Saturday, January 20, 2018

Republicans cause government shutdown

It's happened again: another federal government shutdown.

Every shutdown in modern times has been 100% the fault of the Republicans. No exceptions. This one is different from the most recent ones though in that they can't try to pin it on a Democrat in the White House. The Republicans control both the presidency and Congress, so they have nobody to blame but themselves. Then again, they had no one else to blame anyway, since it was their incompetence that also caused it the other times.

How can a party be incompetent enough to shut down the government when they control not just Congress but the White House too?

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Kentucky bill would ban firearms for hate criminals

It's about time!

A new bill by Kentucky State Rep. Attica Scott (D-Louisville) titled H.B. 209 would make it a class D felony for those convicted of hate crimes to possess a firearm.

It's the sort of bill you can't imagine anyone possibly opposing - which is why the Republicans oppose it.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Bevin threatens to end Medicaid expansion if courts strike down changes

Because it's illegal to enact a work requirement for Medicaid, health advocates plan to sue Kentucky over the requirements implemented by Matt Bevin.

But now Bevin has issued an executive order saying that if courts block the work requirements, Kentucky's Medicaid expansion will end altogether. This would strip health care coverage from as much as 20% of the state's population.

This is called fascism.

(Source: https://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/politics/2018/01/16/kentucky-medicaid-bevin-plan-courts-approve-lose-care/1036514001)

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Tea Party former sheriff dies

Former Campbell County Sheriff Jeff Kidwell died Friday at the age of 53 at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Florence:

http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/nky/obituary.aspx?page=lifestory&pid=187847902

Kidwell was the former head of the Campbell County Republican Party. The Tea Party-backed Kidwell also briefly served as sheriff before being defeated for reelection.

People bunkerooed some more

Last night, I goed to an important family gathering, and bunker blasts were detected.

Early in the evening, a person claimed to have detected the unmistakable audio of an LAP loominsky. They even said the couch shook. But I believe it was either the dog purring or a figment of their imagination.

When we were getting ready to leave, the fragrant bouquet of an SBD trouser sneeze wafted through the air. The day was complete!

Saturday, January 13, 2018

What Bevin's gutting of Medicaid means for you

Possibly not much.

Kentucky under Matt Bevin just gained an unfortunate distinction (in addition to ranking dead last among all 50 states in economic development). Much as Wisconsin became the first state to drop out of AFDC for the poor, Kentucky is now the first to require some folks to work in order to receive Medicaid, after the Trump regime approved Bevin's demand to enact a work requirement. This despite the fact that Medicaid is not welfare, and federal law actually prohibits requiring people to work for it.

Since most of the changes in Kentucky apply only to people who wouldn't have received Medicaid but for the expansion under the Affordable Care Act, you might not be affected much. This isn't exactly an upmarket blog, so you're probably among those poor enough to get Medicaid even without the expansion. You probably won't be completely untouched though, but it's hard to say, because official accounts of the changes disagree with each other about exactly what will happen.

Personally, I have no problem with a $4 monthly premium - as long as it didn't go to handouts for billionaires, which it does. I'd have no problem if it went to, say, treating heroin addicts or some other medical purpose. But it doesn't. Plus, this isn't about me. Even if I can cough up $4 each month, many families with even less money cannot.

The ultimate plan though is to expand these rules to all Medicaid beneficiaries - and eventually abolish Medicaid altogether. On the other hand, as soon as either Trump or Bevin is replaced by an adult, Medicaid will probably be restored and Bevin's changes will be a footnote in history. We can't be 100% sure though, because when are Republican messes ever completely cleaned up? To be sure, however, Bevin just gave his 2019 opponents an opening to run on restoring Medicaid.

All this in the state that 25 years ago almost became the first to adopt single payer health care.

Instead of more limits, there should be a system like Medicaid or Medicare to cover all Americans. The success of the Bernie Sanders campaign highlights the public demand for healthcare coverage for all.

Friday, January 12, 2018

A person went Krogering in a 'Sesame Street' shirt

When adults wear a Sesame Street t-shirt in a public place, it's obligatory that I mention it here. It doesn't count if the shirt is dominated by just one character from the show. The shirt must concern the ol' Ses in general.

Only once before have I had to mention it. At a festival in 2016, I saw a woman wearing a green shirt that prominently displayed the Sesame Street sign. But yesterday, I goed to Kroger in Bellevue, and there was some woman shopping there who was about 50 years old who was wearing a green t-shirt that featured the Sesame Street sign along with drawings of numerous lovable Muppet characters.

She must be a real Sesamoid!

Shortly thereafter, some woman walked around the supermarket with her butt hanging out.

Rape solved after right-wing media called it a hoax

Any time there's a high-profile crime that might carry political or social implications, the right-wing thought police lapses into victim-blaming mode and accuses the victim of staging a hoax. The right-wingers often continue claiming it's a hoax even after it was proven to be real. One type of crime that almost always faces this treatment is hate crimes on college campuses, but sometimes it's other crimes too.

Back in 1994 - when New York City was kicking off an unprecedented wave of violent crime - a woman jogging in Prospect Park in Brooklyn was raped by a stranger in broad daylight. Almost immediately, the late Mike McAlary of the New York Daily News wrote that the victim made up her story because she thought it would boost a speech she was planning on giving at a rally protesting violence against lesbians. McAlary repeatedly wrote articles demanding the victim's arrest.

But now - 24 years after the crime - New York City detectives have been able to solve it using technology that didn't exist yet in 1994. Police officials say they have matched the DNA with that of serial rapist James Edward Webb.

The only newspaper I've seen report that the case has finally been solved is Britain's Guardian. The American media ignores this development because it doesn't fit their narrative.

The fact that the right-wing media unrelentingly attacks victims of crimes like this day after day is surely a factor in similar crimes going completely unreported. Who wants to be dragged through mud by the press after already being victimized?

This is why we need to look at legislation to protect crime victims from the media.

(Source: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jan/09/new-york-city-police-solve-1994-case-that-newspaper-called-a-hoax)

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Reuters thinks Social Security is "welfare"

Aw, how cute, Reuters thinks Social Security and Medicaid are "welfare"!

In the Republicans' never-ending zest to slash not only welfare but also earned benefits for the elderly and disabled, Reuters is - like always - being good little followers of the Trump regime and repeating the myth that Social Security and Medicaid are "welfare." To pay for the multitrillion-dollar tax handout for corporations and the rich, Trump and congressional Republicans are planning on slashing services for the poor and working class. Reuters ran an article yesterday listing some of the "welfare" programs that might be targeted - except some of them aren't "welfare."

Reuters lists Medicaid as a "welfare" program. It's not. Reuters also lists Social Security Disability Insurance - a program paid into by workers in case they suffer a disability. It also lists the perennially embattled Supplemental Security Income program - another earned benefit. None of these programs are "welfare." Even if they were, Congress already spent its chance to gut welfare in 1996. They get one bite of the pear. If the 104th Reich's war on the poor didn't go far enough, too fucking bad.

Reuters fails to mention that it's illegal to institute a work requirement for Medicaid. Sorry, but that's the law. The Affordable Care Act helped establish that socialized healthcare is a constitutional right, and people are entitled to public healthcare at no more than a nominal cost. Plus, the success of the Bernie Sanders campaign proves people want socialism. Robust Social Security must be a part of that.

Other media outlets sure aren't helping - as long as they use Facebook and Disqus as commenting platforms so their right-wing followers can keep spreading the Nazi lie that disability benefits are "welfare." You know, if it's so hard being rich and able-bodied, you can always blow your brains out.

Monday, January 8, 2018

So the Plague of '17 is the Plague of '18 too!

This is a grim update about what I'd thought was merely bronchitis.

On Wednesday evening, I had a coughing spell that left me gasping for air, and I had to go to the emergency room. I'd been feeling this way since the day after Christmas, and it had generally gotten worse.

It turns out it's whooping cough - also known as pertussis.

The past 2 weeks have been flushed down the portable poopot by this ailment.

As it turns out, Highlands High School reported 7 cases of whooping cough in December alone. This is especially shocking because all the students afflicted had been vaccinated.

This entry is not the venue to argue about who's an antivaxxer and who isn't. Rather, this experience is just another example of the region's historic mismanagement of containing communicable diseases - and The Media's history of egging it on. Let's face it: The area has a shitty record on this. I've known it for 30 years.

For the record, the United States reported only about 1,000 cases of whooping cough in 1976. Wikipedia reports that "incidence rates have increased since 1980" - proving yet another Reagan failure. In 2015, there were about 20,000 cases.

I just got finished with all the prescriptions that I got, but I still have to be on bed rest until the bubble gum busts. I was constantly tired already from the effects of PTSD, and now this.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Roy Moore accuser's house destroyed by arson

More right-wing terrorism.

Tina Johnson, one of the first women to make accusations against Alabama's failed Senate candidate Roy Moore, has now lost her home to arson.

Her house caught fire several days ago, and the blaze is being probed by arson investigators. But no charges have been filed - yet.

This is yet another illustration of how the Tea Party deals with dissent.

(Source: https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2018/1/5/1730189/-Moore-Accuser-Johnson-s-Home-Burned-Down-Arson-Suspected)

Only 4% support expanding sales tax to food

How unpopular is Matt Bevin's plan to expand Kentucky's 6% sales tax to all food items?

A new survey by the Coalition for a Smoke-Free Tomorrow - an anti-smoking organization - says that only 4% of Kentuckians support the proposed tax hike. That's right, 4%. The same poll shows 69% support for raising the cigarette tax by $1 per pack.

But it's not as if Bevin doesn't pick fights that should be unwinnable, since the right-wing media is always busy stovepiping his stupid propaganda. All the shoes that should drop never do, because of the shitsack media.

Duggars probably can't adopt

I'd hoped everyone stopped paying attention to the Duggar clan by now, but apparently they're still around.

The Duggars have talked about adopting and fostering children, but it looks like they've shot themselves in the foot. The family has made statements that would disqualify them from adopting. Most adoption agencies are very sensitive about adoptive parents spewing hate on their social media accounts, and foster parenting agencies say a child's religious beliefs must be respected. The Duggars have proven they won't do this.

Tough toilets, Duggars.

(Source: http://www.mommyish.com/jill-duggar-adoption)

States to enact their own 'Net neutrality rules

After Trump's FCC unconstitutionally scrapped Obama-era protections for 'Net neutrality, some states are enacting protections of their own.

California, New York, and Washington are writing their own 'Net neutrality rules, and other states are expected to follow. The FCC's new diktat ostensibly prevents states from protecting 'Net neutrality, but some state officials say the FCC lacks that power. After all, the FCC has no army. All it has is its stupid little van that wastes gas as it drives around to raid "pirate" radio stations at the wrong address.

(Source: http://thehill.com/policy/technology/367254-states-pursue-net-neutrality-rules-after-fcc-rollback)

Comer sent threatening message to legislative clerk

Jamie Comer - despite his domestic violence scandal - actually got himself elected to the U.S. House in 2016, because electing abusers to public office is what Republicans do.

Back in October, Comer posted a threatening Twitter message targeting the chief clerk of the Kentucky House. The target of the post, Brad Metcalf, was seen as sympathetic to a woman who sought a settlement from House Speaker Jeff "Col. Klink" Hoover for sexual harassment. Comer's post reads...

"Hey Brad, when the House finally fires your dumbass, (which will be very soon) for being a lazy dumb shit, David Williams can help you find a job cleaning shit stains off the commodes in the Corner Pool Room in Burkesville. But I'm sure you won't last long there because everyone hates you and you are dumb and lazy."

That from a Republican congressman.

Metcalf went on to be fired for testifying against Hoover before the Legislative Branch Ethics Commission.

(Source: https://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/local/joseph-gerth/2018/01/04/jamie-comer-bullied-former-house-clerk-profane-message/1003155001)

Tea Party activist charged in Amtrak terrorism

The Republicans are bad enough, but as long as the Democrats refuse to run candidates against these criminals at the county level, they're part of the problem too.

Taylor Michael Wilson, 26, of St. Charles, Missouri, is a Tea Party activist who attended the fascist Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Now he's been charged with an attempt to commit terror by targeting an Amtrak train in Nebraska back in October.

At the time he was arrested, Wilson had a business card for the misnamed National Socialist Movement, a white supremacist organization. The criminal complaint says Wilson entered an Amtrak train and began "playing with the controls."

But hey, let's just let folks like this win, because we're all a bunch of wusses.