Why bother having elections when activist judges can just overrule them?
Last month, voters in Seatac, Washington - which includes Seattle-Tacoma International Airport - approved a referendum to increase the minimum wage to $15/hour and give workers paid sick leave. The measure was approved largely because the airport has so many low-paying service jobs.
But now King County Superior Court Judge Andrea Darvas has ruled that the measure doesn't apply to airport jobs. Her reasoning is that the city of Seatac doesn't have jurisdiction over the airport. Uh, yes it does. The airport is within Seatac city limits. I don't think my Rand McNally is lying about that.
One of the leading plaintiffs in the suit to overturn the wage hike was Alaska Airlines. Now I know of an airline to boycott in case I ever take up commercial air travel.
Why even have cities when they're not even allowed to enforce their laws? This is further evidence of why the Community Rights Movement is needed now more than ever - and why city authorities must back it up. The city of Seatac should ignore the judge's ruling and enforce the wage increase the way the referendum says - even if that means police are necessary to enforce it.
Saturday, December 28, 2013
Why bother having elections when activist judges can just overrule them?
Posted by Bandit at 2:28 AM
Friday, December 27, 2013
Thursday, December 26, 2013
Saturday, December 21, 2013
Meet longtime Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-California). The man is a total slob.
Back in 2010, Rohrabacher began renting a huge mansion for $3,350/month. The 4-bedroom home was immaculate when he moved in, and the carpeting was brand new.
Now it turns out that in 2012 - when Rohrabacher moved out - he left the place a toxic waste dump. After only 2 years, the carpeting was ruined by mysterious muck. The outdoor plants had been left to die. Walls were covered with nail polish and possibly feces. The toilet seats in all 4 bathrooms were broken. The sinks were clogged by what appeared to be burst balloons. The wooden chair in the back yard had been smashed to smithereens, and there were maggots under the stove.
Rohrabacher-linked damage added up to over $25,000. The landlord billed the congressman for the damage, but Rohrabacher refused to pay it.
But now Rohrabacher is suing the landlord for not giving him back his security deposit. He's also threatened to enlist the local district attorney - a longtime Rohrabacher crony - to launch a criminal investigation against the landlord.
I guess it's just like how Rohrabacher said Iraq should pay back the United States for launching a war against it.
What a beezweezer.
Posted by Bandit at 9:23 PM
Friday, December 20, 2013
Thursday, December 19, 2013
It's happened again!
Brian Schwanke, 46, is a Tea Party leader in Michigan. He clutters his Facebook page with right-wing rants against atheists, President Obama, and others.
Now Schwanke has been named in a criminal complaint on charges of distributing and receiving child pornography. He posed as a pastor and used his Internet account to collect a colossal trove of illicit images.
Another idiot exposed.
Posted by Bandit at 2:02 AM
Here's another story of fascist injustice, this time in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
Authorities there arrested a woman this week for allegedly posting a "threat" against her teenage son's school on Facebook. She now faces up to 5 years in prison.
But what prompted this "threat"? It was prompted by the fact that her son kept getting harassed at school, and the school wouldn't do anything about it. In one incident, her son was physically assaulted, which caused a head injury that led to epilepsy.
Although the woman was charged, the spoiled brats who assaulted her son were of course not charged. Maybe they're using the affluenza defense.
Or maybe things are still just like they've been for decades, meaning the official policy is - without exception - to not punish serial harassers for any of their behavior and to blame their victims instead. Victim-blaming is, after all, one of the defining traits of fascism.
Posted by Bandit at 1:01 AM
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
As any mature person might say, it's complelelelelete!
I've now completed uploading the second half of the photos from September's Colorado trip, and they pib all the way to Illinois. So - for this batch of 216 pictures - point your pooper here...
Posted by Bandit at 8:04 PM
The American landscape is littered with countless cities, towns, and counties that use an illegal device to keep people out based on their economic status. I know this, because I've experienced it firsthand. But very few are actually blatant about it like the town of Miner, Missouri.
Back in September, a homeless couple was chased out of town by police. Cops threatened to arrest them for vagrancy unless they completely left town within 5 minutes. Now the couple is suing in federal court.
For starts, vagrancy laws were ruled unconstitutional a half-century ago. For another thing, the city clerk admits that the town doesn't have a vagrancy ordinance, and that police showed the couple a law that doesn't even exist.
Instead of fighting futile wars in Afghanistan, the President needs to deploy the military to enforce the Constitution in Miner and other American locales that violate the public's basic rights. Sometimes, the only thing that gets through to the Far Right is tough executive action.
Posted by Bandit at 5:09 PM
Saturday, December 14, 2013
I heard that a couple of uproarious things were sighted yesterday.
For starts, I'm told that a Pee Wee Herman look-alike was seen at a Smokey Bones restaurant. He even had the bowtie!
Also, a local workplace experienced a plopping. Somebody put an entire roll of toilet paper (complete with the wrapper) in the johnnypooper.
Posted by Bandit at 2:40 AM
Friday, December 13, 2013
Thursday, December 12, 2013
Tough toilets, Chris...
I'm no more opposed to Chris Christie than I'm opposed to the rest of the Republican clown car, but it's kind of amusing that this is happening to the man who had been widely touted as the Republicans' savior.
Posted by Bandit at 7:24 PM
Who's surprised? I'm not.
A new report by Sarah and Christopher Lubienski reveals that students in America's public schools actually outperform their private school counterparts. This data comes from the National Assessment on Educational Progress.
After the Brossart debacle, this doesn't shock me in the least bit. Truth is, many private schools aren't exactly big on accepting science.
Now will the school privatization lobby in Ohio and other states stop giving unconstitutional taxpayer bailouts to failing private schools?
Posted by Bandit at 3:28 PM
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
The party that tries to tell Americans how to live their lives is at it again.
Thirty-five-year-old Ryan Loskarn - a rising star in the Republican Party who served as chief of staff for Tea Party Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee) - has been arrested on child pornography charges.
Before working in Alexander's office, Loskarn was the staff director of the Senate Republican Conference.
Posted by Bandit at 11:51 PM
If you still think the rich aren't being let off the hook just because they're rich, and that they're worthy of sheer praise just because of their affluence, shut your shit-caked little mouth now.
Ethan Couch is a 16-year-old spoiled brat in the Dallas area who drove drunk at 3 times the legal blood-alcohol limit with Valium in his system. While doing 70 MPH in a 40 MPH zone after consuming stolen beer, he hit and killed 4 people. Ten other people were injured too. One of the injured is now paralyzed for life and can communicate only by blinking. After killing or injuring all these folks, Ethan trudged away from the cops, declaring, "I'm outta here!"
Prosecutors sought 20 years in prison. But District Judge Jean Boyd gave Ethan only probation, even though he continues to show a complete lack of remorse. Why did Ethan Couch get let off easy? Because the defense said he was "a product of wealth" accustomed to getting whatever he wanted, so jail would be too much of an adjustment.
Jail isn't designed to be fun. Do the crime, do the time.
Defense attorneys also argued that he should be let off the hook because his parents taught him that wealth entitled the rich to do whatever they wanted. Yes, that literally was their defense.
Also, it turned out that Ethan's parents allowed him to drive when he was only 13 - even though he wasn't legally old enough. Sounds like a Brossart kid!
If he was poor, he'd get the chair. No question about it.
The rich just don't think like we do. They've had everything handed to them their whole lives, so they think rules don't apply to them.
Posted by Bandit at 9:09 PM
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
A scandal involving a Republican politician in Kentucky? What is this? A day ending in y?
Yesterday, Morgan County Judge-Executive Tim Conley was taken into federal custody, charged with a kickback scheme involving a bridge contractor. He faces mail fraud, theft, and money laundering charges. If convicted, he may face decades in prison.
In Fox News fashion, I've seen at least one media report that misidentified Conley as a Democrat. Nope, he's a Republican.
Also, several years ago, Conley was pardoned by then-Gov. Ernie "Hey Bert" Fletcher after Conley was indicted on 3 counts of abuse of public trust in a different scandal.
The real question is, do the Democrats have the sense to take advantage of the ongoing public stupidity exhibited by the Republicans? Or are they gonna start complaining about "dirty" video games again like it's 1996?
Posted by Bandit at 10:10 PM
How in the hell did somebody like this get elected - to anything???
Meet far-right whack-a-doodle Suzanne Miles. She was the Republican candidate for a special election for Kentucky House in the 7th District today.
The 7th District is 3-to-1 Democratic, and it's in the state with the most successful implementation of the Affordable Care Act. So it's a Democratic lock, right? Wrong! Not with The Media around!
It didn't help that the Democrats picked a DLCer, but when the Republicans choose what was arguably the most right-wing candidate they could possibly dredge up, the DLC effect should be negated. How extreme is Suzanne Miles? For starts, Miles ran on enacting a union-busting "right-to-work" law - an idea that's demonstrably unpopular in western Kentucky. In addition, she ran against Medicaid expansion - an aspect of the health care law that's been proven to be overwhelmingly popular in every poll.
Miles - a staffer for right-wing U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie - has vowed to keep her job in Guthrie's office. This despite the fact that it would be illegal to keep that job while serving in the legislature. But rules don't apply to Republicans. We all know that.
Will Miles hang on in 2014, when all seats in the Kentucky House are up? No doubt that she'll just double down in her discredited ideas. Extremist nuts like this who make Geoff Davis look like Bernie Sanders in comparison always do. The overall decline of the Republicans won't exactly work in her favor, especially since she won this time by all of 112 votes (out of 7,000 cast).
Posted by Bandit at 9:04 PM
It's new, but it ain't blue, and it ain't bubble gum!
It's the latest issue of The Last Word - that fanzine of freedom! The Last Word is being offered for free again - the way America intended - and the latest ish talks about these things...
• Weird Dungeons & Dragons monsters.
• The Outlook.com plot thickens!
• Troubles with glue.
• Where to find a hilarious video of a guy acting up at Toys "R" Us.
• How stretching mucus from your nose is like a candy bar.
• How Nelson Mandela can inspire us.
• A proposed law to help us collect royalties.
So peep, beep, and oggle-weep...
Posted by Bandit at 3:00 AM
Monday, December 9, 2013
Helpful hint for our friends in the Lone Star State: Unbeknownst to many, Texas law requires public schools to allow kids to opt out of school uniform policies if they have a religious or philosophical objection.
This webpage has the form you can fill out if you're in San Antonio...
Just scroll down to where it says, "PARENT REQUEST REGARDING A UNIFORM REQUIREMENT."
Where the form tells you to provide your objection, simply state that uniforms violate the Tinker v. Des Moines ruling.
Notice also that this form has had more downloads than the one to apply for financial assistance to buy uniforms. You can tell from the classroom photos on the website that nobody gives a shit about the stupid uniform policy.
Posted by Bandit at 7:53 PM
Saturday, December 7, 2013
Friday, December 6, 2013
Now that we've established that there's no way in hell the Evil Empire can repeal the Affordable Care Act using legislative means at any time in the next 3 years, another threat to this law looms on the horizon. This threat is judicial.
Oklahoma's fascist Attorney General Scott Pruitt - with support from the Tea Party - is leading a series of lawsuits to gut Obamacare by trying to get courts to make it illegal for the government to give people subsidies. These subsidies let folks buy insurance in the 34 states that haven't set up their own health insurance exchanges. The subsidies are an Obamacare centerpiece. If the subsidies go, the whole law effectively goes.
If the Democrats had any spine, they'd threaten to impeach judges who rule in Pruitt's favor - for there is no legal basis for such a ruling. But in the absence of Democratic gumption, "we, the people" must be the boss.
In the meantime, this website breaks down Affordable Care Act signups by state (though most of the states without their own exchanges haven't provided new numbers since October)...
Also, Obamacare support is growing despite the shit-eating media's lies, as a poll shows that 54% want the law kept or expanded...
This poll is a clarion call for unyielding enforcement of the public's will.
For all the people who have signed up for Obamacare and have already benefited from it, how will they react if a right-wing activist judge robs it from them? The Far Right is an enemy of America, an enemy of humanity, and an enemy of nature, and we need to have the courage to tell it like it is.
Posted by Bandit at 12:21 PM
Thursday, December 5, 2013
If Peanuts creator Charles Schulz was alive today, he wouldn't be spinning in his grave, because he'd still be alive. But he is spinning in his grave.
Regnery Publishing - a far-right publishing house known for a complete lack of scholarship in any of its recent books - has now licensed Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the rest of the Peanuts kick-ass crew to hawk right-wing propaganda to children. Regnery plans to use Peanuts characters for a set of right-wing children's books called the "Little Patriot" series.
Somehow I doubt Schulz would have authorized his comic strip to be abused in such a manner.
What's ironic is that one of the main themes in Peanuts was repeated defeat. Kind of like what conservatism represents. So the joke's on Regnery.
Posted by Bandit at 8:56 PM
Sad news today. South African human rights activist Nelson Mandela has died today at the age of 95:
After being detained as a political prisoner for 27 years, Mandela went on to become President of South Africa.
If anyone thinks we should just give up at all the work we've been involved in, Mandela's experiences should prove otherwise. The only way we're going to win the fights we've been fighting is to keep at it.
Posted by Bandit at 5:11 PM
Monday, December 2, 2013
Thursday, November 28, 2013
Meet Kurt Lowe, 47, of Union, Kentucky.
A few months ago, Lowe allegedly threatened to kill his neighbor - Republican State Sen. John Schickel - for not being right-wing enough. Lowe then reportedly led police on a high-speed chase through the neighborhood in which he drove through lawns.
Lowe is a Tea Party activist who has launched bizarre rants at meetings of the Tea Party and Boone County Fiscal Court (wait a minute, they're the same thing). Lowe claims he's a victim of a conspiracy by public officials.
This month, Lowe was indicted on 2 counts of fleeing or evading police, 2 counts of wanton endangerment, and 2 counts of terroristic threatening. He remains in jail.
Back in 2008, following a different incident, Lowe was convicted of resisting arrest and fleeing and evading.
Posted by Bandit at 11:34 AM
Given the successful rollout of Obamacare, I know it sounds hilarious right now to even be entertaining the thought of repealing it. But it won't be so damn funny if they do it - and replace it with the same broken system that came before.
The Affordable Care Act appears pretty safe by most standards. Single payer would of course be better, but nobody wants to go back to the old way. The insurance exchanges are actually helping millions of Americans already, so why would these millions allow the clock to be turned back?
You wouldn't think they would, but if that's the case, then how did almost the entire New Deal end up being gutted in the '90s? AFDC was much more popular then than Obamacare is now, and look what happened to it. You had thuggish governors like Wisconsin's Tommy Thompson pulling their states out of AFDC (even though the state had participated in AFDC for decades), and before long, AFDC was scrapped nationwide.
Opposition in the '90s to earned benefits like AFDC was based on a lie: Widespread welfare abuse was a hoax, not a reality. The horror stories about Obamacare are also lies. Lies and propaganda are powerful. The extreme right has a 24/7 messaging machine. Although a new CNN poll says 55% of Americans say Obamacare is either just right or doesn't go far enough, this 55% aren't who matters to the right-wing media.
And it's certainly not who has the electoral power. The Republicans have lost the nationwide popular vote in every House election in recent memory, yet the GOP has controlled the House in all but 4 years since 1995. Don't count on a Congress like that to leave the Affordable Care Act alone or replace it with single payer. I'm sure President Obama will veto efforts to repeal it, but he only has 3 years left in office. Lord only knows which member of the GOP clown car The Media will try to install in '16.
And believe me, they will try. O, will they ever try!
Posted by Bandit at 3:42 AM
Saturday, November 23, 2013
Earlier I received another amusing report of celebrity look-alikes being sighted in public places.
This batch of celeb doubles that I've been informed of includes Darius Rucker, Bob Barker, and Rob Reiner.
They're weird ones indeed.
Posted by Bandit at 11:11 PM
Friday, November 22, 2013
In this latest episode, Tim talks about how a brown marker he needed for a sign for an Occupy event fell to rack and ruin after only a short time.
Incidentally, I didn't bother to go to the event - namely, the March Against Mainstream Media last Saturday, which was part of a nationwide day of action organized by Occupy. That's because the Tea Party co-opted the Cincinnati version.
A Tea Party bloke told me I was uninvited because I had a "biased view." You read that right: A Tea Party guy - who nobody had ever seen at any Occupy event before - was trying to uninvite Occupy folks from an Occupy event. I opted not to come - not because I take orders from the Tea Party, which hates our guts, but because I didn't want to be seen near Tea Party doofuses who did in fact co-opt the event (largely so they could complain about "fiat currency", which has absolutely nothing to do with protesting against The Media).
Anyway, here's how the brown marker fits into the saga...
Posted by Bandit at 3:25 PM
Thursday, November 21, 2013
Be still my beating heart, a major news outlet is actually exposing the right-wing media war against Obamacare!
Today, the New York Times ran a detailed piece about collusion between Republican officials and The Media to spread propaganda against the Affordable Care Act...
GOP leaders in Congress have been issuing memos to their foot soldiers that include discredited right-wing talking points like, "Because of Obamacare, I lost my insurance," and, "Obamacare increases health care costs." (This despite new data showing that the 2010 health care law has actually given us the lowest increase in health care costs in a half-century.)
Most of The Media stenographs these talking points without changing a colon. That's why the Repubs put these memos out. If the press wasn't so right-wing, the memos wouldn't be effective.
The secret Republican strategy sessions have even produced a "House Republican Playbook" that provides sample opinion pieces to flood newspapers with. The real story though is the outright conniving by The Media.
Does this scandal have legs? If poo. More pessimistically, the New York Times also exposed a Chris Christie corruption scandal just before the recent election, but the rest of the media never picked up on it. At all. (I guarantee you though that if Christie ever goes head to head against a Tea Party candidate in a general election, this scandal would mysteriously come back to haunt him.)
Posted by Bandit at 12:43 PM
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Everybody's a druggie except the Republicans, right?
Today it was revealed that Rep. Trey Radel (R-Florida) has been arrested for possession of cocaine. The arrest occurred 3 weeks ago but was covered up until now.
Radel is also known as the founder of a right-wing media relations firm. Because everyone knows right-wingers are underrepresented in the big, mean media.
Posted by Bandit at 4:33 PM
It's hard to believe most of the Really Serious People in the press are so frightened by the Affordable Care Act after the law implemented some ideas that were actually generated by conservatives. But that's the state of today's pop-up media.
I guess they don't like it that something - anything - was enacted in an attempt to straighten out what was previously the most broken health care system of any industrialized nation. And for those who doubt how bad American health care was before, notice that no other countries were trying to mimic it.
I know we can't excuse the fact that Congress killed the proposed public option - or that we still don't have single payer despite the fact that most Americans support it. But Obamacare is the law, and we have a right to expect The Media to tell the truth about it instead of making up shit, like their now-debunked folktale about Oregon not having any sign-ups.
Now, however, even some in the press have apparently had their fill of The Media's right-wing propagandizing. At the Los Angeles Times - hardly a progressive organ - business columnist Michael Hiltzik put out a piece yesterday headlined "The myths of Obamacare's 'failure.'"
Hiltzik said right-wing criticism of Obamacare is by and large out of step with the facts. He says...
"Don't buy the hype. The numbers tell an entirely different story. What they also demonstrate is that the myth of Obamacare's 'failure' is a product of the same Republican noise machine that has been working to undermine this crucial reform since Day One. It's assisted by news reporting about canceled health policies that typically ranges from woefully misinformed to spectacularly ignorant, and even at its best is incomplete."
The whole column is here...
When we assail the Affordable Care Act from the left, it's a fact-based endeavor. But to attack it from the right involves the same exaggerations and outright lies as has defined other Far Right causes in recent years.
And believe me. If it wasn't for the Obamacare website taking more than 5 seconds to load, or 2% of Americans losing their $500/month junk insurance, The Media would find some other aspect of Obamacare to gripe about. That is a guarantee.
Posted by Bandit at 11:16 AM
This piece is less of a commentary on organized labor than it is another warning of the ongoing right-wing bias of our local media.
As you may recall, Campbell County got its first known Tea Party rally back in August when 3 members of the Road Atlas Brigade held signs on the Highland Avenue overpass in Fort Thomas. Not only did The Media cover it extensively, but the Cincinnati Enquirer gave a list of contacts to participants so they could recruit more followers. (This has failed to generate any more Tea Party interest.)
But last week, labor union supporters held a rally only a block away from where that took place. They were picketing a health care facility that hired a nonunion construction firm. This rally drew gobs of supporters. In Fort Thomas, no less.
But did the right-wing media cover it? Of course not.
The Tea Party did hire meth-heads to spam Facebook with antiunion drivel attacking the event. But - as far as I know - the rally got no newspaper or TV coverage. Zero.
(Incidentally, I did not attend the March Against Mainstream Media on Saturday, because the Tea Party co-opted it. Naturally, after it was co-opted, the local media did cover that event a little bit - even after repeatedly ignoring Occupy events that weren't co-opted. Yet another example of right-wing media bias.)
Posted by Bandit at 12:58 AM
Sunday, November 17, 2013
The booger-eaters can't accept that Obamacare is here to stay - unless it's replaced by something they hate even more. So they lash out.
On the comment section of the far-right Las Vegas Review-Journal, one Michael C. Stephenson posted this threat of physical violence against the Affordable Care Act's backers...
"Maybe the time for talking has past. Maybe it's now time to physically accost Democrats and their minions (meaning the media) who have foisted this fraud on us. I don't think they understand anything other than force."
Also notice that as part of the life of delusion Stephenson leads, he claims the media backs Obamacare - even though all the press has done in recent weeks is gripe about nonexistent problems with the Obamacare website or the law's failure to allow junk insurance policies.
My response to Stephenson...
"You bedwetters can call it a threat. I call it education. I think you can justify physical correction for every spineless lefty who has made blankets racism accusations, By rough estimate, that's in the millions."
I'm picturing a guy with a tricorne hat with teabags hanging from it walking down the street carrying a giant paddle.
And who accused anyone of racism? This is typical race-baiting from the Far Right. Nobody on the comment page who supports Obamacare said anything about racism.
Team Tyranny is publicly advocating violence against opponents? Well, then I say this: GO AHEAD AND TAKE YOUR VERY BEST FUCKING SHOT!!! The Evil Empire will lose.
Posted by Bandit at 4:05 PM
Friday, November 15, 2013
Seattle's right-wing media and the Democratic establishment sure have egg on their faces right now.
In last week's election for Seattle City Council, it initially appeared as if longtime DLC incumbent Richard Conlin would be reelected against Kshama Sawant, the candidate of the Socialist Alternative party. (The Republicans are a third party in Seattle now, so don't even ask about them.) But after Sawant conceded, it turns out she won after all, now that all the votes are counted.
Can someone explain why the local Democrats endorsed Conlin? Sawant's platform includes a much-needed minimum wage hike, unionizing service workers, boycotting standardized testing in schools, making the rich pay their fair share, and labeling genetically modified frankenfoods. And the Democrats rejected that? No wonder the Democrats are only leading the Republicans in the generic congressional polls by 9 points instead of 30.
Sawant's council seat is an at-large seat covering the entire city - not just some "isolated" neighborhood where residents get laughed at when they go on BBS's and find out people aren't as progressive as they are. Except now it turns out they are. Let's act like it - instead of worrying about what paid right-wing trolls say.
Posted by Bandit at 12:12 AM
Thursday, November 14, 2013
Another day, another rape case involving a Tea Party politician.
Meet Idaho State Rep. Mark Patterson. Big Tea Party guy. Recently it came to light that Patterson was involved in a bizarre rape case. According to a police report, Patterson violently forced a woman into his home and tried siccing his dog on her if she didn't have sex with him. Then, Patterson boasted that he was part of a tough biker gang who'd get after the woman if she reported the incident.
Patterson was convicted of assault with intent to rape - though he accused the police of making the whole thing up.
Sometime later, Patterson was charged with rape in a separate incident, but acquitted.
Because of the earlier conviction, Patterson is not supposed to have a gun. So he has lied on his gun permit application at least twice - by failing to mention the case.
When the long arm of the law discovered Patterson had lied on his application and was a convicted criminal, the sheriff's department came to his home and confiscated his gun permit. Patterson says it's all a big conspiracy against him by the sheriff.
Now here's the amazing part. Despite losing his gun permit, Patterson is still allowed to carry a concealed firearm. That's because Idaho law lets lawmakers - but not ordinary people - carry concealed weapons without a permit. Idaho is the only state that exempts legislators from gun laws.
But does Idaho let criminals serve as legislators?
Posted by Bandit at 2:52 PM
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
The Obama administration expected 500,000 to enroll under the Affordable Care Act in its first month.
Well, they didn't get 500,000. They got 1,500,000. It's 1,509,883 to be exact - 993,635 on the federal exchange plus 516,248 on the state exchanges.
A Daily Kos blogger broke down the numbers for us...
Hey, I thought there was supposed to be zero in Oregon. At least that's what the Associated Press said.
This 1,500,000 is not the number that any major media outlet led with today, of course. The only conclusion is that the pop-up media is simply lying about it. Considering the extent to which the actual numbers contradict what the press reports - The Media doesn't even have the right number of digits - there's just no other conclusion we can come up with it.
Maybe the reason The Media is lying about the numbers is because a lot of the enrollees use Medicare or Medicaid, so it's turning out to be closer to a single payer system than it first appeared. Some people in high places don't like that. I like it. They don't.
Posted by Bandit at 9:52 PM
Friends, Bellevuans, Highland Heightsians, lend me your ears; I come not to bury Amazon, but to bury the big box retail industry.
About a month ago, I buyed a box of ArtSkills markers at Kroger so I could make a poster for an Occupy rally. I got this brand because they're the only kind of multicolored permanent markers Kroger has.
Today I used these markers to start on a poster for Saturday's Occupy rally against right-wing media bias. The brown marker - which was absolutely essential for some of the lettering - promptly fell apart. The ink column fell out of the marker, rendering the marker useless. And it's not as if the other markers are praiseworthy either, since they start to run out of ink the very first time you use them.
I checked all the other stores in the area and couldn't find any permanent markers at all. The grocery up the street only has babyish washables. Try using those for a poster in a rainy climate. See what happens.
Now, when I talk about checking other businesses "in the area", I mean that literally. I don't mean within driving distance. I mean within biking distance. That's what "in the area" means. Our cities are poor, our public transit is broken, and people don't always have cars anymore. "In the area" means accessible to a majority of residents.
So the only place I could get a permanent brown marker was to order it off Amazon. And since I had to have it by Saturday, I had to pay extra for shipping. Shipping cost more than a box of markers. It's $15 just for shipping.
I wouldn't have had to pay shipping if we were still able to buy things locally. And we can't buy it locally because the big box retailers have set up shop 15 miles out of town and undercut the stores in the cities. So our stores fold. And people starve. Some built-up areas no longer have any grocery stores, period. It's not just office supplies we have to worry about. It's also food, medicine, toothpaste, and other goodies. I've known for years that our food choices were already somewhat limited because of Corporate America's unchecked greed.
In my day, there was a crazy little thing called zoning. It said you couldn't build things willy-nilly if it infringed on someone else's rights. This wasn't just to safeguard against immediately visible woes like soil erosion, but also economic vagaries like food deserts and predatory monopolies. But these days, anything goes - just as long as you're not trying to buy Sudafed.
This is why we need to halt construction of big box stores - from now into eternity.
Posted by Bandit at 4:33 PM
CBS's once-respected 60 Minutes hasn't been seen in my home in years - largely because of CBS's defiance of network ownership caps, and the Scott Brown debacle that was the fault of the media in general. But lately, I've heard that 60 Minutes has been on a right-wing rampage that makes one wonder if Fox News hasn't taken it over. These days, however, you can say that's just CBS being CBS: Outside of 60 Minutes, the network has broadcast several questionable or downright made-up stories about Occupy and Obamacare over the past year or two.
60 Minutes recently aired a one-sided story that portrayed the disabled as lazy loafers who bilk the taxpayers to get disability benefits. They didn't bother to interview anyone who was actually receiving these benefits. And a couple weeks ago, 60 Minutes broadcast a piece that stenographed Tea Party talking points about the Benghazi attack.
A week after the latter segment, 60 Minutes suddenly brang back its long-abandoned mail feature just so they could broadcast mail from right-wing viewers praising the piece. This shameful act of self-congratulation didn't go unnoticed by progressive bloggers.
In the following episode, 60 Minutes finally ran a correction about the Benghazi story. In this so-called apology, they admitted their source was bogus. But they buried this correction at the end of the show.
Well, here's a real sign that progressive bloggers aren't just imagining CBS's sordid journalistic lapse. PBS NewsHour has even gotten on the case. NewsHour's website has a shockingly honest headline: "Did 60 Minutes do enough to regain viewer trust after false Benghazi report?"
That's right. The 60 Minutes report was false. In other words, it was full of lies. A regular media outlet like NewsHour even said so. Not a liberal blog, not some conspiracy theorist, not Cousin Filbert who always launches political tirades at family barbecues - but PBS NewsHour. Sedate, dignified NewsHour.
What other proof do you need that CBS is now officially full of bunk gas? What's the point in living in denial that the American public has been lied to again and again by The Media? The sooner we confront the problem, the sooner we can start solving it - if it's not too late. We need to start on it now. We needed to start on it, like, 30 years ago.
Posted by Bandit at 3:04 AM
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
It's amazing the stuff the Associated Press says with a straight face and expects people to believe.
The AP ran a story yesterday about Oregon's implementation of Obamacare. The story said Oregon "has yet to enroll a single person in health insurance." That's right - zero.
I was skeptical of that because over 100,000 have signed up nationwide, and because I signed up immediately. What would make Oregon different from anywhere else?
Welp, lo and behold, this article last month from the Portland Business Journal - titled "Oregon Medicaid enrollment growing like gangbusters" - proves the AP is lying...
As of mid-October - which was weeks ago - 56,000 people in Oregon had signed up for the Medicaid portion of the Affordable Care Act. Not the zero the AP had claimed. And that 56,000 is just the Medicaid part, not the other Obamacare sign-ups.
Mao Zedong was once quoted as saying that if you want people to believe you, don't tell just a small lie - tell a real whopper. Apparently the AP believes that.
How much more evidence do we need that The Media is so singularly dedicated to gutting health care reform that they'll lie for the cause?
Posted by Bandit at 6:18 PM
Monday, November 11, 2013
Just as I suspected.
The self-anointed armchair sleuths on the Internet scapegoated every housing project within miles for the recent robberies in Fort Thomas - but it turns out they were wrong and I was right.
Several juveniles from Fort Wright and Park Hills have now been charged in the incidents. Considering the part of town where they live, I think it's safe to say they don't live in public housing - and probably aren't poor, period. Neo-Nazis on the Internet had insisted the assailants must have lived in public housing in Southgate - an odd conclusion, considering the housing in question isn't even that close to where the attacks occurred. Another bogus claim was that the attackers lived in public housing at a certain busy intersection in Fort Thomas. That claim was also bizarre, because there's no public housing anywhere near that junction.
I hope the police were smart enough not to listen to the right-wing scoundrels who almost ruined the whole investigation by blurting out nonsense theories everywhere.
I knew the robbers would turn out to be spoiled rich kids causing trouble.
Posted by Bandit at 2:06 AM
Saturday, November 9, 2013
Friday, November 8, 2013
The Last Word is at it again this month - and it's FREE again like it was the olden days!
This ish talks about several fi things...
• How cool people play Dungeons & Dragons.
• The disaster that is Outlook.com.
• A surprising break in the case of the Great Bike Theft of 2001.
• Magna Doodle memories.
• How people cheating in school is nothing compared to Rand Paul's plagiarism scandal.
• And more!
So point your groove thing here....
And remember, The Last Word is FREE!!!
Posted by Bandit at 12:00 AM
Thursday, November 7, 2013
The local media is finally catching on to the fact that it's not the inner cities that have all the problems.
Police in Fort Thomas are investigating a series of assaults that have occurred over the past week or so. The attacks have been carried out by a gang of youths walking around town, who punch victims in the face and rob them. They've also sexually harassed a woman and assaulted a passerby who intervened. The attacks have spilled over into Southgate.
It turns out that street robberies like this aren't new to Fort Thomas. Internet commenters say this has been occurring regularly there since at least 1995. But it's only just now getting media coverage.
1995? Well, I'd investigate the luxury subdivisions that were cropping up in this county back then. It's fascinating how organized public violence always seems to follow the construction of housing for the rich. The kids behind the attacks in Fort Thomas lately are probably spoiled brats who never had boundaries set for them.
Maybe they should bulldoze some of the newer subdivisions and replace them with parks or libraries that our hard-working families can enjoy.
Posted by Bandit at 2:09 PM
I'm still receiving results from Tuesday's elections, and something truly amazing has occurred in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
The Working Families Party - a progressive third party - has managed to win control of the city's board of education. They did this by forming a coalition with Democrats who oppose the right-wing DLC machine that's tainted the local Democratic Party.
This is also a challenge to embattled Superintendent Paul Vallas - a demigod of right-wing education "reformers" who had already helped ruin school systems in other cities. Vallas had been appointed in 2011 in a move plotted behind closed doors, in violation of open meetings laws.
Schools are among the most difficult institutions in America's big cities to wrest from the Far Right. The Evil Empire hangs on to our schools for dear life. And why wouldn't they make a special effort at it? If they can control our impressionable children, the fix is in for another generation.
Posted by Bandit at 1:52 AM
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
So it isn't just the big cities that came through for us?
The town of Telluride, Colorado, reportedly has a huge sign declaring itself a "Civil Liberties Safe Zone." And in yesterday's election, Telluride seems to have lived up to its slogan, as voters there handily rejected a "soda tax" that didn't even apply to poisonous additives like aspartame.
I put "soda tax" in quotes because it would have placed a tax on orange juice but not Diet Pepsi. By exempting diet beverages, the tax was a sham from the start and should have never appeared on the ballot.
This comes on the same day that voters in several cities in Colorado justifiably voted to outlaw the deadly, job-killing practice of natural gas fracking.
But the "soda tax" made Telluride perhaps the most-watched small town in America yesterday - except for Coralville, Iowa, where the Tea Party made a big show of running a full slate of candidates, all of whom lost.
Posted by Bandit at 2:16 AM
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
As the oil and gas industries have pursued an effort to split off several counties in Colorado to form the 51st state because their fee-fees are hurt, the move is proving to be unpopular.
As of now, only 5 of the 11 counties involved are voting to secede - and they're tiny ones that are heavily Republican.
Just join Wyoming already.
Posted by Bandit at 10:56 PM
Since we're on the topic of New Jersey, voters there approved today a referendum to increase the state's minimum wage. This measure sailed to a smashing win - much to the chagrin of the Tea Party.
Kentucky lawmakers, are you listening?
Posted by Bandit at 9:13 PM
Ladies and gentlemen, we may have just witnessed the death of the Cincinnati Tea Party - such as it was.
In today's election, Cincinnati voters have resoundingly rejected Issue 4 - a Tea Party-penned referendum that would have stolen the pensions of city workers. Issue 4 was bankrolled heavily by out-of-town money. But it's losing by an incredible 78% to 22%.
Similar measures had been approved in other cities in recent years, but it wasn't until the Cincinnati campaign that people discovered what it was all about.
Tonight could be a rough night for the Evil Empire. The longtime Republican mayor of St. Petersburg, Florida, has also been ousted in a landslide. And a Republican incumbent was defeated in Greensboro, North Carolina - further establishing the GOP as only a minor party in big-city America. The reelection of New Jersey's scandal-tainted Gov. Chris Christie might be the only major fly in the ointment - but if it's any consolation, the Tea Party hates him too.
The only thing I can think of that might save urban Republicans tonight is if they "find" votes in Charlotte at the last minute.
Posted by Bandit at 9:01 PM
Friday, November 1, 2013
To be sure, there's some problems with the Affordable Care Act - but the things The Media gripes about aren't among them.
Website woes? Not for me. Never had a simdgen of trouble with the Obamacare website.
Losing insurance coverage? Didn't happen to me when I signed up.
Paying more now than before? That didn't happen either.
Consumer Reports has debunked the claims that people can't keep their insurance or have to pay more, but I just wanted to relay my personal experiences. It's time for the rest of the media to zip its lip, because they don't know what they're talking about. In fact, I think the pop-up media just made up shit.
If The Media hates Obamacare so much, they should endorse single payer. I still hope single payer will be the next step.
Posted by Bandit at 6:48 PM
It's another Taliban moment in the federal judiciary!
Today - in the latest of several right-wing activist rulings in recent days generated by federal courts - the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals gutted the Affordable Care Act's requirement that businesses provide health insurance covering contraception.
The court's excuse would be laughable if this wasn't such a serious matter. They said the contraception rule trampled religious freedom. Huh? If anything, the businesses were trampling religious freedom by not covering contraception. They were forcing their religion on employees.
Congress needs to impeach the judges responsible for this ruling - for they put personal beliefs ahead of the safeguards of the Constitution. But since I don't expect that to happen, the Obama administration needs to ignore their ruling and continue to enforce the contraception guidelines - even if it requires deploying the Army to enforce it.
Posted by Bandit at 2:12 PM
Monday, October 28, 2013
I want to know who the lifeless losers are who keep vandalizing Evergreen Cemetery in Southgate.
There have been numerous reports of late regarding toppled headstones, smashed or stolen urns, and other deliberate destruction in this graveyard. Just recently, some thugs were caught trying to set a live cat on fire in the cemetery.
I suspect it's some spoiled rich kids - who have too much time on their hands because they don't have to work like we do. It's weird how the county never had a disproportionate number of problems like this until the '80s when our slaphappy public officials began rubber-stamping every luxury development.
I hope authorities keep a special eye on pampered twerps in the area, so we can get to the bottom of the hooliganism that has afflicted Evergreen.
Posted by Bandit at 1:50 PM
Sunday, October 27, 2013
Last month, I pulled one over on the Evil Empire by visiting Mesa Verde National Park before they could shut down the government and close the park.
Just the first half of this trip yielded 260 photos and videos - from Kentucky to Texas to Mesa Verde itself - which I've sorted into 10 parts...
And remember, there's over 200 more on the way, covering the second half of this amazing jaunt!
Posted by Bandit at 3:57 PM
Friday, October 25, 2013
Thursday, October 24, 2013
If I was the judge in this case, I'd be sending some people to jail for contempt of court.
A couple years back, a 6th-grade student in the Jefferson County (Louisville) Public Schools was harassed by schoolmates during school. He was homeschooled for 7th grade, and now he's returned to school for 8th grade. The moment he came back to school, the harassment started back up again.
This prompted his mother to seek a protection order to keep the assailants away. But the school district thinks they shouldn't have to comply. School officials complained that the order was "unprecedented."
"Unprecedented"? Maybe the order never would have been needed if the school had cracked down on the aggressors 2 years ago.
If it's impractical for the school to keep the assailants away from the victim, then the school has a constitutional duty to expel the attackers and refer their case to juvenile court. Their "rights" be damned, as far as I'm concerned. You don't have a right to come to school and assault other kids.
Posted by Bandit at 3:31 PM
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
You know it pays to monitor the Tea Party when they pick a fight with the Bellevue Neighborhood Association, of all people.
You'd think the Tea Party would adore the BNA, because several years ago, the BNA encouraged the city's failed "rental conversion" program (a gentrification land grab). But now the Tea Party has the nonstory about the Nativity scene in Nagel Park to exploit.
I went to the BNA's public meeting tonight. I heard through the dingleberryvine that the Tea Party (which has hardly any members in Bellevue) planned to stack the event and shout down the BNA. Well, that turned out to be a bluff. Most folks at the meeting apparently weren't Tea Party followers, since they got through it without making a spectacle of themselves. But there were a couple of minor harangues that were of note.
A man in the audience spoke up and said something about the IRS probing the Tea Party. Unless I misunderstood him, his credibility was out the window when he said that. Then he said the Constitution isn't supposed to protect separation of church and state. That's another debunked Tea Party talking point.
Later, another man raised his hand and repeated the bogus claim that the Constitution doesn't safeguard separation of church and state. Everyone rolled their eyes, and he angrily stormed out.
What's even more hilarious is that right after the meeting, somebody on Facebook (who doesn't even live in Bellevue) complained that the Tea Party not getting their way is proof that "the devil is real and at work."
The meeting sort of reminded me of the one with Monty Burns in Highland Heights. Anyone else remember that?
Posted by Bandit at 9:59 PM
Friday, October 18, 2013
Former Speaker of the House Tom Foley died today at the age of 84.
The popular Foley was a Democrat from the state of Washington who served as Speaker for 5 years before being defeated for another House term in the media-tinged 1994 "election." Foley was widely considered a champion of civil liberties and other causes benefiting working-class constituents - unlike the DLC, the Republican wing of the Democratic Party that started calling the shots in the '90s.
It's hard to believe residents of Foley's district allowed him to be replaced in his House seat by a bungling clown who attacked him for actually serving the public. It's also hard to believe the American public allowed him to be replaced as Speaker by a man who seems almost synonymous with modern congressional incompetence: Newt Gingrich.
Posted by Bandit at 1:45 PM
Thursday, October 17, 2013
La Salle High School - an all-boys Catholic school outside Cincinnati - has decided to become the first school in the area to require all students to take a drug test.
This is preposterous, of course, and it's time our lawmakers muster the gumption to fight it. Not like I expect them to, but the point stands.
I think there should be laws to limit workplace drug testing. If workers are drug-tested, it should have to be negotiated through their union first. Similarly, I believe drug testing in schools should be outlawed - even in private schools. Every once in a while, we read about some private school prying into students' sex lives - an intrusion that would be illegal if an employer did it. So why not hold schools to the same standards as employers? If we oppose workplace drug tests, it's only fair to also oppose school drug tests. Drug tests are an infringement upon personal privacy that fails to benefit the school community.
A recent study even found that drug tests were ineffective at reducing teens' drug use.
If the Tea Party is for "limited government", why haven't they been at the forefront of halting needless drug testing? Because the Tea Party lies. Never trust them.
Posted by Bandit at 3:02 PM
Monday, October 14, 2013
The right-wing "zero tolerance" thought police is at it again - this time in North Andover, Massachusetts.
Recently, a senior at North Andover High School got a call from a friend at a party who was too drunk to drive home. So she showed up to drive the friend home. Cops were called to the party, but quickly determined that the driver was neither drinking nor possessing alcohol.
Somehow, her school learned of the incident and punished her for it by suspending her from the volleyball team - even though the party was away from school grounds and was not part of a school activity, and police had already determined she was innocent of any wrongdoing anyway.
Her parents then sued the school, but inexplicably, the judge ruled that the court didn't have any jurisdiction.
Well, I rule that the school doesn't have any jurisdiction. They had no right punishing an innocent student for something that had nothing to do with school in the first place. The school needs to fuck off.
Incidentally, the Freeper brigade is out in full force to defend the school. I criticized the school on a news site, and one right-winger replied, "Caution: Dyslexic moron posting above." Another said to me, "you are without a doubt the biggest idiot in this story get bent liberal troll." Hey tealet, shut any governments down lately?
Posted by Bandit at 12:59 PM
Saturday, October 12, 2013
A local meet-up of road enthusiasts took place today at the same time as the Occupy-fueled March Against Monsanto, so I couldn't attend both. I believe the roadmeet was announced first, so I attended it - although March Against Monsanto drew a sizeable turnout (which of course was ignored by The Media).
Today's roadmeet was the first real gathering of Roads Scholars to come to Cincinnati. I'm not counting the 2 so-called roadmeets in the mid-2000s where the location was kept under wraps just for spite. Today's event was different, and it drew 15 fans.
We met at Fuckhead Mountain Grill in Bellevue, and we carpooled for a motorcade that pibbed all over town. We went out to Highland Heights, over to Devou Park, up to Lockland, and everywhere in-betwixt!
Two SBD bunker blasts were detected during the roadmeet. One was at the Devou Park overlook. Another was in a cemetery as we tried viewing a highway project.
During our stop at Olden View Park, we got skeeped at for parking at a parking lot that was "reserved" for some swanky apartment building.
Posted by Bandit at 11:32 PM
Friday, October 11, 2013
The October ish of The Last Word was delayed by an Illness Log-justifying plague, but now it's pub at long last! Best all, The Last Word is now FREE! Just like it was for its first 20 years!
The latest ish talks about...
• A downright uproarious trip to Colorado!
• The burpoo and other new additions to the New Language!
• Did the Phantom Pooper enroll at Yale?
• Hilarious Dungeons & Dragons memories!
• The Tea Party makes up its own laws - again!
So if you're in a Last Word mood like you should be, peep, weep, and oggle-beep...
Posted by Bandit at 1:50 PM
Thursday, October 10, 2013
The Taliban is alive and well at Maryland Elementary School in Bexley, Ohio.
Bowing to right-wing pressure lodged by dominionist parents, the school has announced plans to cancel Halloween festivities. At least one student cried upon hearing the news.
The backlash though has been significant. About 140 people have signed a petition to restore Halloween. But the Grinches Who Stole Halloween seem undeterred.
Silly me for thinking America had separation of church and state.
Posted by Bandit at 5:41 PM
It's bad enough when The Media is stovepiping right-wing drug warrior propaganda, but now they're not even trying to hide it anymore.
Mississippi is the home of WDAM-TV in Hattiesburg and WLOX-TV in Biloxi - both owned by the right-wing Raycom syndicate, which also infamously owns Cincinnati's Channel 19. Now these stations are going around claiming that Mississippi's law that makes over-the-counter allergy drugs available by prescription only has nearly eliminated meth labs - an out-and-out lie.
An article posted Tuesday by WDAM says, "The decrease of almost 90 percent is the result of a 2010 law banning the over-the-counter sale of pseudoephedrine." They didn't even qualify this statement by saying, "Supporters say." They just went ahead and posted it in a paragraph of its own - as if it's a hard fact.
If meth labs in Mississippi have declined by 90% in the past 4 years, it clearly isn't because of this law, because they've declined by even more nationwide. Meth is a stale relic of the Bush era, and meth labs were already declining in Mississippi when the state passed the law. But the prevalence of meth labs has actually increased in Oregon, the only other state with this law.
Even if WDAM's claim was actually true, it still doesn't justify the law. Part of the magic of a free society is that we maximize individual freedom and minimize punishing the innocent over the misbehavior of a few.
That doesn't mean we shouldn't have laws - but it does mean we shouldn't have stupid laws. Sooner or later, somebody is going to burn to death because they couldn't smell the smoke in their house because they were unable to get Sudafed to unclog their sinuses. When that happens, it's more blood on the discredited drug warriors' hands. And WDAM has taken the side of the drug warriors - not the public who they're supposed to serve.
I'm an opinion blogger, but I haven't behaved any less like a journalist than those in The Media who parrot official lies. I studied mass media in college, and some news outlets just don't understand the way journalism is supposed to work. Reporters are supposed to ask incisive questions - not magnify propaganda.
Posted by Bandit at 2:57 AM
Monday, October 7, 2013
My Illness Log isn't meant for minor things like finding a lone boogly-wooglum in your nose, but it damn sure is meant for stuff like this.
Starting on the final day of my Colorado trip, I felt like I was run over by a lawn mower. I suspected everything from mononucleosis to a bladder infection to E. coli, but I finally settled on a diagnosis: It was severe dehydration caused by hemorrhoid-induced blood loss. I was out of commission until the following Thursday when I figured it out and buyed some hydrocortisone oinkment to alleviate the erupting pile.
So now I've improved from feeling like shit to merely feeling like crap. Blood loss like that takes a long time to recover from, and I didn't know how bad it was until it was well in progress. This experience has delayed my Last Word that I planned to release a week ago.
This Saturday is the first real roadmeet in Cincinnati, and I plan to attend. But my system is very weak and I'm wide open to catching whatever illnesses are being laughed about by the local media this week. So if I catch something and am prevented from attending the roadmeet, you'll never hear the end of it.
The world is on notice. I shouldn't have to keep explaining this, but people don't listen.
Posted by Bandit at 10:58 PM
Saturday, October 5, 2013
Those who insisted I'd lose my doctor under the Affordable Care Act can pipe down now.
I was disappointed in the 2010 health care law. Even the President wanted better. Indeedity-doodledy, most Americans want single payer instead.
But the ACA is the law. And I knew it couldn't possibly be any worse than what we had before. I also knew I'd have to test the right-wing media's thesis that Obamacare would be society's ultimate ruin.
I am a citizen of Kentucky, the state that's unexpectedly at the forefront of adopting Obamacare. I logged on the federal Obamacare website. No glitches there. It directed me to Kentucky's website. No sign of any trouble there either.
The long and short of it is, I don't have to change doctors because of Obamacare. And health care coverage won't be costing me any more than it otherwise would have - and it might cost me less. Without exception, everybody I know has had the same experience - or better, since most have already found that they'll be paying a lot less.
Maybe it's better for Kentucky residents because Kentucky is among the states that's actually adopting the Affordable Care Act instead of pulling out and trying to obstruct it.
I still think single payer would be much better, but the Tea Party says no, so we don't have it.
I've had problems getting my health care sorted out over the past couple years - namely, HMO's trying to change my doctor without asking me first. But that wasn't because of Obamacare. That was because fascist former Gov. Ernie "Hery Bert" Fletcher had farmed out Kentucky's public health care services to greedy HMO's. I set my HMO's straight though by hounding them until they agreed not to change my doctor. If anyone out there is telling people they can't keep their doc, it's HMO's - not Obama. Number of people who will have to switch doctors because of Obamacare: 0.
The Media needs to stop bumping its bloody gums about how awful it is that Americans now get better health care.
Posted by Bandit at 11:49 PM
Only the Tea Party can make hay over something as uncontroversial as this.
Nagel Park here in Bellevue has been the site of a Nativity scene during the holiday season. Placement of it is governed by a nonprofit group - not City Council. This year, this nonprofit has decided to plant a Christmas tree in Nagel Park and move the Nativity scene to a church on Fairfield Avenue. The main reason for moving the Nativity is that many more people will see it if it's on Fairfield.
Now that there's 2 Christmas displays instead of just one, you'd think nobody would complain that Christians are being persecuted. But that assumes there's no such thing as the Tea Party, which exploits this nonstory to whip up support for itself.
Out-of-town Tea Party followers are going around claiming that the Nativity scene was moved because atheists and Muslims complained. That is a lie. Nobody complained. The reason nobody complained is that it wasn't the city that sponsored the Nativity in the first place.
Team Tyranny (the Tea Party) is trying to tell Bellevue residents how to react to the Nativity being moved. They keep clogging local message forums with reams of bullshit about Muslims, atheists, the ACLU, and "leftists" on City Council. They keep ordering local residents to vote out City Council - even though City Council had nothing to do with the "controversy." Tea Party cultists have even tried to encourage folks to chop down the new Christmas tree at Nagel Park in protest.
I repeat what I posted in one of the Facebook pages: "Bellevue is no place for bigotry. If the Tea Party wants to use this saga as an excuse to gin up violence against atheists and Muslims, then the Tea Party needs to leave the county." I for one will stand firm and fight. If you physically harm my friends, watch out, because I don't fight with my hands tied behind my back like some people expect me to do.
Posted by Bandit at 10:47 PM
Friday, October 4, 2013
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
For decades, the unpopular Balanced Budget Amendment has been something of a Holy Grail among the right-wing punditocracy. Recently, a secret campaign to underhandedly pass a beefed-up version of this amendment fell flat. But I think it underscores the need for a different constitutional amendment: one to prevent government shutdowns.
A shutdown occurs when the government doesn't have funding approved for its operations. The U.S. government shutdown that began today is the third major one since 1995. Before 1995, there were 9 minor shutdowns since 1981. All of these blackouts were 100% the fault of the Republicans. Every last one of them.
How do we stop this crap from hap? I think we need a constitutional amendment. Under my amendment, if our public officials can't agree on funding the government, Congress must take a pay cut. Plus, a tax increase on corporations and cuts in military spending would automatically kick in. The amount would be sufficient to fund the government during what would otherwise be a shutdown.
Under my proposal, the Tea Party doesn't get to destroy the economy like it thinks has the right to do.
Posted by Bandit at 3:42 PM
It's another day of fail in conservaworld.
Congressional Republicans apparently thought shutting down the government would kill the Affordable Care Act. Well, now they've shut it down, but Obamacare bounces along as scheduled.
What are Tea Party Republicans going to say to supporters who counted on them to make Obamacare grind to a halt? It may not matter, because it's clear we're not dealing with grownups anyway. If the health care law had been beaten back, they had practically a whole book full of other outrageous demands they could have tried to move ahead with in addition to that.
How did these babyish idiots get to control so much of what the government does? News stories often refer to "Tea Party lawmakers", but the Tea Party should have never become powerful enough to have its own legislators. This is the only time in modern American history that a movement so out of step with reality has openly claimed so many lawmakers.
This happened because the Tea Party was treated as a mainstream movement by right-wing media outlets like Fox News. Without this media support, the Tea Party wouldn't be any bigger than the average klavern. It might not even exist at all.
But they couldn't kill Obamacare. It's here to stay - at least until something stronger like single payer replaces it.
The real story here may be that - for once - President Obama and the Democrats didn't cave in the government shutdown fight. They stood firm, and the Affordable Care Act has survived. Feels great, doesn't it?
Posted by Bandit at 12:00 AM
Sunday, September 29, 2013
Kentucky has about 175 school districts, and the state has just released its report card ranking them by overall performance.
Guess which school system has dropped to dead last after it began requiring middle and high school students to wear uniforms? That's right, peoplefaces. Newport is now officially ranked as the worst school system in the state.
Kind of reams a giant Bazooka hole through the babblings of the right-wing thought police who thought uniforms were a cure-all, huh?
It's unclear whether Newport has dropped the uniform requirement this year. So many folks pulled their kids out of the Newport schools over uniforms (after all, uniforms are less popular in the cities than elsewhere) that there's barely enough left who'll notice.
Posted by Bandit at 4:04 PM
America has the Republicans. Greece has Golden Dawn.
Both parties sport the same right-wing ideology. Both have engaged in criminal violence. During one episode, Golden Dawn used Tea Party-style tactics to disrupt a conference that promoted a bilingual dictionary. But Golden Dawn has only 18 of the 300 seats in Greece's Parliament - not enough to shut down the government.
Yesterday, 5 high-ranking Golden Dawn members were charged with membership in a criminal organization with intent to commit crimes - as part of an investigation into a fatal stabbing widely blamed on a Golden Dawn supporter. Other party members had also been arrested and will face trial soon.
Greece deals with Golden Dawn not as a political group but as the criminal racket that it is. As in the U.S., Greece can't ban a political party just because of its views. So Greek authorities have focused on Golden Dawn's criminal behavior - not its beliefs.
You don't think there's enough cause to go after the Republicans on similar grounds? Then what about all that violence against Occupy that I've documented? What about all those Tea Party rallies that turn violent? True, the GOP hasn't always been this bad. They started out as a noble party. Today, however, they're a white supremacist criminal gang.
I'm not talking about small bands of Republican operatives like those responsible for earlier crimes. Lately, the criminal element has guided the whole party. The latest developments in the Tom DeLay case prove it even more.
On the other hand, the Republicans have done such a fine job of self-destructing during the ongoing government shutdown controversy that we can't count on the party lasting much longer anyway. Some say the GOP's permanent collapse is inevitable in the near future. We should be so lucky.
Still, America should take a cue from Greece on how to respond to criminal political parties.
Posted by Bandit at 12:27 PM
Saturday, September 28, 2013
Last week when I was on vacation in Colorado, I had another interesting dream.
I dreamed I was at a drugstore in Newport with another Occupy Cincinnati regular, along with Diff'rent Strokes actor Gary Coleman. The 3 of us were inspecting the refrigerated foods and we noticed that all the milk was past its expiration date.
As we were inspecting, the cashier threw us out of the store.
What does this dream mean? Unlike the dreams where I fled Brossart and secretly enrolled at CCHS, the meaning of the drugstore dream is unclear. Quite like the hilarious Manfred Mann dream.
Posted by Bandit at 2:40 PM
Friday, September 27, 2013
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
The right-wing extremism of "zero tolerance" continues unchecked!
In Virginia Beach, a 7th-grader was seen harmlessly playing with a toy gun (that uses plastic pellets) in his own yard with a friend. Upon learning of this, the youngsters' school suspended both of the boys - even though the "misbehavior" took place at home.
At a hearing today, school officials decided to suspend both students for the rest of the school year - even though it's only September! Their school also charged them with "possession, use, and handling of a firearm" (but police have refused to charge them).
"Zero tolerance" Nazis claim their policies are designed in part to avert lawsuits. They lie. The original purpose of "zero tolerance" was to create excuses to punish victims of school harassment because the assailants had too much clout. There actually have been some lawsuits over "zero tolerance." Maybe this garbage will stop when the lawsuits step up - or when we elect political leaders who have the guts to break the backs of the "zero tolerance" otyughs.
Posted by Bandit at 8:43 PM
After I discovered Google was Making Money off ancient Internet posts that were made either by me or someone illegally impersonating me with an anonymous remailer, I began demanding a law allowing people to delete their old messages.
I knew our few decent legislators were bogged down by other issues, and our many shitty legislators didn't give a damn anyway, but I pressed on. Now these efforts have paid off in California.
The Golden State has a new law that says anyone under the age of 18 can require Internet companies to remove their online postings - simply by requesting that they do so.
California is widely a considered a trendsetter for other states - and since Poopypants Pete Wilson left office, that's usually a good thing. Other states need to follow suit.
Hopefully they'll expand the law so it protects not just kids but adults too. We own our data. Corporations like Google do not. Internet giants don't get to hide behind 30 pages of disclaimers to make folks surrender the rights to their own data. 'Tis tragic that 'Net firms kowtow to the entertainment industry on anything that has to do with copyright (like letting Disney remove any mention of Bert because Disney owns other Muppets), but they won't let individuals exercise control over what they produced themselves.
Posted by Bandit at 11:32 AM
Monday, September 23, 2013
Bishop Brossart High School in Alexandria, Kentucky, is perhaps the biggest, most bullshit-laden scam I've ever encountered - and the school's treacherous ways continue a quarter-century after I was forced to deal with it.
Now the city of Alexandria may give a bailout to this small Catholic high school so it can expand yet again. At its October 3 meeting, City Council will vote whether to issue $3,000,000 in bonds to pay for the school's palace-like expansion.
What are they smoking? After the way Brossart treated me, how can the school have the unchecked audacity to ask the taxpayers to pay for its excess? How can any public officials even consider giving in? Brossart picked a fight decades ago for no reason at all, and government officials are too addicted to mollycoddling Brossart's corruption to stop doing whatever the school tells them to do.
What makes anyone think the city can afford to spend like a stoned gnome to finance corrupt, Red-baiting private schools like Brossart, when there's not even enough money for public schools?
Moreover, Section 189 of the Kentucky Constitution specifically prohibits tax money from being used for religious schools. It reads, "No portion of any fund or tax now existing, or that may hereafter be raised or levied for educational purposes, shall be appropriated to, or used by, or in aid of, any church, sectarian or denominational school." Of course, the U.S. Constitution prohibits it too. (Then again, the county violates this protection by funding private school transport.)
I've had enough experience with Brossart to know that the school needs to be shut down - not bailed out.
Posted by Bandit at 11:51 PM
I was on vacation at Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado last week, and now I've returned to find society in the same shambles it was in before I left. Well, maybe slightly better, since it looks like the Republican Party's approval numbers have declined even further, but other than that, it's the same old place.
While I was at the park, I detected several LAP bunker blasts emanating from other vacationers. On the way home, I even stumbled upon an SBD loominsky at a restaurant. Also, I noticed that somebody plopped a water bottle at a Phillips 66 station.
Hilarious celebrity look-alikes included Robert Byrd, Don Meredith, Avril Lavigne, Denver Pyle, Dustin Hoffman, Barry Goldwater, and Leslie Nielsen.
I plan to report on this trip in uproarious detail in the next Last Word (at a cost of your entire life savings of 99 cents), but I don't know if I'll be able to do an October ish at all, because now I'm violently, seriously ill due to the filthy conditions at a hotel late in the trip. (This inn had shit smeared on the wall.)
Posted by Bandit at 11:10 AM
Friday, September 13, 2013
Tim critiques the stench of flatulence he detected on a recent road trip...
Posted by Bandit at 1:04 PM
Thursday, September 12, 2013
Here's a story from a few months ago that I just now learned about.
I didn't think fighting against school uniforms was a high priority of the Southern Poverty Law Center, but the SPLC has now proven to be one of the most effective voices against these sumptuary laws.
The story unfolded in Mobile County, Alabama, where school officials had developed a tragic habit of illegally suspending students for failing to wear a uniform. The SPLC represented 7 plaintiffs who sued the Mobile County Public School System after being suspended over this or other offenses. Some of the suspensions caused students to miss so much school that they couldn't graduate. It wasn't only uniforms: One student was kicked out of school for the rest of the year for arriving late to lunch. In June - in a dramatic conclusion to the case - the school district agreed to stop suspending students over uniforms and similar infractions.
In short, the Mobile County schools can never again suspend a pupil for not wearing a uniform.
The right-wing media must have had a ragesad when they heard the news.
Posted by Bandit at 4:25 PM
Why are we seeing so many simultaneous efforts to tax beverages while exempting poisonous additives like Nutra-Sweet? How much is FreedomWorks funneling to these campaigns? It's too big of a coincidence that these efforts are all cropping up right around the same time and are generally worded the same.
In Telluride, Colorado, a mysterious organization has gotten a referendum on the ballot that would place a special excise tax on not only sugar-sweetened soda but also orange juice and iced tea. Naturally, it would exempt diet soft drinks - even though diet beverages contain cancer-causing chemicals like aspartame.
We're almost at the point where we need to just start dumping diet soda when we see it at the store. Might as well have some laughs while we're fighting this toxin.
Posted by Bandit at 3:01 AM
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
You heard it first from a man who supports the Bill of Rights - including the Second Amendment - in its entirety: It's time to charge the National Rifle Association under the RICO law.
The NRA has become a racket. That's not just hyperbole. Lately their actions have fit the legal definition of racketeering.
They're a fraud. Let me explain how: The NRA intimidates public officials into supporting them. At the same time, the politicians the NRA supports rarely deliver anything that benefits responsible gun owners. For example, Bush (who the NRA endorsed) grabbed guns from Hurricane Katrina victims and Iraq War vets.
All we need is to find a smart, brave prosecutor with the guts to pursue RICO charges against this corrupt partisan group. Officials in some regions can get away with criticizing the NRA, but this is something where we need action, not just talk.
Posted by Bandit at 1:41 PM
I'm a staunch Second Amendment supporter, but the National Rifle Association has proven once again that they have to go.
We were raised with the idea that our political system works. We're supposed to have checks and balances. Now we know it's a lie.
Why was the NRA able to spend unlimited money on a successful recall election against 2 Colorado legislators? The lawmakers had done exactly what they told voters they were going to do in the regular election campaign. If the NRA doesn't like it, tough toilets. The NRA no longer cares about the rights of the average gun owner. They care more about heightening the gun industry's profits and expanding the swollen police state. After the Newtown massacre, for instance, they demanded armed guards in our schools - instead of coming up with a sensible solution.
You might not get worked up over a recall election for state legislature with 0.000001% turnout, but limitless out-of-state money flooding an election like this is simply unacceptable, and everyone is scratching their heads after seeing the results. (Some folks have raised the possibility of election fraud by the Republicans, but GOP election fraud isn't anything new.)
On Saturday, I went to Occupy Cincinnati's rallies against the bombing of Syria. Afterward we had a meeting at Piatt Park where each of us got to speak briefly about why we got involved in Occupy. During the meeting, a serious question occurred to me that relates to our political system in general and not just the Syrian crisis: What in the hell is going on here?
In the meantime, I think it's time for a progressive version of the NRA.
Posted by Bandit at 1:16 AM
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Time to put on your Scholaring ears again, as I've posted 102 new road photos and videos from last month's trip to Milwaukee (where I saw the Eddie Money look-alike)...
Peep my pictures now before they peep you!
Posted by Bandit at 10:42 PM
Some celebrities can be expected to utter the word fuck fluently. It's second nature to them. But Vince Gill??? The clean-cut singer and musician Vince Gill, husband of Amy Grant and alleged Republican????? Gasp! What is this world coming to?!
It happened Sunday outside a concert in Kansas City. Gill's show was being picketed by Fred Phelps's far-right Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas. Congregants claimed the singer is an adulterer because he is divorced and remarried.
A bespectacled Gill confronted the Westbozo adherents. He declared, "Don't you know that you fuckers are lucky that you don't have a sign that says something about my wife?" He also called one of the picketers "a big dipshit."
Best all, a video of this confrontation has cropped up on YouTube...
With all the turbulence of the Occupy era, it's easy to forget that I too encountered the Westboroists once. It was last year during Occupy the Super Bowl in Indianapolis - when I saw Phelps's cultists carrying signs attacking Occupy. (You know the Occupy coalition is big when it was deemed more of a target than the Super Bowl was.)
Posted by Bandit at 8:43 PM
Monday, September 9, 2013
As of today, America has one more free-bargaining state than it did yesterday.
Last year - under fascist Gov. Mitch Daniels, who acted at the urging of the Tea Party - Indiana enacted a union-busting "right-to-work" law that required unionized workers to subsidize nonunion labor. The Hoosier State joined a swath of states - largely in the South and West - where "right-to-work" laws had already suppressed wages and kept workplace safety standards low.
But today - in a victory for workers - a state judge threw out Indiana's work-for-less law. He citied a provision in the Indiana Constitution that prohibits receiving services without compensation.
But don't uncork the libations just yet. Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller plans to appeal the ruling - because he has lots of taxpayer money to burn on cases like this. He has to use Daniels's sales tax increase on something, I guess.
Posted by Bandit at 10:31 PM
Campbell County's long national nightmare is over...
Never saw that coming, did you?
Posted by Bandit at 5:25 PM
Friday, September 6, 2013
The latest edition of the revived Last Word is now pub, and you can download it for only 99 cents! (Cheap!)
It's the Back-to-School issue, folks, and this ish talks about such nifty topics as...
• A hilarious trip to Milwaukee.
• Why I didn't go to the Occupy National Gathering.
• Minnesota fights school calendar changes.
• The Federal Porn Allotment.
• When people drank beer at school.
• Bad hotel reviews.
• More funny YouTube clips.
• PayPal woes.
• The latest in my war against ad servers that cheated me out of my revenues.
And remember, if I can ever find an ad server that I believe is honest, I'll be able to offer The Last Word for free again. Hope springs eternal.
For the latest edition of The Last Word, point your pooper here...
Best all, The Last Word is a supporter of the Occupy movement.
Posted by Bandit at 1:21 PM