Saturday, February 28, 2015

Climate change denial costing Cincinnati millions

The gutter cult of climate change denial strikes again.

Last week's record-shattering snowfall and cold in greater Cincinnati is the region's costliest winter weather event in years. In one week alone, Hamilton County had to spend $900,000 to clear its roads. The city of Cincinnati spent $1.2 million. Covington spent $100,000. Even West Chester Township spent $150,000.

Who pays for it? U! That's who!

These expenses deplete local municipalities' budgets for other projects - including clearing away next year's snow that'll probably start 6 months from now. These costs deplete money for schools, libraries, housing, sanitation, and other necessities.

But according to Fox News and the rest of the right-wing noise machine, it's all a hoax. That snowstorm, all those impassable roads, and all that money spent cleaning it up? All a hoax - according to the climate change denial industry.

Because there aren't enough lite rock stations, I guess...

The American radio biz wonders why nobody listens to radio anymore. Hint: it's not just because of YouTube and digital downloads "stealing" their business. The radio industry's gaping wounds are self-inflicted.

Take WGTZ-FM in Dayton, Ohio, for instance. This used to be a very popular station in that city. I could pick them up at home, but they battled futilely with a Lexington station on the same frequency. In my day, they would have been useful here for hearing an unbutchered American Top 40, except the interference made this impractical.

A few years ago, this station switched to a so-called "variety hits" format, but now they're doomed to obscurity as they've switched to an "adult contemporary" format.

Another AC???

There has always been a glut of AC in almost every American market. I remember Cincinnati having 7 AC's.

Oh well. It's radio. Nobody will notice anymore.

Repealing the far-right 1996 Telecommunications Act could have helped save radio from itself, but it's a little late for that.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

FCC breaks state-backed Internet monopolies!

Home rule? You got it!

In a handful of states, the "home rule for me, not for thee" crowd has passed right-wing laws to prohibit cities from establishing their own municipal Internet providers. These laws stifle competition and mollycoddle Internet monopolies.

But the cities fought back. The cities of Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Wilson, North Carolina, petitioned the FCC for relief from this greed and tyranny.

Today, the FCC voted to overturn the state laws and give power back to the cities by letting them establish their own Internet services. Following this decision, right-wingers whimpered and cried. That's too bad.

The cities. Now more than ever.


FCC restores 'Net neutrality!

This is an issue where people fought back instead of sitting on their asses - and won! Neat how that works, huh?

The Internet depends on 'Net neutrality - the idea that Internet providers can't gunk up your access to websites they don't like (like Zoomtown did). The Bush regime tried rending apart this principle - but President Obama's FCC passed new rules to protect 'Net neutrality. Not long ago, however, right-wing federal judges gutted these rules. The states were as wussified as ever and did absolutely zero - zip, nada, nothing - to shore up this loss.

Now the FCC has issued brand spanking new rules to restore 'Net neutrality by treating the Internet as the public utility it is! People fought the cable industry and won!

As Homer Simpson would say, it's like David and Goliath, only this time David won!

You know blasted well Congress is trying to think of ways to dash it all to hell again. If they ever try it, let's ruin their day again like we did today.

Local city bans medical marijuana

The "home rule for me, not for thee" politburo is ramping up the stupid - and not just in regard to much-ridiculed "right-to-work" laws.

The city of Hamilton!, Ohio, has just outlawed medical marijuana - even if a proposed referendum passes to legalize it statewide.

You can bet your bizcream that those who support Hamilton's marijuana ban are the same ones who'd scream to holy high hell if a city legalized medical marijuana in a state where it was otherwise illegal. Kind of like how they cite home rule to justify counties in Kentucky passing "right-to-work", even as they sue Louisville for raising the minimum wage.

Maybe you deserve to be a victim of selective home rule as long as you don't fight back.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Bomb threat at Kenton County courthouse

Around 2:30 PM today, there was a bomb threat phoned in to a Kenton County government building in Covington. The building houses some county offices, some court functions, and the Justice Center.

The structure was evacuated for about 45 minutes, until about 3:15.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Obama vetoes Keystone XL bill!


Under the Obama administration's environmental policy, each win for environmentalists has usually been paired with a win for the fossil fuel industry - as if there's some sort of equivalence between the two. But this story is a victory not just for the environment but also for separation of powers.

Today, President Obama vetoed a right-wing bill passed by a rogue Congress that would have authorized construction of the unpopular, job-killing Keystone XL oil pipeline. This is Obama's first veto since 2010.

This veto doesn't mean the project is dead for good. But even if the pipeline itself is perfectly justifiable (which it isn't), Obama is right to veto the bill - because it's not Congress's job to approve the pipeline. The bill was a power grab by Congress trying to claim executive authority.

The real winner today is our constitutional republic.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Marshall County blocks "right-to-work" fascism!

Marshall County, Kentucky, has proven it can think for itself.

Several Kentucky counties have passed an unconstitutional "right-to-work" law lately, but Marshall County seems to be the first to effectively stall this effort. Yesterday, Marshall County Fiscal Court unanimously approved a measure to oppose right-to-scab.

Neat how that home rule thing works, isn't it?


Monday, February 16, 2015

Creationist cult serves on Chamber of Commerce board

Is the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce hell-bent on ruin for the region's working people?

This secret society has endorsed a KKK-backed plan for local counties to enact their own misnamed "right-to-work" laws. In doing so, they've declared war on the people. Support for "right-to-work" is an act of war.

I went to the Chamber of Commerce's website in the hopes of gathering some insight on their fascism. It's bad enough that they have a birther conspiracy theorist on their executive committee. The list of organizations that serves as the Chamber's board of advisors is just as interesting.

The list reads almost like a Who's Who of big corporations, some of them national in scope, and some of them explicitly linked to right-wing causes, bottomless greed, wiretapping, or phone harassment. Other corporations on this list haven't been specifically noted for their extremism or other unfortunate characteristics, but I always keep a watchful eye out. That's part of my job. But one entry did catch my eye: the Creation Museum, a project of the Answers in Genesis cult.

Answers in Genesis claims to be a nonprofit ministry. So why are they part of a business group? When I saw that, I almost expected to find Brossart on the list too.

The Chamber of Commerce represents a right-wing web of organizations that has it in for working people like you and me. They are interlocked. Not surprisingly, another member of their board of advisors is NorthKey Community Care - which gave us the brutal CPH concentration camp.

This web of greed and extremism does of course receive taxpayer support. This is also no surprise, for the taxpayers are always on the hook for everything the Far Right does. The fiscal courts of Kenton and Boone counties are listed as members of the Chamber's board. Taxpayer money is being squandered on manifestly ideological pursuits.

Any corporation, school, nonprofit agency, or government body on the board of advisors needs to take a hard look at who they're cavorting with. Do they really want to prop up the antiworker violence of "right-to-work"? Do they really want to join forces with antiscience cults like Answers in Genesis? Do they really want to associate with the antigay hatred displayed by Chick-fil-A? I'll have to assume the answer is yes - unless they either provide a sensible answer or leave the Chamber of Commerce.

And is it fair that the taxpayers are being forced to fund antigay and classist activity?

It looks as if there's already enough justification for people to file a formal complaint with the UN Human Rights Council over the long-running situation surrounding the local business and political elite - and "right-to-work" would only create more reasons.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

When Kasich thought he was a Deadhead

It's hard to imagine a whiny right-winger like Ohio Gov. John Kasich having anything to do with a psychedelic jam band like the Grateful Dead, but I guess he thinks he's cool because he tried crashing one of their concerts - then threatened the band when they wouldn't let him onstage.

Back in 1991 - when he was a congressman known for waving a hatchet around at meetings to protest spending programs he didn't like - Kasich went to a Grateful Dead show in Washington, D.C., and inexplicably tried jumping onto the stage. When the band wouldn't let him onstage, Kasich reportedly whined, "Hey, why won't you let me on? I can't understand why you're not letting me on." Maybe it's because it was a Grateful Dead concert and not a Tea Party rally? Witnesses said Kasich was "obnoxious" and "disruptive."

As the Republican politician was being ushered off the stage, he threatened to keep the band from ever playing in D.C. again. A Grateful Dead spokesperson said of Kasich, "This guy really had some problem."

Maybe a newspaper will order Kasich to resign.

Friday, February 13, 2015

DLC-ordered march to Siberia continues in Oregon

If you thought the rise of the 99% had crushed the DLC Coke can, think again.

The resignation of Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber may be the first time in the history of the known universe that a popular politician who hadn't been charged with any ethical or legal violations resigned all because a newspaper instructed him to. It's a disappointing end to an administration that has been a national leader in health care reform.

This elevates Secretary of State Kate Brown to the position of governor. Brown - who, like Kitzhaber, is a Democrat - cast a few good votes as a legislator. But this is offset by her support for the rubber-stamped Comcast/Time Warner merger. She even sent a letter to the FCC endorsing the merger. The problem isn't that the letter was literally ghostwritten by Comcast - but that Brown supported the takeover at all. Support for this amalgamation comes straight out of the pages of the misnamed Democratic Leadership Council - the Tea Party wing of the Democrats.

There's no doubt that Kitzhaber's resignation was encouraged by DLC forces continuing their power grab within the Democratic Party. Every time I consider rejoining the party I once had so much faith in, they run me off again.

But The Media says what goes, so they stay.

Right-to-scab defeat narrows after arm-twisting

Yesterday, I reported that a Kentucky House committee had defeated a Tea Party-backed "right-to-work" bill by 16 to 2. But - according to press reports - the final margin turned out to be 16 to 3. Apparently, a Republican legislator who had abstained had their arm twisted by fellow Republicans into supporting the unconstitutional bill.

Oh happy day for the "right-to-work" thinkpol. They have 16% support instead of 11%. At this rate, they might get to 17% by the time the next census costs them more seats. But their defeat was still wider than last year's 15 to 4.

It's no wonder the GOP couldn't even win the Kentucky House in an otherwise Republican year.

Oregon governor expected to resign

This is how low the political media has stoopen.

Oregon's popular Democratic Gov. John Kitzhaber - who designed the state's bold health care reforms in the '90s and was handily reelected recently - is expected to resign today, just because the right-wing Portland Oregonian told him to. Kitzhaber and his fiancee Cylvia Hayes have been the subjects of an ongoing political controversy - but the governor hasn't been charged in any ethical or legal wrongdoing, and the public doesn't even want him to resign.

In other words, Kitzhaber is resigning just because. Because it bips, you might say.

Maybe Kitzhaber should resign when scandal-tainted Republicans like John Kasich, Mike Pence, Bruce Rauner, Rick Snyder, Scott Walker, Bill Haslam, Sam Brownback, Chris Christie, Rick Scott, Nathan Deal, and Nikki Haley resign. An election had to intervene for us to get rid of the indicted Ernie Fletcher. But the Oregonian spouts off, and it's enough to force a Democrat like Kitzhaber into retirement.

Never has America's media been in such dire shape.

(And yes, Kitzhaber's resemblance to Alex Trebek has been noted.)

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Kentucky defeats "right-to-work" bill...again!

Unconstitutional "right-to-work" laws have been a high priority for the Far Right all over this fine land lately, but Kentucky has once again proven it has no appetite for a statewide law.

Last year, a Kentucky House committee defeated "right-to-work" by 15 to 4. Today, the committee killed the bill by an even wider proportion - 16 to 2.

Smell reality: Right-to-scab laws are unpopular in Kentucky.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Have no fear, the February ish is here!

The Last Word bips along after many a decade and in spite of health woes! Issue #485 is brief, but has insightful pieces about these phenomena:

• My former high school squandering an untold amount of money on t-shirts they can't use.

• A hilarious public temper tantrum by a local racist.

• Strange Cincinnati area people and places, such as the Kroger house and the angry state trooper at Big Bone.

• The continuing struggle against an abusive "treatment" center.

So point your pooper here...

Sunday, February 8, 2015

More reports of celebrity look-alikes

Today, I heard a report of 3 - count 'em, 3 - uproarious celebrity look-alikes.

I was told that a Harrison Ford look-alike was seen at church. According to this report, a Drew Carey look-alike was seen later. Also according to this narrative, an Adam Sandler look-alike was seen at a Great Clips.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

The price is right...for Price Hill photos!

The price is always right for Price Hill photos when you're talking about another Roads Scholaring with the Peace Bike!

I've posted 10 Scholarin' photos from last month's jaunt to the west side of Cincinnati. Peep them now before they peep you...

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Emergency mangler says let them eat poo water

Another reason why the Far Right should have its brains bronzed.

Under Michigan's fascist Gov. Rick Snyder - a serial liar - the city of Flint is ruled by Snyder-appointed emergency manager Jerry Ambrose instead of by the city's elected officials. And, under an emergency mangler, the city's drinking water has become contaminated with a toxic, foul-smelling sludge called TTHM. TTHM damages the liver and kidneys and causes cancer.

The water is so unacceptable that city residents recently showed up at a town meeting with jugs of this poison. But Ambrose sniffed that the brown water is safe to drink - a lie.

In fact, the Snyder-installed dictatorship that runs the city was found to be in violation of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act several months ago. Plus, Flint residents are now paying twice as much for water as they did before their water got contaminated.

In a city of 100,000, not a single one has tried to arrest Ambrose?