December 17, 2014

'The community cannot afford to pay $10.10' -Mayor I-Say-What-We-Can-Afford-Fischer

Mayor Greg Fischer says Louisville cannot afford raising the minimum wage from $7.25/hour to $10.10/hour, according to Phillip M. Bailey:
If there's anything we learned from the 2010 mayoral race, Greg Fischer is the authority on what Louisville can or can't afford. Tolls, we can afford. Raising the minimum wage, not so much.

December 15, 2014

John Varanese: Even bigger hater than you thought

I attended the Louisville Metro Council Committee meeting today that voted 3-2 to approve sending the minimum wage ordinance to a vote before the whole council on Thursday. One of the few times I remember good things happening in that room.

Councilman Ken Fleming did try to amend the proposed ordinance to burden taxpayers with another U of L study. I'm not an economist, but it seems to me raising the wage would raise what is collected by the city's occupational tax (sinking fund), and that will more than offset the added $500,000 or so added cost to the city Fleming was whining about.

Councilman Jim King told Phillip M. Bailey that Mayor Greg Fischer is planning on vetoing any minimum wage above $8.50/hour.
Please make sure you let you your Metro Councilperson know where you stand by Thursday's vote.

 John Varanese talked recently to WFPL's Jacob Ryan, and oh boy:
"(people) complaining about minimum wage are complacent.” 
“These are people that have no goals, they’re minimalists, they’re looking for the most minimal thing to get by.”
This isn't the first time Varanese has chimed in on this particular debate. He successfully petitioned to have my Yelp review of his snooty overpriced restaurant removed.

December 9, 2014

Who is guy stealing guitar from Highlands Taproom?

This Youtube video was published yesterday with the following description:
"The full experience of the outstanding human being that stole a $1200 Gibson Explorer and case from the Highlands Taproom. If you recognize any of these faces please speak up. The gentleman that talks to him while he rummages through the case has already been contacted and was only making small talk with the suspect."

WDRB is reporting that anyone with information on the suspect should contact LMPD at 502-574-LMPD.

December 2, 2014

Update on transport of fracking fluid on the Ohio River

Greenhunter still plans to ship fracking waste on the Ohio River, and they managed in October to get some exceedingly industry-friendly media attention in Parkersburg, West Virginia.

To my knowledge, they're just waiting on a final approval from the Coast Guard.

From February, hear Greenhunter CEO Kirk Trosclair all giddy about the prospect of transporting fracking waste on the Ohio at the 4 minute mark:

November 19, 2014

Various Ron Paul bribery scandal updates

Sen. Rand Paul and his father, former Rep. Ron Paul.
It appears that Ron Paul is spending a great big bunch on attorneys. See: Russ Choma/ Open Secrets | Ron Paul’s Presidential Campaign Shells Out for Lawyers in Wake of Disclosures.

Kesari attorney Jesse Binnall and Paul attorney David Warrington are connected in another way, no one has noticed. Both clerked for the recently retired Virginia Circuit Judge Jonathan C. Thacher. (Warrington from 2006-2007, Binnall from 2009-2010.)

Also recently as April 2014, Warrington was also involved with Paul's 501(c)(4) Campaign for Liberty in their fight against IRS not to hand over their donor list. Paul and Warrington talk about that situation in this video which appears to be behind a paywall.

According to Robin Eublind, Dimitri Kesari is still on the Hamilton, VA town council. (I verified that tidbit in September.)
And because no Paul bribery scandal update is complete without a dash of Jesse Benton, here's his unappreciated tweet congratulating Senator Mitch McConnell, and all his "great friends" who are presumably Senate staffers, on McConnell's election as Senate Majority Leader. Seeing as he got one favorite and no retweets, I'm not so sure everyone agrees they're "great friends:"

November 14, 2014

City of Anchorage sues to evict children who were victims of abuse

The City of Anchorage filed suit in October to evict victim children from the city, according to a Uspiritus blog entry:
"Anchorage Mayor Thomas Hewitt and the six-member city council filed the lawsuit Oct. 15 in Jefferson Circuit Court. The act surprised Uspiritus, because both parties had privately agreed to settle a dispute over a 16-year-old zoning agreement that the city never sought to enforce previously. 
The city’s lawsuit claims public safety is at issue. However, the children of Bellewood haven’t been charged with violent crimes against residents and there’s no crime wave in the small town. Nonetheless, Uspiritus leaders have worked to resolve fears from the mayor and council members over the last 18 months by increasing supervision and overnight staff and locking doors. 
“We do not believe the city’s leaders of the City of Anchorage are speaking for the people of Anchorage, who know us as their neighbors,” Drane said. 'We urge citizens to speak up and urge their leaders to drop the lawsuit.'”
Just wow.

Update 11/18/14: News, Weather

Who is John Gant? And what kind of message does his appointment by Mayor Fischer send?

Carbide Industries Explosion, 2011. (Photo:
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer appointed John Gant as the economic development director of the Louisville Forward Team.

So who is John Gant? Although John Gant appears to be as adverse to government regulation as the similarly-named fictional Ayn Rand character John Galt, the former was Carbide Industries' General Manager at the time of a deadly March 21, 2011 explosion.

The explosion killed two people and injured two others. Two years later, the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board released a report firmly placing the cause of those deaths and injuries on Carbide Industries. They were preventable deaths. Preventable injuries.

Per WLKY News | Report blames Carbide Industries in plant explosion:

November 12, 2014

'Raise the Wage' opponent Varanese gets Yelp review scrubbed, it's our move

At Monday's Metro Council's Labor and Economic Development Committee, John Varanese got a chance to speak in opposition to raising Louisville's minimum wage. 

November 10, 2014

Palestinian Activists Smash Hole in Israeli Apartheid Wall

From Facebook:

On November 9, 1989, the East Germany government announced, with little planning, that East Germans would be able to visit West Germany and West Berlin. Through an awesome bureaucratic error, the person making the announcement wasn't briefed on when or how that policy was to begin. When a reporter asked, he said more or less "now." Within hours, an outnumbered guard made the call to open the border completely. Celebrations in the streets ensued.

This. Could be like that.