Democracy Has Prevailed.

February 29, 2012

Here's a reason to vote for Patrick Murphy!

Via Patrick Murphy who's running for PA Attorney General:
Ultrasound Bill Unconstitutional, Legislature Must Stop Attack on Women
The legislature has no authority to force women to have an unnecessary, invasive medical procedure

(Philadelphia, PA) –Today, Iraq war veteran and former prosecutor Patrick Murphy issued the following statement in response to House Bill 1077, the so-called “Woman’sRight-to-Know Act,” which would force women to undergo a mandatory and invasive ultrasound at least 24 hours before receiving abortion care:

“We all support programs to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies. But this legislation is an outrageous assault on women’s rights in Pennsylvania and an unprecedented intrusion into decisions that should be made exclusively between a woman and her doctor. The proposal is demeaning and wrong. There is no legal justification for shoving an ultrasound screen in a woman’s face and forcing her to deliver printout image to her physician – all so she can get permission from the government to have a legal medical procedure. The legislature has no Constitutional authority to require women to have this unnecessary and invasive medical procedure and,therefore, must abandon this insulting attack on women’s rights. Even Bob McDonnell, the conservative Governor of Virginia, was forced to abandon a similar bill, admitting that it ‘might run afoul’ of the Constitution and open up the state to serious legal problems. If the legislature here in Pennsylvania moves the bill despite overwhelming objections, it is Governor Corbett’s responsibility to veto it.”

University of Pennsylvania Professor of Law Tobias Barrington Wolff agreed that the bill is unconstitutional, saying:

"The Supreme Court has held that a State cannot pass laws for the purpose of obstructing a woman's access to a legal abortion, nor impose undue burdens on that access. A law mandating that doctors perform a medically unnecessary procedure, including the use of an invasive transvaginal probe in some cases, and requiring doctors to position an ultrasound monitor in the woman's face whether or not she wants to watch it, appears designed to intimidate and humiliate. Pennsylvania cannot mandate such mistreatment of women."

Sad Sad Trumpet News...

From The Beeb:
World famous classical trumpeter Maurice Andre has died aged 78, it has been announced.
And with that, another of my heroes has passed away.

February 28, 2012

PA's Forced Ultrasound "Women's Right to Know Act" (Women's Right to No Rights Act)

Ladies! It's time to hide your vaginas from the probing of the Pennsylvania General Assembly who's attempting to get all up close and personal with your lady business.

Pennsylvania's state legislature knows that women folk have very little actual knowledge of their own bodies -- especially when they have a bun in the oven. They know that the little ladies are weak in mind and could use a helping hand (holding a transvaginal ultrasound) when contemplating an abortion. (You know, like the old joke about whacking a mule with a 2-by-4 to get its attention.)

They know that to keep the ladies on the righteous path, they need to mansplain to them what's happening in their special lady parts so that they can see the error of their ways. After all, who knows better than them (83% of whom are male) what women want and need?

Little things like facts -- 42% of women obtaining abortions have incomes below 100% of the federal poverty level and 61% of abortions are obtained by women who already have one or more children -- mean little to them. The ladies are simply being hysterical if they think they can't afford more kids or need to keep a job. They obviously need a thought adjustment.

That's why the PA General Assembly has decided that the best way to get their attention is to force them to have a medically unnecessary ultrasound 24 hours prior to an abortion. It also forces doctors to turn the ultrasound screen towards the woman’s face. It then forces the woman take TWO prints with her (one for her scrapbook, and the other one SHE has to bring to the doctor performing the abortion.) And, furthermore, it forces civil and criminal penalties for doctors and patients who dare defy their legislating of medicine.

You can read PA House Bill 1077 in all its gorey here. (The bit about “free ultrasound providers” is included so they can funnel women to so-called “crisis pregnancy centers” where they can be fed state-funded, unregulated misinformation by ultrasound providers that don't even have to have any training!)

Have a problem with it?

Here's what you can do:

1. Call your state representative.
(Find yours here.)

2. Write your state representative.
(Find yours here.)

3. Sign the petition here.
(They smashed through their old goal of 10,000 signatures and are now going for 50,000.)

Then, be sure tell all your friends to do the same.

Just do something!

Nice To See We Agree On Something!

And by "we" I mean me and Scaife's braintrust.

As I've written before, they're surprisingly critical of our Rick.  Ostensibly it has to do with Rick's then support of Arlen Specter over Pat Toomey in 2004 - and they're not alone in their conservative disdain of Rick.  But given the vitriol on their part, I suspect it's something deeper.  But it's just an evidence free gut feeling, if you will.

Which brings me back to today's criticism of Rick by Scaife's braintrust.  When they get something right, they should be congratulated.  CONGRATULATIONS TO SCAIFE'S BRAINTRUST!  THEY GOT ONE RIGHT.

Let's go take a look at the editorial:

February 27, 2012

PROOF! The Braintrust Has PROOF!

Of what?  You might ask.

That global warming is a hoax.

And what is their evidence?  You might then ask.

This you have to see for yourself:
A bat-killing fungus that can't tolerate heat above 68 degrees should wane in a human-warmed world. Yet it's spreading, killing more bats -- which suggests blame-mankind alarmists' climate models are flawed.
That's right. Bats.  Or more precisely Geomyces destructans.

February 26, 2012

Jack Kelly Sunday

This week's column by P-G columnist Jack Kelly is an amazing piece of writing.  All the tools of any good media manipulation are there; incomplete information, distortion and unsupported implication.

AY-und it's about climate change.  What could be a better read for a chilly Sunday morning?

Of course he's completely wrong about climate change.

February 23, 2012

Editorial Wars: The Trib vs The Truth

From the op-ed page at today's Tribune-Review:
The Los Angeles Times really should be embarrassed over a Tuesday editorial in which it dismisses any notion that "climate change" isn't settled science, invokes Hitler's "Mein Kampf," and rails over the prospect of balance being included in classroom curriculum. And that, dear lovers of liberty, is downright fascistic.
Again, once you take a look at what they're talking about you'll see the Trib's ongoing pattern of climate misinformation.

February 22, 2012

Heartland Institute, Deception, And The Trib

The first paragraph of an editorial today's op-ed page at the Tribune-Review reads like this:
All the Heartland Institute ever asked for was an "honest debate" about climate change. And that's exactly what the commonsense libertarian think tank out of Chicago has offered for years, on climate change and myriad other important issues.
The piece itself is about Peter Gleick's admission posted at the Huffingtonpost:
At the beginning of 2012, I received an anonymous document in the mail describing what appeared to be details of the Heartland Institute's climate program strategy. It contained information about their funders and the Institute's apparent efforts to muddy public understanding about climate science and policy. I do not know the source of that original document but assumed it was sent to me because of my past exchanges with Heartland and because I was named in it.

Given the potential impact however, I attempted to confirm the accuracy of the information in this document. In an effort to do so, and in a serious lapse of my own and professional judgment and ethics, I solicited and received additional materials directly from the Heartland Institute under someone else's name. The materials the Heartland Institute sent to me confirmed many of the facts in the original document, including especially their 2012 fundraising strategy and budget. I forwarded, anonymously, the documents I had received to a set of journalists and experts working on climate issues. I can explicitly confirm, as can the Heartland Institute, that the documents they emailed to me are identical to the documents that have been made public. I made no changes or alterations of any kind to any of the Heartland Institute documents or to the original anonymous communication.
Let's get Scaife's braintrust's first deception out of the way.  If I am reading the chart at Media Matters correctly, Scaife Foundations gave hundreds of thousands of dollars of support in the early years of Heartland's existence.

Not only that, but take a look at this:
Our research into the listed “sponsors” for the Heartland Institute’s upcoming “International Conference on Climate Change” finds that these organizations have received over $47 million from energy companies and right-wing foundations, with 78% of that total coming from the Scaife Family of foundations.
What they did, it seems, is to count up all the foundation support for the sponsors of the conference and then track the money those sponsors received from Exxon, Scaife, and Koch. Low and behold they discover something we've known all along. Scaife's support is everywhere.

So let's not kid ourselves into thinking that Scaife's braintrust's interest in protecting Heartland is purely altruistic.

It's also interesting to point out a discrepancy here.  When someone hacks into a mail server in East Anglia and publishes stolen emails, the Trib has nothing negative to say about that deception.  And yet Gleick's deception (to them at least) undermines his credibility.


And still no mention by Scaife's braintrust of NOAA conclusion that climate change is undeniable.

February 21, 2012

Fun With Video: The Frothy Mix

Shit Santorum Says:

New Santorum Campaign Ad:

Documentary on Rick "Honey Badger" Santorum's Tenacity:

Teh Birther Crazie In Pennsylvania - Locally

They say all politics is local.  Perhaps all teh crazie's local, too.

From Birther-central, World Net Daily:
A complaint has been filed asking Pennsylvania state officials to set aside Barack Obama’s 2012 presidential candidacy, because he cannot meet the state’s eligibility requirements.

It’s another case in what is developing into a long list of states in which Obama’s candidacy is being challenged legally. A complaint recently was filed in Indiana, and Georgia’s dispute already is moving to the appellate level. Cases also are reported to be developing in Mississippi, Alabama and other states.

The Pennsylvania case was raised by Dale Laudenslager and Charles Kerchner, whose previous legal challenge to Obama’s term in the White House also was based on eligibility concerns and reached the U.S. Supreme Court, where the justices refused to look at any evidence.
Because there isn't any, but let's not go there just yet.

February 20, 2012

Rick Santorum: "The Believer" says President has a "phony theology"

Back in 2005, the New York Times Magazine did a cover story on then Senator Santorum titled "The Believer." From that article:
Sean Reilly, a former aide to Santorum in the Senate and now a political consultant in Philadelphia, said that he has come to view his former boss in other than political terms. ''Rick Santorum is a Catholic missionary,'' he said. ''That's what he is. He's a Catholic missionary who happens to be in the Senate.''


Santorum is not a reader of Scripture -- ''I've never read the Bible cover to cover; maybe I should have'' -- and has no passages he clings to when seeking spiritual guidance. ''I'm a Catholic, so I'm not a biblical scholar. I'm not someone who has verses he can pop out. That's not how I interact with the faith.''
However, despite his lack of Bible training, Lil Ricky feels perfectly comfortable in criticizing President Obama's understanding of scripture and theology:
The “president’s agenda” is “not about you,” he said. “It’s not about you. It’s not about your quality of life. It’s not about your job.

“It’s about some phony ideal, some phony theology,” Santorum said to applause from the crowd. “Oh, not a theology based on the Bible, a different theology, but no less a theology.” [...]

Although Santorum criticizes the president daily on the campaign trail, this is the first time he has used this rhetoric or said the president has a “different theology.”
And, Uber Catholic Santorum doesn't just question Obama on theology, he questions all mainline Protestants. Here's Santorum in 2008:
We all know that this country was founded on a Judeo-Christian ethic but the Judeo-Christian ethic was a Protestant Judeo-Christian ethic, sure the Catholics had some influence, but this was a Protestant country and the Protestant ethic, mainstream, mainline Protestantism, and of course we look at the shape of mainline Protestantism in this country and it is in shambles, it is gone from the world of Christianity as I see it. [...]

Whether its sensuality of vanity of the famous in America, they are peacocks on display and they have taken their poor behavior and made it fashionable. The corruption of culture, the corruption of manners, the corruption of decency is now on display whether it’s the NBA or whether it’s a rock concert or whether it’s on a movie set.
Santorum has since defended his remarks on Obama and claimed that he was not questioning Obama's faith or the legitimacy of his Christianity (unlike the Christianity of all mainline Protestants?). Meanwhile, Robert Gibbs, Obama campaign strategist and former White House press secretary, rightfully called Santorum's comments “well over the line.”

Perhaps it's time for Someone to remind Lil Ricky that this election will not be decided with a puff of white smoke and that he's running for President and not Pope.

Looks like it's time for me to update this graphic I made when he was running for the Senate:

February 19, 2012

Mom...They're Doing It Again

They're omitting stuff and hoping we won't notice.

From today's Op-Ed page at the Trib:
"Global warming" is having such a pervasive effect (ahem) on the Earth that new research shows snowfall in the Sierra Nevada has remained consistent for 130 years. And the amount of snow in these mountains has not decreased over the last 50 years, the climate cluckers' supposedly worst warming period. All together now -- "Throw another log on the fire, honey. It's cold outside."
Oh the things that Scaife's braintrust leaves out! 

Once you see how much they chose not to tell you, you get a glimpse of how much they're willing to do to get you to believe their anti-science. Let's go take a look.

February 18, 2012


Scaife's braintrust can be faithfully expected to spew the usual right wing nutty nut job skepticism when it comes to climate science.  But today's editorial is something all together different:
Climate alarmists who blame mankind's "smokestack" emissions betray their unscientific slant by ignoring the effects of pre-industrial clearing of forests, which a new study documents.

Six French researchers report in the journal Science that ancient sediment cores from the Congo River's mouth show a significant human role "in changing the landscapes of Central Africa" about 3,500 years ago, according to Scientific American.

The cores show river sediments increased suddenly, without increased rainfall, at the time when the Bantu people "brought farming into the region."

Clearing forests to plant oil palm, pearl millet and yams -- "crops that need plenty of sunlight" -- they helped create African savannas, previously thought to be the result of "climate change" only.

Scientific American says the paper doesn't settle which came first, savannas or agriculture. But by demonstrating that clearing forests -- a practice that continues today -- can change climate, the paper exposes a glaring blind spot in global-warming alarmists' "reasoning."

It's a reminder that "settled" science about incredibly complex ecosystems is anything but settled -- and that when politics enters scientific debate, such debate becomes anything but serious and scientific.
The argument, I think, is that because humans have been affecting the climate for millenia by cutting down trees, "climate alarmists" get it wrong when they blame "smokestack" emissions for climate change.

I think that's it.  I can't really tell.  Are they saying that global warming isn't occurring because it's always occurred as long as human beings farmed?  Or that it is occurring (what??) but not because of green house gasses.  Let's look at the science anyway to see what we find.

February 17, 2012

The War on Women, Part II: What's Wrong With This Picture?

Here's a photograph of the witness table at yesterday's House hearing on contraceptives:

If you don't get what's wrong with it, I'll spell it out for you:

Via Think Progress:
This morning, Democrats tore into House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) for preventing women from testifying before a hearing examining the Obama administration’s new regulation requiring employers and insurers to provide contraception coverage to their employees. Republicans oppose the administration’s rule and have sponsored legislation that would allow employers to limit the availability of birth control to women.


Issa also dismissed the Democrats’ woman witness as a “college student’ who does not “have the appropriate credentials” to testify before his committee.
So what was the appropriately credentialed remarks like? Here's the testimony of the Most Reverend William E. Lori, Bishop of Bridgeport, on behalf of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (Shorter version: women's va-jay-jays are the mandated ham salad sandwich at a kosher deli -- I kid you not!).

The War on Women, Part I: Keep Your Knees Together, Gals!

Rick Santorum's Super PAC donor, Foster Friess, offers us gals some advice:

"Back in my days, they used Bayer Aspirin for contraceptives. The gals put it between their knees and it wasn't that costly."

Digging The Trib. Again.

I'll try to make this quick.

From the Op-Ed page at today's Tribune-Review we read:
FCC rejection of a planned satellite/wireless network that interferes with GPS frequencies is welcome recognition that technological realities trump crony capitalism.

The Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday moved toward revoking a waiver that required LightSquared to show the interference problem could be solved. The Hill's Hillicon Valley blog reports the head of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration told the FCC "there are no mitigation strategies that ... solve the interference issues ... ."

That's good news for GPS-reliant commercial aviation safety and military operations -- and bad news for big Obama donors backing LightSquared and for the president, who invested $50,000 in 2005.

Hedge fund operator Phil Falcone put $2 billion-plus into LightSquared. A major Obama donor, he now says he's a Republican who didn't try to influence the FCC process.
Too bad those last two paragraph are riddled with factual holes.  They want you to think one thing (it's all "Democrat crony capitalism") when the facts paint a far different picture.

February 15, 2012

How Technology is Changing the Aesthetics of the News

Via Carnegie Mellon News:
Event: How are innovations like the iPad and smartphone, and platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr affecting the "art" of the news industry?

Carnegie Mellon University's Center for the Arts in Society (CAS), a research center within the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences and College of Fine Arts that investigates the role of arts in societies, is hosting six prominent members of the Pittsburgh media to discuss how technology and social media are changing the aesthetics of news. Topics will include how their roles have evolved due to technology innovations, what the changes mean for consumers of news and where the media industry is headed next. The panelists are:
•John Allison (@John_M_Allison), Pittsburgh Post-Gazette opinion editor;
•Deanna Garcia (@eprdeanna), Essential Pittsburgh Radio reporter;
•Maria Lupinacci @maria_in_pgh), award-winning blogger and media watchdog at 2 Political Junkies;
Tony Norman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist;
•Chris Potter (@CPotterPgh), Pittsburgh City Paper editor; and
Martha Rial, Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

When: 4:45 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 15
Where: Steinberg Auditorium, Baker Hall A53, Carnegie Mellon University
Hashtag for Event: #CMUmedia

More info here.

More On Saccone's "The Year Of The Bible" Resolution

Remember this?

In late January, we blogged on local waterboard-endorsing, sharia-hating Republican legislator, Rick Saccone (R-Elizabeth) and his "Year of the Bible" resolution passed by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

Well, some of those legislators want to take it back.

February 14, 2012

I'm beginning to think that they don't really like women

[Where "I'm beginning to think" means "I've always known."]
  • Rick Santorum blames his wife for anti-feminist statements in his book.

  • GOP to fight to let any employer deny birth control coverage to women.

  • Virginia to continue shackling pregnant inmates while giving birth.

  • Zero Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee vote to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act.

  • Fox News pundit says women in military should expect to be raped and that feminists have demanded too much money to fund programs for sexual abuse victims. (I wonder if Ron Paul would consider those to be "honest" rapes...)
  • Santorum: New GOP Frontrunner?

    Lil Ricky celebrates by doing the
    angry white male R version of jazz hands.

    Santorum surges ahead in national polls.

    (Photo from daylife via Shakesville)

    February 13, 2012

    Digging The Trib. Again.

    Quietly, hoping no one would notice, Scaife's braintrust gives away some free publicity. From today's Tribune-Review:
    It has been more than four years since the mysterious honeybee-killing Colony Collapse Disorder emerged. And more than a few observers predicted it would devastate American agriculture.

    But the disorder's effects on pollination and food remain mild. And that's thanks to resilient, ingenious beekeepers and orchard owners.

    Colony Collapse Disorder has, since 2007, killed an average of 33 percent of honeybees between fall and spring. Yet as agricultural economists Randal R. Rucker and Walter N. Thurman note, there's "only slim evidence of a small economic impact."

    Writing for the Property & Environment Research Center, they remind that birds and bats pollinate, too. Honey and pollinated foods remain abundant and their prices haven't soared. And beekeepers and farmers have found ways to cope.

    To wit, beekeepers are splitting healthy hives to form new ones.

    The economics-based perspective of Messrs. Rucker and Thurman is a welcome antidote to eyeball-grabbing gloom-and-doom headlines about Colony Collapse Disorder -- and a far more accurate way to gauge the malady's true ramifications.
    Even when it's not even about politics, they can't help themselves.  Guess what we find when we dig into this  op-ed?  That's right more and more Scaife money.

    February 12, 2012

    More On Rick Santorum's Hanukkuh Card

    It's a rare event when I can fill in the blanks like this on something The Trib published.  But first some context.

    The Trib really really REALLY doesn't like lil Ricky.  And so it's understandable when they publish this:
    Perhaps Rick Santorum was attempting to convert them.

    News broke Wednesday that the Republican presidential contender and former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania made a thoughtful gesture to his Jewish supporters in South Carolina in December. His campaign sent them Hanukkah cards.

    The cards were adorned with Stars of David, a pair of dreidels and the following inscription: "I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the light of life."

    Where did that come from? It's from John 8:12 in the Bible's New Testament.

    That's right -- the New Testament. If you need an explanation as to why that was such a hysterical faux pas, Santorum probably has a prominent position waiting for you on his campaign staff.
    Turns out the Trib was telling the truth.

    February 11, 2012

    Digging The Trib...

    It seems to be a hobby of mine to research the research presented by my good friends the Scaife braintrust over at the Tribune-Review.

    Most of the time after Googling the proper nouns (research sources, purported "experts") I find the conveniently omitted facts that the braintrust doesn't want you to see.  What they leave out tells you much more than what the include.

    Today's a good example.  In a piece about the recent row over birth control and the Roman Catholic Church find this paragraph:
    As Horace Cooper, a real constitutional law scholar, put it, "(E)ven this exemption fails to accept that the government may not force citizens to choose between their faith or obeying the law regardless of where they work or who they employ."
    Horace Cooper? Who's Horace Cooper?  Google and goggle the hidden Scaife connections.

    February 10, 2012

    This is not about churches or religious freedom

    Let's get it straight. The Affordable Care Act requires health insurers to cover contraception without co-pays. It does not, however, require religions, churches, parishes, dioceses, archdioceses, etc. to cover contraception -- they are exempt (if you're a secretary working for a church you're shit out of luck). What we're talking about are public institutions like universities and hospitals -- non-profit businesses (much in the same way that UPMC, for example, is a "non-profit") -- who take government money and who take money from the public being required to follow the law to not discriminate against women when covering their health care costs.

    That's it.

    If the Catholic Church does not want to follow the law, they can stop taking federal funds or they can get out of the business of running businesses.

    That's it.

    That's their choice.

    (Jesus' choice -- from all available evidence -- would seem to be to sell everything and give it to the poor. Just saying...) on R. M. Scaife

    A week or so ago, posted this article titled:
    Billionaires Channel Millions to Think Tanks
    So you can pretty much guess what the post is about.  Laurie Bennett, author of the piece, begins thusly:
    Just as big money is transforming politics, it’s also helping to reshape American think tanks.

    Members of the Forbes 400 have poured millions of dollars into research organizations that fit their social, political and/or business concerns.

    The conservative Heritage Foundation has received funding from libertarian Charles G. Koch, CEO of Koch Industries, as well as from Richard Mellon Scaife, owner of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and heir to the Mellon banking fortune.
    Ah, there it is.  Nice to see it mainstreamed at  In looking in all the political directions of this story (which is fair) she does a "they all do it" approach to the think tank funders; right, left and middle.

    February 9, 2012

    Another Trib Blurb, Another Bit Of Disinformation

    From today's Thursday Wrap:
    The New York Times says the Obama administration will "dispatch Cabinet officials" and "senior advisers at the White House" to urge campaign donors to support Priorities USA Action, the Democrats' top "super PAC." So, why isn't the Federal Election Commission investigating the administration for clearly violating the Hatch Act and laws against campaigns coordinating efforts with "independent" political action committees?
    As with everything else dripping off of the Trib's editorial page, once you dig into the story, you'll see that Scaife's braintrust either doesn't do its homework or it doesn't expect you to.

    For the record

    1) I agree with Potter that the bigger story is the outside agitator "threat" meme and demonization process happening in the media.

    2) But, for the record, here is a photograph -- taken on February 6th -- of the "heat-retaining Mylar to line tents and sleeping bags" that was used at the camp (courtesy of Joy Sabl):

    (Click to enlarge)

    All kind of moot anyway now that the occupiers have left Mellon Green as of yesterday...

    Perhaps the Mayans were on to something after all

    Case in point

    February 8, 2012

    The Trib, The News, And The Scaife Money

    In light of yesterday's blog post about how in the news division at the Scaife-owned Tribune-Review there's little (well, NO) mention any of the Scaife foundation money that supports some of the think tanks the news division uses for information, I wanted to look at how they use The Allegheny Institute for Public Policy in their news or business reporting.

    The Institute, by the way, is described by Media Matters like this:
    Founded in 1995, the Allegheny Institute for Public Policy is closely connected to conservative billionaire Richard Melon Scaife. The Institute is guided by the principles of free enterprise, property rights, civil society and individual freedom that are the bedrock upon which this nation was founded.
    And we've noted before how closely related - of all the foundation support given to the Allegheny Institute about 85% came from foundations directly controlled by Trib owner, Richard Mellon Scaife.

    And even in its news reporting (as defined as having the word "business" or "news" in its URL), none of that is ever mentioned.

    February 7, 2012

    Zito And The Trib, Helping Out When They Can

    Take a look at Salena Zito's first two paragraphs from this morning.  This isn't a column of hers, by the way.  If its URL is to be believed, it's in the Trib's "News" division.  So it's un-opinionated news:
    FreedomWorks, a Tea Party organization, is expected today to endorse a former Senate staffer and researcher with the conservative Heritage Foundation in the 18th District congressional race.

    Evan Feinberg, 27, of Upper St. Clair is challenging Rep. Tim Murphy in the GOP primary on April 24.
    There are two names you should notice in that first paragraph; FreedomWorks and Heritage Foundation.  Couple that with the Braintrust's editorial stance on Murphy and you'll see two things;
    • The Trib's not a fan of Murphy (neither am I, but that's beside the point)
    • Their Trib's editorial policy is oh-so-conveniently reflected in their "news" coverage.  Again

    February 6, 2012

    Occupy Pittsburgh March

    NOTE: All photos and videos on today's posts (unless otherwise noted) are courtesy of Joy Sabl

    Video from the start of the march:

    More pre march photos:

    Fractivist and former Pittsburgh City Councilor Doug Shields lends his support

    Occupy Pittsburgh Video

    Pre Rally:

    Snippet of start of rally:

    Occupy Pittsburgh Photos

    What the camp looks like now:

    Occupy Pittsburgh Today

    Well, today's the day. Occupy Pittsburgh is facing a noon deadline today to leave Mellon Park. Much of it was being taken down over the weekend.

    Also, Bram deflates the unoccupied Pittsburgh story here.

    Expect some arrests of those who choose (and have been trained) to be arrested -- and hopefully, no more than that.

    If you wish to show peaceful, nonconfrontational solidarity with Occupy Pittsburgh -- basically bear witness -- get on down there now.

    And, of course THIS.

    The Trib Takes On Forecast The Facts

    The anti-science Braintrust attempts to defend anti-science meteorologists today.  Unfortunately (for them) they stumble into their own contradiction.  But we'll get to that in a sec.

    First they play the Soros card:
    An effort backed by extreme-left billionaire George Soros to restore the deservedly dwindling credibility of "science" distorted to serve anti-growth politics is targeting TV meteorologists who don't buy the global-warming orthodoxy.

    The deceptively named Forecast the Facts campaign's website says it's "led by, the League of Conservation Voters and the Citizen Engagement Lab ... ." But it doesn't say that Mr. Soros' Open Society Foundations gave Citizen Engagement Lab a two-year, $300,000 grant in 2010.
    Curious how a coterie that routinely bypasses any mention of how their own billionaire boss routinely funds some of the  biggest climate science deniers (Heritage Foundation - $23 million+ of Scaife money) seems to be offended when someone else's billionaire boss grants money to science defenders.  How surprising is that?

    February 3, 2012

    More Anti-Science From The Tribune-Review

    Scaife's braintrust's latest climate spin's already been refuted.  It's like they're not really paying attention to the science - only the hype they want to believe, the hype they want you to believe.

    Too bad reality's not helping their cause.

    From The Tribune-Review today:
    New indications that blame-mankind climate models are deeply flawed are inconvenient truths indeed for the global-warming sham.

    The UK's Daily Mail reports that:

    • New data from 30,000-plus measuring stations -- released by The Met Office, self-described as "the UK's National Weather Service," and the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit, a blame-mankind stronghold -- confirm world temperatures stopped rising in 1997, even though carbon dioxide levels didn't.

    • The sun, unusually energetic last century, is at the peak of its 11-year activity cycle -- but with only about half the usual number of sunspots.

    Experts say the sun will weaken more in its next cycle, raising the likelihood of a mini-ice age. Yet the Met Office insists solar weakening will have negligible consequences. That's because its climate model -- which wrongly predicted continued warming after 1997 -- assumes that man-made CO2's climate effects far exceed the sun's.
    Now let's go see why The Trib's spin's a sham.

    February 2, 2012

    Mitt Romney's Foot-in-Mouth & Tin Ear Disease

    The boy just can't help it. He's done it again:
    "I'm in this race because I care about Americans. I'm not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there. If it needs repair, I'll fix it," the Republican front-runner said Wednesday on CNN, following his victory in the Florida primary.

    And, it isn't just the left that finds his statement problematic. The right is doing a facepalm too.

    Maybe the Komen folks can do a spin-off for Mitt's disease.

    The Trib Goes With Mitt

    I guess they've made their decision.  In two separate places on today's Op-Ed page, Scaife's braintrust supports Mitt Romney.

    Romney gets the final word in the Thursday Wrap:
    Or as Mitt Romney likes to put it: "Once we thought 'entitlement' meant that Americans were entitled to the privilege of trying to succeed in the greatest country in the world. But today the new entitlement battle is over the size of the check you get from Washington." Sigh.
    And he gets his own Op-Ed:
    Rick Santorum got all bristled-up that Newt Gingrich would even suggest that he drop out of the race for the Republican presidential nomination.

    Then came Tuesday's Florida primary and Messrs. Santorum and Gingrich were spanked -- sharply and thoroughly -- by Mitt Romney.

    Turgid to form, Gingrich has vowed to carry the nomination fight to the GOP convention floor in Tampa this summer.

    Oh, goody -- a vainglorious bowlful of jelly plans to tour the country in promotion of Suicide by Newt.

    It's time for Newt to take his own advice and drag Little Ricky with him -- get out of the race.
    Hey, they called him "Little Ricky"!  That's something I've been doing for years.  Good to know.  Anyway the op-ed ends unambiguously with this:
    The time is now for the Republican Party to coalesce around Mitt Romney and get on with the business of exposing and defeating Barack Obama.
    But what will they do with this from that other Scaife-owned conservative "news" source, Newsmax?

    In a piece titled "Romney Record Is ‘Flexible’ on Global Warming" Deroy Murdock, Media Fellow at the Hoover Institution (another huge beneficiary of Scaife Foundation money, by the way) lays out some Romney climate flip-flops:
    A recently exposed, online dossier believed by some to be from the 2008 John McCain campaign, offers 200 pages of Romney's self-contradictions, vacillations and head scratchers. His views on so-called global warming are just the tip of this nonmelting iceberg of confusion.

    The dossier includes Ryan Sager's New York Sun story of April 20, 2007, in which Romney embraces a 1940s fuel source. "Liquefied coal, gosh," Romney said. "Hitler during the Second World War — I guess because he was concerned about losing his oil — liquefied coal. That technology is still there."

    Less bizarre were Romney's 2003 comments to religious leaders. According to the Los Angeles Times on March 25, 2007, Romney said he was "terrified" about "warming" and found it "quite alarming."

    In July 2003, Romney wrote then-Gov. George Elmer Pataki of New York, from one RINO (Republican in name only) to another. "Now is the time to take action toward climate protection," Romney declared. He advocated a "regional cap-and-trade system" for New York and Massachusetts.

    In 2004, Romney launched the Massachusetts Climate Protection Plan, "a coordinated statewide response to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect the climate," as his office described it.

    In a press release dated Dec. 7, 2005, Romney announced that "strict state limitations on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from power plants" would take effect Jan. 1, 2006.
    Boggles the mind.

    February 1, 2012

    RIP Don Cornelius

    NYT: "Don Cornelius, ‘Soul Train’ Creator, Is Dead"

    Your show was a staple of my youth.

    Peace, love and soul.

    Another Logical Fallacy At The Trib

    We'll start with the fallacy: post hoc ergo propter hoc which is defined as:
    The post hoc ergo propter hoc (after this therefore because of this) fallacy is based upon the mistaken notion that simply because one thing happens after another, the first event was a cause of the second event.
    Now let's look at The Trib and see how they stroked the fallacy.

    Komen defunds Planned Parenthood breast exams

    That will teach those slutty, slut sluts trying to get reasonably-priced breast exams at Planned Parenthood -- let 'em get cancer!

    Via The Washington Post:
    The Associated Press reports that Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the nation’s leading breast-cancer charity, will cut off its funding to Planned Parenthood affiliates, where the foundation has traditionally paid for preventive screening services.

    According to the AP, the move will mean “a cutoff of hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants, mainly for breast exams.” Planned Parenthood confirms that Komen is the first, and only, organization to cut off funding since the Congress began debating the issue in earnest last winter.

    Komen said it could not continue to fund Planned Parenthood because it has adopted new guidelines that bar it from funding organizations under congressional investigation. The House oversight and investigations subcommittee announced in the fall an investigation into Planned Parenthood’s funding.
    Notice this was done under new guidelines that they adopted. What's also new is their senior vice president, Karen Handel, who ran for governor of Georgia on a platform of defunding Planned Parenthood.

    Just another anti-choicer who doesn't really give a shit about women.

    What can you do?

    Via Shakesville:
    Call your local Komen office (find yours here) and let them know what you think of their new funding guidelines. Donate to your community's Planned Parenthood (find yours here) and ask that your gift be put toward unfunded breast health care. And breast-havers, do your annual self-exam!

    Santorum Captivates Christian Kids

    (Click photo to enlarge)

    Lil Ricky came in third in the Florida primary, by the way, with 13.4% of the vote.

    (h/t to BagNewsNotes via AmericaBlog)