Democracy Has Prevailed.

December 29, 2017

Well, THAT Was Fast (Trump Tweets Climate - And Shows His Ignorance)

Remember how I warned that someone might bring up the current (and local) frigid weather and look to use it in an argument against climate change?

Remember? It was only yesterday.

Well, guess who brought it up?
Yep. It is he - The Orange Vulgarity, The Pussygrabber-in-Chief, The Donald.

From CNN:
President Donald Trump, on vacation in balmy Florida, suggested that climate change could be a good thing on Thursday, tweeting that cities gripped by freezing temperatures on the East Coast could use some warming.
Too bad that's now how climate change works (see yesterday's blog post - it links to this from NASA).

So there's record cold in NYC. Fine, does Trump know that there's record heat right now in Sydney, Australia?
Sydney is on track to post its fourth warmest December on record, according to Weatherzone. For the year, the city's mean, maximum and minimum temperatures will be in the top five warmest on records going back to 1858, the Bureau of Meteorology said.
Does that mean that Sydney could use some of that "global cooling" that the science deniers keep prattling on about?  Maybe Senator Inhofe could send them a snowball from DC. That'll solve everything.

Trump's ignorance is stunning.

December 28, 2017

Ok So Before Someone Brings It Up, Let's Deal With It

It's 1 degree outside right now (that's Fahrenheit, remember. it's -17 degrees Celsius).

That's very very cold.

But let's remember: Weather does not equal climate:
The difference between weather and climate is a measure of time. Weather is what conditions of the atmosphere are over a short period of time, and climate is how the atmosphere "behaves" over relatively long periods of time.
So when Senator Inhofe (and other science deniers) think that evidence of a snowball in Washington DC (or a few days of single digit temperatures here in Pittsburgh) are enough to discount the settled science, let's remember what Stephen Colbert said:
The science is true even if you don't believe it.

December 27, 2017

Born Today in 1571 - Johannes Kepler

He's the guy who came up with these rules of planetary motion:
  1. All planets move about the Sun in elliptical orbits, having the Sun as one of the foci.
  2. A radius vector joining any planet to the Sun sweeps out equal areas in equal lengths of time.
  3. The squares of the sidereal periods (of revolution) of the planets are directly proportional to the cubes of their mean distances from the Sun.
That last one is probably the most beautiful thing I've ever read.

Science. It's true even if you don't believe in it.

December 26, 2017


And yes, I know it's Tuesday and yes I know there's no letter posted.

It's the week between Christmas and New Years Day - I'm taking a break on the Toomey letters.

See you next week.

December 22, 2017

Senator Toomey RESPONDS To Another Letter (But He Gets Credit For TWO)

Howver, given the events of the past few weeks, the point is moo.

Yesterday, I received an email from Senator Pat Toomey.  It opens thusly:
Thank you for contacting me about Alabama's special election for the U.S. Senate. I appreciate hearing from you.
Senator Toomey still appreciates hearing from me!  Good, the letters will continue.

Anyway, I wrote the senator two Roy Moore letters:
  • Letter Thirty-nine: Where I asked, basically, which side he was on. On the one hand, Toomey had at that point already publicly asked Roy Moore to step aside but on the other Donald Trump had publicly endorsed Moore. Which side was Toomey on?
  • Letter Thirty-six: Where I asked the senator what he'd do if Moore were to win.
And here's Senator Toomey's answer in full:
Thank you for contacting me about Alabama's special election for the U.S. Senate. I appreciate hearing from you.

On November 9, 2017, the Washington Post published a detailed news article alleging that then-U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore engaged in appalling behavior with teenage girls in the late 1970s and early 1980s when he was a local prosecutor in his early 30s. Subsequently, additional women made allegations of misconduct against Moore, who has denied any wrongdoing.

The allegations against Moore are very serious and deeply disturbing. After hearing them and Moore's denials, I publicly called on Moore to step aside as a candidate for the U.S. Senate. On November 12, during an interview on the NBC news program Meet the Press, I unequivocally called for Moore to withdraw from the Senate race.

On December 12, 2017, Democratic candidate Doug Jones defeated Moore in Alabama's special election. I look forward to working with Mr. Jones in the U.S. Senate.

Thank you again for your correspondence. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can be of assistance.
And while it's certainly gratifying for a sitting US Senator to thank me (again) for my correspondence, I have to point out a few things:
  • While he didn't actually change his position on Moore, we can probably infer that his answer to the first question is that he's still not a fan - good for him for not siding with Trump on this one.
  • But since Moore lost the election (though at this writing, he still hasn't conceded) the second question is mute.
This was an easy one, Senator.   We still have questions about the $1.5 trillion you just added to the budget, whether you'd still vote for Donald Trump, whether you agree with Trump's attack on the press, and so on.

December 21, 2017

Darlene Harris, Defender of the Faith & Small, Noncompliant Creches

When we last left our heroine, Pittsburgh City Councilor Darlene Harris was keeping an unauthorized $2,000 plaque labeled "Ravenstahl" safe and sound. But now, she's having a devil of a time keeping a wood-and-porcelain nativity scene -- and therefore Christmas, and possibly all of Christianity -- out of harm's way. From the Post-Gazette:
The nativity scene that she places under the council Christmas tree — on display every year in the City-County Building — has gone missing. If it doesn’t turn up within a couple days or so, Mrs. Harris said, she will file a police report. 
“And when I put my police report in, I will let them know who has been at the bottom of all this,” she said, although she didn’t name names in council chambers.
But even if there is no Christmas miracle that sees its safe return, it warms the cockles of all good yinzers' hearts to know that, nevertheless, she persisted.

December 20, 2017

Meanwhile, Outside

While the Congress has been busy making sure the already wealthy will have just a little (or perhaps even a lot) more money in the next few decades by making the rest of us pay for it (MAGA!), it's still getting warmer outside.

And for some reason the Trump administration is still allowing NOAA allowing to report the science:
The November temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.35°F above the 20th century average of 55.2°F. This value tied with 2016 as the fifth highest for November in the 1880-2017 record. November 2017 marks the 41st consecutive November and the 395th consecutive month with temperatures at least nominally above the 20th century average.
The year-to-date temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.51°F above the 20th century average of 57.2°F. This was the third highest for January-November in the 1880-2017 record, behind the record year 2016 and 2015 (second highest).
And in Trumps's America (Made Great Again):
One Environmental Protection Agency employee spoke up at a private lunch held near the agency headquarters, saying she feared the nation might be headed toward an “environmental catastrophe.” Another staff member, from Seattle, sent a letter to Scott Pruitt, the EPA administrator, raising similar concerns about the direction of the agency. A third, from Philadelphia, went to a rally where he protested against agency budget cuts.

Three different agency employees, in different jobs, from three different cities, but each encountered a similar outcome: Federal records show that within a matter of days, requests were submitted for copies of emails written by them that mentioned either Pruitt or President Donald Trump, or any communication with Democrats in Congress that might have been critical of the agency.

The requests came from a Virginia-based lawyer working with America Rising, a Republican campaign research group that specializes in helping party candidates and conservative groups find damaging information on political rivals, and which, in this case, was looking for information that could embarrass the employees who had criticized the EPA.

Now a company affiliated with America Rising, named Definers Public Affairs, has been hired by the EPA to provide “media monitoring,” in a move the agency said was intended to keep better track of newspaper and video stories about EPA operations nationwide.

But the sequence of events has created a wave of fear among employees, particularly those already under surveillance, who said official assurances hardly put them at ease.

“This is a witch hunt against EPA employees who are only trying to protect human health and the environment,” said Gary Morton, the EPA employee in Philadelphia, who works on preventing spills from underground storage tanks. His emails were targeted seven days after he participated in a union rally in March challenging proposed budget cuts. “What they are doing is trying to intimidate and bully us into silence,” he said.
It's been said (many times and many ways) that all politics is local. Such is the case with the above mentioned Mr Morton.  This is what you'll find if you were to click on the link above:

All email exchanged between Gary Morton and the office of U.S. Senator Bob Casey since February 1, 2017.

BTW, the contract with America Rising has been cancelled.
The Republican media monitoring firm Definers Public Affairs canceled its $120,000 contract with the Environmental Protection Agency after a media backlash because of the company's links to GOP opposition research firm America Rising.
How much do you want to bet the surveillance would have continued had it not been exposed?

Meanwhile, it's getting warmer outside. Bullying EPA employees in to silence is not going to stop it.

But this is life in Trump's America. MAGA!!

December 19, 2017

My FORTY-FIRST 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. Your constituent who also writes for the local Pittsburgh-based political blog, "2 Political Junkies."

Senator, six months or so ago you wrote to me regarding Special Council Mueller's investigation into the Russian meddling into the 2016 election telling me that you had "every confidence that Robert Mueller will execute [his] responsibilities with integrity and professionalism."

Recently it's been reported that there's a rumor floating around DC that Donald Trump plans to fire Robert Mueller before Christmas and thus stop the investigation (though the White House has denied these rumors).

Newsweek is reporting that former Attorney General Eric Holder is calling for nationwide peaceful protests in opposition if Trump were to fire Mueller.

My question is this: Given your stated support of Robert Mueller's integrity, if that were to happen (if Trump were to fire Mueller and/or otherwise shut down his investigation) what will you do? What side will you be on?

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


December 18, 2017

There's A Political Disconnect Here.

From The Washington Post:
The outcome of the tax votes, however, appears certain after Republican Sens. Marco Rubio (Fla.) and Bob Corker (Tenn.) on Friday pledged their support. The two gave the GOP the Senate votes to pass the bill, even as Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who is battling an aggressive form of brain cancer, returned to Arizona on Sunday. He is not expected to vote on the final bill.

The measure’s passage would mark the first major legislative accomplishment for Trump and GOP leaders in a year of stumbles, the products of months of negotiations and late adjustments aimed at winning over the last holdouts.

Republicans fanned out across the national news shows Sunday as part of their continued efforts to sell the public on the bill, promising benefits to the middle class both from tax cuts and ensuing economic growth.

“We think as a result of lowering business taxes, wages will go up. So, this is a huge opportunity for creating jobs, for creating tax cuts for working families,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Congress’ nonpartisan tax analysts, joining several other nonpartisan assessments, concluded that the bulk of the bill’s benefits would go to the wealthy and corporations. Those analyses have also projected that the cuts will produce far less economic growth than Trump and administration officials are promising.
Oh, yea. And this:
Polls suggest that the public is skeptical of the promised major gains for the middle class. In a recent CBS poll, 76 percent of respondents said the bill’s biggest benefits would go to the largest corporations. Democrats, who were shut out of the bill’s construction and find themselves all but powerless to prevent its passage, attempted to hammer home that point Sunday.
So the cuts will mean more money to the already wealthy but they won't produce the economic gains our friends in the GOP have promised us - all while a skeptical public watches, more or less powerless to stop it.

Trump's America.

December 16, 2017

Senator Toomey RESPONDS To Another Letter

In yesterday's mail, I received another response from Senator Pat Toomey.

Senator Toomey begins with this:
Thank you for contacting me about reforming our nation's tax code. I appreciate hearing from you.
Again, relieved that he STILL appreciates hearing from me. Whew.

The first task is to ascertain which of my open letters to Toomey he's answering.  As this one is dated November 27, 2017 we can safely assume it doesn't answer any letter after my thirty-seventh (which is about Thanksgiving anyway).

So which one is it?

Letter 33 kind of mentions tax reform, but really only in passing. It's my only "tax" letter so this must be it.

In that letter, I wrote that:
The LA Times reported that "Senate Republicans overcame internal divisions late Thursday to approve a 2018 budget that will increase the deficit by $1.5 trillion over 10 years to allow for President Trump’s proposed tax cuts. They also reported that the budget "slashes domestic spending, including steep cuts to Medicare and Medicaid."
I also wrote that the NYTimes reporting on how Trump's tax plan is
...potentially a huge windfall for the wealthiest Americans with no benefits for the bottom 1/3 and only modest benefits for the middle class.
And I asked how he could vote for something that does all that and slashes Medicare/Medicaid while increasing the deficit by a trillion or more dollars.

To that letter, Senator Pat Toomey responded with:
Tax reform can help to create sustained economic growth for all Americans. The Congressional Budget Office (CB) has projected the nation's gross domestic product to increase by a meager 1.9 percent each year over the next decade. I refuse to accept sub-two percent growth as the new normal knowing that, in the sixty years before the Obama administration, economic growth averaged 3.4 percent per year.

On November 16, 2017, the House passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1) by a vote of 227-205. Later that same day, I joined a majority of my colleagues on the Senate Finance Committee in passing our own version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Passage out of committee was a big step towards enacting pro-growth tax reform, and I look forward to moving this bill to the Senate floor soon.

For example, the bill lowers our country's statutory corporate tax rate of 35 percent, which is the highest in the developed world and far above the average rate of our economic competitors (less than 23 percent). Without a significant reduction in business tax rates, the U.S. will never be the best place to invest and create jobs. And with the increasing international mobility of capital, a significant burden of business taxes now falls on workers, undermining wage growth.

I am confident pro-growth tax reform will deliver hardworking families across Pennsylvania a direct pay raise through cutting individual tax rates across the board as well as doubling both the standard deduction and the child tax credit. Reforms to the business side of the tax code that will make us globally competitive will result in an indirect pay raise as more jobs and new businesses are created, resulting in an upward pressure on wages.

I value your input and I will keep your concerns in mind as I continue working with my colleagues in the House and Senate to fix our broken tax system and advance policies that will help grow our economy and create jobs.
It's always nice to see how he values my input (thanks, Pat!) but I asked about the projected increase in the deficit, the proposed slashing of domestic spending (including Medicare and Medicaid) and the financial windfall for the already wealthy with little or no benefit for anyone else and the Senator pivoted to a discussion about decreasing corporate tax rates and how that'll be increasing jobs.

Swing and a miss Pat, sorry.

And unless this polarized beyond compare Congress can get together on something big, this Tax Reform package will, according to the CBO, trigger millions in Medicare spending cuts:
Without enacting subsequent legislation to either off set that deficit increase, waive the recordation of the bill’s impact on the scorecard, or otherwise mitigate or eliminate the requirements of the PAYGO law, OMB would be required to issue a sequestration order within 15 days of the end of the session of Congress to reduce spending in fiscal year 2018 by the resultant total of $136 billion. However, the PAYGO law limits reductions to Medicare to four percentage points (or roughly $25 billion for that year)...
I wonder how many of Senator Pat Toomey's constituents are aware that the tax plan that'll be lowering the tax rate for big corporations will also be slashing Medicare.

December 15, 2017

A Tale Of Two Senators

While Pennsylvania's Republican Senator (and my part-time pen-pal) Pat Toomey is doing trying to kill Obamacare:
[Toomey] sometimes pretends to care about the poor and middle class, as he did during the nanosecond of Senate debate on the massive tax cut bill that will affect us all for generations.

When he got the floor the first time, he explained why he favored eliminating the tax penalty for uninsured (young and healthy) individuals who refuse to buy health insurance – the individual mandate.
Pat Toomey did not explain just exactly how all those people, once they are freed from the terrible burden of the individual mandate and thus are free not to buy health insurance, will be able to afford medical care when they suddenly come down with cancer or get hit by a bus.

But that’s their problem. They’ll be gloriously free to die or go bankrupt so long as they are not forced to subsidize the rest of us.
(And to Jodine Mayberry, hello from Pittsburgh!)

Pennsylvania's Democratic Senator is doing this:
“President Trump’s documented history of sexual harassment and assault should have been disqualifying during last year’s election,” Casey told ThinkProgress in a statement Wednesday. “His offensive verbal assault against Senator Gillibrand yesterday demonstrate he still doesn’t get it. And while he should resign, we know he won’t. I support a congressional investigation in order to hold him accountable for his actions.”
But we know the Republican controlled Congress simply won't hold Trump accountable - despite the boasts of pussy-grabbing and the incompetence and the obvious (to anyone not caught in teh Benghazi crazie) obstruction of Justice.

December 14, 2017

From The USAToday, Yesterday...

From the USAToday:
This isn’t about the policy differences we have with all presidents or our disappointment in some of their decisions. Obama and Bush both failed in many ways. They broke promises and told untruths, but the basic decency of each man was never in doubt.
Well, one of them did OK the use of torture of other human beings and the other one let him get away with it. Oh, and the torture-guy lied the country into a war that killed 4500 American servicemen and women and took an illegal sidestep around the FISA courts to spy domestically, but I understand the point - in comparison to Trump, either man is an angel.

In case you're not catching it, let me reiterate the point being made:
A president who would all but call Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand a whore is not fit to clean the toilets in the Barack Obama Presidential Library or to shine the shoes of George W. Bush.
Agreed. But wait!  There's more:
Donald Trump, the man, on the other hand, is uniquely awful. His sickening behavior is corrosive to the enterprise of a shared governance based on common values and the consent of the governed.
This is something most of Americans knew on November 8, 2016.

Just saying.

December 13, 2017

Let's Start With These Two Words

Or these two:
Trump Looses.
And some numbers (as of 11:59pm last night) from the New York Times:
  • Jones - 671,151 (49.9%)
  • Moore - 650,436 (48.4 %)
Moore lost, Trump lost, decency won.

December 12, 2017

My FORTIETH Open Letter To Senator Pat Toomey (UPDATED)

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

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

According to the New York Times, the recently released report by the Joint Committee on Taxation shows that the Senate's tax reform plan won't pay for itself and will raise the deficit by a trillion dollars. Additionally, the Congressional Budget Office has concluded that the tax plan would add $1.4 trillion.

Just in order to shuttle more money to the already wealthy.

Simple question this week: As a fiscal conservative, how can you possibly approve of such a plan? Or do you no longer consider yourself a fiscal conservative?

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

UPDATE: Senator Toomey responded to (but did not by any means answer) this letter here.


December 10, 2017

Fake News At Breitbart (In A Piece ABOUT "Fake News")!

I saw this at Breitbart today:
MONTGOMERY, Alabama — Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), a hard leftist Democrat (sic) senator from New Jersey who spent Saturday campaigning with fellow radical Doug Jones, went on a fake news tirade on Saturday night, pushing inaccurate information about GOP nominee for U.S. Senate Roy Moore and calling for President Donald Trump to resign.
So "pushing inaccurate information" is their definition of "fake news." So be it.

The piece continues:
According to Vice News’s Alex Jaffe, who interviewed Booker at a Jones campaign event in the state of Alabama, Booker called for President Trump to follow Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) in resigning. Franken, this week, announced his forthcoming resignation from the Senate over allegations of sexual misconduct that he has admitted to and apologized for after photographic evidence emerged of him groping radio personality Leann Tweeden. Several other women have similarly accused Franken of sexual misconduct. Franken, in his speech announcing his plans to resign within “weeks,” bashed both Moore and Trump.

Allegations have been made about both Moore and Trump, but in both of their cases no actual evidence has emerged to substantiate the allegations. In Moore’s case, just this week, one accuser admitted she forged the yearbook inscription she and her activist attorney Gloria Allred originally claimed was written by Moore himself decades ago.
Ok. Let's stop right there. Did that accuser really admit that she "forged the yearbook inscription"?

No, that in itself is fake news.  From the BBC:
Beverly Nelson said she noted the date and location beneath what she maintains is his handwriting on her yearbook.

Her lawyer said the "red herring" does not undermine her client's claim Mr Moore attacked her when she was 16.

The candidate's team says Ms Nelson's admission amounts to a "forgery" that debunks her whole allegation.

In a news conference last month, Ms Nelson did not mention any additions.

On Friday morning, Ms Nelson told ABC News she had included some notes beneath an inscription that she says was written by Mr Moore.
Say what you want about the inscription but it's not a forgery.

And yet Breitbart said she admitted to exactly that.

Even Fox News has admitted that their earlier reporting (that Nelson had "forged" the inscription) is inaccurate. According to The Hill in a tweet (since deleted) announcing this story they said:
BREAKING NEWS: Roy Moore accuser admits she forged part of yearbook inscription attributed to Alabama senate candidate.
But Fox has since have issued a correction:
An update to this story reflects that Beverly Young Nelson admits writing what ABC News characterized as “notes” beneath what she says is Roy Moore’s signature, and that the only notes below the signature are the date and location. Furthermore, the headline on story now specifies that Nelson admits to writing part of the inscription herself, rather than forging part of it. [Emphasis added.]
Is Fox News wrong? If you say that the inscription is a forgery, you're saying exactly that. Fox News corrected their reporting while Breitbart has not. And yet they're using it as an example of a bit of "inaccurate information" (i.e. "fake news") being pushed by Senator Cory Booker.

Let's move on to the next sentence:
What’s more, Booker falsely claimed that Moore was “banned” from the shopping mall in his hometown of Gadsden, Alabama, decades ago, something the mall manager has proven was untrue and fake news.
Really? This is proven as untrue and fake news?  Let's take a look at Breitbart's own reporting on this:
Barnes Boyle, 86, told local Alabama news station WBRC on Thursday that they kept track of reports and that Moore was never banned from the mall.

“Sure, it’s part of the job, yeah. We did have written reports and things, so, but to my knowledge, he was not banned from the mall,” he said during a brief interview.

WBRC Fox 6 News anchor Janet Hall said the station checked on the report in the New Yorker that alleged Moore had been banned from the mall in the 1980s.

“We cannot confirm that,” she said.

Boyle told the station he is a Roy Moore supporter and plans to vote for him in December. [Emphasis added]
In case you didn't think that was important, just imagine how Breitbart would report it if the details were switched: that even with no paper trail to support it either way, the then manager of the mall specifically remembers a ban. And oh, by the way, he's planning on voting for Moore's opponent.

I'd think the reporting would be a tad different, don't you?

But because it aligns with Breitbart/Bannon's defense of Roy Moore (a guy who even his friends admit pursued teenage girls because of their "purity"), it gets an passing mention, otherwise unnoticed, and then nothing more.

Where's the fake news? Brietbart has the fake news.


December 7, 2017

More On Daryl Metcalfe (Part II)

I gotta, I just gotta.

So how far has State Rep Daryl Metcalfe's "I'm definitely not gay" rant gone?

This far:
Luckily, Penn Live has followed up with interviews of each.

First, Metcalfe (who's hinting at some sort of legal recourse, I think). It's interesting that he's profoundly in favor of a person's right not to be touched, a defense of their personal sovereignty. Funny, then, that he's still such a big fan of the pussy-grabber in the Oval Office. Huh.

Second, Matt Bradford, (who's trying his best to be cordial and civil in the face of an uncordial and uncivil man). How difficult must it be to try to deal with a nut job who, as he says, can go off the rails at any moment?

Note to Rep. Bradford: DEFCON 5 is the lowest state of readiness. You probably meant DEFCON 1.

December 6, 2017

More On Daryl Metcalfe - Who's Definitely Not Gay.

As the OPJ pointed out yesterday, State Representative Daryl Metcalfe (R-Straightville) had a bit of a meltdown over being (gasp!) touched by a man.

In response, he defended his most sacred honor by declaring to everyone in that room that he is definitely a straight man, a man's man, a heterosexual man - that he's just a regular straight guy who loves his wife (who's a woman, by the way). It's obvious, isn't it? I mean he said it with such thrusting power.

You can go to Maria's post to see the video in all its glory.

Now I'm curious to see how far the story's gotten. Apart from the expected local Pennsylvania coverage this story's made it to:
The P-G's coverage has this:
“Representative Bradford,” said Mr. Metcalfe, interrupting Mr. Bradford in mid-sentence. “Look, I’m a heterosexual. I have a wife, I love my wife. I don’t like men, as you might. But stop touching me all the time.”

He then added: “It’s like, keep your hands to yourself. Like, if you want to touch somebody, you have people on your side of the aisle that might like it. I don’t.”
It's interesting to see what Metcalfe uses as a counter to what he obviously thinks is an attack on his manhood and his masculinity, "No, I'm not, I'm not! But maybe you (and your fellow Democrats) are!!"

If he weren't a politician he could, maybe, find work at a movie theatre.

December 5, 2017

Dear Men, Daryl Metcalfe wants you to know he is not your plaything!

From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
Conservative state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe wants everyone to know that he's a heterosexual, has a wife and doesn't want to be touched - at least not by a male colleague. 
The Republican from Butler County made that very clear Tuesday during a meeting of the House committee he chairs.
And there's video!

This is even more pathetic than the time, a few years ago, when he appeared on Night Talk and after going into the standard "homosexuality is a choice" rant, the host asked him if he had chosen to be heterosexual. Metcalfe answered that yes, he "chose heterosexuality" (here and in the comments here).

While these incidents are almost cartoonishly and jaw-droppingly funny, never forget that Metcalfe is also a nasty, evil, and dangerous little fuck:
Openly gay Pennsylvania state Representative Brian Sims (D) planned to speak on the legislature floor on Wednesday about the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act — but he was blocked from talking by a Republican colleague who said his comments would be “open rebellion against God’s law.” 
Now, Sims is asking for a reprimand of his Republican colleague. Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R), who is known for his inflammatory remarks, also blocked two of Sim’s colleagues who wanted to speak about DOMA, and openly admitted that his religious beliefs compelled him not to let Sims speak.
Obviously, Metcalfe doth protest too much on this subject, as anyone who protests this much has to secretly be the gayest man on the planet. Just waiting for his "wide stance" moment when he's finally outed. It can't come soon enough!

My THIRTY-NINTH Open Letter To Senator Pat Toomey (UPDATE)

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

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

I'd like to ask you again about Alabama Republican Senatorial candidate, Roy Moore. A few letters ago I asked you:
Today, however, I'd like to ask a different question: What if Roy Moore wins? If he does, then every statement he makes, every bit of legislation he proposes, every vote that's in agreement with the rest of GOP will be pinned to the rest of you. He'll be your guy and you'll have to answer for every last bit of what he does.

What are your plans when or if that happens?
Now that the leader of your party, Donald J Trump, has endorsed the candidate you're on record as saying should "step aside" and the RNC has decided to re-engage in the race, have your views on the allegations raised against Moore changed? Do you still think that those allegations "have more credibility than the denial" (as you said on Meet The Press in November)?

Or do you agree with Mitt Romney who tweeted:
Roy Moore in the US Senate would be a stain on the GOP and on the nation. Leigh Corfman and other victims are courageous heroes. No vote, no majority is worth losing our honor, our integrity.
Which side are you on?

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

The Senator answered this question here.


December 4, 2017

Ladies And Gentlemen, YOUR Republican Party!

In a discussion recently in the Senate about funding the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), these words were heard coming out of the mouth of man who chairs the Senate Finance Committee, the Senate Judiciary Committee, and the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee, Senator Orrin Hatch Republican of Utah:
The reason CHIP is having trouble is because we don't have any money anymore. We just add more and more spending and more and more spending, and you can look at the rest of the bill for the more and more spending.

I happen to think that CHIP has done a terrific job for people who have really needed the help. I have taken the position around here for my whole Senate service that I believe in helping those who cannot help themselves but would if they could. I have a rough time wanting to spend billions and billions and trillions of dollars to help people who will not help themselves--who will not lift a finger--and expect the Federal Government to do everything.
And then in answering a question about letting CHIP shut down due to lack of funding, Hatch added:
I don't intend to let that happen. I think that we will get CHIP taken care of and, hopefully, a number of other things, too, but we are going to have to resolve some of these big problems around here, it seems to me, before we do get those problems solved.
Meaning after the $1.5 trillion tax reform bill goes through.

According to the Washington Post:
Nearly 9 million youngsters and 370,000 pregnant women nationwide receive care because of [CHIP].
And it needs $15 billion in funding or it'll shut down. By the way a billion is .1% of a trillion. It's one one thousandth of a trillion.

But Orrin Hatch wants to "resolve some of these big problems" before taking care of the CHIP program.

This is the face of the Republican Party - shuttle more and more money to people who already have lots of it, claim the government is out of funds and then (using that as an excuse) shave away funding from people who really need it (rationalizing it with the notion that some probably don't because they "will not help themselves and expect the Federal Government to do everything."

Meanwhile 9 million kids will lose their health insurance, thanks to the "pro-family" party.

Ask your Republican representatives (House or Senate, Federal or Statewide) if they agree with Hatch.

December 3, 2017

SNL Last Night - Welcome To Hell

Yea, I'm just gonna leave this here.

Then, I'm going to (basically) sit down and shut up.

December 1, 2017