Samwise Open Thread / An Introduction, for the Unfamiliar

Hello, my pseudonym is Major Major Major Major, and I am, apparently, a blogger.

As many of you already know, I’m a prolific commenter here. (For those who didn’t know that, now you do.) Recent-ish-ly, I’ve been working with Alain on various improvements to the site. These efforts kept hitting the same snag: developing anything for a system you don’t have access to is terrible. So Alain gave me the keys to the production server. Somebody had the bright idea to give me the keys to WordPress too, so here we are.

I know I’m supposed to say something snarky here, but I really do think it’s kind of an honor, so hey, thanks!

Now. Before you complain about the site in the comments, let me say that we are aware there are many issues. We might even be aware of yours! But BJ is nobody’s full-time job, so, well, you know how triage works.

As for posting, I’m going to keep that light. As Alain mentioned, I’d like to start a twice-monthly series where we can all talk about good books to read. I may do the first one on Sunday. If there’s interest, I may also start a feature where we can talk about video games. Let me know. Finally, I may jump in with a west coast late night open thread on evenings where there’s a need.

Bio and pet pics below the fold…

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Court House Putsch

Two same-sex couples (so far) have been issued marriage licenses in Rowan County, Kentucky, US America, after the martyr for Jesus clerk was thrown in the hoosegow yesterday.  Here’s a taste of the welcome they got:

When the couple got inside the office Friday, a man harassed them, saying “More sodomites getting married?”
[…]
In a heated exchange, Davis’ supporters yelled, “I’m telling you the truth because I love you,” while opponents yelled back, “Jesus loves everyone.”

Since I was raised Catholic and therefore know nothing of the Bible, I’ll leave it to the real Christians in the audience to find the verse where Jesus said, “I show how much I love you by telling you the truth about how much I hate you”.

The highlight of this whole shitshow, for me at least, was this “you know who else jailed county clerks who failed to do their job?” quote from our martyr’s lawyer:

“Does that mean that if you’re Christian, don’t apply here; if you’re a Jew, you gotta get — what happened in Nazi Germany, what happened there first, they removed the Jews from government public employment, then they stopped patronizing them in their private businesses, then they continued to stigmatize them, then they were the ‘problems,’ then they killed them,” Staver said. “The fact of the matter is, she has a right to this employment and you don’t lose your constitutional liberties just because you are employed by the government.”

If I were philosopher-king, the first first thing I would do is ban all WWII analogies, including all “Munich” and “Chamberlain” references. They’re like songs by Air Supply or “screw in a lightbulb” jokes — everyone has heard enough of them for this lifetime. The second first thing I would do is fire all the “Christians” who won’t do their fucking jobs because they think Jesus is whispering in their ear.








You’ll Have To Pry These Marriage Licenses Out Of My Cold, Dead Laser Printer

Meanwhile, the saga of the quixotic enigma that is the Rowan County, Kentucky Clerk’s Office continues.

A federal judge on Wednesday ordered Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis to resume issuing marriage licenses despite her religious objection to same-sex marriage, but Davis quickly filed an appeal and continued her refusal to issue licenses.

Davis will ask Bunning to stay his injunction while she appeals it to the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, said her attorney, Roger Gannam.

On Thursday morning, Rowan County Deputy Clerk Nathan Davis turned away David Moore and David Ermold, refusing to issue the men a marriage license.

“Kim Davis is resolute in vindicating her rights,” said Gannam, senior litigation counsel at Liberty Counsel, a religious advocacy group. “Fundamentally, we disagree with this order because the government should never be able to compel a person to violate their sincerely held religious beliefs.”

The martyr-splosion that the GOP wants here won’t happen until Davis is fired or otherwise removed from office, and the instant that happens, it’s PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIANS BY GAY LIONS or something, not to mention an immediate headache for AG Jack Conway, who is busy both A) suing the hell out of the EPA to show he’s tough on that Obama fella, and B) trying to actually save the state from Matt Bevin as governor.
Anyhow, something’s got to give here, the county hasn’t issued any marriage licenses since the SCOTUS ruling came down in June, so we’ll see what current Gov. Dinosaur Steve Beshear decides to do about it. I still stand by my prediction that this case is destined for SCOTUS somehow.


Freedom By Fiat, Or Who Will Save The Bigoted Bakers?

Louisiana’s version of Indiana’s now infamous”Religious Freedom” bill has died screaming in legislative committee, so Gov. Bobby Jindal is just going to declare it law anyway because EAGLE and MURICA.

“We will be issuing an Executive Order shortly that will accomplish the intent of HB 707 to prevent the state from discriminating against persons or entities with deeply held religious beliefs that marriage is between one man and one woman,” he explained. “This Executive Order will prohibit the state from denying or revoking a tax exemption, tax deduction, contract, cooperative agreement, loan, professional license, certification, accreditation, or employment on the basis the person acts in accordance with a religious belief that marriage is between one man and one woman.”

Proponents of the bill, including sponsor Rep. Mike Johnson (R), claimed that it had nothing to do with enabling discrimination against LGBT people. Nevertheless, he specifically cited the cases of florists, bakers, and event venues that have been punished in other states for refusing to serve same-sex couples as the reason the bill was necessary. Stephen Sabludowsky of Bayou Buzz highlighted some of other examples of discrimination that the provision seems to open the door to. “A doctor working at a state institution could not be fired by the state if the doctor refused to treat a same-sex couple,” he explained, nor could the state “take action against a teacher who refused to visit with the same-sex parents of a student.”

If your argument is literally “Well, we can’t allow the state to do anything about hating the gays because God,” then good luck winning the White House in 2016. Not that Bobby here had a chance in hell anyway, but he went ahead and made good on the threat late yesterday.

Please note that just a few months ago, Jindal attacked President Obama for issuing executive orders on immigration, calling the president “lawless”.  I guess that makes Jindal just as bad, but nobody in Republicanland will point that out.

No wonder that Jindal’s approval ratings in Louisiana are tanking hard, he’s down to that magic number of 27%, which actually puts him below President Obama in the state.

Funny how that works.



That Other Kentucky Horse Race

Republicans here in the Bluegrass State will be heading to the polls in two weeks to decide which GOP nutbar will get a crack at destroying the state’s wildly successful Kynect insurance exchange and Medicaid expansion.  So far, the polls have Louisville businessman Hal Heiner in the lead for the GOP gubernatorial nomination, ahead of KY Ag Secretary and Sudden hemp advocate James Comer, Cockfighting enthusiast and failed Senate candidate Matt Bevin, and That Other Guy Will T. Scott.

But things just got interesting with Comer waking up to this lovely story in the Louisville Courier-Journal this morning.

A woman who dated gubernatorial candidate James Comer while the two were in college said in a letter to The Courier-Journal on Monday that he was physically and mentally abusive to her during what she said was a two-year relationship.

“Did Jamie Comer ever hit me? Yes,” wrote Marilyn Thomas, who attended Western Kentucky University with Comer in the early 1990s.

Comer’s lawyer, Dick Plymale, of Lexington, said in an interview that Comer “profusely denies” all the allegations in the letter and promised a “devastating lawsuit” against the newspaper if it published the story.

Plymale went on to criticize Thomas, saying “I’ve heard unpleasant things about her personality and mental state.”

First of all, yes, Jim Comer’s lawyer is named Dick Plymale. Ruminate on that for a smidge.

Dick. Plymale.

Second, Comer is a spectacular asshole and all, and if these allegations are true, he’s even more of a spectacular asshole than I thought.

Of course, Hal Heiner is no prize either.

Republican candidate for governor Hal Heiner has apologized to fellow candidate James Comer after emails surfaced in a local newspaper linking a Heiner campaign associate with a blogger who has accused Comer of committing a crime while in college.

In a statement, Heiner personally apologized to Comer but did not admit direct involvement. He called the rumors “un-Christian” and said they were the worst kind of politics. Comer said he is disappointed with Heiner but said he is focused on winning the primary and uniting the Republican party.

And Bevin?  Well, Bevin’s gonna Bevin whenever possible.

Kentucky Gubernatorial candidate Matt Bevin is challenging his three Republican rivals to participate in the “read or pie” challenge.

Donations support early literacy programs through “Read On”.

Bevin challenged them saying, “if you’re real men and care about the children of Kentucky, you’ll make a contribution and you’ll take a pie to the face. Now I will have one of my daughters do the honors”.

So far, we have only hear from Will T. Scott, who has already taken a pie to the face.

That also sums up Will T. Scott’s campaign, who has been in a distant fourth the whole time.

Democrats are running Attorney General Jack Conway, who has token opposition at best. So, November will come down to a Republican who wants to take health care away from 450,000 voters, and a Democrat who refused to defend the state’s same-sex marriage ban in court.

Which one is the bigger liability in Kentucky?  We’ll find out in six months.