What Fresh Hell Is This?

May 31, 2019

More On Trump's Thin Skin

From The New York Times:
The White House’s directive to hide a Navy destroyer named after Senator John McCain during President Trump’s recent visit to a naval base in Japan was driven, administration officials said on Thursday, by a fear of bad visuals — the name of the president’s nemesis clearly visible in photographs of him.

In truth, it would have been a bad visual for only one person: Mr. Trump.

Yet an effort to airbrush an American warship by covering its name with a giant tarp and then hiding it with a barge demonstrates how anxious the Trump administration has become about the grudges of the president. It also shows the extraordinary lengths officials in the bureaucracy are willing to go to avoid provoking Mr. Trump.
And:
The hide-the-ship scheme, which Mr. Trump insisted he knew nothing about but called a “well meaning” gesture, drew a torrent of criticism on Thursday from retired military officers. They said it was an egregious attempt to politicize the armed forces, while Democratic lawmakers termed it petty vindictiveness against a dead war hero.
The orange snowflake called it a "well meaning" gesture and yet also tweeted this:
What part is fake? The White House DID ask The Navy to obscure the name "John McCain" in order to avoid a Trump tantrum. The fact that The Navy ultimately didn't do it doesn't change things.

They still did this:
When several sailors from the McCain — wearing uniforms that bore the ship’s name and insignia — turned up anyway at the Wasp to hear Mr. Trump’s speech, they were turned away, the service member said. The service member, who requested anonymity because he was not allowed to speak publicly, said that a gate guard told the two sailors they were not allowed on the Wasp because they were from the McCain.


Donny, the petty little orange snowflake.

May 30, 2019

Snowflake Donald Trump

From The NYTimes:
The White House asked the Navy to hide a destroyer named after Senator John McCain in order to avoid having the ship appear in photographs taken while President Trump was visiting Japan this week, White House and military officials said Wednesday.

Although Navy officials insisted they did not hide the ship, the John S. McCain, they did give all of the sailors aboard the day off on Tuesday as Mr. Trump visited Yokosuka Naval Base.
And From The Washington Post:
The White House asked Navy officials to obscure the USS John S. McCain while President Trump was visiting Japan, Pentagon and White House officials said Wednesday night.

A senior Navy official confirmed he was aware that someone at the White House sent a message to service officials in the Pacific requesting that the USS John McCain be kept out of the picture while the president was there. That led to photographs taken Friday of a tarp obscuring the McCain name, said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.

When senior Navy officials grasped what was happening, they directed Navy personnel who were present to stop, the senior official said. The tarp was removed on Saturday, before Trump’s visit, he added.
The USS John McCain was originally named for the late Senator's father and grandfather, both Navy admirals and both named John McCain.

The decision to hide or otherwise obscure The McCain from the orange snowflake's easily triggered view is an insult to TWO Navy admirals, ONE US Senator and all the men and women who served onboard her over the years.

All to protect the fragile ego of a man who opted out of his own military service with five deferments - one for his fake bone spurs.

Robert Mueller and Donald Trump, Yesterday

Mueller said:
The order appointing me special counsel authorized us to investigate actions that could obstruct the investigation. We conducted that investigation, and we kept the office of the acting attorney general apprised of the progress of our work. And as set forth in the report, after that investigation, if we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so. We did not, however, make a determination as to whether the president did commit a crime.

The introduction to the Volume II of our report explains that decision. It explains that under longstanding department policy, a president cannot be charged with a federal crime while he is in office. That is unconstitutional. Even if the charge is kept under seal and hidden from public view, that, too, is prohibited. A special counsel’s office is part of the Department of Justice, and by regulation, it was bound by that department policy. Charging the president with a crime was therefore not an option we could consider.
Trump responded:
Of course, Trump's full of bullshit.

May 29, 2019

And Now ANOTHER Message From Michigan REPUBLICAN Justin Amash

Remember this? Representative Amash has more. This is one brave republican.

But look, he has the support of his constituents - he got a standing O last night after posting this:
Attorney General Barr has deliberately misrepresented key aspects of Mueller’s report and decisions in the investigation, which has helped further the president’s false narrative about the investigation.

After receiving Mueller’s report, Barr wrote and released a letter on March 24 describing Barr’s own decision not to indict the president for obstruction of justice. That letter selectively quotes and summarizes points in Mueller’s report in misleading ways.

Mueller’s report says he chose not to decide whether Trump broke the law because there’s an official DoJ opinion that indicting a sitting president is unconstitutional, and because of concerns about impacting the president’s ability to govern and pre-empting possible impeachment.

Barr’s letter doesn’t mention those issues when explaining why Mueller chose not to make a prosecutorial decision. He instead selectively quotes Mueller in a way that makes it sound—falsely—as if Mueller’s decision stemmed from legal/factual issues specific to Trump’s actions.

But, in fact, Mueller finds considerable evidence that several of Trump’s actions detailed in the report meet the elements of obstruction, and Mueller’s constitutional and prudential issues with indicting a sitting president would preclude indictment regardless of what he found.

In noting why Barr thought the president’s intent in impeding the investigation was insufficient to establish obstruction, Barr selectively quotes Mueller to make it sound as if his analysis was much closer to Barr’s analysis than it actually was:

Barr quotes Mueller saying the evidence didn’t establish that Trump was personally involved in crimes related to Russian election interference, and Barr then claims that Mueller found that fact relevant to whether the president had the intent to obstruct justice.

But Mueller’s quote is taken from a section in which he describes other improper motives Trump could have had and notes: “The injury to the integrity of the justice system is the same regardless of whether a person committed an underlying wrong.” None of that is in Barr’s letter.

As a result of Barr’s March 24 letter, the public and Congress were misled. Mueller himself notes this in a March 27 letter to Barr, saying that Barr’s letter “did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance of this Office’s work and conclusions.”

Mueller: “There is now public confusion about critical aspects of the results of our investigation. This threatens to undermine a central purpose for which the Department appointed the Special Counsel: to assure full public confidence in the outcome of the investigations.”

To “alleviate the misunderstandings that have arisen,” Mueller urged the release of the report’s introductions and executive summaries, which he had told Barr “accurately summarize [Mueller’s] Office’s work and conclusions.”

Barr declined; he allowed the confusion to fester and only released the materials three weeks later with the full redacted report. In the interim, Barr testified before a House committee and was misleading about his knowledge of Mueller’s concerns:

Barr was asked about reports “that members of [Mueller’s] team are frustrated…with the limited information included in your March 24th letter, that it does not adequately or accurately necessarily portray the report’s findings. Do you know what they’re referencing with that?”

Barr absurdly replied: “No, I don’t…I suspect that they probably wanted more put out.” Yet Mueller had directly raised those concerns to Barr, and Barr says he “suspect[s]” they “probably” wanted more materials put out, as if Mueller hadn’t directly told him that.

In subsequent statements and testimony, Barr used further misrepresentations to help build the president’s false narrative that the investigation was unjustified.

Barr notes that Mueller did not “find any conspiracy to violate U.S. law involving Russia-linked persons and any persons associated with the Trump campaign.” He then declares that Mueller found “no collusion” and implies falsely that the investigation was baseless.

But whether there’s enough evidence for a conviction of a specific crime which Mueller thought was appropriate to charge is a different and much higher standard than whether the people whom Mueller investigated had done anything worthy of investigation.

In truth, Mueller’s report describes concerning contacts between members of Trump’s campaign and people in or connected to the Russian government.

For instance, Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, and Jared Kushner took a meeting with a Russian lawyer whom Trump Jr. had been told worked for the Russian government and would provide documents to “incriminate Hillary,” as part of the Russian government’s “support for Mr. Trump.”

It’s wrong to suggest that the fact that Mueller did not choose to indict anyone for this means there wasn’t a basis to investigate whether it amounted to a crime or “collusion,” or whether it was in fact part of Russia’s efforts to help Trump’s candidacy.

Barr says the White House “fully cooperated” with the investigation and that Mueller “never sought” or “pushed” to get more from the president, but the report says Mueller unsuccessfully sought an interview with the president for over a year.

The report says the president’s counsel was told that interviewing him was “vital” to Mueller’s investigation and that it would be in the interest of the public and the presidency. Still Trump refused.

The president instead gave written answers to questions submitted by the special counsel. Those answers are often incomplete or unresponsive. Mueller found them “inadequate” and again sought to interview the president.

Ultimately, the special counsel “recogniz[ed] that the President would not be interviewed voluntarily” and chose not to subpoena him because of concerns that the resulting “potentially lengthy constitutional litigation” would delay completion of the investigation.

Barr has so far successfully used his position to sell the president’s false narrative to the American people. This will continue if those who have read the report do not start pushing back on his misrepresentations and share the truth.
One brave republican. Just one, so far.

May 28, 2019

My HUNDRED AND TENTH Open Letter To Senator Pat Toomey

I'll be dropping this letter to Senator Pat Toomey in the mail today:
Dear Senator Toomey:

It's me, again - the constituent who writes for the local Pittsburgh-based political blog, "2 Political Junkies."

This past Memorial Day weekend we saw, in the words of Republican House Member Adam Kinzinger, Donald Trump "taking a shot at Biden while praising a dictator." In this case, it was North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un.

Kizinger said this is "just plain wrong."

Do you agree with Congressman Kizinger? And if so, how can you keep supporting Donald Trump and his administration?

If you don't agree with Congressman Kizinger, why the heck not?

Thank you and I await your response.
And I will be posting whatever response I get from him or his office.


Follow-up:

May 24, 2019

Yesterday, From Mike Doyle (D-18)

A tweet:
No one is above the law.

The subpoenas are not optional.

May 23, 2019

Meanwhile, Outside

From the scientists at NOAA:
For a second consecutive month, the global land and ocean surface temperature was the second highest for April since global records began in 1880. April's temperature departure of 0.93°C (1.67°F) above the 20th century average ranked second to April 2016 (+1.08°C / +1.94°F). April 2019 marks the 412th consecutive month and the 43rd consecutive April with temperatures, at least nominally, above the 20th century average. The global land and ocean temperature for April tied with September 2015 as the 11th highest monthly temperature departure from average among all months (1,672 months) on record. The 10 highest monthly temperatures departures from average have all occurred since 2015.
Meanwhile the decidedly non-scientist sitting in the White House said in late January:
Mr. [Piers] Morgan: Do you believe in climate change? Do you think it exists?

Mr. Trump: There is a cooling and there is a heating, and I mean, look: It used to not be climate change. It used to be global warming.

Mr. Morgan: Right.

Mr. Trump: Right? That wasn’t working too well, because it was getting too cold all over the place. The ice caps were going to melt, they were going to be gone by now, but now they’re setting records, O.K., they’re at a record level.
Like so many other things (more than 10,000), he's completely wrong about this.

May 21, 2019

My HUNDRED AND NINTH Open Letter To Senator Pat Toomey

I'll be dropping this letter to Senator Pat Toomey in the mail today:
Dear Senator Toomey:

It's me, again - the constituent who writes for the local Pittsburgh-based political blog, "2 Political Junkies."

I think we have to continue our discussion of Congressional oversight.

Donald Trump (or at least his attorneys) are arguing that Congress has no authority to investigate him as there are no specific legislative purposes for doing so. And from that they've refused to comply with a number subpoenas issued by a number of congressional committees.

But if they're right, then that would seem to undermine all those Watergate and Whitewater investigations, right?

So are you in agreement with the defense? Or do you agree that the Congress does have the authority to investigate Donald Trump?

Thank you and I await your response.
And I will be posting whatever response I get from him or his office.


Follow-up:

May 20, 2019

And Now A Message From A Michigan REPUBLICAN

Here it is, from Twitter all in one place:
Here are my principal conclusions: 1. Attorney General Barr has deliberately misrepresented Mueller’s report. 2. President Trump has engaged in impeachable conduct. 3. Partisanship has eroded our system of checks and balances. 4. Few members of Congress have read the report.

I offer these conclusions only after having read Mueller’s redacted report carefully and completely, having read or watched pertinent statements and testimony, and having discussed this matter with my staff, who thoroughly reviewed materials and provided me with further analysis.

In comparing Barr’s principal conclusions, congressional testimony, and other statements to Mueller’s report, it is clear that Barr intended to mislead the public about Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s analysis and findings.

Barr’s misrepresentations are significant but often subtle, frequently taking the form of sleight-of-hand qualifications or logical fallacies, which he hopes people will not notice.

Under our Constitution, the president “shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” While “high Crimes and Misdemeanors” is not defined, the context implies conduct that violates the public trust.

Contrary to Barr’s portrayal, Mueller’s report reveals that President Trump engaged in specific actions and a pattern of behavior that meet the threshold for impeachment.

In fact, Mueller’s report identifies multiple examples of conduct satisfying all the elements of obstruction of justice, and undoubtedly any person who is not the president of the United States would be indicted based on such evidence.

Impeachment, which is a special form of indictment, does not even require probable cause that a crime (e.g., obstruction of justice) has been committed; it simply requires a finding that an official has engaged in careless, abusive, corrupt, or otherwise dishonorable conduct.

While impeachment should be undertaken only in extraordinary circumstances, the risk we face in an environment of extreme partisanship is not that Congress will employ it as a remedy too often but rather that Congress will employ it so rarely that it cannot deter misconduct.

Our system of checks and balances relies on each branch’s jealously guarding its powers and upholding its duties under our Constitution. When loyalty to a political party or to an individual trumps loyalty to the Constitution, the Rule of Law—the foundation of liberty—crumbles.

We’ve witnessed members of Congress from both parties shift their views 180 degrees—on the importance of character, on the principles of obstruction of justice—depending on whether they’re discussing Bill Clinton or Donald Trump.

Few members of Congress even read Mueller’s report; their minds were made up based on partisan affiliation—and it showed, with representatives and senators from both parties issuing definitive statements on the 448-page report’s conclusions within just hours of its release.

America’s institutions depend on officials to uphold both the rules and spirit of our constitutional system even when to do so is personally inconvenient or yields a politically unfavorable outcome. Our Constitution is brilliant and awesome; it deserves a government to match it.
It's now bipartisan.

May 19, 2019

Pro-Choice Richard Mellon Scaife, Down The Memory Hole At The Tribune-Review?

Now this is interesting.

First, what's a "memory hole" anyway?  The name goes back (like a lot of this) to George Orwell and 1984. The main character of the novel, Winston Smith, works in the "Ministry of Truth" where he rewrites history to correspond with new government policies.  The memory holes were for destruction of the old documents. Orwell's description:
In the walls of the cubicle there were three orifices. To the right of the speakwrite, a small pneumatic tube for written messages, to the left, a larger one for newspapers; and in the side wall, within easy reach of Winston's arm, a large oblong slit protected by a wire grating. This last was for the disposal of waste paper. Similar slits existed in thousands or tens of thousands throughout the building, not only in every room but at short intervals in every corridor. For some reason they were nicknamed memory holes. When one knew that any document was due for destruction, or even when one saw a scrap of waste paper lying about, it was an automatic action to lift the flap of the nearest memory hole and drop it in, whereupon it would be whirled away on a current of warm air to the enormous furnaces which were hidden somewhere in the recesses of the building.
By now it's a metaphor for the willful "forgetting" of a truth that doesn't correspond to the current worldview.

Why am I starting here?  After the recent events and its crescendo of attacks on womens' personal sovereignty, I wanted to revisit an Op-Ed from Richard Mellon Scaife (1932-2014), Before he died he (and the foundations he controlled) were some of the main funding streams for right wing conservative advocacy (The Heritage Foundation, for one). His conservative bona fides are solid as solid can be.

On February 27, 2011, I posted this - "giving credit where credit is due" to Scaife for publishing a column at the Trib that called for other conservatives to oppose defunding Planned Parenthood.

Yes, you read that right. Along with funding the Christopher Ruddy and the Clinton Project, along with funding The Heritage Foundation, conservative Scaife supported Planned Parenthood.

He wrote back then:
I met [Margaret] Sanger several times before her death in 1966 and was impressed by her intellect and her commitment to many issues, not the least of which was enabling every woman to be "the absolute mistress of her own body," as she put it.
What would Scaife think of the current abortion laws recently enacted in Alabama, Georgia and Ohio?

On conservatives' opposition to abortion and support for defunding Planned Parenthood, Scaife wrote:
On this issue, Republicans and conservatives are dead wrong.
So I guess that's a clue.

Here's the thing. The column was called "Don't Defund Planned Parenthood" and I linked to it in my blog post.

Go try the link. See what's there.

There's nothing there. The column's been moved. That in itself might not be a bid deal. Sometimes newspapers do that, I suppose, to save server memory for more active and current stuff. They'll move old material onto an "archive" server.

Like this - it's a letter disagreeing with Scaife's Planned Parenthood piece from a few days later.

And now the money-shot: I can't find Scaife's piece at his former newspaper.

Can anyone? I've gone through, google, the search function at the Trib AND the google advanced search, using both triblive.com AND archive.triblive.com and came up with the null set.

But it did make the rounds of various parts of the mediaverse. There's record of it at:
There's even a record that Scaife put out a full page ad in the Wall Street Journal.

Here's what it looked like.

So why can't I find it at The Tribune-Review?

May 18, 2019

HR 5 - Who Supports, Who Doesn't (Western PA Edition)

A day or so ago, I noticed this on Facebook:


So let's go see what HR 5 has to say.

The summary at Thomas.gov:
This bill prohibits discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity in areas including public accommodations and facilities, education, federal funding, employment, housing, credit, and the jury system. Specifically, the bill defines and includes sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity among the prohibited categories of discrimination or segregation.

The bill expands the definition of public accommodations to include places or establishments that provide (1) exhibitions, recreation, exercise, amusement, gatherings, or displays; (2) goods, services, or programs; and (3) transportation services.

The bill allows the Department of Justice to intervene in equal protection actions in federal court on account of sexual orientation or gender identity.

The bill prohibits an individual from being denied access to a shared facility, including a restroom, a locker room, and a dressing room, that is in accordance with the individual's gender identity.
Now let's go see who voted for/against this bill.

There are 6 Congressional districts in Western PA:
  • PA13: John Joyce (R) voted against
  • PA14: Guy Reschenthaler (R) voted against
  • PA15: Glenn Thompson (R) voted against
  • PA16: Mike Kelly (R) voted against
  • PA17: Conor Lamb (D) voted for
  • PA18: Mike Doyle (D) voted for
So the next time Representative Joyce, Reschenthaler, Thompson, or Kelly try to tell you they support freedom and equality, remind them of this vote - where they voted in favor of LGBT discrimination.

May 17, 2019

Congressman Mike Doyle's Statement on The Alabama Abortion Law

Before they rearranged the congressional districts, Mike Doyle was my representative.

Here he is speaking the truth:
I fear that in Trump's America with the full backing of his political party, the cruelty is the point.

May 16, 2019

A Woman's Right To Choose.

I'm just getting out of the way here:
And:
I'll just leave that here for you.

May 15, 2019

Now That Roe V Wade Seems To Be Back On The Table

When is it ever morally acceptable to force a woman to be pregnant when she does not wish to be?

Or - 

When is it ever morally acceptable to veto a woman's decision to end her own pregnancy? By whose authority?

An embryo is not a human being. A fetus is not a human being. If you believe otherwise, fine, but you still do not have the right to use that belief to stop a woman who wishes to end her pregnancy.

It is her decision and, quite frankly, none of your fucking business.

May 14, 2019

My HUNDRED AND EIGHTH Open Letter To Senator Pat Toomey

I'll be dropping this letter to Senator Pat Toomey in the mail today:
Dear Senator Toomey:

It's me, again - the constituent who writes for the local Pittsburgh-based political blog, "2 Political Junkies."

As you may already know, Donald Trump Jr. has been subpoenaed by the (Republican led) Senate Intelligence Committee. They reportedly want to ask him about some testimony he gave related to the Trump Tower meeting with the Russians now that it's been contradicted by the Mueller report. (Have you read the report, by the way? It doesn't exonerate the leader of your party on obstruction of justice. Did you know that?)

Recently, your colleague Senator Lindsey Graham (R-GA) has said in an interview that Donald Trump jr. should ignore the subpoena. The senator has since backtracked and said Trump should just "plead the fifth."

I am curious about your take on all this. In our system of co-equal branches of government where each branch serves as a balance to the others how healthy is it for our democracy for one branch (in this case yours) to abandon its Constitutionally mandated function of governmental oversight? A sitting senator advising a private citizen to ignore a Senate subpoena in order to protect a president from congressional oversight?

Are you OK with that?

Thank you and I await your response.
And I will be posting whatever response I get from him or his office.


Follow-up:

May 10, 2019

ESSENTIALLY No Obstruction?

I'll just leave this year for y'inz:
Interesting that Trump would throw in that word now.

May 9, 2019

The House Judiciary Committe Votes On Contempt (Guy Reschenthaler Edition)

From The NYTimes:
The House Judiciary Committee voted Wednesday to recommend that the House hold Attorney General William P. Barr in contempt of Congress for failing to turn over Robert S. Mueller III’s unredacted report, hours after President Trump asserted executive privilege to shield the full report and underlying evidence from Congress.

The committee’s 24-to-16 contempt vote, taken after hours of debate over the future of American democracy, was the first official House action to punish a government official in the standoff over the Mueller report. The Justice Department denounced the move as unnecessary and intended to stoke a fight.
And then there's this from Roll Call:
The resolution, approved on a 24-16 roll call vote along party lines...
Which means that all the "Yes" votes were from the Democrats and all the "No" votes from the Republicans.

So why am I writing this?

Pennsylvania Republican House Member Guy Reschenthaler is on the Judiciary Committee.

He even issued a statement regarding the vote:

You'll note Reschenthaler's defense of AG Barr as "transparent" while the contempt vote was for failing to turn over the complete, unredacted Mueller report.

And yet, in Trump's GOP that some how makes sense.

Remember this: Representative Guy Reschenthaler is defender and enabler of Trump's corruption.

May 8, 2019

Donald Trump, SUUPER GEE-NIE-US!

From The NYTimes:
In fact, year after year, Mr. Trump appears to have lost more money than nearly any other individual American taxpayer, The Times found when it compared his results with detailed information the I.R.S. compiles on an annual sampling of high-income earners. His core business losses in 1990 and 1991 — more than $250 million each year — were more than double those of the nearest taxpayers in the I.R.S. information for those years.
Go read the rest.

May 7, 2019

My HUNDRED AND SEVENTH Open Letter To Senator Pat Toomey

I'll be dropping this letter to Senator Pat Toomey in the mail today:
Dear Senator Toomey:

It's me, again - the constituent who writes for the local Pittsburgh-based political blog, "2 Political Junkies."

Yesterday Senator, a group of 370 former federal prosecutors (Democrats and Republicans, those who served in Democratic administrations and those who served in Republican administrations) signed and posted on the Internet a statement that said, were it not for the DOJ policy against indicting a sitting president, Donald Trump's conduct as described by the Mueller report would "result in multiple felony charges for obstruction of justice."

There are now,  at this writing, 566 signers.

They list discuss Trumps’s efforts to fire Robert Mueller and to falsify evidence about that effort, his efforts to limit the scope of Mueller’s investigation to exclude his conduct, and his efforts to prevent witnesses from cooperating with investigators probing him and his campaign. They say that each of these acts "satisfy all of the elements for an obstruction charge."

This week's question is much like last weeks: Given this, are you still supporting this dishonest administration? And if so, how on Earth can you?

Thank you and I await your response.
And I will be posting whatever response I get from him or his office.


Follow-up:

May 6, 2019

Just A Monday In Trump's America

First, from the AP:
Michael Cohen, the former lawyer, media attack dog and all-around fixer for President Donald Trump, is scheduled to begin serving a three-year prison sentence Monday for crimes including campaign finance violations related to hush-money payments made on Trump’s behalf.
And:
Federal prosecutors have said Trump directed Cohen to arrange the payments to buy the silence of porn actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal in the run-up to the 2016 election. Trump denies that he had trysts with either woman.

Cohen also pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about a Trump Tower project in Moscow, as well as to charges of tax evasion and bank fraud.
And then this from The New Yorker:
When we met, Cohen remained outraged that he was prosecuted and Trump was not. “You are going to find me guilty of campaign finance, with McDougal or Stormy, and give me three years—really?” Cohen said. “And how come I’m the only one? I didn’t work for the campaign. I worked for him. And how come I’m the one that’s going to prison? I’m not the one that slept with the porn star.”
How come, indeed.

May 5, 2019

Infinite Congratulations To Sue Kerr! And Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents!

Back in January of this year local blogger Sue Kerr's Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents was nominated for "Outstanding Blog" in this year's GLAAD Media Awards.

GLAAD, by the way, is a national LGBT media advocacy organization.

Well, last night she won.

And with that, she joined the ranks of other GLAAD media winners:
  • Samantha Bee
  • Don Lemon
  • Janelle MonĂ¡e
Along with the NYTimes and CNBC, etc etc and so forth...
There aren't enough "congratulation" type words to fully communicate how big a deal this is.

So I'll just go with this: Congratulations to Sue Kerr and her outstanding, nationally recognized blog, Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents!


May 3, 2019

May 3 Birthday

Wanna know who was born today?

Pete Seeger:


Remember when this was America? Yea, me too. Good Times.

James Brown:


The hardest working man in show business.

John Lewis:



Founder and music director of the Modern Jazz Quartet.

Oh, yea and John Lewis is also the pianist on this:


As I said, three majors.

May 2, 2019

More On Chuck McCullough

A brief Chuck McCullough update.

If you recall, Charles P. (Chuck) McCullough was:
...found guilty of illegally cutting checks on behalf of an elderly widow to local Republican candidates and a charity his wife ran.

The former Allegheny County councilman was also found not guilty of the remaining 14 of 24 charges in a theft trial that began in April and stemmed from Mr. McCullough, 60, of Upper St. Clair being charged in 2009.
That was July 31, 2015.

Today in the Post-Gazette:
Former Allegheny County Councilman Chuck McCullough, who was convicted in 2015 of taking money from an elderly widow but has yet to serve his sentence, was back in court Wednesday.
This is 3 years, 9 months and 2 days since he was found guilty.

By the way, the duration between Pearl Harbor and the Japanese surrender in WWII was 3 years, 8 months, and 26 days.

The time between Chuck's guilty verdict and when he would begin his prison sentence is longer than the US involvement in WWII.

May 1, 2019

Hey, Post-Gazette Editorial Board! I Got A Question!

Hey, remember when the Post-Gazette editorial board wrote:
The outrage, from certain quarters, directed at Attorney General William Barr following his Thursday press conference is as clear a case of “killing the messenger” as we’re likely to see for some time. While his message won’t please those eager to usher Donald Trump out of office, the messenger’s conduct was admirable.

The occasion was the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report of his investigation into whether members of the Trump campaign conspired with Russians to interfere in the 2016 election, and whether Mr. Trump obstructed this investigation. Mr. Barr’s presentation was concise, clear and matter-of-fact.
The editorial board, in particular, objected to this line of questioning:
In particular, much has been made of Mr. Barr’s one-word response to the last question he took: “Do you think it creates an appearance of impropriety for you to come out and sort of, what appears to be, spinning the report before the public gets a chance to read it?”

To which Mr. Barr replied, “No.”

The question is, of course, a double-barreled weapon: It asserts Mr. Barr was spinning his work product rather than explaining his process and, based on this assertion, accuses him of unethical behavior.
Um, have you seen this?
Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III wrote a letter in late March complaining to Attorney General William P. Barr that a four-page memo to Congress describing the principal conclusions of the investigation into President Trump “did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance” of Mueller’s work, according to a copy of the letter reviewed Tuesday by The Washington Post.
Or this?
Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, wrote a letter in late March to Attorney General William P. Barr objecting to his early description of the Russia investigation’s conclusions that appeared to clear President Trump on possible obstruction of justice, according to the Justice Department and three people with direct knowledge of the communication between the two men.
A piece which contains this paragraph:
A central issue in the simmering dispute is how the public’s understanding of the Mueller report has been shaped since the special counsel ended his investigation and delivered his 448-page report on March 22 to the attorney general, his boss and longtime friend. The four-page letter that Mr. Barr sent to Congress two days later gave little detail about the special counsel’s findings and created the impression that Mr. Mueller’s team found no wrongdoing, allowing Mr. Trump to declare he had been exonerated.
And not to my friends on the Post-Gazette editorial board, I ask: I realize you were only doing your best when you wrote the pro-Barr editorial but considering how, given what's now known about AG Barr's 4 page summary-that's-not-a-summary letter and how Mueller disagreed with it, do you still think Barr "Took the high road" and "provid[ed] transparency" and "handled the Mueller report with class"?

Or did Attorney General William Barr mislead the public about what he knew about the report and what he knew about what the Special Counsel told him about his 4 page "summary"?

Will we be seeing a follow-up editorial explaining/correcting your previous editorial?

I look forward to it.