The Far Right's streak of stupid has continued, as the right-wing Congress recently passed a bill that would have gutted rules allowing more efficient union elections.
But today, President Obama vetoed the bill - his fourth veto in 6 years, but the second in just the past 3 months.
The union rules are still facing court challenges from business groups that say unionization violates free speech. Seriously, they say that.
Tuesday, March 31, 2015
The Far Right's streak of stupid has continued, as the right-wing Congress recently passed a bill that would have gutted rules allowing more efficient union elections.
Posted by Bandit at 7:06 PM
The Republican Right has been a rapid generator of idiotic ideas lately, and Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner and Republican gubernatorial candidate James Comer has been talking up an equally dumb idea that absolutely nobody cares about anymore: tort "reform."
Comer - who trails in most polls handily - says he would try to establish panels to screen medical malpractice suits before the suits go to trial.
That issue? The issue that 5 people used to care about for 10 minutes back in 1991? Nobody - and I mean nobody - except far-right hacks gives a shit about it anymore. At all.
What's next? The FairTax?
The more important point is that Comer is fighting a problem that doesn't even exist. There's no national or statewide pandemic of frivolous malpractice suits filed by patients. There never was. But there is a glut of frivolous suits filed by health care providers against patients. I know this, because our local newspaper used to list all the suits filed in some local counties. Most of the suits were like that.
I think we should have panels to weed out frivolous suits filed by greedy health care companies so they don't keep gunking up our courts. These panels should consist of patient advocates as well as industry representatives - and the lawsuits shouldn't go forward unless both sides agree to it.
Only in conservaworld do big corporations have more rights than people.
Posted by Bandit at 4:49 PM
Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Why does America's Far Right support anti-American foreign dictators?
Singapore's right-wing former dictator Lee Kuan Yew died Monday at the age of 91. He led one of the vilest regimes on the planet: The totalitarian Lee government flogged dissidents, censored newspapers, busted unions, and outlawed bubble gum (seriously).
When someone dies, most people don't say anything bad about them, and public figures across the political spectrum have in recent days offered praise for Lee. Even President Obama has gotten into the act. But one American politician constantly praised Lee Kuan Yew even when he was living: fascist Sen. David Perdue of Georgia.
Make no mistake, Perdue is a fascist. He was one of the first signatories to "Cotton Tom" Cotton's letter threatening Iran. And David Perdue has long been a diehard admirer of Lee Kuan Yew. Perdue had even defected to Singapore in the '90s, despite the Singaporean government's hostility to America. The future senator spoke of his admiration for dictator Lee in a 2007 speech to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, an organization that itself is known for praising brutal foreign dictatorships including that in Singapore. Perdue's disloyalty was touched on only briefly during the 2014 campaign, after he bragged that he made his living shipping American jobs overseas.
Right-wing treachery in support of Singapore has gone on for decades now, as I've discussed before. The lunatic Right was fresh off screaming about Grenada being a threat to the United States' national security when they decided to cozy up to Lee Kuan Yew's cronies.
Here's a particular irony: American rightists claim to be Second Amendment champions, yet Singapore - whose government they praise - disallows almost all personal gun ownership. I know what the right-wingers' excuse is going to be, so I'll debunk it now. They will claim Singapore is so free of crime that nobody needs a gun to defend themselves. Neat story, except it isn't true, for Singapore has experienced its share of gang rape and mass murder in recent years. Plus, if the American right wing cares so much about the principle of the right to bear arms, why would it matter what the crime rate is? Should we repeal the First Amendment if there was nothing around for newspapers to rightly criticize?
David Perdue is the enemy within.
Posted by Bandit at 4:32 PM
Let's play another action-packed game of "guess the party affiliation."
Suppose there's an elected politician in your state who gets busted for selling drugs out of his business. And suppose the blab runs an article about the case and doesn't specify his party. Can you guess what party he is?
He's a Republican.
Ricky Goodin is a newly elected GOP magistrate in Bell County, Kentucky. But now he's been busted for 17 drug-related charges and a charge of theft. Authorities say Goodin sold drugs - mostly crystal meth and prescription items - out of a business he owns.
The party that thinks it's entitled to control all of Kentucky government strikes again.
Posted by Bandit at 2:08 PM
Friday, March 20, 2015
If you're going to sue a public library, make sure there's a damn good reason. For instance, if the library censors websites at its public Internet terminals that are used primarily by adults, one is entitled - nay, obligated - to go after the libe with a flaming pitchfork.
But if you sue a library just because you hate libraries, you deserve to be laughed out of the courtroom. And that's exactly what happened to the Tea Party.
The local Tea Party sued libraries in Campbell and Kenton counties, claiming the libraries improperly levied taxes for decades. This claim was absurd, because if you're going to go after any institution on anti-tax grounds, there's plenty of better targets - for instance, endless wars and the expanding prison state. Two local Tea Party judges had initially ruled in favor of the Tea Party, but if Team Tyranny had ultimately prevailed, it would have forced at least some library branches to close - not just locally but all over Kentucky. That was the real aim of the lawsuit. The suit is the modern American equivalent of book burning.
But now the Kentucky Court of Appeals has ruled 3 to 0 in favor of the libraries. See, that's what happens when the Tea Party tries basing a lawsuit on a law that was repealed in 1979.
You can bet your bizcream that the Tea Party will appeal to the Kentucky Supreme Court - squandering an untold amount of taxpayer money in the process. As the case progresses, all the Tea Party has accomplished is to highlight their own stupidity.
Posted by Bandit at 12:40 PM
Thursday, March 19, 2015
Lately, the local Tea Party has mostly been reposting Franklin Graham interviews and beating the drum for "right-to-work" - and public officials have been happy to help. But Team Tyranny remains unappreciative of government officials who aren't quick enough on the right-wing draw.
A few days ago, the Tea Party sent out an e-mail newsletter boasting that Campbell County Fiscal Court would have its first reading of a local right-to-scab bill at yesterday's meeting. "It is time for the first reading," the Tea Party gloated.
I saw this and alerted several Facebook groups frequented by Campbell County labor activists. It turned out the Tea Party was being even dumber than it first appeared. Funnier perhaps. But dumber. Later, someone replied that they had contacted county officials, and they said the Tea Party was full of shit. They said right-to-scab was nowhere on yesterday's agenda. I believe this, and there's no evidence that right-to-scab was introduced yesterday. It's possible that it was, but if so, the Tea Party would probably be bragging about it now.
So I have to assume the Tea Party e-mail was just an attempt to commandeer Fiscal Court. Read it again: "It is time for the first reading." By order of who? Did Fiscal Court say it was time, or was the Tea Party trying to decide for them?
"It is time for the first reading." How arrogant. The Tea Party doesn't get to decide these things. We didn't vote for the Tea Party.
This e-mail suggests that the second reading and possible passage of right-to-scab in Kenton County will be at that county's Fiscal Court meeting on Tuesday, March 24. Is this another attempt to commandeer the court? Every other source says Kenton County has already tabled the proposal, and court officials said today that it probably won't be on the agenda that day.
After learning about the reaction against Boone County's work-for-less law, I doubt a similar law would go over very well in more urban counties. Oh, you know the Tea Party is trying. They want a right-to-scab law in the worst way. But the Tea Party's 3 members are dwarfed by the countless local residents like me whose lives were literally saved by organized labor.
The Tea Party is nothing if not persistent, but maybe sometime they'll move on to obsess over another issue to be on the wrong side of. If they do, I'll still be on the forefront of the fight against them.
Posted by Bandit at 4:01 PM
Tuesday, March 17, 2015
The Constitution doesn't apply in Boone County. You may have already known that, after the time the county shut down Halloween festivities because they fell on a Sunday.
True to form, the all-Republican Boone County Fiscal Court unanimously passed a countywide "right-to-work" law this evening. To fight this unconstitutional political payback, about 250 opponents of this law packed the courthouse. There were so many that they spilled into the lobby.
When the Fiscal Court assholes approved the law, folks in the room yelled that they were going to move to Kenton County - where right-to-scab has reportedly been tabled.
Certainly, the government of Boone County should be overthrown. I won't apologize for saying so. Plus, today's development is also a clarion call for the return of militant labor unionism.
Posted by Bandit at 9:59 PM
Monday, March 16, 2015
SurveyUSA should never be forgiven for publishing a press release before the 2003 Kentucky gubernatorial election saying Ernie Fletcher had already won, but their latest act is really a special kind of dumb.
Without exception, every pollster in last year's election cycle showed the Republicans significantly trailing their performance in the final "election" results. Not just in Kentucky, but all over the country. In any democracy, this would be seen as a sign that the election was rigged, and it would trigger an official investigation of the results. But in the United States, the opposite happens: Pollsters instead tailor their methodology to reflect the rigged election. They do it after each election, in fact, so last year's polls had several cycles of election fraud already built in.
Now SurveyUSA - long worshipped by Kentucky media - is boasting of recalibrating its methodology yet again after last year's polling discrepancy...
You read that right. Instead of challenging the results, SurveyUSA admits that they've begun weighting their polls to account for Republicans rigging the 2014 election. SurveyUSA says their past polls oversampled liberal voters and cell phone users - even though their press releases show that these groups were actually undersampled.
The good news is that even after all of this right-wing number crunching, SurveyUSA's latest poll says all of the Republican candidates for this year's governor election would still trail Democrat Jack Conway by 2 to 10 percentage points. Last year, SurveyUSA's final Senate poll was 10 points off despite being weighted for previous GOP fraud, so if they used last year's methodology, Conway would be ahead by 12 to 20.
If general elections weren't rigged by Republicans, most elections would be just a formality. God only knows what the margin would be. Think of the thumping Teresa Cunningham got in that Supreme Court race. It would be twice as big - maybe more. How much Republican support do you still see on the ground? Make no mistake, GOP support used to be very real. But in 2015???
Don't count your chickens before they hatch. There's 7 months for The Media to hand this one to the GOP like they often do. And there'll be future years for pollsters to double down some more. I warned you.
Posted by Bandit at 3:18 PM
Time once again for you to peep, weep, and maybe even oggle-beep!
A couple weekends ago, we goed to Grand Rapids, Michigan, and back all within a day! An LAP bunker blast was detected at the amazing Gerald Ford Museum, and I amassed 30 Roads Scholarin' photos!
I divided this photo set into 2 parts, so peep 'em now before it's too late...
Posted by Bandit at 11:53 AM
Friday, March 13, 2015
We all remember when I was expelled from NKU because of my political views. NKU's action seems even sillier in hindsight, for now it's obvious just how little it took for me to be expelled.
The Far Right's consolidation of power at Kentucky's public universities continues. The University of Louisville has just announced a multimillion-dollar grant from John Schnatter - the right-wing founder of Papa John's pizza. This grant bankrolls the brand new John H. Schnatter Center for Free Enterprise - which will "engage in teaching and research that explores the role of free enterprise and entrepreneurship in advancing society."
The extreme-right Charles Koch Foundation is supplementing this grant with $1.66 million that will fund professors, classes, "research", speakers, and more. The Koch Foundation will exercise authority over who the university hires to teach and what it includes in its coursework. Following this, faculty "must have demonstrated a track record that is supportive of the center's mission or show promise of developing such a record."
The Kochs are not "libertarian" like much of the media claims. They're the right-wing statists who helped bring us the Tea Party. I have a stronger libertarian streak than they have - easily.
Kentucky's universities might as well just be referred to as "right-wing indoctrination centers." Imagine if you can what the reaction would be if a university established something called, say, an Institute of Advanced Liberal Studies.
Legislation or an executive order from the governor should be enacted to combat this ongoing ideological stampede in our education system.
Posted by Bandit at 12:46 PM
Thursday, March 12, 2015
The Last Word - your fanzine of freedom - celebrates 22 years with its 486th issue!
This edition talks about my uproarious plans for a Wisconsin trip, people watching 'Sesame Street' when they're too old for it, vandalism of Wikipedia entries for 1960s TV actors, and more!
So read this ish before it reads you...
Posted by Bandit at 12:23 PM
Sunday, March 8, 2015
Friday, March 6, 2015
Suppose you're a Tea Party candidate for public office. (You might just be! The Tea Party does monitor my Internet posts.) And suppose (shudder!) you lose the election by almost 20 percentage points. What ever shall you do?
No bother! Just sue!
This past November, northern Kentucky's Supreme Court Justice Michelle Keller handily defeated Tea Party challenger Teresa Cunningham. But that wasn't the end of it! Later, Cunningham filed a lawsuit demanding that the election results be overturned. Just because. I can't really figure out why. Because it bips, you might say.
Last month, Kenton County Circuit Judge Kathleen Lape dismissed Cunningham's frivolous suit. Lape wrote, "The factual allegations pled by Plaintiff are absurd, not meeting the threshold of fraud, intimidation, bribery or violence required by [state law]."
This effort may have blown up right in Teresa Cunningham's stupid face. Keller wants to be reimbursed by Cunningham for the legal fees she spent defending herself from this ridiculous lawsuit.
See, the Tea Party can be defeated when we really try.
Posted by Bandit at 7:47 PM
The Far Right isn't even trying anymore.
A few weeks ago, Michael Strain of the extreme right-wing American Enterprise Institute penned an op-ed for the Washington Post arguing that it's perfectly dandy if people die if the Affordable Care Act is gutted. (I didn't find this piece until today. Maybe the Far Right realized they crossed a line and didn't want it getting any more play.)
The editorial is headlined, "End Obamacare, and people could die. That's okay." Strain argues that it's moral to abolish Obamacare and let people die. He says a "slightly higher mortality rate" is a good trade-off to preserve "individual liberty."
Seriously, he said that.
I would think that not dying would be one of the most important individual liberties of all. What ever happened to the sanctity of life? You can't claim to support life while cheering death in the name of "individual liberty", especially because the Affordable Care Act is far from being the worst affront to personal freedom out there.
We give up some freedoms to protect greater freedoms all the time. For example, we agree to pay taxes to preserve the liberty that comes with keeping our society functioning. Plus, while the country doesn't have the resources to place a paramedic on every corner to prevent every traffic death, it does have the resources for a national health care program that would save some lives.
The lunatic Right would be the first to have me strung up if I was physically threatened and I killed the assailant in self-defense. If the choice is either my life or that of someone who attacks me, would the Evil Empire be so keen on my right to defend myself? They bluster a lot publicly, but from what they've said privately, my rights mean nothing to them. To them, some lives are worth more than others.
The American Enterprise Institute wants to be a right-wing death panel. They want to decide that some must die in order to feed their perverted political goals. They would play God to serve their own ideology.
Posted by Bandit at 3:31 PM
Monday, March 2, 2015
Each year around this time, there's always a big Midwest roadmeet, and this time, it's going to be in (drum roll, please) Madison, Wisconsin!
Unless a Cincinnati meet takes place late in the year, Madison will probably be the closest roadmeet to Cincinnati the entire Roads Scholaring season. A roadmeet is not a political event, but Madison suits my progressive populism well, as this city has been the site of repeated protests against Scott Walker's raging stupidity.
The Madison meet shall occur on Saturday, April 18. I have already purchased a Megabus ticket to leave early Friday morning. It's a done deal. The ticket is nonrefundable - I repeat, NONREFUNDABLE! I shouldn't have to give you the usual speech about how there will be a strict quarantine in the days before the meet, but some people never listen. If I miss this meet, angry will not begin to describe my feelings.
And that's why I buyed a nonrefundable ticket. Cheap, perhaps, but nonrefundable. Tough toilets, Cousin Filbert.
I went on an unrelated trip to Milwaukee 2 years ago, so hopefully the bus to Madison will skip greater Milwaukee and grace me with a different route instead. But I am a simple man - a lowly, unlearned peasant - and any trip to Madison is a good trip to Madison.
Posted by Bandit at 1:26 AM
Sunday, March 1, 2015
"Right-to-work" is like what school uniforms were 15 years ago: The Far Right insists on swiftly enacting it in as many places as possible, with no public input, despite being both unpopular and unconstitutional, and in complete denial of all evidence proving it to be harmful.
This week, Wisconsin's fascist Gov. Scott Walker is expected to sign a right-to-scab bill into law. That little punk has never worked a day in his life, and CPAC just gave him a forum to shoot his mouth off about the labor movement. Thousands have been protesting against the bill at the State Capitol.
It's impressive that so many people would brave rough winter weather to protest against it, because you'd think the new would have worn off of Walker's antiworker crusades after 2011. But when was the last time you saw a rally of any size supporting right-to-scab laws? There's no public demand whatsoever for these laws.
But "right-to-work" supporters are throwing a temper tantrum in Kentucky after state lawmakers rejected such a bill. Two local counties - Kenton and Boone - are expected to pass their own "right-to-work" ordinances on March 10 and March 17, respectively. The worse sneak attack against workers has been in Kenton County, and the Fiscal Court there is even moving its March 10 meeting to Independence to avoid the big, scary labor people in Covington.
There's already a lawsuit pending against the Kentucky ordinances, and one wonders if they're even enforceable currently. If the laws stick, why would anyone move here? Imagine moving somewhere that has a foot of ice on the ground 5 months a year only to discover your union contract is no good. At least Wisconsin has Madison.
Northern Kentucky needs its own Madison. Imagine if you can the waves of freedom that would flow if any local city had the guts to opt out of "right-to-work"! What may be just as good though is if a local community passed its own version of the Employee Free Choice Act.
Don't bet on it happening when appeasing the Tri-ED trolls is more important.
Posted by Bandit at 11:27 PM