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Gun Control Dictator?

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January 17, 2013
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So I woke up this morning to find a picture posted to Facebook, of a stylized US Constitution that asked me to share if I opposed Obama’s unilateral anti-gun executive action that would circumvent Congress and reminded me that the US was not a dictatorship and that we have Congress for a reason.  Now, normally, I would just ignore this, but the more and more I thought about it…well it really started to just piss me off.  So I decided that I would share my thoughts on the stupidity of this particular picture, (and that comment is directed at the picture and not the original poster).  I also chose not to share this picture so no one could be confused that I agreed with it.

1.  This picture is calling for us to trust a United States Congress that has a 14% approval rating.  Now this means that 86% of Americans just flat don’t like our Congress.  Why is that?  well mainly its because they’re bitterly partisan, so inefficient it borders on being just completely inept, and well to be honest, incapable of accomplishing anything.  Keep this in mind…I believe this applies to the whole of our Congress but primarily leadership in both the Republican and Democratic Caucuses.

2. The picture poses what OUR US President Barrack Obama did yesterday was completely unheard of, well thats not true.  Both Bush the first and Clinton issued executive orders placing restrictions on the importation of certain guns.  They used “unilateral executive action” to accomplish a needed task that Congress was unable to do.

3. So one might ask…what dictatorial moves did Obama make yesterday that harm the very fabric of our Constitution?  He instructed certain federal agencies to remind gun dealers and healthcare workers how to respond to currently written laws, instructed the Department of Justice to use a program currently in place that would make resources available to local school districts and law enforcement agencies to have a greater police presence in our school zones, and called for Congress to consider certain proposals going forward.

What!?!  Wait a minute…are you completely f–ing kidding me?  The President said we’re going to tell a bunch of people to do the job they’re already supposed to be doing….he said we’re going to send some letters, put cops in schools and Congress is going to consider legislation…thats it???  and that has all of these right wing gun nuts in an uproar?

Wow!  I mean seriously NRA…wow.

So I’ll ask anyone out there to kindly update me on how this was the move of a dictator? How was this so harmful?  Hell, to be honest with you, it didn’t do anything…nothing…not one damn thing to solve gun related violence.  If anything, liberals should be mad that he didn’t reach far enough.  We should be mad that he’s sending letters and then asking Congress (remember that group with the 14% approval rating thats incapable of doing anything right) to consider some of the most important gun control legislation of our generation.

So honestly…go suck a d–k NRA, you got what you wanted, the President is basically bowing out of the gun control debate and leaving it up to the Turtle.

Redistricting: Filing Deadline Delayed

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January 31, 2012
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Checks and balances…at least for now the Judicial Branch of our State Government has stepped in where the Legislature and the Governor failed Kentucky.

 

Judge Phillip Shepherd of the Franklin Circuit

 

Today, Judge Phillip Shepherd of the Franklin Circuit Court, ruled that the filing deadline would be delayed against the wishes of defendant/Speaker of the House Greg Stumbo.  This would allow for further review of a lawsuit filed in opposition of House Bill 1 which re-drew, at the direction of Stumbo and Senate President David Williams, the boundaries of Kentucky’s Senate, House and Judicial districts in possibly the most partisan ways the Commonwealth has ever seen.

The challenge, initiated by House Republican Leadership and joined yesterday on behalf of Lexington Senator Kathy Stein, asked for a temporary injunction against the January 31st filing deadline. Shepherd’s ruling, in granting that injunction, made the point that the plaintiffs had shown very clearly that rights would be violated by allowing that deadline to occur.

A hearing was set by the court for Monday, February 6th and the deadline moved to February 7th to prevent “immediate and irreparable harm.”  In his ruling, Shepherd, made the case that a full hearing was required.

That upcoming hearing, scheduled for February 6th is expected to determine the constitutionality of the redistricting plans passed by both chambers and signed by Governor Steve Beshear.  Shepherd went on to say that the deadline would violate the rights of the plaintiffs and violate various state and federal laws regarding how Kentucky is redistricted.

Next up he’ll decide if the same is true of House Bill 1 in its entirety.

 

 

 

Redistricting: A Refresher

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January 30, 2012
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In case you need a refresher of what has folks in Lexington on the angry side…Frankfort by law had to work on applying the 2010 census figures to the legislative boundaries within Kentucky. Most places around the country, this is a fairly partisan process where each side is trying their best to either protect incumbent members of their party or to remove incumbent members of the minority. Separating Kentucky from other states, is that we allow each chamber to come up with their own plan for the district maps and by way of a “Gentlemen’s Agreement” each side just approves the other’s plans. This process has been the case at least as long as the 1891 Constitution and has remained unamended and unaltered since. The process has become increasingly bitter for Kentucky but as Tim Shaugnessey quoted on the Senate Floor this week that what has happened this time “is unprecedented.” The Senate Majority in a hurried process forced from committee to floor and vote in a single day a plan that will affect Kentuckians for the next 10 years and beyond.

David Williams Plan for the Senate Redistricting

The Senate’s amended version of House Bill 1 had quite a few tricks up its sleeve but none more vindictive or partisan as what happened to the 13th Senatorial District. In a nearly straight partisan vote (thanks to Democrat Joey Pendleton who didn’t want to vote against his “new constituents.”) the State Senate moved the 13th from Lexington to Northeast Kentucky and accordingly moved the 4th from Henderson Kentucky to Lexington. One might think “well thats not a big deal,” except for the fact that in Kentucky the Senator appears to represent the number of the District and not the People of the district.

Long story short, Lexington voted overwhelmingly for Kath Stein in 2008, David Williams (Senate President) does some creative renumbering, Dorsey Ridley (lives in Henderson) is now the Senator for Lexington.

I know you’re thinking…that can’t be possible. Sadly its exactly what the Senate decided to do.

Surely someone stood up against this mockery? Let’s see State Senators who represent Fayette County (at least in part)

Kathy Stein? Check. (She easily voted against disenfranchising her own constituents)

Julian Carroll? Check. (In an email response: “It was and is a sad time for our Commonwealth and its constituents.  Kathy is a true friend and has been a fighter for her District.”)

Alice Forgy Kerry? Didn’t cast a vote. (ok, well she is a Republican so perhaps at least somewhat of a defense of her Lexington neighbors….BUT WAIT!!! Turns out the very next day she filed with the Senate Clerk a vote of AYE)

Seriously Alice? Seriously? You stood beside David Williams over your own neighbors. You put your party above your own city? Shame.

Its ok though folks because the Democrats have an easy majority in the State House. They would never vote to disenfranchise voters, I mean after all its kind of a big deal.

NOPE. The House voted by that easy majority to pass disenfranchisement. So how about those State Representatives that are elected by Fayette Countians?

House Voting for HB1

Jesse Crenshaw? NOPE.

Sannie Overly? NOPE.

Bob Damron? NOPE.

Ruth Ann Palumbo? NOPE.

Susan Westrom? Didn’t cast a vote. (at least she didn’t go back the next day and file a vote change like AFK)

Kelly Flood? The only Fayette County Representative to side with her Lexington Neighbors and Constituents over the Party Leadership.

HOLD ON THOUGH….there’s still the Governor. We still have hope that Steve Beshear who won 3-1 in Fayette County and an avid supporter of ending the partisanship in Frankfort. Surely he would veto this bill and send a message back to the Legislature saying that this bitter partisanship must end now!

Thursday the bill gets put on his desk….He’s going to “sleep on it.” This has to be a good sign….he has to be considering a veto.

Friday the bill sits waiting on his desk…we hope and believe that the Governor will do the right thing….NOPE.

He signs the bill. Our hearts are crushed. Every possible check in place failed us. Frankfort failed us. This cannot be what early Kentuckians intended for our State Government to become. This can’t be what we’ve been reduced to.

Last stop on this train?  Franklin Circuit Court…maybe the courts can help us.

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