Sunday, April 29, 2018

Have no fear, the May ish is here!

Aw, how cute! Scribd thinks The Last Word is a Republican zine!

The Last Word is the epitome of coolness, and thus cannot be a Republican zine - even though Scribd keeps classifying it as one. The May ish is now pub, and it talks about an assortment of interesting things. In this edition, a person chewed gum and Bob Barker thought it was funny, someone called me a communist, people got kicked out of amusement parks, a quest for a forgotten cereal commercial was launched, and a congressman chewed bubble gum off the floor.

So point your pooper here...

If you can't access it on Scribd, you can find it here...

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Fast food restaurant unionizes

It took this long for America to get its first unionized fast food restaurant?

If I was forced to work at a fast food place - like the Tea Party wants everyone to do (when the Tea Party won't work there themselves) - the first thing I'd do is join the union. But it took until now - probably 60 years after fast food became a major industry - before any such establishment in the United States unionized!

Burgerville is a fast food chain in the Northwest. This week, workers at a Burgerville location in Portland, Oregon, voted overwhelmingly to unionize. The vote was a smashing 18 to 4. This makes this location the first fast food restaurant in America with a federally recognized labor union.

The Burgerville Workers Union is part of the Portland chapter of the Industrial Workers of the World, but the unionization effort was led entirely by the restaurant's employees. The Burgerville union already had members at other locations, but this is the first time the union was officially recognized.

We can hear society's self-anointed economic whizzes whining, "Butbutbutbut fast food isn't supposed to be union! Talk to the hand, junior! <g>"

Hopefully, Burgerville's unionization will inspire efforts elsewhere - even in states with an unconstitutional right-to-scab law.


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Quebec mosque killer a Ben Shapiro fan

Right-wing terrorism isn't limited to the U.S. Our Canadian friends are forced to deal with it sometimes too.

Last year, Alexandre Bissonnette shot up a mosque in Quebec City - killing 6 worshipers and wounding 19 more. Though this was in Canada, Bissonnette often espoused support for Donald Trump.

It turns out Bissonnette is a fan of - and may have been inspired by - far-right commentator Ben Shapiro, one of the most hateful assholes of all. Shapiro has never held a real job in his whole life and was given his own column when he was only 17. At Bissonnette's trial, it was revealed that Shapiro is Bissonnette's favorite commentator.

Shapiro is a serial liar who has claimed falsely that there are 500,000 "radical Muslims" in the U.S. - a claim that likely inspired Bissonnette.

This goes to show the dangers of the right-wing propaganda that defines much of our media. And the next time someone repeats Ben Shapiro's lies, I'm going to be in their face about it.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Bipartisan resolutions blast Bevin tirade

Yesterday, Matt Bevin said this about the teacher protests: "I guarantee you somewhere in Kentucky today a child was sexually assaulted that was left at home because there was nobody there to watch them."

This harangue was so over-the-top that the Kentucky House has passed resolutions by both major parties condemning it. The Democratic resolution said Bevin's remarks were "so far beyond the pale they are unworthy of repetition in this honorable chamber."

One school superintendent even said of Bevin, "This is reprehensible and his own party needs to tell him enough is enough."

The Courier-Journal is looking pretty stupid right about now for promoting Matt Bevin as a presidential candidate.


Duke rate hike rubber-stamped

Don't be fooled by those who want you to breathe a sigh of relief because Kentucky regulators approved an electric rate increase that was less than what monopolistic energy behemoth Duke Energy requested. A rubber stamp is a rubber stamp.

The GOP-stacked Kentucky Public Service Commission is allowing Duke to more than double the monthly residential service charge. And the PSC has approved part of the rate adjustment Duke demanded.

Now Duke has the nerve to go around telling people that Trump's tax giveaway to the rich is saving everyone money on their electric bill. Uh, if the tax law was saving money, there wouldn't be a rate hike at all. This just goes to show that big corporations don't pass tax savings onto their customers - despite right-wing lies to the contrary.

What we need to do is pass a law requiring approval from two-thirds of each house of the legislature before a utility can increase its rates - or a public takeover of these monopolies.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Legislature overrides Bevin tax veto; Bevin blames everyone but himself

The right-wing tax bill that Kentucky lawmakers passed - and which was vetoed by Matt Bevin because it wasn't right-wing enough - will become law anyway, as the legislature has voted to override the New Hampshire Forehead's veto.

This heightens the ego-driven civil war within the Kentucky GOP - but of course we're still deprived of the progressive tax system we have a right to have.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Paul Ryan won't run again, but he was gonna lose anyway


Donald Trump picked a good time for his threats to carpet-bomb Syria and to put out more propaganda saying unemployment is at a record low - since everyone is paying attention to Paul Ryan's retirement instead.

Since Paul Ryan is only 48 and likes to accuse everyone else of being lazy, now he needs to get a real job like everyone else. He'll have to, since he damn sure won't be President.

I'm so good at what I do that I get nothing else done

I have a lot of books, records, road photos, and housecleaning to catch up on, but the reason I haven't done so is because of the quality of my own work.

In late 2016, The Last Word suddenly improved so much in quality and quantity that I now spend most of my free time reading my own product and admiring it. The Last Word had some editions roughly a year ago where you could just feel the energy pulsating through it. I hadn't enjoyed writing The Last Word so much ever before - and you could tell.

I had some spring back in my step!

All of this belies the fact that I'm not a dynamo of energy. The Last Word has become fun and energetic - but I'm not. I have to take several naps throughout each day.

Perhaps I should make The Last Word shitty, so I won't read it constantly, and I'll have time to do other things again.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Bevin vetoes tax bill because it doesn't go far enough

Damn, this guy is pitiful.

Remember last week when Kentucky became the subject of a nationwide laughfest because the "low tax" legislature passed a tax bill that raised taxes so they could give a handout to the rich? Pepperidge Farm remembers.

Now so-called Gov. Matt Bevin has vetoed the bill - because it doesn't go far enough. The bill fails to include his plan to expand the sales tax to all food.

In Kentucky, the legislature may override a governor's veto with a simple majority of each house - but that'll be tough to do because it's late in the session.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

California GOPer wants to institutionalize homeless

The Far Right thinks that when all else fails, just start throwing people in mental institutions. It's worked before to silence dissidents, so why not?

Travis Allen, a Republican legislator and candidate for Governor of California, says he'll build state mental institutions and force homeless people there against their will. "You will no longer be allowed to sleep out on our sidewalks, under our bridges, or on the side of our freeways in California," he gloated.

This is just about all Allen talks about - as he blames Democratic opponents for growing homelessness. That's not to say the major cities' political "leaders" are completely blameless, because the "liberal" San Francisco area seems to enact every policy the Tea Party tells them to, including laws that drive up housing costs or are aimed at punishing the homeless. The Bay Area has some of the most expensive housing in America, but politicians sit on their asses and won't do anything about it.

The Sacramento Bee reports that Travis Allen's illegal plan is "an unusual position for a Republican running on smaller government." Nah. It's not unusual. Republicans only support smaller government when it suits their purpose.

Allen's platform is so brutal to the poor that it's been likened to old English feudalism. England used to enforce a maximum wage for workers who were not business owners or landowners. It was only relatively recently that anyone other than nobility was allowed to own land. Modern America isn't much different.


Kentucky approves another handout for the rich

It's another day of fascism in Kentucky - courtesy of the Republican Party of Kentucky, even as it's embroiled in scandal after scandal.

The Kentucky legislature has just approved a tax bill that would give free money to the rich by changing the state income tax to a flat rate - replacing the progressive income tax. This runs afoul of the constitutional mandate for progressive taxation.

The bill also expands the 6% sales tax to a variety of services. Luckily, proposals to increase the sales tax to 8% and to apply it to all food items were scrapped at the last minute - probably because of the potential political backlash. (Expanding the sales tax to cover food is a longtime dream of "low tax" Kentucky conservatives.)

Lawmakers approved this bill before the text of it was even made public.

This bill will also worsen the state's budget, because revenues from consumption-based taxes grow much slower than from income taxes.

All this is going down after lawmakers passed a bill to gut teachers' pensions - in an attempt to solve the state's pension crisis that itself was completely made up by Republicans for political reasons.

The fascist thievery continues.

Schools go full fascist after Parkland shooting

Is it fascism yet? Yes.

We could see this coming from miles away: Legislators won't limit assault rifles because that might violate someone's "rights", but they'll let schools infringe on the constitutional right to privacy by forcing students to use clear backpacks.

At Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida - where February's deadly shooting took place - officials have turned the school into a prison by requiring clear bookbags and instituting bag check lines. Students have protested the move by placing orange price tags on their bags - to symbolize lawmakers accepting money from the NRA, which advocates prison-like schools but won't allow reasonable restrictions on assault rifles.

The police state grows all because we don't want to hurt the NRA's feelings.