Wednesday, February 28, 2018

GOP bill would raise Kentucky sales tax to 8%

The "low tax" Republicans strike again!

A bill in Kentucky by right-wing State Rep. Jason Petrie would increase the sales tax to 8% - one of the highest in the nation. The same bill would slash the corporate income tax. Thus, the bill overall is a tax increase that would give a handout to corporations.

But they're the "low tax" party. Just ask them.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Newport approves needle exchange

It was almost 2 years ago that Campbell County Fiscal Court unexpectedly defied the Tea Party by voting 3 to 1 to approve a needle exchange program to fight the heroin pandemic. But it couldn't be put into place until a city approved it, and now Newport City Commission has voted 5 to 0 to authorize it.

A survey by the city showed that 80% of city residents would support the program.

The program will be administered by the Northern Kentucky Health Department at St. Elizabeth Hospital. (The fact that Newport has the power to approve it there also settles the decades-old question of whether the hospital is in Newport or Fort Thomas.)

Meanwhile, the Trump regime has done nothing.


Thursday, February 22, 2018

Missouri governor arrested

Even before this scandal broke, it's hard to believe the Republicans were touting fascist Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens as a future presidential candidate. Then again, they thought Phil Gramm would be pretty damn swell too.

Today, a grand jury indicted Greitens for first-degree felony invasion of privacy - a charge that stems from an extramarital affair in which he reportedly blackmailed a woman by taking a nude photo of her. Greitens was arrested but then released on a personal recognizance bond so he could attend the National Governors Association meeting.

After his arrest, Greitens accused the prosecutor of being "a reckless liberal prosecutor who uses her office to score political points."

Now the Missouri legislature is launching its own investigation of Greitens - which may be a pre-bubbling to impeachment. Also, the FBI is investigating the right-wing governor for a separate campaign finance scandal.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Kentucky House gets a little less Republican

There was a special election for a Kentucky House seat in Bullitt County today to fill the vacancy caused by the suicide of far-right Rep. Dan Johnson. Shortly before his death, Johnson was accused of sexually assaulting a teenage girl. This prompted former Gov. Steve Beshear to later write, "Racists, sexual predators, liars and criminals have no place serving in public office." The Republicans - in all their finite wisdom - picked Johnson's widow Rebecca Johnson to run for the special election. The Democrats selected former Rep. Linda Belcher, who Dan Johnson defeated in 2016.

Belcher was actually a very, very conservative Democrat during her time in the legislature. Then again, Donald Trump won the district 72% to 23%.

Today, Linda Belcher defeated Rebecca Johnson by a smashing 68% to 32% - chipping away at the Republican edge in the Kentucky House. This is a swing of 85 percentage points towards the Democrats - perhaps the biggest in a major election since Trump seized power.

Rebecca Johnson was tied to the legal woes of Dan Johnson's church and - like her late husband - made extremist Facebook posts. Already, Rebecca Johnson is crying "voter fraud!"

If the Republicans not only lose that seat but lose it by a 2-to-1 margin, how can they be expected to survive as a party?

It's a little too little, a little too late for this Pat Benatar cassette

Today I went Roads Scholaring up around Avondale and Golf Manor. On the way up there, at the Reading Road split just north of downtown, I found part of a smashed, destructoed Pat Benatar cassette laying on the sidewalk.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Basic gun regulation not too much to ask

I've given several recommendations on how to fight America's pandemic of mass shootings. My ideas include confiscating guns from hate groups as well as fighting against creeping suburbanism that isolates our young people and promotes violent behavior.

America is now in an era where this is no longer enough.

When innocent young people can't exercise their right to attend school in peace, stronger regulation of assault rifles is clearly justified. As long as our state won't even legalize electric bicycles, why is it legal to have assault rifles with no regulation whatsoever?

Why not at least require assault rifles to be registered and tracked very closely? Most countries allow some form of private gun ownership. But in some countries, even handgun owners are legally obligated to keep track of the exact whereabouts of their gun. If other places can regulate handguns like this, why can't the United States similarly regulate assault rifles that are much more powerful?

I know the government can't seize guns that are already in the hands of law-abiding people. But America has reached a point where I and millions of others wouldn't shed a tear if future sales of assault rifles are halted. If I felt I truly needed a weapon like that, America would already be beyond hope.

It's not a stretch to say our legislators have a constitutional obligation to produce basic gun safety regulations. People have a constitutional and natural right to peaceably assemble and be free of unreasonable searches. Mass shootings infringe on the first right, and using shootings as an excuse to invade basic privacy infringes on the other. It's hard to see how the freedom of millions to gather and move about is outweighed by the freedom of a few to use the deadliest weapons they can find. The Second Amendment should not be a cudgel to trample the rest of the Bill of Rights. A smart lawyer may be able to file a lawsuit to compel lawmakers to act.

Regulation is not prohibition. If my proposals are too much to ask, tough luck. If the NRA thinks bicycles are more of a threat to public safety than guns that kill dozens in only a few seconds, that should be the NRA's problem and nobody else's.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Pro-Trump student pulls knife on BAMN

On Tuesday, Wayne State University in Detroit was the site of a right-wing meltdown.

A student by the name of Corbin Steele - who was wearing a Trump/Pence 2020 shirt - approached a table where the civil rights group BAMN was handing out flyers about immigrant rights. He then pulled a switchblade and threatened the BAMN folks. Steele declared, "I think we should deport or kill all illegals that don't belong in our country."

Steele said his name is Earl Johnson and proceeded to argue with BAMN before stomping off with his Bert-like unibrow.

Much of the incident was caught on video.

As a result of the episode, Steele was suspended from school pending an investigation. Of course, we all know folks who have been expelled from college for much less - don't we?

This was the third time BAMN had an altercation with Steele.


Florida school shooter had right-wing links

This story should surprise absolutely no one - except those who insist on listening to the right-wing talk radio droids who deny it and laugh about it.

According to Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz was a fan of right-wing websites. Cruz also posted racist messages and threatened to kill antifascist activists.

A white supremacist organization called the Republic of Florida even admits that Cruz trained with them!

But we can't ban hate groups from having guns because it might hurt their feelings.

Mass shooting survivors should receive benefits

Since lawmakers aren't doing a damn thing about the fact that the United States is one of very few countries that gives guns to members of hate groups, here's an idea to support those who are harmed by mass shootings.

I'm as antiwar as anyone, but I realize America's military personnel make grave sacrifices. Wounded soldiers and the families of those killed in war receive benefits - as they should. I believe they deserve these benefits because of their sacrifices. I also think similar benefits should be awarded to survivors of mass shootings and the families of those killed in such shootings.

Perpetrators of these mass killings are almost always found to have links to right-wing hate groups. If their victims must sacrifice their lives and well-being for the "freedom" for hate groups to carry guns, they and their families should be properly honored.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Another funny dream

I had a hilarious dream last night that Donald Trump shaved his head completely bald. I swear I'm not making this up.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Tim Nolan gets 20 years for human trafficking

Former Judge Tim Nolan - who in recent years has become a leader in the hated Campbell County Tea Party - has pleaded guilty to 21 charges dating back to 2004, including human trafficking. As a result, he will be sentenced to 20 years in prison and a $100,000 fine - but he'll be eligible for parole after 4 years.

As the trial concluded, Judge Kathleen Lape read the charges to the 71-year-old Nolan. The list of charges was so long that it took 10 minutes to read them. According to the charges, some of the victims lived on Nolan's property, and Nolan threatened to evict them unless they performed sex acts. Some victims were addicted to heroin, and Nolan paid for it. Nolan also threatened to have one victim arrested by the FBI. The charges also say Nolan asked a minor to engage in sexual activity for money.

I woke up to another government shutdown

This morning, the federal government experienced its second shutdown in only a month.

Once again, it was the fault of the Republicans. It was Rand Paul himself who held up an important Senate vote. But (thanks to the right-wing media) there were no political consequences for the other shutdowns the GOP caused, so do you really think this time will be any different?

Monday, February 5, 2018

Charlton Heston look-alike sighted again

Last night, I received another e-mail about the Charlton Heston look-alike. He was seen again at Kroger. He blocked access to merchandise in the freezer aisle as he argued with his wife on his cellphone about what to buy. A line formed as other shoppers tried accessing the product.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Cincinnati now has nation's second-highest housing costs

For decades, greater Cincinnati has had some of America's highest food prices, but at least we had cheaper housing than many larger cities.

Well, that's gone now too, and it's all because of developments full of expensive homes being rubber-stamped without requiring affordable housing to be included. This has driven up housing costs exponentially. I've warned people about this problem for 25 years and the crisis that would inevitably result. Did they listen? Haha, no. It's just like all the people who'd rather scream out "GODWIN'S LAW!!!" than find solutions to hate groups spreading on the Internet.

The real estate investment firm HomeUnion has a new study that ranks Cincinnati as America's second-most expensive rental market - behind only Oakland. Interestingly, Chicago was the least expensive.

This is a clarion call for local zoning authorities to make sure some housing space is set aside strictly for affordable housing.


Haley Barbour tried bringing a gun on a plane and The Media tried covering it up

Remember Haley Barbour? He was the ugly cretin who used to be Republican National Committee chairman and Governor of Mississippi.

It was bad enough when Dan Quayle joked about bombs when boarding a plane, but now Barbour has been arrested for trying to bring a loaded revolver on a plane in his briefcase.

The arrest happened a month ago when Barbour tried to fly from Jackson to Washington, D.C. The right-wing media tried sweeping the incident under the rug, but now that Barbour has been fined thousands of dollars, bust goes that bubble.

Barbour led the party that treats everyone else like terrorists when they try to fly, but he tried bringing a gun on board.