How deep is the selective austerity regime of Matt Bevin and the Tea Party in Kentucky?
It's so bad that the Dayton, Kentucky, school district has been forced to eliminate all bus service other than special education. Children in some neighborhoods will be left with no way to get to school - period. As a result, some students will end up transferring to other districts.
This has led some to suggest that the school district should instead cut expenses by having high school students work without pay as bus monitors, but that's another terrifying issue altogether.
Why do we call it selective austerity? Because Matt Bevin has found plenty of taxpayer money to give to a creationist theme park - $18 million, in fact. Campbell County is also one of many counties in Kentucky that gives taxpayer money to private schools for transportation - even though these schools can already afford it, and they don't pay any taxes anyway. These expenses are unconstitutional, of course, but the austerity droids have never let the Constitution stand in the way of their pet projects.
While private schools that pay no taxes get their transportation needs paid for from public coffers, public school students in Dayton get zero. A big, fat goose egg. The state and county take money from Dayton taxpayers and spend it elsewhere - in ways that aren't even constitutional!
Wasn't there a lawsuit in Kentucky about this a long time ago? There was, but officials were so busy rereading Reagan's "Nation At Risk" propaganda report and seeing who could implement "no pass, no drive" the fastest that progress was doomed from the get-go. Hope they're happy now that ideology was given priority over progress.
Friday, April 29, 2016
How deep is the selective austerity regime of Matt Bevin and the Tea Party in Kentucky?
Posted by Bandit at 1:21 PM
Thursday, April 28, 2016
When I attended Bishop Brossart High School in Alexandria, Kentucky, during the 1988 election season, a Brossart diehard punched me in the spleen with all his might and declared, "Only stupid hillbillies are Democrats." (That was years before I switched to the Greens, only to return to the Democrats.)
The Republican 1% today tries to portray themselves as "aw, shucks" populists, but they still let the mask slip occasionally.
Bernie Sanders just made a campaign stop in West Virginia that drew thousands. This prompted the usual Republican plen-T-plaints on news websites. One right-wing comment reads...
"Free Free Free everything free. Free food stamps, free welfare, free tuition, free healthcare, free gas, free dental, free jobs, free phones and free POONTANG. ... No wonder hillbillies loved him in W.Va. They only have three million people and two last names. All you out of work democratic miners be sure to run out and vote for Bernie or Hillary...I figure most of you are that stupid anyway. ..."
Does that tirade sound like working-class populism to you? It doesn't sound like it to me.
Posted by Bandit at 12:50 PM
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Republican former House Speaker Dennis Hastert has just been sentenced to 15 months in federal prison for paying hush money to cover up his acts of child molestation.
Though the prison term exceeds what Hastert appeared likely to receive, he could have gotten 5 years.
Posted by Bandit at 1:09 PM
It's hard to believe that the longest-serving Republican Speaker of the House in history being a child molester isn't a bigger story, but then again this is an election year.
Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert - who helped build the GOP's infamous culture of corruption - has finally admitted that he sexually abused boys while he was a high school wrestling coach.
One of Hastert's victims testified that the future congressman rubbed his penis at a wrestling camp.
Despite all this, sentencing guidelines say Hastert may face at most 6 months in jail. People serve years in prison for possession of marijuana, but Hastert probably won't get more than 6 months for something far worse.
Posted by Bandit at 12:29 PM
It takes a lot for the FBI to investigate a Republican.
But - according to former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, a Democrat - federal authorities may be ready to drop the hammer on the Kentucky GOP.
Today, Beshear gave a press conference where he said the FBI may be investigating Republican autocrat Matt Bevin for threatening lawmakers by telling them he'd cancel road projects in their districts if they didn't switch parties.
But we can't impeach Bevin, because Bill Clinton said "poop" 30 years ago.
Posted by Bandit at 12:02 PM
"Butbutbutbut! The Republicans aren't selling drugs! Stop being paranoid!"
How do you think the Republicans pay for all their campaign ads? Where do you think the Tea Party and FairTax thoughtcops get the money to bus people around the country for their rallies?
Emily Pitha is a high-powered GOP consultant and fundraiser who has worked for Arizona Republicans ranging from John McCain to Tea Party fave Jon Kyl. Yesterday, Pitha was arrested for running a huge drug operation from her Phoenix home. Authorities found enormous quantities of heroin and cocaine, a meth lab, bomb-making materials, and counterfeit cash.
Pitha faces child endangerment charges too because 2 children at the home had easy access to the drugs and the bomb materials.
Unfortunately, we can't count on the media to delve any further into right-wing drug dealing.
Posted by Bandit at 11:36 AM
Matt Bevin didn't learn shit from the tribulations of Ernie "Hey Bert" Fletcher.
Every voter in Kentucky in the past 30 years who registers as anything other than a Republican faces limited employment prospects - for party registration is public record - but that doesn't make it right for Bevin to continue this bottomless cronyism. Now Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear has directed the Executive Branch Ethics Commission to investigate Bevin for firing state employees on the basis of their political contributions.
If this probe goes anywhere, Bevin may be headed straight to jail where he belongs.
Posted by Bandit at 12:14 AM
Friday, April 22, 2016
The Media just whipped its knives out for ol' Bernie again because he refuses to do things their way.
Officials in Philadelphia have proposed a special tax on soft drinks - but of course they're exempting diet beverages, even though diet drinks contain cancer-causing chemicals. Bernie Sanders has come out against the tax.
You know, more people might support this tax if it didn't exempt diet drinks almost everywhere it's been proposed. To exempt diet soda is nothing but a bailout for makers of these chemicals and their synthetic subversion.
I'm waiting for some smart lawyer to file a lawsuit over these taxes on the grounds that it unfairly favors certain companies. Either that, or people need to start dumping out diet sodas at supermarkets. Seems like there was a similar tax protest in Boston in 1773.
Posted by Bandit at 11:16 PM
The way things are going, the Republican National Convention might end up looking like a ghost town.
The Republicans wanted Cheap Trick to play at the party's upcoming cavalcade of embarrassment. But the legendary rock band wanted nothing of it. Cheap Trick issued a statement saying...
"The Republican National Committee called our office and offered us $100,000 to play at their convention in Cleveland. We turned it down. Then we had second thoughts. Maybe we should have accepted it - but we would all have got swastika guitars made."
The GOP is really up the creek!
Posted by Bandit at 10:50 PM
Monday, April 18, 2016
Here's another story about a Catholic high school in Kentucky being mired in serious allegations of harassment - just like at Bishop Brossart.
At least 7 recent students at Lexington Catholic High School are claiming they were victims of harassment or assault at the school, and they've sought legal counsel. The attorney for some of the students says the school has engaged in a cover-up lasting for decades.
Allegations range from racial harassment to sexual assault at a school-sponsored function. One of the perpetrators was charged with terroristic threatening. At least one case may even be investigated as a hate crime.
The school has now vowed to cooperate with authorities in investigating the incidents. That's something Brossart never had to worry about, since Brossart had so much clout with the authorities that it was never investigated.
Posted by Bandit at 11:53 PM
A few of you may remember in the 1988 campaign when Mad Dog Bush claimed the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor was September 7, not December 7.
Now Donald Trump has gaffed it up in similar fashion. Today, during a campaign stop in Buffalo, the right-wing billionaire referred to 9/11 as "7/11."
Posted by Bandit at 11:37 PM
Saturday, April 16, 2016
The Last Word is back again with another bippus-bustin' new ish, and this one will make your face fart in public!
In this edition, the people of Cincinnati protest and scare away a leading presidential candidate. Plus, the record industry is exposed for using faux vinyl 30 years ago. We also explore the right-wing leanings of a 1990s singing group.
So point your piehole here...
Posted by Bandit at 9:54 PM
Monday, April 11, 2016
Friday, April 8, 2016
Good news, good news, Boss!
Wisconsin's Tea Party-backed "right-to-work" law has just been ruled unconstitutional by a Dane County court. Labor groups had argued that the law was an illegal seizure of unions' property because it forced unions to fund nonunion labor.
Don't uncork the bubble gum just yet, because this ruling is being appealed. There's no guarantee the decision will stick, given higher courts' determination to put ideology before law.
Posted by Bandit at 6:05 PM
Wednesday, April 6, 2016
The ark park isn't the only embarrassment that the Answers in Genesis cult has unleashed on the people of northern Kentucky. AIG also runs the much-ridiculed Creation Museum.
Now AIG wants to give the museum a major expansion that would include a 3-story building, a huge parking lot, and its own sewage treatment plant. Nearby residents don't want it. That's because the museum's expansion will make traffic problems, create stormwater runoff that will threaten farms and homes, cause gratuitous noise, and destroy the area's rural character.
Naturally, Boone County Fiscal Court - all of whom are Tea Party supporters - shrugged off residents' complaints and approved the museum plan anyway. This is of course the same Boone County Fiscal Court that approved an unconstitutional right-to-scab ordinance and reserved special space for supporters from right-wing legal foundations to speak in favor of it - and then lied about that.
May all their Ace Of Base records become Pepsified.
Posted by Bandit at 12:42 PM
Tuesday, April 5, 2016
Wanna hear a really dumb argument? The Goldwater Institute, a far-right think tank, said Kentucky's ban on corporations donating to political campaigns violated corporations' "rights" to equal protection under the law.
That claim is downright guffawable. Corporations are not supposed to have rights.
Despite this, U.S. District Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove - a George W. Bush appointee who was once chief legal counsel for far-right hack Rep. Ron Lewis - has blocked Kentucky's ban on corporate political contributions.
Gee, isn't it nice to know that big corporations won't be so oppressed by Kentucky law anymore?
This is the same judge who ordered Kentucky to use taxpayer money to subsidize a creationist amusement park run by the Answers in Genesis cult - even though Answers in Genesis refuses to obey antidiscrimination laws in hiring park workers.
Posted by Bandit at 10:34 AM
Monday, April 4, 2016
Evenwel v. Abbott was a downright laughable court case that sought to overturn the concept of "one person, one vote" by declaring that legislative redistricting must be based on the number of eligible voters instead of the total number of residents.
There was no constitutional or other legal basis whatsoever for the case. None. The Constitution is unambiguous that redistricting must be based on the total number of people.
But today, the Supreme Court ruled 8 to 0 against the Evenwel plaintiffs' preposterous claims.
The Evenwel case was lodged by largely the same well-funded right-wing legal eagles who filed the case that gutted the respected Voting Rights Act in 2013. We still have some work to do to restore that, so don't let up just yet.
Posted by Bandit at 1:23 PM
Saturday, April 2, 2016
Usually, when right-wing politicians break the law in plain sight, nothing is ever done about it. But when Matt Bevin ordered Kentucky colleges and universities to slash their budgets by 4.5%, he truly stepped in a pile.
Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear says the cuts are illegal, and he's giving the embattled Bevin 7 days to rescind the cuts. If the cuts aren't withdrawn, Beshear will sue Bevin. That's because the governor can't unilaterally cut items that are already budgeted by the state legislature. What would be the point of even having a budget if the governor could just ignore it?
When can the impeachment proceedings begin?
Posted by Bandit at 12:51 PM