Democracy Has Prevailed.

June 30, 2020

Message To Wendy Bell (Who's Sowing Doubt About The Science And That's Gonna Get Some People Sick)

Yesterday, KDKA Radio's Wendy Bell ranted about "the virtue signaling of mask-Nazis" saying:
By the way, the science about masks sucks because no body knows and no body can prove anything about these particulates, right?\
Um, no. Wendy is incorrect here. And the more her audience believes her the greater the chance they'll get sick. There's even some science to back that last statement up:
An April study about the effects of coronavirus media coverage analyzed two popular Fox News cable programs — and claims how one host talked about the threat of the coronavirus resulted in greater numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths.
The paper says viewership of Hannity relative to Carlson is associated with approximately 30% more COVID-19 cases by March 14, and 21% more COVID-19 deaths by March 28.
But let's look at the science that Wendy Bell says "sucks" shall we?

Two experts from Stanford University answer the question, "How do cloth face coverings prevent the spread of COVID-19?
[Larry Chu, MD, a professor of anesthesia and director of the Anesthesia Informatics and Media Laboratory]: In order to answer this, it’s first important to understand the concept of source control. We’ve learned that as many as 40% of people infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 may have no symptoms. But when they talk, cough or sneeze, they can still spread the virus to others in the form of respiratory droplets expelled into the air. Those droplets evaporate into fine particles that may linger. The mask traps these larger droplets before they can evaporate. So, wearing a mask regularly can prevent spreading at the source even when we don’t know we are sick. But masks are just one important way to prevent this disease from spreading. Washing your hands regularly and thoroughly and keeping at least 6 feet apart from one another are still vitally important.

[Amy Price, PhD, a senior research scientist at Stanford’s AIM Laboratory]: Many people argue that cloth masks can’t be effective because they can’t filter out viral particles, which are extremely tiny. But, as Larry explained, most of these particles leave the mouth and nose in much larger droplets that become smaller through evaporation as they move away from the body. Trapping droplets with the mask means not nearly as many viral particles escape. So, when all parties in a gathering are wearing well-constructed, well-fitting masks, it provides an extra layer of safety for everyone. If two people are wearing masks, the viral particles can travel about 5 feet away from each individual. When an infected person is not wearing a mask, those particles can float through the air 30 feet or more and stay alive for up to 30 hours.
Then there's some actual science (as opposed to two scientists answering questions about the science).

Here's the abstract from a literature review:
The science around the use of masks by the general public to impedeCOVID-19 transmission is advancing rapidly. Policymakers need guidance on how masks should be used by the general population to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Here, we synthesize the relevant literature to inform multiple areas: 1) transmission characteristics ofCOVID-19, 2) filtering characteristics and efficacy of masks, 3) estimated population impacts of widespread community mask use, and4) sociological considerations for policies concerning mask-wearing.A primary route of transmission of COVID-19 is likely via small respiratory droplets, and is known to be transmissible from presymptomatic and asymptomatic individuals. Reducing disease spread requires two things: first, limit contacts of infected individuals via physical distancing and contact tracing with appropriate quarantine,and second, reduce the transmission probability per contact by wearing masks in public, among other measures. The preponderance of evidence indicates that mask wearing reduces the transmissibility per contact by reducing transmission of infected droplets in both laboratory and clinical contexts. Public mask wearing is most effective at stopping spread of the virus when compliance is high. The decreased transmissibility could substantially reduce the death toll and economic impact while the cost of the intervention is low. Thus were commend the adoption of public cloth mask wearing, as an effective form of source control, in conjunction with existing hygiene, distancing, and contact tracing strategies. We recommend that public officials and governments strongly encourage the use of widespread face masks in public, including the use of appropriate regulation. [Emphasis  added.]
Are you paying attention, Wendy?

The science is there and it does not "suck."

The more people in your audience that believe you, the more they are at risk.

Is that OK with you?

June 29, 2020

GOP Candidate Sean Parnell Makes Excuses For Donald Trump

First, some background.

A few days ago the NY Times published a story that began with this:
American intelligence officials have concluded that a Russian military intelligence unit secretly offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants for killing coalition forces in Afghanistan — including targeting American troops — amid the peace talks to end the long-running war there, according to officials briefed on the matter.
The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the delicate intelligence and internal deliberations. They said the intelligence had been treated as a closely held secret, but the administration expanded briefings about it this week — including sharing information about it with the British government, whose forces are among those said to have been targeted.
And according to The Times, the meeting took place earlier in the year, as the nation was shutting down due to Covid-19. They add that these revelations come as Trump is looking to "invite Mr. Putin to an expanded meeting of the Group of 7 nations."

The Washington Post followed with:

A Russian military spy unit offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants to attack coalition forces in Afghanistan, including U.S. and British troops, in a striking escalation of the Kremlin’s hostility toward the United States, American intelligence has found.

The Russian operation, first reported by the New York Times, has generated an intense debate within the Trump administration about how best to respond to a troubling new tactic by a nation that most U.S. officials regard as a potential foe but that President Trump has frequently embraced as a friend, said the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive intelligence matter.
The officials said administration leaders learned of reported bounties in recent months from U.S. intelligence agencies, prompting internal discussions, including a large interagency meeting in late March. According to one person familiar with the matter, the responses discussed at that meeting included sending a diplomatic communication to relay disapproval and authorizing new sanctions.
Then there's CNN confirming:
Russian intelligence officers for the military intelligence GRU recently offered money to Taliban militants in Afghanistan as rewards if they killed US or UK troops there, a European intelligence official told CNN.
The usual denials have already arrived: You'll note that Trump can't even get the story correct. It's NOT about "attacks on our Russians" is it? It's about allegations that a Russian military intelligence unit paid bounties for those attacks.

So that's basically the story. Here's how Sean Parnell, (GOP candidate for PA-17) describes it in a series of tweets. He starts with this:
The fact that Russia and other countries like Iran and even China are involved in Afghanistan in some way should come as a surprise to no one. It’s been this way for over a decade. Spanning three presidential administrations.
Which is, of course, completely beside the point. The story is not about Russian involvement in Afghanistan, but the how the GRU offered bounties for killing US Troops, when Trump knew about it and yet did nothing in response. Sean is trying to divert your attention away from the real story.

Then there's this from Sean:
What I can say, with absolute certainty, is that clandestine operations or raw intelligence without context, like this Russian bounty story should not be discussed in a public forum.
But if you were to look at the reporting from The Times, The Post and CNN, you'll see that there's no "raw intelligence" or any discussion of "clandestine operations" there at all. He's trying to divert attention away from the real story -  about how American Intelligence Community concluded that Russia was offering bounties for American troops and how the Trump administration has yet to respond.

Even Liz Cheney (R-Wyo) tweeted:

Even Dan Crenshaw (R-Houston) agreed: And yet, for Sean Parnell, this is the way to go:
By the way, Sean, the story is accurate:
CNN previously reported that Russian intelligence officers for the military intelligence GRU recently offered money to Taliban militants in Afghanistan as rewards if they killed US or UK troops there, according to a European intelligence official. US intelligence concluded months ago that Russian military intelligence offered the bounties, amid peace talks, and Trump was briefed on the intelligence findings and the White House's National Security Council held a meeting about it in late March, according to the Times, citing officials briefed on the matter.
United States intelligence officers and Special Operations forces in Afghanistan alerted their superiors as early as January to a suspected Russian plot to pay bounties to the Taliban to kill American troops in Afghanistan, according to officials briefed on the matter. They believed at least one U.S. troop death was the result of the bounties, two of the officials said.
So IF Trump is telling the truth that he wasn't informed, WHY THE HECK NOT? The GRU offered bounties for American deaths in Afghanistan and he's not informed? How much sense does that make? And if he was informed months ago then doesn't that mean he's been lying to all of us about it?

But by all means, Sean, continue to make excuses for the guy. History will reward you for it.

June 27, 2020

Wendy Bell Is STILL Ok With Lots Of People Dying (Shame On Her For This)

Look at this Wendy Bell rant from today.

On the same day that Allegheny County announced yet another rise in the number of new Covid-19 cases, she spends a couple of minutes proudly preening about the lack of masks she's seeing while out shopping.

About a minute or so in, while ranting at Governor Wolf, she tells him:
Stop trying to circumvent the law. Stop trying to supersede our individual freedoms. Stop trying to rule with an iron fist and stop trying to scare us about this virus.

We understand what happens with coronavirus. People get sick. But people need to be exposed. We need to all become immune to this thing. Stop saying (she uses air quotes here) we need a vaccine, OK? We have a flu vaccine and only half the people get it. So everyone's going to rush out and get this vaccine? C'mon.
Evidently, she's talking so called herd immunity but look, it's herd immunity without the need for a vaccine.

This is dangerous. Very very dangerous. Wendy Bell is not a medical professional and yet she's pushing a line that may very well get lots of people sick.

(But isn't she married to a medical doctor? Have the two of them never discussed this?)

Let's look at some facts. What does the medical community have to say about herd immunity?  Well, there's this from the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center:
To reach herd immunity for COVID-19, likely 70% or more of the population would need to be immune. Without a vaccine, over 200 million Americans would have to get infected before we reach this threshold. Put another way, even if the current pace of the COVID-19 pandemic continues in the United States – with over 25,000 confirmed cases a day – it will be well into 2021 before we reach herd immunity. If current daily death rates continue, over half a million Americans would be dead from COVID-19 by that time. [Emphasis added.]
That's a half million dead US citizens before herd immunity kicks in. That's about 3 times as many as have died so far.  Doesn't Wendy Bell know this? If not, WHY DOESN'T WENDY BELL KNOW THIS YET?

Perhaps she does and has decided not to tell her audience. Which is worse? Her ignorance or her cruel dishonesty?

Then there's this part about herd immunity that Wendy Bell evidently doesn't know (or, again, she does and she yet chooses not to tell her audience):
WHO has published guidance on adjusting public health and social measures for the next phase of the COVID-19 response. Some governments have suggested that the detection of antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, could serve as the basis for an “immunity passport” or “risk-free certificate” that would enable individuals to travel or to return to work assuming that they are protected against re-infection. There is currently no evidence that people who have recovered from COVID-19 and have antibodies are protected from a second infection. [Emphasis added.]
So again, Wendy Bell comes up empty. The sad part is that if members of her audience actually believe her, lots them are going to get sick - and some of those will die.

Wendy, are you OK with that?  Or are you still on the fence about it?

Message To Wendy Bell

I just sent this message to "Wendy Bell Radio" Facebook page:
Didn't you say that the crisis was over? (Note: yes, you did.) Didn't you say that that mathematician from Israel proved that it'll die down in 70 days? (Note: yes, you did.) Wasn't that a few WEEKS ago? (Note: yes, it was.)

Then can you comment on the Allegheny County announcement today that there are 90 NEW cases?

Any comment on how wrong you were/are about the coronavirus?
I'll post any response I get from her or KDKA Radio.

June 25, 2020

Why Is Sean Parnell Approving Mike Cernovich?


We should get a few things out of the way - Fort Benning's been in the news lately as it's one of those Army bases named after Confederate Generals. In this case it's General Henry Benning. He was one of the Confederate generals at Lee's loss at Gettysburg and at Lee's surrender at Appomattox.

He was also one of the signers of Georgia's Ordinance of Succession and as such was part of the convention that agreed to this:
The State of Georgia is attached to the Union, and desires to preserve it, if it can be done consistent with her rights and safety; but existing circumstances admonish her of danger: that danger arises from the assaults that are made upon the institution of domestic slavery...

(For the record, Elihu Yale doesn't do much better on that front.)

But all this is secondary to the question, "Who is this Mike Cernovich, the guy who wrote the tweet so heartily approved by GOP candidate Sean Parnell?"

He's a white genocide conspiracy theorist.

And the Southern Poverty Law Center has more than a few things to say about Mike Cernovich:

Cernovich is one of America’s most visible right-wing provocateurs, known for boosting or generating massively successful conspiracy theories like #Pizzagate. He made his career on trolling the liberal establishment by accusing people of pedophilia or child sex trafficking. 

Armed with a law degree, Cernovich claims to defend “free speech,” in particular the freedom to harass women and make misogynistic, violent comments. He came to prominence through his role in #Gamergate, a coordinated campaign of harassment against women in the gaming industry. Bankrolled by a divorce and by the sale of his books, Cernovich operates at the fringe of the conservative mainstream, acting as a pass-through for thinly-sourced and conspiratorial scoops. In May 2017, he joined forces with popular conspiracy theorist Alex Jones to co-host a show on Infowars, moving even deeper into the world of conspiracy theories.

Sean, is this really a guy you'd want to have ANYTHING to do with??

As you approved of the tweet, I am guessing the answer is YES.

June 24, 2020

Donald Trump's Legacy

The Trump administration is ending funding and support for local COVID-19 testing sites around the country this month, as cases and hospitalizations are skyrocketing in many states.

The federal government will stop providing money and support for 13 sites across five states which were originally set up in the first months of the pandemic to speed up testing at the local level.

Local officials and public health experts expressed a mixture of frustration, resignation, and horror at the decision to let federal support lapse.

From Politico:

President Donald Trump on Tuesday insisted he was serious when he revealed that he had directed his administration to slow coronavirus testing in the United States, shattering the defenses of senior White House aides who argued Trump’s remarks were made in jest.

“I don’t kid. Let me just tell you. Let me make it clear,” Trump told reporters, when pressed on whether his comments at a campaign event Saturday in Tulsa, Okla., were intended as a joke.

June 22, 2020


From CNN:
Just fewer than 6,200 people attended President Donald Trump's rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the Tulsa Fire Department said Sunday -- a figure Trump's reelection campaign is disputing as it also seeks to blame "radical" protesters and the media for it's smaller-than-expected crowd size.
And we should believe the Trump campaign...why?

How long did they preen with the idea that one million ticket requests were made? The event was first-come, first-serve and they could only get six thousand to show to a nineteen thousand seat arena?

June 19, 2020


The Emancipation Proclamation:

By the President of the United States of America:

A Proclamation.

Whereas, on the twenty-second day of September, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two, a proclamation was issued by the President of the United States, containing, among other things, the following, to wit:

"That on the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free; and the Executive Government of the United States, including the military and naval authority thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons, and will do no act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, in any efforts they may make for their actual freedom.

"That the Executive will, on the first day of January aforesaid, by proclamation, designate the States and parts of States, if any, in which the people thereof, respectively, shall then be in rebellion against the United States; and the fact that any State, or the people thereof, shall on that day be, in good faith, represented in the Congress of the United States by members chosen thereto at elections wherein a majority of the qualified voters of such State shall have participated, shall, in the absence of strong countervailing testimony, be deemed conclusive evidence that such State, and the people thereof, are not then in rebellion against the United States."

Now, therefore I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, by virtue of the power in me vested as Commander-in-Chief, of the Army and Navy of the United States in time of actual armed rebellion against the authority and government of the United States, and as a fit and necessary war measure for suppressing said rebellion, do, on this first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and in accordance with my purpose so to do publicly proclaimed for the full period of one hundred days, from the day first above mentioned, order and designate as the States and parts of States wherein the people thereof respectively, are this day in rebellion against the United States, the following, to wit:

Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, (except the Parishes of St. Bernard, Plaquemines, Jefferson, St. John, St. Charles, St. James Ascension, Assumption, Terrebonne, Lafourche, St. Mary, St. Martin, and Orleans, including the City of New Orleans) Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia, (except the forty-eight counties designated as West Virginia, and also the counties of Berkley, Accomac, Northampton, Elizabeth City, York, Princess Ann, and Norfolk, including the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth[)], and which excepted parts, are for the present, left precisely as if this proclamation were not issued.

And by virtue of the power, and for the purpose aforesaid, I do order and declare that all persons held as slaves within said designated States, and parts of States, are, and henceforward shall be free; and that the Executive government of the United States, including the military and naval authorities thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of said persons.

And I hereby enjoin upon the people so declared to be free to abstain from all violence, unless in necessary self-defence; and I recommend to them that, in all cases when allowed, they labor faithfully for reasonable wages.

And I further declare and make known, that such persons of suitable condition, will be received into the armed service of the United States to garrison forts, positions, stations, and other places, and to man vessels of all sorts in said service.

And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice, warranted by the Constitution, upon military necessity, I invoke the considerate judgment of mankind, and the gracious favor of Almighty God.

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the eighty-seventh.

By the President: ABRAHAM LINCOLN
WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

Juneteenth celebrates the end of slavery in the United States. It is also known as Emancipation Day, Juneteenth Independence Day, and Black Independence Day. On June 19, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger arrivedin Galveston,TX,and announced the end of the Civil War and the end of slavery. Although the Emancipation Proclamation came 2½years earlier on January 1, 1863, many slave owners continued to hold their slaves captive after the announcement, so Juneteenth became a symbolic date representing African American freedom.

June 18, 2020

Candidate Sean Parnell's FIRST Ad! (And Some Stuff He Failed To Mention) UPDATED

Well, Candidate Sean Parnell's got his first ad out - and it's a doozy.

I took the liberty last night to transcribe the ad - and while it's your typical snarky underdog GOP political ad, it's surprising how much important stuff Sean decides to leave out for you, the voting public.

He spends an awful lot of time trying to tie Rep Conor Lamb's record to Speaker Pelosi - with the idea, I suppose, that if he smears her, he's smearing Lamb (since Lamb and Pelosi are buddy-buddy, you know).

And that's where he trips up. For example he says:

And Nancy Pelosi's biggest supporter is my opponent, Conor Lamb.
But he leaves out that Lamb voted against Pelosi as speaker - both in November, 2018

If Sean Parnell is going to be honest with his supporters, he will have to explain how Speaker Pelosi's "biggest supporter" voted against her being speaker - twice.

Sean? Anytime you wanna explain the dissonance, I'll give you the floor.

Then there's this about Speaker Pelosi:

She spent a global pandemic impeaching our president...
This is simply gaslighting on Sean's part. The vote for the articles of impeachment occurred on December 18, 2019. The Wuhan Municipal Health Commission didn't report their first cases of a "pneumonia of unknown cause" until two weeks later on December 31, 2019.

By the time the Republicans in the Senate gave Trump a pass on the abuse of power and obstruction of Congress it was February 5, 2020. Trump had taken the step of restricting travel from China of anyone who'd been there in the previous 2 weeks (January 31, 2020) but this is more than a month before he blocked all visitors from Europe (March 11, 2020) or declared a National Emergency (March 13, 2020).

In between, he downplayed the severity of the virus.

Then there's this from Business Insider (dated March 31, 2020):

As President Donald Trump faces criticism from public health experts and lawmakers over his lack of preparation for the coronavirus pandemic, his Republican allies have argued the president was too distracted by impeachment to focus on the spread of the virus. 

"It came up while we were tied down in the impeachment trial. And I think it diverted the attention of the government because everything every day was all about impeachment," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a Tuesday interview.

But Trump was not too distracted to go golfing or hold campaign rallies during the impeachment trial, as he simultaneously downplayed the threat of the virus and told Americans everything was under control. [Emphasis added.]

(Note the date, Sean. This "he was distracted by the Impeachment story is stale. You really should try to be more up-to-date with your smearing).

If Sean Parnell is going to be honest with his supporters, he's going to have to explain how the Impeachment, which ended on February 5, got in the way of Trump's mismanagement of the response to Covid-19. He only announced a national emergency in mid-March. Up until that point, as I said, he downplayed the severity of the crisis.

But Sean, now that you've tied yourself to the legacy of Donald J Trump, there's one thing you definitely left out of your ad: The 115,000 dead US citizens - thousands of whom are dead because of Trump's mismanagement.

Do you really want to tie yourself to a man who brought about so much misery?

Your call.

UPDATE:  Part of Parnell's criticism of the Democratic Party is that "This crazy old socialist" (meaning Senator Bernie Sanders) was almost their presidential nominee.

Look closely at the picture.

That's Larry David, He's just doing his SNL impression of Senator Sanders.

Sean really needs to do his homework better or next time he'll be holding up this picture of Donald Trump:

June 17, 2020



Oh, and did you know that there's an AIDS vaccine?


Or that even without a vaccine/cure the virus will go away:
Did you know that?

Neither did I - because neither is true.

June 15, 2020

Sean Parnell Wishes Donald Trump A Happy Birthday (And Shame On Him For It)

Um no, Sean. He should not be celebrated in anyway. His legacy (one to which you're officially and irrevocably tied) is a disaster for this country.
  • 115,000+ of our fellow US citizens dead on Trump's watch. With hundreds more dying each day. He made a bad situation horribly worse by downplaying the severity of the virus and as a result tens of thousands of our fellow citizens are dead, more have suffered (and continue to suffer) horrible effects of the virus.
  • Teargassed peaceful protesters to clear the area for a photo-op. These were people exercising their 1st Amendment rights, attacked with tear gas and flash grenades.
  • Originally planned to hold a rally in Tulsa (the location of a massive racial massacre in 1921) on June 19 (known as "Juneteenth National Freedom Day" in Pennsylvania). If you don't know the importance of the Tulsa massacre or Juneteenth, you should.
And that's just recent events.

We could spend days discussing his sexism, his racism, and his dishonesty.

This is the guy you happily sang "Happy Birthday" to, Sean.

Shame on you.

June 8, 2020

I Think This Is A Misstep On Sean Parnell's Part

Yesterday Sean Parnell, the GOP candidate running for PA17, tweeted:
@WithHonorAction, which claims to be a “cross-partisan” PAC that primarily supports veteran candidates, just dumped $250k of dark money into #PA17 to prop up @ConorLambPA.

I’m deeply disappointed that a group whose stated mission is “advancing veteran leadership in public office” would get involved in a race between two veterans. I’m a combat veteran. I fought & bled for America. With Honor should not be picking sides in this race.

For those keeping track at home, this brings Conor “I’m-not-taking-any-dark-money”’s total outside spending to over 1.5 MILLION.
There's a lot to unweave here in Parnell's disappointment-tweet.  First, let's take a look at With Honor. This is from their "About" page:

With Honor Action is a cross-partisan movement dedicated to promoting and advancing principled veteran leadership in elected public service. For too long, gridlock and partisan bickering have plagued Congress, putting a halt on progress at the expense of the American people. Now a new generation of veterans has stepped up to serve again, committed to putting their country before party politics, and we are proud to support them in their efforts to change Congress.

As a part of our overall effort to highlight the importance of veterans and veteran issues, we support principled military veterans in Congress and help amplify their cross-partisan agenda that finds solutions for the American people. We also work with veteran candidates on the nuts and bolts of running for Congress, helping them organize their own campaigns and build a winning strategy.

And according to Ballotpedia:
With Honor is a nonprofit, cross-partisan organization based in Washington, D.C., that comprises With Honor Action, a 501(c)(4) organization, the With Honor PAC, and the With Honor Fund super PAC. As of February 2020, the With Honor Action website described the group as "dedicated to promoting and advancing principled veteran leadership in elected public service."
Here's how the website describes the structure of the organization. While With Honor Action doesn't solicit donations online, the PAC and the FUND both do.

The PAC:
Contributions to the With Honor PAC, a federal “hard-dollar” PAC, are used to make contributions to principled, next-generation veteran candidates who have taken the With Honor Pledge to lead with integrity, civility, and courage.
And the Fund:
Contributions to With Honor Fund, a federal Super PAC, are used to fund independent expenditures and other strategic national support to help elect a group of the most competitive and principled next-generation veterans who will lead our nation with honor and build a coalition that will help fix our broken political system.
So let's see if we can find some numbers for each.  First the PAC.

According to this page at Open Secrets, in the 2018 cycle, the total for what they gave to members of both parties was almost exactly the same ($123,758 for Democrats and $123,810 for Republicans). Interestingly, so far for the 2020 cycle they've leaned a little red with ($71,354 for Democrats and $84,427 for Republicans). But again, as this election cycle is, those numbers will undoubtedly change.

Now let's take a look at the Fund:

According to the chart on this page at Open Secrets, With Honor Fund has actually given more money to Republicans (both in the 2018 cycle and so far in this cycle). For example in the 2018 cycle, With Honor Fund spent more than $800,000 to aid Dan Crenshaw of Texas but only about $23,000 to aid Conor Lamb.

I haven't been able to track down Parnell's numbers but if it's from the Fund, then it's not going to the Lamb campaign (as they are independent expenditures).

On the other hand, I suspect that Parnell's complaint is not that With Honor gave any support to Conor Lamb, but that he didn't get any. (Look at how much support they've given Dan Crenshaw, for Jeebus' sake!).

Or that this, from the mission statement, is getting in their way:
For too long, gridlock and partisan bickering have plagued Congress, putting a halt on progress at the expense of the American people. Now a new generation of veterans has stepped up to serve again, committed to putting their country before party politics, and we are proud to support them in their efforts to change Congress.
Perhaps, given a choice, a Fox news contributor who believes that "from an evolutionary stand, it used to be women were attracted to your strength because you could defend them from dinosaurs" might not be the clearest way of clearing out the gridlock and partisan bickering in Congress.

Might be something to keep in mind when discussing feminism on Fox News, where, by the way, you also said:
I also think that modern day feminism has driven a wedge between men and women. The idea that a woman doesn't need a man to be successful, the idea that a woman doesn't need a man to have a baby,  the idea that a woman can live a happy and fulfilling life without  man, I think it's all nonsense.
Perhaps it's beliefs like that have secured you firmly to the rightwing partisan gridlock crowd.

Also Sean, from an evolutionary stand, human beings have only been on the planet for a hundred thousand years or so, give or take. As far as I know, the massive dinosaur die off occurred about 66 million years earlier.

So there probably was never a woman attracted to a man because he could defend her from a dinosaur.

June 5, 2020

Chuck McCullough In The News! (UPDATED)

My god, this is getting old. But I have to cover it to the end.

From the P-G:
A day after former Allegheny County Councilman Charles McCullough received an order to report to the courthouse to begin serving his 2½- to 5-year prison term his defense attorney has filed an emergency application with the state Superior Court to block the move.

Common Pleas Judge David R. Cashman issued his order on Tuesday asking McCullough, who has remained free on bond pending appeal since he was sentenced in November 2015, to report to his courtroom at 9 a.m. on Monday.
If you've been following this blog for any amount of time, you know this story. I've been writing about it since 2009.

Here's the core:
McCullough was convicted of writing more than $40,000 in checks for political contributions from the accounts of Shirley Jordan, an elderly widow he represented, without her permission.
Yea, that was July of 2015.

Remember, he was arrested in February of 2009.

February 19, 2009, to be exact.

That was 4,124 days ago. So how long is that?

It's 11 years, 3 months and 17 days ago.

By contrast, there are only 3,923 days between the Gulf of Tonkin incident (August 2, 1964) and the fall of Saigon (April 30, 1975).  Think of that for a moment - the total duration of US involvement in Vietnam is shorter than the duration between McCullough's arrest and today.

Perhaps I should deal with the time since his conviction (July 31, 2015). Perhaps that's fairer.

It's been 1,771 days since Chuck's conviction.

The Second World War began, for the U.S., with the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. 1,771 days after that is...October 13, 1946.

The length of time between Chuck's arrest and today is longer than the entire US involvement in WWII.


When will this ever end?

Never, it seems.

From the P-G, yestiddy:
The state Superior Court said Friday that former Allegheny County Councilman Charles McCullough does not have to report to start serving his 2½- to 5-year prison sentence on Monday, despite an order from the trial judge to do so.

Common Pleas Judge David R. Cashman issued an order on Tuesday asking McCullough, who has remained free on bond pending appeal since he was sentenced in November 2015, to report to his courtroom at 9 a.m. on Monday to begin his incarceration.

The next day, McCullough’s attorney, Adam Cogan, filed an application for emergency relief with the Superior Court asking that it direct Judge Cashman to rescind his order since McCullough’s appeal is still pending.

The Superior Court granted the request.

It's never ending.

June 4, 2020

Sean Parnell Defends Donald Trump (No Surprise)

Since he won his party primary, the republican candidate for PA17 is now officially Sean Parnell.

And this week Parnell wasted no time jumping back into the national news with this tweet:
Followed with:
So what did General Mattis write that triggered this response?

This - from The Atlantic.

Here's how Mattis opens:
I have watched this week’s unfolding events, angry and appalled. The words “Equal Justice Under Law” are carved in the pediment of the United States Supreme Court. This is precisely what protesters are rightly demanding. It is a wholesome and unifying demand—one that all of us should be able to get behind. We must not be distracted by a small number of lawbreakers. The protests are defined by tens of thousands of people of conscience who are insisting that we live up to our values—our values as people and our values as a nation.
Look at how differently they each characterize the protests. For Mattis, they're a "wholesome and unifying demand" for "Equal Justice Under Law", insisting that we "we live up to our values." For Parnell, the demonstrations are "well-intentioned" but he spends much more time virtue signaling Mattis for not denouncing Antifa.

Then there's this from Mattis:
When I joined the military, some 50 years ago, I swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution. Never did I dream that troops taking that same oath would be ordered under any circumstance to violate the Constitutional rights of their fellow citizens—much less to provide a bizarre photo op for the elected commander-in-chief, with military leadership standing alongside.
We know that we are better than the abuse of executive authority that we witnessed in Lafayette Square.
To Parnell, this means:
Gen Mattis blames @realDonaldTrump for trying to end the mayhem & restore order.
To Mattis, the protests are wholesome and unifying - a demand that we, as a society, live up to our values of equal justice under the law and Trump's response (the teargassing and flashgrenading) is an violation of Constitutional rights and an abuse of executive authority.

For Parnell, the protests, while "well-intentioned", are "mayhem" and Trump was right to try to restore order.

No, Sean. I think YOU'VE missed the point.

June 2, 2020

Donald Trump - A Would-Be Dictator

Donald Trump, yesterday:
Mayors and governors must establish an overwhelming law enforcement presence until the violence has been quelled.

If a city or a state refuses to take the actions that are necessary to defend the life and property of their residents, then I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them.

Um, that's against the law:
Whoever, except in cases and under circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress, willfully uses any part of the Army or Air Force as a posse comitatus or otherwise to execute the laws shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.
Indeed the Congress reaffirmed the law's importance in 2012:
Section 1385 of title 18 (commonly known as the “Posse Comitatus Act”) prohibits the use of the Armed Forces as a posse comitatus to execute the laws except in cases and under circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress.
The Congress further defined:
Existing laws, including chapter 13 of title 10 (commonly known as the “Insurrection Act”), and the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq.), grant the President broad powers that may be invoked in the event of domestic emergencies, including an attack against the Nation using weapons of mass destruction, and these laws specifically authorize the President to use the Armed Forces to help restore public order.
However, the first statement of the Insurrection Act goes like this:
Whenever there is an insurrection in any State against its government, the President may, upon the request of its legislature or of its governor if the legislature cannot be convened, call into Federal service such of the militia of the other States, in the number requested by that State, and use such of the armed forces, as he considers necessary to suppress the insurrection. [Emphasis added.]
The Stafford Disaster Relief bill deals with federal responses after a natural disaster.

Would-be Dictator Trump simply does not have the authority to deploy the military into a state whenever he decides that that state's governor has "refused to take the actions" he deems "necessary."

But when has that ever stopped him? When has that ever stopped his enablers in Congress?  By the way, where the fuck are all the conservative "States' Rights!" fetishists, these days? Where are all those members of Congress forever hair-triggered to scream "Executive Overreach!" whenever a president from the Democratic Party did something they didn't like?