Thursday, February 11, 2016

Last Call For The Kids Are All...Something

The picture that accompanies this Atlantic piece on Bernie Sanders winning the youth vote is bugging the hell out of me.

If Bernie's voting bloc keeps looking like this, he's not going to beat Hillary outside of states like, well, Iowa and New Hampshire.  This is not America's "youth vote" any more than this picture represents all of America, and I think a lot of pundits have forgotten that this week.

Just saying.

Dispatches From Bevinstan, Con't

When Glibertarian douchebags like Matt Bevin complain about the "onerous regulatory climate" that "costs jobs" what they mean at every turn is getting rid of protections for consumers so that they can be screwed over by corporations. Kentucky's insurance providers are a perfect example of this.

Gov. Matt Bevin’s new insurance commissioner this week dropped Kentucky’s legal defense of a 2012 consumer-protection law intended to help life insurance beneficiaries. 
The law requires insurance companies to make “good faith efforts,” using public death records, to determine if policyholders have died so their benefits can be paid. 
Attorneys for Insurance Commissioner H. Brian Maynard — a former life insurance executive — on Monday filed a motion to dismiss their previously aggressive defense of the Unclaimed Life Insurance Benefits Act before the Kentucky Supreme Court. Oral arguments in the case were scheduled for Friday at the high court
“If this is the direction the Bevin administration is moving in, putting insurance industry profits above protecting the consumers, then I’m very, very disappointed. I would hope the governor doesn’t really know what happened here, and he’s just been misled by some industry lobbyists,” said Bob Damron, the former state representative from Nicholasville who sponsored the law. 
Maynard spokeswoman Ronda Sloan said the state Insurance Department did not have a comment Wednesday morning on why it dropped its defense of the law. 
Before Kentucky and roughly two dozen states started to pass similar versions of this law, Damron said, the life insurance industry was sitting on more than $1 billion in unclaimed benefits, often because companies did not want to know that their customers had died. Once they officially knew a policyholder was dead, that meant they had to contact the listed beneficiary and cut a check, he said. 
“A lot of times, nobody in the family knows the deceased even had a life insurance policy, or they’ve long since forgotten if they knew, so the benefits go unclaimed,” Damron said.

Bevin appoints an insurance executive as Insurance Commissioner, and suddenly the state is no longer interested in defending laws that insurance companies have sued over that would actually make them honor their insurance policies, screwing ordinary people out of money.

This is how Bevinstan works, folks.  This is exactly who you voted for, or in our case, didn't bother to get off your ass to stop when you had the chance in November.

Welcome to Bevinstan.

Read more here:

Back To Ferguson

So last time I had checked, the Justice Department and the City of Ferguson, Missouri had worked out a consent decree for dealing with the city's odious, racist police practices, having worked out a deal to reform the city's police and courts like adults.

And then, Tuesday night, the Ferguson City Council unanimously voted to scrap the parts of the deal they didn't like and throw months of negotiations out the window with an eye towards running out the clock on the Obama administration, and taking their chances with the next administration being much, much less interested in prosecuting civil rights violations.

In other words, these guys wanted nine more months to comply at the minimum, and wanted to push any sort of actual reform until 2017, where of course a Republican administration running the DoJ would dropkick the case into the deepest well they could find, never to be heard from again.

The Justice Department delivered their response Wednesday afternoon.

The Department of Justice on Wednesday announced that it would file suit against Ferguson, Mo., after the city rejected an agreement to overhaul its beleaguered criminal justice system and address allegations of widespread civil rights abuses.

“Their decision leaves us no further choice,” Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch said in remarks prepared for a news conference announcing the suit.

Ms. Lynch said residents of the city had waited too long for reforms. “They have waited decades for justice. They should not be forced to wait any longer,” she said.

The Ferguson City Council voted, 6 to 0, on Tuesday night to reject the deal, which had been negotiated by Department of Justice and city officials. Council members expressed concern over the cost of that deal, but now face the prospect of a lawsuit that could cost millions in legal fees even if they prevail.

Ferguson has responded in kind:

Mayor James Knowles signaled Wednesday the city is ready to take on theJustice Department in federal court after municipal leaders voted to revise a tentative agreement to overhaul Ferguson's troubled police department and court system.

The mayor's comments came a day after city council members in the St. Louis suburb voted unanimously to remove language from the agreement that, local officials assert, mandates big raises for police officers. City leaders also sought to cap fees for required federal monitoring of the program at $1 million.

"The ball is in their court," Knowles said at a hastily called news conference Wednesday. "We're sitting and waiting to talk. If they want to threaten legal action, then that's what they're threatening."

Knowles is a scumbag of the lowest order, frankly.  He fully expects to get away with it. He just might, too.

But not if Loretta Lynch can help it.


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