Prosecute the torture.

April 30, 2012

The John McIntire Dangerously Live Comedy Talk Show - War on Women

Please join me!

The John McIntire Dangerously Live Comedy Talk Show
War on Women
When: Saturday, May 5, 2012, 10:30 PM
Where: The Cabaret at Theater Square, 655 Penn Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15222 (map)
Host: Comedian & Blogger John McIntire
Panelists: Post-Gazette Cartoonist Rob Rogers, 2 Political Junkies Blogger Maria Lupinacci, Two Day Magazine Sex & Love Columnist Natalie Bencivenga, Advice Columnist Catherine Specter
Cost: $5.00 or free with ticket stub from any earlier show.
Menu: Here
Website: Here
Facebook: Event page here

Um...Guys?

A week or so ago, the OPJ posted this.

It was about a rally, set for April 28 in Harrisburg, to "Defend Rights and Equality for Women."

The event happened.  A couple hundred people attended:
About 300 people, a mostly female audience, gathered on the state Capitol steps for four hours today as part of a national grassroots movement called United Against the War on Women.

Similar rallies were sponsored around the country in most of the 50 states from Wisconsin, to Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles, Calif.

The rallies were held as a show of strength against recent threats to women’s rights on issues ranging from from reproductive to economic and human rights.

“We can’t sit back and take it anymore. We can’t sit back and allow them to erode our lives,” said Julia Ramsey, president of Pennsylvania NOW.

Ramsey, one of about two dozen speakers at the Harrisburg rally, encouraged women in the crowd to speak to their female friends and family and spread the message about fighting back.

“This is a war against us and it affects all of us,” she said.
A nationwide effort with a rally at the state capital (with flickr photos to prove it and everything) and as far as I can tell (by googling ""War on women" Harrisburg"), there's not a peep of coverage from the local "liberal" paper, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

On the other hand, the P-G has seen fit to report on this:
A national Tea Party group Friday kicked off a 20-city bus tour in Cranberry, where it endorsed Republican Tom Smith's U.S. Senate bid, skewered Democratic President Barack Obama and appealed for help in what it called a watershed election year.

About 200 people attended the rally at North Boundary Park organized by Tea Party Express, which describes itself as the conservative movement's largest political action committee.
So the next time someone asks about the "liberal bias" over at the Post-Gazette, just show them this.

April 28, 2012

Clueless

If you’re young and you want to start your own business, Mitt Romney’s has some advice from you: Borrow money from your parents. At a “lecture” for students at Otterbein University in Ohio today, Mitt Romney told students that, his friend, Jimmy John, started a business by borrowing $20,000 from his parents at a low interest rate. Romney suggested anyone in the audience could do the same:
This kind of devisiveness, this attack of success, is very different than what we’ve seen in our country’s history. We’ve always encouraged young people: Take a shot, go for it, take a risk, get the education, borrow money if you have to from your parents, start a business. 
(h/t to Spork)

Yea, I Guess We Gotta Do This Again.

From the Tribune-Review:
Diana Furchtgott-Roth is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, an economics-oriented think tank, and is the former chief economist for the U.S. Department of Labor.

She spoke to the Trib regarding a linchpin of President Obama's re-election campaign known as the Buffett Rule. Named for Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett, it's a proposed minimum effective tax of 30 percent on anyone earning more than $1 million annually.
You know where this is going, right?

Of course you do.

April 26, 2012

Tracking Teh Crazie

Here's the latest from Jerome Corsi, chief birther at Birther Central (aka World Net Daily):  Barack Obama Sr was NOT Barack Obama Jr.'s real father.

Frank Marshall Davis was.

That absurdity aside, think of what that means for the whole birther industry when you realize that Frank Marshall Davis was born in Kansas.


Pennsylvania Unite Against the War on Women

From the website:
Help defend women's rights and pursuit of equality. Join Americans all across the United States on April 28th, 2012, as we come together as one to tell members of Congress in Washington DC and legislators in all 50 states, "Enough is enough!"
Pennsylvania Unite Against the War on Women Rally
When: April 28, 2012, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm
Where: Pennsylvania State Capitol Steps, Harrisburg, PA

Facebook page here.

Primary Wrap Up

  • Chris Potter on the wins by young, progressives Erin Molchany and Ed Gainey and Matt Merriman-Preston's role in the election. Also, how this bodes well for a bid for mayor by Bill Peduto.
  • Sue Kerr on Brian Sims being on course to becoming PA's first openly gay state representative.

  • Howard Fineman on the 'Clinton Party' wins in PA.

  • And, kudos to the Post-Gazette for their unendorsement.
  • April 24, 2012

    Let's all get out there and vote!


    It occurs to me that I should have run a contest as to what name I should write in instead of voting for Harry Readshaw. I'm thinking something like "A. Real Democrat."

    April 23, 2012

    Endorsements

    There are a lot of progressive people running tomorrow in the PA Democratic primary. Here are some of the best:

    STATEWIDE:
    Attorney General
    Patrick Murphy
    Murphy played a leadership role in the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" when he was in Congress. He's also been extremely up front about his pro choice views and against the Republican War on Women.
    http://www.murphyforpa.com

    Auditor General
    Eugene DePasquale
    Great on Marcellus Shale and all the other issues you care about! A candidate with strong progressive tendencies, but also "something more essential: a deep-seated commitment towards doing right by all citizens of PA, in a way that transcends ideology."
    http://eugene4pa.com

    LOCAL:
    District 22
    Erin Molchany
    She's so good, she's endorsed nationally! I'll be hoofing it out to Brookline to phone bank for her this afternoon.
    http://erinmolchany.com

    District 23
    Dan Frankel
    An always reliable progressive!

    District 24
    Edward Gainey
    I agree with the P-G -- it's time for a change!
    http://edgainey.com

    District 56
    Marybeth Kuznik
    Not exactly from around here, but she's great! She's also the founder of VotePA
    http://vote4marybeth.com

    April 22, 2012

    FYI: David's Twitter account has been hacked

    If you've received any recent direct Twitter messages from my co-blogger David, please be aware that his account @dayvoe has been hacked.

    Also, I HATE, HATE, HATE the new Blogger interface.

    April 21, 2012

    Today: Rally for Justice for Jordan Miles and Trayvon Martin!

    Via Facebook:
    Taking A Stand Against Police Brutality and Injustice! 
    Please join APA (Alliance for Police Accountability) for a rally to take a stand against police brutality and the murders of everyday citizens in America as we demand justice for Jordan Miles, Trayvon Martin and all of those who have fallen victim to gross injustice. 
    When: Saturday, April 21 @ 1:00pm
    Where: Mellon Park across from Bakery Square

    Call D.A. Zappala @ 412-350-4400 and
    Tell him to PROSECUTE the three officers that brutalized Jordan Miles OR RESIGN!

    We want a world safe for our children and families! Help us create it by first taking a stand and demanding it and then doing everything within our power to ensure it!!

    Contact:

    Alliance for Police Accountability: Bsfish27@aol.com or 412-628-5849 or on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Alliance-for-Police-Accountability/172738296112833.

    For information on the Jordan Miles case: www.justiceforjordanmiles.com

    For information on the Trayvon Martin case:
    www.justicefortrayvonmartin.com/
    (map)

    April 20, 2012

    R.I.P. Levon Helm

    R.I.P. Levon Helm

    Again, WIth An Announcement

    A few weeks ago I announced that I'd be blogging a little less frequently for a time.

    For the next week or so, I probably won't be blogging at all.

    You'll just have to carry on without me.  In the meantime, let me reiterate:
    • Don't let them bullshit you.
    • Assume something of everything they say is bullshit of some kind.
    • So check their work.
    • And make sure that what they say is true is, in fact, true.
    • If it isn't, disinfect the bullshit with snark, smarts, and style.
    And carry on.

    PS - It's up to you to decide who "they" are.

    April 19, 2012

    And They Omit Some Important Climate Info - Again.

    Who's doing this?  You might ask.

    As any regular reader of this blog will tell you, it's the editorial board at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.  Take a look at this from today:
    Himalayan glaciers are growing despite "global warming," report French scientists. Damn "climate change deniers," eh?
    And what, pray tell, do you think we'll find if we go looking around the data?

    Exactly.  We'll find that Scaife's braintrust has yet again failed in telling you, their news-reading public, enough of the necessary information in order for you to gain an accurate picture of reality.  They withhold info and tell an incomplete story hoping you'll think it's complete.

    Let's go find the truth.

    April 18, 2012

    More On Ted Nugent's Class D Felony

    First we start with the law:
    Whoever knowingly and willfully deposits for conveyance in the mail or for a delivery from any post office or by any letter carrier any letter, paper, writing, print, missive, or document containing any threat to take the life of, to kidnap, or to inflict bodily harm upon the President of the United States, the President-elect, the Vice President or other officer next in the order of succession to the office of President of the United States, or the Vice President-elect, or knowingly and willfully otherwise makes any such threat against the President, President-elect, Vice President or other officer next in the order of succession to the office of President, or Vice President-elect, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.
    So when The Nuge said:
    If Barack Obama becomes the president in November, again, I will be either be dead or in jail by this time next year.
    It sounds like he's talking an assassination attempt.  In deed there's enough there for the Secret Service to take note of.

    Though technically I should point out that if Obama wins re-election in November, his second term (that is to say when he "becomes president again") would not begin until late January, 2013.  If he loses in November, he'd still be President until someone else takes the Oath.  Obama would "become president again" only when he takes the Oath again.  In January, Ted.  Not November.  But that's a minor minor point.  Certainly not illegal.

    Certainly not like threatening the life of the President of the United States.

    The GOP goes crazy when Hilary Rosen quipped about Ann Romney:
    Guess what? [She] has actually never worked a day in her life. She's never really dealt with the kinds of economic issues that a majority of the women in this country are facing in terms of how do we feed our kids, how do we send them to school and why do we worry about their future.

    But when one of their own threatens the life of the President?

    Nothing.

    April 17, 2012

    Meet-and-Greet with Patrick Murphy


    They'll be a Meet-and-Greet with Patrick Murphy (running in the Democratic primary for Attorney General of Pennsylvania) this Thursday at the Shadow Lounge. It's being hosted by Pittsburgh City Councilman Bill Peduto.

    Murphy played a leadership role in the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" when he was in Congress. He's also been extremely upfront about his pro choice views and against the Republican War on Women.

    Please welcome him to Pittsburgh!

    Peduto Event for Patrick Murphy
    When: Thursday, April 19, 5:30pm until 7:30pm
    Where: Shadow Lounge, 5972 Baum Blvd, Pittsburgh, PA 15206
    RSVP: Email breen@billpeduto.com
    Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/events/288170647925126/
    Murphy Website: http://www.murphyforpa.com

    Obama for America Opens 2nd Pittsburgh Field Office

    Obama for America will officially open their second field office today in Pittsburgh. This one's on the South Side (they had one a little further up Carson St. four years ago):

    Time: Tuesday, April 17, 2012 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
    Host: Mike Sweeney
    Location: South Side OFA Pennsylvania Office
    1105 E Carson St
    Pittsburgh, PA 15203

    You can RSVP here.

    The other office, which opened in February, is in the Strip District.

    April 16, 2012

    Mad Men Mitt

    The women of Mad Men in Mitt Romney terms:
  • Betty, Trudy, Francine = Good Moms

  • Joan = Former Good Mom, now Bad Mom

  • Megan = Bad Step Mom with hint of Good Mom to come

  • Helen = Bad Mom

  • Peggy = Either off-the-scale Bad Mom for giving up her baby and continuing in her career or Good Mom for not having an abortion and giving up her kid to some undoubtedly good Christian family instead of keeping it and being a single Mom on welfare.

  • Mad Men: Set Me Free from Pop Culture Pirate on Vimeo.


    (h/t to Pandagon for video)

    Romney: Poor stay-at-home moms lack "the dignity of work"

    While Mitt Romney said just last week that "all moms are working moms" (commenting on the Hilary Rosen flap), only three months ago, he said that poor moms who stayed at home with their very young children needed to have "the dignity of work" and that mothers on welfare should be required to work outside the home or lose their benefits.

    So remember folks, staying at home with your kids is only "work' if you're rich -- anything else is simply undignified!

    Monday Morning Dot Connecting (As If)

    It's Monday, so the Trib's obfuscating (note: that phrase also works for all the other days of the week, too).  It's interesting that Scaife's braintrust is using its valuable column space to make some very tenuous connections while omitting some very real connections of its own.

    Take a look:
    Neither law enforcement nor the public can afford to be lulled into thinking that the Occupy movement, its encampments mostly gone, is no longer a concern -- especially with some Occupiers taking cues from terroristic Weather Underground predecessors.

    Rusty Weiss details for America's Survival Inc. (usasurvival.org) a March 3 event in upstate New York. Promoted and attended by Occupy Albany and hosted by a co-founder of the radical group, it celebrated an imprisoned Weatherman terrorist's new book.
    Did you see it?

    EVENTS!

    APRIL 16
    UPMC, Blue Ribbon Winner for Largest Tax Exemptions!
    When: Monday, April 16, 2012 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm
    Where: Wood Street Subway Station, Pittsburgh PA
    What: Call out UPMC for being a for-profit masquerading as a nonprofit.
    http://onepittsburgh.org/2012/03/23/upmc-blue-ribbon-winner-for-largest-tax-exemptions/

    APRIL 17
    National Tax Day
    When: Tuesday, April 17, 2012 12:00 pm - 2;00 pm
    Where: Market square
    What: Tax-dodger dodge ball. The 99% vs. the 1%, who will win??? Come play!
    http://onepittsburgh.org/2012/03/23/national-tax-day/

    OfA Pittsburgh South Side Office Opening
    When: Tuesday, April 17, 2012 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
    Where: South Side OFA Pennsylvania Office, 1105 E Carson St, Pittsburgh, PA 15203
    What: Obama for America will officially open their second field office in Pittsburgh. RSVP here.

    APRIL 18
    EQT Shareholder Meeting
    When: Wednesday, April 18, 2012 9:00 am - 10:00 am
    Where: 625 Liberty Ave, Pittsburgh, PA, United States, 15222
    What: Millions in drilling revenue, but delinquent on their taxes?
    http://onepittsburgh.org/2012/03/23/eqt-shareholder-meeting/ (possibly overlaps marcellus / drilling themed protest)

    Voter ID Collective Action
    When: Wednesday, April 18th at NOON
    Where: Downtown DMV License Center, 708 Smithfield Street, Pittsburgh 15222.
    What: Needed: Rally attendees with signs, people who are impacted disproportionately by the new Voter ID law, to line up outside the door of PennDOT Drivers License Center. Who else should come? All defenders of voting rights, those who need ID or want to help people get ID. Volunteers & supporters to assist, observe, and talk with people who are coming to the DMV center in order to get the free photo ID they will need in order to vote.

    APRIL 19
    Democracy for Pittsburgh Monthly Meeing/MoveOn Monthly Meeting
    When: Thursday, April 19, evening: 6:45 DFA/DFP, 7 PM MoveOn
    Where: Steelworkers, USW building, Five Gateway Center, 9th floor, 60 Blvd of the Allies, Pittsburgh PA 15222
    What: Montly meetings

    Meet-and-Greet with Patrick Murphy
    When: Thursday, April 19, 5:30pm until 7:30pm
    Where: Shadow Lounge, 5972 Baum Blvd, Pittsburgh, PA 15206
    What: Councilor Bill Peduto will host a Meet-and-Greet with Patrick Murphy (running in the Democratic primary for Attorney General of Pennsylvania)
    RSVP: Email breen@billpeduto.com
    Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/events/288170647925126/
    Murphy Website: http://www.murphyforpa.com


    Post Updated: 4/17/12

    April 13, 2012

    Equal Pay Day Rally 2012: Economic Justice for All (Today!)


    From Women And Girls Foundation:
    "WGF will host Equal Pay Day Rally 2012: Economic Justice for All in Market Square on April 13th with organizing partners, New Voices Pittsburgh: Women of Color for Reproductive Justice (NVP) and the American Association of University Women Pennsylvania (AAUWPA) to raise public awareness about equal pay, and the need for economic justice for all to reduce poverty."
    Equal Pay Day Rally 2012: Economic Justice for All
    When: Friday, April 13th from 12:00 – 1:00pm
    Where: Market Square, Downtown Pittsburgh

    Texts from Hillary goes out on top


    The meme of the week shuts down after only a week. But, when you get the Secretary of State to play along, there's no where left to go but downhill.

    Anyhoo, the Facebook page is still up.

    April 12, 2012

    More On PA's "Voter Fraud" Story

    Um, maybe someone should pick up a phone.

    From FoxNews In Philly we find a story about some recent challenges to the ALEC-inspired Metcalfe-sponsored Voter ID bill.  Democrats say there's no voter fraud (and they're right, by the way) and the Republicans say there is (and they're wrong, by the way).

    In the story we find this:
    "Voter fraud is happening in Pennsylvania and it is fairly widespread. This is a good way to fix it," said Representative Will Tallman, (R) York and Adams County.
    The piece quoted Tallman accurately. In fact, Tallman's got the story so solid, it's an almost word for word copy of a clip found at his youtube site:


    Note, however, that he changes the subject.  He starts by talking voter fraud, but then subtly shifts to voter registration.  And even then his stat "12.5 of voter registrations are questionable." is a further diversion.  What does "questionable" mean?  The address is incorrect?  The signature is illegible?  Something's misspelled?  He doesn't explain how that turns into voter fraud.

    And if he has direct evidence of voter fraud (which he claims) then why hasn't he brought it to the attention of the authorities?

    Or at least Senate State Government Committee Chairman Charles McIlhinney. Why do I bring that up, you ask?

    This is why.  From the AP:
    Republicans continued Monday to press legislation to require Pennsylvanians to show photo identification before they vote, despite resistance from Democrats who say it is intended to suppress turnout of poor and black voters, and Republicans acknowledging they lack proof of voter fraud.

    The Senate State Government Committee voted 6-5 to lengthen the list of acceptable photo IDs beyond those included in a more restrictive bill passed by the state House of Representatives in June.

    That bill would have required voters to show a government-issued photo ID. With the amendment, it now would allow some expired government IDs, as well as IDs issued by accredited Pennsylvania colleges and universities and nursing and personal care homes, but it still would substantially toughen state law in Pennsylvania and add it to a short list of states that require photo ID.

    Senate State Government Committee Chairman Charles McIlhinney said he has seen no proof that people are casting illegal ballots, but he also said he's seen no proof that tightening the requirements would deny anyone the right to vote. He called the requirement a "security check."
    Tallman, meet McIlhinney. McIlhinney meet Tallman.

    You guys should get your stories straight.

    April 11, 2012

    More Anti-Science Down South

    From the National Center for Science Education:
    Governor Bill Haslam allowed Tennessee's House Bill 368 to become law without his signature on April 10, 2012, according to the Memphis Commercial Appeal (April 10, 2012). The law encourages teachers to present the "scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses" of topics that arouse "debate and disputation" such as "biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming, and human cloning."
    I'm not sure if they have it exactly right, however.  Take a look at the summary of the bill:
    This bill prohibits the state board of education and any public elementary or secondary school governing authority, director of schools, school system administrator, or principal or administrator from prohibiting any teacher in a public school system of this state from helping students understand, analyze, critique, and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of existing scientific theories covered in the course being taught, such as evolution and global warming.
    Unless I am missing something (and that's always completely possible) the bill isn't necessarily encouraging teachers to (as others have put it) "teach the controversy" as much as it prohibits their administrators from stopping them if they decided to do so.  (I guess that could be "encouraging" but my point is that it's a little more subtle than that.)

    So if Mrs Dellert (my science teacher when I was in High School) decided to spend a week or so presenting the "science" that questions evolution, she would be free to do so in the state of Tennessee.

    Even though that science doesn't exist.

    She'd be free to move from science to anti-science in a science class and remain blissfully unperturbed by any school administrator or bureaucrat who'd want her to, you know, teach science in a science class.

    This is what happens when a theocratically tinged legislature seeks to decide scientific questions.  This is what's going on in Tennessee.

     (By the way, I don't know what became of Mrs Dellert - she was a fine chemistry teacher and looking back I wish I'd been a better student.)

    April 10, 2012

    Jesus doesn't want him for a sunbeam -- Santorum drops out


    Too bad, so sad

    Winners: Animals, vegetables and minerals.

    Losers: PA TV stations as the Romney campaign rushes to cancel all those ad buys.

    Which PA Legislators are members of ALEC?

    David just posted on ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) and reminded us that PA State Rep. Daryl "I Don't Speak Mexican" Metcalfe (R-Butler) is a member. So, which other Pennsylvania legislators are ALEC members? This press release by Keystone Progress urging them all to quit ALEC mentions the following:
  • GOP House Majority Leader Mike Turzai (whose participation in ALEC is paid by state taxpayers)

  • GOP House Majority Caucus Chair Sandra Major

  • GOP House Caucus Administrator Dick Stevenson

  • GOP House Judiciary Chair Ronald Marsico

  • GOP House State Government Chair Daryl Metcalfe

  • GOP Senate Majority Caucus Secretary Robert Robbins

  • GOP Senate Judiciary Chair Stewart Greenleaf

  • And GOP Chairs of numerous committees, including Representatives Matthew Baker (Health), Stephen Barrar (Veterans Affairs), Paul Clymer (Educational), John Evans (Game & Fisheries), Robert Godshall (Consumer Affairs), Kate Harper (Ethics), Dick Hess (Commerce), Ronald Miller (Labor & Industry) and Senators Charles McIlhinney (State Government), Jeffrey Piccola (Education), John Pippy (Law & Justice)

  • Rep. John Evans (R-Crawford, Erie) currently serves as ALEC’s PA chair.
  • It goes on to mention 30 more members -- only three of whom are Democrats. Guess who's among them? Yes, my old friend: Rep. Harry Readshaw (D, Allegheny). Guess that explains a lot.

    ALEC In The News

    At Time.com.

    The piece is primarily about the recent corporate support defections from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC):
    When America’s corporate titans shift their weight, the tremors travel fast. Last week, Coca-Cola, Kraft and accounting-software giant Intuit announced they were ending their membership in a conservative nonprofit group called the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). The news sent reporters scrambling to explain what exactly the 39-year-old organization does, why it matters and how its role in spreading laws — governing everything from voter ID requirements to anti-illegal-immigration efforts — came to be a problem for some of America’s foremost corporate citizens.
    And it's in the background that we find some interesting pieces of information:
    ALEC, a tax-exempt group operating under the 501(c)3 section of the IRS code, bills itself as “a nonpartisan membership association for conservative state lawmakers” interested in “limited government, free markets, federalism and individual liberty.” It convenes policy task forces and drafts model bills that can be introduced in state legislatures nationwide. For a modest membership fee, conservative legislators gain access to the group’s resources. Think of ALEC’s prepackaged and prelawyered legislation as Swanson TV dinners: all you need is a majority vote to reheat it, and it’s ready to serve. The result: similarly flavored bills in statehouses across the country.
    Guess where this is leading?

    April 9, 2012

    Ruth Ann Stumbles, I Think

    Today, Ruth Ann Dailey references one of my favorite philosphers:
    Even Bertrand Russell -- an early exemplar of "antagonistic atheism" -- acknowledged in "A History of Western Philosophy" that the Enlightenment was essentially the culmination of Martin Luther's schism with the Roman Catholic Church -- the Reformation.
    The column, titled:
    America a Christian nation? Think again
    Takes a very fair and practical look at the idea that America is a "Christian Nation."

    Her answer, by the way, is "Yes and no."  I'd agree with her answer but not with how she forms the question.

    But let's look at the stumble.

    C-SPAN footage of Romney in Pittsburgh


    (Nice partial seal, SNL Art Dept.)

    April 7, 2012

    How Easy Was This?

    From today's Tribune-Review Op-Ed page:
    Few takers and negligible economic benefits should lead Congress to end the EB-5 program, which essentially sells visas to foreign investors otherwise unable to legally enter the United States.

    That's what David North, a fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies (cis.org), concludes in his study of the program.
    Ah...the CIS.

    Remember them?  This is what the Southern Poverty Law Center has to say about the CIS:
    To make its case seem as strong as possible, CIS often manipulates data, relying on shaky statistics or faulty logic to come to the preordained conclusion that immigration is bad for this country. But CIS studies have been regularly debunked by mainstream academics and think tanks including the Immigration Policy Center, the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities and America's Voice.
    In this case, they simply misrepresent the facts (at best).

    April 6, 2012

    More On Bush's Torture

    I know I said I'd be off for a while, but this is important.

    From Wired.com:
    A top adviser to former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice warned the Bush administration that its use of “cruel, inhuman or degrading” interrogation techniques like waterboarding were “a felony war crime.”

    What’s more, newly obtained documents reveal that State Department counselor Philip Zelikow told the Bush team in 2006 that using the controversial interrogation techniques were “prohibited” under U.S. law — “even if there is a compelling state interest asserted to justify them.”

    Zelikow argued that the Geneva conventions applied to al-Qaida — a position neither the Justice Department nor the White House shared at the time. That made waterboarding and the like a violation of the War Crimes statute and a “felony,” Zelikow tells Danger Room. Asked explicitly if he believed the use of those interrogation techniques were a war crime, Zelikow replied, “Yes.”
    There's more from Salon.com:
    In February of 2006, Philip Zelikow, counselor to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, authored a memo opposing the Bush administration’s torture practices (though he employed the infamous obfuscation of “enhanced interrogation techniques”). The White House tried to collect and destroy all copies of the memo, but one survived in the State Department’s bowels and was declassified yesterday in response to a Freedom of Information Act request by the National Security Archive.
    As Zelikow wrote in 2009:
    At the time, in 2005, I circulated an opposing view of the legal reasoning. My bureaucratic position, as counselor to the secretary of state, didn't entitle me to offer a legal opinion. But I felt obliged to put an alternative view in front of my colleagues at other agencies, warning them that other lawyers (and judges) might find the OLC views unsustainable. My colleagues were entitled to ignore my views. They did more than that: The White House attempted to collect and destroy all copies of my memo. I expect that one or two are still at least in the State Department's archives.
    So someone in Condoleezza Rice's State Department circulated a memo said what the CIA was doing (waterboarding) is a war crime and what did the Bush Administration subsequently do it?

    Destroy all the copies of the memo, of course.

    And Obama shredded the Constitution.  Obama's policies are the end of freedom in America.

    Prosecute the torture.

    April 5, 2012

    How Will They Unweave This One?

    From The Trib, today:
    U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Jerry Smith in Houston has given President Barack Obama's Justice Department until today to file a three-page, single-spaced brief documenting Attorney General Eric Holder's recognition of "the authority of the federal courts through unelected judges to strike acts of Congress or portions thereof in appropriate cases."

    The order came in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of yet another ObamaCare mandate. The Supreme Court last week heard arguments regarding the constitutionality of the law's "individual mandate."

    Those arguments didn't go well for the administration. Which prompted the president to openly question the legitimacy of the judiciary while engaging in revisionist history: "I am confident the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress."
    Scaife's braintrust described Obama as a "president who knows not the Constitution, not scholarship and certainly not history."

    When we're through, we'll know who doesn't know the Constitution, scholarship or history.

    April 3, 2012

    Contact your Allegheny County Councilor and ask them to support anti Citizens United Resolution

    Via Democracy for Pittsburgh email:
    UPDATE / NEW REQUEST

    Today: Allegheny County Council members Amanda Green Hawkins and John DeFazio, are sponsoring a Motion "expressing the Sense of Council of Allegheny County supporting the formulation and ratification of a Constitutional amendment to reverse Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and to restore Constitutional rights and fair elections to the people" (6871-12).

    The Council may vote on this motion at its meeting TODAY, April 3!

    Members of several groups (including Coffee Party Pittsburgh) will be making comments at the Allegheny Council meeting on Tue, April 3, 5:00pm, County Court House, 436 Grant St, 4th floor, Gold Room. Please come to the meeting to show support for this Motion, and/or email (or call) your council person ASAP.

    ACTION: We are asking you to send an e-mail to or call your County Council member NOW and ask him/her to support the motion. Find your County Council member in this list (if you click on their photo, you can get to their bio and e-mail): http://www.alleghenycounty.us/council/members.aspx

    If you don't know which district you are in, here is the list of County Districts: http://www.alleghenycounty.us/council/dist.aspx

    Please share widely with your friends in Allegheny County.

    More On Newsmax And The Global Warming "Hoax"

    From Newsmax (that's the 40% Scaife-owned Newsmax, for those who've forgotten) we read:
    Skeptics of manmade global warming claims can bolster their position with a new study showing that the Earth went through a previous warming period not caused by human CO2 emissions.

    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has argued that the Medieval Warm Period approximately 500 to 1,000 years ago was confined to Europe and did not affect the entire planet, “which means the worldwide warming we’re experiencing now is a manmade phenomenon,” the Daily Mail observed.

    But a team of scientists led by geochemist Zunli Lu from Syracuse University in New York found the warming was not confined to Europe and actually extended all the way down to Antarctica, affecting the entire planet. The finding indicates that “the Earth has already experienced global warming without the aid of human CO2 emissions,” according to the Mail.
    Here's the Daily Mail article - when you read it, you'll only see half of what Scaife's Newsmax decided not to tell you.

    Western PA Mayors Fall Short on Support for Same-Sex Marriage


    The Post-Gazette has an article about the group Mayors for the Freedom to Marry. In it, they note that of the nine PA mayors who have signed a statement of support for same-sex marriage, only two are from the western two-thirds of the state. If you've been paying attention, you already know that Lil Mayor Luke is not one of them:
    Joanna Doven, a spokeswoman for Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, said he does not support gay marriage and would not sign the Mayors for the Freedom to Marry statement. She noted Mr. Ravenstahl does support civil unions and legislation that gives benefits to same-sex couples.

    Mr. Fetterman noted that many things that were once taboo in a variety of religious traditions -- including divorce -- are now permitted.

    "Thus, I shouldn't have to point out the irony of dissolving a 'traditional' marriage -- a major 'sin' and affront to the religious beliefs of many -- while concurrently denying gays institutional access on those same theological grounds," he said in an email.

    Mr. Fetterman said civil unions don't go far enough, calling them "the 'colored' drinking fountains of today."

    "Pittsburgh will never fully realize its rightful place as one of this nation's premier cities until the leadership supports same-sex marriage," he said.

    City Councilman Bill Peduto, a likely challenger to Mr. Ravenstahl in next year's election, said he would support Mayors for the Freedom to Marry.

    "Fairness and equality are the basis of this country," he said. "Supporting same-sex marriage is something I've supported throughout my career."

    Gender Gap

    "Democrats Winning Women Across The Board, Polls Show"

    I can't imagine why on earth there's a gender gap...