We are the 99%

March 31, 2005

Lil Ricky Strikes Back

At first, when I read this article I was confused.

Senator Santorum has been doing some work down with some non-constituents in Florida - working for the common good for the sake of Terri Schiavo. In the article in the Post-Gazette, he's on record saying that he didn't:

"know how anyone can believe that this is a political winner, if you look at any of the polls."

And he's absolutely right. The polls show that the position that Senator Santorum is taking is out of touch with a majority of Americans.

So why would he do it?

I asked myself that same question during lunch today. Why would an otherwise savvy politician do something so unpopular? Why would he knowingly do something with such a potential to be politically damaging?

Then I remembered this column in the Trib. Take a look at what McNickle is accusing Senator Santorum of:

Some would say Santorum has allowed politics to trump principles. Others would say he has become a pandering opportunist. Actually, it's a combination of both. And being an unprincipled pandering opportunist is a lousy way to treat those who brung you to the dance.

According to McNickle, he's guilty of placing politics over principle.

Now what did Senator Santorum say? He didn't:

"know how anyone can believe that this is a political winner, if you look at any of the polls."

If you look closely, he's just responded to all the conservatives who accuse him of valuing political pragmatism over conservative principles. It's his first shot in response.

I'll bet anyone that this is going to be used by the good Senator (accompanied, of course, with a too-loud groan in protest that it's not political) not to reach out to Pennsylvania voters, but to reassert his place among the hardest of the hard right.

Rick Santorum, the man who stood by his "culture of life" principles even when all the polls said it was a bad idea.

Living Will Form

Surely anyone with half a brain -- make that anyone with a brain -- recognizes the need to have a Living Will. 2 Political Junkies has searched high and low for the best form out there and this is the result of our effort.

Original form can be found at andy.maskin.net.

Substitute your name for the name of the author of this form and sign and date it. Two witnesses are required.


My Living Will


By Andy Maskin


I, Andy Maskin, being of sound mind and body, hereby grant authority over my handling should I enter a persistent vegetative state to the United States Congress pursuant to the following conditions:

1. Congress shall convene for the sole purpose of determining whether or not I should be sustained or allowed to die. A special quorum for this session shall consist of at least 62% of the House of Representatives and 70% of the Senate present and accounted for. Both houses of Congress must each agree, by a simple majority, on the same course of action.

2. In the event of a tie in the House of Representatives, the tie shall be broken by the non-voting representative from American Samoa. If this individual is not available to break a tie, other non-voting representatives shall be called upon in the following priority:
- Guam
- Puerto Rico
- U.S. Virgin Islands
- Washington DC
- A Coin Flip conducted by the youngest present congressman

3. In the Senate, a tie shall be broken by a potato sack race between the eldest Senators for each side of the argument. If one such Senator is a Senator from Idaho, he or she is to be considered to have an unfair advantage and his spot will be passed to the next-eldest non-Idaho Senator. This race shall be no shorter than 50 meters and no longer than 100 meters.

4. If Congress is unable to make a determination based on the conditions set forth above, then the decision whether or not to keep me alive with machines shall fall to the Bush twins. If Jenna is unable to serve in this capacity, then Bjork may cast a vote in her place. If Barbara is similarly unavailable, her vote may be cast by a well-trained parrot of Jenna's choosing.

5. In the event of a tie between the Bush twins (or their aforementioned proxies) then that tie shall be broken by the oldest living descendent of Adlai Stevenson.

6. If neither Bush twin is available to determine my fate, I would like to convene a blue ribbon panel of Dungeons And Dragons players for this purpose. The 12-person panel shall be selected by the United States Supreme Court, and will meet in the rotunda of the US Capitol building. They are to be the best such players currently available (as determined by court-appointed experts). They shall set about determining my fate based on my assorted attributes and several rolls of 20-sided die.

7. If it proves impossible to convene such a panel (or they are split evenly), and I am married, I would like my spouse to make the decision, but not before conducting no fewer than 75 television interviews. Any and all political causes are hereby authorized to co-opt her name and likeness for their own agendas, except the Sierra Club and National Association of Home Builders.

8. If I am unmarried or am married to someone who is unreasonably shy, and I have been determined not to be able to ever communicate again in any meaningful way, then please just let me die.

March 29, 2005

A Question for Congresswoman Hart

Congresswoman Hart;

It's come to light that at the recent Social Security rally in Colorado, three people who'd received tickets through the proper channels were forcibly ejected from the rally because the car they arrived in had a bumper sticker on it that read "No More Blood for Oil." Their story can be found here. The AP covered the same rally and told roughly the same story. It can be found here.

A few things that need to be pointed out on this.
  • It was a tax-payer funded public event.
  • The Secret Service was not involved in the forcible ejection of these three (although the three were ejected on "security" grounds).
  • According to their account, The Secret Service made it clear that it was a Republican staffer who did the ejecting - not the Secret Service.
  • The three people who were ejected did nothing wrong - except arrive in a car with a bumper sticker the President's supporters wouldn't like.
So my question:

At your rally last week (the tickets were available through your office so I think it's safe to say that it was your rally) were there similar teams of "Republican staffers" checking on the bumper stickers of the people arriving? Was there any "Republican staffer" who was given the authority to forcibly eject someone from that rally who happened to arrive in a car that had a bumper sticker that offended you or the local Republican party?

Please, let us know. We're Citizens of the United States of America and you are an elected official in the House of Representatives of the United States of America. We have a right to know whether you or your staff were involved in any strong arm tactics or tax supported propaganda.

Onward Christian Soldiers

Jesus! I know that this guy cannot be typical of the protesters outside Schiavo's hospice, but the fact remains that he is there. And, he believes that he's on the side of the angels whether he's defending keeping a brain dead body alive here or calling Iraqis 'wogs' and saying torture is fun over there.

March 28, 2005

I just don't know what to make of this.

I'll start by quoting the the first sentence of a column I read this weekend:
Rick Santorum will not be elected to a third U.S. Senate term.
Now a test. Do you think that sentence came from a left-leaning newspaper or a right-leaning news paper?

Obviously, there's a rhetorical sleight of hand going on here. Since I am making so much of this, you'd be wrong if you were to assume that that lede came from a left-leaning paper.

But not just wrong. Creationism-wrong.

It's from Colin McNickle at the Pittsburgh Tribune Review. Read it here.

I'll let McNickle speak for himself.
Some would say Santorum has allowed politics to trump principles. Others would say he has become a pandering opportunist. Actually, it's a combination of both. And being an unprincipled pandering opportunist is a lousy way to treat those who brung you to the dance.

The highly rated and eminently fair National Journal analysis gave Santorum a perfect conservative voter rating for 2003. He was one of 13 "perfect" Senate Republicans.

But last year, Santorum was rated slightly left of center. Thirty-two GOP Senate brethren had more conservative voting records. A trend has emerged.

As political gurus Terry Madonna and Michael Young noted in a recent column -- slicing and dicing the same National Journal numbers -- Santorum "consistently shifts toward the center in those years just before his re-election. Santorum may continue to talk like a conservative, but he's voting like a pragmatist."
By the way here's the column by Madonna and Young. Read it. It's pretty interesting.

But back to the nutcase. McNickle gets to the point. It's not a new one, but if the Trib is printing it, it should be considered a shot across the bow for the re-election campaign of Senator Man-on-Dog.

Rick Santorum's greatest political challenge wasn't beating Doug Walgren for the old 18th District U.S. House seat in 1990. Neither was it knocking off appointed U.S. Sen. Harris Wofford in 1994. And it certainly wasn't his pasting of eight-of-67-county-winner Ron Klink in 2000.

Santorum's biggest political challenge came in 2004. He claimed victory again but he lost on principle when he supported Sen. Specter for re-election over ideological soulmate Pat Toomey, then the Lehigh Valley congressman. To Santorum's base, however, it was a deep betrayal. The wound remains open.

McNickle explains further:

Many are quick to argue that Santorum had no choice. After all, he was (and is) the Republican Conference chairman. It's the No. 3 Senate leadership post. One of the post's primary jobs is to make sure incumbent GOP senators get re-elected.

But we always have choices. Had Santorum chosen principle over politics -- or more accurately, principle over power -- Mr. Toomey would have ousted Specter in last April's primary and easily beaten Joe Hoeffel in November.

That didn't happen because Santorum was not about to give up his chance for greater power: to succeed Bill Frist as Senate majority leader in 2007. Santorum blew one opportunity -- albeit the long shot of a dark horse -- when he failed to accurately assess how damaged then-Majority Leader Trent Lott was in the Strom Thurmond affair of 2002 and began courting support far too late to matter.

Had Santorum supported Toomey, he not only would have lost his leadership post but, automatically, any chance of succeeding the departing Mr. Frist. As political irony goes, his loyalty to the leadership post -- to the power base -- paid a lousy dividend; Santorum doesn't have the votes to succeed Frist.

It seems like a lifetime ago, but I once met Congressman Pat Toomey. The PAC of the lawfirm I used to work for hosted a meet-n-greet with the Congressman. During the meeting, Toomey spelled out basically the same criticism (of favoring politics over principle) when discussing Senator Spector. When one of the more conservative attorneys in the room (a member of the Federalist Society, no less) asked about getting Senator Santorum's endorsement due to their close ideological stands, the Congressman laid out the same argument above. If Senator Santorum moved one inch in the direction of aiding Congressman Toomey, he'd loose his position in the party by the end of the day.

The point that both Toomey and McNickle make is that Senator Man-on-Dog wouldn't have lost his Senate seat had he endorsed Toomey - just his position in the party. All to work for an incumbent already described as favoring politics over principle.

I'm not sure anyone else in the room that day caught the irony of Toomey's situation. And honestly I kinda felt bad for the guy. He should have been welcomed with open arms by Lil Ricky. Instead he got fucked by one of the Senate's leading anti-gay legislators.

I think I might need to puke, but I have to admit that in some bizarro world sort of way, I agree with Colin McNickle.

March 25, 2005

Friday Cat Blogging


Clio-in-your-face

Bob Casey Google Ad Buy

Here's an easy little project for you:

1. Go to google.com
2. Type in "Chuck Pennacchio" in the search window.
3. Hit the Search Button
4. Look to the right under "Sponsored Links" and tell me what you see there.

- or -

just click http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&ie=ISO-8859-1&q=chuck+pennacchio&btnG=Google+Search

Looks like Casey is actually starting to pay attention to his rival for the Democratic nomination.

* * * * * * *

And speaking of Pennacchio: would you like to meet him?

Progress Pittsburgh is hosting a reception for Democratic US Senate candidate Dr. Chuck Pennacchio on Friday, April 1st in Pittsburgh.

From the Progress Pittsburgh announcement:

Dr. Pennacchio is vying for the Democratic nomination to take on Rick Santorum in 2006. Take this opportunity to meet and hear Dr. Pennacchio speak about his record and views on the issues.

There is already a lot of energy behind efforts to defeat Santorum; the state Democratic Party has decided their man is State Treasurer Bob Casey Jr. - Dr. Pennacchio is running a grassroots campaign for an opportunity to win in the primary and beat Santorum in 2006.

The reception will start at 5:30pm, with Dr. Pennacchio speaking at 6pm. Friday, April 1st at 5:30PM - Roland's in the Strip District

For more info about Chuck Pennacchio, go to his website at:

www.chuck2006.com

To find out more about Progress Pittsburgh, go here:

www.progresspittsburgh.org

Please come out to meet Dr. Pennacchio at this great EVENT and please spread the word. Thanks!

Native Americans Criticize Bush's Silence on Second-deadliest School Shooting in U.S. History

From the Washington Post:

Native Americans across the country -- including tribal leaders, academics and rank-and-file tribe members -- voiced anger and frustration Thursday that President Bush has responded to the second-deadliest school shooting in U.S. history with silence.

Three days after 16-year-old Jeff Weise killed nine members of his Red Lake tribe before taking his own life, grief-stricken American Indians complained that the White House has offered little in the way of sympathy for the tribe situated in the uppermost region of Minnesota.

[snip]

"The fact that Bush preempted his vacation to say something about Ms. Schiavo and here you have 10 native people gunned down and he can't take time to speak is very telling," said David Wilkins, interim chairman of the Department of American Indian Studies at the University of Minnesota and a member of the North Carolina-based Lumbee tribe.

"He has not been real visible in Indian country," said former senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-Colo.). "He's got a lot of irons in the fire, but this is important."

Even more alarming than Bush's silence, he said, is the president's proposal to cut $100 million from several Indian programs next year.

Full article HERE


"Karl, you mean to tell me
that 'injuns' can vote?
Well shoot, Skippy, why
didn't I know that before?"

March 24, 2005

Predatory Adults Troll for Kids at the Waterworks

Jamal (not his real name) is a 16 year-old high school student who was minding his own business on Tuesday shopping at Pittsburgh's Waterworks Mall. He was on the sidewalk when a white Chevy Malibu slowed down beside him. In the car were two white men casually dressed in jeans and T-shirts. The men called out to Jamal. They had an offer for him.

Now, when you hear a story about two grown men outside a mall trolling for kids you might fear the worst. If it was a younger child, you might expect them to offer candy or tales of a lost puppy. You might think that a kid who took them up on their offer might meet with an ugly death. In this case, your assumption that the men were offering Jamal the chance to die young is correct.

The men in the white Chevy Malibu wanted to know if Jamal was interested in signing up with the Marines.

To be fair, Jamal is a tall kid. He could easily be mistaken for 18 and the age requirement for joining the Marines is 17 to 29. Jamal explained to them that he was only 16. The men in their civvies and shiny white car didn't miss a beat. They asked him if he went to Fox Chapel High School. They continued to engage him in the benefits of signing up. They only stopped when Jamal held a cell phone to his ear and said he had to make a phone call. Only then did the men stop their drive-by recruitment and leave Jamal who promptly called his Mom to tell her what had happened.

At this point in the story you may have some questions. Questions like: I saw Fahrenheit 9/11; I thought recruiters targeted poor kids and minorities. Isn't the Waterworks in a pricey area? Yes, but it has a Walmart (a known Mecca for the cost-conscious). And, yes, from the name I choose for the 16 year-old, I was purposely telegraphing that Jamal is African American.

So what's wrong with Marines going to malls where the young hang out looking for recruits? I'll let Jamal's mother answer this one.

Theresa (not her real name) is a political activist and about as progressive as it gets. She's completely opposed to the war in Iraq and fearful of a possible draft. So concerned are she and her husband about the possibility of Jamal being subjected to a draft in the future that they have applied for Canadian citizenship. And her son, Jamal, is a bright, sensitive, politically aware kid who often argues about the war with his largely Republican classmates.

Theresa was beside herself when she called me on the phone yesterday and she had many questions. Why did the recruiters continue to talk to her minor son after they found out that he was only 16? What made them think that they had a right to mark her son for possible death on a faraway battlefield? Did they target him in particular because he's African American? What chance does a kid have to make a good decision on their future when they are trolled by Marine recruiters and not by college recruiters or employers?

She recalled an interview with a former recruiter that she had just heard on the Democracy Now radio program. The former recruiter had stated that he had to quit because as he put it, "Going to Iraq is not a career option." He further explained how he just couldn't stay at a job where he had assured a young man that he wouldn't have to go to Iraq and then learned that the young man had ended up dying in that very same place.

As I indicated, Theresa is not an easy mark for a recruiter's pitch and neither is Jamal. Jamal later joked that if they had asked for his name he was going to tell them it was "Ishmael Mohammed."

But what if Theresa had never discussed her feelings about Iraq or George W. Bush with her son? What if Jamal was more of a typical teenager who paid little attention to world events. What if he was one of the many Americans who soldiers returning from combat complain about when people ask them, "What war?" What if this minor child only had the recruiters promises of a good job and skill-training opportunities to base his decision on? Is it right for recruiters to aggressively target minors? They are in our high schools now and they are at job fairs marketed to high school students. Should they have a shot at our children (pun intended) when the children's parents are not present? Should they target them at mall and fast-food parking lots?

In this culture where we try to shield our children from any and all possible harm, including mandating warning labels on everything from music CDs, video games and movies to cigarettes, do the Marines (and other branches of the Armed Services) have an obligation to issue a warning statement to those youngsters whom they try to recruit to be sent to war where they will face real bullets and not the fantasy ones found on a PlayStation?

In this instance the recruiters targeted the wrong mother's son. Theresa is already active in conscientious objectors and antiwar groups. If anything, they have only hardened her resolve. She now has plans to protest outside recruitment stations. She's told me that I shouldn't be too surprised to hear that she might sometime in the near future be arrested for civil obedience.

She will not let her child -- or any mother's son -- be a marked boy.

March 23, 2005

Things to do in Pittsburgh When You're Dead (Not)

HELP OUT BILL:
Peduto Meetup


Tonight! 5 - 9 PM
"This week's Meet-Up is at the Peduto Headquarters. Stop by any time between 5-9pm to learn about the campaign, meet other supporters and help with some volunteer projects (phone call, data entry, maps, and more)" Please call the office or sign up online http://democrat.meetup.com/671/events/4455098/ (so they know how much pizza to order).

(Umm..what DID political campaigns do before the advent of take-out pizza anyway?)

Peduto for Pittsburgh
1100 Smallman Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
_________________________________

PROTEST HEART ATTACK BOY'S VISIT:
Protect Social Security!
(Rally Tomorrow outside of Laroch College Gymnasium where VP Dick Cheney is speaking about Social Security Privatization)

Thursday, March 24, 2005 @ Noon

Point people for participants and press:
Father Jack O’Malley 412-480-7059 cell 412-361-4793 work
Association of Pittsburgh Priests

Scott Fabean 412-398-4000 cell
Member Thomas Merton Center, Labor Religion Coalition

Logistics :
People should come early @ 12:00 Noon and gather in front of the college gymnasium of:
Laroche College
9000 Babcock Blvd
Pittsburgh, PA

- Look for the Association of Pittsburgh Priests Banner
- Soon after people assemble in front of the Gymnasium, rally/protest participants will likely be asked to go to a "free speech zone" likely 2 or 3 or 4 blocks away.
- Some members of the Association of Pittsburgh Priests will lead people to that zone
__________________________________________

PITTSBURGH HAS ISSUES: DISCUSS!
Community Discussion on Pittsburgh Issues


Date: Thursday March 24, 2005
Time: 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Location: Sheraton Station Square
Contact: janis.jmw@comcast.net

Urban League Young Professionals-Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh Young Professionals are co-sponsoring a forum entitled "Community Discussion on Pittsburgh Issues." The forum will have five topics: city/county merger, downtown development, community relations with the police, public education, and public transportation. Each table will have a facilitator and an expert on the topic. We expect 8-10 people/table. Attendees are free to rotate from issue table to issue table. This is a no cost event. All are welcome to attend.
_________________________________________

HELP BILL SOME MORE:
Super Saturday: April 2

"Saturday April 2 is the day to show your support for Peduto. We want to have 50 volunteers helping to spread the word about Bill Peduto by door-knocking and phone calls. (There are other office projects we need help with too.) Can you help? Call 412-338-1460"

Breaking News: Some Remarkably Fair and Balanced Coverage on the Shiavo Case on FOX News!

File this under giving credit where credit is due, but I'm witnessing an extremely reasonable conversation on FOX News on the Schiavo Case. The program is Studio B with Shepard Smith and Shepard's guest is Judge Andrew Napolitano.

The host, Shepard Smith, said here's a rundown on the facts of the case and proceeded to state the following:

  • Every doctor who has actually examined and treated Terri Schiavo has found that she has no cognitive reasoning.
  • A CAT Scan has showed that her cerebrum1 has disappeared as a result of her suffering a lack of oxygen 15 years ago and that as recently as 1996, her cerebrum has filled with spinal fluid.
  • By the letter of the law: she is a vegetable. That is, by definition she is in a persistent vegetative state.
  • And, by the letter of the law, three people, three relatives -- not just her husband -- have testified that she had said out loud that she would not want her life prolonged by artificial means. They testified that she said this after family funerals -- funerals of people who's lives ended badly on life support.
  • The Florida Supreme Court does not address Michael Schiavo as her guardian; it addresses Terri's wishes to not artificially prolong her life. It does not matter who her guardian is because the Supreme Court has said that the patient decides their medical treatment.
  • The Supreme Court has already refused twice to hear this case.

    Judge Napolitano then added that the Founding Fathers would be aghast at Rick Santorum's comments that the Judiciary had to OBEY Congress.

    Shepard Smith then read some emails from the audience, one of which said that if they let Terri Schiavo die Michael Schiavo would be getting away with murder and why wasn't anyone looking into that. Judge Napolitano informed the audience that this topic had been extensively explored by Judge Greer, the police and others and that there was no evidence that Michael Schiavo had tried to murder Terri Schiavo.

    AMAZING! I have not heard any review of the Shiavo case that was this thorough and reasonable even on the so called "Clinton News Network."

    KUDOS to Smith and Napolitano!

  • _______________________________________

    1answers.com Cerebrum: The large rounded structure of the brain occupying most of the cranial cavity, divided into two cerebral hemispheres that are joined at the bottom by the corpus callosum. It controls and integrates motor, sensory, and higher mental functions, such as thought, reason, emotion, and memory.

    March 22, 2005

    Our Junior Senator Chimes in on Terri Schiavo

    Senator Santorum has chimed in on the latest chapter of the Schiavo tragedy. We have Newsmax.com to thank for the partial transcript.

    He's said that Judge Whittemore's ruling is, "judicial tyranny" and that "Congress passed a law that said that you had to look at this case. He simply thumbed his nose at Congress."

    Senator Santorum also said, "What the statute that [Whittemore] was dealing with said was that he shall hold a trial de novo," the Pennsylvania Republican explained. "That means he has to hold a new trial. That's what the statute said."

    "What he's saying is, 'I don't have to hold a new trial because I've already determined that her rights have been protected,'" Santorum said.

    "That's nice for him to say that. But that's not what Congress told him to do," he added. "Judges should obey the law. And this judge - in my mind - simply ignored the law." [Emphasis added.]

    Hmm...I didn't realize that a Federal Judge answers to Congress.

    Maybe I should check a copy of the Constitution. Maybe Senator Santorum should read it, too.

    I'm reading through Article I and there's nothing in there that gives the Congress the authority to "tell" a member of the judiciary what "to do" on anything.

    Can anyone else find it?

    And if it's not there, is anyone else nervous about the notion that one of the most powerful members of the Senate has little or no clue about the concept of "Separation of Powers"?

    Here is the text of the statue. The important sentence (I think) is this one:
    Section 2. Procedure. In such a suit, the District Court shall determine de novo any claim of a violation of any right of Theresa Marie Schiavo within the scope of this Act, notwithstanding any prior State court determination and regardless of whether such a claim has previously been raised, considered, or decided in State court proceedings.

    The "de novo" part is the tricky part. It means (again-I THINK) that the District Court is to ignore any and all previous State rulings and start fresh. If I am wrong on this (and you legal types, help me out here) please let me know.

    In either case the Federal Judge denied the temporary restraining order on the grounds that:

    it is essential that Plaintiffs establish a substantial likelihood of success on the merits, which the court finds they have not done.


    I may be paraphrasing, but it seems that the reason there's no new trial is Judge Whittemore says there's no need for one.

    City Council Candidate's Website Unveiled

    Tonya Payne is running for City Council District 6. She was endorsed by the Allegheny County Democratic Committee.

    As I don't live in District 6, you may well ask why I care about this race. Well, for one, I've known Tonya for over a year now via Democracy for America and have found her to be hardworking, honorable and very politically astute. Tonya was a Dean delegate and is a Ward Chair. She has a great record in community development.

    I'm extremely confident that she'll make a great member of City Council.

    And, oh yeah, I also helped design her new website. Check it out here:

    www.tonyapayneforcouncil.com


    Tonya is having a campaign announcement (with continental breakfast) this morning. Join Tonya for her announcement at 10:30 AM, Tues. March 22 (today) at 1901 Centre Ave (the old PA victory '04 headquarters on the Hill). This is a quick one -- about a half hour -- so do drop by!

    * * * * *

    For the record -- and in the interest of complete disclosure as I'm sure that I'll write about them from time to time -- I've volunteered in some capacity for the following candidates:

    Tonya Payne

    Bill Peduto

    Jon Pushinsky

    And, if I can find some free time, I'll volunteer for: Kathryn Hens-Greco

    We've got some really topnotch folks running this year, so please check out their websites. The primary is not that far away!

    March 21, 2005

    Slick Rick Santorum at it again!

    According to DC's Inside Scoop blog, rumor has it that PA's very own Sen. Man On Dog's office wrote the achingly political talking points memo on Schiavo that included such gems as:

  • This is an important moral issue and the pro-life base will be excited that the Senate is debating this important issue.

  • This is a great political issue, because Senator Nelson of Florida - has already refused to become a cosponsor and this is a tough issue for Democrats.

  • This legislation ensures that individuals like Teri Schiavo are guaranteed the same legal protections as convicted murderers like Ted Bundy.

  • On the other side, Santorum challenger, Chuck Pennacchio, has this to say about the GOP regarding Schiavo:

  • A party that promotes a "culture of life" would not allow for a death penalty so seriously flawed.

  • A party that promotes a "culture of life" would never have led the country to war in Iraq based on shoddy and flawed intelligence reports.

  • A party that promotes a "culture of life" would allow women an opportunity to make a real "choice," with the advantages of pre-natal and post-natal care for infants, as well as educational and economic opportunities for families.

  • Read Pennacchio's complete statement HERE.

    March 20, 2005

    Priorities

    Supporters Praise Bush's Swift Return to Washington

    WASHINGTON, March 20 - For days, President Bush kept his public distance from the Terri Schiavo case and let his spokesman deliver mild statements suggesting that the president did not want Ms. Schiavo, who has severe brain damage, to die. But on Saturday night, when Mr. Bush made the rare decision to interrupt his Texas vacation and rush back to Washington to be in place to sign a bill that could restore Ms. Schiavo's feeding tube, the White House said that the issue had become one of "defending life," and that time was of the essence.
    Let's remember that this same President didn't find it important enough to leave his vacation when warned that "Bin Laden determined to strike in US."

    Terri Schiavo: "Culture of Life" Martyr

    The Washington Post reports today:

    In a memo distributed only to Republican senators, the Schiavo case was characterized as "a great political issue" that could pay dividends with Christian conservatives, whose support is essential in midterm elections such as those coming up in 2006.

    [snip]

    An unsigned one-page memo, distributed to Republican senators, said the debate over Schiavo would appeal to the party's base, or core, supporters. The memo singled out Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), who is up for reelection next year and is potentially vulnerable in a state President Bush won last year.

    "This is an important moral issue and the pro-life base will be excited that the Senate is debating this important issue," said the memo, which was reported by ABC News and later given to The Washington Post. "This is a great political issue, because Senator Nelson of Florida has already refused to become a cosponsor and this is a tough issue for Democrats."

    March 18, 2005

    It's my party and I'll cry if I want to!

    Actually, this post probably is not about what you think.
    Today is my birthday and I'm really old.
    So, lite posting today (and maybe this weekend).

    March 17, 2005

    LIAAAAAARRRRR!

    From Atrios:

    Remember, it's not the sex or the creepy dead fetus kidnapping, it's the lying...

    WASHINGTON - Three weeks ago, Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., vowed to fight President Bush's "unacceptable" plan to eliminate funding for Amtrak.

    He changed tracks yesterday, voting with the president and against an amendment to add $1.04 billion in government assistance for the system.

    ...

    Appearing on "Meet the Press" on Feb. 27, Santorum said Bush's proposed cut was "not acceptable to me" and predicted it would not pass.

    Call and inform the good senator's staff that you're shocked that such a good Christian man is such a big fat liar.

    Washington, D.C. Office:
    511 Dirksen Senate Office Building
    Washington, DC 20510
    Main: 202-224-6324

    Separated At Birth?



    "Well, golleeee!!!!"

    March 16, 2005

    What if they gave an election and nobody came?

    I know, I know, Condeliar Rice was all over the Sunday morning shows saying that she won't be running for President, but Hillary Clinton used to protest too much too and she's clearly running. So I created this design about the speculation:


    Click on picture to see the products.

    March 14, 2005

    More Santorum Fallout -- Lil Ricky Already Running to the Middle

    As I re-watched Santorum's appearance on Honsberger Live, I caught this little gem:

    "I'm probably in the middle of most Republicans...if you look at Conservatives... Liberals of Republicans."

    "If you look at my record, I'm in the middle of Republicans in the Senate"

    I'd say Lil Ricky is selling himself short here. Here's how top conservative groups rated him:

    Fall 2004 On the votes that the Conservative Index - The John Birch Society considered to be the most important in Fall 2004, Senator Santorum voted their preferred position 90 percent of the time.

    2004 On the votes that the Eagle Forum considered to be the most important in 2004, Senator Santorum voted their preferred position 100 percent of the time.

    2004 On the votes that the Christian Coalition considered to be the most important in 2004 , Senator Santorum voted their preferred position 100 percent of the time.

    2004 On the votes that the American Conservative Union considered to be the most important in 2004, Senator Santorum voted their preferred position 96 percent of the time.

    2003-2004 On the votes that the National Right to Life Committee considered to be the most important in 2003-2004, Senator Santorum voted their preferred position 100 percent of the time.

    2004 On the votes that the Americans for Tax Reform considered to be the most important in 2004, Senator Santorum voted their preferred position 95 percent of the time.

    2003-2004 On the votes that the National Association of Manufacturers considered to be the most important in 2003-2004, Senator Santorum voted their preferred position 100 percent of the time.

    2004 On the votes that the Family Research Council considered to be the most important in 2004, Senator Santorum voted their preferred position 100 percent of the time

    2003 On the votes that the League of Private Property Voters considered to be the most important in 2003, Senator Santorum voted their preferred position 100 percent of the time.

    2001-2002 On the votes that the CATO Institute--Center for Trade Policy Studies considered to be the most important in 2001-2002, Senator Santorum voted their preferred position 100 percent of the time.


    Lil Ricky illustrates that he's actually average for most Republican Senators

    My conversation today with Lil Ricky "Man on Dog Action" Santorum

    Sen. "Man on Dog Action" Santorum appeared in person on local Rush Wannabe, Fred Honsberger's Honsberger Live TV show today. I queued up to speak to him and got on the show. Prior to my call, Santorum stated, "No Republican that I'm aware of wants to end Medicare or Social Security."

    The conversation went something like this:

    As is usual for Fred, he had his theme music for me ("Whose in the White House? Bush! Bush!") cued up and playing when he took my call and gave his standard intro, "That music can only mean one thing, Maria's on the phone."

    Me: Good Morning, Senator Santorum. You stated that no Republican that you're aware of wants to end Medicare or Social Security yet when you were touring PA talking about Social Security, your supporters were standing outside chanting "Hey, Hey, Ho, Ho. Social Security has got to go."

    "Man on Dog:" Those weren't my supporters, I don't know who they were.

    Me: My understanding is that they were young Republicans and they were responding to others who were chanting "Hey, Hey, Ho, Ho. Rick Santorum has got to go." Aren't you worried that that chant will be the first 30 second spot that will appear against you next year? It's already all over the Internet with a link back to Chuck Pennacchio's website who's running.

    "Man on Dog:" No candidate can be held responsible for what his supporters say or do, blah, blah, blah... (I was cut off at this point and missed Fred's interjection and some of what Lil Ricky said..it also didn't help that my Call Waiting was chiming in for my attention).

    All in all, I have to say, it was very difficult to say the word "santorum" to him in public without snickering like Beavis and Butthead, "Heheheh...I said 'santorum.'"

    You can catch the repeat of this show on PCNC at 4:00 PM.

    And if you're interested in signing a petition demanding that Sen. "Man on Dog Action" pay back his Homestead Exemption Tax, go here to download on (and get your friends to sign too!):

    Santorum Petition Drive Covered By Pittsburgh City Paper!

    March 11, 2005

    R.I.P. Pippy



    4/1/97 - 3/11/05

    Barry Paris - a sensitive reviewer

    Ladies and Gentlemen;

    I normally don’t venture out into the wonderful, wacky world of critiques de cinema, but I felt in this instance, some attention must be paid.

    Vide Barry Paris’ review of “Inside Deep Throat” in today's Post-Gazette. How many sex jokes does he insert in it? I count 6. Although there could be more. Let me know if you find any more. Here are the jokes I found:

    · Linda Lovelace is remembered for one particularly literal gag order.
    · Her immortality…was gained in "Deep Throat," a seminal movie released…
    · Made for $25,000, it grossed $600 million -- and millions of people out.
    · The dream-casting of Lovelace was Damiano's first great stroke, so to speak.
    · "Deep Throat" itself is being re-released this month …. You thought it climaxed long ago?
    · That's what conservative moralists (and liberal first ladies) find so hard to swallow.

    Is Barry Paris 12? Is he still running around the schoolyard tugging on the ponytails of the pretty redhead who sits next to him in homeroom?

    Sure sounds like it.

    There is one thing you should notice amid all the adolescent snickering about Ms Lovelace’s “gag order” and how Deep Throat is a “seminal movie.” While Mr. Paris gets uses the word “fellatio,” his use of euphemism is telling: Linda Lovelace doesn’t have a “clitoris.” Hers is a “seat of anatomical pleasure.”

    Seat of anatomical pleasure?? Why not just call it a "whoo-hah" and be done with it?

    WARNING: Non-confrontational Call For A Contested Primary

    For those whose taste run that way and who desire to take some action:

    ---------- Forwarded Message ----------
    Date: Thursday, March 10, 2005 3:12 PM -0500
    Subject: [PAforDemocracyCouncil] Bury them in letters of protest-we want our primary back!!


    PLEASE CIRCULATE AS WIDELY AS POSSIBLE AMONG PA DEMOCRATIC VOTERS AND PROGRESSIVE ORGANIZATIONS.
    A petition and contact list follow below.


    Fellow PA Dems,

    Do YOU want OUR PA Dem Primary back? Let's let our party know. Now.

    The last election cycle saw an incredible upsurge of participation by ordinary Americans, the likes of which hasn't been seen in decades. We organized, we registered, and we VOTED. And in one arrogant, backroom maneuver, a small circle of Democratic Party powerbrokers has stolen from us, the ordinary working Democrats of Pennsylvania, OUR primary for choosing Santorum's opponent.

    If Rendell's (& co.'s) problem was a destructive and expensive primary last time, suppressing democracy by making our votes meaningless is NOT the solution. The solution is to hold a CONstructive primary with a maximum return on the investment:

    - name recognition and publicity for all the Dem candidates,
    - defining the issues,
    - building REAL Dem unity and power by engaging the voters,
    - giving Pennsylvania's Democrats a really good reason to turn out for ALL the races in the primary, AND
    - keep the Republican's guessing just how to sharpen their sabers, by notpainting a target on our candidate's back this early in the game! Why give the Repubs a whole other year to bash our candidate? Keep 'em guessing!

    That would follow the DNC's new mandate. That's our party leaders' JOB.

    If Mr. Casey is so, um, "Electable," he can prove it by running an honest and civil race against his competitors. If he needs a marshmallow primary, how in the world will he handle a race against Santorum? Rendell's move HURTS Casey.

    One extremely important goal for a constructive 2006 primary race is to build common ground on preventing unintended pregnancies. "When life begins" is the purview of religion. Pubic policy on healthy families is the purview of government. Access to accurate information, contraception, and abortion when needed is the only proven way to reduce the number of problem pregnancies, and thereby, abortions. (See a short, cogent article at: http://www.rockridgeinstitute.org/projects/reprod/littmanabortion?b_start:int=0 ) I SINCERELY HOPE THAT IF CASEY EMBRACES THIS POLICY APPROACH (AND WINS THE PRIMARY), THAT HOEFFEL AND HAFER CAN STUMP FOR HIM -- ALONG WITH THE REST OF US -- LIKE THERE'S NO TOMORROW!

    Destroying the primary will not settle the polarization about government policy on unintended pregnancy (and thereby abortion). But fighting for proven solutions that work could heal the rift among all but the extremists.

    - BELOW IS A LETTER AND LINK TO A PETITION SITE. The letter states pretty clearly why we need a civilized, widely participatory primary debate on the candidates and issues in order to unify to win the race against Santorum.

    - IT IS FOLLOWED BY CONTACT INFORMATION FOR DEM PARTY OFFICIALS who snatched our primary, and a link for finding YOUR State Democratic Committee members, who, I'm told, are the ones who actually decide! Let's all let them know, in civil, positive, and no uncertain terms, that we WILL have OUR voice. We will not settle for a primary where we only get to vote "YES". PLEASE CONTACT AS MANY OF THEM AS YOU CAN STAND.

    Our vote is our voice, and we will not stand to have both our Choice and our Voice stolen from us by OUR party.

    Thank you,

    Mary Clark Thompson
    Dean Democrat and former Die-hard Independent

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    From: Ray Murphy
    Sent: Wednesday, March 09, 2005 7:44 AM
    To: Ray Murphy
    Subject: Force State Democrats to Hold an Open Primary

    Dear Progressive Pennsylvanian,

    Last week, Governor Ed Rendell effectively ended the 2006 Democratic Primary before it began by endorsing Bob Casey Jr. to run against Rick Santorum for his US Senate seat. Beating Santorum is obviously an important goal, but it's not an excuse to skip the Democratic primary.

    The nominee who runs against Santorum will need progressive, grassroots activists to help turn out as many votes as possible just like in the 2004 race. The people who will be on the frontlines against Santorum deserve a say in who they will be working for.

    That's why we're asking you to join us in signing a petition to Governor Rendell and the state Democratic party asking for a real Democratic primary to allow voters, not party bosses, to decide who can beat Santorum:

    http://www.localnet.com/~raym/primary06.htm

    Unlike Rick Santorum, Bob Casey Jr. would fight for health care, good jobs and Social Security if elected to the Senate. However, his anti-choice views and his still emerging stance on LGBT issues raise important questions for progressives and could have an impact on turn-out in SE PA.

    A real primary process allows those questions to be addressed. A primary process allows for dialogue and debate so that all members of the party can feel satisfied with the nominee that eventually wins. A primary is the best way for all of us to come together as one to support the best candidate.

    Beating Rick Santorum is the key to taking back the Senate and the key to taking back our state. Let's make sure we do it the right way, working for someone we truly believe in.

    Thank you.

    Sincerely,
    Ben Waxman and Ray Murphy
    March 8, 2005


    ------------------------------------------------------------------

    Democratic Party Contact List

    Chairman Howard Dean
    Democratic National Committee
    430 S. Capitol St. SE
    Washington, DC 20003
    202-863-8000
    email form: http://www.democrats.org/contact/

    Governor Edward G. Rendell
    225 Main Capitol Building
    Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17120
    (717) 787-2500.
    email form: http://sites.state.pa.us/PA_Exec/Governor/govmail.html

    Chairman T. J. Rooney
    Democratic State Committee
    510 North Third Street
    Harrisburg, PA 17101
    tjrooney@pahouse.net
    (717) 238-9381

    7 W. Fourth Street
    Bethlehem, PA 18015
    (610) 882-1510
    Fax: (610) 861-2112

    4 East Wing
    Harrisburg, PA 17120-2020
    (717) 783-8515
    Fax: (717) 705-1920

    Senator Chuck Schumer, Chair, Democratic Senate Campaign Committee
    120 Maryland Avenue, NE
    Washington, DC 20002
    202.224.2447 V
    202.485.3120 F
    INFO@DSCC.ORG

    PA Treasurer Robert P. Casey, Jr.
    PA Treasury Department
    129 Finance Building
    Harrisburg, PA 17101
    (717) 787-2465

    Former PA Treasurer Barbara Hafer
    (I haven't been able to track down appropriate,
    non-invasive information on how to contact
    Barbara Hafer. If I get any, I'll follow up.
    Everyone else's info was published in public
    sources.)

    Rep. Joseph P. Hoeffel III
    1908 Lycoming Avenue
    Abington, PA 19001
    215-659-6267



    YOUR COUNTY's Dem State Committee members (I'm told that THEY decide!).
    Find out who yours are! Under "County Organizations" in the center column,
    click on the link "MORE" at: http://www.padems.com/index1024.html
    Then click on your county on the MAP to see who the Chair and the State
    Committee members are. Call your county phone number for their contact
    information, or look them up in your phone book.


    For good measure:
    PENNSYLVANIA DNC MEMBERS:

    *PA Chair:
    Hon. T.J. Rooney
    510 N. 3rd St.
    Harrisburg, PA 17101
    W:717-238-9381

    Hon. Jean A. Milko
    2934 McKelvey Rd.
    Pittsburgh, PA 15221
    W:412-350-5334

    Rena Baumgartner
    RR 4
    Kunkletown, PA 18058
    W:570-629-0471

    Carol Ann Campbell
    236 N. 59th St.
    Philadelphia, PA 19139
    H:215-471-0511

    Hon. Ronald R. Donatucci
    104 Queen St.
    Philadelphia, PA 19147
    W:215-686-6250

    William M. George
    231 State St.
    Harrisburg, PA 17101
    W:717-231-2841

    Marcel Groen
    1254 Lenox Rd.
    Jenkintown, PA 19046
    W:215-299-2705

    Hon. Sophie Masloff
    6315 Forbes Ave.
    Pittsburgh, PA 15217
    H:412-421-7440

    Ian Murray
    3818 State St.
    Erie, PA 16508
    H:814-864-0841

    Evelyn D. Richardson
    6908 Kedron St.
    Pittsburgh, PA 15208
    H:412-363-6247

    ___________________________________________________

    I certainly think the above petition is worthwhile (and have already signed it), as well as knowing that calling these folks can't hurt (and can only help -- be polite!).

    That said, for any one who is wondering, I still stand by my original "inflammatory," "vulgar" statements on this subject that make me a "filthy pig" and a "filthy disgusting ho bag."

    This is a blog, baby. And its chock full of OPINIONS, as well as FACTS. And, I often write in an in-your-face style. So, no apology here.

    ___________________________________________

    Also, check out alternative-to-Casey Chuck Pennacchio who deserves more recognition in the non-blog world:


    http://www.chuck2006.com

    March 9, 2005

    What Do Democrats Stand For?

    My "I got you your "pragmatism" right here (grabbing crotch) " post garnered many comments. I believe that this one would best be answered by it's own blog entry:


    At 5:36 PM, Patrick said... Maria,
    As a pro-life Democrat, I identify with you as a member of a core constiuency that has been kicked in the teeth - repeatedly, to the point that many of us left the Democratic party alltogether. So in an odd way, I feel your pain.

    The question we both have to ask of ourselves is are we single-issue advocates, or Party advocates? If one issue (abortion) is what keeps you from voting for Casey, then maybe you're not a Democratic loyalist, but a single issue pro-choicer. That's fine, this is America - not everyone has to be a Democrat.

    You listed a lot of volunteer activities that you did for Kerry, but wouldn't do for Casey. I'm willing to bet there are plenty of pro-life Dems who are willing to pick up the slack and perform all of those tasks for Casey - tasks they may not have performed for Kerry.

    My point is this: you may not have seen that many pro-life Democrats (or maybe you did, and just didn't know it, since I did all of those tasks myself), but if the Senate candidate was pro-life a whole new pool of volunteers would be available for the campaign. The little things you listed not only help one candidate, but the whole ticket - just like the GOTV work you did for Kerry helped elect Casey and Wagner in 2004. If the Democratic party is seen as open to acitivists from both sides of the abortion question, then the combination of the two will help elect people who agree a heck of a lot more than they disagree.

    You say you highly dislike Casey. I think if you got to know his positions on most other issues, you would dislike him a lot less. Maybe even enough to see him as a great alternative to Santorum. And while your taking a second look at Casey, maybe some pro-lifers who are liberal on most other issues might try the same thing and could end up disliking Rendell a little less.

    If we all did that, maybe we'd be a majority party again.
    Just a thought.
    Let me make my position more clear:

    - I have certainly voted for people who are personally pro-life for religious reasons but who do not believe that they should impose their religious beliefs on others. Mario Cuomo instantly comes to mind as I lived in NYC for many years. Casey on the other hand has said that he would sign a law to make abortion illegal if it came across his desk.

    - As an atheist, I have a huge problem with anyone who tries to legislate their religious beliefs on any topic when legislating that belief would take away someone else's civil rights. This includes any number of issues, such as gay rights, imposing the teaching of Intelligent Design (Creationism), etc.

    - As a former Catholic, I know that the Catholic Church's position on birth control is as draconian as its position on abortion so when Casey says he opposes abortion due to his Catholic teachings, BIG alarm bells go off in my head.

    - PA is a BLUE STATE with a majority supporting Roe V. Wade. You may believe that enough anti-choice folks will step up to the plate to fill in for the pro-choice folks in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh -- I do not. Furthermore, I see no reason why Republicans in the "T" would switch to vote Democratic simply by running an anti-choice Democrat so I see it as a NET LOSS FOR DEMOCRATS. A BAD, BAD TACTICAL MOVE.

    - While many have stated correctly that PA has many Catholics, it has been demonstrated time and again that many of these Catholic Democrats will vote for a pro-choice candidate; otherwise Clinton, Gore, Kerry, Specter, Ridge and Rendell would not have won here.

    - On a purely tactical basis, I could see (bending over backwards on my beliefs) by potentially supporting a self-described pro-life candidate in a RED area or RED State. I am saying, however, that it makes no sense for The Powers That Be to actively back an anti-choice candidate in a BLUE State and for them to try to further push for an uncontested primary (as Reid, Schumer and Rendell are doing). Morever, they not only backed Casey, they pushed him to run.

    - As a Democrat, I will work to keep my party headed in the direction that I believe it should go -- that is Democrats support JUSTICE and FREEDOM. That encompasses social justice (including the right for women to control their own bodies), economic justice, environmental justice, etc. It also includes supporting religious freedom which I believe (and the Constitution backs me on this) the right to practice religion as well as the right to practice no religion and the right not to have someone else's religious beliefs imposed on you.

    - When I see my party going astray in these areas, it is my duty as a Democrat to let my extreme displeasure be heard. If I don't, then I believe I am being a bad Democrat. If I don't voice my disagreement with my party then I might as well become a Dito Head-style Republican.

    - I would dispute any implication that the party is not a Big Tent -- I would present Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (who is anti-abortion) as a good example of that.

    If YOU had an overwhelming objection to a particular candidate and said that you would find your morals compromised by voting for that candidate, I would not imply that you are not a Democrat. That is what separates Democrats from Republicans -- the refusal to drink the Kool-Aid and march in lockstep. You, and others, have expressed that as a weakness in our party. I however, don't want to wake up one morning and find, like some Republicans have found, that their party has been taken over by one group (in their case that would be the Religious Right).

    I do want my party to stand for something.

    Many voters in the last election said that they voted for Bush because they believed that he was sincere in his beliefs and that they weren't quite sure what Kerry stood for. I will reassert that the way to keep PA BLUE is to continue to be the party of Justice and Freedom and that we, as a party, have always supported Women's Reproductive Freedom under that umbrella.

    I repeat:

    The way to beat Santorum is not to back Santorum Lite.

    March 8, 2005

    Some More on Melissa Hart

    As some of you may recall (from yesterday), Southwestern PA's own Melissa Hart is a part of the unfolding Delay Corruption story, if only peripherally.

    She's among the new members of the House "Ethics" Committee. The previous committee had rebuked "The Hammer" a number of times already, but Speaker Hastert replaced a number of the Republicans on that committee with some, shall we say, more loyal members of the House - in what the Washington Post rightly calls an Ethics Purge.

    But things are a little more interesting than that.

    Melissa Hart is also among those who voted for the so-called "Delay Rule" change in the House. In a nutshell, the rule required a member of the House leadership to resign from his/her leadership post in the event he/she is indicted for criminal behaviour. Since an indictment of Mr Delay is (or perhaps was) expected, the House republicans dutifully changed the rules to protect him.

    And, as I said, our Missy voted for that rule change.

    Oh, and I guess I should probably mention that according to the Political Campaign Action Fund's website, Melissa Hart has actually received $15,000 from ARMPAC.

    What is ARMPAC, you ask?

    I'm glad you asked. ARMPAC is the "Americans for a Republican Majority Political Action Committee" and ARMPAC is very very closely related to Tom Delay himself.

    So here's another question to Congresswoman Hart, member of the new "Ethics" committee, "Doesn't this at the very least look really really bad?"

    It looks to me like you were picked to be on that "Ethics" committee not for whatever fidelity to Ethics you may have, but because you're a House Republican bought and paid for by The Hammer himself.

    Was the 15 Grand worth your political soul?

    March 7, 2005

    60 Minutes last night

    Did anyone else catch Lesley Stahl's story on Tom Delay? Here's the link to the story on the CBS website.

    All in all it showed Congressman Delay to be as amazingly corrupt and arrogant.

    But for the local Pittsburgh audience, the lovelyMs Stahl left out an interesting tid-bit - here in these paragraphs:
    [American Enterprise Institute scholar Norm] Ornstein says the Republicans are worried because DeLay has already been admonished by the House Ethics Committee for questionable conduct.

    "Tom DeLay was rebuked on three separate matters by the House Ethics Committee in the last Congress, an extraordinary slap at the leader," says Ornstein. "But they left open pending a fourth issue, which was the Ronnie Earle case in Texas. So what did the House Republicans do? They fire the chairman of the Ethics Committee. They removed two members."

    And two of the replacements had contributed to DeLay’s legal defense fund.
    Now who do you think is among those two new members?

    Check out this story here. It's our very own Melissa Hart. I couldn't find any reference to her mebership on Delay's ethics committee on her Congressional website (now why would THAT be the case??).

    Check out the official website list here.

    A Question for the Congresswoman: Were you appointed to that "ethics" committee to protect Tom Delay?

    More later...

    I got you your "pragmatism" right here (grabbing crotch)

    OK, It wasn't like I didn't see this coming. A month after the 2004 election I created this design:



    It was my reaction to the pretty much immediate reaction by many that the Dems lost the election due to the "values voters" who were anti-choice and antigay. Right away I started seeing comments appear on the blogs and message boards that we had to "move to the center" on these issues -- meaning "suck it up" and roll over and play dead.

    I expected to hear this crap on the national level, but I admit that I did not expect to hear this in my very own Blue State of Pennsylvania. But here it is playing out in our very own upcoming senate race.

    The Powers That Be -- Reid, Schumer & Rendell -- have all decided that what PA needs to beat the widely reviled Lil Ricky "Man on Dog Action" Santorum is an anti-choice Democrat: namely Bob Casey Jr.

    Reid and Schumer courted Casey to run. Rendell just announced his support for Casey and either cajoled or threatened (depending on who you talk to) pro-choice Barbara Hafer to drop out of the race a day after she announced that she was in it.

    I hear the drumbeat by many local Dems (mostly men it must be said) that I should be "pragmatic" and support Casey. (Check HERE for a sample of that discussion.)

    Well, I want to say:

    "I AM BEING PRAGMATIC."

    As James Carville once said of Pennsylvania, "It's Philadelphia and Pittsburgh with Alabama in the middle." Some of us refer to the middle "T" of PA as "Pennsyltucky." The Conventional Wisdom now goes that we should run a social conservative in order to beat Sen. "Man on Dog Action." But as everyone should know by now, the way to garner a Democratic win statewide is to get enough Dems to come out and vote in Philly and the Burgh. And how, may I ask, does anyone intend to accomplish this by running an anti-choice Democratic candidate?

    Just who do you think does the GOTV in PA's two biggest cities? If you have any doubt, just go and volunteer for a Democratic candidate (like I do) and you will find that much of the grunt work is being done by PRO-CHOICE WOMEN.

    Just look at who has won in statewide races here over the last few years:

    Clinton, Gore, Kerry, Specter, Ridge, Rendell.

    What do these guys all have in common? They are all pro-choice.

    But what about Lil Ricky "Man on Dog Action" Santorum, you may well ask? He's anti-choice and antigay and he's won. That's right. And who did they run against him last time? An anti-choice Democrat. And who could not bring themselves to pull out all the stops to support that anti-choice Democrat? The pro-choice women!

    Are you getting it yet?

    Now I keep hearing that the Casey name is "gold" in Pennsylvania. If Casey is so much the Golden Boy, why did he lose against Rendell? The truth is that Casey is a weak campaigner when he has real opposition who couldn't even beat another Dem (Rendell) in a real primary. Yet, I'm to believe that I should just swallow hard, forget my pro-choice principles and support this anti-choice candidate.

    Well, I say:

    "Fuck that, I am being pragmatic."

    I know that running an anti-choice Democrat against an anti-choice Republican will get you bupkis in PA and so I refuse to support a sure loser like Bob Casey Jr.

    That IS being pragmatic.

    When it comes down to a real race and not just an early poll, Casey will crumble. A real primary without the intrusion of The Powers That Be will help to prove that.

    So be pragmatic like me and just say "NO" to Casey and anyone who tells you he will save us from Santorum.


    March 3, 2005

    1500



    1500: The number of US troops killed in Iraq to date.
    0: Weapons of Mass Destruction found in Iraq to date.
    ?: The number of Iraqi civilians killed to date ("We don't do body counts.")