Thursday, June 9, 2016

Last Call For Becoming A Target

The wingnut "backlash" against Target stores and the company's trans-inclusive bathroom policy just stopped being "funny".

A small bomb exploded in the women's bathroom at a Target store in Evanston on Wednesday, and officials are investigating whether it’s connected to the company’s policy allowing transgender people to use the bathroom of their choice. 
Commander Joe Dugan says no one was inside the bathroom when the small explosion happened a little after 4 o'clock. It caused minor damage and no one was injured. Early indications are that a plastic bottle was used but no projectiles like nails or tacks were inside it. Investigators are gathering evidence including examining store security camera video. 
Target has been criticized recently for its stand on allowing people in the LGBT community to choose whichever bathroom they identify mostly with, either male or female, stating the company welcomes, "transgendered team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity.” 
In response, 700,000 people signed an online petition promising to boycott Target. Evanston police say they have not ruled out the explosive device planted here may somehow be connected.

So yeah, now we have open domestic terrorism in public bathrooms, and even if this is somehow not connected to Target's inclusiveness, somebody is still blowing up bathrooms.  If I'm one of the people boycotting Target for having a soul, I would want this case solved in milliseconds. Hell, I want this case solved regardless because it's a terrible thing to do.


Getting The Sharap(ova) End Of The Stick

Tennis star Maria Sharapova now faces a two-year suspension from the sport after testing positive for doping.  She's appealing her suspension to the sports world's governing body, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

Sharapova tested positive for meldonium, a World Anti-Doping Agency banned substance, following a January 26 urine test. Sharapova admitted to the ITF and to the press in March that she had used the substance. 
Sharapova said she had been taking a medicine known to her as mildronate, which she said she did not know is also called meldonium, for 10 years, and that the WADA had only added meldonium to the list of banned substances starting January 2016. She characterized the doping as unintentional. 
The tennis player had a hearing in May in front of an Independent Tribunal, after which it was determined she should be suspended for two years retroactive to January 26, and have the results of her Australian Open “disqualified.” 
On Facebook, Sharapova said she will appeal the suspension to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, calling the two-year suspension “unfairly harsh.”

I have to wonder about anyone using a "medicine" for ten years to improve her performance and then saying "Oh gosh, I didn't know". We're not talking Flintstones vitamins here, guys.

In the Independent Tribunal’s report on Sharapova’s suspension, it said she is the “sole author of her own misfortune”:

The contravention of the anti-doping rules was not intentional as Ms Sharapova did not appreciate that Mildronate contained a substance prohibited from 1 January 2016. However she does bear sole responsibility for the contravention, and very significant fault, in failing to take any steps to check whether the continued use of this medicine was permissible. If she had not concealed her use of Mildronate from the anti-doping authorities, members of her own support team and the doctors whom she consulted, but had sought advice, then the contravention would have been avoided.

In other words, Sharapova was using this stuff for a decade and got away with it because she was using it secretly.  If she had asked any of her doctors or WADA, they could have helped and settled the matter privately. She didn't, and she's paying a heavy price for it.

The WADA doesn't screw around.  Ask Marion Jones or Lance Armstrong sometime.

TrumpIng Kentucky Republicans

Here in Kentucky, Democrats are barely holding on to control of the State House as the last line of defense against increasingly unpopular GOP Gov. Matt Bevin's austerity regime, and November could very well hand over control of the House to the Republicans.  But along came Donald Trump...

Kentucky Republicans say they have years of momentum and that a big voter turnout in November for a presidential election will help them seize majority control of the Kentucky House of Representatives for the first time since 1921. 
“A fantastic chance,” said Tres Watson, spokesman for the Republican Party of Kentucky. “We have good candidates. And the demographics of a presidential year combined with how Kentuckians are voting more and more Republican at the federal level make us highly competitive.” 
But Democrats survived an GOP aggressive challenge in 2014 and say that momentum swung back their way in March when Democrats won three of four special elections for vacant House seats. 
“I feel very strong about our prospects to hold onto our majority,” said Rep. Sannie Overly, of Paris, who chairs the House Democratic Caucus and the Kentucky Democratic Party. “We’ve heard this from those folks (Republicans) before. And we have consistently out-recruited, out-worked and out-performed their candidates. This year is no different.”
Democrats now hold a 53-47 majority in the House, which remains the only legislative chamber in any southern state in Democratic control. 
The stakes are extremely high. Republicans are sure to retain a big majority in the Kentucky Senate in November, and flipping the House would allow the GOP and Republican Gov. Matt Bevin to pass much more of their conservative agenda. 
Many Republicans believe the presidential race pitting Republican Donald Trump against Democrat Hillary Clinton will help many of their candidates – particularly in Eastern Kentucky, where Clinton’s March comment about putting miners out of work resonates loudly despite her efforts to say the comment was a mistake and taken out of context. 
But Overly said, “The Trump campaign appears to be imploding on a daily basis. Who knows what it will look like in November? He may well be a drag on their ticket.” 
House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, said Democrats plan to run against Bevin on the funding cuts he initiated to universities and his veto of a budget provision that would have expanded preschool eligibility. 
“I don’t believe the governor’s message is popular," he said. "We ran against it in the special elections, we’ll run against it again this fall.”

If Trump isn't a drag on the ticket for KY state races, Bevin may very well be.  His education cuts are becoming more and more of an issue here along with his Medicaid cuts and across-the-board cuts to many state cabinets.  I don't have any illusions that Clinton will win here, but it doesn't mean that people won't keep sticking with Greg Stumbo and the Democrats this fall, either.

We'll see.


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