We are the 99%

October 31, 2008

Reagan's Chief Of Staff Endorses OBAMA

Read about it here:
Former Reagan chief of staff Ken Duberstein told CNN's Fareed Zakaria this week he intends to vote for Democrat Barack Obama on Tuesday.

Duberstein said he was influenced by another prominent Reagan official - Colin Powell - in his decision.

"Well let's put it this way - I think Colin Powell's decision is in fact the good housekeeping seal of approval on Barack Obama."

I'm just sayin'

Notice Something?

While Senator Obama's speaking in front of tens of thousands of people, the formerly honorable John McCain is having trouble finding six thousand.

From MSNBC yesterday:
A local school district official confirmed after the event that of the 6,000 people estimated by the fire marshal to be in attendance this morning, more than 4,000 were bused in from schools in the area. The entire 2,500-student Defiance School District was in attendance, the official said, in addition to at least three other schools from neighboring districts, one of which sent 14 buses.
A week before the election and he can't scrape together six thousand people in Ohio?

McCain Latest Vile Smear

From the Washington Post:

With the presidential campaign clock ticking down, Sen. John McCain has suddenly discovered a new boogeyman to link to Sen. Barack Obama: a sometimes controversial but widely respected Middle East scholar named Rashid Khalidi. In the past couple of days, Mr. McCain and his running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin, have likened Mr. Khalidi, the director of a Middle East institute at Columbia University, to neo-Nazis; called him "a PLO spokesman"; and suggested that the Los Angeles Times is hiding something sinister by refusing to release a videotape of a 2003 dinner in honor of Mr. Khalidi at which Mr. Obama spoke. Mr. McCain even threw former Weatherman Bill Ayers into the mix, suggesting that the tape might reveal that Mr. Ayers -- a terrorist-turned-professor who also has been an Obama acquaintance -- was at the dinner.

For the record, Mr. Khalidi is an American born in New York who graduated from Yale a couple of years after George W. Bush. For much of his long academic career, he taught at the University of Chicago, where he and his wife became friends with Barack and Michelle Obama. In the early 1990s, he worked as an adviser to the Palestinian delegation at peace talks in Madrid and Washington sponsored by the first Bush administration. We don't agree with a lot of what Mr. Khalidi has had to say about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict over the years, and Mr. Obama has made clear that he doesn't, either. But to compare the professor to neo-Nazis -- or even to Mr. Ayers -- is a vile smear. [emphasis added]

Josh Marshall has more:
The McCain campaign has been throwing around so much mud and smears in recent weeks that it's easy to miss just how ugly and shameful their character assassination of Rashid Khalidi is. This is an entirely respectable, highly respected scholar. To go further into making a case for him would only be to enable and indulge McCain's sordid appeal to racism. For McCain, personally, to compare Khalidi to a neo-nazi, it's just an offense McCain should never be forgiven for. It's right down in the gutter with Joe McCarthy and the worst of the worst.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the formerly honorable John McCain.

October 30, 2008

Yes We Carve!


No, not Ashley Todd's face -- who, by the way, made a deal and is fleeing the state -- we carve pumpkins!

This site has lots of Barack O' Lantern patterns:

http://yeswecarve.com/category/stencils

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Get Out The Vote Kickoff with Rusted Root

Today, October 30th, please join Pittsburgh for Obama
for a Get Out the Vote Kickoff at Heinz Field,
featuring a special musical performance by Rusted Root.


Get Out The Vote Kickoff
with Rusted Root

Heinz Field
100 Art Rooney Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15212

Thursday, October 30th
8:00 p.m.


http://pa.barackobama.com/PittsburghKickoff

The event is free and open to the public.
Tickets are not required; however,
an RSVP is strongly encouraged.
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Things Get Nasty In North Carolina

Take a look:



Now the facts, of course, paint a different picture. The Charlotte Observer has done some much needed fact-checking.

Point one:
The event was co-hosted by 35 people, and held at the home of Woody Kaplan, who is listed on the advisory board for a group called the Godless Americans Political Action Committee. [emphasis added]
But before you start screaming, read this:

Kaplan said Wednesday the fundraiser for Hagan had nothing to do with the Godless Americans group.

“This event happened to be at my house,” said Kaplan, who gave $2,300 to Hagan and has contributed to many other Democrats. “I don't know if any of those people (other co-hosts) are religious or not, whether they're Muslims, Christians, Jews or whoever. I have no idea, I never asked them when I went to their houses, and I bet you no candidate did either.” [emphasis added]

So when the ad says that "A leader of the Godless Americans PAC recently held a secret fund-raiser in Kay Hagan's honor." that's not exactly true, is it? If the fundraiser was co-hosted by dozens of people and had nothing to do with the PAC (which did NOT contribute to Hagan's campaign, by the way), the insinuations otherwise are, well let's say it, lies.

Point two:
[Godless Americans PAC] represents atheists and wants to strip references to God from government venues. It wants to remove references to God from the Pledge of Allegiance and from U.S. currency – both of which Hagan opposes. [emphasis added]
But the ad insinuates otherwise. Another lie from another republican.

Finally, it turns out that Hagan:
[T]eaches Sunday school and is an elder at her Presbyterian church in Greensboro.
But Liddy Dole is trying to make political points in North Carolina by painting Hagan as an atheist.

But I gotta ask. What's wrong with being an atheist?

Now THIS Is News

Get a gander at this endorsement:
12th Congressional District: Republican Bill Russell vs. Democrat incumbent Jack Murtha

Mr. Murtha, seeking his 18th House term, has become a lot of people's favorite whipping boy. Just this month, he was eviscerated for -- GASP! -- confirming there are racists and rednecks in our midst. And his sharp words following the Haditha killings in Iraq might not have been the most artful but they certainly did force a change in basic tactics, as did his call for U.S. forces to leave Iraq. The military still has no better champion. It's no contest. Re-elect Jack Murtha.

Any guess as to which paper this is? Right - it's THE TRIB. Dickiecougarmellonscaife's little paper that could is endorsing Democrat Jack Murtha over his Republican Challenger Bill Russell.

October 29, 2008

Pittsburgh Pundits - Electile Dysfunction

Pittsburgh Pundits - Electile Dysfunction

WHO: The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
WHERE: Late Night – Cabaret Theater , 7th & Penn, Downtown Pittsburgh
WHEN: Thursday, October 30, 2008 10:30 PM
COST: $5.00 at the door / Free for District Patrons

More info here.
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October 28, 2008

McCain Camp Responds to Letter from Burgess about "B" Hoax

From The Busman's Holiday, here's McCain campaign spokesman Jeff Sadosky:
"The liberal blog post that the councilman cites has no basis in fact, the McCain campaign had no role in this incident. We hope the young woman involved in the incident gets the help that she needs, it's disappointing that Pittsburgh law enforcement time and resources were wasted by her false allegations."
You can read Councilman Burgess' letter here.

Bob Mayo has loads more on this at his blog.
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Howard Dean Joins Obama Volunteers in da Burgh

WHAT: Pittsburgh College Student Phone Bank
WHO: DNC Chairman, Howard Dean
WHEN: 11:30 a.m., Tuesday, October 28, 2008
WHERE: University of Pittsburgh, William Pitt Union Building, Assembly Room, Pittsburgh, PA

WHAT: Pittsburgh Phone Bank
WHO: DNC Chairman, Howard Dean
WHEN: 12:15 p.m., Tuesday, October 28, 2008
WHERE: Campaign for Change Office, 501 East Ohio St., Pittsburgh, PA

NOTE: I was supposed to attend a 9:30 meeting downtown with Dean but google transit screwed me over and after standing in the rain for 35 minutes and then finding out it'd be another 25 minutes before I'd maybe get a bus, I had to give up. [sigh]
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The Trib Editorial Board Distorts

Well, "distorts" might not be the right word. LIES might be a better one.

Take a look at today's editorial. First they set up the whole "Joe The Plumber" thing and then get to the distortion:

...Big Media scrutinized "Joe's" background. And it appears that it might have had lots of help from Ohio's Democratic Party apparatus, now under investigation.

The Columbus Dispatch says officials want to know if state and law-enforcement computer systems were illegally accessed to mine personal information about Mr. Wurzelbacher.

Driver's license and SUV information thrice was pulled from the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles database. Information also was accessed by computers assigned to the offices of Ohio Attorney General Nancy H. Rodgers, the Cuyahoga County Child Support Enforcement Agency and Toledo Police Department, The Dispatch reported.

If the allegations are true, it will confirm how Democrats in power abuse that power in pursuit of the destruction of those who dare oppose their policies.

BUT (and there's always a big but when fact-checking the Trib's editorials) let's take a look at the actual reporting from The Columbus Dispatch.

Some questions to keep in mind: Do they report that Ohio's Democratic Party apparatus is now under investigation for peeking into Joe's files as is (at the very least) implied by the Trib's editorial? Do they report that the Ohio Democratic Party had anything to do with someone accessing the files? Do they report the same about the national Democratic Party?

Let's take a look. The Dispatch first reported the story on the 24th:
State and local officials are investigating if state and law-enforcement computer systems were illegally accessed when they were tapped for personal information about "Joe the Plumber."
A few paragraphs down, however, they reported:
It has not been determined who checked on Wurzelbacher, or why.
Then on the 25th they reported:
The Republican presidential candidate reacted today to a story in The Dispatch about the use of state computers to access personal information about "Joe" - suburban Toledo resident Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher.

State and local officials are investigating why his driver's license and vehicle registration information was accessed shortly after Wurzelbacher became a household name.

Republicans, including McCain, painted the news as a politically motivated invasion of privacy and an attempt to dig up dirt.

And they added a few paragraphs later:
Who accessed the information, and why, has not been determined. Access to BMV data is restricted to legitimate government purposes. Illegal access can be a crime.
Nowhere in the reporting from the Columbus Dispatch is there any connection made between the local or national Democratic Party and whomever accessed Wurzelbacher's files. And yet the Trib's editorial board clearly implied that there is a connection using the Dispatch's reporting as evidence. I'd say that goes beyond distortion into dishonesty. But that's just me.

It's still possible someone in the Democratic Party over stepped the line in Ohion. But unless and until that's reported no responsible editorial should implicate anyone with such wrong doing.

And no responsible political party should either (as the Ohio Republicans have already done). But considering this is the McCain campaign - a campaign that pushed a hoax story before all the facts were in - it's not surprising that they'd dive headfirst into the mud.

October 27, 2008

Photos from Obama Rally in Pittsburgh

First, I missed the warm-up acts -- I got in just as Barack started his speech.

Second, yes, mention of Lil Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's name drew many boos along with applause. A woman standing next to me even asked if he was a Republican. She added that she wasn't sure about him. I said I thought of Sarah Palin as Luke in lipstick and she nodded.

Third, in that huge crowd I did happen across a couple of people I know: Lindsay "I Heart Pgh" Patross (she posts about the rally at MetBlogs) and Khari "Diondega 412" Mosley.

Now on to the main show.

OK, admittedly not such a great photo:


But, I was standing way up here:


Here's the best shot -- both looking towards my end of the arena and in focus!


By the end, I think everyone was on their feet:


I didn't take notes. Barack Obama gave what is now known as his "closing arguments" speech. But I wanted to be there in person and soak it all in and it was a beautiful thing to see so many Pittsburghers cheering on the person who must, must, must be our next president.

UPDATE: Laurie has lots more photos here.
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Senator McCain, Grab The Mic

Keith tonight.



The Text:
Finally tonight, a Campaign Comment about the fraudulent race attack claim, since acknowledged and recanted, by a John McCain campaign volunteer in Pennsylvania. You know the story quite well by now.

It is a sad, demoralizing tale of a woman who can easily be summarized by the term "B-Actress." Ashley Todd was not sexually assaulted by a big black man.

He did not carve the letter "B" onto her face to punish her for supporting John McCain. It apparently never dawned on her, or resembled less a cut, than an abrasion done by a weapon no more sinister than a nail file. She was not even at the ATM where she claimed the attack took place. It apparently never dawned on her that the machine had security video and she wouldn't be on it.

And clearly somewhere in her mind was a calculation that a story like this one, with layer upon layer of racial threat, could be some kind of game changer for the presidential candidate she worked to get elected in at least two states for at least two months.

Her saga is pathetic. She now claims mental illness. If this too is not true, Ms. Todd might think she's pulling another fast one over on the rest of us. In fact her claim seems to be accurate whether she knows it or not.

And much more disturbingly, so was her calculation. At least until her story, in retrospect a ludicrous confection, fell apart and she had to confess her crime, she had inspired dozens, perhaps hundreds, of journalists and bloggers and all those in between on both political sides, to stand over this nation's ever-present tinderbox of racial prejudice, and racial fear, and racial hatred.

And she had brought them all matches. We already know what the executive Vice President of Fox News had written while his organization was collectively perched next to that tinderbox, waiting for the slightest excuse to light it, and our nation, ablaze – the over-the-top caveat, thrown in for a window-dressing "balance" with not the slightest intent that it should be taken seriously:

"If the incident turns out to be a hoax, Sen. McCain's quest for the presidency is over, forever linked to race-baiting."

That is the well-known part of what John Moody wrote. What preceded it was far less publicized, and far more important.

"Part of the appeal of, and the unspoken tension behind, Sen. Obama's campaign is his transformational status as the first African-American to win a major party's presidential nomination.

"That does not mean that he has erased the mutual distrust between black and white Americans, and this incident could become a watershed event in the 11 days before the election."If Ms. Todd's allegations are proven accurate, some voters may revisit their support for Sen. Obama, not because they are racists, with due respect to Rep. John Murtha, but because they suddenly feel they do not know enough about the Democratic nominee."

Moody wrote that.

It wouldn't be racism to suddenly blame Barack Obama for an attack on a white woman by a black man intending to punish her not supporting another black man. It would be a "watershed moment" because it somehow meant "they suddenly feel as if they do not know enough about the Democratic nominee."

Its only connection would be racial, but the response would not be racism. The tinderbox, again. And a very large match, provided by John Moody. I know this man. He is not stupid, not careless. He has, in fact, an educational background identical to my own, right down to the same college radio station. He knew what he was writing: a rationalization for racism.

That Moody should be fired, goes without saying. That if not fired, he should resign in shame, is also obvious.

Neither will happen, because there is no one of sufficient authority to reproach him and the others who but for Ashley Todd's inability to maintain her inner hoaxster for more than two days, would have solemnly and grimly, and some secretly, happily, set the presidential campaign on its ear, and knocked this nation's tenuous grip on the relationship between the races, off its axis.

Because there was nobody to say "no, don't." This is where you come in, Sen. McCain. No histrionics from me to you this time, Senator. No yelling. Just a plea. Say something about this. Now. Say something strongly and succinctly about the unacceptability of what happened and how some of your supporters tried to exploit it.

I am not asking you to assume the responsibility for this, no matter how your campaign pushed this story. I have no doubt that in the mirror-image scenario, many of Senator Obama's supporters would do the same.

But I also have no doubt that by this point in that mirror-image scenario, Sen. Obama would have said something to try to stop the next Ashley Todd and the next John Moody.

Senator, of all the things I don't like about you or your campaign I have never thought you a racist. As imperfect as was your moment with the Minnesota woman, mumbling about Arabs, I thought it was the finest moment of your campaign.

I believe that you feel as I do – that racial hatred and prejudice have no place in this campaign, or in this country. I believe that you feel as I do – as Clarence Darrow said in a different time and different context: "I am pleading for the future; I am pleading for a time when hatred and cruelty will not control the hearts of men. When we can learn by reason and judgment and understanding and faith…"

Sometimes, Sen. McCain, it is as if we are almost there. And then some unthinking act, like the one by Ashley Todd, throws us back against the rocks and we barely escape with our ship intact. In that time of foundering, Sen. McCain, far too few of us have a chance, to personally right the ship, to heal, instead of stand idly by, to make a difference in this oldest and most wearying of our struggles as a nation.

This chance, Sir, is yours. Say something. Or better yet, say something with Sen. Obama, about race and how we live with one another. Let this last week of the campaign be remembered, no matter how it turns out next Tuesday, as something other than the time Ashley Todd lied, and the John Moodys threatened, and you said nothing.

Sen. McCain , once again—grab the microphone.

Councilman Rev. Burgess Writes Letters

Here's a great one:
October 27, 2008


Dear Senator McCain and Governor Palin:

On Thursday, October 23, 2008, there was a report of a robbery, an assault and a mutilation filed by a volunteer for your campaign. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
“She said a man armed with a knife demanded her money. She gave it to him, then began walking to her car, which had McCain stickers on it. She told police that although the robber had moved away from her, he became agitated when he saw her car, punched her in the back of the head, pushed her to the ground and carved a B into her face.”
John Verrilli, the news director for KDKA in Pittsburgh, told Talking Points Memo’s Election Central that your Pennsylvania campaign communications director gave one of his reporters a detailed version of the attack that included a claim that the alleged attacker said, "You're with the McCain campaign? I'm going to teach you a lesson." Mr. Verrilli also told TPM that the McCain spokesperson had claimed that the "B" stood for Barack.

The Post-Gazette went on further to say:
“Ms. Todd told police during at least five hours of questioning last night that her attacker said to her, "You are going to be a Barack supporter." She told police the man then sat on her chest, pinning both her hands down with his knees and used what she believed was a dull knife with a roughly 5-inch blade to carve the B.”
Your volunteer told the police that she was robbed, attacked, sexually assaulted, fondled and mutilated by an African-American man. However, we all now know that this tragic story was totally fraudulent. I am deeply troubled by the facts of this story. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
“Mr. Garcia took the widely published picture of Ms. Todd with her injuries. He said he took several photographs with a digital camera to document what had happened. He said he only gave copies of the photos to police and Ms. Todd's employer, the College Republicans. One photo appeared on The Drudge Report on Thursday, setting off a storm of media attention.”
This much was true: A McCain-Palin official was pushing a version of the story that was far more explosive than the available or confirmed facts permitted at the time.

All too often in the halls of justice around the world, people are accused of crimes they did not commit. That one of your campaign spokespersons would spread such an incendiary story before any confirmation of the facts is both irresponsible and runs counter to our nation’s Constitutional guarantee that no one be denied life, liberty or property without due process. Moreover, that a representative of the McCain-Palin campaign would be so careless and in the process of doing so, cast aspersions on African-Americans, is unfair.

On behalf of the City of Pittsburgh and its’ African-American community, I respectfully request an apology from your campaign to the city for the conduct of your staff and volunteers. Both of you wasted little time in sending your wishes and prayers to Ms. Todd when the news reports were initially circulated, and so I trust that neither of you will waste anymore time leaving this issue unresolved. I would also ask that you send my personal prayers and well wishes to Ms. Todd and her family. I am certain these are trying times for them.

Sincerely,

Reverend Ricky V. Burgess
President Pro-Tempore
Pittsburgh City Council

Found On The Trib Op-Ed Page - HUH?

Every Monday the editorial page at DickieCougarMellonScaife's little paper that could hosts a snippet or three from one of DickieCougarMellonScaife's other pet projects, Accuracy In Media.

Today, this was found on the op-ed page:

Racist!: "(Sarah Palin's) attack was unsubstantiated and carried a racially tinged subtext that John McCain himself may come to regret. ... Palin's words avoid repulsing voters with overt racism. But is there another subtext for creating the false image of a black presidential nominee 'palling around' with terrorists while assuring a predominantly white audience that he doesn't see their America?"

-- Associated Press writer Douglass K. Daniel in reference to William Ayers, who is white.

Which is curious as the subtext in Daniel's AP piece is about how Palin is imposing a racially tinged "us versus them" dichotomy. The "us" group contains all the right-thinking white people from the "pro-America" places in this country. "Them" is everyone else.

Not surprising that AIM and the op-ed-sters at the Trib can't see that.

I'm Ba-a-a-a-a-k!

I have returned from the undisclosed location. The wedding went well and the honeymoon was wonderful.

As you can see, I was able to blog some (from an undisclosed location, of course) this past week.

I might be able to get to the two Jack Kelly columns I missed but I can't promise anything. Needless to say, Jack's silence on ANY recent Sarah Palin news is telling.

It's good to be back.

October 26, 2008

100,000 People.


In Denver.

(h/t to Huffington Post)

David Frum Writes

David Frum, is described by the Washington Post as:
[A] resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and the author, most recently, of "Comeback: Conservatism That Can Win Again." He served in 2001-02 as a speechwriter and special assistant to President Bush.
So we know he's a conservative - indeed a conservative of the dubya-stripe.

Anyway, he's come to a shocking (SHOCKING) conclusion:
There are many ways to lose a presidential election. John McCain is losing in a way that threatens to take the entire Republican Party down with him.
After pointing out what went wrong he points out that you'd have to go back to Watergate to see poll numbers as bad as those facing the GOP now.

But the problem isn't just the presidential race, Frum continues:
McCain's awful campaign is having awful consequences down the ballot. I spoke a little while ago to a senior Republican House member. "There is not a safe Republican seat in the country," he warned. "I don't mean that we're going to lose all of them. But we could lose any of them."
Poor guys. Must be difficult to be a republican these days, huh?

karma



  • Senior Republicans Warn Of GOP Civil War

  • McCain Faces Internal "Palin Insurgency"

  • Anchorage Daily News Endorses Obama

  • Karma's a bitch and the McCain/Palin Campaign has so much to answer for in this election including the Pennsylvania GOP sending out an email on Thursday to 75,000 Jewish voters in the state warning that electing Obama could lead to a second Holocaust. Oh yeah, they went there. I guess it was the only filthy place left to go.

    But despite the above headlines, it ain't over. If only it was going to be as easy as this.

    I'm telling you it won't be. For one thing, they don't even want us to vote and they'll pull out every dirty trick in the book from the White House on down.

    So in these last ten days, get off your ass and:

    VOLUNTEER

    Make it happen!






    .

    October 25, 2008

    The P-G Gets Spanked

    By Mediamatters.org:
    Summary: Reporting on a rally Gov. Sarah Palin held in Pennsylvania, the
    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette quoted an audience member saying of Sen. Barack Obama:
    "Tell him to go back to Indonesia. Tell him to show his birth certificate." The
    Post-Gazette did not note that the charge that Obama has not released a valid
    U.S. birth certificate has been widely debunked.
    Here's the P-G article. They probably should have mentioned that the story's been debunked. I mean it's the truth and everything.

    Here's the debunking from the wingnut World Net Daily:

    However, FactChecker.org says it obtained Obama's actual birth certificate and that the document was indeed real. The site discredited some of the claims of Internet bloggers, such as that the certificate as viewed in a scanned copy released by Obama's campaign lacked a raised seal. FactChecker.org also established that many of the alleged flaws in the document noted by bloggers were caused by the scanning of the document.

    A separate WND investigation into Obama's birth certificate utilizing forgery experts also found the document to be authentic. The investigation also revealed methods used by some of the bloggers to determine the document was fake involved forgeries, in that a few bloggers added text and images to the certificate scan that weren't originally there. [emphasis added]

    I could have posted the debunking from Politifact or even Mediamatters itself, but it's just so much fun writing that World Net Daily, a news/commentary source now claiming that Senator Obama was once a member of a "socialist" political party, is on record saying that Obama's birth certificate is "authentic."

    But there's a bonus in the mediamatters coverage:
    According to a Nexis* and post-gazette.com search, the Post-Gazette previously wrote one article mentioning Obama's birth certificate. A July 20 article -- which compiled local blog postings -- quoted a Pittsburgh blog noting that, contrary to a Pittsburgh radio host's claim, the Obama campaign has posted his birth certificate on his website.
    Here's the July 20 article. And the text:

    As if Barack Obama didn't have enough PR trouble thanks to the New Yorker, Two Political Junkies reported calling into Mike Pintek's "Night Talk" show the other day to address yet another "Obama smear."

    "The smear?

    "Obama won't release his birth certificate. Only the birth certificate would prove that he was born in the United States. The (not-so) hidden implication is that Sen. Obama isn't born in the United States and so therefore ineligible to be president.

    "When I called into the show to let them know that Pintek was mistaken, I was told that he was aware of the controversy surrounding the certificate and that parts were 'whited out.'

    "Guess what? The campaign has posted the birth certificate" at fightthesmears.com.

    Hey, that was ME!

    Obama at Mellon Arena on Monday!

    I heard a rumor about this yesterday (Thanks!) and it's being reported on WPXI this morning.

    Barack Obama will rock Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh this Monday @ 3:00.

    More details as they become available...

    UPDATE:
    Sen. Barack Obama Returning to Pennsylvania

    Will hold rallies in Pittsburgh and Chester next week

    PHILADELPHIA, PA - Sen. Barack Obama will return to Pennsylvania next week to hold two Change We Need Rallies. He will speak in Pittsburgh on Monday night and in Chester Tuesday morning. At the rallies, Sen. Obama will speak to supporters about what's at stake in this election and the importance of getting out the vote. He will also talk about his plans to stand up for the middle class and lead Americans through the current economic crisis, and how he will provide the change we need in Washington.

    MONDAY, OCTOBER 27

    Pittsburgh, PA

    CHANGE WE NEED RALLY WITH BARACK OBAMA
    Mellon Arena
    66 Mario Lemieux Place
    Pittsburgh, PA 15219

    Doors Open: 3:00PM

    The event is free and open to the public. Tickets are not required, however, a RSVP is strongly encouraged. To RSVP please visit http://www.pa.barackobama.com/ . Parking is very limited, please carpool or use public transportation if possible. For more information please contact the Pittsburgh Obama-Biden HQ at 412-867-6673

    ***For security reasons do not bring bags or umbrellas and please limit personal items. No signs or banners allowed.***


    UPDATE 2: RSVP @ http://my.barackobama.com/page/s/pittsburghBO
    .

    McCain Camp Pushed Ashley Todd Hoax Story - Did They Also Help Create It?


    We know from Talking Points Memo that the McCain campaign in Pennsylvania flogged the false McCain volunteer mutilation story to the media:
    John McCain's Pennsylvania communications director told reporters in the state an incendiary version of the hoax story about the attack on a McCain volunteer well before the facts of the case were known or established -- and even told reporters outright that the "B" carved into the victim's cheek stood for "Barack," according to multiple sources familiar with the discussions.

    John Verrilli, the news director for KDKA in Pittsburgh, told TPM Election Central that McCain's Pennsylvania campaign communications director gave one of his reporters a detailed version of the attack that included a claim that the alleged attacker said, "You're with the McCain campaign? I'm going to teach you a lesson."

    Verrilli also told TPM that the McCain spokesperson had claimed that the "B" stood for Barack. According to Verrilli, the spokesperson also told KDKA that Sarah Palin had called the victim of the alleged attack, who has since admitted the story was a hoax.

    The KDKA reporter had called McCain's campaign office for details after seeing the story -- sans details -- teased on Drudge.

    The McCain spokesperson's claims -- which came in the midst of extraordinary and heated conversations late yesterday between the McCain campaign, local TV stations, and the Obama camp, as the early version of the story rocketed around the political world -- is significant because it reveals a McCain official pushing a version of the story that was far more explosive than the available or confirmed facts permitted at the time.
    It was a story on Countdown last night:


    And, Brian Williams said on NBC News:
    "...the McCain campaign steered reporters' attention to the story yesterday..."


    So, fine. It's clear that the McCain camp pushed the hell out of the story and that even McCain and Palin themselves got directly involved by personally calling Ashley Todd, but here's what's catching my interest.

    1) From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
    Zone 5 detectives were handling the case initially, but it was turned over to the robbery squad last night after the case made national headlines.

    When Ms. Todd reported the incident, "nowhere did she say to the officer that [the assailant] made reference to the bumper sticker. I don't know how she came to the conclusion that he noticed the sticker," Cmdr. Ross said.
    Question: Did she link the "attack" at all to a supposed Obama supporter in her initial interview? Did she have any "help" or suggestions made to her between interviews with the police?

    2) Also, from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
    Mr. Garcia took the widely published picture of Ms. Todd with her injuries. He said he took several photographs with a digital camera to document what had happened. He said he only gave copies of the photos to police and Ms. Todd's employer, the College Republicans. One photo appeared on The Drudge Report on Thursday, setting off a storm of media attention.
    Question: How did the picture (along with the story) get to Drudge? Did it come from the College Republicans? Did it come from McCain's PA campaign offices via the College Republicans? We know he got it before the local media.

    3) John Moody, Fox News Executive Vice President, said on his blog:
    "If the incident turns out to be a hoax, Senator McCain's quest for the presidency is over, forever linked to race-baiting."
    Question: Did he suspect just how far into the story the McCain camp was?
    What we do know is that a young woman with self-confessed mental problems self-inflicted a "B" scratch on her face. She did not initially want medical attention. Nor did she wish to make a police report. She was urged/pushed? to do so. She seemingly initally did not mention any reference to McCain/Palin signage as being the a cause of the "attack." Nor did she report a sexual assault at first.

    Somehow between her initial police report and the story on Drudge this became a national political and racial football that attempted to slander Obama supporters, the ever-ready "dangerous, angry black male" and the Bloomfield neighborhood of Pittsburgh.

    I want the details on how that happened.

    UPDATE: From TPM:
    In response to our story, campaign spokesperson Brian Rogers told MSNBC that the campaign didn't provide those details to the local reporters, but that the police did, and the reporters were sloppy in attributing them to the McCain campaign (at the 0:54 mark):

    So here's what the McCain camp would have you believe. Two different TV stations. Two different reporters. Neither could distinguish what they were told by the police (whom they presumably deal with on a daily basis) from what a campaign flack told them. So thorough is their sloppiness that even after the fact, upon reflection, both reporters stick by their stories, continuing to misattribute police statements to the campaign.

    The McCain campaign denial also requires you to believe that, more than 12 hours after the concocted attack, the police -- who say they were suspicious of the hoaxster's account from the beginning -- started leaking to reporters an incendiary version of events that didn't even make it into the original police report of the incident. [Emphasis added]

    .

    October 24, 2008

    Ashley Todd confesses to HOAX

    From KDKA:

    Police: Campaign Worker Admits Making Up Story

    A Pittsburgh police commander told KDKA Investigator Marty Griffin that Ashley Todd confessed to making up the story & is facing charges

    PITTSBURGH (KDKA) ― Police sources tell KDKA that a campaign worker has now confessed to making up a story that a mugger attacked her and cut the letter "B" in her face after seeing her McCain bumper sticker.

    Ashley Todd, 20, of Texas, initially told police that she was robbed at an ATM in Bloomfield and that the suspect became enraged and started beating her after seeing her GOP sticker on her car.

    Police investigating the alleged attack, however, began to notice some inconsistencies in her story and administered a polygraph test.

    Authorities, however, declined to release the results of that test.

    Investigators did say that they received photos from the ATM machine and "the photographs were verified as not being the victim making the transaction."

    [snip]

    The commander added that Todd will face charges; but police have not commented on what those charges will be.


    .

    On Ashley Todd

    By now most of you have already heard about the mugging of Ashley Todd in Bloomfield.  If not, you can catch the the details via the AP.  The lede:
    A campaign volunteer for John McCain told police she was robbed at knifepoint at an ATM and knocked down by a man who then carved a "B" in her face after noticing a sticker for the presidential candidate on her car.
    Both John McCain and Sarah Palin have called Todd to express their concern and the Allison Price, of the Obama campaign in Pittsburgh is quoted as saying:
    Our thoughts and prayers are with the young woman for her to make a speedy recovery and we hope that the person who perpetrated this crime is swiftly apprehended and brought to justice.
    I went looking for some other reactions around the web.

    Here's one. The writer starts by saying that she's covered a number of hate-crime hoaxes.  Some perpetrated by liberals and some by conservatives and then she writes:
    I’ve reported on the great lengths that warped attention-seekers have gone to in perpetrating fake hate crimes, including beating themselves up, carving swastikas on their dorm room doors and walls, locking themselves in bathroom stalls, and burning down their own houses.

    Which is why I’m not jumping up and down with outrage over Drudge-promoted story of a McCain volunteer claiming to have been attacked by a black man whom she accused of carving a “B” in her face after spotting her McCain bumper sticker.
    After pointing out that Todd refused medical treatment and that thevery neat "B" carved into her cheek is actually backwards, she concludes:
    I’ve got my doubts.
    Though a bit later there's this:
    If I’m wrong, I’ll apologize. If I’m right, will this woman?
    So just who is this writer of this attack?  So unsympathetic to the plight of Ashley Todd that she's basically saying that it's all a hoax?

    Michele Malkin, that's who.

    October 23, 2008

    Yesterday, In Virginia


    (h/t to Dailykos)

    Don't be that guy!

    Don't let this happen to you!


    .

    "The Life of the Party" Halloween Party!


    Please join Councilman Bill Peduto &
    State Representative Chelsa Wagner for

    "The Life of the Party"
    Halloween Party

    feat. live music by

    The Old E Allstars
    DJ Omar Abdul

    Friday, October 31 from 8 to 11 PM

    The Grand Hall at The Priory
    614 Pressley Street, Northside

    Cost is $10 with costume, $20 without
    All proceeds benefit Northside charity

    Paid for by People for Peduto and Friends of Chelsa Wagner
    .

    October 22, 2008

    The View From Inside the GOP (The House Side)

    USNews is reporting today on how House republicans are running for cover.

    With an internal memo they call the "death list" the magazine describes how badly they (the GOP) thnk it's gonna be a few weeks from now:
    Even though polls have shown that Americans don't like congressional Democrats any more, a new internal GOP tally of House races suggests a Democratic route that could keep the Republicans in the minority for decades. A document provided to Washington Whispers from a House GOP official shows that they could lose a net 34 seats. That means the Democrats would have a 270-165 advantage in the 111th Congress.
    Ouch.  That's bad.

    Maybe they should have spent that $150,000 a little more carefully...

    Check out the "vote" scarf with the donkeys on it:



    (h/t to Daily Kos)
    .

    Attempted Citizen's Arrest Of Karl Rove

    From Newser:
    (Newser) – A protester attempted to slap the cuffs on Karl Rove in San Francisco yesterday, in what she called a citizen's arrest for treason, the LA Times reports. Rove was having a debate with former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell at a mortgage bankers' convention when a well-dressed woman walked onstage and asked why no women were present. Then she pulled out the handcuffs and moved in on Rove, at which point a security guard intervened and she was pulled away.

    .

    WORDS: They sure are slippy!

    McCain on Western PA:


    And, he sure does love this word:

    .

    More On Kevin Miller Being "Censored"

    Ok, so I was wrong - it was a hoax.  (And "hoax" is World Net Daily's word.)  Take a look at their second headline:
    Management claims host's reprimand for Obama coverage only a hoax
    See?  

    Let's move on.  Here's how the piece begins:
    Several days after a news-talk radio host was reprimanded on air for his coverage of Obama, station executives are now calling the incident a publicity stunt.
    And WND's confirmation of this as a stunt:
    This week, after Kumanchik finished his statements condemning Miller's coverage, people began calling to criticize the station, suggesting it was censoring the talk-radio host. Others were confused and wondered whether the broadcast was simply a publicity stunt.

    KDKA program director Marshall Adams initially would not respond to repeated requests for comment from WND. But several days after the report, and possibly under pressure from the public, he offered a brief explanation.

    "I can answer that at the station management level and also from the corporate CBS, no one censored Kevin Miller," he said. "It was a stunt that Kevin and his executive producer went a little too far on, and they went on the air and apologized."

    However, when WND inquired about the purpose of the alleged stunt, Adams refused to explain.

    "I'm sharing with you as much comment as I'm going to share with you," he said. [emphasis added]
    So what does this mean?  If this is true, then it means that Kevin Miller LIED TO HIS LISTENERS.  He knew that what he was presenting on the air as true wasn't yet he went with it anyway.  During the show on which he was faux-reprimanded, Miller said repeatedly that he didn't know what the statement was going to be.  If he's the source of the stunt, all that WAS A LIE.

    By the way some of his supporters have been blaming the "Obama Censorship Squad."  Will they ever get the message that Miller lied to them as well?  How long will this story (about how the Obama campaign somehow manipulated the KDKA to silence Kevin Miller?) last even though it's completely untrue?

    So what else does this mean?  It means that KDKA LIED TO ITS LISTENERS.  P.J. Kumanchik read a statement from the "higher ups" at CBS over the air - that wasn't from the "higher-ups" at CBS.  The station misled its listeners to the nature of the complaints about Miller's show and their reaction to those complaints.

    For any news organization, the public has to trust that what goes out on the air as news IS NEWS and not a publicity stunt designed to motivate its listeners in one political direction or another.

    If WND's reporting is true, this is a sad sad day for the nation's first commercial radio station.

    --blogging (again) from an undisclosed location.

    October 21, 2008

    Palin a drag on the ticket

    From the Wall Street Journal:

    McCain’s running mate, Sarah Palin, is also proving to be a drag on the Republican presidential ticket. Nearly half, 49%, have an unfavorable opinion of Palin. Women under 50 years old in particular dislike Palin, with 60% holding an unfavorable view—up from 36% one month ago.
    If you remember, I called it a month and a half ago.

    HA!
    .

    Sarah Palin: Really Stupid, Deeply Ignorant or Dangerously Power-Hungry?

    Article One of the United States Constitution
    Clause 4: Vice President as President of Senate; Voting Power

    The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.

    First, Republican Vice Presidential nominee Gov. Sarah Palin said she didn't know what the VP did:



    Then, she took the Cheney view of the office:


    Now, she tries to miseducate third-graders about the VP role:



    Q: Brandon Garcia wants to know, "What does the Vice President do?"

    PALIN: That's something that Piper would ask me! ... [T]hey're in charge of the U.S. Senate so if they want to they can really get in there with the senators and make a lot of good policy changes that will make life better for Brandon and his family and his classroom.

    .

    so·cial·ism

    If this is the definition of socialism:


    1: any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods
    2 a: a system of society or group living in which there is no private property b: a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state
    3: a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done
    Then what is this:
    In the last four weeks, President Bush has proposed a $700-billion bailout of the financial sector, pressed his Treasury secretary to push equity into the system and met with key world leaders on how to regulate the global markets.

    "The fly in the ointment for this socialism argument is the recent bank bailout," Larry Sabato, who heads the University of Virginia's nonpartisan Center for Politics, told CNN. "That's probably the most egregious example of socialism in American history."
    And this?
    On Sunday, Fox News' Chris Wallace asked McCain about whether he's as much a socialist as the rest of us. Here's their exchange.
    WALLACE: But, Senator, you voted for the $700-billion bailout that's being used partially to nationalize American banks. Isn't that socialism?

    MCCAIN: That is reacting to a crisis that's due to greed and excess in Washington. And what this administration is doing wrong, and what Paulson is doing wrong, is not going out and buying up home loan mortgages, home mortgages, and giving people new mortgages at the new value of their home so they can stay in their home. They're bailing out the banks. They're bailing out these institutions.

    WALLACE: But you voted for that.

    MCCAIN: Of course. It was a package that had to be enacted because the economy was about to go into the tank.... That's the reason why we have governments, to help those who need help, who can't help themselves, and when time of crisis to step in and do what's necessary to preserve the lives and futures of innocent people. It wasn't Main Street America that caused this. It was Washington and Wall Street.

    Oh, never mind. We're on to communism.
    .

    This is how sick it's getting

    A dead bear cub was dumped at Western Carolina University campus in North Carolina draped in Obama signs.

    Just how deranged do you have to be to come up with something like this?

    What is the message that you're trying to convey?

    Story here.

    Keith Olbermann Last Night

    Blogging from an undisclosed location....


    Transcript via (Crooksandliars):
    I have frequently insisted I would never turn the platform of the Special Comment into a regular feature.

    But as these last two weeks of this extraordinary, and extraordinarily disturbing, presidential campaign project out in front of us, I fear I may have to temporarily amend that presumption.

    I hope it will be otherwise, but I suspect this will be the first of nightly pieces, most shorter than this... until further notice. And thus a Special Comment tonight about the last five days of the divisive, ugly, paranoid bleatings of this Presidential race, culminating in the sliming of Colin Powell for his endorsement of Senator Obama.

    There was once a very prominent sportswriter named Dick Young whose work, with ever-increasing frequency, became peppered with references to "my America."

    "I can't believe this is happening in My America"... -- "we do not tolerate these people in My America" -- "this man does not belong in my America".

    His America gradually revealed itself.

    Insular. Isolationist. Backwards-looking. Mindlessly flag-waving. Racist. No second chances. A million rules, but only for the other guy.

    Dick Young died in 1987, but he has been re-born in the presidential campaign as it has unfolded since last Thursday night.

    In that time, Governor Sarah Palin, Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann, McCain spokesperson Nancy Pfotenhauer, and Rush Limbaugh, have revealed that there is a measurable portion of this country that is not interested in that which the vast majority view as democracy or equality or opportunity.

    They want only... control -- and they want the rest of us, symbolically, perhaps physically... out. Governor Palin:

    "We believe that the best of America is not all in Washington D.C.," you told a fund-raiser in North Carolina last Thursday, to kick off this orgy of condescending elitism. "We believe that the best of America is in these small towns that we get to visit, and in these wonderful little pockets of what I call the real America, being here with all of you hard working very patriotic, very pro-America areas of this great nation." Governor, your prejudice is overwhelming.

    It is not just "pockets" of this country that are "pro-America" Governor.

    America... is "pro-America."

    And the "Real America" of yours, Governor, is where people at your rallies shout threats of violence, against other Americans, and you say nothing about them or to them.

    What you are seeing is not patriotism, Governor.

    What has surrounded you since your nomination, has been the echoing shout of mob rule. Indeed, that shout has echoed to Minnesota, where the next day an unstable Congresswoman named Michele Bachmann added to the ugly cry.

    "I wish the American media would take a great look at the views of the people in Congress and find out, are they pro-America, or anti-America. I think people would love to see an expose' like that."

    For nearly two years, Ms. Bachmann, who made her first political bones by keeping the movie "Aladdin" from being shown at a Minnesota Charter School because she thought it promoted paganism and witchcraft, has had a seat in the government of this nation, a seat from which she has spewed the most implausible, hateful, narrow-minded garbage imaginable.

    Well, Congresswoman, you have gotten that "expose'" you wanted, have you not?

    Though not perhaps in the way you imagined.

    Since giving voice to your remarkable delusion that there are members of Congress who are "anti-America," and the extraordinary tap-dance of sleaze and innuendo about Senator Obama which followed...

    ...the challenger for your house Seat, Elwyn Tinklenberg, has been inundated by donations -- 700 thousand dollars in the three days after you spoke.

    Because the America you perceive, Congresswoman -- with its goblins and ghosts and vast unseen hordes of traitors and fellow travelers and Senators who won't ban "Aladdin" -- exists only in your head, and in the heads of the others who must rationalize the failures in their own lives and of their own policies as somebody else's fault -- as a conspiracy to deny them an America of exclusionism and religious orthodoxy and prejudice, about which they must accuse, and murmur, and shout threats, and cleave the nation into pro-America and anti-America."

    And back it comes to the McCain campaign.

    And Senator McCain's talking head, Ms. Pfotenhauer, who on this very network Saturday, and seemingly without the slightest idea that dismissive prejudice dripped from every word, analyzed the race in Virginia.

    "I can tell you that the Democrats have just come in from the District of Columbia and moved into northern Virginia," she said. "But the rest of the state, 'real Virginia,' if you will, I think will be very responsive to Senator McCain's message."

    Again, a toxic message...

    The parts of the country that agree with Nancy Pfotenhauer... are real -- the others, not.

    Ms. Pfotenhauer, why not go the distance on this one?

    It was Senator McCain's own brother who called that part of Virginia nearest Washington "communist country."

    Cut to the chase, Madam.

    No matter the intended comic hyperbole of Joe McCain...

    This is the point -- isn't it?

    Leave out the real meaning of "Communism," Madam -- Joe McCain reduced it to a buzz-word; it has no more true definition right now than does "Socialism," or the phrase "a man who sees America like you and I see America."

    It's about us... and them.

    The pro-... and the anti.

    Never mind, Madam, that the bi-secting of this country you would happily inspire, means taking a tiny crack in a dam and not repairing it but burrowing into it.

    It is not enough that Senator McCain and Senator Obama might differ.

    One must be real and the other false.

    One must be pro-America and the other anti.

    Go back and -- as your boss Rick Davis said today -- "re-think," Mr. McCain's insistence not to drag the sorry bones of Jeremiah Wright into this campaign.

    And whatever you do, Ms. Pfotenhauer, allow no one enough time to think... about the widening crack in the dam.

    And now all of this comes together to attack Colin Powell.

    "Secretary Powell says his endorsement is not about race," writes Rush Limbaugh... the grand wizard of this school of reactionary non-thought.

    "OK, fine. I am now researching his past endorsements to see if I can find all the inexperienced, very liberal, white candidates he has endorsed. I'll let you know what I come up with."

    It is not conceivable that Powell might reject McCain for the politics of hate and character assassination, or just for policy.

    In the closed, sweaty world of the blind allegiances of Limbaugh -- one of "us" who endorses one of "them," must be doing so for some other blind allegiance, like the color of skin.

    The answer to this primordial muck, must be addressed to one man only.

    Senator McCain -- where are you?

    I disagree with you on virtually every major point of policy and practice.

    And yet I do not think you "anti-America." I would not hesitate to join you in time of crisis in defense of this country.

    Fortunately you did not echo this chorus of base hatred.

    But neither have you repudiated it.

    What is "pro-America", Senator?

    Is it pro-America to call a man a racist because he endorses a different candidate?

    Senator, you have based your campaign on many premises, but the foremost (and the most nearly admirable) of all of them, have been the pitches about "reaching across the aisle," and putting, as your ubiquitous banners reed, "country first."

    So when Colin Powell endorses your opponent, you say nothing as your supporters and proxies paint him in this "Anti-America" frame and place him in Governor Palin's un-real America.

    Senator McCain -- did not General Powell just "reach across the aisle?" Did he not, in his own mind at least, "put country first?"

    Is it not your responsibility, Senator, to, if not applaud, then at least quiet those in your half of our fractured political equation?

    Is it not your responsibility, Senator, to say "enough" to Republican smears without end?

    Is it not your responsibility, Senator, to insist that, win or lose, you will not be party to a campaign that devolves into hatred and prejudice and divisiveness?

    And Senator McCain, if it is not your responsibility... whose is it?
    In case you missed it.

    October 20, 2008

    EVENTS! Ayanna Lee / Barack Obama Fundraisers

    Wednesday, October 22, 2008

    First:

    Meet & Greet with Ayanna Lee
    HOSTS: Georgia Berner, Miranda Berner, Abby Wilson, Natalia Rudiak, Chelsa Wagner, Matt Merriman-Preston, Lindsay Patross
    WHERE: Palate Bistro, 212 Sixth Street, Across from Heinz Hall, http://www.palatebistro.com
    WHEN: Wednesday October 22, 2008, 5:00-6:30 PM

    Join Chelsa Wagner, Georgia Berner and others! Ayanna is running for State Representative in the 44th District. I've had the pleasure of meeting Ayanna at a Women for Obama meeting and she'll make a great rep!

    RSVP: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=58171750224

    There is no ticket price for the event, but please bring your checkbook.

    http://www.ayannalee.com/


    Then:

    Generation Obama Party/Fundraiser
    HOSTS: Clayton Wukich
    WHERE: Olive or Twist, 140 6th St, Pittsburgh, PA 15201 US
    WHEN: Wednesday, October 22, 6:00 PM

    Please join Chris Heinz, Franco Harris, and Mike Doyle for an exciting Obama/Biden event. In addition to our special guests, please expect a terrific crowd and a great networking opportunity.

    The suggested contribution is $50 [Checks to Committee for Change (DNC)].

    RSVP: Clayton Wukich 412/260-9898 or wukich@gmail.com or for any questions.
    .

    October 19, 2008

    Challenger Steve O'Donnell Alleges Tim Murphy Violating House Ethics Rules (Again)

    We've been here before, kiddies. Who can forget two years ago when Rep. Tim Murphy (R, PA-18) snatched away evidence from a KDKA reporter on camera that showed that his congressional staff was engaging in campaign activities and using taxpayer money to do so?

    Just in case you missed it, here it is in all its gory glory:


    Well, now the O'Donnell campaign says that Murphy is up to his old tricks. From a press release distributed on Friday:

    At the Bethel Park Parade and Community Day on September 13th, 2008, Congressman Murphy used the event for both official and campaign purposes. This is a clear violation of House Ethics Rules, and by definition an illegal activity.

    According to House ethics rules (page 178 – click on this link), Members of Congress must designate their public appearances as either official or political – but not both. The rule is intended to prevent Members from using taxpayer money to further campaign objectives. The exact text of the relevant statute in the House Ethics Manual can be found below.

    At the Bethel Park event, Murphy set up a Congressional tent decorated with the Congressional seal and manned by one of his Congressional staff.

    Meanwhile, Murphy marched in the parade, handing out campaign paraphernalia, like “Murphy for Congress” nail files. He was also accompanied by campaign staff. An official-looking black sedan marked with the words “Congressman Tim Murphy” followed closely behind. The sign on the car was ambiguous – it made direct reference to Murphy’s title, but it didn’t contain either the Congressional seal or Murphy’s campaign logo. However, one of the passengers in the car was wearing a “Murphy for Congress” campaign sticker.

    Less than twenty minutes later, Murphy appeared at his Congressional tent – which, was located adjacent to the tent of the Bethel Park Republican Committee. As he spoke with party members, he was wearing a blue windbreaker with an official seal with the words “Congressman Tim Murphy.” When one of Murphy’s campaign staffers, who had been standing adjacent to the Congressional tent, saw that Murphy was being photographed, he charged across the street and physically confronted the photographer.
    You can see the full press release here and it's chock full of photographs.

    You can find out more about Steve O'Donnell here.
    .

    R.I.P. Levi Stubbs

    Levi Stubbs, the lead singer of the Four Tops, died yesterday. The NYT looks at his career here.

    .

    Colin Powell Endorses Barack Obama

    "I will be voting for Senator Barack Obama." --Colin Powell
    While Meet the Press doesn't air in these parts until 10:30, it starts earlier elsewhere. Here's the footage:

    .

    October 18, 2008

    Congratulations David and Janet!


    It's official! David (Dayvoe) and Janet are now Mr. and Mrs. DeAngelo.

    It was a lovely service and reception. Best man Tony Norman made a great toast and a good time was had by all.

    Congratulations and much love, you two!
    .

    Kevin Miller Story Spreading

    Short post - today's a busy day.

    The Kevin Miller story's made it into the wingut big leagues.

    World Net Daily - where the implication is pretty clear: Kevin was reprimanded due to pressure from the Obama campaign. The set-up is pretty clear:

    A talk-radio host was reprimanded on air by his executive producer Wednesday after he received complaints about his coverage of Sen. Barack Obama.

    KDKA-AM 1020 host Kevin Miller was silenced when executive producer P.J. Kumanchik read a CBS statement accusing Miller of being unfairly biased against Obama.

    "We want to apologize to listeners who have found your show offensive," Kumanchik said to Miller on the air.

    Then the subtle:
    The executive producer of the CBS affiliate said Miller, a Marconi Award nominee and former Army Reserve journalist, had featured guests who were not objective when reporting information about Obama. Miller had recently conducted an Oct. 9 interview with "The Obama Nation" author and WND senior staff reporter Jerome Corsi about his investigation of Obama's connections to opposition leader Raila Odinga in Kenya. He called Corsi "a true patriot" upon his return from detention by Kenyan immigration authorities.

    In the interview with Corsi, Miller revealed his personal concerns about efforts to silence Obama critics.

    "Well Dr. Corsi, what scares me is, we've seen this from the Obama campaign, that they clearly target people such as yourself, talk radio stations – whether it's WGN or others or people like myself – that speak out," he said. "And if [Obama is] elected, we're going to have a different chorus when it comes to discourse in this country."

    Ah, there it is. What World Net Daily wants you to think is that Kevin Miller was reprimanded because he was speaking out about Senator Obama.

    Whether it was a stunt now is beside the point.

    And I'll ask it again, if it WAS a stunt what did Miller accomplish? Now large swaths of the wingnut right think that KDKA is looking to "silence" Kevin Miller because of his political beliefs.

    My guess (and this is only a guess) is that we should be seeing Mr Miller on Hannity and Colmes sometime real soon.

    October 17, 2008

    Posted Without Comment

    More On Kevin Miller

    Seems there's a question about Kevin Miller's show in the news. In a short piece titled:

    Was Miller's KDKA-AM reprimand just a stunt?

    We get this from Adrian McCoy at the P-G:

    A segment that aired during Kevin Miller's show earlier this week has some KDKA-AM (1020) listeners confused. It has prompted a flurry of e-mails and phone calls from people wondering if the talk host is truly being disciplined for his views.

    On Wednesday, KDKA executive producer P.J. Kumanchik read a statement from CBS Radio management saying that Miller has demonstrated a pattern of bias against Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, and that in the spirit of fairness, the station would offer Obama three hours of airtime, pre-empting one of Miller's weekday noon to 3 p.m. air shifts.

    Miller apologized yesterday for comments he made on-air regarding being censored after the Wednesday segment.

    KDKA program director Marshall Adams would not comment on what the station's intent was in airing Wednesday's segment, or whether it was a promotional stunt. [Emphasis added]

    That may be the answer right there. If the station manager won't comment on whether it was a stunt, then it was probably a stunt.

    Stunt or not, the Kevin Miller story's gotten onto some of the more wingnuttier places in wingnuttia.

    Hannity.com:
    Kevin Miller is a conservative commentator on KDKA between 12-3PM. Today at 2PM his manager made an announcement that he was going to force "fairness" and put an Obama campaign spokesman on Kevin's show for the entire 3 hour slot and let him give basically a 3 hour commercial for Obama. This is an outrage. This sounds like the fairness doctrine being force down our throats. KDKA has many liberal shows. I never thought that KDKA would become KGB radio. I suggest that folks go on KDKA.com and search for Kevin's show and e-mail him support against this censorship. I guess the libs think Obama will win and they are beginning to show their true colors.
    Really? KDKA has "many" liberal shows? Maybe we should ask Fred Honsberger that question, or John Steigerwald, or Marty Griffin. Many?? Note the comparison to the KGB.

    Townhall.com
    :
    The Fairness Doctrine is reinstated today! "CBS radio censors conservative talk host..." Type that in Google and see the results of what fair minded liberals do when they do not agree with conservative talk radio. My guess they started with Mr. Kevin Miller and are going to work their way up the chain. Care to take any bets on how long it will take for them to get to Rush and Sean?
    Ooo. Miller can't be happy with that. He's the beginning - and they'll be "work(ing) their way up the chain". How far "down the chain" is he?

    Freerepublic.com
    :

    Where "ssaftler" first comments:
    This was known in the bad old days as “The Fairness Doctrine”. Welcome to a “Brave New World”.
    To which "spacebar" responds:
    More like a fledgling Nazi state.
    Later on, "SECURE AMERICA" posted this:
    Welcome to the Socialist Republic of ObamaNation. Coming soon to your neighborhood as the new Brown Shirts round up dissenters and send them off the the re-education camps..
    Cunningly combining BOTH Nazi AND Soviet references. Good show!

    Let's just assume for a minute that it WAS a stunt (and it seems likely), what did it accomplish? I mean, does KDKA enjoy being compared to the KGB and Nazi Germany? Because if it was a stunt, that's what Miller accomplished. His audience now thinks the station he works for is just as bad as both.

    Good show, Kevin. Nice way to alienate your employers. Very smart.

    October 16, 2008

    The BIG Smear Begins

    First the smear:



    And now the text:
    Hello. I'm calling for John McCain and the RNC because you need to know that Barack Obama has worked closely with domestic terrorist Bill Ayers whose organization bombed the U.S. Capitol, the Pentagon, a judge's home, and killed Americans. And democrats will enact an extreme leftist agenda if they take control of Washington. Barack Obama and his democratic allies lack the judgement to lead our country. This call was paid for by McCain/Palin 2008 and the Republican National Committee at (202) 863-8500.
    And now some analysis from Joe Klein of Time:
    Back in 2000, in South Carolina, the robocalls--and calls to local right-wing talk radio shows--were about John McCain's "interracial child" and Cindy McCain's drug addiction. They were a craven, disgusting tactic by the George W. Bush campaign. McCain was, rightly, outraged by them.
    And:
    Now this isn't quite the spew that McCain suffered in South Carolina, but hey, he's got three more weeks to descend to that. Certainly, such calls are not the sort of activity normally attributed to "a man whose courage has never been questioned," as McCain described himself last week. Real men don't hide behind robocalls. It is nowhere near honorable.
    This is how low the McCain campaign has sunk.

    UPDATE: Seems that at least one republican doen't like the calls:
    Embattled Republican Sen. Susan Collins is calling on Sen. John McCain to stop paying for automated phone calls which describe Sen. Barack Obama as having "worked closely" with "domestic terrorist Bill Ayers."
    So there ARE some sane republicans left?

    Altmire Update

    Quick note -

    Talking Points Memo has something on the latest out of the "Cook Report":
    Here's yet more evidence that the Dems are poised for huge gains in Congress: The Cook Report has released a new set of updated rankings on 25 House races -- and all 25 are shifts in the Dems' direction.
    All of this, of course, is bad news for the Republicans - including one special friend of ours:
    PA-04 Jason Altmire (D) - Lean Democratic to Likely Democratic
    If Cook is right, then Jason Altmire is "likely" to beat Melissa Hart this November.

    Found Objects

    And if you think that's a fake, take a look at this.  It's from Reuters:
     
    The text:
    US Republican presidential nominee Senator John McCain (R-AZ) reacts to almost heading the wrong way off the stage after shaking hands with Democratic presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) at the conclusion of the final presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, October 15, 2008.
    That's all. I'll leave my comments to myself.

    David Gergen Reacts


    "It was almost an exercise in anger management for him to contain himself."  Yea, that's the guy I want a few inches from the nuke-you-lerr button.  Some guy who can barely contain himself at a presidential debate.

    Huffington Post has more:
    Later in CNN's broadcast, after Campbell Brown ran down CNN's poll results (an overall Obama win, a win for Obama among independents, Obama wins on questions about healthcare, and even taxes), Anderson Cooper asked Gergen what he would say to McCain about what the message should be going forward, in light of these results. Gergen replied, "Beats the hell out of me," adding later, "See if you can leave this with your honor in tact."
    Might be difficult for McCain as he's already traded in whatever honor he had for a season of mudslinging and dishonest negative ads. 

    A Conservative Reacts

    Mark Steyn National Review Online:
    McCain lacked the killer instinct. A man who cheerfully crashes planes and survives years of torture appeared nervous that clobbering his opponent might dent his image as Mister Bipartisan. You look at the way he sneered at Romney in the primary debates and compare it with his tentativeness toward Obama. His reluctance to whack the Democrat wound up, by default, elevating Obama. When a veteran Republican who's been on the national scene for a quarter-century and a Democrat whom nobody had heard of 20 minutes ago appear to be equal in stature, then by definition the Democrat wins.
    I do have a bone to pick with Mr Steyn - I wouldn't have said that McCain "cheerfully" crashes planes. That sort of attack is just uncalled for.