A record-breaking number of Kentuckians have registered to vote this year, when Lovecraftian demon Mitch McConnell is up for another term in the Senate. A slight majority of those voters are actually registered as Democrats, too. In fact, only 9 percent of those registered voters are ineligible to participate in the state primary elections because they are not affiliated with either party.
Unfortunately, Kentuckians of all stripes will likely face some difficulty voting in the primaries this year, regardless of their political affiliation. As The Independent reports:
In a typical election year, Kentucky has about 3,700 polling sites, according to most reports. When Election Day arrives on 23 June, there will be just 200 polling sites across the state — with some of those sites having to serve upwards of 600,000 residents.
Voting rights expert Ari Berman wrote in a tweet: “There will be one polling place for 616,000 registered voters in Louisville’s Jefferson County, where half state’s black voters live.”
He added: “This is going to be a disaster.”
The State Election Board had previously postponed the primary election by a month because of coronavirus. But it appears they did not use that time to make any better plans for how to deal with the sudden increase in voters amidst a global pandemic.
Unless their plan was to sabotage the entire thing. Which is certainly possible, as Black voter disenfranchisement efforts have increased in recent years.
Mitch McConnell, whose approval rating after 35 years dropped down to an embarrassing 18 percent last fall, has 4 challengers in this primary: Nicholas Alsager, Paul John Frangedakis, Louis Grider, and Naren James. Read the rest
Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear recently ordered a statue of noted American traitor Jefferson Davis to be removed from the state capitol. And as workers took the statue down, they discovered an empty bottle of Glenmore Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey and an old newspaper inside the base.
The newspaper was dated October 20, 1936, and the front page makes references to some violent actions at the hand of anti-fascists vigilantes in Spain. According to Fox News, October 20, 1936 was also the same day that the statue was erected, which is very probably true and also rather ridiculous considering that that was more than 70 years after Jefferson Davis led the Confederacy in betraying the United States.
The Kentucky Historic Properties Advisory Commission has voted to move the statue to the Jefferson Davis State Historic Site — though I'm not sure why the leader of a traitorous secession force should continue to have a state park named in his unseemly honor, either.
Maybe if they raze the park, they'll find more bourbon?
In fact, we should probably search for more bourbon beneath every Confederate statue. Who knows what kind of liquid treasure we might find!
Artifacts found inside base of Jefferson Davis statue at state Capitol [Darby Beane / WDRB] Read the rest
Kentucky governor Andy Beshear says the state now has 163 confirmed coronavirus cases, including one person who attended a “coronavirus party.” That individual may well have infected many others before later testing positive for the virus that causes COVID-19. Read the rest
From the American Independent:
A record number of Kentucky residents are registered to vote as of Jan. 31, Secretary of State Michael Adams (R) announced on Tuesday.
More than 3.4 million Kentuckians are now registered, marking a new high for the state.
According to the Kentucky Secretary of State's Office, 48% of Kentucky voters are registered as Democrats, 43% are Republicans, and 9% are "listed under other affiliations."
The fact that more than half of the registered voters in famously red Kentucky have registered as Democrats is particularly remarkable. But it's not that surprising once you consider that Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell's approval rating had dropped to a whopping 18 percent this past fall. Kentuckians may finally be fed-up with the self-proclaimed Grim Reaper who has contributed absolutely nothing positive to the world in his 35 freakin' years in the Senate — except for enshrining the GOP's self-serving power structure, which only exists to gratify itself.
The only good news for McConnell is that he's moderately more popular than Senator Susan "Trump will definitely learn his lesson this time" Collins of Maine.
If you're looking for some more Schadenfreude, Rolling Stone put out a great article this past September that paints a comprehensive picture of the growing Kentuckian hatred for McConnell's nihilism.
McConnell's re-election campaign will run against Marine Corp veteran and Democratic nominee Amy McGrath this November. It's not the only high-stakes re-election seat this year, but it's certainly an important one for anyone who doesn't want a scorched Earth left behind. Read the rest
It appears that a county in Kansas has found a way to make people overburdened by medical debt struggle more.
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That law was put in place at Hassenplug's own recommendation to the local judge. The attorney uses that law by asking the court to direct people with unpaid medical bills to appear in court every three months and state they are too poor to pay in what is called a "debtors exam."
If two hearings are missed, the judge issues an arrest warrant for contempt of court. Bail is set at $500.
Hassenplug said he gets "paid on what's collected." If the bail money is applied to the judgment, then he gets a portion of that, he said.
"We're sending them to jail for contempt of court for failure to appear," Hassenplug said.
In most courts, bail money is returned when defendants appear in court. But in almost every case in Coffeyville, that money goes to pay attorneys like Hassenplug and the medical debt his clients are owed.
"This raises serious constitutional concerns," said Nusrat Choudhury, the deputy director of the ACLU. "What's happening here is a jailhouse shake-down for cash that is the criminalization of private debt."
The Whitefield Academy is a "Christ-centered, college-preparatory school for grades PreK-12 fostering a passion for learning, others ahead of self, and the living and active Jesus." That is to say, it's a school for religious maniacs.
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Former Republican Governor of Kentucky Matt Bevin pardoned 28 prisoners on his way out of office, including Micah Schoettle, convicted of repeatedly raping a nine year old girl over a two year period, often while her sister was present. Bevin told a conservative talk-show host that he believed Schoettle had been falsely accused and convicted, citing his understanding that child rape survivor's hymen was intact (a peer-reviewed study of girls who survive rape found that only 2.1% of them had visible damage to their hymens; Bevin told an interviewer "This is perhaps more specific than people would want, but trust me, if you have been repeatedly sexually violated as a small child by an adult, there are going to be repercussions of that physically and medically").
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When Steve Beshear was governor of Kentucky, he told experts to go fuck themselves and instead allowed the Australian investment bank Macquarie Capital to manage Kentuckywired, a program to build out broadband to rural Kentuckians.
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Kentucky's Peoples Rural Telephone Cooperative came out of a local electrification co-op set up during the New Deal, and in 1949 it was expanded into a telephone co-op with more federal infrastructure money. Today, the PRTC has used Obama FCC funding to expand into public broadband delivery, wiring up all of Jackson and Owsley Counties, some of the poorest places in America, using a mule called "Old Bub" to haul fiber through inaccessible mountain passes and other extremely isolated places.
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A federal court ruled today that an atheist gentleman from Kentucky should be permitted to get a personalized license plate from the state with the phrase “IM GOD” on it. The man is committed to his cause -- this only took three years of legal fighting. Read the rest
It's a preview of just how badly things could go in 2020: the Kentucky gubernatorial race was narrowly decided for the Democratic candidate Andy Beshear, but the monumentally unpopular Trumpist incumbent Matt Bevin will not concede, and instead, he is repeating the Trumpist lie that "voter fraud" caused him to lose his office.
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Henderson, Kentucky is a town of about 30,000 people in the western part of the state. It's not far from Evansville, Indiana, and it's one of the top three corn and soybean producers in the state. Read the rest
First AOC gave a great speech about how the Green New Deal was good for workers, including coal workers; then she accepted GOP Rep Andy Barr's invite to visit the coal-miners in his Kentucky Appalachian district; then Barr disinvited him, citing her "incivility" in her response to the racist attacks on Rep Ilhan Omar; then it transpired that Barr has no coal mines in his district, but it doesn't matter, AOC is going anyway: "Luckily, we still have open borders with Kentucky, we are free to travel there. We hope to visit and have a town hall, listen to concerns of workers in Kentucky."
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Earlier this week, Kentucky Republican Congressman Andy Barr withdrew his invitation for Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to visit a coalmine in his district (made after AOC defended the Green New Deal as being better for working people, including coal miners, than GOP denial inaction on climate change).
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Late last month, Rep. Andy Barr [R-KY] "invited" Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to visit the coal miners in his Appalachian district, by way of rebuttal to her brilliant response to the charge that the Green New Deal was a rich, city-person's luxury, taking no account of working, poor and rural people.
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The immense sense of vicarious satisfaction I feel watching this gives me hope for the machines that will replace us. [via r/perfectfit] Read the rest
On October 24, Gregory Bush was said to have opened fire at a Kroger grocery store in Jeffersontown, Kentucky on 69-year-old Maurice Stallard, shooting him in the back of the head. 67-year-old Vickie Lee Jones? She was shot by Bush as well. Both victims were black. According to NPR, it was announced this week that the racist shit stain has been justly indicted on hate crimes and fire arms charges by a federal grand jury.
The 51-year-old is charged with "shooting and killing two victims because of their race and color; and for shooting at a third man because of his race and color," according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney Russell Coleman in the Western District of Kentucky.
Minutes before the ambush Bush was also captured on surveillance video trying to enter the First Baptist Church — a predominantly African-American congregation — during a service but locked doors prevented him from entering.
So, in addition to being a bigot, Bush was also a coward: he decided to take out his hate on a group of unsuspecting congregants who'd come together to worship their God. Locked doors? Better go and shoot an old man in the back of the head and an unsuspecting, unarmed woman as she walks across a parking lot. But, you know, not a white dude, because "whites don't shoot whites."
I'm so sick of reading and writing about this sort of shit. Justice cannot come swiftly enough.
Image: by Blogtrepreneur - Legal Gavel, CC BY 2.0 Read the rest