Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Kentucky GOP congressman resigns in ethics scandal

You have got to be kidding me. How many scandals does this make now in the Kentucky GOP just in the 2010s alone?

Right-wing Rep. Ed Whitfield wasn't running for reelection, but now he's resigning early because of an ethics investigation. Whitfield got in trouble for special favors he granted to his wife, who is a lobbyist.

Democrat Sam Gaskins and Republican Jamie Comer were vying to replace Whitfield, but since it's a Republican district, the stench of scandal is expected to continue: Comer as you may recall has been dogged by a domestic violence scandal.


31% of Trump supporters want wall along Atlantic

Oh the stupid. It burns.

A new poll by Public Policy Polling - one of the more accurate pollsters of late, except that general election matchups are more Republican than other pollsters - says 31% of Donald Trump voters support building a wall along the Atlantic shoreline to keep Muslims from immigrating from the Middle East.

I swear I am not making this up...

Trump followers are that crazy.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Smoking gun emerges in Bevin party switch scandal

And boom goes the bubble gum. All over Matt Bevin's stupid face.

Kentucky State Rep. Russ Meyer (D-Nicholasville) recently revealed he was one of at least 5 legislators threatened by Matt Bevin wanting them to become Republicans. Now Meyer has released a recording of a voicemail message that included threats from Bevin himself...

Kind of a smoking gun, don't ya think, Bevs?

What's really stupid is that Bevin left this threat on voicemail, which could be easily saved!

I'm truly floored by this.


Monday, August 29, 2016

Stumbo backs Bevin impeachment

Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo isn't the most progressive Democrat around by any measure. Some of you know that. But even he is looking at impeachment of Matt Bevin over the threats against lawmakers who won't switch parties.

After reports emerged that Bevin has tried to bully at least 2 legislators into switching, Stumbo said Bevin's actions "are criminal in nature" and "an impeachable offense."

The Bevin camp of course replied with a stupid comment about the public pension "crisis" - which all along was an issue fabricated by Republicans to rob the 99% of their hard-earned money.


Clinton mental health program = fail

Yes, I know, the chance I'll vote for Donald Trump is 0%, but it's our duty to call bullplop on parts of Hillary Clinton's mental health agenda.

America's approach to mental health has been nonsensical in the extreme since time immemorial. Disappointingly, the Clinton plan seems to double down.

The plan is full of red flags. "Early diagnosis and intervention." That's not just a red flag. That's a broken stop sign. What do you think it means, and why do you think it raises a red flag?

It sounds to me like this policy would just leave the door open to more forced druggings in our schools - and maybe even more unlawful confinements. Remember, Big Pharma has always misdiagnosed conditions so they can Make Money. Why would they stop now?

Perhaps the biggest red flag is the pledge to train school personnel to "identify mental health problems at an early age and recommend appropriate support." I'm sure CPH would be rubbing its hands together in excitement.

If we really want to get serious about improving America's mental health system, here's some things that are a must: We must establish a usable method to report abuses in the system - and make sure abusers are held accountable. We must also abolish prison-like psychiatric facilities.

Time to show Big Pharma who's boss.

Florida families win suit over standardized tests (mostly)

Be still my beating heart, someone actually had the guts to stand up to a right-wing school system - and for the most part, they won!

Some years back, that piece of shit Jeb Bush ordered Florida schools to force kids to repeat 3rd grade if they "failed" their standardized test - even if they otherwise passed the year. The social promotion "epidemic" was a hoax, by the way. There was no big outbreak of schools promoting kids to the next grade when they didn't earn it. If there was, why the fuck did Brossart make me repeat my sophomore year?

In any event, Bush's fiat remained largely unchallenged for years. But recently, some parents of 3rd graders opted their children out of the omnivorous standardized test. As a result, their schools tried making them repeat 3rd grade - even though some were honors students.

Following this, the parents quite rightly sued the schools.

Now a judge has granted most of what the families wanted. The court ordered the school districts to follow a different method for promoting students as outlined by state law. The judge said the students' excellent report cards were sufficient reason to advance them to 4th grade.

You lose, Jeb. The people win.


Rob Portman worked for Haitian dictator

Far-right Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) is facing a tough reelection battle, and now it's gotten even tougher with the revelation that he once worked for Haiti's brutal right-wing dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier.

Duvalier as you may recall lived a lavish lifestyle at the expense of his impoverished people. Like other right-wing dictators, he also made money from illegal drug sales. He even sold dead Haitians' body parts. The Reagan regime strongly supported Duvalier's reign and rescued him by flying him out of Haiti when he was overthrown. Duvalier bumped his wife's grandparents from the escape flight to make room for items he stole from the country.

It turns out that in the mid-'80s, while Portman worked for a law and lobbying firm that represented foreign governments, he registered as a foreign agent for the Duvalier regime.

What do you have to say for yourself, Portman?

And I don't care to see any hair-splitting by the right-wing media defending Portman on this. I'm out of fucks to give. I will repeat: Rob Portman registered as an agent of a foreign dictatorship. That means it's fair to say that he worked for that regime. I stand by this claim, because I have guts.

One of the reasons this came to light is that Portman served as trade rep in the thuggish George W. Bush regime and had to try to clear his name before serving.

Am I surprised? No. America's Far Right has a history of supporting some of the world's worst dictators. For example, fascist Sen. David Perdue (R-Georgia) openly praised Singapore's totalitarian dictator Lee Kuan Yew.

After Portman helped worsen the recession of the 2000s - and blamed everyone else - why is he even able to run again?

Do you sleep anymore?

(There's a song you don't hear much these days!)

This blog was founded to champion progressive populism like there's no tomorrow. And without progressive populism, there really is no tomorrow! I'm a real populist working-class kind of guy. But we also delve into other topics, such as flatulence, comical bubble gum commercials, and medical plaints such as common colds. Now I have another medical concern that isn't nearly as aggravating as that yet, but it's become quite nuisancey.

How in the Wide, Wide World Of Warcraft does a person sleep on their back?

This appears to be the only safe way for me to sleep, and I can't do it. In fact, the Interdoro says only 14% of people can do so naturally.

Sleeping on my right side was the coziest position for me - until acid reflux disease started to cause me to regularly wake up in the middle of the night gasping for air with my throat burning. I can't keep doing this because it will eat away at my esophagus. This position also aggravates the crushing feeling in my upper body, a permanent symptom of the vitamin deficiency I had.

So I switched to the left side, and it began aggravating my TMJ disorder - which is one of these ailments that almost 100% of people have. TMJ disorder is awesome. I can't click my jaw on command - I need to learn how - but if you're around me long enough, you may be entertained by a click or two reverberating about the room. Pretty cool, huh? I can live with it, because it can be loads of fun, but I just don't want it to get any worse - even though you think that'll be even funnier.

So I switched to sleeping face-down. And lo! Now it turns out I'm not supposed to do that either, since it jams your jaw into your face.

This leaves sleeping on my back as the only "option." Hey, I thought this was a free country. We're supposed to have choices. Did we lose a - wait, we did.

But seriously now. I can't do it. That takes skill. Besides that, sleeping on your back might make you swallow your gum. Sleeping in a cozy position is magical. Without it, every night is ruined.

What's a mere mortal to do? Stink?

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Have no fear, the September ish is here!

In the spirit of economic populism, we at The Last Word eschew the idea of going back to school in July. Our famous Back-to-School issue is a September event, and this one's a beaut!

This ish talks about a hilarious high school classmate who graced my class for only a day, the comedy of medicated chewing gum, pounding on the table in 6th grade to the tune of a Quiet Riot record, the right-wing classism of revoking driver's licenses for bad grades, and the uproariousness of all your teeth falling out.

So please, please, please point your pooper here...

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Kate McKinnon buyed Stride (Bubble Gum Weekend)

This. Is. Uproarious.

I know this was intended to be a serious blog, but I can't help analyze the hilarity of Saturday Night Live regular Kate McKinnon's ad campaign for Stride gum.

It isn't because she bubbled twice in the ad - though that itself is unusual, because I don't think Stride is specifically labeled as bubble gum. Then again, I'm not sure, since Stride isn't one of the big gum brands that bubble gum busters who are my age remember from their youth. To see what makes this ad so roll-on-the-floor guffawy, fast forward to 2:18...

Yes, that.

I burst out laughing when Kate let her gum fall out of her mouth and onto her good couch! I am going to save that video just because of that!

I seem to recall someone in college discarding their gum in that manner - and me thinking it was just as hilarious then as I do now.

Bevin party-switching scandal expands

One of the reasons I haven't been updating this blog as much lately is because I've sort of had to accept that one of America's major political parties really is as bad as it seems. They nominated Donald Trump to run for President, for crying out loud. Let that sink in. But I've kept a close eye on Matt Bevin's illegal threats against Kentucky legislators who refuse to switch parties.

Earlier, it was revealed that State Rep. Kevin Sinnette, an Ashland Democrat, faced threats from Bevin because he wouldn't become a Republican. Now another lawmaker has come forward with a similar claim. State Rep. Russ Meyer, a first-term Democrat from Nicholasville, says he too was approached by Bevin about switching parties. Meyer opted to remain a Democrat. Upon hearing this, Bevin's chief of staff Blake Brickman called Meyer "an Obama-loving baby killer" in a phone conversation with him. Brickman also threatened to yank state-funded projects from Meyer's district. True to form, the criminal Bevin went on to gut a road project in that district.

Honestly, why would anyone today become a Republican?


Sunday, August 21, 2016

Streetcar on track to fascism

Let's get one thing perfectly clear: The brand new Cincinnati streetcar - which has already been involved in several crashes with other vehicles - is not called the "Cincinnati Bell Connector."


That is a purchased name. Corporate naming "rights" are a misnomer. There is no right in the Constitution for a corporation to buy the name of any facility that the corporation has no actual connection to, and expect people to refer to it by that name. Corporate naming "rights" are nothing short of fascism.

That hasn't stopped Channel 19 from misnomering the streetcar.

The FCC needs to crack down on TV and radio stations that refer to public facilities by their corporate name - on the grounds that stations should be limited in the amount of advertising they carry. It's interesting how those who oppose changing the names of sports teams like the Washington Redskins that might be considered pejorative are usually the same people who jump at every chance to refer to venues by a new corporate name.

Before corporations spend money plastering their name on public venues, they need to start paying taxes like everyone else.

Local broadcaster accused of bank robbery

The FCC shut down Tantrum 95.7, but they let this guy get a broadcasting license?

Randy James Fitzsimmons was the program director of WAKW-FM in Cincinnati, a longtime religious station that received funds from some Religious Right groups. Fitzsimmons later started his own religious broadcasting company.

Now he's been jailed on charges that he robbed a bank in Lincoln, Nebraska.

He is also accused of faking his own death from a terminal illness last year.

What a beezweezer.


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Walton! Bellevue! Persimmon Grove! It's a great place to start!

There's been some pooey times in these parts, but one way to mitigate the pooeyness is to peep and weep my latest Roads Scholaring photos!

Back in May, I got a few minor exhibits from Walton. Nothing that interesting here, but it's enough to clean the Clorox from your drawers...

June pibbed the crazy US 27 way. The Peace Bike toured northern Kentucky's river cities again, and I even entered a Frisch's Big Boy on the day they reopened (though I dared not test whether this restaurant chain had indeed improved its vittles)...

You'll stink some more as a typically rainy July nearly ruinated an automotive Scholaring that took us to southern Campbell County...

Peep those photos now before they peep you!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Right-wing activist commits mass shooting in Missouri

There's been another mass shooting, this time in Joplin, Missouri. As of now, at least 8 are reported to have been shot.

The shooter has been identified as 26-year-old Tom Mourning II. To the surprise of absolutely nobody, his Facebook page is full of support for Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and other ultra-right-wingism.

I will make an issue of right-wing domestic terrorism until steps are made to properly deal with it.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Trump says parts of Constitution are unconstitutional

Lord help us.

Donald Trump breaks the stupid barrier daily, and today is no exception indeed. He just posted a text blast on his Twitter feed in which he opined, "Some amendments are unconstitutional. Parts of the first and the 14th go against Bill of Rights. I'll fix that, appoint the best judges."

Wrong, the Donald. If it's in the Constitution, it's constitutional.

And what parts of the First and Fourteenth amendments is he referring to? The First is part of the Bill of Rights, so how can it go against the Bill of Rights?

What a complete dumbass.

Bellevue doubles down against jake brake mistake

Bellevue, Kentucky! The longtime home of this fine populist blog!

In June, the city bucked the Tea Party politburo by announcing its intent to send a cease-and-desist letter to construction firms whose trucks were speeding, running red lights, and loudly squeaking their brakes on the way to and from the unpopular Manhattan Harbor development that Dayton rubber-stamped.

This vow seems to be getting some results, but if you listen close, you can still hear the squeaky brakes in the distance - probably emanating from outside Bellevue's limits.

Now Bellevue is doubling down on its efforts to keep the city's hard-working citizenry safe. According to this website, the issue was raised again at yesterday's City Council meeting...

The article says, "There have been frequent complaints from businesses and pedestrians on the avenue about dump trucks speeding through town. The police are going to start watching for this according to Chief Turner." Good.

Three cheers for local autonomy! Local control is one of our most powerful weapons against Tea Party fascism.

You don't have to blow bubbles. But you will. Maybe. Possibly. (Bubble Gum Weekend)

It's only Thursday, but you're probably already in the mood to bubble. Economic inequality has pushed people to their breaking point. So why not start this Bubble Gum Weekend a little early?

Bubble Yum was growing fast all over the world back in 1979. The bubbling craze of that era didn't have to make sense. All it had to do was exist. Naturally, Bubble Yum ran a commersh for its brand bippus bustin' new spearmint flavor that was so hilarious that you'll just laugh until your jaw freezes and you can bubble no more...

The ad features 3 very dignified men on a train decked out in suits. One of them whips out a pack o' BG and explains why he loves the damn stuff so much. He squeezes the piece of gum - a common theme in Bubble Yum commercials back then.

The real hilarity ensues when a mysterious voice in the man's head implores him to bubble. Because this man always takes orders from mysterious voices in his head, he does precisely that. A big, green bubble emerges from his gaping maw.

Then - even more mysteriously - all 3 of the men bubble at the exact same time.

The slogan: "You don't have to blow bubbles. But you will." We will??? How can they predict the future? It's certainly true that nobody had to blow bubbles. Jimmy Carter had just repealed the Bubbling Act, which removed this legal obligation. But how did they know that every viewer will bubble following the airing of the ad? The ad should have said, "But you might." Or, "But there's a strong probability that you could." Or, "But you will, but only if poo."

It's also unclear what country this commersh was intended for. The accents don't sound American. Then again, they could be attempting to employ that certain aristocratic accent that's supposed to be ambiguous whether it's American or British, like that of William Buckley or Ruth Warrick (who were both American). To me, it sounds British, for I've been told I have a rather strong Midwestern accent. But who knows?

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Trump wants "Second Amendment people" to deal with Clinton


Hey hey hey. Hey hey hey hey hey.

Hey hey hey.

Hey now.

Imagine if you can what the reaction would be if, say, Jill Stein threatened to unleash "Second Amendment people" against Donald Trump. But Trump wants "Second Amendment people" to deal with Hillary Clinton.

Today, the billionaire Republican presidential candidate made an open threat against the Democratic nominee. Trump said that if Clinton wins the election and gets to nominate Supreme Court Justices, there's "nothing you can do, folks ... although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is."

The Donald is threatening to assassinate political rivals?

How are the Republicans gonna put a happy face on this? If I was a Republican leader concerned with the party's electoral prospects, I'd be burying my head in my hand right about now.

If Trump manages to whip up a violent insurrection, authorities need to bring down the hammer against the GOP with gusto. From what I've seen over the past 30 years, we can't afford to underestimate the dangerous stupidity of the Far Right.


Sunday, August 7, 2016

Have no fear, the August ish is here!

An ish. An ish. An ish, an ish, an ish, an ish, an ish.. (To the tune of "The Pink Panther Theme.")

The August issue of The Last Word has now magically appeared, and it's a beaut! This edition describes in hairy detail the outcome of my long-running lawsuit, the Tea Party's efforts to botch it, Casey Kasem, and a whole lotta Internet stupidity!

So point your pooper here...

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Trump now in 4th place among younger voters

America's young people need to become old enough to vote faster.

Already, however, the popular McClatchy poll shows Donald Trump is in a distant 4th place among voters under 30. When was the last time the nominee of a major party was lower than second place among any age group?

Not only does Trump lag far behind Hillary Clinton among younger voters but also behind the Green Party's Jill Stein and the Libertarian Party's Gary Johnson. In fact, Trump has only 9% among young voters.

Nine percent. For a supposedly major party.

Butbutbutbutbut I was told by the Wall Street Journal that young voters would vote for Trump because the other candidates are old and uncool. Wah.


Friday, August 5, 2016

Another top Kentucky GOPer indicted


You gotta be kidding me!!!

This is the party that thinks it has a divine right to take the Kentucky House this November, and now they've been enveloped by yet another major scandal. Clay County Judge-Executive Joe Asher - a Republican - has just been arrested and indicted for crimes including bribery and possession of a forged instrument. The indictment comes from allegations that Asher and a local road foreman used public money to do personal work at homes and billed the homeowners for it - constituting bribery.

Naturally, media accounts of this indictment conveniently omit Asher's party affiliation.


Get ready for "Ready 'N' Steady"!

This is primarily a political blog, but the story of "Ready 'N' Steady" has fascinated me for years.

This blog reported in 2009 that "Ready 'N' Steady" by D.A. was a record that charted on Billboard's Bubbling Under singles chart in 1979 - but nobody could ever find a copy of the record. This led Joel Whitburn and other music collectors to believe it was a phantom record that Billboard listed as a copyright trap.

Finally - after 37 years - the song has surfaced. Though it's the rarest record ever to appear on a Billboard pop singles chart, it's come to life thanks to the wonders of YouTube. The singer D.A. is the late Dennis Armand Lucchesi from northern California.

The reason it's the rarest record is that no copies were ever pressed. There's also no evidence it was ever played on the radio. In fact, the record label - Rascal Records - wasn't even real. (A different Rascal Records cropped up later.) So how did the song chart in an era when records that were not sold as a vinyl single were ineligible to chart? There's strong speculation by collectors that a record promoter who was interested in the song was friends with a Billboard employee, and he got Billboard to manipulate the chart. I certainly hope not, because I like to think Billboard had honest charts.

The song was never pressed as a commercial single, but a lone cassette recording does exist. It's the sort of Bob Seger-like rockabilly number that might have been popular in 1979. And YouPube's got it...

Mystery solved.

How was Bush any different from Trump?

Why are so many people just now figuring out that the Republican Party is irreversibly racked by a special brand of stupid?

Make no mistake: Donald Trump is truly a bad guy, and he's unfit for public office. But I've got news for you: George W. Bush was too!

Don't you remember what a crazy nut Bush was? Are memories really that short?

One of few real differences between Bush and Trump is that Trump isn't the team player Bush was. Bush didn't lash out at the rest of the Republican machine like Trump does. Does Trump appear worse only because he's managed to anger so many fellow Republicans?

Other than that, it's the same old shit. Understand?

What the hell kind of idiocy took over the Republican Party circa 1988?

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Hate group kills Maryland housing law

A handful of cities and counties have an ordinance that says landlords can't turn away prospective tenants on the basis of where they get their rent money - as long as the source of their rent money is legal. Building owners can still reject tenants if they don't have enough money - but they can't just turn you away because of where you get your money.

Baltimore County, Maryland, was considering such a measure. The county had a history of blocking fair housing. In fact, the federal government once withheld sewer funding because the county supported racial discrimination in housing. But after the new housing ordinance was introduced, a right-wing hate group called the Baltimore County Campaign for Liberty spread lies in an effort to scuttle it.

This organization said the ordinance would create a "massive flood" of Section 8 residents and falsely claimed the federal government would give a Section 8 voucher to all 35,000 families on the local waiting list. The group also falsely claimed that the proposed ordinance would destroy good neighborhoods. These lies were actually racist dog whistles, given Baltimore County's racial history.

After the misnamed Baltimore County Campaign for Liberty presented a petition to county officials - on which many signatures appeared to be false - the county rejected the ordinance. It would have been merely disappointing if the county rejected it for some other reason. But it's enraging that they rejected it because a racist hate group told them to.

This is yet another story that underscores the need to clamp down on hate groups. I'm still working on some ideas about this subject that I started on weeks ago, and I mean business.

But there's good news: After this bill failed, lawmakers are now working on a statewide bill.