Saturday, August 31, 2013

Tea Party wants to raise Kentucky sales tax

As long as America's most powerful hate group - the Tea Party - is allowed to exist unchallenged, the bigger their pile of lies grows.

The Tea Party claims to be for lower taxes, but this story should silence that claim. I've caught them endorsing the unconstitutional FairTax at their rallies, but they were largely preaching to their own choir of tealets. Now they're not even trying to hide their support for expanding taxation without representation.

The Tea Party purports to oppose tolls on the Brent Spence Bridge replacement - though tolls wouldn't be necessary if the Tea Party hadn't killed the American Jobs Act, which would have funded the bridge. Instead of tolls, the Tea Party wants to raise Kentucky's sales tax to an almost confiscatory 7% - which would force people to pay for the bridge who don't even use it.

That's the whole point, you see. A sales tax is one of the most regressive taxes: It hits the working poor the hardest. That includes folks who can't even afford cars. If the Tea Party hadn't sounded like a bunch of loons right from the giddy-up, I might agree to let them pursue a sales tax hike if they agree to make sure the new bridge allows bicycle and pedestrian access - and has gently sloped bike ramps in each direction. (Saves time for working people like me who need to get around.) But the Tea Party kind of blew this offer with all the fascism they've whipped up.

How does the Tea Party justify its support for imposing one of the highest sales taxes in America? Tea Party leader Garth Kuhnhein told the Cincinnati Enquirer, "The Tea Party stands for limited government, fiscal responsibility, and free markets. Tolls do not work with any one of those 3 principles." Then how does a sales tax work with any of those 3 principles?

Much-laughed-at State Rep. Joe Fischer said of the tax hike, "If the Tea Party gets behind it statewide, that would be something that would have to be considered." So Fischer's measure of whether an idea is worthwhile is if the Tea Party supports it. He doesn't care if people who live in his district support it. Just the Tea Party.

In the '70s, we had Nickel Louie: Gov. Louie Nunn, who raised the sales tax to 5%. So we can start referring to Joe Fischer as 7-Cent Joe. And we'll call the Tea Party the Seven Blunders.

Fischer needs to be utterly bludgeoned with this issue when he runs for reelection. It's a shame the Democrats wouldn't field an opponent against him last year before his district was expanded southward, because then we probably wouldn't have to deal with 7-Cent Joe's self-righteous blibberings now.

One thing appears almost certain: If the Tea Party's tax increase passes, I'll bike on the new bridge - legal or not. I'm paying for it, so it's my right. Bear in mind that new Interstate highways are required to have wide shoulders. It'd be a shame to let that go to waste.

In the meantime, you can check out a new Facebook page that opposes the Tea Party's tax hike...

Friday, August 30, 2013

Lawn Chair Quarterback: "Shadoe Stevens Is Cool"

Tim talks about a legendary host of 'American Top 40'...

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Tea Party throws in the towel on redistricting suit

Well, the Tea Party won't get to gerrymander the Kentucky House after all.

Last week, Kentucky lawmakers finally approved the redistricting warranted by the 2010 census, and the new map isn't as bad as you'd expect considering how badly Kentucky Democrats usually cave. We'll know the map unfairly favors the Republicans if the GOP wins control of the Kentucky House before the next census, but the new map does seem to have a few bright spots for the Democrats - for instance, Louisville gets a new seat that everyone thought would go to Boone County. On the other hand, right-wing extremist and ALEC foot soldier Joe Fischer was shored up a bit - but he's still beatable. (Fischer first got elected back in the '90s after he won a lawsuit to force the legislature to draw a district where he could win.)

The Tea Party's been bawling their little peepers out over the new map, largely because Boone County (their local base) doesn't get an extra seat. The Tea Party apparently thinks Boone County is automatically entitled to at least one new seat with each census.

But the Tea Party has decided not to continue with the lawsuit in which they sought to have a federal court let them draw the districts themselves. I guess they finally realized they had no case.

Kentucky is surely the state where the Tea Party has been at its most litigious, and it's time the courts come down on hard on them for filing frivolous suits. Out of 4 absurd Tea Party lawsuits that I can think of offhand, they've lost one and given up on another, but 2 are still pending, and it just goes to show how they try to sue their way into power because they can't win free and fair elections.

Monday, August 26, 2013

New road planned just to tear down housing project

Have you ever heard of building a road for the sole purpose of depriving public housing residents of their homes?

Well, you have now. And it's happening in Newport.

For years, an extension of KY 9 through Newport has been discussed. It was unclear why it was needed, but now the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has released the plans for the new highway. The road accomplishes one thing only: tearing down most of the housing project south of 4th Street.

For starts, you know damn well that if rich people were living there instead, they wouldn't put the road there - no matter how badly the road was needed. (Just look how I-471 avoids Highland Country Club while destroying several working-class neighborhoods.)

The real purpose of the road is obvious just looking at the map of it. The proposed road includes a roundabout that takes up an entire block. And the road barely even scrapes a huge vacant area to the north.

And why is that area vacant? It too was the site of public housing - until several years ago when the city allowed it to be torn down and sold to a developer that has let it sit empty ever since.

The only conclusion is that the government tears down public housing just to be tearing it down. This is obvious because they don't build anything else useful in its place. In Newport's case, they tore down one project and replaced it with empty space that's now overgrown with weeds - and now they're tearing down most of another project to build a road that's not even needed.

When were the residents of either housing project even asked what they thought about these land grabs? The government just stomps along and does their thing without even asking. For as long as the KY 9 extension has been in the works, this is the first time anyone has seen the planned routing. Transportation officials didn't seek input from the housing project's residents. Instead they planned a route behind closed doors and then told everybody this was their plan, and if they didn't like it, too bad.

Now here's the real outrage. Officials now say the new road will open up the vacant area for development - of luxury residences. If Robin Hood lived on Bizarro World, this would be his finest hour.

It isn't too late to prevent the road from being built there. But if we want to stop this road, we can't do anything short of scream until we're satisfied. Naturally, the Tea Party isn't doing shit to halt this road, even though it costs the taxpayers tens of millions of dollars.

If we want to keep this road from uprooting hundreds of residents, we need to fight like it's going out of style. That's because the city, the county, and The Media don't listen worth a damn. They'd rather listen to developers and tell everyone else what to think.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Lawn Chair Quarterback: "More Zoo Poo"

Tim shows you some of the animals he met at the Milwaukee County Zoo...

Monday, August 19, 2013

Fast food strikes go nationwide

Good news, good news, Boss!

I'm known to be a hard worker, and I know sometimes you have to fight hard to be treated fairly. So I was chomping at the bit for the wave of fast food strikes to spread to Cincinnati from the handful of cities where it's already been going on.

Now it looks I've gotten my wish.

There's now a nationwide strike by fast food workers scheduled for August 29!

Will it be effective? I don't know, but one thing is for damn sure: Not going on strike sure isn't effective. The strikes must keep expanding if workers are to have any decent shot at better working conditions.


Saturday, August 17, 2013

Brewin' up mischief in Milwaukee!

I just got home from a road trip to Milwaukee, which was every bit the spectacle I had anticipated.

I plan to report on it in more detail in the next Last Word, but a brief outline of the past few days' uproarious events is in order for the Time Being.

First off, an LAP bunker blast was heard at a gas station. And I saw 2 of the most hilarious celebrity look-alikes I've ever encountered. An Eddie Money look-alike was seen working as an event staffer at the baseball games I attended. And a Jack Kemp look-alike got utterly plastered during a tour of the Miller brewery.

Also, throughout the course of the trip, I saw 5 - count 'em, 5 - people who were in such a vacationy mood that they bubbled.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Bush spied on journalists after 9/11

Nobody but nobody likes the NSA tracking e-mails, but here's a part of the scandal you can't blame Obama for.

Whistleblower Edward Snowden has now revealed that the National Security Agency targeted the e-mails of journalists who seemed critical of the Bush regime after 9/11. Admittedly, however, this must be a mighty small number of reporters, because The Media beat the Bush war drum throughout Bush's 8 years in power.

It's bad enough for paranoid government officials to log everyone's phone numbers and the like, but spying on the actual content of e-mails is a high crime that ought to result in stiff prison terms for whoever carried it out. I'm looking at you, Georgie.


CVS cards customers over nail polish remover

I get it now: All the free-floating hostility against "big government" ginned up by the Tea Party is actually in support of the "right" of big corporations to be as fascist as they want to be without the government saying they can't. Silly me for thinking it meant something different back when I was young and foolish.

Drugstore giant CVS now requires customers at all Detroit area stores to show an ID just to buy nail polish remover. Because libertea.

We need a law to prohibit stores from carding people for everyday purchases like this unless there's a robust legal basis for doing so. Putting up red tape just to buy nail polish remover isn't what I call freedom.


Saturday, August 10, 2013

Another week full of Scholaring photos!

The road photos have piled up like Pringles this week, and now I have 11 more posted - mostly from Campbell County. Even the oft-ridiculed Tea Party makes a cameo, so you're gonna read 'em, and you're gonna peep...

Friday, August 9, 2013

Hate group urges violence against Portland's disabled

Right-wing terrorists always try to scare people, but at least some officials in the city of Portland, Oregon, appear to be on the ball about getting to the bottom of it.

Some Nazi is circulating jaw-droppingly outrageous flyers encouraging violence against disabled Portland residents who receive government benefits. The handbill reads...

"There is an intersection between those people who vote and those people who receive public assistance. There are sixteen people in this neighborhood who vote and receive cash disability payments. The names of these people are being posted where they can be seen by taxpayers and the neighborhood can decide who is truly disabled. Benjamin Franklin said 'when the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.' Some of us in the neighborhood wish to save this democracy and to stand in the way of those who would destroy it."

Firstly, the names of people who receive disability are not public record. It's none of anyone's goddamn business who gets disability. So whoever made the flyer is employed by an agency that handles disability claims.

Secondly, the Franklin quote - if it was even real - had nothing to do with people legitimately collecting benefits. It appears to actually be a warning against the type of 1% mob rule that the Tea Party supports.

Thirdly, where does the Far Right get the idea that people who collect disability should forfeit the right to vote?

City agencies seem to be already investigating to see who may have put the flyers up. Portland's Office of Equity and Human Rights has asked local residents for help. See, folks, this is how our public officials are supposed to react. Whether it's hate groups attacking large numbers of people or a corrupt cabal carrying out a harassment campaign against an individual, we have a right to expect government agencies to act. Portland acts. Some places don't. Instead, some places allow fascism to fester and grow for years on end.

The only fly in the ointment is that Portland has a right-wing mayor who spends more effort arresting the homeless than going after whoever put out the flyers.


Lawn Chair Quarterback: "O Say Can You See..."

Tim expresses excitement over his Occupy county collecting project...

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Enquirer secretly pushing impeachment protests

Aren't you glad I infiltrate Facebook groups so I can expose stories like this?

If you were waiting on the edge of your chair for undeniable proof that the Cincinnati Enquirer is in cahoots with the Tea Party, the suspense ended today.

I've been checking out the Facebook group for the local Road Atlas Brigade that posts banners on bridges demanding President Obama's impeachment. Although there were only 3 people at their Fort Thomas rally when I saw it, the Enquirer covered it extensively and tried making it sound like it was bigger than the Occupy events they've ignored. (One local resident reports having to call the police on the protesters because they were climbing on the fence and blocking traffic.) Today, this rather enlightening message from the event's local organizer was posted...

"The Kentucky Enquirer is forwarding me numbers/contacts of people who have inquired about our Overpasses!!! It just keeps gettin' better and better!!"

In other words - instead of acting like a real newspaper - the Enquirer is secretly aiding and abetting the Tea Party. What's amazing is that this individual is dumb enough to think I'm not keeping an eye on the Facebook page where she blurted out this info. Granted, that group shows less than 300 members - and most of them are either from out of town or haven't actually accepted the invitation to join - but it's hard to fly under my radar. I've built a paid career on keeping an eye on idiots like this. It's never made me rich or even middle-class, but it's O so satisfying to catch 'em red-handed.

To actually impeach Obama would hurt the Far Right's cause. The real significance of the impeachment plea is that it moves the window rightward for what the Really Serious People will accept. The Enquirer knows this, and that's why they're klandestinely (sic) promoting the Road Atlas Brigade.

Unfortunately for them, it's not "gettin' better and better", if you go by the new poll that shows a 16-point swing against the Republicans among older voters - who are the most Republican age group.

Newport donates to hate groups

Shame, shame, shame on Newport city officials who allowed this.

Today, the first Chick-fil-A restaurant opens in Newport. The eatery rises along the new shopping strip on Pavilion Parkway.

Chick-fil-A has of course been the target of nationwide boycotts of late, largely because the restaurant chain has donated at least $5,000,000 to the American Family Association and the Family Research Council. The Southern Poverty Law Center lists both the AFA and the FRC as hate groups.

Pavilion Parkway is itself a source of controversy. In the last decade, the city of Newport abused eminent domain to illegally condemn the homes of hundreds of neighborhood residents and turned their property over to the developer of the shopping strip.

By allowing Chick-fil-A to use property stolen from residents, the city is in effect donating to hate groups. This is no exaggeration. It's a fact.

Because the development was a city-funded project, the city could have used its veto power to nix the Chick-fil-A. But city officials chose not to. Back when the developer threatened to build a Walmart, the city hemmed and hawed and said they didn't have veto power over any business. Like hell they didn't. Leaders in Chicago and Boston disinvited Chick-fil-A because of Chick-fil-A's links to hate groups. Newport can do the same - if it opted to do so.

When a business donates to hate groups, it needs to be asked to leave the area. And such an establishment has no business taking advantage of illegal land grabs like that which afflicted Newport residents.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Pennsylvania town taken over by Tea Party mercenaries

I'd been wondering what American town would be the first to be completely taken over by a Tea Party coup, and now I have an answer: It's Gilberton, Pennsylvania.

The stupid began in earnest recently when Police Chief Mark Kessler posted profanity-laden videos of himself firing guns and threatening "liberals." Kessler was suspended for 30 days for misusing police property as props in his clips, but then he decided to up the ante.

Kessler heads his own private mercenary group called the Constitution Security Force. This personal militia carries loaded assault rifles and blocks folks from public meetings. Kessler's mercenaries have carried out an illegal insurrection that now runs the town. This private army also has a website threatening to shoot people over their political views.

There have been calls for the Pennsylvania National Guard to put down this violent junta, but right-wing Gov. Tom Corbett has refused to act. Bear in mind though that the Constitution Security Force is not a police agency. They're an organization of thugs. If I lived in Gilberton, and these hooligans tried blocking me from anything, they'd get their fucking heads split open.

Also, somebody has been deleting references to this ongoing revolt from the Wikipedia article about Gilberton.

Now we know the true face of the Road Atlas Brigade and the rest of the Tea Party. Criminal, violent, crazy.


Impeachment tantrum a bust

Yesterday, a protest against the Republican Party in Asheville, North Carolina, drew 10,000 people. Today, a rally demanding President Obama's impeachment on the Highland Avenue overpass in Fort Thomas drew all of 3.

Not 3,000. Not 3,000,000. Three. That's how many I saw when I stumbled upon their afternoon installment.

I call it the Road Atlas Brigade. The event was coordinated by some Tea Party group in Oklahoma that appears as if they whipped out a Rand McNally from 1981 to try to find overpasses they could use - without actually knowing what's really going on in the area. Local Tea Party groups say they had nothing to do with this protest - and I'm quite certain they were telling the out-of-town teabaggers to steer clear of Fort Thomas, because they knew I would absolutely humiliate them. That's why the Tea Party ducked out of the "We Surround Them" event in Wilder a few years back. That's why the first Occupy rally in Campbell County took place almost 2 years before the first Tea Party rally.

I didn't need to embarrass the Tea Party today, because they did a damn good job of that themselves. Their event was "all Benghazi, all the time" - even after it's been proven that the Obama administration had no involvement in any cover-up of the Benghazi attack.

Still, when I rode past them today, I yelled that they were "sore losers." I tried filming them from behind a utility pole, but there wasn't even anything to film.

Futility is the name of the game for the Road Atlas Brigade.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

County collecting, Occupy style

I just thought of a splendid variation on a time-honored hobby.

Some folks like county collecting - the pastime of trying to visit every county in America and sometimes other countries too. But here's an idea that's never been tried before: Occupying the courthouse lawn of each county and photographing yourself in the act.

America has over 3,000 counties. And every damn one of them needs Occupying. So I'm gonna get started. I don't expect to ever finish up all 3,000 counties - since a majority of them might as well be on the moon - but I'm close enough to 3 counties that I can start on those any time. What I plan to do is photograph myself at each courthouse holding a letter O in a tight fist - a noble Occupy symbol. My O has to be big enough to make an impact but also compact enough that I can carry it along with me on road trips. A roll of duct tape might make a good O.

Incidentally, Campbell and Kenton counties each have 2 county seats, so I have to hit both courthouses in each county. And does the Hamilton County Courthouse even have a lawn?

Tim just thunk of an idea that nobody else has ever thunk of before!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

All that natural gas, wastage bastage

I better not hear anyone complaining there's a fuel shortage, as long as this wastage is allowed to go on.

In North Dakota, the fossil fuel industry squanders $100,000,000 worth of natural gas per month - by intentionally letting it burn off into the air during drilling. This represents one-third of all the gas they drill there.

Drillers say it's because natural gas is so cheap that it's worthless. If it's so cheap, why do utility companies get away with price-gouging customers to heat their homes?

The practice of wasting natural gas by burning it off - known as flaring - creates fires bright enough that NASA astronauts report seeing the flames from outer space.

The world is running out of fuel, and the industry wastes it. It's utterly wosted.


Friday, August 2, 2013

Lawn Chair Quarterback: "When Macaroni Tastes Like Kitty Litter"

Tim laments his latest purchase of spoiled food...

Have no fear, our August ish is here!

The hilarious August edition of The Last Word is now pub-a-roo, and it's available for a price tag of only 99 cents. (Cheap!)

This humor-filled ish deals with the following topics...

• More uproarious old toys and the flatulence that goes along with them.

• The microapartment price-gouging scam.

• When things stink.

• A former school principal's right-wing Facebook meltdown.

• Some roll-on-the-floor funny YouTube videos I've found.

• The last 2 years of road trips and the path of hilarity that has ensued in their wake.

I also explain how AdSense has forced me to sell my work instead of giving it away for free like I used to be able to do.

Read The Last Word now before it reads you...

And remember, The Last Word supports the Occupy movement.

Snack Break

+ Have you noticed the amount of spam in your Facebook feed lately?

+ While we're on the topic of spam, it amuses me to see some of the rubbish that people try cluttering the comment section of this blog with. Somebody tried spamming me with an ad for "the penis erection." Like there's a such thing as a pancreas erection.

+ A federal judge has tossed out a lawsuit filed by a bank and several states seeking to have the popular Dodd-Frank law ruled unconstitutional. Good. The real story is that anyone would actually think Dodd-Frank was unconstitutional in the first place. That ranks right up there with the frivolous lawsuit against Georgia Tech's harassment policy. (The difference is that the right-wingers actually won the Georgia Tech suit!)

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Mr. Elbow Care trails in new poll

Ladies and gentleman, Kentucky's long national nightmare may be over soon...

Nice knowin' ya, Mitch.

Virginia county abolished...sort of

The state of Virginia has "counties" that aren't really counties.

It's chock full of 'em. Actually they're independent cities which aren't part of any county - but they're considered county equivalents. This is useful data for anyone who tries to visit every county in America, so listen close.

Recently, the independent city of Bedford was absorbed into surrounding Bedford County. So life just got a little easier for county collectors who haven't hit that region yet.

I guess the community rights movement hasn't reached Bedford yet.