Thorns & Roses: The Worst, Best And Most Absurd (2/10)

Absurd: Worth A Gamble

Last year, the Kentucky Supreme Court (rightly) ruled that slot machine-like historical racing games don’t qualify as pari-mutuel wagering. [We did a LEO field trip to one of the facilities… it was a pretty sweet setup, but it was definitely straight slots.] Pari-mutuel wagering is one of three forms of gambling permitted by the state Constitution, in addition to the lottery and charitable games, such as bingo. The Senate Licensing and Occupations Committee passed Senate Bill 120 out of committee, which would accommodate the “historical racing” games into state law. So, Republicans are willing to change the law to accommodate a new form of gambling, but they’re still incapable of — or too incompetent to — legalize full gaming. Just to express the absurdity of it all, legalsportsreport.com reports that legal sports betting, alone, since June 2018, has generated more than $16 million in tax revenue for Illinois, more than $17 million for Indiana and nearly $6 million in West Virginia. And that doesn’t include the full economic impact of legal sports betting.

Thorn: I got 103 problems…

The top-to-bottom review of LMPD is in, and the conclusion is… unsurprising. The authors of the Hilliard Heintze report, commissioned by the mayor’s office last year, discovered “an agency ‘in crisis,’” according the The Courier Journal. The report comes with 102 recommendations, covering everything from traffic stops, use-of-force policies, executing search warrants, handling complaints and internal investigations, and much more. It’s fine to do things in a thorough, responsible way. But, to be honest, the protesters who spent over-150 straight days downtown last year, could have told you about each of these 102 problems… and more. Here’s another recommendation: Instead of the constant vapid public relations tactics, actually take some real action to curb these problems instead of constantly sweeping them under the rug. There, only 103.

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Thorn: Hilliard Heintz bottom-to-bottom report

It’s pretty outrageous that the city paid for a review that literally suggested things like, “Schedule regular use-of-force policy reviews to more effectively monitor policy relevance and adherence to best practices and training.” What a brilliant idea! A quick glance demonstrates how utterly worthless this review is, but this not-so-veiled, old racist trope jumped off the page: “We recognize that variables such as crime and disorder in the area of the stop need to be considered when determining whether bias occurred.” So, what they’re saying, is it’s entirely possible that it’s not police who have a bias against Black people, it’s that Black people are just more likely to be around “crime and disorder.” We need real change, not old excuses.

Thorn: Rand’s rants are dangerous

Kentucky junior Senator and notable clown Rand Paul used some dangerous rhetoric during the confirmation hearing last Wednesday for Miguel Cardona, President Joe Biden’s pick to lead the U.S. Department of Education. About transgender students participating in high school sports, Paul asked: “Do you think it’s fair to have boys running in the girls track meet?” This is after he stated that transgender participation will “destroys girls sports.” The transgender community has historically and continually been targeted for bigotry and violence, and a politician stoking the flames of ignorance and hatred is unacceptable and extremely problematic. Words matter. And Rand’s are toxic.

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