Here's another bruise on the disgraced Republican Party name - a story that's sure to be swept under the rug by The Media.
After Eric Cantor was upset in the GOP primary, House Republicans have now selected Steve Scalise - a Louisiana congressman who cosponsored the hated SOPA - as Majority Whip, one of the party's top posts.
But Scalise has some GOPsplaining to do. In 2002, users of Stormfront - a white supremacist website - boasted that Scalise, who was then a state representative, had attended "productive meetings" with them. Scalise was also an "honored guest" at a neo-Nazi convention in New Orleans. Other attendees were still praising him years later.
This really happened.
Sunday, December 28, 2014
Here's another bruise on the disgraced Republican Party name - a story that's sure to be swept under the rug by The Media.
Posted by Bandit at 11:35 PM
In recent days, I've posted 2 - count 'em, 2 - batches of Cincinnati area Roads Scholarin' photos!
The first set looms our way from our November outing focusing on downtown and neighborhoods to the northwest...
The second set hovers from a Scholaring that took place on Friday and covered the city's east side with extreme fluency...
You're gonna peep, you're gonna weep, and if you're lucky, you might even oggle-beep! But only if poo.
Posted by Bandit at 2:11 PM
Saturday, December 27, 2014
So much for lawmakers representing the communities that elected them, huh?
A few months ago, the town of Somerset, Kentucky, fought back against oil industry price-gouging by starting its own municipally owned gas station. Although the station doesn't have a food mart and offers only 87 octane, it's popular for miles around because it's able to compete fairly against privately owned stations and sell gas at a lower price.
But the Kentucky GOP wants none of this - because libertea, dammit!
State Sen. Chris Girdler - a Somerset Republican - plans to introduce a bill that would effectively shut down Somerset's municipal gas station. Girdler cries that the gas station is an improper government intrusion on private business. It's the principle, don't ya know.
Principle? Do the people need principle, or do they need what works? That's one of the problems with all the people yelling out "free market!" constantly. They support private monopolies just so they can say there's less regulation. They don't care what benefits their constituents. They don't even care anymore that the public knows what benefits them. With gerrymandering turning so many elections into closed Republican primaries, why would they?
Girdler groans that municipal fuel sales encourages government to also start selling other goods. As long as price gouging in other industries continues, why shouldn't government sell other goods?
But Girdler presses on. "This is about free enterprise, capitalism, and celebrating entrepreneurs," he told the Lexington Herald-Leader. We don't want free enterprise! We want what works! Understand?! The people are supposed to have more rights than the market.
A recipe for disaster is a legislature that is completely out of touch with the people's wants and needs. That's how civil wars start. We're way past the point of no return.
Posted by Bandit at 1:45 PM
Thursday, December 25, 2014
Like always, it's been a holiday season full of flatulence.
Today, at another important family gathering, someone released an SBD bunker blast. Cries of accusation sprang up throughout the room, but no suspects could be indicted. It must have lingered, because people reported smelling it for minutes after I thought it had dissipated.
And on Christmas!
Posted by Bandit at 11:18 PM
Wednesday, December 24, 2014
Tuesday, December 23, 2014
My photos are back! (Circus Vargas, Circus Vargas!)
As a holiday gift to you, I've posted 228 photos and videos from my road trip to Guadalupe Mountains National Park that I took back in October. As a holiday gift to me, I'd like you to peep, weep, and oggle-beep...
Posted by Bandit at 1:34 PM
WBFF-TV in Baltimore has blood on its hands.
In response to the nationwide plague of police killings, peaceful protests have sprung up all over America. I attended the rally in Covington, Kentucky, on December 13. The event was as peaceful as can be (unlike Tea Party rallies), and nobody urged violence against police.
Enter WBFF. WBFF is owned by the far-right Sinclair syndicate, and they're the station that sent a reporter to try to break into an Occupy Baltimore tent without permission. When they couldn't get into the tent, the WBFF crew drove away and displayed their middle fingers at the Occupy participants. Recently, WBFF repeatedly aired a clip from a march in Washington, D.C., in which protesters appeared to be chanting, "Kill a cop!" My initial reaction was that it was a hoax. Nobody had said anything about killing police at the Covington protest, and I already knew WBFF couldn't be trusted after the scene they created at Occupy.
True to form, the clip did indeed turn out to be a hoax. The Mediaite website has exposed this fraud.
Did WBFF broadcast this hoax before or after a Baltimore man traveled to New York to kill 2 policemen there? Sounds like Sinclair Broadcast Group did more to encourage this deadly shooting than anyone else did.
As a matter of basic journalistic ethics, Sinclair needs to fire some of its reporters. But they won't, because it's Sinclair, which has long been dedicated to being a propaganda organ. I myself have been the victim of enough public corruption - including police misconduct - to last a lifetime. But the right-wing media is as much of a warrior for the forces of doom as anyone.
Posted by Bandit at 1:04 PM
Friday, December 19, 2014
Louisville is cementing its stance as Kentucky's booming progressive giant - which is the pattern more and more lately in America's major cities.
When officials in Louisville (now merged with Jefferson County) passed a minimum wage increase yesterday despite obstructionism by Mayor Greg Fischer, it came with an extra goody. Every 4 years, the minimum wage will automatically increase to keep pace with (whoosh...whoosh) inflation. Thanks to this, it will be much tougher to block a wage hike in future years.
Tying the minimum wage to inflation is relatively uncommon among American municipalities, but at least Louisville is encouraging other Kentucky cities to take notice.
Posted by Bandit at 1:47 PM
Warren County Fiscal Court proved today that the confines of law mean nothing to them.
Yesterday, Kentucky's Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway ruled that cities and counties cannot enact misnamed "right-to-work" laws. That's the law. The National Labor Relations Act is clear on this, as are numerous court rulings in Kentucky and other states.
At least Conway is finally making himself useful, because Warren County officials sure as shit aren't. Today, the Bowling Green-based bailiwick ignored Conway's ruling and passed a right-to-scab law anyway.
Imagine if you can what Warren County Fiscal Court's reaction would be if a city in their county passed its own law opting out of "right-to-work." They're all for local control as long as it suits them.
The good news though is that Louisville's Jefferson County voted yesterday to raise the minimum wage, and they're a much bigger county. They're going to stay the bigger county as long as this keeps up. Naturally, those who are defending Warren County's work-for-less law are the same ones saying Louisville shouldn't be allowed to raise the minimum wage.
Posted by Bandit at 1:11 PM
Thirty years ago, the Campbell County school district was the laughingstock of northern Kentucky. Lately, the neighboring Newport school district has seized this dubious distinction.
In the latest Newport school scandal, the school board has displayed its propensity for unchecked wastage. Somebody donated a large sum of money to the school system to be used on amenities for students. But the school board squandered the entire donation on decorations for administrative offices.
That's like the time at Cline Middle School when we had to sell candy and they spent all the revenues on a sign.
If you don't understand why this is wrong, ask an adult.
Posted by Bandit at 2:35 AM
Thursday, December 18, 2014
This is what happens when we put the Tea Party in charge of anything more complicated than a toy ant farm or a game of Walk Along Sesame Street.
Northern Kentucky's Sanitation District #1 is unable to account for $235,000 in taxpayer money that seems to have magically grown legs and walked away. Now they may have to hire a forensic investigator to track down the missing money. But that might not do any good either, because their records are so incomplete.
Another day, another Tea Party "oops!"
The real question is: Was there mere incompetence, or was it deliberate theft? If it was the latter, what sort of Tea Party causes are being funded with the money that was stolen from the taxpayers? We taxpayers already pay for everything the Tea Party liars do, so I guess they think nobody will miss another $235,000.
Posted by Bandit at 10:19 PM
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
As unconstitutional "right-to-work" laws have become one of America's gravest threats to liberty, it's time for a trip down Memory Lane about the evils of antiworker violence.
Newspaper comment webpages are rife with paid right-wing trolls accusing union "thugs" of violence of all sorts. But not once in my 41 years have I ever experienced union violence. I've worked in everything from conventional workplaces to freelancing to the brink of dying, but not once has a union representative even threatened me with physical violence or economic ruin.
But I have been threatened by antiunionists. I even got in a brawl during Occupy the Super Bowl in 2012 started by an antiunion hooligan.
This brings to mind the antiunion thuggery associated with the NFL players' strike of 1987. A lot of you think pro football players make too much money, but it's really only star players who have multimillion-dollar contracts. Most players don't get rich - and the average NFL player doesn't even live to be 60. Even NFL greats like Jim McMahon have joined a lawsuit against the league for its mishandling of concussion-related injuries. Thus, the NFL strike was viewed by many as sort of a proxy for the troubles faced by the average worker.
The league's refusal to fairly negotiate with players put a diaper on the entire 1987 season. For weeks, the NFL fielded teams made up of scabs. A few big names like Steve Largent selfishly crossed the picket line, and they were joined largely by players who had been cut during training camp. Naturally, the networks were happy to help the antiunion cause: They broadcast the scab games as if they were legit, even though ratings dropped by 20%.
Meanwhile, the strike encouraged labor rallies to pop up all over America. These events brang out the best in the labor cause - and the worst in antiunion ruffianism. I was 14 at the time, and one day, I was in the living room while my parents were watching the news. The news did a story on the labor rallies, and they showed some footage from one such event. In this footage, an antiunion thug strolled up to a bearded labor activist and sucker-punched him squarely in his unsuspecting kisser.
Needless to say, this isn't the only instance of antiunion thuggery in modern American history. Around the same time, one union-busting specialist had his henchmen scratch up cars outside a nursing home and blame it on the union. And it isn't just in modern times. In 1917, labor leader Frank Little was murdered because of his union support. And there have been few antiunion events as violent as the Ludlow Massacre in Colorado. And it isn't just America. Back in 1984, for instance, a suitcase bomb at a union office in New Zealand killed the building's caretaker.
With all this in mind, which brand of thuggery is much more prevalent: union or antiunion? Imagine if you can what the reaction would be if union activists committed that much violence.
The media and legislators should open a comprehensive investigation into antiworker violence. They need to do this yesterday.
Posted by Bandit at 12:32 AM
Friday, December 12, 2014
How do we know when a supporter of right-to-scab laws is lying? When their mouth is moving.
As Bowling Green's Warren County is about to become the only place in Kentucky with its own work-for-less law - but be on the lookout, for the corporate criminals of ALEC are sure to drag other counties into that cesspit - Republican Warren County Judge-Executive Mike Buchanon is rubbing his paws together in excitement. In an op-ed in the far-right Bowling Green Daily News - which has long cheered right-to-scab laws - Buchanon says workers in "right-to-work" states have 4.1% higher personal incomes than those in free bargaining states. He cites no sources.
That is a lie. The Economic Policy Institute has determined that wages in right-to-scab states are actually 3.2% lower. So Buchanon lied, and the Daily News printed his lie without challenging it.
Buchanon also says "right-to-work" means workers don't have to join a union. That's another lie. Workers can choose not to join a union even in states without a right-to-scab law. "Right-to-work" means unions can't collect fair share fees from workers who receive their services. That's not the same as union membership.
All this lying for a law that the Kentucky Supreme Court has already ruled unconstitutional.
There's no guarantee that "right-to-work" won't backfire right in what laughably passes for the Far Right's faces - at least if labor or Occupy brings down the hammer - but it wouldn't even be an issue in the first place if the media would just do its job and call out the Far Right's nonstop lies. With public opinion U-turning against Big Business, it's hard to see how suppressing workers' constitutional right to freely bargain won't ignite a war that will burn the Far Right.
Posted by Bandit at 7:00 PM
For those unawares, Topix is a website with message forums purporting to cover countless small towns all across this fine land. But Topix is largely overrun by meth-heads arguing and gossiping about who is sleeping with who, or who the sexiest cashier in town is. Never anything important. I posted on Topix years ago - I don't even remember what it was in regard to - but then I abandoned it because most of the folks who posted there reminded me of people filing frivolous lawsuits on court shows over years-old grudges.
I guess it's only fitting that if people are going to talk shit about me over something that happened at least 25 years ago, Topix is the place to do it. What's surprising is that they started bumping their gums about it on Topix 3 years ago, and I just now discovered it.
Back in 2011, someone posted this message asking about my whereabouts:
"does anybody remember him? he graduated in 91 i think.
"does anybody know what he does now?"
This was followed by a few somewhat sympathetic or neutral replies by several different people, including a Latonia resident who said I should sue Cline Middle School.
But then there's this garbage posted in January 2012 from someone using the handle BasketLaw:
"Tim Brown does not have grounds for a lawsuit against his former school, but his former school clearly has grounds for one against him.
"Schools are dependent on support from the community to survive. KRS 158.030 defines a 'common school' as 'an elementary or secondary school of the state supported in whole or in part by public taxation.' A private or parochial school, on the other hand, must rely on tuition or on donations by alumni and parents. Both public and private schools need community support. If it does not have community support, how does a public school justify asking the taxpayers to pony up?
"Mr. Brown has been on a 'crusade', if you will, against schools that allegedly 'wronged' him as an adolescent. There are legal channels for relief against a perceived wrong. Mr. Brown elected not to pursue these remedies. His answer instead was to write a web page and a book detailing the 'harassment.' One does not have to name persons to be guilty of libel. Accusing an organization (e.g., a school) is sufficient to be sued for libel. In Mr. Brown's case, multiple schools clearly have cause to act in their corporate capacity to sue him.
"Mr. Brown's malicious words have cost his former schools their reputation in the community and, by extension, tax intake and donations. A school cannot pursue its mission without this needed revenue. In light of this, I believe strongly that relief is due Mr. Brown's former school, and it is the duty of the school's representatives to go after this libel with everything they've got. The school is not the only victim of Mr. Brown's campaign; the children and the taxpayers have been victimized as well. In addition to this, Mr. Brown's web page has encouraged current students of area school systems to break school rules that they do not like. I believe this makes him liable to be charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Like it or not, a person eighteen years of age (but not yet nineteen) is a minor in the Commonwealth of Kentucky if he or she has not yet graduated from high school.
"They say it takes a village to raise a child. A school's job is to teach and uphold the community's values. Society cannot permit a disgruntled party to obstruct a school's pursuit of its calling."
That is positively one of the most ridiculous messages I've ever seen posted on any Internet forum. It sounds like the ramblings of someone who thinks they're pretending to be a lawyer. Every single thing in it is objectively wrong. Particularly absurd is the overarching premise that schools I attended should sue me for exposing them because bad exposure makes voters less likely to approve their tax levies. If a school sued me, any judge would just laugh the case right out of the courtroom. Also, the statement that the age of majority in Kentucky is 19 for those without a high school diploma is erroneous.
Deservedly, however, 6 different people voted to label that post as "nuts." Plus, someone replied:
"Translated into English this means 'Tim Brown hurt my feelings, boo hoo hoo hoo'"
But there's something else funny I noticed. I had to look closely to find it. This BasketLaw clown appears to be somewhat well-connected, and this individual says my "malicious words" already have "cost" donations to my former schools. That shows what I've been doing works. So I'm gonna keep doing it. Either I'm pretty damn effective, or BasketLaw is a paranoid maniac.
Usually it's pointless to argue with idiots, so I won't. Nobody has posted on that thread in 2 years, so there's no use. The real story here is that some moron was actually still ranting in 2012 about events that occurred 4 Presidents earlier. I've said it before: They can't seem to get over it. They never get it out of their system. It's like how the Contract With America wasn't enough to satisfy the Tea Party, so they keep coming up with even dumber ideas.
Posted by Bandit at 3:08 AM
Wednesday, December 10, 2014
After the Republicans blatantly rigged a Maine Senate election, they've now fallen flat on their stupid faces.
I am of course talking about the election in which Democrat Cathy Breen initially appeared to have defeated Republican Cathy Manchester - only to have the result reversed when 21 ballots for Manchester from the town of Long Island suddenly surfaced out of nowhere. Republicans in the Maine Senate went ahead and seated Manchester despite the obvious fact that the GOP won the seat fraudulently.
But now a special legislative committee has discovered that somebody - certainly a Republican - actually counted 21 ballots for Manchester twice. As a result of this discovery, Breen was declared the winner after all.
This after it was reported that those 21 votes actually surfaced on separate ballots. So now the question is what happened to these extra ballots. They disappeared just as mysteriously as they appeared, so now it's clear that the GOP has destroyed the evidence of the fraud they committed, and allowed their ballot box stuffing to be dismissed as an accidental case of double counting.
That part won't be reported, of course.
Posted by Bandit at 10:36 PM
The once-great American Civil Liberties Union is continuing its hard right turn, which has already been underscored by their recent support of the Supreme Court's bogus Citizens United ruling.
Now they're asking President Obama to pardon George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and other Bush regime officials for allowing torture. ACLU executive director Anthony Romero says a pardon would actually show torture to be unacceptable - but he doesn't really say how. Romero talks about how the ACLU once demanded accountability for the Bush thugocracy's crimes - but that ACLU is gone.
As best as I can tell, the argument seems to be that pardons would make clear that crimes were committed by the Bush regime. Of course crimes were committed. Bush was a criminal dictator. Criminals commit crimes. When serious crimes are committed, there should be accountability - not a pardon.
When dictator George H.W. Bush pardoned traitors involved in the Iran-Contra scandal, it sent a message to America's youth that they could break the law and get away with it. Why repeat this mistake?
Posted by Bandit at 3:14 PM
Tuesday, December 9, 2014
So you can poo your pants, the December ish of The Last Word is finally pub!
This edition of this fanzine of freedom details lots of amazing topics, such as spoiled milk, more local graffiti (and Facebookers' threats of corporal punishment), and a scammer's attempt to not pay me for my work.
You can peep it all, by pointing your pooper here...
Posted by Bandit at 8:03 PM
Mesa, Arizona, is a Mormon theocracy where separation of church and state is trampled flat. Nowhere is this more evident than in the city's so-called public school system.
Three Mesa students were recently kicked off the school softball team because they refused to conduct Mormon prayers. The prayers were instituted by demand of a few local Mormons who wanted to impose their religion on everyone else.
These same religious fanatics had also demanded punishment of softball players who dared to listen to modern popular music. They also monitored their social media postings and reported them to the coach.
Now the school system is being sued. Hopefully the judge will throw the book at the school district, but who knows how far that will go, with a rogue Supreme Court and a media that props them up.
Posted by Bandit at 11:10 AM
How bad has American radio become thanks to the gutter greed of consolidation?
When I was in high school, I was an avid listener of the now-defunct WLAP-FM in Lexington (which reached northern Kentucky). But now the WLAP call letters are found only on the AM station, which has become a brimming water closet since the NAMBLA-backed Telecommunications Act of 1996 allowed Clear Channel to take it over.
WLAP became such a disaster under Clumpy Channel that a commenter on Daily Kos called it "one of the most strident and irrational right-wing hate radio stations in America."
If the Power Van was alive today, it would be spinning in its grave.
I'm sure radio's 3 remaining listeners are interested in WLAP's downfall.
Posted by Bandit at 10:30 AM
Friday, December 5, 2014
After Kentucky lawmakers rejected an unconstitutional "right-to-work" bill by a vote of 15 to 4 early this year, things don't appear to be getting any better in the Bluegrass State for the union-busting Gestapo, after the Republicans failed to make a net gain in the Kentucky House in last month's election.
But the "right-to-work" corporate criminals have what they think is an ace in the hole. Now they're openly encouraging cities and counties in Kentucky to pass their own local "right-to-work" laws. Kenton County's new Judge-Executive supports the plan. This despite the fact that the Kentucky Supreme Court already ruled that "right-to-work" is unconstitutional after Shelbyville passed its own ordinance.
The "right-to-work" crowd's latest argument centers on a 1978 law that gives counties home rule powers. But at the same time, they've argued that counties can't increase the minimum wage. In other words, they support home rule only when it suits them. The home rule statute actually says the exact polar opposite of what they think it says: It clearly allows minimum wage increases, but nowhere does it permit laws like "right-to-work" that are unconstitutional.
They're pulling the same shit in neighboring Illinois, with the backing of newly elected Tea Party Gov. Bruce Rauner. (To be fair, Pat Quinn would've been reelected if he hadn't picked a hack like Paul Vallas as his running mate.)
Imagine if you can what their reaction would be if a city or county in a so-called "right-to-work" state passed its own law to nullify the state's right-to-scab law. I do of course believe that these places should nullify "right-to-work", but the howls from the Far Right would be deafening.
This would all be moot if the President would issue an executive order that says labor unions don't have to represent employees who won't pay their fair share fees.
Posted by Bandit at 2:42 PM
Friday, November 28, 2014
I'm thankful that Americans are fighting back hard against injustices such as the many killings by police lately. Even locally, protests have exceeded my expectations. But I don't think we can truly move forward until we stop living in denial about rigged elections.
Republicans in Maine have just been caught with their Pampers down around their ankles committing election fraud. In a Maine Senate race this month, Democrat Catherine Breen initially appeared to have won by 32 votes. But then, a pile of ballots from the town of Long Island mysteriously appeared in the ballot lockbox. Every single one of them had been cast for Republican Cathleen Manchester, who had demanded a recount.
Following the strange appearance of the additional ballots, there were now more votes cast in Long Island than the number of registered voters there. In fact, the voter sign-in book in Long Island indicates that 171 residents voted - but when you add in the "found" ballots, there's 192 ballots. Yeah, I know: "Their poo also voted." This is just like how Bush got more votes in a county in Texas than the number of residents the county had.
Because of the "found" ballots, Manchester was decreed the winner by 11 votes.
As unluck would have it, there's also a handful of disputed or "lost" ballots from other towns in the district.
So let's live in denial about rigged elections some more.
Posted by Bandit at 9:56 PM
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Today I goed Roads Scholaring and went as far as North Fairmount, and later, I went to a very important meeting. People are fighting back against Team Tyranny, it seems, and this time it didn't take 10 months like it did after the 2010 disaster.
The Scholaring and the meeting were bookends to the day. Between these events, I stopped by the main branch of the Cincinnati public library for a while. Predictably, LAP bunker blasts were detected. Four of them, in fact.
That's right, gentleladies and gentlemen. Someone farted audibly at the library!
Posted by Bandit at 11:32 PM
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Gasps were heard a couple weeks ago when Tea Party Republican Steve Kraus unseated Ohio State Rep. Chris Redfern, chair of the state's Democratic Party. This upset occurred because Republicans had rigged the "election."
Now Kraus may lose his seat before even taking office. A grand jury has indicted Kraus on a host of felony charges stemming from the alleged theft of antiques and a shotgun from a house. A neighbor provided local police with photos of Kraus leaving the dwelling with some of the stolen items.
I guess it's only fitting that Republicans steal antiques, because the GOP is supported by antique voters espousing antique ideas.
Posted by Bandit at 10:46 AM
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Monday, November 17, 2014
Capitalism means that when you acquire one serious health problem, every other illness known to modern medicine seems to set in as well.
Due to abuse at school and the resulting fear and shame, I've lived with PTSD for 24 years. I endured further humiliation at the hands of talk radio blowhards who kept bumping their gums about how I can simply bring myself up by my bootstraps, and if I fail, it's my fault. Great use of our public airwaves!
Almost inevitably, PTSD leads to other medical issues, and I don't owe anyone any further explanation of why my health worsened prematurely. Last week, I had a blood test, and on Friday, I got the results: hypocobalaminemia. The phone call was brief but somber.
Hypocobalaminemia - a type of severe vitamin B12 deficiency - is serious. I have severe and irreversible central nervous system damage from it. That much was clear even before the diagnosis. The burning in my feet, the constant feeling of being crushed, and the growing inability to perform basic tasks was a sign of certain damage.
All of that is a done deal. The damage is done, and the symptoms aren't going away. Ever. That's just how the doo-doo glides. I can't fix it. The only thing I can do is try to prevent it from getting any worse. That's going to be tough to do, since I can't find any food packaging that tells you how much vitamin B12 the product has.
Since Friday, I've been pondering about whether I'm even physically able to keep doing everything I've been doing. Fact is, I'm not able to. If you think it's so easy, why don't you contract a vitamin deficiency and then try it? One thing is for sure: The more things change, the more the Far Right stays the same, and their response to my condition will be the same catatonic harangue that it's been for decades.
My current situation has a cause that can be directly traced to what happened 30 years ago. The perpetrators still haven't been punished for their past crimes. Do you expect them to now, knowing the silly clowns who are allowed to clutter up local elected offices? The punishment phase is long overdue, and justice delayed is justice denied.
As if this wasn't enough, the doctor's office called again today and said I have a serious vitamin D deficiency too. This is caused by lack of sunlight. I hope the climate change deniers are happy that their inaction has yielded the dividends I'm sure they were hoping for.
Posted by Bandit at 5:45 PM
Friday, November 14, 2014
Our unpopular local Republican congressweirdo, Thomas Massie, is always a fair target for laughter.
The guffaws keep coming, but on the other hand, Massie accidentally exposed a very serious issue. Complaining about how House Republicans offered no choice but John Boehner for Speaker, Massie groaned, "There was only one person on the ballot. It's just like North Korea."
Well, Massie could've voted for a Democrat instead, but the more important point is that not only is it like North Korea, it's also like northern Kentucky. In most of the county "elections" in Kenton and Boone counties recently, the Republicans were unopposed. This included such important races as Kenton County Judge-Executive, where the only candidate wanted the county to pass its own unconstitutional "right-to-work" law. Most local state legislative races were the same way. Then there's Fort Wright, where a birther conspiracy theorist ran unopposed for mayor. If Massie wants to grumble about having only one choice on the ballot, he should start with some of the counties in his district.
How is this any different from the Soviet Union? The U.S.S.R. had sham elections with only one candidate - just like the Republicans in northern Kentucky do.
It's undemocratic in the extreme, and it's the main reason I won't move to Kenton or Boone county. I value my right to vote in free and fair elections. My rights have been violated too many times to not take it seriously.
There oughter be a law. There should be a law that says unopposed candidates have to run a write-in campaign. Either that, or they should have to put "Moscow" before their name.
Posted by Bandit at 12:13 PM
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Once you realize the Far Right is rigging elections, it takes a lifetime of groveling for the claim to be taken seriously - regardless of how much proof you have in plain sight. The Really Serious People would rather side with The Winners, don't ya know.
But Catherine Rampell of the Washington Post writes that Republican-penned voter suppression laws and red tape are now making all the difference in election outcomes...
The article cites new registration requirements, shorter poll hours, and other ills for padding the GOP's electoral power. The cost of obtaining a voter ID can run as high as $175 - making it an unconstitutional poll tax. (The last poll tax in the U.S. to be struck down in the '60s was only $1.50.) The margin of the Republicans' victory in many races last week was actually less than the number of people denied the right to vote under these policies.
This is the first time in a quarter-century I can recall any major media coverage of large-scale Republican election rigging. The last time I remember it mentioned was after the 1988 "election" when there was a tiny blurb in the newspaper about how poll workers in Santa Barbara, California, were ordered to throw away votes for Michael Dukakis.
Proof of rigged elections continues. How can you explain the fact that the GOP cleaned up in this cycle only in partisan elections? In nonpartisan elections and referendums, our side cleaned up. This shows the voting machines were preprogrammed to favor Republicans. This can't be done when there's no partisan label.
Perhaps the greater proof is this: Who the hell would vote for these idiots?! Remember, we're talking about the likes of David Perdue, Joni Ernst, and Scott DesJarlais here.
Posted by Bandit at 1:36 PM
Friday, November 7, 2014
Anyone remember a guy named Clint Curtis? Several years ago, he exposed how the Republicans hired him to write voting machine software to rig elections...
If you know how to write software for voting machines or vote scanners, then you know how to rig it for a specific party. Hell, I'd know how to do it if the software was in Atari BASIC. It doesn't take a genius. If you're rigging it for the Republicans, for instance, all you need to do is just program the machine to overcount votes for any candidate with a Republican label, or undercount votes for their opponents.
Why do you think the Republicans did so well in partisan elections this time, while our side cleaned up in nonpartisan races and referendums? Is there any other explanation for it?
Posted by Bandit at 12:09 AM
Thursday, November 6, 2014
I think I've found the strangest candidate to win any "election" this past Tuesday.
Michael Peroutka was the presidential candidate of the misnamed Constitution Party in 2004. During the campaign, he appeared on a white supremacist radio show and called the program "a great blessing to our cause." He later became the biggest donor to Roy Moore's 2012 campaign for Alabama Supreme Court.
Now Peroutka is a Tea Party Republican, and recently he won a seat on the Republican Central Committee in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. And now he's actually won the general election for a seat on county council!
The man is weird. He says civil rights laws are invalid because "there is no such thing as a civil right." He claims gays recruit. He's a neo-Confederate secessionist. He claims to be for "limited government", but as an example of this stance, he said that "the function of civil government is to obey God and to enforce God's law."
Peroutka has also founded something called the Institute on the Constitution, which trains and nurtures Tea Party activists.
Another 1-percenter might be giving Peroutka some serious competition though. Gordon Klingenschmitt, another Tea Party Republican, was elected state representative in a heavily Republican district in Colorado. He once wrote a book claiming President Obama is possessed by demons. He also claimed gay soldiers take breaks from combat "to change diapers all because their treacherous sin causes them to lose control of their bowels."
The Republican brain rot virus must still be active in Peroutka's and Klingenschmitt's respective districts.
Posted by Bandit at 9:27 PM
What a big day it's been for right-wing judges asking to be impeached for their judicial activism.
This story comes to us from Indiana. Not long ago, a court there properly blocked the state's right-to-scab law because the Indiana Constitution prohibits demanding services without compensation. But today, the far-right Indiana Supreme Court upheld the KKK-backed work-for-less law as constitutional.
Why? Because they're extremists who legislate from the bench, that's why.
Posted by Bandit at 9:12 PM
One of the things we've been discussing over the past couple days is how to effectively fight back against the scoundrels of the Republican Right.
I'm not gonna be "the better man." I'm gonna do the Far Right the way they've done us. Fight fire with fire. Moderation doesn't work with them.
In other words, they will be exposed. I don't mean just their leaders. I mean their rank-and-file who spam websites with their garbage. Kind of like what we did with John Luebbers after his Facebook meltdown.
So, today we're exposing one Jim Wurst of Langley, Oklahoma. He stomps onto left-leaning Facebook groups and spams them with his vitriol.
That's because he's a Tea Party guy who has time to waste on stuff like that.
And here's another idiot who's been doing the same thing: Anthony Marrale of Kansas City, Missouri.
The Evil Empire talks shit about us, so we respond in kind. Fair is fair.
Posted by Bandit at 7:46 PM
Wednesday, November 5, 2014
The Republican Right doesn't know when to shut up - despite still having no mandate to govern.
Now that voters in Shannon County, South Dakota, have voted 80% to change the county's name to Oglala Lakota County, the predominantly white supremacist South Dakota legislature thinks it has to approve the change before it becomes official.
Wrong. It's the people's county. It's not the legislature's county.
For one thing, the entire county is part of Pine Ridge Indian Reservation - a sovereign territory.
I go by what the county says. Not by what the legislature says. As far as I'm concerned, the name change is official. As a cartographer in my side job, I will consider the change official in all that I do.
The people's county, the people's rules. Not the legislature's county, not the legislature's rules.
Posted by Bandit at 2:59 PM
More evidence that partisanship ruined only partisan elections this time. Almost everything else is ours.
Yesterday there were referendums in 12 cities in Wisconsin to amend the Constitution to abolish personhood for corporations. Voters in each of the 12 cities approved the measure with at least 70% support.
This ranks up there with that nonpartisan judicial race locally that the Tea Party lost by 20%.
So which side really has the mandate to govern?
Posted by Bandit at 2:17 PM
Why did the Tea Party think it was a good idea to start attacking teachers? Team Tyranny gets mad at me for getting expelled from 4 schools (because that's "disrespecting authority"), but I'm not the one behind the war on teachers. They are.
A Tea Party-backed group got a referendum on the ballot in Missouri that would have banned tenure for teachers and fired them over students' standardized test scores.
Luckily, voters defeated the measure yesterday.
So voters all over America wanted to keep quality teachers, increase the minimum wage, end marijuana prohibition, and reject Tea Party judges as long as it was in a nonpartisan election. But they "elected" Republicans in partisan races, because apparently they think the modern GOP loves teachers, other workers, and civil liberties. Something seems fishy.
Posted by Bandit at 12:53 PM
Before I go out tonight, I have a rather interesting note for county collectors far and wide resulting from yesterday's election.
Shannon County, South Dakota, consists of two-thirds of Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. This rural bailiwick is quite impoverished and is one of the most Democratic counties in America. It's also where the Wounded Knee massacre took place.
The county was named after Peter Shannon, a jurist who was involved in swindling the Lakota people out of their land. Yesterday there was a referendum to change the name of the county to Oglala Lakota County.
The measure passed with 80% - well exceeding the two-thirds it needed.
To the county's residents, this is a far more important matter than it is for out-of-state travelers who are just counting counties.
Posted by Bandit at 11:31 AM
Honestly, does anyone care about this loser anymore?
Incumbent Hopkins County Attorney Todd P'Pool - who was the Tea Party candidate for Kentucky Attorney General in 2011 - has been defeated in an upset.
At the same time, indicted right-wing State Rep. Ben Waide lost his bid for Hopkins County Judge-Executive.
Posted by Bandit at 2:49 AM
I'm going out this evening, and we're all going to have some serious discussion about what went down all across the nation yesterday.
No waiting until the following September this time. And no waiting 12 years like in 1994. (At least our waits are getting shorter.) We're gonna hash this out over a nice hot pizza and maybe some cold beer. Today.
We've put up with all we're gonna put up with, and that's what the meeting is about.
Let me be clear: This is unacceptable, and there will be accountability. As a progressive leader in this community, I will not stand for it. None of us should. It is disgraceful, and I will not tolerate it. Period.
The problem will be fixed.
Posted by Bandit at 1:35 AM
Man, that Tea Party is really a "limited government" bunch!
Why, they're so opposed to government overreach that in yesterday's "election", they defeated a referendum in Arkansas that would've ended alcohol prohibition in some counties.
Now that's freedomness, Tea Party style!
Posted by Bandit at 12:27 AM
Tuesday, November 4, 2014
Incidentally, here's a tidbit of good news - even though it's geographically too far away from us to enjoy it.
Remember last year when the NRA mounted a do-over campaign against several Colorado lawmakers and flipped those seats to the Republicans? Well, both seats in the Colorado Senate that were affected by this have now flipped back to the Democrats.
So there's that, despite The Media.
Posted by Bandit at 11:23 PM
In my day, we never thought we'd see this, but this item will make Kentuckians thankful the Democrats still control the Kentucky House.
The Republicans just took the West Virginia House by probably a margin of 62 to 38.
So there's that, thanks to The Media.
Posted by Bandit at 11:19 PM
Well, peeps, this is the item I was watching most closely, and - by some miracle - it broke our way.
The Republicans have been gloating the entire cycle that this would be the year they'd accomplish their Holy Grail of winning a majority in the Kentucky House. That's what all that "FLIP THE HOUSE LOLOLOL" garbage was about.
As hilarity would have it, they came up vastly short. There's even at least one Republican incumbent who lost. (Unfortunately it wasn't 7-Cent Joe.)
This was more important than any other item, because we knew the U.S. Congress would be effectively locked regardless - and in Kentucky, the legislature has most of the real power anyway.
But don't flush too soon, because the modern GOP has no respect for democratic republicanism, and the only reason they took the Kentucky Senate some years back was through party switches. But almost all the party switches in the Kentucky House in recent years have been from Republican to Democratic.
In the meantime, we need to have a serious conference about media bias.
Posted by Bandit at 9:52 PM
Hate to be the bringer of good news, since you were having such a great time pouting about the rest of the results today, but here it comes: Teresa Cunningham - Tea Party candidate for Kentucky Supreme Court - has been defeated by a margin of about 25 percentage points.
I guess people know how to think for themselves as long as there's not a party label cluttering up the ballot.
Posted by Bandit at 8:52 PM
Well, I guess this is good news - in a night full of stinkers.
Jeff Jobe - the right-wing Kentucky House candidate known for his repeated DUI busts - lost pretty handily, so that's one more hurdle the Tea Party needs to clear.
I guess the "poor me" act didn't work for him like it usually does for Republicans in close elections who are caught in some scandal like this.
Posted by Bandit at 8:33 PM
In 2008, bubble gum expert Mitch McConnell won Campbell County by 25 percentage points. Now he's winning it by only 9 (exactly the margin I predicted) - a 16-point drop for him.
So naturally, CNN called the election for McConnell. Smooth move, CNN.
Posted by Bandit at 7:10 PM
So the fix is in early this time, I see.
After voting machines in North Carolina were caught flipping votes to Republican candidates, the same problem has been discovered in Pennsylvania.
In Cumberland County, a voting machine was caught flipping a vote in the gubernatorial election from Democratic to Republican. Election officials breezily dismissed it as a "calibration issue", but that's an excuse the GOP has used a lot in recent years.
It'll be a long night.
Posted by Bandit at 12:39 PM
After you get home from the polling place today - where I'm sure you voted against the Far Right - settle down with the latest ish of The Last Word, that fanzine of freedom that's had your back since 1993.
The latest edition talks 'bout these amazing things...
• My trip to Texas and Oklahoma where people peed on stuff and we ate spoiled food.
• Airlines ruining people's vacations some more.
• The man who flushed nails down the toilet.
• The long-forgotten TV series 'Code Red'.
• More Dungeons & Dragons hilarity.
• And more!
So - as usual - point your pooper here. But vote first...
Posted by Bandit at 11:35 AM
Monday, November 3, 2014
Today I went to the Alison Lundergan Grimes rally at Newport on the Levee. It drew about 300 people! This contrasts with Mitch McConnell's rallies, which usually draw about 15 people - who have to be paid to show up.
I would post a photo of this event except that Blogspot - in another cavalcade of Google stupid - no longer displays the rest of your recent blog entries if you include a picture.
Also at the Grimes rally, some old man bubbled.
Posted by Bandit at 8:35 PM
Sunday, November 2, 2014
Oh look, another story of Republican cheating that Chuck Todd and the rest of The Media are gonna ignore!
This time it's in North Carolina. Early voters in Greensboro are reporting that their votes for Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan are being flipped to fascist Republican challenger Thom Tillis. The machines have done it repeatedly. There have been at least 14 reports like this in Guilford County alone.
Well, folks, the North Carolina Republican Party isn't gonna arrest themselves.
Posted by Bandit at 7:14 PM
The election is coming up on Tuesday, and 2 facts have emerged that broadly define this midterm.
First, I've never seen such strong opposition to Republicans on the ground - certainly not in my adult life, and probably not in my entire life. This is a factual statement. This isn't mere speculation. This is real.
But more importantly, I've never seen such strong support for Republicans in The Media as I do now. Ever. And I've never seen so many outright lies spread by the press to back it up. Their lies can be disproven in an instant, but they double down. A Daily Kos commenter says there hasn't been as much "across-the-board, blatant, open, deep media bias like this year at any point since the 2000 election." Nope. It's worse than 2000.
Who do you think wins this battle? The people or The Media? I had strong hopes for this cycle before the press swiftboated Montana Sen. John Walsh. But no more.
Make no mistake: The GOP in 2014 is downright dangerous - especially in state legislatures.
What will you do starting Wednesday after the results are in? Here are your options...
2) Move to Vermont or Detroit.
3) Wait 10 months, start a movement that's effective for 2 years before letting Tea Party members in so you can "understand" them, and watch them destroy it.
4) Fight back like an adult.
I know which options I'm doing. It may involve some combination of the above.
Posted by Bandit at 1:19 PM
Saturday, November 1, 2014
Some things are facts, and some things are opinions. For instance, whether the toilet seat should be left up or down when nobody is using it is an opinion - not a fact.
But whether the Mitch McConnell campaign has committed several felonies with its new mailer is not an opinion. It is a fact. Team Glitch has sent out an intimidating letter to voters with the words "Election Violation Notice" on the envelope. The letter warns folks that they "are at risk of acting on fraudulent information" if they vote for Alison Lundergan Grimes. The Grimes campaign has been fielding calls from voters who are afraid of being arrested when they vote.
The Grimes camp has filed a lawsuit against the Kentucky GOP over the mailer and has requested a criminal investigation. The mailer violates a state law - KRS 516.030 - that makes it a felony to deceive folks into thinking a piece of mail is an official government document. It also violates KRS 119.155, which makes it a felony to engage in voter intimidation. And those are just the state laws. Federal laws against mail fraud and voter intimidation were violated too.
That the law was broken is unambiguous. Sure it hasn't gone to trial yet, but that doesn't mean no law was broken. If someone punched me in the face, I wouldn't need to wait for the trial to know they punched me in the face.
This scandal - just the latest to surround Mr. Elbow Care - is probably too late to bolster Grimes's election numbers, but it raises an important question: What if McConnell wins the election and gets indicted shortly thereafter?
Posted by Bandit at 7:34 PM
Friday, October 31, 2014
The city of St. George, Utah, is one of the Tea Party's strongholds.
Tea Party public officials there support "limited government" so much that they've banned dancing.
A few days ago, police broke up a Halloween party there because the party allowed dancing. The owner of the venue was forced to announce over the loudspeaker that no dancing was to occur for the rest of the evening. "It was the strangest thing I've ever seen," he said.
Over the past 3 years, the city has come under increasing fire for its heightening stance against dancing. The city has gone after other venues too. One resident reports being kicked out of their own birthday party at a club because they couldn't hold still during the music. Plus, the nearby town of Washington has also shut down dances.
This story has implications even outside Utah. In just the past few weeks, I've noticed the Tea Party is starting to revert to its culture war appeals that have been largely absent since they were wrapped in the soiled "values voter" banner a decade ago. For example, Wisconsin's embattled Tea Party Gov. Scott Walker now wants to ban X-rated pay-per-view movies. The culture war is coming back here too - in elections for Kentucky Supreme Court, Campbell County Fiscal Court, and other offices.
Let it. I'm not afraid of it, because that's not how you win public support in 2014. Plus, it proves that the Tea Party's claim to support "limited government" is a lie. Moreover, when you start doing things like banning dancing, the rules are easy enough to break. The 2014 Tim can't be controlled - and you know that, after I smuggled soft drinks into Riverfest year after year. On the other hand, some Tea Party social controls are a real life-and-death matter, so keep an eye on the situation.
Posted by Bandit at 2:10 PM
Thursday, October 30, 2014
I'm convinced Kentucky Republicans can no longer win seriously contested elections without cheating. But nobody stops 'em.
Except this time, now that there's at least a few people who are making an effort to rein in the ongoing election fraud. The Kentucky Attorney General's office says it has received a complaint of voter intimidation in the town of Berea. A right-wing group called Concerned Citizens of Berea has placed a full-page ad in a local newspaper threatening college students if they try to vote.
There's a law that lets students who live on campus vote from their school address. But the ad tells students that their vote is "subject to be challenged" and that they "could face significant penalties" if they try to vote. Kentuckians for the Commonwealth has asked the Attorney General to investigate the ad's threats.
Make no mistake: The Senate election in Kentucky hinges entirely on turnout. Bad turnout means 6 more years of Mr. Elbow Care. To suppress turnout is a form of cheating.
Posted by Bandit at 11:07 PM
I realize that if you're a Republican candidate for public office in Campbell County, you're probably not going to take advice from me, but I'm a fair man, so I'll offer some advice anyway.
Today I received a mailer from a GOP incumbent in a certain elected office in Campbell County. It touted his endorsement from - of all people - my former gym teacher who physically assaulted me and caused me to get expelled from middle school. There were numerous complaints against this teacher over the years by many students and parents. More recently, I've discovered that this man has amassed a criminal record in a nearby county. This instructor is positively one of the most evil individuals I've ever had the misfortune of dealing with. I could drop a fucking bowling ball on his head and be grinning the whole time.
So here's my advice: If you're a political candidate, don't accept endorsements from criminals like my former gym teacher. At minimum, don't send me mail bragging of this endorsement.
Posted by Bandit at 8:14 PM
Ohio's Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald is still being blasted by The Media for having at most a limited driver's license for several years. But to the best of anyone's knowledge, FitzGerald never drove drunk.
Meanwhile, Jeff Jobe - a far-right Republican candidate for Kentucky House - got busted for driving drunk on an expired license. He was convicted and jailed. Months later, Jobe was busted for DUI again!
Of course, there's been no negative press for Jobe over his recklessness. Maybe it's because he owns a newspaper in his district, which he has used to repeatedly make excuses for his careless behavior. In fact, the second arrest occurred after Jobe hemmed and hawed in his paper about how sorry he was for the first incident, so it's clear he didn't learn his lesson the first time like he claimed to. But that doesn't excuse the rest of the media for ignoring the story - after they destroyed FitzGerald for much less.
This is the party that the press wants to have in control of the Kentucky House?
Hey, if it's fair to go after Ed FitzGerald, it's more than fair to go after Jeff Jobe. So tough toilets, GOPstapo.
Posted by Bandit at 7:14 PM
I need to dig up one of my trademark sayings of the late '90s. Ready for it? Here it comes...
I used to do lots of voopings to correct others' misunderstandings or erroneous information, and the redistricting of Kentucky House seats forces me to revive this mothballed saying.
To comply with the redistricted map promulgated by legislators, Campbell County had to form a new voting precinct that - according to census figures - has no residents. The precinct is called Fort Thomas T and stretches for several miles along the Ohio River between Dayton and Silver Grove. But that's not the real problem in this story. The problem is what would occur if someone actually moved to this precinct and tried to vote.
The strip of land in this precinct generally isn't considered habitable, but one could set up a houseboat on the river. The problem is that county officials said that if a person does this, it doesn't count as a real address.
Then what does count as the person's real address? Voting is a duty and a right - not a privilege. If I set up a houseboat there, the first thing I'd do is update my voter registration and find out where my local polling place is - exactly like I did immediately the other 2 times I've relocated.
Where you live is where you vote. There's a few exceptions - for instance, U.S. military personnel who live overseas may vote as a resident of the American locale where they lived most recently. For a civilian who meets all the voting requirements and lives on American soil, there should be little question about where they vote. As with our fighting men and women, there should be no question at all about whether they can vote. I wouldn't want soldiers serving abroad to be denied their right to vote - and the same goes for civilians living on a houseboat.
Even if a person is homeless altogether, they have a right to vote. If I became homeless, I would insist on it and would fight to the bitter end for this right. Some already have: Voter turnout among the homeless is 10%. Voting is as much of a right for the homeless as it is for everyone else, and official sources back me up on this: The state of Colorado, for example, has a website that says a homeless person may use a park or vacant lot as their address when they register to vote. I'd also have no objection to electing a homeless person to public office.
Incidentally, here's a little hint: A houseboat in Fort Thomas T would likely have an address of Mary Ingles Highway, 41075. I checked the LinkGIS map. Much of that stretch has no house numbers, but it's still a valid address. (Grove & Jefferson didn't have a number either until recently.)
Voting and serving in public office shouldn't be reserved just for nobility like some folks think it should be or accept that it is.
Posted by Bandit at 12:41 AM
Sunday, October 26, 2014
The buffoonish morons of the Ku Klux Klan held a rally in northern Kentucky yesterday, and they wound up looking like buffoonish morons.
According to reports, the event took place on Houston Road in Florence, and the Klanscritters were decked out in their trademark robes. You know there's a Klan presence in Boone County judging by election results there lately. At about 6 PM, the KKK began waving guns at passersby in the parking lot of Steak 'n Shake. They thought they could scare people. Witnesses say one person was arrested.
Guess they were bored because Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day was over.
Posted by Bandit at 1:25 PM
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Did you know that there's an election for the Kentucky Supreme Court seat in northern Kentucky coming up on Election Day? Sure. Sure you did, boys and girls.
Incumbent Michelle Keller faces a far-right challenger by the name of Teresa Cunningham. Cunningham - who has no judicial experience - was hand-picked by the Tea Party and shows not even a pretense of supporting an independent judiciary.
Judicial races are supposed to be nonpartisan. But Cunningham has turned this election into a Republican freak show. In addition to her claims to be a "constitutional conservative", another Cunningham talking point is that she's a Republican - as if she's running in a GOP primary instead of a general election. The Boone County Republicans have also gone all in for Cunningham despite this being a supposedly nonpartisan contest.
Even though Cunningham claims to support "limited government", she (with the help of far-right Campbell County Commissioner Brian Painter) keeps attacking Keller for a ruling that actually placed a limit on government overreach. This is just further proof that the Tea Party hasn't outgrown fighting over culture war issues where they're on the losing side of history.
A commenter on a local website even called Cunningham "the scariest judicial candidate I have ever seen."
The average American is moving left, but Teresa Cunningham's Tea Party just pulls our rulers further right. It's a surefire recipe for disaster, and that's why we have to be on guard - and not wuss out like the appeasers do. Meanwhile, a candidate who claims God speaks through Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson is about to become Lieutenant Governor of Texas. Somehow, we don't think that's what the Founding Fathers had in mind.
Posted by Bandit at 5:48 PM
The Democrats have disappointed me before - even when there was no political or moral justification for them to do so. But, with Kentucky's credible third parties missing in action during this election cycle, some of the state's Democrats have taken some baby steps to reclaim the mantle of progress, and we have more confidence in their policies than at any other time in years. The Tea Party jailbreak of 2010 flushed out much of the Third Way dead weight that had been holding the Democrats back, and nobody here misses it. The current election has become an uphill climb, thanks to The Media doubling down on their Republican bias after Occupy scorched them in 2012, but that doesn't put a diaper on our voter enthusiasm.
The Democratic candidates could be much better, of course. Only a fool would deny this. But what do you expect when we have a media that has spent decades inching the center of debate to the right? In 2014, a vote for the Democrats is a vote against an arrogant right-wing media that thinks it has a right to set the agenda.
We will vote for Alison Lundergan Grimes for U.S. Senate - thanks to her support for labor and a higher minimum wage. We'll also vote Democratic for Kentucky Senate and even for Campbell County races. Democratic candidates for Campbell County Fiscal Court have helped moved the party from the right back to the center with a unified stance against the regressive 911 tax that was enacted by the court's Tea Party Republicans. In doing so, the Democrats have also proven that the Tea Party doesn't get to monopolize anti-tax sentiment. Meanwhile, Joe Fischer - far-right Republican state representative for southern and central Campbell County - continues to endorse increasing the sales tax.
As more proof that the Tea Party's claims to support limited government ring hollow, local Republicans have doubled down in their support for unconstitutional "right-to-work" laws that require workers to subsidize nonunion labor and infringe on the right to freely bargain. "Right-to-work" laws are modeled after laws passed in Nazi Germany and supported by the KKK. Tea Party Republicans are even trying to repeal Kentucky's popular 2011 correction reforms that have helped reduce crime and ease the region's longstanding heroin epidemic.
All the Republican candidates for Campbell County Fiscal Court are backers of the authoritarian Tea Party. Most notably, GOP candidate Charlie Coleman is a key plaintiff in the Tea Party's frivolous lawsuit to shut down local libraries. Local Republicans provide no solutions - just extremist garbage. The Democrats at least have a plan to pay for a new library without hiking taxes. Coleman has also stated that you should be required to own real property to be able to vote - a requirement that would be unconstitutional.
The Republican Right is also responsible for the scandal enveloping the airport board. Plus, they've gutted a popular domestic violence bill in the state legislature. They want to repeal prevailing wage laws and pass an ALEC-backed bill that would allow phone companies to stop offering landline service (even in areas where cell phone coverage is weak). They want to make Kentucky the first state to repeal Medicaid expansion since the Affordable Care Act passed. And local Republicans have been cavorting with a convicted sex offender and have accepted his support. (That criminal proudly posts pictures of himself with GOP bigwigs on his Facebook page.)
We're not going full Hillary for 2016, because the former First Lady is much too far to the right. Thankfully, despite some flaws, local Democrats in 2014 are not Hillary.
We reiterate: Because of right-wing media bias, this cycle is an uphill battle. Just as important as this election is the militancy we must show afterward in fighting against right-wing extremism. We must be prepared to take America back the hard way. Otherwise, decent Americans just don't stand a chance against the 1%.
Posted by Bandit at 12:18 PM
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
The Ebola epidemic has seen enough blood on the hands of the conservative movement to create all the red ink for all of their lie-filled campaign mailings. First, they defunded federal health agencies - agencies that would have produced an Ebola vaccination by now if it wasn't for this defunding. Now they want the government to stop new efforts to make Ebola vaccines - because these efforts involve stem cell research.
A Religious Right group called Children of God for Life accuses the Obama administration of being "completely irresponsible" for approving and fast-tracking these projects. This group is urging its Tea Party followers to bombard the government with demands that it halt work on this program.
I don't care to hear another word ever again accusing us of being "anti-vaxxers" for opposing dangerous chemicals in vaccines, when the Far Right is trying to stop vaccines altogether. If Team Tyranny forces this project to be scuttled, and the Ebola outbreak worsens because of it, there ought to be murder charges against Children of God for Life.
Posted by Bandit at 2:27 PM
"Give back to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's."
Those are Jesus's words (Matthew 22:21). The Republican Right and the Tea Party claim to be messengers of God, but the conservative movement contradicts what Jesus taught.
The above saying refers to separation of church and state, and the necessity of taxation. Jesus also said that "it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God" (Matthew 19:24). Taken together, these well-known sayings show the rectitude of a progressive tax system - which the Far Right opposes. (Similar translations of these sayings appear in other gospels.)
To "give back to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's" limits some aspects of government while expanding others. The problem for the conservative movement is that it limits the parts they want expanded - while expanding the parts they want limited. Jesus's phrase is more or less diametrically opposed to the Far Right's agenda.
Have the self-anointed holy sentinels of the right wing even read anything that's in the Bible? Perhaps, but they just don't care what it says. It's just like how I'm sure their legislators have read the Constitution - because anyone who's taken 7th grade civics has - but they don't care about it.
Christians really are being persecuted - but by the Right, not the Left.
Posted by Bandit at 11:04 AM
Sunday, October 12, 2014
Today I returned from a 9-day-long road trip across this fine land - centered largely on Guadalupe Mountains National Park in Texas. I also visited a couple of official presidential museums on the way home.
I saw many ruined restrooms on this trip - including at least one plopping! I also detected a couple of bunker blasts. But the only celebrity look-alikes I saw were Judge Mills Lane and Madeline Kahn. Spoiled food was devoured too! Details loom in the next ish of The Last Word.
Also, a young woman who worked at a Pizza Hut in Kermit, Texas, was seen bubbling. It is also rumored that a visitor of the Harry Truman museum in Missouri bubbled, but I did not witness this timeless act.
Posted by Bandit at 9:35 PM
Friday, October 3, 2014
My mish plans, the looming election, and my other work activities brang an abbreviated edition of The Last Word this month, but it's still enough to peep and weep.
This ish talks about TV shows evading the censors, the world's dumbest crime-fighting technique, toilet lid covers, and other stuff about toilets and farting.
So read The Last Word before The Last Word reads you...
Posted by Bandit at 12:23 PM
Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Ba-de-ya, folks! Ba-de-ya!
Several days ago, I posted a batch of new Roads Scholaring photos - focusing primarily on September's Peace Bike Scholaring in Newport.
So do what millions have already done, by pointing your pooper here...
Posted by Bandit at 12:04 AM
Tuesday, September 30, 2014
This is the third negative story in a row about the Tea Party that I've found necessary to post. After all, they're the Tea Party. It's not like they've ever contributed anything positive.
Now, Americans for Prosperity - one of the country's leading Tea Party groups - has been caught up in an election fraud scandal in North Carolina, which has become one of the most politically competitive states. AFP was caught red-handed sending out a mailing to hundreds of thousands of voters designed to suppress voting. The mailings gave the wrong deadline for registering to vote, the wrong address for registration questions, the wrong zip code for turning in registration forms, and the wrong information on how voters will be informed of what precinct they're in.
Plus, many mailings were addressed to dead people, cats, and other ineligible voters.
AFP just committed a felony. And I don't give a shit if AFP knows I said this about their precious little club. I know they're monitoring me, after they added me to one of their social networking accounts, and I don't care.
Officials with North Carolina's State Board of Elections say they've been fielding nonstop phone calls from angry voters complaining about the mailings.
May the Tea Party's faces fall off in public.
Posted by Bandit at 12:17 AM
Monday, September 29, 2014
The Tea Party doesn't take it well when their lies get debunked in front of the whole nation.
This right-wing hate group played up last year's IRS "scandal" in which they claimed the agency was unfairly singling them out. But it turned out the IRS was actually much tougher on Occupy groups.
After Lois Lerner - director of the IRS's Exempt Organizations Unit - stepped down in the wake of the Tea Party's manufactured controversy, the Tea Party continued to target her. For starts, disgraced Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas) filed a bill that would order Capitol police to arrest Lerner. Now Lerner has reported receiving Tea Party hate mail calling her a "dirty Jew" (in the Tea Party's words). Federal agents have had to guard her home due to death threats.
But Lois Lerner doesn't hide from the Tea Party criminals who want her dead. She told Politico, "I'm proud of my career and the job I did for this country."
After Lerner revealed the bigotry and threats she suffered, right-wing websites ridiculed her for her interview. That's because the Far Right overall is just as bigoted as the hate mail suggests.
I do not follow any religion, but I'm acquainted with good people from a variety of religious backgrounds. An offense to some should be considered an offense to all. If you support the Tea Party, you're supporting anti-Semitism. At all the Occupy events I've been to, I've never heard any Occupy participants utter anything that was an expression of prejudice against any group of people.
Think of the worst bigots you know. Notice they've joined the Tea Party, not Occupy.
The Media is just as guilty for supporting the Tea Party. Not surprising, considering the press's long list of prejudices. For example, The Media displayed their bias against gays by promoting the preposterous Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day in 2012 after that fast food chain donated to an antigay hate group.
Be careful who you hate. It could be someone you pretended you loved.
Posted by Bandit at 3:42 PM
Sunday, September 28, 2014
The Occupy coalition should have sliced off its right wing long ago, and nobody can say I didn't provide fair warning. The atmosphere of unconditional appeasement that has plagued Occupy lately is one of the reasons - along with unchecked media bias - I've acquired such a pessimistic mood about the midterms in the past few weeks.
Occupy in its earlier stages never would have surrendered like it does now, but these days, that's all they ever do. Half the Occupy pages on Facebook now are indistinguishable from the Tea Party droid sites that became ubiquitous before Occupy. Take the site for Occupy Victoria in British Columbia, for example. Despite the recent climate change march in New York that drew 500,000 (which the right-wing media ignored), Occupy Victoria's page is primarily a climate change denier site now, and they even post propaganda to that effect from Tea Party websites. The site for Occupy Aspen in Colorado long ago became a lost cause. (John Denver is dancing with the mountains in his grave.)
Fact of the matter is, our side should be significantly ahead in the polls right now. One of the reasons it isn't - again, in addition to media bias - is Occupy's unconditional surrender.
The mere fact that the Tea Party has picked a small-time Miss Cleo to run in a school board election should make November a slam-dunk for us. But it isn't. The fact that Steven Maynard has become one of the leaders of the Kentucky GOP should make things as easy as shooting oranges in a barrel. But it hasn't. Mitch McConnell saying Israel has a dome and Sarah Palin saying the White House is at 1400 Pennsylvania Avenue should send us cruising to victory. But it hasn't. A Tea Party candidate for Campbell County Commissioner filing a frivolous lawsuit against the library should give our side an almost automatic win. But it hasn't.
It's bad enough to keep having to fight this battle every 6 to 8 years, so who in Occupy thought it was a good idea to make us fight it every 2 years? I hope the appeasers within Occupy enjoy our new right-wing Senate - because that's exactly what we're gonna end up with because of them. I know voter turnout is important, but you always have to assume our side has much lighter turnout - in addition to suffering vote suppression. Why make it worse by allowing Occupy to be taken over by the Far Right?
When the GOP wins Senate seats in places like Colorado and Iowa that shouldn't even be close, how will Occupy react? Will a new movement emerge a few months later like Occupy did after the last midterm - only to be gutted in another 3 years?
You don't play nice with fascists. The looming electoral disaster is a perfect illustration of why. Don't cry to me on the morning after the election, because I warned Occupy about this danger right from the giddy-up.
Posted by Bandit at 1:20 AM
Friday, September 26, 2014
In the wacky world of Windows, the modus operandi is usually one step forward and a billion steps back, and the way Microsoft has mishandled its Windows Movie Maker application is a perfect example of this.
For years, I've used this program - which once had a reliable version included with Windows - for my 'Lawn Chair Quarterback' vignettes and other projects. The computer I buyed 3 years ago - the one I just retired because a mandatory Windows 7 update all but hosed it - didn't include it, so I had to download it when I got that machine. Later, I had to download a newer version, because the old version stopped working properly.
My new computer includes a brand new version of Windows Movie Maker, but it bears no resemblance to the old version that I knew how to use, so I downloaded an old version. But the old edition doesn't work on the new computer. Of course. So I had to teach myself how to use the new version.
That might have been the end of it, except now I can't figure out how to cut and paste audio from the same video. The 'LCQ' I had planned for this week needed this feature - and there's to be no arguing about it. So I asked around on Twitter and Facebook where I could find this feature in the new version. I needed the answer by 9 PM tonight, or 'LCQ' gets it.
I never got an answer. That's because the self-styled technological wizards at Windows got rid of this feature in the new version.
So no more 'LCQ'. All because Windows can't get its poop in a group. Cut and paste of audio is one of the most simple features a video editing program in 2014 should have, and the new Movie Maker doesn't even have it.
Maybe someday, Windows will come out with a Collector's Edition of Windows Movie Maker that has all 16.4.3528.0331 versions of this program on a deluxe set of 20 CD's. Then 'LCQ' may come back, and you'll laugh again.
Posted by Bandit at 9:08 PM
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
I amassed 98 Roads Scholaring photos during last month's St. Louis trip. And that's not even an "if poo." That's an "if certainty."
As usual, you're gonna peep 'em and weep 'em...
Posted by Bandit at 10:03 PM
Sunday, September 21, 2014
Sometimes you really can have too much of a good thing - even ploppings.
I went to the Saturday installment of Cincinnati's Oktoberfest - which I call Ploptoberfest, as you know. I call it that because people always put things in the toilets in the portable outhouses. It's been going on for years.
This time, we got more than we bargained for. Early in the day, I noticed someone had put a pair of underpants in a toilet. It's unclear whether they were poopy. Later, I noticed someone had thrown a stick of underarm antiperspirant in a toilet. People actually talked about that plopping. I heard a man mention it while emerging from that outhouse. Later still, I saw that someone had put what looked like part of a broken toy squirt gun in a toilet.
All these ploppings were hilarious, of course, but the resulting messes in the portable restrooms forced me to leave Ploptoberfest early. The restrooms were filthy, and this was the most crowded Ploptoberfest I've ever seen - so the lines for the restrooms became way too long. I think some of the outhouses had to be taken out of service due to ploppings. And I really had to go. I'm talking about a deuce, folks. There was no way in hell I was going to use a restroom that was in such disrepair for that - especially with the line that would expand outside. So I decided to embark (arf arf!) on the 20-minute ride home just so I could enjoy a clean johndola. In brief (ahem), the ploppings were apparently so pervasive that they caused the huge restroom lines that defined the festival.
There was other mischief too. To the surprise of nobody, I saw some guy stealing one of the life-sized cardboard cutouts of the Samuel Adams beer man. He was seen walking away from Fountain Square carrying the cutout.
The only celebrity look-alike I saw was one of the most uproarious I've seen in a while. I saw a Phil Collins look-alike who was wearing a Payne Stewart hat just like Phil Collins used to do.
Also, I saw 2 people who were in such a festive mood that they bubbled.
Posted by Bandit at 12:56 AM
Friday, September 19, 2014
Up in Wisconsin, the Tea Party has now formed its own "militia" to intimidate voters at the polls. They call theirselves the Wisconsin Poll Watcher Militia. I seem to recall True the Vote doing something like this a few years back (while all their voter fraud complaints were being discredited), but the tough talk isn't scaring anyone.
The Wisconsin Poll Watcher Militia's main targets are folks who signed the petition to support the recall election against fascist Gov. Scott Walker 2 years ago. On their Facebook page, this "militia" posted a message declaring, "Wisconsin Poll Watcher Militia is a force that is armed. Do not approach our members by engaging in a physical hostile act because you are going to get put down like a rabid dog."
If I lived in Wisconsin, my message would be this: I dare you. They lay a finger on me, they get a bloody face. I wonder if they even carry weapons, because they're probably such wusses that they're afraid of scissors and paper airplanes.
These right-wing thugs plan to conduct "militia training" tomorrow where they will hand out "watch lists" of voters to harass.
Voter intimidation is a crime.
Posted by Bandit at 7:07 PM
The First Amendment is under attack in Michigan.
After the Wolverine State passed its hated "right-to-work" law, the Far Right still hasn't gotten its class hatred out of their system. They never do. The draconian welfare "reform" law of 1996 wasn't enough for them, and "right-to-work" isn't either. So now Tea Party State Rep. Kevin Daley has introduced a bill that would make it illegal for workers to publicize the names of scabs who refuse to pay union fees for the benefits they receive.
This bill is an unconstitutional attack on free speech. Period. Full stop. If someone won't pay their union fees, why is it wrong for someone else to point this out? This is like when "baseball" tried to silence Joe Nuxhall for pointing out that an umpire who started a fight with Pete Rose was a strikebreaker.
And so, the party of "limited government" attacks again.
Posted by Bandit at 2:54 PM
Thursday, September 18, 2014
I believe it was Sunday that the latest mandatory round of Windows 7 updates more or less fried my old computer. One of few things I could do with my old machine after that was use it to order a new one.
So I did, and the delivery bloke brang it yesterday. Although Windows 8.1 looks like it was written for people who weren't even born yet when this blog started, I haven't had any major problems with it yet.
But one thing about Windows 8.1 just bakes my gizzard. The default desktop has an assortment of shiny apps built in, which appear automatically - and one of them is, of all things, the latest Dow Jones stock report.
I was 14 when the 1987 stock market crash occurred, and because I was young and foolish, I thought at the time that market crashes were a bad thing. But actually, Reagan had already gutted the economy. The crash was just a correction. As much as we hear that the 1929 crash kicked off the Great Depression, my grandparents were always talking about how poor they were even before the crash. Wikipedia says the 1920s before the crash "was a time of wealth and excess." Not true. They should have asked my grandparents how much wealth there was.
The 1990s and 2000s saw unprecedented growth in the stock market. But where did I fit in on this imaginary economic boom? Why didn't I see any of that prosperity that the right-wing media was always beating its chest about? This was more proof that the market is antithetical to real prosperity.
It was also around 1987 that I overheard 2 men at a Reds game complaining that the scoreboard kept showing the latest Dow Jones numbers instead of something baseball-related. These were hard-working guys who couldn't have cared less about the Dow. That's how I feel about Windows 8.1 automatically showing the Dow numbers. Windows should instead show something more useful like polling data for the upcoming election or how many pounds of shit have been produced today by animals at the zoo.
There might be a way to shut off this feature, but I don't know yet.
In 2014, having stock reports automatically appear on your computer interests very few people besides wealthy investors. In the 1990s and 2000s, Americans were much more likely to vote with their boss. That was a historic aberration. Hopefully we won't return to those bad old days.
Posted by Bandit at 1:36 AM
Friday, September 12, 2014
Thursday, September 11, 2014
Something happened today that hadn't happened yet since a rogue Supreme Court issued the unconstitutional Citizens United ruling almost 5 years ago.
Today, the Senate voted on a proposed constitutional amendment to restore America's campaign finance laws and bring down the hammer on corporate personhood. The vote was 54 in favor and 42 opposed. It was a perfect party line vote, with Democrats voting yes and Republicans voting no.
But it didn't meet the two-thirds necessary to actually approve the amendment - or the 60 votes needed to break a Tea Party filibuster.
Nonetheless, with a majority now clearly in favor of the amendment, this is a clarion call for Congress to create a statutory remedy for Citizens United - and for the President to exercise his power to issue executive orders.
This story also highlights Republican obstructionism just in time for the midterms.
Posted by Bandit at 7:53 PM
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
It was tough, but this year's Back-to-School edition of The Last Word is pub!
Our schools haven't been very funny lately - with all the racism and violent crime exposed in this issue - so I'm in a rather humorless mood. Nonetheless, there are a few amusing reminisces about my high school years in the latest edition.
So point your pooper here...
Posted by Bandit at 2:06 PM
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
I am done with the ACLU.
The American Civil Liberties Union was founded as a defender of constitutional liberties - and lived up to this goal for decades. But now its founders must be spinning in their graves.
Right now, the Senate is debating a much-needed constitutional amendment that would restore campaign finance laws and prohibit corporations from financing political campaigns. Surveys show that over 80% of the public supports the amendment.
I'd expect the amendment to be blocked by the usual suspects like the fascist Heritage Foundation - but not by the ACLU. Nonetheless, the ACLU has written a letter to senators to oppose the amendment. The ACLU says the amendment would gut the First Amendment and "censor" political speech.
Aw, how cute, the ACLU now thinks keeping corporations from buying elections is "censorship."
This is the biggest issue in American law so far in the 21st century, and the ACLU is unabashedly on the wrong side.
Posted by Bandit at 7:32 PM
Friday, September 5, 2014
Thursday, September 4, 2014
Another rising Tea Party star disgraced for life.
Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen have now both been found guilty of public corruption. The former governor was convicted on 11 of 13 counts; his wife was convicted of 9 of 13. They both cried like big babies when the court clerk read the verdict. They face up to 20 years in prison for each count.
(And yes, Bob McDonnell's physical resemblance to singer Glen Campbell has been noted.)
Posted by Bandit at 6:51 PM
Major League Baseball isn't quite as bad as the NFL yet in the way it treats its fans - but it's getting there.
Many Americans agree that there's few things quite as exciting as a good, competitive ballgame, but league officials are doing their worst to put a diaper on America's national pastime. The Cincinnati Reds have announced that - starting tomorrow - they plan to implement walk-through metal detectors at their stadium. This is an effort to comply with a mandate from "baseball" requiring all 30 big league teams to do the same.
Major League Baseball's diktat results from its collaboration with the Department of Homeland Stupidity, a relic that was designed as the thuggish Bush regime's personal plaything.
All I know is this: In my day, we didn't have metal detectors at baseball games, and we survived. If "baseball" can't grasp that, that's their problem.
Since the Reds' ballpark is taxpayer-funded, the county needs to tell the Reds they can't install metal detectors. Plus, the government needs to revoke baseball's antitrust exemption.
Like I said, this isn't as bad as the NFL, which literally fondles spectators at each game. The NFL treats its fans more shittily than any other sporting league I know of, so I've boycotted the NFL for years. I hope this story isn't part of a trend that forces me to do the same to Major League Baseball. That's why our public officials need to step up to the plate and prevent it.
Posted by Bandit at 1:55 PM
Wednesday, September 3, 2014
It's nice to know that advocating voter fraud is the Republicans' new electoral strategy.
After Tea Party favorite Scott "Records" Brown was defeated by Elizabeth Warren in his bid for reelection as a senator from Massachusetts in 2012 - when Brown ran the worst race-baiting campaign of the year - Brown moved to New Hampshire so he could now run for senator there. He's trailing badly.
But no bother! Who really cares when you can just rely on out-of-state supporters to visit your state to vote for ya? Brown is now encouraging folks in other states who support him to visit New Hampshire on Election Day to vote for him.
This is illegal, of course, but laws don't stop Republicans. This is the party that committed wire fraud earlier this year by setting up fake websites that appeared to be fundraising sites for opponents - though the money raised by the sites went straight to GOP coffers.
After Tea Party buses were seen hauling supporters to multiple polling places in our area, I have little doubt they'll take Record Man's recommendation.
Posted by Bandit at 2:13 PM