We are the 99%

October 30, 2013

Mike Pintek and Ann Coulter, BFFs - seriously?

I caught a few minutes of Mike Pintek's show on KDKA yesterday.  I was lucky enough (I suppose) to snag a few minutes of his interview with Ann Coulter.

Why would anyone take Ann Coulter seriously these days?  Let's examine some of the ways she's invalidated herself.

Well there's this:
Slash-and-burn columnist Ann Coulter shocked a cable TV talk-show audience Monday when she declared that Jews need to be "perfected" by becoming Christians, and that America would be better off if everyone were Christian.
And this:
I think the government should be spying on all Arabs, engaging in torture as a televised spectator sport, dropping daisy cutters wantonly throughout the Middle East and sending liberals to Guantanamo.
And finally this:
If we took away women's right to vote, we'd never have to worry about another Democrat president. It's kind of a pipe dream, it's a personal fantasy of mine, but I don't think it's going to happen. And it is a good way of making the point that women are voting so stupidly, at least single women.
THAT'S who Mike Pintek invited onto his air yesterday.  I'll ask it again: In light of the above, why would anyone take her seriously?

Seriously, Mike.  Why?

In any event, they were talking about the recent NBC reporting about the ACA:
President Obama repeatedly assured Americans that after the Affordable Care Act became law, people who liked their health insurance would be able to keep it. But millions of Americans are getting or are about to get cancellation letters for their health insurance under Obamacare, say experts, and the Obama administration has known that for at least three years.
It all has to do with which policies were "grandfathered in" and which comply with ACA regulations.  From NBC again:
Buried in Obamacare regulations from July 2010 is an estimate that because of normal turnover in the individual insurance market, “40 to 67 percent” of customers will not be able to keep their policy. And because many policies will have been changed since the key date, “the percentage of individual market policies losing grandfather status in a given year exceeds the 40 to 67 percent range.”

That means the administration knew that more than 40 to 67 percent of those in the individual market would not be able to keep their plans, even if they liked them.
Mike and Ann were discussing how Obama "lied" by withholding this information until now.

Except that it was reported a few years ago.  Here - THREE YEARS AGO.

Ann made the comment to the effect that had this been a republican president, the Democrats would be saying it's an impeachable offense.

No, Ann.  An impeachable offense would be:
  • Okaying torture
  • Lying to Congress to justify an illegal invasion
  • Sidestepping the FISA court
All of which were committed by the previous republican president.

Why would anyone take Ann Coulter seriously?  And more importantly, Mike, why would you?

October 28, 2013

Now This Is Embarrassing...But Not For The Obvious Reason

From the P-G a few days ago:
A Pittsburgh-based partner at law firm Reed Smith lost his cool on Twitter last week, and lashed out at an account he thought represented the Supreme Court but was in fact a well-established blog.

The Twitter account has since been deleted and the law firm issued a statement that the matter is being reviewed internally.
Which is all well and good, I suppose.  But what exactly happened?

From the Above The Law blog:
It appears that [attorney Steven M.] Regan, mistaking the Twitter feed of SCOTUSblog for an official Twitter feed of the U.S. Supreme Court, wanted to weigh in on the Court’s recent decision to hear a challenge to EPA regulations about greenhouse gas emissions. He originally tweeted: “@SCOTUSblog – Don’t screw up this like ACA. No such thing as greenhouse gas. Carbon is necessary for life.” After SCOTUSblog tweeted back “Intelligent life?”, Regan dropped the F-bomb. (If you’d like, you can read related tweets over here.)
Regan actually tweeted, "Go f@ck yourself and die."

Which is more embarrassing, I wonder?  Mistaking the SCOTUSblog for the Supreme Court or a partner at a prestigious downtown lawfirm making an ass out of himself by using profanity on a completely public forum or...(now wait for it)...using that profanity in that mistaken tweet by communicating to the world his near-total misunderstanding of climate science?

Yea, you can guess where I think Steve Regan embarrassed himself.

October 27, 2013

More On Rick Saccone

This made it to my Facebook account the other day:
Pennsylvania public school districts would be required to post “In God We Trust” in every school building under legislation that advanced out of a committee in the state House of Representatives this week.

The bill sponsored by Rep. Rick Saccone...
Ok, we need to stop here for a second or two.  Remember Rick Saccone?  He's this guy - the Bible-loving, Sharia-hating, torture-excusing Rick Saccone.

Here's the bill, by the way.

And, although I am not a lawyer, I have to guess that it's probably unconstitutional.  And here's why.

We'll start with the Pennsylvania Constitution.  Section 3 states:
All men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences; no man can of right be compelled to attend, erect or support any place of worship or to maintain any ministry against his consent; no human authority can, in any case whatever, control or interfere with the rights of conscience, and no preference shall ever be given by law to any religious establishments or modes of worship.
Take a look at that last phrase.  By slapping the motto on the walls of every public school that's exactly what the outcome.  While the bill does state that:
The Federal 5th, 9th and 10th Circuit Courts have ruled that displaying the national motto passes constitutional muster so long as the purpose of the display is to advance or endorse the national motto rather than a particular religious belief or practice.
Do we really think that Pennsylvania's "Year of the Bible" legislator wants "In God We Trust" posted in every public school as anything other than an endorsement of a set of religious beliefs?

For that we have Torcaso v Watkins (1961) a Supreme Court decision from a little more than a half century ago that included this handy paragraph:
We repeat and again reaffirm that neither a State nor the Federal Government can constitutionally force a person "to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion." Neither can constitutionally pass laws or impose requirements which aid all religions as against non-believers, and neither can aid those religions based on a belief in the existence of God as against those religions founded on different beliefs.
And Lee v Weisman (1992):
In religious debate or expression, the government is not a prime participant, for the Framers deemed religious establishment antithetical to the freedom of all. The Free Exercise Clause embraces a freedom of conscience and worship that has close parallels in the speech provisions of the First Amendment, but the Establishment Clause is a specific prohibition on forms of state intervention in religious affairs, with no precise counterpart in the speech provisions.  The explanation lies in the lesson of history that was and is the inspiration for the Establishment Clause, the lesson that, in the hands of government, what might begin as a tolerant expression of religious views may end in a policy to indoctrinate and coerce. A state-created orthodoxy puts at grave risk that freedom of belief and conscience which are the sole assurance that religious faith is real, not imposed.

The lessons of the First Amendment are as urgent in the modern world as in the 18th century, when it was written. One timeless lesson is that, if citizens are subjected to state-sponsored religious exercises, the State disavows its own duty to guard and respect that sphere of inviolable conscience and belief which is the mark of a free people.[Emphasis added.]
What else could it be than a "state-created orthodoxy" in a public school when a sign that reads "In God We Trust" for all the students to read and to digest?

And who, in fact, are the "we" in this anyway?

October 23, 2013

Peduto Ad's Gone National!

Hey, remember this?  That was when the OPJ blogged on Councilman Bill Peduto's new TV ad.

Well, coverage of the ad has gone national with a story on it at Thinkprogress.

Travis Waldron writes:
Pittsburgh city councilman Bill Peduto, the Democratic nominee to become the city’s next mayor, this week released a new television ad targeting the use of public funds to expand Heinz Field, the home of the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers want the city council’s Stadium and Exhibition Authority to pick up most of the $40 million tab for adding 3,000 seats to the decade-old stadium, but the authority has resisted, arguing that the expansion doesn’t meet the terms of the team’s lease with the city.

In the folksy 30-second ad touting Steeler staples, Peduto outlines it not as a battle between a team and the city, but a question of whether the money should go to the stadium or toward youth programs.

“I’m Bill Peduto, and I’ll cheer with Sax Man for the Steelers,” Peduto says in the ad. “But instead of more money for stadiums, it should go to youth programs. I’ll answer to Coach Jeff and Earl the street sweeper, not the downtown insiders. Some things should never change. But who your mayor fights for will.”
So, who's Thinkprogress?  Here's how it describes itself:
Think Progress is a project of the Center for American Progress Action Fund. The Center for American Progress Action Fund is a nonpartisan organization.

ThinkProgress was voted “Best Liberal Blog” in the 2006 Weblog Awards and chosen as an Official Honoree in the 2009 and 2012 Webby awards. It was also named best blog of 2008 by The Sidney Hillman Foundation, receiving an award for journalism excellence. In 2009, ThinkProgress was named a “Gold Award Winner” by the International Academy of Visual Arts.
So it's the political blog tied to the Center for American Progress and this is how the CAP describes itself:
The Center for American Progress is an independent nonpartisan educational institute dedicated to improving the lives of Americans through progressive ideas and action. Building on the achievements of progressive pioneers such as Teddy Roosevelt and Martin Luther King, our work addresses 21st-century challenges such as energy, national security, economic growth and opportunity, immigration, education, and health care. We develop new policy ideas, critique the policy that stems from conservative values, challenge the media to cover the issues that truly matter, and shape the national debate. Founded in 2003 by John Podesta to provide long-term leadership and support to the progressive movement, CAP is headed by Neera Tanden and based in Washington, D.C.
See?  National political blog of a national progressive think tank.

UPMC Revises Website

 
 
Story here.
 
That's Church's take here

October 22, 2013

Ah...What We Find, When We Dig.

From today's Tuesday Takes:
The prospects for reining in the Obama administration's out-of-control Environmental Protection Agency are brighter because the U.S. Supreme Court will consider whether it has overstepped the authority to regulate “greenhouse gases” it was granted by the justices in 2007's Massachusetts v. EPA .
You'll note, of course, that the irony quotes are there for a reason.  But that's not what we're here for.  Scaife's braintrust does the usual "liberal EPA overstep" dance blah-blah-blah.  But let's take a look at what the Supreme Court actually said:
12-1146 ) UTILITY AIR REGULATORY GROUP V. EPA
12-1248 ) AM. CHEMISTRY COUNCIL, ET AL. V. EPA, ET AL.
12-1254 ) ENERGY-INTENSIVE MANUFACTURERS V. EPA, ET AL.
12-1268 ) SOUTHEASTERN LEGAL FOUNDATION V. EPA, ET AL.
12-1269 ) TEXAS, ET AL. V. EPA, ET AL.
12-1272 ) CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, ET AL. V. EPA, ET AL.

The petitions for writs of certiorari are granted limited to the following question: “Whether EPA permissibly determined that its regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from new motor vehicles triggered permitting requirements under the Clean Air Act for stationary sources that emit greenhouse gases.” The cases are consolidated and a total of one hour is allotted for oral argument.
You'll note that nestled warmly among all the pro-business groups challenging the EPA in the list of cases to be consolidated is something called the "Southeastern Legal Foundation."

Guess who's given more than 58% of all the foundational support to the Southeastern Legal Foundation?

That's right, Tribune-Review owner Richard Mellon Scaife.

According to the Bridgeproject, the Southeastern Legal Foundation has received a total of $3.817 million dollars from various foundations over the years.  $2.225 million of which has come from either the Sarah Scaife or Carthage foundations, both controlled by Tribune-Review owner Richard Mellon Scaife.  Unless my math is wrong, that's a tad more than 58% of the total.

Hmmm...so a legal foundation's challenge to the EPA has made it to the Supreme Court and a conservative editorial board cheers them on - all with no mention whatsoever of the millions that their boss has funneled to it.

Ah, the things you find when you dig, just a little.

October 21, 2013

He's baaaack!

Bill Peduto is back on Pittsburgh's airwaves--along with some neighborhood icons--with a brand new ad. Enjoy:

 

October 18, 2013

Bad News For RM Scaife

We all know how embedded Richard Mellon Scaife is with the Heritage Foundation.  The owner of the Tribune-Review is vice chairman of the board of trustees and his foundations have given wads of sweaty money (at least $24 million worth) to that venerable rightwing think tank.

But yesterday, Senator Orrin Hatch called them out:


The important part:
Heritage used to be the conservative organization helping Republicans and helping conservatives and helping us to be able to have the best intellectual conservative ideas. There's a real question on the minds of many Republicans now, and I'm not just thinking for myself, for a lot of people - is Heritage going to go so political that it doesn't amount to anything anymore? I hope not. I'm going to try to help survive and do well. But right now I think it's in danger of losing its clout and its power around Washington, DC.
Uh-oh.

So what's Scaife's braintrust gonna now do with Orrin?  Only last August they praised him for this speech on the Senate Floor.

Like the rest of the GOP's internal arguments, this'll be fun to watch.

October 17, 2013

The VOTE

Ok, so the disaster's been avoided.  For now.

From the AP (by way of the P-G):
Up against a deadline, Congress passed and sent a waiting President Barack Obama legislation late Wednesday night to avoid a threatened national default and end the 16-day partial government shutdown, the culmination of an epic political drama that placed the U.S. economy at risk.

The Senate voted first, a bipartisan 81-18 at midevening. That cleared the way for a final 285-144 vote in the Republican-controlled House about two hours later on the bill, which hewed strictly to the terms Obama laid down when the twin crises erupted more than three weeks ago.
In The House, they made a few changes. From the NYTimes:
Most House Republicans opposed the bill, but 87 voted to support it. The breakdown showed that Republican leaders were willing to violate their informal rule against advancing bills that do not have majority Republican support in order to end the shutdown. All 198 Democrats voting supported the measure.
So they sidestepped the Hastert Rule.  Interesting.  Here's how the AP characterizes the bill:
Simplicity at the end, there was next to nothing in the agreement beyond authorization for the Treasury to resume borrowing and funding for the government to reopen.
But I'm more interested in the 18 Senators and 144 House members who voted against the bill.

Against a bill that averted a national default (and the resulting economic chaos that was sure to follow).  Against a bill to reopen the guv'ment (allowing hundreds of thousands of guv'ment employees to get back to work).  Who could possibly vote against that?

Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey, Pennsylvania House Members Scott Perry, Joseph Pitts, and of course, Keith Rothfus, that's who.

They voted to keep the memorials closed, they voted to damage the nation's credit rating and send the world into another economic crisis.

All in a stupid attempt to stop the Affordable Care Act.

Something to remember when they're up for re-election.  Or they're quoted in the news about anything.

October 15, 2013

More On Sarah Palin

Hey, remember when Sarah Palin said this?
Our vets have proven that they have not been timid, so we will not be timid in calling out any who would use our military, our vets, as pawns in a political game.
I touched on this yesterday.

Guess who else thinks she's the one using our nation's vets as pawns?  The organizers of the march she and the tea party "hijacked" (their term, not mine, though it certainly fits).  Take a look from their webpage:
The political agenda put forth by a local organizer in Washington DC was not in alignment with our message. We feel disheartened that some would seek to hijack the narrative for political gain. The core principle is about all Americans honoring Veterans in a peaceful and apolitical manner.
So I ask in passing, who's using the vets as pawns in a political game?
  • Sarah Palin
  • Ted Cruz
  • The Tea Party
  • The GOP
  • Anyone else who brought about (or who supported) the governmental shutdown but is now protesting the barricades at the veterans' memorials
I'll let Martin Bashir sum it all up fer y'inz:
It’s time now to clear the air, and in today’s edition of pretense and hypocrisy, we bring you an act of such brazen dishonesty and speciousness that it’s hard to know where to begin.
Couldn't have put it better myself.  But I guess that's why Bashir gets the big bucks to be on TV and I'm late for my office job.

October 14, 2013

So WHO Could Have Stopped The Shutdown BUT DIDN'T?

This happened this weekend (from FoxNews)
Veterans marched on Sunday in Washington in protest of the partial government shutdown that has kept them and other Americans from visiting war memorials across the country, with support from several star conservatives.

“This is the people's memorial,” Texas Sen. Ted Cruz told a crowd of several hundred gathered near the WWII Memorial on the closed National Mall, which has become a national symbol of the shutdown and the country’s response. “Simple question: Why is the federal government spending money to keep veterans out of the memorial? Why did they spend money to keep people out of Mount Vernon, Mount Rushmore? Our veterans should be above political games.”
Yes, they should be.  But it's the Ted Cruz and the Republicans who are playing right now.  You'll see in a minute.

Then there's this from the Wall Street Journal:
“Mr. Obama, Take down this fence,” yelled Aaron Everett of Pittsburgh, Pa. Asked why he was there, he said, “I don’t want to be told what I have to buy or what memorials I can’t see.” Several protesters said they sought to impeach the president and that they blamed him for the government shutdown.
You'll note the Reagan paraphrase as well the (possible) reference to the Individual Mandate section of the Affordable Care Act (which his news sources has failed to inform Mr Everett that it is actually an idea from the Scaife-funded Conservative Heritage Foundation).  Then there's the call for impeachment.  Why?  What's the high crime and/or misdemeanor?

Didn't they know that the House Republican leadership could have stopped the shutdown but didn't?

Let's go see how.

From Talkingpointsmemo:
Late on the night of Sept. 30, with the federal government just hours away from shutting down, House Republicans quietly made a small change to the House rules that blocked a potential avenue for ending the shutdown.
And here's the rule in it's original shut-down form this is "Clause 4 of Rule XXII" of the House Rules:
When the stage of disagreement has been reached on a bill or resolution with House or Senate amendments, a motion to dispose of any amendment shall be privileged.
TPM explains:
In other words, if the House and Senate are gridlocked as they were on the eve of the shutdown, any motion from any member to end that gridlock should be allowed to proceed. Like, for example, a motion to vote on the Senate bill. That's how House Democrats read it.
And this is how they changed it:
Any motion pursuant to clause 4 of rule XXII relating to House Joint Resolution 59 may be offered only by the Majority Leader or his designee.[Emphasis added.]
Meaning:
So unless House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) wanted the Senate spending bill to come to the floor, it wasn't going to happen. And it didn't.
And Speaker Boehner could end the shutdown today if he wanted to.  He has the votes to end it but still chooses not to.

Of course it's all here:


Of course it is.

October 11, 2013

Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due. Again.

Don't normally agree with the Trib's Eric Heyl, but he's 100%, absolutely, totally and without any sort of snarky bloggery sarcasm, completely correct with this column.

Here, I'll let Eric frame the argument:
There's due process, then there's overdue process.

Chuck McCullough's criminal case long ago turned into a protracted process whose resolution is ridiculously overdue.
And:
McCullough, 58, an Upper St. Clair attorney, is accused of bilking an elderly client, the late Shirley Jordan, out of more than $200,000. He was arrested in February 2009. That was 56 months ago.[Emphasis added.]
If I may point out something, if you google "Chuck McCullough arrested" you will get, on top of google's search list, this blog post - the date was February 9, 2009.

That was only 20 days after the President Obama's first inauguration.  Think of that for a second.  The Kenyan Socialist President's time in the White House exceeds McCullough's post-arrest-pre-trial time by a skosh under three weeks.  Think of all that's happened in that administration in those 56 weeks.
  • American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (February 17, 2009)
  • Cash for Clunkers (August 6, 2009)
  • The Nobel Peace Prize (October 9, 2009)
  • The Affordable Health Care Act (March 23, 2010)
  • Don't Ask Don't Tell Repeal Act (December 22, 2010)
And so on.

What movies were were released after Chuck McCullough was arrested?
  • Avatar (Premiered December, 2009)
  • Both Star Trek films (April, 2009 and April, 2013)
So you remember seeing Avatar in the theatre?  However long ago you think that was, Chuck McCullough was arrested before that happened.

And so on.

Eric ends with:
If he hasn't succumbed to old age by the time the trial begins, McCullough might be sorely inconvenienced attempting to attend the proceedings. It wouldn't be the relatively quick commute from his home in Alpha Centauri that would prove irksome.
I'm glad Eric brought this up.  Did you know that Alpha Cenari is 4.37 light years away?  That's about 53 months.

So if they had sensitive enough equipment and if that sensitive enough equipment is pointed our way and if they could understand Pittsburghese, the residents on whatever planets that may be circling around Alpha Centauri are just hearing the news about Chuck McCullough's arrest.

Think about that.

October 10, 2013

PodCamp Video!

For those of you who missed my talk at this year's PodCamp (and you know who you are) here's the video. If you'd rather not sit through possibly THE most boring 46 minutes ever recorded in human history (and this includes the recorded performances of Yves Klein's Monotone Symphony) I can send you a copy of the paper I wrote.

Or you can watch the video:

Politician or Porn-itician?


Rachel Maddow and Michael Strahan guessed whether photos shown to them by Andy Cohen were porn stars or a politicians last night on Bravo's Watch What Happens Live show. And while they correctly identified a photo of Brian Sims as a politician, Rachel could not have been more wrong on Sims' views. She said of Sims, "He looks like the guy who's the head of the anti gay marriage group."

Whoops! Wrong, Rachel. You owe Brian a big apology!

Sims is a Democratic member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in the 182nd district and was the first openly gay person elected to that body. He's very much pro same-sex marriage and an activist for LGBTQI rights. In fact, he introduced HB1686, the Pennsylvania Marriage Equality Act earlier this month. Moreover, he gained the ire of Daryl Metcalfe (always a good sign!) and got some national press with this:
In June 2013, after the Defense of Marriage Act had been ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, Sims tried to make a speech in the Pennsylvania House supporting the decision. Daryl Metcalfe, who was one of several representatives who blocked Sims from speaking, said ”I did not believe that as a member of that body that I should allow someone to make comments such as he was preparing to make that ultimately were just open rebellion against what the word of God has said, what God has said, and just open rebellion against God’s law.”
Sims was all over the Pittsburgh region in the last couple of days advocating for the end of discrimination against gays.

He's also appeared on Rachel's show in the past.

October 7, 2013

Release Your Inner Zombie at the CHS Benefit Party!

 
Community Human Services Corporation (CHS) serves the Pittsburgh community by providing a wide variety of services to ensure that thousands of children, seniors, veterans and adults can meet their basic needs when it comes to housing, mental health support, health care and more. Founded in the early 1970s by concerned South Oakland residents, the organization has grown over the years to become one of the region’s leaders in providing services that enhance people’s lives and improve communities.

They need your help to continue giving their help and they're making it as fun and entertaining as possible by throwing a benefit party...Zombie Style!
On October 19, 2013 from 7 p.m. to midnight CHS will host a party—No One Survives Alone: A Benefit Party with Zombies—at Clear Story Studios at 1931 Sidney Street on Pittsburgh’s South Side. All funds raised through the ticket sales and raffle items will help CHS serve thousands of area families. No One Survives Alone is made possible through a generous sponsorship by Yuengling.  
CHS wants you to have fun with this party. Have you long dreamed of dressing up like a zombie prom queen, but never had the chance? Here’s your opportunity. Fancy yourself the defender of the human race? Feel free to dress as a zombie hunter (though no weapons, fake or real; let’s be reasonable in our fun). Feel like you work best in a cocktail dress or a dress shirt? No need to dress like an extra of the Night of the Living Dead. Not sure how to get in character? CHS will have a professional makeup artist on site to help you out. The most important part is to come ready to enjoy yourself with food, drinks and music to support a good cause.
Tickets are available in advance for $50, but they will go up to $60 at the door, so purchase yours now online here!


It's their party and they'll do what they want

October 4, 2013

Keith Rothfus And The Suicide Caucus

By the way, the "suicide" rhetoric come not from the left but from the right - Charles Krauthammer:
Pulitzer Prize-winning conservative columnist and regular Fox News panelist Charles Krauthammer warned over the weekend that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) was leading Republicans on a “suicide” mission to defund President Barack Obama’s health reform law with an attempted government shutdown.
And:
“It would be over a cliff for the GOP,” Krauthammer said on Sunday’s edition Inside Washington. “I admire the sincerity and the passion of those who don’t want to pass the budget unless you get rid of Obamacare, but it is utterly impossible in the real world. And the only thing it will do is to undo all the gains the Republicans have made over the past year, and undo their very real chances of having great successes next year.”

“I think it’s a suicide caucus, and I hope enough of them will realize that so that [House Speaker John Boehner] will have a majority, even if it’s a bare majority, to pass a continuing resolution,” he added.
Recently, the P-G called out some local House Members on their tea-party affiliations:
The shutdown of the federal government shouldn't be dismissed in the cliched terms of "those people in Washington." Some of those people live right here. They are our members in the dysfunctional House of Representatives who have now exported their dysfunction to the nation.

Republican Reps. Keith Rothfus of Sewickley, Tim Murphy of Upper St. Clair, Mike Kelly of Butler and Bill Shuster of Blair County -- we're talking about you.

Do you think of yourselves as extremists? No? Then what are you doing siding with Tea Party radicals who have dragged the Republican Party to one extreme -- shutting down the federal government -- and who may embrace the ultimate craziness, default on the federal debt later this month?
There's one name on that list that also shows up on this letter to Speaker Boehner: Keith Rothfus.

Apart from signing a letter that contains this gut shearing bit of historical revisionism:
Moreover, the Internal Revenue Service, an agency now publicly known to have deliberately discriminated against conservative entities, pro-Israel groups and other organizations...
Yea, as we already know those "other organizations" were liberal groups.  But let's move on to this:
Since much of the implementation of ObamaCare is a function of the discretionary appropriations process, including the operation of the “mandatory spending” portions of the law, and since most of the citizens we represent believe that ObamaCare should never go into effect, we urge you to affirmatively de-fund the implementation and enforcement of ObamaCare in any relevant appropriations bill brought to the House floor in the l l31h Congress, including any continuing appropriations bill.
So one of the local people we have to thank for the guv'ment shut down is Representative Keith Rothfus, we should let him know how good a job we think he's doing.

Or we could, except it doesn't look like he accepts email from outside his district.

Here's his DC info:
Washington, D.C. Office
503 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-2065
Fax: (202) 225-5709
Hours: 8:30AM - 6:00PM
We should all call him and thank him for helping to shut down the guv'ment.

October 3, 2013

Congressman Mike Doyle Knows His Internet Memes!

And puts them to great use -- good on him!

UPDATE: And Congress just went into recess because of reports of shots fired near/around the Capitol--so much for a lighthearted post...

PodCamp 2013 Announcement

Will you be attending PodCamp this October 5?

I'll be there - I'm doing this:
In the wake of recent revelations by Eric Snowden and Glenn Greenwald about the world wide electronic surveillance carried out by the National Security Agency, what are the legal limits of our privacy online? What data have they been gathering, how have they been gathering it and what does that all mean?
Just a note for our friends in the intelligence community: Everything I'll be discussing comes from published sources.  That is to say, nothing's from Anonymous or Wikileaks.  But I suspect you already know that.

Just a note for Anonymous: Hey guys.  Drop me a line sometime.  I'd love to hear from you.

Sue Kerr's hosting a session too.  As is Thomas C Waters.


October 1, 2013

More On GOP House Members And Their Tea Party Overlords

From The President of the United States Of America:
At midnight last night, for the first time in 17 years, Republicans in Congress chose to shut down the federal government. Let me be more specific: One faction, of one party, in one house of Congress, in one branch of government, shut down major parts of the government -- all because they didn't like one law.

This Republican shutdown did not have to happen. But I want every American to understand why it did happen. Republicans in the House of Representatives refused to fund the government unless we defunded or dismantled the Affordable Care Act. They've shut down the government over an ideological crusade to deny affordable health insurance to millions of Americans. In other words, they demanded ransom just for doing their job.
Can we start calling the Tea Party Caucus zealots from now on?  How about bullies?  How about ignorant ideologues who have no idea what governing means?

I am surprised they didn't demand the president's REAL birth certificate (or a confession for Benghazi, or the IRS or Climategate) as a prerequisite for "bipartisan negotiations" where they get everything they want and the twice elected president gets nothing in return.

Obligatory Pittsburgh Post

Shutdown

Yes, the federal government has been shut down. Here's Jon Stewart's great take on it. The only thing missing from it is the fact that there are enough votes in the House to pass a clean Senate bill. The blame lies with 30 to 60 representatives--call them, oh I don't know, TEA PARTY members--and House Speaker John Boehner who fears them.

 
(If you're in Pittsburgh, you can learn more about the Affordable Care Act at this event today.)