Georgia governor may appoint own rightwing flunky to Senate, not Donald Trump's, and they're going craaaazy.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp is in hot water with his own party's Trump loonies -- which is to say, virtually all Republicans -- because of reports he's likely to defy the Great Man's pick for the US Senate seat being vacated at the end of the year by Johnny Isakson, who's resigning due to declining health. Donald Trump wants rabid loyalist Rep. Doug Collins to move from the House to the Senate, but Kemp appears to have settled on an Atlanta financial services exec, Kelly Loeffler, a newcomer to politics but clearly an excellent choice for the Senate since she'll always side with rich people while perhaps not totally alienating women voters in the 'burbs the way a hardline Trumpsucker like Collins would.
For his efforts to game out an "electable" conservative candidate, Kemp is being excoriated by Trumpetarians as a dirty rotten traitor to the cause, since Trump's last-minute endorsement of Kemp in the 2018 GOP primary (breaking a Trump pledge to stay neutral) is thought to have tipped the primary his way.
Let's try not to revel too much in the anticipated wingnut-on-wingnut violence, shall we?
And Indiana University handles it beautifully.
So Indiana University Professor Eric Rasmusen is a bigot.
Rasmusen is a tenured professor at IU's Kelley School of Business. And he has written many things indicating he is not a fan of women, people of color, LGBTQ people, Muslims, or really anyone who isn't a cis white man. As an old cis white man, he apparently believes that only cis white men are entitled to dignity, basic human rights, and respect.
Earlier this month, Rasmusen tweeted an essay published by the alt-right Unz Review titled "Are Women Destroying Academia? Probably." But retweets are not endorsements, you say! Well when he shared this piece of garbage, he also felt the need to highlight this wonderful little assertion: "geniuses are overwhelmingly male because they combine outlier high IQ with moderately low Agreeableness and moderately low Conscientiousness."
Of course, there's never just one. Over the years, he has repeatedly denigrated all sorts of protected classes of people. He's a real sweetheart, as you'll learn below.
Why does this guy have a job?
It triggers the libs, so it's an excellent hobby.
In northern Idaho, some schmuck is going into the Coeur d'Alene Public Library, pulling books they think are too liberal off the shelf, and hiding them in other parts of the library. The story surfaced locally at the end of September, but it only made the New York Times today -- just a week or so after those brave county supervisors in Florida voted to protect library patrons from exposure to the digital version of the Times, because after all it's "fake news." Two stories make a trend, so with confidence, say we can: Begun the information war has.
Sure, Kelli Ward SAID she didn't believe in chemtrails, but what if they GOT her?
Following Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin's apparent 5000-vote loss to known Democrat Andy Beshear Tuesday, Arizona state GOP chair Kelli Ward, a perpetually thirsty electoral also-ran herself, proposed a simple solution on the Twitters: If Republicans can't actually win a majority of votes, why not give up on "majorities" altogether? After all, look at all the red territory that voted for Bevin!
Just look at those tiny little blue areas that inexplicably have more people in them! How could they actually represent the will of Kentuckians, simply because they resulted in a higher total number of votes?
Clearly, something must be done! Mostly, Kelli Ward must be mocked and ridiculed for suggesting that elections should stop being won by "majorities" of "voters." In an ideal world, she'd also recognize she made herself look like a complete fool and resign, but why would she give up on her one most reliable personality trait? Besides, calling for vote-rigging is rapidly becoming the norm for some Republicans, since "winning more votes" is so passe for them these days.
Democracy dies in dumbness.
The library system in Citrus County, Florida, asked the county commission to approve an entirely routine expenditure: $2,700 a year for a digital subscription to the New York Times. The library already gets the print edition, but two of the branches only get the Sunday edition, and access to the digital version would be available to more library patrons. As the Citrus County Chronicle pointed out, the subscription would have allowed library patrons full access to the Times from their home computers with their library login, with no stingy paywall limits.
Unfortunately for any eggheads and subversive America-haters who use the socialist public libraries, the request was killed by the county commissioners, who laughed at the very idea and said they support Donald Trump. So there'll be no FAKE NEWS made available to the 70,000 patrons who use Citrus County libraries, at least not at the county's expense.
Here are the wise Florida Men of Citrus County sending a very important message to the library: You keep your filthy Newspaper of Record lies out of our good patriotic county, you!
Citrus County Florida Commissioners reject NYT digital subscription for Library. Call it Fake News. www.youtube.com
Yesterday was a great day and also just a start.
The state of Oklahoma freed 462 inmates from prison yesterday after their sentences were commuted, in what's widely being called the biggest single-day release of prisoners in US history. We should note, however, that the New York Times fastidiously says it's merely "one of the largest," because what about that time Andrew Johnson pardoned all the Confederates? Either way, it's a huge step toward reform for Oklahoma, which the Times notes "continues to vie with Louisiana for the highest per-capita imprisonment rate in the country."
Faces to be eaten, probably served at room temperature.
Donald and Melon Trump last month officially took the plunge and filed paperwork to make the great state of Florida their primary residence, reports the New York Times. A White House source told the Times the move was primarily for tax purposes, although we also wouldn't be the least bit surprised if a future story by the nation's Paper of Record also cites the couple in one of its periodic reviews of 2016 Trump voters who haven't yet decided how they'll vote in 2020.
Do something about global warming? Why would we do something about global warming?
Huge wildfires are causing evacuations and massive destruction in both Northern and Southern California, and the dry, windy conditions that have been driving the fires are expected to continue. In case you were wondering what a future of a warming planet looks like, turn on the news feeds from California. It's not necessarily going to look like science fiction; it's going to be semi-normal much of the time, plus fairly regular non-normal events.
Firefighters in Sonoma County have made some small progress against the state's largest blaze, the Kincade fire, which has forced the evacuation of about 185,000 people so far and featured winds approaching 100 miles per hour. Over the weekend, the Kincade went from 5 percent containment to 15 percent, but hot winds are expected to return today, and that could whip up the fire even more. It's destroyed 123 structures so far, 57 of them homes, and roughly 90,000 structures remain threatened, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. And it's going to be a while before it's out:
Cal Fire officials said they hope to have the blaze fully contained by Nov. 7 but that it could burn for weeks or months afterward.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday that firefighters -- some brought in from other states -- had been up against 330 fires on Sunday. And yet, he noted, this is only an "average" fire season. At a news conference after touring evacuation centers in Sonoma County, Newsom said, "I recognize and everybody recognizes, this cannot be the new normal. We cannot absorb this year after year."
Which is a good sentiment, but every indication is that it will be, and this is pretty much what climate scientists have been warning about for decades.
She came to kick ass and chew bubblegum, but there's no gum allowed in schools.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren made a quick detour to Chicago this morning to show her support for a strike by the Chicago Teachers Union. Warren reminded the striking teachers that sometimes fighting for a better future means standing outside on a cold, rainy Chicago morning and shutting shit down.
Makes us want to barf, that's for sure.
The Republican war on voters continues apace. In Ohio, state election officials for the first time released their list of 235,000 voters who were slated to be purged from the voting rolls, and volunteers checking the list found a whopping 40,000 voters who were in fact eligible to vote. Including the name of Jen Miller, the state director for the League of Women Voters. The New York Times has the story:
Over the summer, the Ohio secretary of state had sent her organization and others like it a massive spreadsheet with the 235,000 names and addresses that would be purged from the state's voter rolls in just a month — a list of people that, state officials said, some part of the bureaucracy flagged as deceased, living somewhere else or as a duplicate. The League of Women Voters had been asked to see if any of those purged qualified to register again.
Why yes. Yes, they sure did.
Not all the vote-purge news is terrible, however: In Kentucky yesterday, a state judge put the brakes on a Republican attempt to purge 175,000 voters before this fall's gubernatorial election, agreeing with the plaintiffs in a Democratic lawsuit that the move ran too great a risk of disenfranchising qualified voters. So yay for pockets of sanity! In Kentucky.
Black people should be safe in their own homes.
Atatiana Jefferson was shot dead in her own home Saturday in front of her eight-year-old nephew. Fort Worth, Texas, police officer Aaron Dean killed the 28-year-old black woman, senselessly and callously. Dean was responding to a wellness check from one of Jefferson's neighbors, who was concerned that the doors to her house were open late at night. I don't know why he called the police. "Protect and serve" does technically apply to black people, but it's not always worked out in practice.
Shockingly, Dean was charged with murder Monday. He'd resigned earlier that day, and interim Police Chief Ed Kraus said he would've fired Dean anyway for several policy violations. It's encouraging that it's against policy to murder black women in their homes. It's in the manual and everything.
Dean and another officer responding to the nonemergency call entered through Jefferson's backyard. When Dean saw Jefferson through her bedroom window, he shined a flashlight at her like a common pervert and shouted, "Put your hands up! Show me your hands!" He didn't identify himself as a police officer and didn't wait more than a few seconds before shooting her. This was not an effective wellness check.
MORE LIKE THIS, PLEASE, like they say on the internet.
Stop what you are doing, everyone, and please give a standing ovation to news reporter Nancy Amons from WSMV in Nashville, who just gave a class in Reporting, How Does THAT Work.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo thought he was in town to talk about "religious freedom," which is a subject he VERY LIKES, because of how he's been assembling the worst American fundamentalists to be on his so-called "religious freedom" commission, which is just "Handmaid's Tale" shit packaged in vaguely more intellectual language. Amons decided to do journalism instead, and the man best known as a heat-seeking missile for Donald Trump's ass turned into a heat-seeking missile for the nearest exit.
More like this, please! Journalists who work at the White House should pay particular attention!
Pompeo is, of course, under fire for turning the State Department into Rudy Giuliani's House Of Ukrainian Giggle-gasms, as Giuliani conducts crime diplomacy to help Donald Trump's re-election. Oh yes, and Pompeo was also a firsthand witness on Trump's crime call with the Ukrainian president. Surprise, Amons wanted to talk about all that.
Next, Donald Trump will want to invade and take their oil.
As many as two million people in Northern California had their power cut off starting Wednesday, thanks to a decision by the area's biggest utility, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) that high winds and dry conditions meant there was too much danger of the utility's power transmission lines and substations causing a massive wildfire ... again. Consider it a sneak peek at a future where power will be stable only for the very rich -- or consider it a sneak peek at the recent past in US-occupied Iraq.
The utility PG&E said it had no choice but to shut down the grid in order to avoid a possible repeat of last year's terrible Camp fire that wiped out the city of Paradise and killed more than 80 people. It was the deadliest wildfire in the state's history, and lawsuits from the fire were the final straw that led PG&E to declare bankruptcy earlier this year.
While PG&E insists it's solely the weather, not the bankruptcy, that drove the decision to shut off power this week, the shutdown is very definitely part of a pattern that Americans may soon be getting used to: As the climate warms up, it will just make sense for utilities to shut down the power rather than risk the liability costs from old equipment and putting off maintenance.
Oh yes, and then there's this little Information McNugget -- not from the fires, but from another PG&E disaster, the 2010 gas line explosion in San Bruno, California. At a January hearing, the federal judge in that case was pretty pissed off that instead of preventing future wildfires through aggressively trimming trees and brush near its power lines, PG&E had instead "pumped out $4.5 billion in dividends and let the tree budget wither."
No, that has nothing to do with raking the forests, stop that.
Welcome everybody to the wild wild west!
California is doing nice things again!
On Tuesday night, California Governor Gavin Newsom, seen above some amount of years ago with your editrix and some chick, signed 25 criminal justice reform bills into law. The laws cover everything from rape kit testing to abolishing private prisons to reducing sentences and incarceration.
Besides smashing good looks, see above again, what have we got? Let's crimjustreformsplore!
THAT IS NOT A THING
According to the City of Southaven, Mississippi, undocumented immigrants don't have a right to not be murdered in their own homes.
In the middle of the night on July 27, 2017, two Southaven police officers went to the wrong house with no warrant. They then shot Ismael Lopez in the back of the head, killing him instantly. And now, they want a court to say that this was all fine, because Lopez didn't have the right not to be murdered in his own home.
In a motion to dismiss brief in Linares v. Southaven, Katherine Kerby, the lawyer for the City of Southaven and Zachary Durden, the officer who killed Mr. Lopez, makes the insane argument that undocumented immigrants have no constitutional rights and can therefore be summarily executed with no constitutional violations.
Maybe shout "feces and used needles!" a little louder.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott sent a letter to Austin Mayor Steve Adler threatening a state crackdown on homeless people in the city if Adler doesn't eliminate homelessness in Austin by November 1. The letter comes amid a Republican backlash to changes in city laws aimed at treating homeless folks as people who need housing, not criminals.
At issue is a June decision by the Austin City Council to modify three ordinances that had banned sitting, lying, or camping in public, and which had criminalized panhandling. Republicans and some businesses responded with predictable fury, because don't you stupid liberals understand that homelessness can only be addressed by Getting Tough? Under the revised law, sitting and lying on sidewalks is legal as long as the person doesn't pose a threat to "the health or safety of another person or of themselves" or make "usage of such area unreasonably inconvenient or hazardous." Clearly, that's intolerable, because the real solution to homelessness is to drive them to places where decent people don't have to see them. And to talk about local control until a local government does something Republicans don't like.
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