because (like drug tests of welfare recipients) they meld social and economic engineering. In brief, the program attempts to exploit the poor and impose upon them the intolerant attitudes found at many private schools. Many of these schools perform much more poorly than their public counterparts - but the media conveniently ignores that part of the story.

Furthermore, vouchers aim to privatize public education.

Now Kasich's budget plans to expand Ohio's failed voucher program. His proposal would double the number of vouchers - even while he uses budget woes as an excuse to bust unions. Ohio must not be hurting for money if Kasich can double the size of a voucher system that doesn't even work!

Pretty much precisely the same thing is happening in Wisconsin - another state that's big on handouts for private schools.

Meanwhile, a right-wing organization that spent millions trying to get pro-voucher politicians elected in Ohio, Wisconsin, and elsewhere refuses to pay a record $5,200,000 fine that was imposed by Ohio election officials back in 2008. The organization - known as All Children Matter - is headed by Betsy DeVos (part of the royal family of Michigan right-wing politics), and it illegally funneled contributions from its Virginia PAC into Ohio, which violated Ohio's $10,000 limit.

That's another $5,200,000 that the state doesn't have - because the Kasich administration has stopped pursuing the fine.

I can't wait to see that piece of shit impeached!

Ready for a protest?!

Sorry for the brief notice, but there may be some amazing activity in store for us on Thursday!

I've been informed that a Rally for Workers' Rights is happening in Cincinnati a couple days from now (March 31). That's also baseball's Opening Day, so I planned on zipping down to the 'Nati anyway - weather and health permitting.

I'm looking fiveward to this workers' rights event! It's scheduled to take place at 4 PM in front of the Western Southern Life building at 4th & Broadway. This issue is important to me, as my astonishment grows that some states seem to have money to spend on drug testing, corporate bailouts, and other useless programs, but they act like they don't have enough money to pay state employees.

I'm also informed that there was a similar rally on Fountain Square a couple weeks ago that got absolutely zero media coverage - even though the Cincinnati Enquirer and other local news outlets cover every minute of the Tea Party garbage. I never heard a word about the Fountain Square event until after the fact.

If everything goes according to plan, I'll see ya on Thursday!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Is Fort Thomas a suburb of Newport or is it the other way around?

Is Fort Thomas, Kentucky, a suburb of Newport? Or is it actually the other way around?

Those of you who keep an eye on the census every 10 years to guard against gerrymandering may have noticed something rather curious in northern Kentucky. According to the just-released 2010 census figures, Fort Thomas has just surpassed Newport as the largest city in Campbell County (though both cities lost people). This is probably the first time since at least the Civil War that Newport isn't the county's largest city.

Is this a politically motivated undercount of Newport? Probably to some extent, because I'm sure some of the dwellings that were deliberately skipped in 2000 were simply never added back to government address lists by 2010. (I notice some major streets missing from the TIGER files.) Then again, central cities elsewhere are growing again. (Only a handful of America's top 20 cities lost people in the new census.)

On the other hand, the city brang much of its decline on itself. In the past decade, Newport politicians have actively tried to chase out the working poor. The city has forced some multifamily buildings to be converted into single-family houses. The city also tore down a housing project that was home to hundreds. That space now sits empty. And city rulers abused eminent domain to decimate a huge working-class neighborhood to build a shopping center. Officials even tried abusing federal low-income housing funds by spending the money on homes for the rich. (None of these policies had any input from residents.)

If it's any help, Fort Thomas's population declined in the last decade even though it actually gained hundreds of housing units - which Newport did not.

Still, Newport leaders estimate their town actually has 20,000 people - not 15,000 as the latest census claims. After urban areas were undercounted last time, I can't argue with that, and it's imperative that the census figures are challenged at once. After living in Campbell County for 38 years, I know there's no possible way Newport could have fallen behind Fort Thomas, despite Newport's loss of housing stock. No way, no how, no why, no what.

The Newport debacle is a fly in the ointment of what may be an otherwise game-changing census. For example, I was amazed and delighted to find that Elliott County (Obama's best in the state) is now one of Kentucky's fastest growing counties, while GOP counties nearby are bleeding population. I'm waiting for the inevitable Republican meltdown that's going to result when they realize they can't milk as much out of redistricting as they did last time.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Geraldine Ferraro dies

We're sad to report the death of Geraldine Ferraro, who was best known as the Democratic nominee for Vice-President in 1984. She died today at the age of 75.

The Queens-based congresswoman was the first woman to be nominated to run for Vice-President by a major party when she served as Walter Mondale's running mate.

Ferraro actually drew more attention than Mondale did through much of the campaign. And although the ticket carried only Minnesota and D.C., I think there's general agreement by fans of this blog that America would have been better off with the Mondale/Ferraro team in charge than with another grueling term of Reagan and Bush.

(Also, I don't know how much role the media played in reelecting Reagan, though it was clear by '88 that the media was in the tank for the GOP.)

The 1984 election was also my first experience with mock elections in school. So every time the '84 election is mentioned, I can't help but think about the old Apple computers they used for it in 6th grade.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Lawn Chair Quarterback: "Phone Company Hires Charlie Brown's Teacher"

"Chug-chug-chuggity-chug-chug-a-chug-chug..." Cue the CBS "SPECIAL" bumper from the '70s that used to air before Peanuts specials!

Yesterday, when I was forced to flush $20 down the portable poopot on a series of calls to the phone company in an attempt to get them to repair my Internet, frustration mounted. One of the reasons for this frustration is that one of the support techs who I spoke with seemed incapable of talking above a mumble.

Now, this is not an impeachment of his technical knowhow, since eventually the problem was fixed after talking to these guys for 80 minutes (including the half-hour that they put me on hold). But mumble he did. It was like the horn sound that represents the voice of Charlie Brown's teacher or that strange tone at the end of 'The Electric Company' when they said, "Tune in next time when Crank says..."

It made a struggle of the entire evening and wasted my hard-earned dough.

Our latest 'LCQ' attempts to reenact the phone company stumblebum's mumbledom:

Thursday, March 24, 2011

How the phone company wasted another $20


This is another story illustrating why my so-called high-speed ISP - run by a certain phone company in the Midwest - gets almost universally bad reviews. (Not like there's any alternative, because the only other high-speed ISP in this part of town is the cable company, and I don't think there's any way they can even get a cable into my apartment.)

I recently ditched my landline because the phone company wouldn't control the harassing calls from banks demanding money from people I don't even know. And now, all week, I've had trouble with my Internet. It came to a head today when it went down altogether for hours.

I dreaded calling the phone company, because if they thought the problem was at my end, I'd be offline for the next week. It takes them that long for them to come out and fix any problem. There's no laws, ya know.

But I called 'em. The recording said I'd be on hold for 6 to 10 minutes. Instead I was on hold for a half-hour. Then the support technician gave me some steps to fix the problem - after he spent many minutes hunting down my account information, which the phone company had carelessly misfiled. His instructions worked - until I got off the phone. Then my Internet went down again.

Then I had to call them again. This time, it took another 45 minutes for a different guy to give me different instructions.

Our local phone company is so primitive that during both of these calls, I kept hearing other calls to their call center in the background. It's sort of like what my landline was like in the months before I got rid of it: Whenever I talked on the phone, I'd hear other conversations. Gee, I didn't know I had a party line!

I guess that's what we can expect from a phone company that was once caught conspiring with major corporations to spy on dissidents for "communist" activities.

The instructions from the second guy seem to have worked, but who knows for how long?

Meanwhile, spending 80 minutes talking to these support personnel cost me $20. One drawback to switching to cell phone is that every call is now a toll call.

The phone company squandered $20 of my cell phone minutes fixing an Internet problem that was at their end. All I had to do here to fix it was turn the modem off and back on while they were working. The techs did all the work, so the problem was obviously at the phone company's end, not mine. Yet who's paying? On the bright side, my $20 won't be going to this phone company, since I use a different provider for cell phone.

Honestly, isn't it time for regulators to lower the boom? I thought phone and other utilities underwent precious little regulation 20 years ago, but now there's almost none.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Everybody's a druggie except Rick Scott

When we let corporate criminals like Florida's fascist Gov. Rick Scott serve in public office, this is what we can look forward to.

Today, Scott ordered all current and prospective state employees to undergo a drug test. The state didn't pass a law or anything. Rick Scott simply decreed that it shall be so. I guess he thinks the governorship is supposed to be an absolute monarchy.

This occurs on the same day that Scott's allies in the legislature introduced a bill that would not only require welfare recipients to take a drug test but also make them pay for the tests out of their own pockets.

They make them pay for it themselves? My, how very Nazi of them.

Gee, how nice of the Republicans to get government off people's backs and - oh, wait.

It just so happens that Rick Scott owns a chain of drug testing clinics.

This after a series of other outrages by Scott, including his gutting of a rail transport program and his announcement that he was refusing to abide by an anti-gerrymandering referendum. A recall election cannot come soon enough.

The ACLU points out that most drug testing of state employees was already ruled unconstitutional in 2004. An ACLU official says the state can't drug-test without "evidence of illegal drug use" and without the worker being "assigned a safety-sensitive job." More to the point, drug testing for most workers is just a 21st century version of the loyalty oath. Plus, drug testing of people on welfare has been ruled unconstitutional too.

If nothing else, this story reams a colossal Bazooka hole plumb through the right-wingers' argument that they simply don't want welfare checks being misspent - because Scott wants tests for state workers too. And throughout the recent nationwide debate on welfare drug testing (which has been coordinated by the Republican National Committee), it's stunning how much the other side openly declares that valid court rulings don't apply. Their own stated position can be summed up thus: "Who cares about the Constitution? We're going ahead with this anyway." Last time I remember politicians openly expressing such contempt for the Constitution was a quarter-century ago when Marc Racicot complained that America had "genuflected at the altar of free speech far too long."

Public officials take an oath to uphold the Constitution. That they violate it openly makes them subject to impeachment. Impeachment proceedings must commence lickety-split.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Another defeat for Kentucky prohibitionists!

America's Founders urged celebrating every Fourth of July with fireworks and other amusements. And now I'm pleased to announce that we can add yet another bill to 3 major bills that the other side didn't get their way on in the Kentucky legislature this year.

I'm an economic populist and civil libertarian, and I know prohibition doesn't work. When we prohibit something, we can't properly regulate it. For years, Kentucky had been officially prohibitionist regarding most consumer fireworks, but the laws were seen as so antiquated that they were seldom seriously enforced until relatively recently.

Now that may be moot. Among the bills approved in this year's session is a long-overdue bill that legalizes and regulates most fireworks. Now it's been signed into law, and it'll take effect in time for this year's festivities! I guess that means no more of this hide-and-go-seek bullshit every time you feel like shooting off a firecracker on Independence Day.

Naturally, I never saw the Tea Parties lift a finger in support of this sensible bill. Surprise, surprise.

What's the score on the 4 major prohibition-related bills in this year's session now? The Good Republic, 4. The Evil Empire, 0. In KENTUCKY, of all places! (I'm counting the drug warrior bills among the 4, though some had more to do with classism than prohibition.)

Amazing! What will be the result of this sudden renewed interest in civil liberties and economic equality in the Bluegrass State? Is this going to touch off a statewide panic, or is everybody going to be in such shock that they won't know how to appreciate it?

Friday, March 18, 2011

Bill would make it illegal for poor to possess cash

Whoever thought of this idea needs to grab a switchblade, stab themselves in the belly, twist the blade at a 90-degree angle, pull it back out, and eat their own blood and tissue that the knife extracts.

Republicans in Minnesota have introduced a bill to make it illegal for anyone who collects welfare or disability to have more than $20 in cash at a time. It would also bar them from placing money in a checking account. This bill has changed slightly from the first version, which would have banned them from having any cash at all.

No, I'm not making this up.

I don't even need to tell you this is preposterous. The whole point of assistance programs is to make sure qualified individuals have cash to cover basic expenses. Low-income people aren't even eligible for regular credit cards, so of course they must pay with cash or a check.

Damn, the Republicans these days are completely fucked out of their minds, aren't they?

Luckily, Minnesota now has a Democratic governor for the first time in decades, so I'm sure he'll just veto this garbage. I doubt Mark Dayton is much like the so-called Democrats in the Kentucky House who rubber-stamped the Republicans' drug-testing bill. (Not like they got their way in the end on that.)


Lawn Chair Quarterback: "Crest...Crest...Crest..."

'Crest' is a scary word. And with good reason. It reminds people of terrifying floods like those that were experienced locally this week.

It also highlights the point that climate change is very real - right-wing denials to the contrary notwithstanding.

And 'crest' is one of these words like 'artillery', 'ruin', and 'congested' - in that I can't help but display some memorable theatrics each time the word is used. I literally feel like my head will explode if I don't. And who needs that?

Our latest 'LCQ' explores the word 'crest' in all its glory:

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

War for Copyright replacing War on Drugs?

With the drug warriors suffering stunning legislative defeats in that radical leftist stronghold of Kentucky, it's clear the War on Drugs has worn out its welcome. But now the modern McCarthyists seem to have a new crusade that's carried out just as zealously: the War for Copyright.

Copyrighting of artistic works is constitutionally authorized - but with limits. No real legal theory can justify infringing on our constitutional liberties in the name of copyright protection.

The Bush regime created a new government post with the oh-so-freedomy name Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator. President Obama later appointed Victoria Espinel to this post. Now Espinel has released a lengthy screed demanding frightening expansions of the sure-to-fail War for Copyright.

Espinel's report advocates making felonies of mere civil offenses. And it says the FBI should be allowed to wiretap suspected copyright violators. Nowhere does the report even recognize fair use.

Naturally, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce applauded these recommendations.

What the report means is that anybody can become a felon just by watching a video on YouTube in which music happens to appear in the background. Copyright hawks are willing to destroy lives and expand the prison state over the incidental appearance of music in a YouPube clip!

By making a civil offense a criminal matter, it also lets copyright holders effectively define a crime. It's another bailout for Big Business that harms the people.

Only in the America of the 21st century can the content industry count on having the taxpayers provide for it. But I'll be working some more today - and hopefully earning a few more pennies so I can pay taxes to go into Corporate America's bloated lid.


My childhood heroes stand up for public broadcasting

Any time the extreme right undeservedly gains political power, they usually attempt to close down public broadcasting. Typically it boils down to right-wingers' disgust at the refusal by PBS and NPR to report things the way they want them reported.

It's rather ironic, because it was a right-wing Congress that gave a government bailout to talk radio in 1996. And during the 2000s, a Bush-stacked Corporation for Public Broadcasting got right-wing documentaries aired on PBS.

But now some of the heroes to America's preschoolers are coming to the rescue. 'Sesame Street' actors Emilio Delgado (Luis), Roscoe Orman (Gordon), Alan Muraoka (Alan), Alison Bartlett O'Reilly (Gina), and Bob McGrath (Bob) are on hand in D.C. to protest against defunding of public broadcasting. They've teamed up with labor and other activists to bring petitions to legislators in an effort to halt the Far Right's war against public TV and radio.

I grew up watching Gordon, Luis, and Bob. They've been on the ol' Ses as long as I can remember. It's amazing to see that they still have the energy to go to Washington and stand up for us, considering that I'm practically in the Geritol demographic myself now. (Orman, Delgado, and McGrath are 66, 70, and 78, respectively.)

The congressional crusade against PBS underscores a larger point: The Republicans are completely unfit to run things. They can't claim they're being budget hawks, after they wasted all that money on the Iraq War. Nope, it's about politics and control.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

SUNY day...

Now this story is truly sad and disappointing.

As folks in Madison, Wisconsin, are accomplishing something positive by conducting one of the biggest demonstrations in modern American history, New York's state university system - SUNY - is dominated by a contingent that prefers to whine and selectively defend lawbreaking.

Several years ago, right-wing state lawmakers all over the country adopted a gimmick in which they'd introduce "academic fairness" bills that they said would combat alleged liberal bias at state universities. But they always abandoned the effort before the bills could pass. That's because they knew universities had no liberal bias and the bills would actually hit conservatives harder if they passed. By submitting these bills, they were just grandstanding and trying to make people think leftists dominated higher education.

But stories like this make me wish their bills had become law, because then we might be able to chip away at colleges' right-wing tilt.

An unsigned article distributed by a SUNY newspaper is demanding that the state drug-test welfare recipients. The piece admits that this policy is unconstitutional - and that it was ruled so when Michigan tried it - but endorses it anyway.

Plus, although the piece says that it "cannot condone illegal drug use by any individual", it doesn't thunderously condemn it either - just as long as the person abusing drugs is financially secure enough to not need welfare. But when the poor do it, it's a different story.

Look, I think the War on Drugs is a joke, a fraud, and a failure. But let's at least be fair here. If the poor are attacked in a university-funded article just because a small percentage abuse drugs, why aren't the rich and middle class assailed just as vehemently? Rich folks who do drugs face less condemnation in this article than poor people who don't! What makes people with more money so special? And why does this article cry about taxpayers funding welfare when this article is itself distributed at taxpayer expense? A little hypocritical, isn't it?

If a university accepts taxpayer dough, shouldn't it agree not to try to advance a political agenda? Especially one that it admits flies in the face of the Constitution?

Make no mistake: We're at war with extremists who hold the Constitution and the values of a free people in contempt. This war has been ongoing for years. But usually they're a little more adept at not letting the mask slip.

We know SUNY's anonymous gatekeepers of political debate have no desire to find real solutions, because they squandered a perfect chance to do so. I guess that would be no fun. By contrast, I have found solutions. I endorse legal recognition of the right of everybody of full age to hold a job - and to not have their job shipped overseas. Which would do more to cut the welfare rolls? Punishing welfare recipients for crimes they didn't commit, or making sure everybody has a job?

Friday, March 11, 2011

Lawn Chair Quarterback: "A Different Kind Of Bubbling!"

When people speak of bubbling, they usually mean blowing bubbles with bubble gum.

But this 'LCQ' talks about a whole different kind of bubbling: blowing bubbles in a beverage through a straw until the bubbles rise to the top of the glass!

Admit it. We've all done it. But when we do it, it's usually a toast to the successes we've worked so hard for! For instance, after our roadside protests against Pathway Family Center that chiseled away at the cult's dominance little by little, we often sauntered over to IHOP, Big Boy, or Pantera Bread and celebrated by blowing soda bubbles through a straw! When we put PFC out of commission altogether, there was enough bubbling to shake the eatery off its foundation!

Big bubbles, no troubles - except of course for PFC!

Our latest 'LCQ' explores this uproarious way to celebrate life's successes:

Monday, March 7, 2011

Pseudoephedrine bill dies with whimper

A toast to success! Blublublublublub!

Six weeks ago, I NEVER would have imagined I'd get to write about the forces of good going 3-0 in this year's session of the Kentucky legislature. But a miracle has just occurred.

I never expected lawmakers to pass a corrections reform bill that I supported. They passed it.

I feared they'd pass a right-wing drug testing bill that I opposed, which targeted the state's poorest and most vulnerable citizens. They did not pass it.

The third key issue I've been watching is their idiotic bill to make over-the-counter pseudoephedrine allergy drugs available by prescription only. I was on the edge of my seat over this one. But guess what? Today, this bill was officially declared dead.

The Good Republic, 3. The Evil Empire, 0.

Frankly, I'm numb with disbelief right now. Why, isn't the other side divinely and constitutionally ENTITLED to get its way on all 3 bills (and everything else)? I thought it was their birthright, don't ya know. Or at least they act like it.

Now the Sudafed bill's supporters are crying in their baste because their bill didn't pass. They're accusing opponents of not proposing any bills themselves to fight meth. Um, they did. I know for a fact there was an alternate bill that targeted only those who had been previously convicted of meth involvement. But Operation UNITE wasn't satisfied with it. Nope, it had to be their way or the highway.

With right-wingers in general, it always has to be their way or the highway. 'Compromise' does not seem to be in their lexicon.

What's really astounding is that the drug warriors expected innocent people with allergies to be inconvenienced all because the drug war had been so ineffective at combating meth. We'd be seeing a lot less meth now if the drug war hadn't been executed as poorly and as violently as it was for years.

With 3 major defeats for Kentucky drug warriors this session, who knows what crazy shit they'll do when they get home this evening? I can just picture them thrashing themselves about their living rooms in anger tonight. Some folks have said that the reason their ideas have been so extreme lately is that they know they're about to be vanquished for good, and they can't cope. Gosh, I hope so.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Kentucky drug testing bill ruled dead!

This is already shaping up to be a very, very bad week for Kentucky's Tea Party tyrants and their ideological allies at Operation UNITE.

Tomorrow is the last day that Kentucky lawmakers can pass new bills in this year's session. And H.B. 208 - a dangerous bill that we've watched like the Hulk - does not appear on the agenda.

H.B. 208 is one of a flurry of bills nationwide that would require people on welfare to take a drug test. But H.B. 208 would apply not only to welfare but also Medicaid. And it's so poorly written that it would even apply to veterans benefits, disability payments, and Social Security for seniors. It's probably the broadest bill of its kind in the nation.

Right-wing sponsors promised the bill would be modified before being heard. They lied. It was never changed. At least one dissenting lawmaker pointed out that the bill was unconstitutional - in part because it didn't limit the drug tests to when there was probable cause. A court had already ruled you can't drug-test welfare recipients unless there's probable cause. But H.B. 208's sponsors were unwilling to shape their bill to comply with the court's ruling.

I'm sure some of the sponsors are well aware it was unconstitutional, because some happen to be attorneys by profession. In other words, they know their bill is unconstitutional but they just don't give a shit. This garbage is their idea of lawmaking.

I spotted a glimmer of hope that the bill might not even make it out of the House when legislators balked at voting on it weeks ago. They said they were reluctant to bring it to a vote because it was a fraud against Kentucky taxpayers: While the bill's supporters said it would save money by kicking drug addicts off the rolls, it would actually waste money because drug tests are costly and very few welfare recipients are even using illicit drugs.

Make no mistake: The bill was an effort to make Kentucky the first state to banish the poor from its borders. Competition has been fierce lately, I hear. Although the poor are as drug-free as anybody, the message of this bill is crystal clear: It's intended to stigmatize poverty.

Well, I am now pleased to inform you that - as of today - H.B. 208 has officially been declared dead. Gone. Kaput. Done for. Terminated. Flushed. By that, I mean legislators have failed to approve it.

The bill's supporters are bawling that this is because large central cities dominate the Kentucky legislature. What? They're kidding, right? The exurbs seem to have almost every seat! Even some mostly urban districts manage to elect a suburbanite. This made-up fable about urban dominance ranks right up there with the teabaggers' cries that Campbell County didn't have enough commissioners from the suburbs. In the Kentucky legislature, it's the exurbs (not the cities) that have too much influence.

Here's a safe bet: You can almost wager your life savings that a bill nearly identical to H.B. 208 will be introduced again next year. Why? Because our lawmakers don't listen. They don't listen to the public that opposes the drug tests, and they don't listen to courts that have ruled it unconstitutional. Our legislators believe Facebook and Free Republic are a gauge of public opinion and constitutional law. They'd rather waste their colleagues' time on headline-grabbing pet projects like H.B. 208 than pass effective laws. More worrisomely, they're truly hoping a bill like this can someday pass, and they'll claw to the edge of the universe to see it become law.

Real solutions are long overdue. We can cut the welfare rolls if we had full employment. One way we can do that is by barring American jobs from being shipped overseas. Americans can't expect to enjoy the living standards of 35 years ago unless they're once again able to buy American-made products.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Lawn Chair Quarterback: "Flub Sandwich"

Ever eaten a flub sandwich?

It's like a club sandwich, only it economizes by not using any costly meat. It's hard to flub a flub sandwich. All you need are a few simple ingredients and a basic indoor tabletop grill.

This penny-pinching innovation has also netted me loads of extra eating days I never would have had otherwise. How fi is that?

I've pulled one over on the Far Right by developing the flub sandwich. They thought they'd get to starve me, but the Evil Empire has once again been defeated!

Our latest 'LCQ' shows you how you can fool the forces of loom and doom by making a flub sandwich without flubbing it beyond repair:

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Attention Kmart shoppers...It's another 'Sesame Street' Wednesday!

Since some of the greatest 'Sesame Street' segments never seem to make their way to YouTube, there's been a drought of material lately for this feature. But I found a 'Sesame Street'-related commercial that's just too uproarious to resist!

I've been hearing rumors that there was once a hilarious commersh for Kmart (the long-struggling retail chain) that featured Rosie O'Donnell and Penny Marshall dancing and singing with Ernie, Big Bird, and other 'Sesame Street' Muppets. Though I did remember the ol' Ses being mentioned in a goofy Kmart ad with Penny and Rosie, I had no recollection of them appearing with the show's lovable Muppet characters.

But guess what? Now I've finally found what I believe to be the ad in question! It aired in 1997, and you're going to roll on the floor in uncontrollable laughter when you view this:

If you're not overcome by laughter, your funny bone must be busted!

This wasn't the first major link between 'Sesame Street' and a nationwide retailer. In my day, the local J.C. Penney featured Bert and Ernie statues inside the place. No climbing on them was allowed, I'm sure - but they were up too high for even the show's most mature fans to reach.