It's another victory for the "do less with less" austerity fucks.
Today, Matt Bevin ordered the budget for all of Kentucky's state colleges and universities slashed by 4.5%. This while his Republican pals in the Kentucky Senate are blocking a state spending plan from being enacted - thus risking a shutdown of state government next month.
You own this one, Rethugs. Can't blame "the liberals" for this.
Anyone who's dealt with most public services - including Kentucky's higher education system - has seen nothing but budget cuts for the past 25 years. Even in the '90s when I was in college, we kept losing vital programs, and when I asked what happened to them, the answer was usually the same: "Budget cuts." I'm surprised they can still find 4.5% to cut.
Thursday, March 31, 2016
It's another victory for the "do less with less" austerity fucks.
Posted by Bandit at 7:41 PM
This would be a great day for your face to fly off in public while enjoying March's Roads Scholaring photos.
These pictures start out just blocks from our humble digs, and bip all the way over to Over-the-Rhine, where a set of abandoned streets was to be found.
So point your pooper here...
Posted by Bandit at 7:21 PM
The New Hampshire Forehead has once again shattered the stupid barrier.
Today, Matt Bevin and his cohorts gave a tearful press conference where they admitted they knew of problems with the hated Benefind program since before it launched a month ago. They knew about the problems, didn't fix them, and unleashed a flawed system on the people of Kentucky.
But Bevin continued to blame Steve Beshear.
Nothing is ever the Republicans' fault, is it?
Posted by Bandit at 6:25 PM
Tuesday, March 29, 2016
Fort Thomas, Kentucky, is becoming a Democratic stronghold? Who knew?
Now I've truly seen everything.
Posted by Bandit at 7:42 PM
The Supreme Court has just dealt a major victory to America's working people. I said working people - so by definition, that excludes the Tea Party.
Today, the Supremes deadlocked 4 to 4 in the corporate-funded Freidrichs v. California Teachers Association case - thus leaving unchanged a lower court ruling that allows public employee unions to collect reasonable fees for the services they provide. If the court had ruled against unions, it would have effectively created a nationwide right-to-scab law that would have forced unionized public workers to subsidize nonunion labor.
What we should be surprised about is that we somehow ended up with 4 Justices who voted against unions in this case. There is no legal basis to rule against the unions - in fact, a 1977 Supreme Court case went in labor's favor on this very subject - and more importantly, to prohibit unions from collecting service fees would be an unconstitutional impairment of a contract. What's more is that schools and other vital services in so-called "right-to-work" states generally perform worse than they do in free-bargaining states.
The plaintiffs' arguments in the Freidrichs case would be downright laughable if there hadn't been a very real risk they might win. But today, workers won.
Posted by Bandit at 12:19 PM
Monday, March 28, 2016
When I heard there was a shooting at the U.S. Capitol today, I knew right away it would turn out to be the work of a Tea Party/Donald Trump droid.
My suspicion was correct. The shooter has been identified as one Larry Dawson of Tennessee. I checked his Facebook page, and - to the surprise of absolutely zero people except The Media - it's full of crossposted Tea Party memes and pro-Trump rants.
Dawson is a man who came to D.C. with the apparent intent of assassinating public figures including President Obama. And he's a Tea Party guy. So when will authorities finally start bringing down the hammer on right-wing hate groups like the Tea Party?
Posted by Bandit at 5:17 PM
Matt Bevin (R-Courier-Journal) strikes again!
The embattled guv has fired a leading Kentucky official because he warned about the growing scandal in Bevin's Benefind program. Norman Ward of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services was dismissed shortly after he sounded the alarm that Bevinfind's cancellation of health benefits was angering the public.
What Bevin did is exactly the sort of thing that almost got Ernie "Hey Bert" Fletcher tossed in the slammer.
Posted by Bandit at 3:46 PM
Get ready, mapfaces, because I've got a new project that'll truly knock your shirt in the dirt!
I've created some maps for 8 nearby counties in Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana showing presidential election results on a precinct-by-precinct basis. It's news you can use, for it gives you an idea of what parts of town should be shunned for their Republican leanings.
What 2 precincts in Bishop Brossart country did President Obama actually win? Did Mount Auburn tower over Walnut Hills? Just how misnamed is Butler County's Liberty Township? You can find all these answers and more just by pointing your pooper here...
Posted by Bandit at 12:26 PM
Sunday, March 27, 2016
Today at an important family gathering - to the surprise of absolutely nobody but nobody - the unmistakable bouquet of a silent-but-deadly bunker blast was detected.
Cries of accusation sprang up throughout the room, but no suspects could be indicted for this class D misdemeanor.
Posted by Bandit at 9:05 PM
Friday, March 25, 2016
Every time something like this happens, we need to have an audio clip embedded in this blog that has Ronald Reagan saying, "Well, you fucked up again."
Recently, the criminal Matt Bevin shut down Kentucky's health care exchange - the most successful in the nation - without getting the requisite approval from lawmakers. He replaced it with the laughably named Benefind, a website that directs people to the federal health exchange. Benefind is also now mandatory for anyone applying for public benefit programs.
But Benefind doesn't work. Remember when everyone complained about the "broken" Obamacare website? Well, Bevinfind is worse - by far. Many folks have been directed to call a phone number - only to receive a recording that tells them to try later. Others have been told to visit state benefit offices, forcing them to miss work and wait the entire day at the office. Benefind has also locked people out of their health care accounts or completely eliminated their health coverage. Some haven't been able to get life-saving medications as a result.
Well, that was the whole point. Did you really expect Matt Bevin not to fuck something up on purpose?
Naturally, officials with the Bevin thugocracy are denying how bad Bevinfind is and making excuses for it. They even blamed former Gov. Steve Beshear for it - even though it was Bevin who started Benefind.
Benefind is Benefucked.
Posted by Bandit at 7:58 PM
Tuesday, March 22, 2016
This is hilarious!
Sarah Palin - the unlikable half-term Alaska governor who so laughably became the Republicans' vice-presidential nominee in 2008 - is being given her own court show! That's right, peoplefaces. Some TV production company actually thinks Sarah Palin can be the next Judge Judy or Judge Mills Lane!
Isn't that one of the most ridiculous things you've ever heard?
It's ridiculous not just because Sarah Palin doesn't have a law degree, but also because nobody can stand her.
The show is set to debut sometime next year. You can bet your bizcream some stations will pick it up, because they're always itching for an excuse to get more right-wingers on the air.
Posted by Bandit at 5:36 PM
Monday, March 21, 2016
Recently, Republicans in Kentucky held their presidential caucus, which was won by the despicable Donald Trump, with the equally vile Ted Cruz not far behind. The GOP held a caucus instead of their usual regular primary despite the fact that the Democrats will still have a regular primary in May. The reason usually given for this was so Rand Paul could run for both President and Senate at the same time.
Bull. That's not the main reason. If that was the case, all they needed to do was change the law to let a candidate run for both offices at once (which some states allow).
I didn't see the real reason at first, but when the caucus approached, I put 2 and 2 together and it made sense. The actual reason for the caucus was that there were 4 special elections only 3 days later that could have flipped control of the Kentucky House to the Republicans. Electioneering regulations don't necessarily apply at caucuses. So Republican candidates in the special elections were able to campaign at the polling place - where only Republicans voted.
That perfectly explains the timing of the caucus and the special elections, and why the Republicans had a caucus instead of a regular primary - while the Democrats' primary won't be for months.
This gambit backfired, as the Democrats went on to unexpectedly gain a seat in the special elections - despite media bias against them and a 25-to-1 fundraising disadvantage. The only thing the Republicans managed to prove is that their own party is unpopular by any raw measure.
The GOP is the party of outdated ideas and dwindling support that somehow manages to keep shambling along.
Posted by Bandit at 1:37 PM
Sunday, March 20, 2016
It is so, so over for the GOP.
They'll last a little while longer downballot, but I think they're done at the presidential level.
Check this out (like a library book)...
According to a Deseret News/KSL poll, Bernie Sanders would beat Donald Trump by 11 percentage points - in Utah. Yes, the Utah - the most Republican state in America. With Hillary Clinton instead of Sanders, Clinton leads by only 2, but she still leads.
Granted, some other states might surpass Utah in their Republican leanings, and I'd already seen a Democratic trend brewing in Utah. But very few other states in the Republicans' best batch are either big or growing. (I'm thinking of one state in particular - not Kentucky.) And the poll shows the GOP would still win Utah in the unlikely event that the party nominates another major candidate.
But a self-described democratic socialist is winning Utah now? Utah???
Posted by Bandit at 12:19 PM
Friday, March 18, 2016
The Far Right is on the march in Williamsville, New York.
A pair of brothers who attend Williamsville East High School have been harassed at school for years because they are Muslim. Because the school openly condones the harassment, the violence has spilled over into the outside community: The teens' house was vandalized, and the windows there were smashed out.
Now they've been forced to defend themselves at school, and the school is threatening to expel them for fighting.
When a TV station reported on this nauseating story, the same people who were harassing the teens began posting comments on the station's website attacking them. Schoolmates who defended the teens were called "druggies."
You know that if Mad Dog Bush hadn't abused his presidential pardon powers, we'd be seeing a lot less of this garbage now. He set a bad example for generations to come.
Posted by Bandit at 1:44 PM
Wednesday, March 16, 2016
I pulled one over on the Far Right!
Pouring hydrogen peroxide in the ears has killed common colds every time I've tried it in the history of ever. Or at least it's cured it much quicker than not using it at all - even the time last year when I waited an extra hour because I got too enraptured in a CHiPs episode.
As one of the latest doings of the Bandit, I had cause to break out the peroxide again. This was Monday night, when the telltale signs of a major respiratory infection began to lurk in the offing. So peroxide was introduced into each auditory canal, and that was the end of it.
I felt weak yesterday, but that was because of adjusting to Daylight Wasting Time. I feel weak today, but that's because I was deprived of sleep by the Northern Kentucky Water District running a jackhammer at 4 AM. But I feel safe in declaring Monday a landslide win against deadly colds.
Posted by Bandit at 4:28 PM
Sorry, Republicans. You destroyed your own party, so don't complain when Donald Trump gets the nomination.
For starts, let's stop pretending that the billionaire real estate developer is some sort of revolutionary. Trump is as Establishment as you can get. Right-wing billionaires are part of the Establishment - by definition. His followers are the same spoiled 1-percenters who peopled the Tea Party. (I'm using the term "peopled" loosely.)
Now, Republican leaders are terrified of what will happen if Trump is their presidential nominee. They know he'll lose in November just as long as voters actually get off their asses and vote. So they're pushing for a brokered convention where delegates can deny Trump the nomination.
Hahaha. No. He's yours, Repubs. Contested conventions date from the days when delegates were chosen by state party officials, not by voters in primaries. And GOP voters - since they don't think like we do - want Trump. Why should the party reject Trump and replace him with someone who got fewer votes? And if they want to replace him with someone who isn't even running, then whoever they want to replace him with should have run. (Paul Ryan says he won't accept it.) Besides that, Trump voters will reduce the party to a broken husk if their guy isn't the nominee after winning the most votes. They'll do to their party what Al Gore's supporters should have done to the Bush thugocracy.
You can make the case that Bernie Sanders should contest the Democratic convention if Hillary Clinton still has more delegates, because Clinton has Republican positions like supporting the Iraq War and video game censorship. Having different policies from the Republicans is a key reason to have a Democratic Party. But Donald Trump is an ideological match for his own party label. He's a Frankenstein of the GOP's making.
Good grief, Rick Scott even endorsed him!
Posted by Bandit at 2:43 PM
Suck it up and stop complaining.
Some of you may remember when right-wing domestic terrorist Eric Rudolph sued because he was allowed to use the prison swimming pool for only 90 minutes each day. America has Eric Rudolph, but Norway has Anders Behring Breivik - a right-wing extremist who murdered 77 people in a 2011 rampage. Now he too is suing because prison isn't luxurious enough for him.
According to the New York Times, Breivik's prison cell is a 3-room suite that has a treadmill, refrigerator, DVD player, PlayStation, and typewriter. He's also been allowed to take a distance learning class, and of course he has TV and radio and gets to fix his own food. He has things that a lot of people who aren't terrorists will never have. But it's not enough for him, and now he's suing because he thinks his human rights are being violated.
Naturally - in true Donald Trump fashion - Breivik gave a Nazi salute at the court hearing.
Sadly, the far-right political party that Breivik was a member of is now part of Norway's ruling coalition. So - just as the Republicans mollycoddled Eric Rudolph - I fear that Norwegian government officials will continue to do the same for Breivik. It's part of the Far Right's revolving door.
Posted by Bandit at 1:06 PM
President Obama has nominated Judge Merrick Garland to fill the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court - amidst Senate Republicans' refusal to even consider any nominee.
Well, good luck with that, and hopefully Garland will turn out to be a progressive jurist. If the Senate won't confirm Garland, then hopefully the President will muster the gumption to make a recess appointment.
Posted by Bandit at 12:13 PM
Monday, March 14, 2016
It's time once again for the latest issue of The Last Word, where you can read about the latest doings of the Bandit.
My former high school has its hand out again, and we put the memory module in high gear as we reminisce about a bizarre e-mail we got 17 years ago.
So point your pooper here...
Posted by Bandit at 7:11 PM
Friday, March 11, 2016
Republicans say lots of stupid things, and usually people just forget about it after it gets swept under the rug, so the GOP is never held accountable. This time needs to be different.
Yesterday, during an important legislative hearing, Kentucky State Sen. Dan Seum (R-Louisville) told rape victims and their families who were speaking to lawmakers that "this government through its intrusion has done more damage to me" than rapists have done to their victims.
The rape survivors and victims' families who appeared at the hearing were outraged.
Naturally, when confronted with this story, Kentucky Republican leaders immediately began pointing fingers at political foes.
Posted by Bandit at 7:36 PM
Cool people enjoy Roads Scholaring photos.
In the month of Febrewery, the Peace Bike and I visited the Cincinnati neighborhood of South Fairmount and pept it, wept it, and oggle-bept it.
You - the befaced reader - may now do the same, since this outing yielded 32 Scholaring photos and videos...
Posted by Bandit at 1:33 PM
Sugar was used in food for thousands of years before it was even linked to cavities. But every time some corporation invents an artificial sweetener to "replace" sugar, it only takes a few years at most to link the artificial sweetener to cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.
Just a few years ago, they came out with sucralose - often branded as Splenda - and promoted it with ads featuring people chewing bubble gum and the like. Now the Center for Science in the Public Interest - a nutrition watchdog group - has urged people to avoid Splenda, now that a link between this product and leukemia and similar cancers has again been confirmed. (This isn't even the first study that confirms it.)
Now let's watch closely as this story is swept under the rug by tomorrow.
Posted by Bandit at 1:04 PM
Tuesday, March 8, 2016
Today was a day when - at least regarding elections - almost everything came up utterly pibtastic.
Bernie Sanders has been officially declared the winner of the Democratic primary in Michigan. This is by far the biggest upset of the primary season. Legendary political prognosticator Nate Silver had given Hillary Clinton a seemingly insurmountable 99% chance of winning the state.
Meanwhile, on the Republican side, Donald Trump continues to embarrass the GOP.
Posted by Bandit at 11:47 PM
Everyone said it couldn't be done, but guess what?
With results of all 4 Kentucky special elections in, the Democrats won 3, losing only the district that was about a zillion percent Republican to begin with. This boosts the Democrats to a 53 to 47 advantage in the House.
Brings a whole new meaning to Mitt Romney's 47%!
All the bluster by the Kentucky GOP over the past 4 months about their looming takeover of the South's only Democratic legislative chamber was all for naught. What's most amazing is that the Democrats didn't just keep the House today, but actually made a net gain! That's the type of thing we're always told can't be done in a rural state.
Maybe - just maybe - the truth is finally starting to sink in.
In the immortal words of Principal Skinner, who's ha-hawing now?
Posted by Bandit at 8:25 PM
The Democrats have now won at least 2 of the 4 special elections for Kentucky House today. The second seat is particularly amazing, because it was a Republican-held seat north of Lexington. (This was Ryan Quarles's old seat.)
"Butbutbutbut! Republican seats are supposed to stay Republican in perpetuity! No fair! Waaah!"
Today could still go 2 for 2, but the Republicans would have to flip a Democratic seat in southwestern Kentucky. If so, the Democrats will maintain a 52 to 48 edge in the House. (Yes, I said 48. That's kind of an inside joke that seems fitting for the Kentucky GOP.)
Posted by Bandit at 7:36 PM
So far, results for only one of the 4 special elections for Kentucky House today are in, and the Republicans are already mathematically eliminated from bringing the chamber to a 50/50 tie. The Democrats just won the seat in northeastern Kentucky handily.
The Republicans bragged. They boasted. They gloated. Today was gonna be the day that the Democrats lost their majority for the first time in 90 years. But it is not to be.
Not today anyway. Tough toilets, Repubs.
Posted by Bandit at 7:05 PM
Saturday, March 5, 2016
I think the Republican Party has just sunken to a new level of stupid - again. Unfortunately, the Democratic establishment has been happy to help.
In Lamar County, Texas, incumbent County Clerk Russ Towers just lost the Republican primary to Ruth Sisson. Towers had been appointed to that post when the previous clerk retired. Many believe Towers lost the GOP primary because he is openly gay. Because the Republicans hate gays, it wouldn't be surprising if that's why he lost.
But Ruth Sisson - who ran on a "family values" Tea Party platform - is quite a character. Court records reveal that Sisson has been busted for theft at least 12 times. In 9 of these cases, charges were dismissed after she paid restitution. She was convicted in the other 3 cases. She also wrote a series of at least 44 bad checks, totaling $2,544. And in 2010 she was accused of making harassing phone calls full of racial slurs.
This is the person who Republican voters in Lamar County are placing in charge of an office with an annual budget of $500,000. The GOP raises such a stink when someone accidentally writes one single rubber check to a corporation - but 44 bad checks is no accident. Bouncing 44 checks is a deliberate act of deception. Plus, Sisson's bigotry makes her unfit for public office.
Oh, and guess what? Sisson has effectively won the general election too. That's because the Democrats - in all their wisdom - refused to field a candidate. That's right, peeps: It's now an open seat, and the Democrats won't even have a candidate!
Once again, a party that's unfit to govern gets a free pass.
Posted by Bandit at 1:58 PM
Friday, March 4, 2016
Republican voters in 4 Kentucky House districts are sure not to miss the special elections this coming Tuesday, March 8. But what about you???
It's not like the Kentucky Democratic Party is doing a thing to defend the seats it has, but at least labor unions and the individual Democratic candidates are. Will this be enough to overcome the right-wing media? Or will Kentucky plunge further into debt and decay at the hands of corrupt Republican bosses? See, that's the beauty of Republican corruption: It gives us an excuse to use big words like that.
It's conceivable that the GOP could win all 4 elections, bringing the Kentucky House to a 50/50 tie. Nobody expects the Democrats to win all 4, but if they did, they'd enjoy a surmountable but commanding 54 to 46 edge.
The Democrats must also overcome the Republicans' astounding 25-to-1 cash advantage. That figure doesn't even count the money that nominally nonpartisan Tea Party groups have on hand from their heroin sales. In addition, the House was gerrymandered to favor Republicans. House Democrats had a part in redistricting, but of course they decided to play nice in the hopes Republicans might start playing nice.
On the plus side, Matt Bevin and Donald Trump aren't exactly doing their party any favors. Furthermore, one of the 4 Republicans running in the special elections has come out against unconstitutional "right-to-work" laws, so the GOP won't be able to pass their priority legislation this year - maybe not ever, since higher voter turnout or further party embarrassment could gut GOP gains in November.
But most of the Republican Party today is living debris, and shouldn't be allowed out of their cages unsupervised. So we have to keep the latest Republican jackboot from dropping. Do your job, Media. And I don't mean just quoting a candidate saying "bubble gum."
Posted by Bandit at 7:37 PM
Thursday, March 3, 2016
The Republican Party is full of violent thugs, so if we were to report on every GOP rally where counterprotesters are beaten or otherwise assaulted, this would be a mighty active blog. Remember the "George Bush, Bite My Tush" incident at Devou Park?
But it's a big story when the victim is actually allowed to file charges - in Kentucky, no less! Usually, victims of attacks like this are met with a Rosco P. Coltrane-like "Are you kidding me?!" response when they try to file charges.
After participants in a Donald Trump rally in Louisville on Tuesday assaulted protesters, some are fighting back: A 17-year-old male who was punched in the stomach by an unidentified woman at the rally has been able to file a police report over the incident. This victim and others were also kicked out of the event by Trump brownshirts after the billionaire Republican frontrunner himself ordered them ejected.
The woman who assaulted the teen was part of a group that also included Cincinnati-based white supremacist "leader" Matthew Heimbach - who has admitted being involved in a separate assault at the event that was broadcast on TV.
We are at war - a war between good and evil.
Posted by Bandit at 12:20 PM
Wednesday, March 2, 2016
You know Kentucky State Rep. Joe Fischer is bad when his extremism makes national news.
The Tea Party Republican from Fort Thomas is as bad as that legislator in Georgia a few years ago who kept introducing all those loopy bills. Now Fischer has introduced H.B. 572, which is what he calls the Matrimonial Freedom Act. This epic 454-page bill starts off with an incoherent rant against the Supreme Court's marriage equality ruling. Most of the rest of it consists of simply changing the word "marriage" in existing laws to "matrimony." It also says that if a couple is of the same sex, it's not actually a "matrimony."
In essence, the bill would abolish all marital rights and replace them with rights for people in a "matrimony."
This is Fischer's attempt to circumvent the Supreme Court. He thinks that if the law gives marriage a different name, the Supreme Court decision doesn't apply.
Naturally, the Democrats are letting Fischer go unopposed.
Posted by Bandit at 11:09 PM
New Hampshire State Rep. Kyle Tasker is in a heap of trouble.
Tasker - a Republican - faces 4 felony charges for possessing drugs (including opiates) with intent to sell and for using Facebook Messenger to try to lure a 14-year-old girl for a sexual encounter.
Tasker was previously known for carelessly dropping his gun while heading into a legislative hearing.
Posted by Bandit at 4:41 PM
Donald Trump romping to victory in so many states in the Republican presidential primary should be the event that finally does in Team Tyranny.
But no so fast!
The pundits know what's really in store for us, and it's just as stomach-turning as anything we've ever seen before. Their theory is that after the smoke clears, there'll still be 2 major political parties, and they'll still be the Democrats and the Republicans - only they'll be further to the right of what they are now.
According to this theory, the Trump counterrevolution will create what political observers call a realignment. This is a fancy term for a sharp shift in the demographics, issues, and regional bases of the parties. Following this realignment, they say the Republicans will become a rural-based right-wing nationalist party with less of a focus on economics. At the same time, the Democrats will become a voice of big-city business interests and free trade.
Where does this leave most people? Most people don't fit into either one of those categories. Usually, people who actually live in urban areas aren't aligned with their city's elite Big Business community. You can think of big cities as representing opposite ends of the economic spectrum - but the business end has far fewer people. With one party becoming too businessy and the other becoming too xenophobic and violent, will people just join a third party?
If the realignment plays out the way the Really Serious People want, it'll be like having 2 Republican parties - kind of like before the Blue Dogs were flushed out. Gee, won't that be fun?
Posted by Bandit at 12:59 AM