National Moment of Remembrance
3:00 PM (local time)
Democracy Has Prevailed.
In fact, ObamaCare tax credits that offset health insurance costs for firms with 25 or fewer workers making an average of $25,000 annually are counterproductive for employment and wage growth -- a major economic shortcoming, particularly when far too many Americans are jobless.Missing, of course, from the editorial is any mention of the millions of dollars given to the National Center for Policy Analysis by foundations controlled by Trib owner, Richard Mellon Scaife.
One author of a new National Center for Policy Analysis study on the credits even told The Hill newspaper that they create a "perverse incentive not to have businesses grow by not encouraging them to hire new workers."
A combat-decorated Marine, author and syndicated columnist, North says his most important accomplishment is being "the husband of one, the father of four and the grandfather of 11."Miss anything? Maybe something like this from Lawrence Walsh's IranContra Report:
Assigned to the National Security Council staff in the Reagan administration, North helped plan the rescue of 804 medical students on Grenada and played a major role in the capture of the hijackers of the cruise ship Achille Lauro.
On April 6, 1989, North took the stand in his own defense. For six days, North admitted to having assisted the contras during the Boland prohibition on U.S. aid, to having shredded and removed from the White House official documents, to having converted traveler's checks for his personal use, to having participated in the creation of false chronologies of the U.S. arms sales, to having lied to Congress and to having accepted a home security-system from Secord and then fabricating letters regarding payment for the system. But, North testified, ``I don't believe I ever did anything that was criminal.''Yea, I can see why they'd want to try to erase that part.
Dear Sister Hughes:According to Peduto, Councilman Doug Shields has sent a similar letter to the State Ethics Commission.
I am requesting that the Ethics Hearing Board rule on the decision of Mayor Luke Ravenstahl to nominate his brother State Representative-elect Adam Ravenstahl to the Board of the Allegheny County Sanitary Authority. The City Code has rules for appointing, hiring and promoting direct family members of elected officials and employees. As the code states, the only time a direct family member can be appointed is through a waiver from the Ethics Hearing Board.§ 197.05 EMPLOYMENT OR APPOINTMENT OF RELATIVES.These rules are similar to those followed by state and federal officials. They were adopted and approved in 1990 when the City created the Ethics Code. Questions regarding jurisdiction apply to both elected officials and city employees. For employees, the rules of jurisdiction were to oppose attempts of supervisors hiring their own direct family members. For elected officials, it is obvious that our jurisdiction goes beyond any one department or authority.
(a) No public official or public employee shall appoint, hire, advance or advocate the appointing, hiring or advancing of a member of his direct family to a position that is under the jurisdiction or control of the city.
(b) A member of the direct family of a public official or public employee shall not be appointed, hired or advanced to a position which is under the direct jurisdiction or control of the public official or public employee.
(c) The provisions of this section may be waived by the Board upon the Board's finding that considering factors as the person's experience qualifications and the responsibility of the position, the public interest would not be harmed as a result of the waiver.
As elected officials, the Mayor and City Council have jurisdiction over the nomination and appointment of all Board, Authority and Commission members. The Mayor has the sole responsibility of nominating candidates to these positions and Council has the sole responsibility of approving the Mayor's nominees. City Code, § 197.05 clearly states “a) No public official or public employee shall appoint, hire, advance or advocate the appointing, hiring or advancing of a member of his direct family to a position that is under the jurisdiction or control of the city.” In this case, the nomination of the Allegheny County Sanitary Authority nominee is the sole jurisdiction of the Mayor.
I am formally requesting that the Ethics Hearing Board investigate this nomination to determine the legitimacy of any elected City official appointing, hiring, advancing or advocating the appointing, hiring or advancing of direct family members.
Statement from Joe Sestak on White House Counsel's Report
MEDIA, PA - U.S. Senate candidate Congressman Joe Sestak released the following statement today:
"Last summer, I received a phone call from President Clinton. During the course of the conversation, he expressed concern over my prospects if I were to enter the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate and the value of having me stay in the House of Representatives because of my military background. He said that White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel had spoken with him about my being on a Presidential Board while remaining in the House of Representatives. I said no. I told President Clinton that my only consideration in getting into the Senate race or not was whether it was the right thing to do for Pennsylvania working families and not any offer. The former President said he knew I'd say that, and the conversation moved on to other subjects.
"There are many important challenges facing Pennsylvania and the rest of the country. I intend to remain focused on those issues and continue my fight on behalf of working families."
In quick succession Thursday, the Senate Armed Services Committee and the full House approved measures to repeal the 1993 law that allows gay people to serve in the armed services only if they hide their sexual orientation.Here's the photo showing gay rights being expanded which accompanied the TPM article:
Lance: To Luke Ravenstahl. The Pittsburgh mayor has named his newly elected state representative brother Adam to the Allegheny County Sanitary Authority board. The nepotism, a violation of the city ethics code, is defended by Hizzhoner, who says Bro represents the legislative district most affected by Alcosan. And the city solicitor disputes the ethics charge, saying the authority is not under the direct jurisdiction of the mayor's office. Done laughing yet?Sadly, no.
President Obama, the Pentagon and leading lawmakers reached agreement Monday on legislative language and a time frame for repealing the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, clearing the way for Congress to take up the measure as soon as this week.This of course has whip teh crazies into berserker mode.
A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Tuesday indicates that 78 percent of the public supports allowing openly gay people to serve in the military, with one in five opposed.Here's the poll data if you wanna check the numbers.
So Hitler himself was an active homosexual. And some people wonder, didn't the Germans, didn't the Nazis, persecute homosexuals? And it is true they did; they persecuted effeminate homosexuals. But Hitler recruited around him homosexuals to make up his Stormtroopers, they were his enforcers, they were his thugs. And Hitler discovered that he could not get straight soldiers to be savage and brutal and vicious enough to carry out his orders, but that homosexual solders basically had no limits and the savagery and brutality they were willing to inflict on whomever Hitler sent them after. So he surrounded himself, virtually all of the Stormtroopers, the Brownshirts, were male homosexuals.Hitler was gay? Wait wait, I figured out the logic. Hitler was also a vegetarian and since we all know that some vegetarians are gay, ergo and ipso facto Hitler was gay! And because Hitler was a vicious monster, gays must also be vicious monsters!
Here's how the Family Research Council envisions things going if Don't Ask, Don't Tell is repealed: first, more straight soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines will be fellated in their sleep against their will. Then, commanders afraid of being labeled homophobes will refuse to do anything about it. Eventually, the straight service members will quit out of fear.Here's the study. And from the first page we see:
On a conference call with reporters today, FRC Senior Fellow for Policy Studies Peter Sprigg delivered the results of what he said was the first-ever study of "homosexual assault" in the military. Joined by several former military officers opposed to allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the armed forces, he warned Congress that the DADT repeal language currently under discussion with the agreement of the White House will turn the U.S. military into a terrifying free-rape zone where no heterosexual is safe.
Members of the military are regularly placed in positions of forced intimacy with their fellow servicemembers—showering and sleeping in close proximity and spending time with one another twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. The military continues to provide separate bathroom, shower, and sleeping facilities for men and women in order to protect their privacy during these intimate activities. However, allowing homosexuals to openly serve in the military would likely result, for the first time, in heterosexuals being forced to cohabit with those who may view them as a potential sexual object.So just how much projection is there going on here anyway?
A special prosecutor must investigate whether the Obama administration offered U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak a high-ranking federal job in exchange for dropping his Democrat primary challenge to U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter.I heard Jim say something like, "Same as Watergate - the coverup is worse than the crime."
Rep. Sestak made that claim during a February radio interview. He didn't bite. A White House spokesman says whatever conversations there were "are not problematic."
But U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa of California, the ranking Republican on the House Oversight committee, says this "has all the makings of a cover-up" of bribery, election interference by government officials and political use of federal jobs. If he doesn't get White House answers by April 5, he'll call for a special prosecutor.
The alleged violations carry jail terms of up to one year. And with White House wagons circling to protect Sen. Party-Switcher, a special prosecutor is warranted.
Ethics attorneys in Washington said such offers are common.And Marc Abinder at The Atlantic said the same in March:
Melanie Sloan, director of the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, described it as “politics as usual.”
Now, trading an administration job -- a thing of value -- for a political favor might well constitute bribery. It is also very common. A Nexus search turns up numerous examples. In 1981, President Reagan offered S.I. Hayakawa, then California's senior senator, a job if he declined to run for reelection. We know this because Reagan's chief political adviser admitted as much on the record.Reagan did it? I wonder if Jim Quinn or the Trib Braintrust knows this.
Even those who used to prosecute public corruption cases agree. "Talk about criminalizing the political process!" said Peter Zeidenberg, a former federal prosecutor with the Justice Department's Public Integrity unit. "It would be horrible precedent if what really truly is political horsetrading were viewed in the criminal context of: is this a corrupt bribe?"Yes, that's exactly what it is.
And Melanie Sloan, a former federal prosecutor who as the head of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington isn't known for going on easy public corruption, concurred. "There is no bribery case here," she said. "No statute has ever been used to prosecute anybody for bribery in circumstances like this."
Sloan added that Issa's move was more about politics. "It's not at all about whether there was actual criminal wrongdoing," she said. "It's about how to go after Sestak."
A seat on the Alcosan board is widely considered a political plum because members have contact with engineering and construction firms that tend to be campaign contributors.Ravenstahl (Luke, not Adam) had to first toss Dan Keller off the board. Keller recently ran against Ravenstahl (Adam, not Luke).
Extended federal unemployment benefits, set to run out June 2, aren't putting people to work. Left unchecked, they "help" those who are gaming the system.Of course they'd say that. But what's the data to support it? Where does it come from?
Notes David Littmann, senior economist for the free-market Mackinac Center for Public Policy, those federal checks -- for up to 99 weeks -- don't reduce unemployment but the incentive to find work.We all know where this is headed, right?
It's no wonder Pennsylvania struggles to maintain its unemployment compensation fund when it's second only to California in what it pays out, according to the Commonwealth Foundation.[emphasis in original]
State Policy Network is the capacity building service organization for America's free market, state-focused think tank community. We advance a free society by providing leadership development, management training and networking opportunities for think tank professionals and by promoting strategic partnerships among market-oriented organizations.So it's an organization of conservative state-based think tanks, fair enough.
A geologist is debunking not only climatology's "science"-cloaked, blame-mankind, global-warming dogma but also the very notion of an inevitably warmer Earth.The ICCC is hosted by the Heartland Institute.
Dr. Don Easterbrook, professor emeritus at Western Washington University, contends global warming is natural, but over, and global cooling has begun -- and is bad news. He presented a paper supporting his theory on May 16 at the fourth International Conference on Climate Change in Chicago.
He says the geologic record shows climate changes far more drastic than today's occurred long before man-made carbon dioxide. He attributes recent variations to Pacific Ocean surface temperature cycles -- related to solar changes and glaciers' movements -- that alternately warm and cool the globe every 25 to 30 years.However, Dr Easterbrook is not without his own detractors. Ocean Expert at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab had this to say about Easterbrook's research:
The short answer is that global warming is here, sea level rise is accelerating and the PDO is not going save us by putting all of that on hold for 10 or 20 years. Its true that the PDO has brought cooler than normal temperatures to a big chunk of the Pacific off and on for most of the last 10 years. But the PDO is not just a big see-saw that rocks back and forth, cooling and then warming the whole planet every 20 years. Sometimes it flips back after just 5 years and sometimes it stays pretty much the same for 25 or so. Furthermore, the so-called "cold phase" of the PDO is not exclusively cold. It also involves warmer than normal waters in the western and northern parts of the Pacific. So the effect of the PDO on global temperatures is not nearly as clear as it is for its smaller and better known cousins, El Nino and La Nina.So this is what the Trib's going with and not the legion of scientists in the National Research Council.
Needless to say, it's a pretty wild statement to claim that the PDO data shows conclusively that global cooling will occur for the next 10 years. I'd say we have a better chance of seeing unemployment drop to 5% next month than we do of seeing 10 years of cooling.
Mexican President Felipe Calderon, during last week's state visit to Washington, publicly chastised as "discriminatory" Arizona's crackdown.The reason, Editor No-brains, that the president "failed to immediately cite Mexican law" on this subject is that that law was rescinded some time ago.
Not only did President Barack Bumfuzzled fail to immediately cite Mexican law that makes illegals felons and eligible for jail time in one of Calderon's dungeons, Mr. No Gonads failed to also click his fingers and command the Secret Service to grab el presidente by the collar and escort him to the White House gates.
Then Barack the Bower hosted Calderon at a state dinner.
In 2008, the Mexican Congress voted unanimously with 393 votes to decriminalize undocumented immigration to Mexico. Before then, the Washington Times description of Mexican immigration law would’ve been accurate. Following the 2008 reform, however, undocumented immigration is a minor offense punishable by fines equivalent to about $475 to $2,400. The approved reform identified Mexico’s old immigration laws as “inadmissible” and a violation of human rights.So Colin, what you wrote about people in Mexico being thrown in dungeons for being an illegal immigrant is just plain wrong - you see that now, right? And this, Colin, is why you need to always fact-check what you write before you publish it. You'll look less like an idiot that way.
Go get 'em, Samantha Bennett!From the Mediamatters piece, we see Sam going into greater detail:
Courtesy of Media Matters, we learn that Bennett -- who contributes a regular column to the Post-Gazette -- is taking on Pat Buchanan over this column.
In that now-notorious piece, Buchanan expressed concern that if the Senate confirms Elena Kagan's appointment to the Supreme Court, the court will be packed with Jews and Papists:If Kagan is confirmed, the Court will consist of three Jews and six Catholics (who represent not quite a fourth of the country), but not a single Protestant, though Protestants remain half the nation and our founding faith.
Finally -- somebody willing to speak out about the shameful exclusion of Protestants from public life. It's the last acceptable prejudice, I tell you!
"On the right, there is a certain pressure to out-outrage everyone else," Bennett said. "More moderate conservative opinion doesn't seem to be much of a draw."And:
She said his column was indicative of the way some conservatives have tilted in order to get attention: "Who is the most popular and who is the draw? It is the people on the fringe."Back to Potter:
"The pundits who cater to that get crazy sort of attention," Bennett added. "It has been the theater of outrage. This has been our public discourse. It is who is shouting the loudest."
Buchanan, Bennett suggests, is trying to cling to the spotlight in "the theater of outrage. This has been our public discourse. It is who is shouting the loudest." Strupp adds such right-wing blather may be "hurting columnists as a whole," since as Bennett says, "[I]t can put more pressure on the rest of us to be more out there."Mega Congrats to Sam. Now that she's referenced favorably at Mediamatters, she should be getting a check from George Soros any day now.
Actually, I wish that were more true. If you look at the Post-Gazette roster of columnists, for example, nobody comes anywhere CLOSE to being as bonkers as Jack Kelly, the Burghosphere's bete noir.
That's too bad, in my book. But these days, an ultra-left perspective is about as hard to find on a newspaper editorial page as it is on the Supreme Court.
In fact, THAT may be the last acceptable prejudice.
If you think the makeup of the SCOTUS should reflect that of the American public (and that's certainly not in the Constitution), there are imbalances far more glaring: Assuming Kagan is confirmed, there are no Protestants on the Court, and women are still not represented proportionally to their presence in the population.Exclusive.
While insisting that discrimination in any form was abhorrent to him, Mr. Paul told [Rachel] Maddow that under the Constitution, the racist owners of private businesses should have the latitude to refuse service to anyone they want. Such brutal logic is based on the arcane theory that Title II of the Civil Rights Act violates individual liberties by denying a bigot his right to free speech and association.And then:
Thursday, the Paul campaign issued the following statement declaring that its candidate considered the 1964 Civil Rights Act settled law and that he would not support its repeal:Talkingpointsmemo has a run down of Rand Paul distancing himself from himself:
"I support the Civil Rights Act because I overwhelmingly agree with the intent of the legislation, which was to stop discrimination in the public sphere and halt the abhorrent practice of segregation and Jim Crow laws."
STRONG EVIDENCE ON CLIMATE CHANGE UNDERSCORES NEED FOR ACTIONS TO REDUCE EMISSIONS AND BEGIN ADAPTING TO IMPACTSThe only way this is even close to be true is if Climategate is ignored. And we all know Climategate completely shattered the illusion of a "clean" scientific method regarding so-called climate change with its manufactured facts and unreliable statistics.
The compelling case that climate change is occurring and is caused in large part by human activities is based on a strong, credible body of evidence, says Advancing the Science of Climate Change, one of the new reports. While noting that there is always more to learn and that the scientific process is never "closed," the report emphasizes that multiple lines of evidence support scientific understanding of climate change. The core phenomenon, scientific questions, and hypotheses have been examined thoroughly and have stood firm in the face of serious debate and careful evaluation of alternative explanations.Credible evidence like that thoroughly debunked Hockey Stick, right? And what's this about the scientific process never being "closed"? The climate changers have been saying that it IS closed! Are they lying now or were they lying then? In either case they're socialist liars. And what about that last sentence? The questions have "stood firm in the face of serious debate"? Really? Then why won't Ozone Al debate Steven Milloy huh? Tell me that! You can't because they've stopped all debate. They're afraid of the truth. That's teh conspiracy.
Rep. Mark Souder, an Indiana Republican known for his support of traditional family values, announced Tuesday that he will leave office, ending a tense week in which a key staffer confronted him with rumors about his alleged extramarital affair with a part-time aide.More on Souder:
Souder, who won Indiana's May 4 Republican primary, acknowledged to his chief of staff on May 12 that he was in a romantic relationship with Tracy Meadows Jackson, who has worked in various capacities in his district office. The allegations surfaced during the primary campaign when anonymous tipsters called Souder's aides and his opponent, according to sources familiar with the events.
A self-described conservative and a Christian, Souder had focused on three areas since entering Congress: in his words, "how to keep the economy strong; how do we improve our education system; and how do we change the cultural and moral direction of this country."So I am guessing that's a no on condom use while breaking the 7th Commandment.
Souder, 59, a pudgy man with an unruly shelf of gray hair, got high marks in his district for his evangelical beliefs. He received an A-plus rating from the National Rifle Association and a 100 percent rating from the National Right to Life Committee.
tlw3: Are you better off than you were four score and seven years ago?
PaulaInTulsaOK: I Have A Coupon for Another Term!
PRTandWiseline: What Do You Want Me to Stand For Today?
CBS's Bob Schieffer says the White House is preparing for an Arlen Specter loss in Pennsylvania tomorrow.
"I have been told on background and so forth that the White House is preparing for a Specter loss here, and the White House doesn't want to be associated with that," Schieffer told a local CBS affiliate. (Video on the top right).
So it's come to this: In a bid for conservative and rural Pennsylvania Dems, Arlen Specter is now using targeted ads to attack Joe Sestak for getting an "F" rating from the National Rifle Association.Talkingpointsmemo has this:
In a targeted way, Specter also seems to be touting his vote against the assault weapons ban -- a vote he took as a Republican. One wonders how this ad would play among urban Dems in Philadelphia -- if they ever were to hear about it.
Specter's assault on Sestak can be viewed in a Web ad on the site of the Washington Observer-Reporter, a paper in western Pennsylvania that presumably isn't widely read in Philly...[emphasis added.]
The ads are running on the websites of local papers in rural Pennsylvania, away from the eyes of the key Democratic voters in the cities that might not find the ads a persuasive message for Specter.And:
What's more, Sestak's campaign is distributing a copy of another web ad they say Republicans used in 2008 against President Obama that also focused on the "F" rating from the NRA. The Sestak campaign calls the two web ads "strikingly similar."So one wonders whether Senator Specter be telling Pennsylvania's Non-Philly and Non-Pittsburgh democrats that:
The same day Utah Republicans rejected Mr. Bennett, Utah Democrats forced their only member of Congress, Rep. Scott Matheson, into a primary. Liberals were upset with Mr. Matheson because he voted against Obamacare and carbon taxes.Do I need to point out that the only Democratic member of the House from Utah is named Jim Matheson? His father was Scott Matheson, Sr. and his brother is Scott Matheson Jr.
Time: May 4, 2010 at 9am to May 18, 2010 at 9pm
Location: Sestak for Senate Pittsburgh Field Office
Street: 4326 Butler Street
City/Town: Pittsburgh, PA 15201
Phone: 412 533 1200
Event Type: phonebank
Q: Questions have been raised about her sexual orientation. Do you think that will be an issue? Or should it be an issue?So they get to raise the scary "L-word" by denying that it should be an issue. Sneaky, huh?
A: I doubt it, I doubt it. I don't see why it should be.
Q: You've found some of the things she's written troubling. What bothers you?Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the rightwing smear. Look at the framing of the charge: Meese "thinks" she's written an article on "the ability to censor speech." Who's ability? Does it actually say what he says it says? The point is, you can rest assured they want you to think it's another liberal guv'ment bureaucrat censoring conservative speech. That she's looking for ways to censor conservative speech.
A: Well, there are things that she has written about the court. She hasn't written much, to tell you the truth.
But ... she's had some statements about the First Amendment. I think she's written an article on the ability to censor speech that is what she calls ... hateful speech or improper speech.
Consider the following snapshot of impermissible motives for speech restrictions. First, the government may not restrict expressive activities because it disagrees with or disapproves of the ideas espoused by the speaker; it may not act on the basis of a view of what is a true (or false) belief or a right (or wrong) opinion. Or, to say this in a slightly different way, the government cannot count as a harm, which it has a legitimate interest in preventing, that ideas it considers faulty or abhorrent enter the public dialogue and challenge the official understanding of acceptability or correctness. Second, though relatedly, the government may not restrict speech because the ideas espoused threaten officials' own self-interest-more particularly, their tenure in office. The government, to use the same construction as above, cannot count as a harm, which it has a legitimate interest in preventing, that speech may promote the removal of incumbent officeholders through the political process. Third, and as a corollary to these proscriptions, the government may not privilege either ideas it favors or ideas advancing its self-interest-for example, by exempting certain ideas from a general prohibition. Justice Scalia summarized these tenets in R.A.V.: "The government may not regulate [speech] based on hostility-or favoritism-towards the underlying message expressed."' [emphases added]She quotes Scalia?? Does Ed Meese know that? Does Craig Smith? Does Richard Mellon Scaife?
Have we become so inured to all the violent imagery and talk being directed towards Democrats that we can accept seeing a cartoon depiction of the Speaker of the House being hit multiple times with laser-like beams and writhing in pain in a TV ad and simply shrug it off?
The commercial is by a group called Right Change (Pittsburgh City Paper's Chris Potter has background on them here) and it's part of an $83,000 ad buy in the Pittsburgh and Johnstown media markets.
Titled "The Attack of the 50-Foot Pelosi," it's pro Republican Tim Burns in the special election race for the late US Rep. John Murtha's seat. According to Right Change, "The ad uses new technology for political ads with humor and cutting-edge animation."
I'm so glad that "new technology" was used to depict torturing (possibly to death) an elected official. I'm guessing that "humor" is to be found because it's an animated piece that has a (straw man) monster.
Of course there's nothing really new in describing a strong woman as a "monster." It's actually pretty old hat even by South Park standards (Barbra Streisand was made into a mechanical Godzilla-like monster on the show over a decade ago).
I'm guessing that it was deemed perfectly acceptable to depict Nancy Pelosi WRITHING AND SCREAMING IN PAIN because she is a "monster" from San Francisco.
But I don't accept that.
A cartoon Pelosi being shot with cartoon bullets spilling cartoon blood?
Would that be alright?
Is it somehow more acceptable to try to kill the Speaker of the House with magical Tim Burns buttons than with guns?
Can you imagine the uproar that would be had over an ad that had similarly depicted Sarah Palin (or even George Bush or Dick Cheney)?
Now here's where I fully admit that I have not personally seen this ad on the air and that I only heard about it because my sister, Gina, saw it aired multiple times on KDKA TV and she was floored by it and kept telling me to check it out.
I called KDKA today hoping to ask someone there what standards they had for the ads they run. (Obviously they have some standards. They wouldn't run ads that, say, contain nudity or profanity. )
Someone at the station had to view the ad and approve it. (I once knew a woman who worked for NBC whose sole job was to make sure that their ads didn't conflict with their network programming content -- no diet product ads after a story on famine, for example.)
I was eventually directed to a woman who I assume is in their advertising department who said that I could not quote her and who hung up on me. Nice! (Yes, I gave my full name and identified myself as a blogger.) She seemed to think that my beef should be solely with the ad agency and the account and not the station.
Well, I've been blogging for nearly six years now and in all that time and in all my Photoshops I have managed to somehow never depict an elected official -- or anyone else for that matter -- being lasered and screaming in pain, and yet a television station has no problems broadcasting this on the public airwaves.
If you have a problem with this -- if you haven't been numbed to the outrageousness of it -- maybe you might want to consider calling KDKA and telling them that it is not acceptable to torture any politician -- even a cartoon one -- in a television commercial.
Their switchboard number is: 412-575-2200 (It rings for a very long time).
UPDATED: Heard it (was out of the room) on WTAE TV (local ABC affiliate) this morning: Main desk at 412-242-4300, Email hereFinally, here's the full ad in all its gory:
Caught part of it on WPXI TV (local NBC affiliate) last night: Phone: 412-237-1100
In criminal proceedings, citizens of the United States are guaranteed their rights by the Constitution. Any chipping away of this bedrock principle should invite alarm -- and never mind any high-minded excuse offered by the government, even if it involves national security.And ends with:
In arguing for the change, Sen. Lieberman said, "We're fighting an enemy who doesn't wear the uniform of a conventional army or follow the law of war." True enough, but a murky situation is not helped by disrespecting the rights of citizenship.The fact that, according to Talkingpointsmemo, no one is supporting this bill (not even the conservatives) shows how mistaken it was.
Rep. Altmire said, "Individuals who actively support terrorist organizations dedicated to harming our nation do not deserve to enjoy the privileges of American citizenship." And Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, head of the department that would judge Americans according to the overly broad words of this bill, said: "United States citizenship is a privilege -- it is not a right."
Memo to both: A driver's license is a privilege. Citizenship, whether attained by birth or naturalization, is sanctioned by the Constitution, the guarantor of the rights of citizens. That document does not have an asterisk on the people's rights saying, "Not applicable to alleged enemy combatants." This constitutionally dubious legislation promotes fear, not security.
It's probably a safe bet that if House Republican Leader John Boehner backs away from a conservative, terrorism-related bill called "TEA," the legislation both goes too far, and isn't going anywhere.And how much of a mistake it was for Altmire to support it.
Regional Enterprise TowerSo what is it all about?
425 Sixth Ave. – downtown
Friday – 23rd Floor
Saturday – 31st Floor
9 to 5 on Friday
9 to 3:30 on Saturday
The Power of 32, launched in May 2009, is a two-year process to provide an opportunity for every resident of the 32-county, 4-state region to participate in creating a shared vision for the region's best future. The 32 counties included in the visioning project- fifteen in southwestern Pennsylvania, ten in northern West Virginia, five in eastern Ohio, and two in western Maryland - represent the economic region centered on metropolitan Pittsburgh.For Selena, this means that the 32 counties when banded together can leverage the ideas and resources necessary to create a thriving region by 2025. It's an area, she says, that's bigger than Switzerland.
The Heritage Foundation calculates that the average electricity bill for a family of four would double, triple or even nearly quadruple under Al Gore's call for America to generate all electricity from renewable resources by 2018. Of course, it makes you wonder how much of a stake Mr. Gore has in renewable resource electricity generation, doesn't it?Hmm. So how much of a stake does Richard Mellon Scaife, who owns the Tribune-Review and who controls three Scaife foundations who routinely give money to the Heritage Foundation?
The Commonwealth Foundation has unloaded on special interest groups that suckle at the taxpayer teat for denouncing "special interest" groups. In particular, the Harrisburg think tank cites groups that are "the emissaries" of Fast Eddie Rendell in attempting to tax, tax, tax the burgeoning Marcellus Shale industry above and beyond the taxes paid by other energy companies. It's the kind of turf-protecting politics that hangs a giant "STAY AWAY" sign on Pennsylvania.And how much support has the Scaife controlled foundations unloaded on the Commonwealth Foundation over the years?
Joining his supporters this Saturday, May 15 at 1PM, Joe will thank them for their dedication to unseating longtime Republican Arlen Specter, and ask them to carry on their instrumental grassroots movement through Primary Day.
WHAT: Pittsburgh for Sestak Rally
WHO: Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Joe Sestak
WHEN: Saturday, May 15 at 1 PM
WHERE: Leslie Park, 46th Street & Butler Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15201
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) ― One week before next Tuesday's primary election, Republican-turned Democrat U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter appeared before Allegheny County Democrats in Pittsburgh.According to the video at the link, he thanked Republicans twice.
And, in a slip of the tongue, Specter thanked "Allegheny County Republicans" for supporting him.
Later, talking to reporters, Specter was asked about the gaffe.
"I think it's not unusual for anybody to misspeak from time to time," he quipped. "I'm not a television commentator. I'm not as smooth as you guys."
In Alabama, a state PAC recently went on the air with an ad attacking one of the Republican gubernatorial candidates for supporting the teaching of evolution in schools and for saying that parts of the Bible aren't true.The PAC, True Republican PAC, runs a website called "The Real Bradley Byrne" and it's a hoot. Here's the ad that criticizes him for saying, among other things, that "The Bible is only partially true" and that "Evolution...best describes the origins of life." Take a look:
The candidate, Bradley Byrne, responded with a lengthy press release vehemently defending his belief in creationism and the infallible truth of the Bible.
Indoor rally? Check. Blue curtain backdrop? Check? U.S. and Pennsylvania flags in the background? Check. A President bounding on to the stage? Check.See for yourself:
The problems with Ms. Kagan, nominated by President Barack Obama on Monday to succeed the retiring John Paul Stevens, are, first, her limited real-world legal experience and, second, the fact that she doesn't even meet her own "threshold" test for being considered for the court.Ok, then. Let's get the simple stuff out of the way before we move onto the subtle.
Writing at National Review Online, legal scholar Ed Whelan notes that Kagan has been "a legal academic" for most of her career. The one-time Harvard Law School dean never had argued a case before becoming solicitor general last year. And Kagan really only practiced law for about two years, Mr. Whelan says.
M. Edward Whelan III is the President of the Ethics and Public Policy Center. He directs EPPC’s program on The Constitution, the Courts, and the Culture. His areas of expertise include constitutional law and the judicial confirmation process.He's also got a ton of experience in conservative judicial circles (clerked for Justice Antonin Scalia, worked in Dubya's Office of Legal Council from just before 9/11 to when he joined EPPC and so on.) but it's the EPPC that I want to look at right now.
It's not that Elena Kagan never has been a judge that gives us cause to pause in considering her nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court. After all, William Rehnquist never sat on the bench before his nomination to the high court and he served with distinction as an associate justice and chief justice.Remember that. But then moves on in the next paragraph to criticize her for not living up to "her own 'threshold' test".
It is an embarrassment that the President and Senate do not always insist, as a threshold requirement, that a nominee’s previous accomplishments evidence an ability not merely to handle but to master the “craft” aspects of being a judge.But from the first paragraph of the editorial, the braintrust has already rejected that criticism (ie Renquist never "sat on the bench" before being nominated and they liked him, they really really liked him!) so what gives? They can't logically criticize Kagan for something they've already excused Rehnquist for.
Note to my good friends at the P-G: THIS REQUIRES A CORRECTION/RETRACTION.Well, today (and that would be Monday) the P-G posted this:
Correction: This column originally described Times Square bombing suspect Faisal Shahzad as "a registered Democrat in Connecticut." Voter registration officials in Bridgeport and Shelton, the two communities in which Mr. Shahzad lived, say he was not registered to vote there.Of course it would be a logical fallacy to automatically assume that my blog posting had anything to do with the P-G spanking Jack Kelly with a correction.
Lena Horne, who was the first black performer to be signed to a long-term contract by a major Hollywood studio and who went on to achieve international fame as a singer, died on Sunday night at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell hospital in New York. She was 92 and lived in Manhattan.There was other stuff in the news this morning but this seemed the most important.
MSNBC anchor Contessa Brewer is bummed the man who put a car bomb in Times Square isn't a right winger.It's in that last sentence. Media Matters has a postmortem on this particular lie. They say it's from the rightwing blog "Rightpundits" and they report that RightPundits has already backtracked on it. But let's start, as they say, at the beginning. At this post at freerepublic.com (time stamped at May 4 12:51 GMT or 8:51 AM Pittsburgh time), we read:
"There was part of me that was hoping that this was not going to be anybody with ties to any kind of Islamic country because there are a lot of people who want to use this terrorist intent to justify writing off people who believe in a certain way or who come from certain countries or whose skin color is a certain way," she said on a radio show Tuesday.
Apparently, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg also was bummed to learn the bomber was Faisal Shahzad, 30, a naturalized citizen of Pakistani extraction who is a registered Democrat in Connecticut.
An Islamic terrorist named Faisal Shahzad is the Time Square bomber according to media reports. He is Muslim of Pakistani heritage with dual citizenship in the United States, a registered Democrat in the state of Connecticut who may be an Obama donor.With a link back to Rightpundits.
An Islamic terrorist named Faisal Shahzad is the Time Square bomber according to media reports. He is Muslim of Pakistani heritage with dual citizenship in the United States, recently naturalized as a U.S. citizen under the Obama administration’s lenient open door policy. We have been unable to confirm earlier reports of his voter registration status as a Democrat. [emphasis added.]As the time stamp on the Mediamatters reporting is May 5 at 11:25 AM, we know that sometime in that twenty-one hour time period 4 days ago, Rightpundits backtracked on the story.
On Monday, Mr. Bloomberg told Katie Couric of CBS he thought the bomber was "homegrown, maybe a mentally deranged person or someone with a political agenda who doesn't like the health care bill or something."Here's how CBS reports it:
Law enforcement officials don't know who left the Nissan Pathfinder behind, but at this point the Mayor believes the suspect acted alone.As a rhetorical device he was offering an opposite counter-example to foreign terrorism (which would be domestic terrorism.) But in the end he said it "could be anything."
"If I had to guess, twenty five cents, this would be exactly that," Bloomberg said. "Homegrown maybe a mentally deranged person or someone with a political agenda that doesn't like the health care bill or something. It could be anything."
When he learned the truth, Mayor Bloomberg did not apologize for his smear of people who don't like Obamacare. Instead, he smeared the people of New York City.And, of course, the Mayor's "smear" turns out to be nothing of the sort. This is what the Mayor said:
"We are not going to tolerate any backlash against Middle Easterners or Muslims in New York City," he said.
We will not be intimidated by those who hate the freedoms that make the city and this country so great. The fact that so many people are out and about in Times Square today or just came from really shows that, and I want to make clear that we will not tolerate any bias or backlash against Pakistani or Muslim New Yorkers.See the smear? Yea, neither did I. Jack did, though.
All of us live in this city, and among any group, there's always a few bad apples, but the people that live in the city are proud of the fact that this is the city that gives everybody from every place in the world an opportunity no matter what religion they practice, no matter where they or their parents came from. It's the city where you can practice your religion and say what you want to say and be in charge of your own destiny and we're going to keep it that way.
People from every corner of the world come and live here in the same buildings and the same neighborhoods and that's what makes this the greatest city on earth. We will continue to doing everything we possibly can to protect New Yorkers from terrorist attacks. We have, as you know, built the most comprehensive and sophisticated counter terrorism operation of any local police force in the world.
[Homeland Security Secretary Janet] Napolitano has virtually banned the use of the word "terror" in her department. But calling an act of terror a "man-caused disaster" doesn't make it go away. It's hard to stop a terrorist if you deny his existence.Which is , of course, why, when you go to the Homeland Security website, you'll see this page, titled "Responsibilities" and at the top of the list there's: