And Furthermore, Mississippi the Worst State

Mississippi has just about always been the worst state, since it became a state, a list of horrors that ranges from its stupid spelling to having just ratified the 13th amendment  in 2013.  I mean what more do you need?  But there’s more!

Blood red Mississippi loves its guns too.  No surprise.  In fact, they love their guns just slightly more than they love their Jesus, as evidenced by the Mississippi Church Protection Act, which allows guns in church.  But because it’s Mississippi, it goes farther than just allowing permitted gun owners to bring them to their place of worship, oh no.

Notably, it also goes beyond church security and would allow people to carry guns in holsters without a state concealed weapons permit, a feature that drew opponents’ criticism. That would expand on last year’s state law allowing people to carry guns in purses or briefcases without a permit.

The measure also asserts that no state official can enforce any federal executive order or administrative rule that violates the constitutions of Mississippi or the nation, challenging the principle that federal law overrides state law.

So you can have no permit or training and go out to the Make ’em Squeal Gun Emporium and buy a pistol and wear it into church.

As per usual, the more sensible law enforcement organizations find fault with this but tish tosh, who listens to law enforcement about protection issues?

The section of the bill to lower requirements for concealed-carry permits drew opposition from the Mississippi Association of Chiefs of Police. Executive Director Ken Winter said that provision would make it harder to stop people who appear to be engaged in wrongdoing. He also said the bill could raise the “threat level” to officers.

“We just don’t believe that it’s a good idea for people to be carrying concealed weapons and not have participated in any training,” Winter said.

The art of Southern understatement lives. Southerners, not so much.

 

Soak in the Differences

California, a blue state with blue leaders is raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour over 6 years. It has gotten a grasp on a very bad fiscal situation and made great inroads in bringing California back from the fiscal brink and on its way to once again commanding the position of national leader.

Kansas, Oklahoma, North Carolina are red states (NC is more purple) with red leaders that have gone the other way.

North Carolina is embroiled in a self-inflicted gay panic with their anti-LGBT laws.  No reason for it, but the GOP there thought it reasonable and even necessary to load a gun and aim it at their own feet. The citizenry and abundant business community is pushing back on this completely brain dead waste of time.

If you type Kansas  into Google the top search result is “Kansas Fiscal Crisis.” Gov. Brownback has legendarily fucked up the economy in that state by carrying out the dreaded Republican economic agenda: cut taxes on the rich, cut spending on the poor and middle class.  Which leads inexorably to raising taxes on the poor, closing schools, letting roads degrade to gravel, etc., real pain for people, with no actual positive result.

But since the adoption of Brownback’s tax package, which included cutting the top income-tax rate by 26 percent and increasing standard deductions for married and single head-of-household filers, Kansas has gone from a $709 million surplus to shortfalls, said Duane Goossen, who served as budget director for both Republican and Democratic Kansas governors.

Oklahoma, under Mary Fallon, (nicknamed Mary Failin’) has also gone the way of Kansas and now has a $1.3 budget shortfall, bless her heart.  They sought to fill in that big unexpected hole of money by proposing to raise the state sales tax to nearly ten percent.  Yes, that’s right, Oklahoma has a higher state sales tax than New York, California, New Jersey, etc.  What we call sales taxes are regressive, so the GOP must have thought: “hey, that’s the opposite of progressive, let’s do that there.”  Yep, sock it to the poor is the unsaid byproduct of Republican rule, that part of tax cuts for the rich in small print at the bottom of the page. Oklahomans will vote on this next November.

The Tax Foundation’s research shows that Oklahoma currently has a 8.78 percent combined state and local sales tax rate, ranking it No. 6 nationally. If Oklahoma voters approved a penny increase, Oklahoma would have 9.78 percent rate, higher than any other state. (Tennessee, which has no individual income tax, is now No. 1 at 9.46 percent.)

At least they get a chance to vote, but it’s likely to pass since schools there (like in Kansas) are going to a 4 day week because of the lack of funds.

“Republican thinking” should officially be considered an oxymoron.

 

 

When You Step in Shit You Can’t Walk it Back

The Trumpster fire keeps stepping in it because he’s not an actual politician/public servant and refuses to take advice from such individuals.

The entire bruhaha over his overly aggressive thug of a campaign manager would have been avoided by any other campaign, EVER, by condemning his actions, suspending him and letting it die down. But He, Trump can’t do that. He doubles down where others flee. But he’s so much smarter than all of us so no doubt he knows what he’s doing.

Then he walks into the buzz saw of the abortion issue.  He said what is always left unsaid or disingenuously denied: that if you consider abortion murder and make it illegal then you have to punish the mother.  But almost every other politician, again, EVER, was smart enough to not admit that. Give him credit for honesty in the face of Chris Matthews’s brow beating (he really is the only person who can interview Trump and not get completely run over). Only later did he “walk it back”, but that crap is all over your shoes forever. The ad is already being prepared by the Clinton camp, Emily’s List, NARAL, etc.

Just for the record, no matter what any anti-choicer says to seem human, of course the woman would have to be punished. In Indiana, they just dropped the mask when they made abortion illegal and now a woman who had an illegal abortion was sentenced to a 20 year jail term having been convicted of “feticide” .  (The woman claimed a miscarriage and one can almost hope that it’s a lie because to think that you could have a miscarriage and the system can then convict you for murder is unbearable. Any way you look at it it’s unbearable though.)  In any situation, anywhere, if someone pays someone to commit murder, they too go to jail.  So stop the pretense and admit that under any legislative body that made abortion illegal the woman would be prosecuted as well as the doctor.

Yes, it makes you look heartless to admit it.  Own it!

California’s $15 Min. Wage Experiment

It’s very interesting that Gov. Brown made a deal to increase the minimum wage over 6 years, when a similar but more abrupt plan was going to be on the ballot in November.

This is supposed to be some experiment in raising the minimum wage on a grand scale, but it’s not like we haven’t had states do this right next to states that didn’t and the naysayers who thought the sky would fall have no evidence to back up their nightmare scenarios. The evidence is already quite in, a minimum wage, a living wage, more money is an unqualified good thing for the recipients and the economy.

  1. The present minimum wage fosters a need for the safety net for many people on it. So we taxpayers are subsidizing those companies that refuse to pay more. The lower prices they give us (for stuff made in other countries) is offset by our higher taxes.
  2. More money circulating in the economy is double plus good, and it circulates much faster when it’s in the hands of people who spend nearly 100% of their income on essentials all the time. A lot of people going out shopping and spending another $50 a week is a lot better than a handful of people buying Maseratis or beach houses.

However, the most interesting factor here is that yes, there is a sense of the universal not making a whole lot of sense when a $15 an hour minimum wage is still not a living wage in Los Angeles or San Francisco, but it’s pretty generous in places like Fresno.

I’m having trouble embedding the chart from the article, but look at how the percentage a $15 wage in relation to the median wage varies from place to place. 40% of the median wage in San Jose, but 74% of it in Fresno. That’s a big disparity.

Why can’t the minimum wage be linked to a percentage of the median wage, period?  Math too hard?

 

 

 

4-4 Supreme Court is an Improvement

So far the 4-4 court has worked just fine for the cause of common sense, showing how addition by deletion is a thing.

Today a 4-4 Court ruling kept in place a ruling that allows public sector unions to collect dues

Scalia would have made it 5-4 and allowed the anti-union forces to decimate what’s left of the union movement in the country.

Of course, it’s only a matter of time before an 8 member court bites common sense in the ass, but so far it’s a breath of fresh air.

 

Obama over Cruz by KO

Obama:

“As far as the notion of having surveillance of neighborhoods where Muslims are present, I just left a country that engages in that kind of neighborhood surveillance,” Obama said. “Which, by the way, the father of Sen. Cruz escaped for America. The land of the free. The notion that we would start down that slippery slope makes absolutely no sense. It’s contrary to who we are. And it’s not going to help us defeat ISIL.”

Just stay down Ted, just stay down.

Obama could be an exceptional ex-president. He excels at these kinds of verbal jabs and getting down to the rhetorical nitty gritty, kind of like Bill Clinton became the Secretary of Explaining Stuff at the 2012 Democratic Convention. But without the Clintonian baggage.

Funny how Jimmy Carter has been so recognized for his philanthropic works without apparently hobnobbing with elites at Davos. I’m sure the Clinton Foundation does good things, but they’re better known for the contributions from Saudi princes than actual accomplishments. I have a feeling Obama could end up being the most effective post-presidential communicator of the three ex-Dem. presidents.  Maybe not as saintly as Carter, but he doesn’t strike me as needing that affirmation of the elites that Clinton evidently does.

The Problem With Millenials

Every Trend story about millennials by the NYT. Hilarious.

“For me, the most important thing is expressing myself,” said Jewel Packard, 24, during an interview conducted via reaction GIFs in the communication app Slack. “Sometimes that means tattoos, and sometimes that means podcasts.”

Packard, who co-works at a bespoke underwear startup, and whose hobbies include 7 a.m. dance parties and sexting, said that she values her ability to express herself almost as much as she values her parents’ Netflix account.