Democracy Has Prevailed.

September 30, 2020

EVERY Republican Needs To Be Challenged On This

 Last night in the first Trump-Biden debate (or rather "debate"), this exchange occurred:

[Chris] Wallace: You have repeatedly criticized the vice president for not specifically calling out antifa and other extremist groups. Are you willing tonight to condemn white supremacists and militia groups and to say that they need to stand down and not add to the violence in a number of these cities, as we saw in Kenosha and as we’ve seen in Portland? 

Trump: Sure, I’m willing to do that. But— 

Wallace: Are you prepared to specifically—? 

Biden: Do it. Trump: I would say almost everything I see is from the left wing, not from the right wing.

Wallace: So what are you saying? 

Trump: I’m willing to do anything. I want to see peace. 

Wallace: Well, then do it, sir. 

Biden: Say it. Do it. Say it. 

Trump: You want to call them—what do you want to call them? Give me a name. Give me a name.

Wallace: White supremacists and— 

Trump: Who would you like me to condemn? 

Biden: Proud Boys. 

Wallace: —and Proud Boys. 

Biden: Proud Boys. 

Trump: Proud Boys, stand back and stand by. But I’ll tell you what, I’ll tell you what. Somebody’s got to do something about antifa and the left. Because this is not a right-wing problem. This is a left-wing problem.

Donald Trump refused to condemn white supremacy. Every republican - every office holder, every candidate, every party member - needs to be confronted with this. Each needs to be asked whether THEY denounce white supremacy. And if they do, whether they're supporting Trump for president and if they are, then why are they supporting someone who refused to condemn white supremacy?

And then at the end of the "debate" this occurred:

President Trump said he would not “go along” with conceding the election if he believes the results have been “manipulated,” continuing to press unfounded conspiracy theories about voters casting ballots by mail.

“Will you urge supporters to stay calm during this extended period not to engage in any civil unrest and pledge tonight that you will not declare victory until the election has been independently certified,” asked moderator Chris Wallace.

“I’m urging supporters to go into the poll and watch very carefully,” Trump said tonight, beginning to slam vote by mail. “If it’s a fair election, I’m 100% on board. But If I see tens of thousands of ballots being manipulated, I can’t go along with that.”

Biden responded to the question by agreeing to “not declare victory” until the election if certified.

Every republican - every office holder, every candidate, every party member - needs to be confronted with this as well. Each needs to be asked if they will accept the results of an "independently certified" election.

Every Trump supporter needs to be asked: Do you denounce white supremacy? Will you accept the results of an "independently certified" election? If you do, then why are you supporting someone who doesn't?

September 29, 2020

Wendy Bell May Be Off The Air At KDKA But She's Still Ranting And Raving

I have a message for Wendy Bell. This is regarding what she said a few minutes in to yesterday's edition of Wendy's Basement Ranting:

Ballot tampering and fraud is a right wing conspiracy theory.

There's no evidence of it happening. For just one example, you only need to check WTAE (you remember WTAE, right? That's the station that fired you for that racist FB rant) from late August:
The Trump for President campaign, pressed by a Pittsburgh federal judge's court order, has not provided any evidence of voting fraud involving mail-in voting or ballot drop boxes in Pennsylvania's 2020 primary.
Back in 2012 (when there was a Republican Governor in Pennsylvania) a case was making its way through the state's court system challenging PA's voter fraud law. THE STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA included this in the filing:
There have been no investigations or prosecutions of in-person voter fraud in Pennsylvania; and the parties do not have direct personal knowledge of any such investigations or prosecutions in other states...
Respondents will not offer any evidence in this action that in-person voter fraud has in fact occurred in Pennsylvania or elsewhere.
Wendy, this means that as of 2012 the State of Pennsylvania knew of NO EVIDENCE OF VOTER FRAUD.

What is your evidence that there is, Wendy?

Just simply saying so isn't evidence.

September 26, 2020

Bryant Johnson Pushups

Take a look at the video:

Now take a look at this detail:

The man was on a polished marble floor on his fingertips.

These are not just pushups.

Dear Sue, September 26, 2020

Dear Sue,

Your most recent letter (from Sept. 24) began with:

The world has changed since I last wrote to you. Who would have thought? Sigh.

That previous letter was only about two and a half weeks old and it's sad to realize that you could probably have written exactly the same thing if was only one week old.  Or one day.

While the world has always been in flux, we seem to live at a time when it seems to be fundamentally mutating every news cycle. Remember when the latest outrage was when we learned that he called those buried in military cemeteries in France "losers"? That was Sept 6. Remember when we learned that he'd been downplaying the severity of the virus all along? That was Sept. 10. Remember when we learned that the Senate would hypocrite itself on voting on a new Supreme Court justice? That was Sept. 19.

WTF will we learn next week? Judging from past experience, I can be sure of 2 things; 1) I have no idea what it'll be and 2) it won't be good.

Antney's will be closing for the season on Oct. 4. That's a day before my 57th birthday, by the way. In any event, the lovely wife and I have been, perhaps, over indulging there this summer. It's probably a rationalization but with all the ugly unleashed in the world, I'm thinking that a bit more comfort food when it's available is not the worst idea in the world. Self care with chocolate sprinkles.

My job at home gives me lots of time to listen to music and with the internet readily available on my phone I have the world's music at my fingertips. Most of the time, I just meander around the internet looking for good music. Recently, I discovered Caro Emerald from The Netherlands in a spotify mix devoted to The Good Lovelies. Some days it's soundtrack of Ken Burns' Country Music documentary. Some days it's just the BBC3. When I was there a few weeks ago, I stumbled across the beginning of the Beethoven Missa Solemnis and for some reason the sound pieces with chorus + orchestra got stuck in my head. That particular day, however, I had to jettison the Beethoven as I didn't have an hour and a half to devote to it.

The piece did lead me to thinking about Requiem Masses in general (a tad morbid, yes, but, given the recent COVID numbers, not surprising). The musical setting of the Proper of a Mass for the Dead goes back to at least the middle of the 15th century with Johannes Ockeghem's Requiem as the oldest known setting. The name "Requiem" comes from the first two words of the Latin prayer, "Requiem æternam dona eis, Domine" ("Grant them eternal rest, O Lord").

For all the famous Requiems (Requia?) that I know; Verdi, Mozart, and the above mentioned Ockeghem,  I have to admit I always circle back to two very different pieces; one by Gabriel Fauré and the other by Johannes Brahms, the Brahms being my favorite. Each in their own way diverge from the Roman Catholic text with Brahms abandoning it all together as he chose the text for his Requiem from the Lutheran Bible.

These days, the opening of the Brahms Requiem is particularly moving to me. The whole piece opens with this one line: 

Selig sind, die da Leid tragen, denn sie sollen getröstet werden.

It's from the book of Matthew and it translates as "Blessed are those that mourn, for they shall be comforted." 

Devout atheist/agnostic that I am, none of the metaphysical elements of the piece are anything other than abstractions for me but that doesn't make it any less moving. Blessed are those that mourn, for they shall be comforted.

Tomorrow, or perhaps next week, we'll be facing something entirely different.

With respect,


September 25, 2020

This Makes Me So Happy


Sadly, there is little these days to celebrate about the current state of our democracy. Its foundations are being routinely eroded by his grand orangeness with the help of his enablers in the Congress.

Like this one:

Hmm, let's see: 

While this may or may not be hatred, it certainly isn't irrational.

And Congressman, it's also constitutionally protected speech. Remember this?

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. [Emphasis so Guy can better understand my argument]

What do you think they were doing when they were chanting "Vote him out! Vote him out!"?

Makes me happy that at least one part of The Constitution still works.

Vote him out.


September 24, 2020

EVERY Republican (Candidate, Office Holder, Supporter, Voter) Needs To Be Challenged With This - EVERY. ONE.

We'll start here:

And to what, exactly, is the one time GOP candidate for president referring?


From the NYTimes:

President Trump declined an opportunity on Wednesday to endorse a peaceful transfer of power after the November election, renewing his baseless warnings about extensive voting fraud before saying there would be no power transfer at all.

Oh, and meanwhile 200,275 dead from the coronavirus.

A number made far worse by Trump's cruelty, corruption and incompetence.  

NOW will whatever's left of the principled wing of the GOP stand up to this?  If not, WHAT WILL IT TAKE?

September 23, 2020

Senator Pat Toomey, Hypocrite

Senator Toomey from 2016:

I have long stated my belief that objective qualifications and adherence to the rule of law should matter more than ideology when it comes to judicial appointments. I have acted accordingly, working closely with Senator Bob Casey on filling 16 vacancies on the federal bench in Pennsylvania and supporting numerous appointments by President Obama, including his appointment of Justice Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. 

The current vacancy on the Supreme Court, following the tragic death of Justice Antonin Scalia, however, presents an unusual context. In the final year of a presidency, it is common for vacancies that arise on the Supreme Court to await the outcome of the next election. Given that we are already well into the presidential election process and that the Supreme Court appointment is for a lifetime, it makes sense to give the American people a more direct say in this critical decision. The next Court appointment should be made by the newly-elected president. If that new president is not a member of my party, I will take the same objective non-partisan approach to that nominee as I have always done.

President Obama insists that he will nominate someone for the Court. He certainly has the authority to do so. But let's be clear - his nominee will be rejected by the Senate. In addition to the normally high level of scrutiny accorded to a Supreme Court nominee, this nominee would have to pass an additional level of scrutiny, which is the question of whether he or she ought to receive a lifetime appointment this year, when one could be made with a broad public stamp of approval less than a year later. That is a standard no nominee is likely to be able to meet.

It has been less than 72 hours since Justice Scalia's passing. There has already been too much politicking around the issue of his replacement. This decision should not be rushed, and it should not be made amid the clamoring of a presidential election season. We should honor Justice Scalia's legacy, and we should put off a decision on his replacement until the newly-elected president can make his or her choice. [Emphasis added.]

And here's Sen. Toomey this week:

Four years ago, I noted that my decision to oppose moving forward with the Supreme Court confirmation process for Judge Merrick Garland was related to the circumstances present at the time.[1]

In 2016, the White House and the Senate, which share equally the constitutional authority for filling a Supreme Court vacancy, were controlled by different parties. When power is divided during a presidential election year, the Senate’s general practice has been to leave open a Supreme Court vacancy so that the voters may speak and possibly resolve the disagreement created by the division.[2]Such practice has been emphatically endorsed by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer[3](D-N.Y.), and even the current Democratic nominee for president, former Senator and Vice President Joe Biden.[4] Republicans were following this Senate practice, and the Biden-Schumer approach, when we exercised our constitutional prerogative not to fill the 2016 vacancy.

The circumstances surrounding the current vacancy are, in fact, different. While there is a presidential election this year, the White House and the Senate are currently both controlled by the same party. The Senate’s historical practice has been to fill Supreme Court vacancies in these circumstances.[5] This is also a view Democrats once held. We know this because every single Democratic senator pushed for Judge Garland’s confirmation and told anyone who would listen that if Democrats controlled the Senate—that is, if they were in the position that Republicans are in today—they would have confirmed him. Are we now supposed to operate by two different sets of rules that systematically advantage the Democrats?

The difference between these Senate practices makes perfect sense. When divided government creates tension between the two organs responsible for filling a position on the Supreme Court, it is completely justifiable to leave open a vacancy until the voters have had a chance to speak. In 2016, the voters spoke by electing a Republican president and a Republican-controlled Senate. In 2018, the voters expanded the Republican majority in the Senate. Since the voters resolved the tension between the White House and the Senate, there is no reason to delay filling this vacancy.

I will evaluate President Trump’s nominee to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg based on whether the nominee has the character, intellect, and experience needed to serve on our nation’s highest court. These are the same objective, non-partisan criteria that I have used to evaluate judicial nominees under both President Obama and President Trump. Based on these criteria, I supported President Obama's nomination of then-Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court and voted to confirm almost 70 percent of the judges nominated by President Obama and considered by the Senate during my time in office. If the person President Trump nominates also meets these criteria, I will vote to confirm this nominee.

You'll note the not-so subtle shifting of the criteria over the last 4 years. I bold/italicized the goal post moving for clarity. Four years ago, the criteria was simply "in the final year of a presidency." Now, suddenly, the criteria has shifted conveniently to support whatever the GOP wants to do.


Toomey's also playing fast and lose with his footnotes. For example, do you see that little "3" in the 2020 statement? It leads to this text on Toomey's page:

3“[F]or the rest of this president’s term … I will recommend to my colleagues that we should not confirm a Supreme Court nominee EXCEPT in extraordinary circumstances.” Senator Chuck Schumer, a year and a half before the end of President George W. Bush's term, American Constitution Society, July 27, 2007.

There's almost always something interesting when you see what's behind an ellipsis. What's left out? Here's the entire passage:

[F]or the rest of this President’s term and if there is another Republican elected with the same selection criteria let me say this:


We should reverse the presumption of confirmation.  The Supreme Court is dangerously out of balance.  We cannot afford to see Justice Stevens replaced by another Roberts; or Justice Ginsburg by another Alito.


Given the track record of this President and the experience of obfuscation at the hearings, with respect to the Supreme Court, at least:  I will recommend to my colleagues that we should not confirm a Supreme Court nominee EXCEPT in extraordinary circumstances. [Toomey omitted text emphasized]

Indeed, Senator Shumer had an explanation for his 2007 statement:

What I said in the speech given in 2007 is simple: Democrats, after a hearing, should entertain voting no if the nominee is out of the mainstream and tries to cover that fact up. There was no hint anywhere in the speech that there shouldn’t be hearings or a vote. Only that if after hearings and a vote, Democrats determined that the nominee was out of the mainstream and trying to hide it, they should have no qualms about voting no.

Now go look at what Toomey chose to show you in those paragraphs. Very different, no? He even mentions "hearings" a courtesy Merrick Garland was not given.

In any case this is all beside the point. Toomey wants you to think about "confirmation" and forget that he wouldn't even vote to allow hearings or moving the confirmation to the Senate floor for Merrick Garland.

The Democratic Party arguments he's using to paper over his hypocrisy are about confirming, not blocking hearings/votes.

Shifting the goal posts = Pat Toomey hypocrisy.


September 22, 2020

What Does Columbus Day Mean?

I'd like to take a break from watching our slow-motion Trump-led social suicide and talk a little about this

The Pittsburgh Art Commission unanimously voted on Wednesday to schedule a special hearing for the public to voice their opinions on the potential removal of the Christopher Columbus statue in Schenley Park.

Mayor Bill Peduto asked the commission in a letter Tuesday to begin a public review to determine the future of the statue.

The statue, which was erected in Schenley Park in 1958, was vandalized in 2010, 2017 and most recently again in June and July as part of nationwide protests against monuments honoring Columbus.

After the statue was vandalized in June, an online petition was created calling for its removal.

Let me say as a proud Italian-American that it's probably time for the statue to be removed.  As a cultural signifier, "Columbus" has way too much negative baggage to support it's continued presence in Oakland.

But instead of talking about the statues, let's talk about Columbus Day - something with similar calls for removal. What does "Columbus Day" mean? Evidently, different things to different people at different times.

From The New York Times:

Few who march in Columbus Day parades or recount the tale of Columbus’s voyage from Europe to the New World are aware of how the holiday came about or that President Benjamin Harrison proclaimed it as a one-time national celebration in 1892 — in the wake of a bloody New Orleans lynching that took the lives of 11 Italian immigrants. The proclamation was part of a broader attempt to quiet outrage among Italian-Americans, and a diplomatic blowup over the murders that brought Italy and the United States to the brink of war.

Here's the story:

It began with the murder of David Hennessy. A popular police chief, Hennessy was shot down by gunmen while walking home from work. As he lay dying, a witness asked him who did it. “Dagoes,” he reportedly whispered, using a slur for Italians.

And so, more than a few Italians were rounded up and put on trial. The trial ended in a way that the public didn't like (six not guilty verdicts and 3 mistrials) and then:

In response, thousands of angry residents gathered near the jail. Impassioned speakers whipped the mob into a frenzy, painting Italian immigrants as criminals who needed to be driven out of the city. Finally, the mob broke into the city’s arsenal, grabbing guns and ammunition. As they ran toward the prison, they shouted, “We want the Dagoes!”

A smaller group of armed men stormed the prison, grabbing not just the men who had been acquitted or given a mistrial, but several who had not been tried or accused in the crimes. Shots rang out—hundreds of them. Eleven men’s bodies were riddled with bullets and torn apart by the crowd.

It's not surprising that the crowd rejoiced. The Italian government, evidently, did not.

Back to The Times on President Harrison's proclamation:

President Harrison would have ignored the New Orleans carnage had the victims been black. But the Italian government made that impossible. It broke off diplomatic relations and demanded an indemnity that the Harrison administration paid. Harrison even called on Congress in his 1891 State of the Union to protect foreign nationals — though not black Americans — from mob violence.

Harrison’s Columbus Day proclamation in 1892 opened the door for Italian-Americans to write themselves into the American origin story, in a fashion that piled myth upon myth. As the historian Danielle Battisti shows in “Whom We Shall Welcome,” they rewrote history by casting Columbus as “the first immigrant” — even though he never set foot in North America and never immigrated anywhere (except possibly to Spain), and even though the United States did not exist as a nation during his 15th-century voyage.

Seems obvious that the establishment of Columbus Day was initially intended to appease an angry Italian government in light of a brutal Southern lynching and not necessarily a celebration of Columbus himself, who, let's remember, was a man of his time and thus could scarcely be seen today as anything but ignorant and vicious.

Harrison was also a calling for patriotism. From the proclamation:

Now, therefore, I, Benjamin Harrison, President of the United States of America, in pursuance of the aforesaid joint resolution, do hereby appoint Friday, October 21, 1892, the four hundredth anniversary of the discovery of America by Columbus, as a general holiday for the people of the United States. On that day let the people, so far as possible, cease from toil and devote themselves to such exercises as may best express honor to the discoverer and their appreciation of the great achievements of the four completed centuries of American life.

Columbus stood in his age as the pioneer of progress and enlightenment. The system of universal education is in our age the most prominent and salutary feature of the spirit of enlightenment, and it is peculiarly appropriate that the schools be made by the people the center of the day’s demonstration. Let the national flag float over every schoolhouse in the country and the exercises be such as shall impress upon our youth the patriotic duties of American citizenship.

In order to push the patriotism of the moment, Harrison had to shoe-horn Columbus into something he definitely (and absurdly) wasn't: an enlightenment-age "pioneer of progress." But what about all those who have since felt that the day is not about the misery brought by Columbus (and many others after him) but cultural pride in being written into the American origin story? The day means one thing if you see it as a celebration (or commemoration) of the beginnings of what turn out to be some very bad long-term abuses and another if you see it as a de facto Italian American heritage day and not a celebration of the misery and pestilence that followed Columbus' "discovery" of Hispaniola.

So we're at odds. What does "Columbus Day" mean? Who gets to define its meaning for everyone else? Those pushing for the "heritage day" risk offending those focusing on the very real abuses and those focusing on those abuses risk offending the cultural pride of a large swath of the population.

I don't know the solution.

Here's my domanda piuttosto pericolosa: is an Italian-American Heritage Day even necessary at this point? The fact of the matter is that every ethnic/cultural group deserves recognition for its unique contributions to The American Experience.

Perhaps it's time retire the day and use the temporal space it inhabits to make election day a national holiday instead. Perhaps we can all celebrate the American Experience that way.

September 21, 2020

My Email To Senator Pat Toomey

Remember when I was mailing a letter every Tuesday to Pat Toomey? Remember when I thought it might at some point make a difference?

Yea, good times (keeping your head above water, making a wave when you can).

Well, in light of the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, I emailed him. This is what I emailed:

4 years ago you denied even an up or down vote for President Obama's Supreme Court nominee Judge Merrick Garland because it was too close to a presidential election. That was about 8 months before the 2016 election.

We're now 6 WEEKS before the next presidential election and Donald Trump is set to nominate someone for the Supreme Court.

Sen. McConnell set a precedent that you followed in 2016. I expect you to do the same in 2020. If not, you'll be a hypocrite for the rest of your political life.

Do the right thing, Senator. Disagree with Donald Trump on this one.

And this is the auto-response I received:

Thank you for contacting my office. I appreciate your taking the time to share your thoughts about current issues. Out of an abundance of caution, my Washington D.C. office is currently closed. While some staffers are able to telework, mail is affected. Please be assured that your correspondence will receive a reply in the near future. Meanwhile, I am actively working to help Pennsylvania hospitals, health care providers, and state and local officials with testing and other concerns in combatting the epidemic. Thank you for your patience.
I will be posting whatever response I receive from the Senator.

PS: I linked to the page where you too can email Senator Toomey. Use it in good health.

September 18, 2020

How Trump And His Enablers in the GOP Are Corrupting The Postal Service To Aid His Re-Election

From the AP:

A U.S. judge on Thursday blocked controversial Postal Service changes that have slowed mail nationwide, calling them “a politically motivated attack on the efficiency of the Postal Service” before the November election.

Judge Stanley Bastian in Yakima, Washington, said he was issuing a nationwide preliminary injunction sought by 14 states that sued the Trump administration and the U.S. Postal Service.


The judge noted after a hearing that Trump had repeatedly attacked voting by mail by making unfounded claims that it is rife with fraud. Many more voters are expected to vote by mail this November because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the states have expressed concern that delays might result in voters not receiving ballots or registration forms in time.

“The states have demonstrated the defendants are involved in a politically motivated attack on the efficiency of the Postal Service,” Bastian said.

He also said the changes created “a substantial possibility many voters will be disenfranchised.”

BTW, the "defendants" here are Donald Trump and Louis DeJoy, Postmaster General.

You can read the order here.

From the Judge's analysis:

Although not necessarily apparent on the surface, at the heart of DeJoy’s and the Postal Service’s actions is voter disenfranchisement. This is evident in President Trump’s highly partisan words and tweets, the actual impact of the changes on primary elections that resulted in uncounted ballots, and recent attempts and lawsuits by the Republican National Committee and President Trump’s campaign to stop the States’ efforts to bypass the Postal Service by utilizing ballot drop boxes, as well as the timing of the changes.It is easy to conclude that the recent Postal Services’ changes is an intentional effort on the part the current Administration to disrupt and challenge the legitimacy of upcoming local, state,and federal elections, especially given that 72% of the decommissioned high speed mail sorting machines that were decommissioned were located in counties where Hillary Clinton receive the most votes in 2016.

And this happened in Pennsylvania: 

Pennsylvania's Supreme Court extended the due date for mail ballots in the November election, a decision that will likely result in more votes being counted in the state — and more time to determine the final results.

Mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania have previously been due by the time polls close on Election Day. But the court's order adds a three-day extension to receive ballots that are postmarked by 8 p.m. on Election Day. Ballots with a preelection postmark will now be counted as long as they are received by 5 p.m. on Nov. 6, three days after the polls close.

The court also wrote that ballots "received within this period that lack a postmark or other proof of mailing, or for which the postmark or other proof of mailing is illegible, will be presumed to have been mailed by Election Day unless a preponderance of the evidence demonstrates that it was mailed after Election Day."

Of course, to our good friends in the GOP, this was an assault on democracy and the rule of law itself.

The idea of having more citizens voting has always been anathema to the GOP - they only want the right voters voting (see what I did there?).

September 17, 2020

Representative Guy Reshenthaler Voted AGAINST A House Resolution Condemting Anti-Asian Sentiment

First, we'll start with Guy's tweet:

Got me wondering, "What the devil is he talking about?"

Then I found this. HR 908 was voted on today and it describes itself as a resolution:

Condemning all forms of anti-Asian sentiment as related to COVID–19.

This is what Guy Reschenthaler (and 163 other GOP House members) voted against:

    Whereas 23,000,000 Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders account for 7 percent of the Nation’s population in the United States;

    Whereas over 2,000,000 Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are working on the frontlines of this COVID–19 pandemic in health care, law enforcement, first responders, transportation, supermarkets, and other service industries;

    Whereas the use of anti-Asian terminology and rhetoric related to COVID-19, such as the “Chinese Virus”, “Wuhan Virus”, and “Kung-flu” have perpetuated anti-Asian stigma;

    Whereas since January 2020, there has been a dramatic increase in reports of hate crimes and incidents against those of Asian descent;

    Whereas according to a recent study, there were over 400 cases related to COVID-19 anti-Asian discrimination between February 9, 2020, and March 7, 2020;

    Whereas the increased use of anti-Asian rhetoric has resulted in Asian Americans being harassed, assaulted, and scapegoated for the COVID–19 pandemic;

    Whereas in March 2020, anti-Asian violence includes: a woman wearing a mask was kicked and punched at a New York City subway station; two children and two adults were stabbed at a wholesale grocery in Midland, Texas; a couple was assaulted and robbed by a group of attackers in Philadelphia; and a 16-year-old boy was sent to the hospital after being attacked by bullies in Los Angeles, California;

    Whereas the increased use of anti-Asian rhetoric has also resulted in Asian-American businesses being targeted for vandalism;

    Whereas there are approximately 2 million Asian American-owned businesses that generate over $700 billion in annual revenue and employ nearly 4.5 million workers;

    Whereas the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recognize that naming COVID–19 by its geographic location or linking it to a specific ethnicity perpetuates stigma;

    Whereas in 2015, the WHO issued guidance calling on media outlets, scientists, and national authorities to avoid naming infectious diseases for locations to avoid stigmatizing groups of people;

    Whereas, on February 27, 2020, the Secretary of Health and Human Services stated “ethnicity is not what causes the novel coronavirus” and that it is inappropriate and inaccurate to call COVID-19 the “Chinese virus”;

    Whereas, on February 28, 2020, Dr. Mitch Wolfe, the Chief Medical Officer of the CDC said, “Stigma is the enemy of public health”;

    Whereas, on March 10, 2020, Dr. Robert Redfield, the Director of the CDC, testified that use of the term “Chinese coronavirus” is wrong and inappropriate; and

    Whereas the Secretary General of the United Nations called for international solidarity and an end to any ill-founded discrimination of the outbreak’s victims: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives—

(1) calls on all public officials to condemn and denounce any and all anti-Asian sentiment in any form;

(B) to combat misinformation and discrimination that put Asian Americans at risk.

One question: Why?

Fact-checking Trump's Philadelphia Town Hall

This past Tuesday, Donald Trump held a town hall type meeting in the city of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia.

Things did not go well.  

President Donald Trump faced life outside his own political bubble on Tuesday, where his self-congratulation, buck passing and audacious falsehoods conspicuously failed to meet the moment when he was confronted by undecided voters.

And the media's fact-checkers went to work. Take a look.


During the town hall, Trump said he "didn't downplay" the virus -- when in fact, he has admitted to just that.

"I wanted to always play it down," Trump said in a March 19 interview with veteran journalist Bob Woodward, according to CNN, which obtained an audio recording of the interview, and The Washington Post. "I still like playing it down, because I don't want to create a panic."


Trump claimed opponent Joe Biden said in March that the pandemic was "totally over-exaggerated."

Facts First: We could not find any evidence of Biden saying anything like this in March.

Biden did say in late February and early March that people shouldn't "panic" about the virus, but even conservative Breitbart News noted that Biden added in his February comments that "coronavirus is a serious public health challenge" and in March that people shouldn't "downplay" the situation. In other words, he wasn't saying that it was being overblown. [Bolding and Italics in original.]


"They said at the Democrat convention they're going to do a national (mask) mandate. They never did it, because they’ve checked out and they didn’t do it."

This is off target. In his nomination acceptance speech, Biden said, "We'll have a national mandate to wear a mask, not as a burden, but to protect each other."  We noted that current law makes it tough for the federal government to impose a mask mandate on the states. 

But Biden was talking about what he would do if he won. Trump’s criticism that "they never did it" ignores that Biden has no power to make that happen now.

Also from CNN:

Trump is a serial liar.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

September 16, 2020

Wendy Bell, Trump-defender And Snowflake

Over on her Facebook page this morning, the disgraced and chastised Wendy Bell wrote:

Actress Debra Messing took to Twitter yesterday and called President Trump a rapist and a pedophile in an attempt, some people suspect, to get the hashtags trending on social media.

Twitter, which has recently blocked or deleted tweets the President has made because it has deemed his comments misleading, has neither fact checked Messing’s comments nor blocked them from the platform.

 Twitter’s CEO maintains his company is not politically motivated.

 Does it concern you that social media giants like Twitter and Facebook can filter the views and information shared by some people, but not others?

This is what snowflaked Wendy Bell:

Wendy Bell wants a Debra Messing fact check. Ok, so let's do it.

From Courthouse News:

A woman who says Donald Trump raped her at a private sex party when she was 13 years old refiled a lawsuit against him Friday, two weeks after voluntarily dismissing a suit based on the same claims.

The new complaint, filed in the federal court in Manhattan, restates plaintiff Jane Doe’s claims of the earlier lawsuit. Namely, that she was lured by a recruiter to summer parties hosted by co-defendant Jeffrey Epstein at an Upper East Side mansion on East 71st St., tied to a bed and forcibly raped by Trump, who slapped her with an open hand and told her he would do whatever he pleased with her.

And you can see the actual court documents with the story.

It begins with this:

Plaintiff was subject to acts of rape, sexual misconduct, criminal sexual acts, sexual abuse, forcible touching, assault, battery, intentional and reckless infliction of emotional distress, duress, false imprisonment, and threats of death and/or serious bodily injury by the Defendants that took place at several parties during the summer months of 1994. The parties were held by Defendant Epstein at a New York City residence that was being used by Defendant Epstein at 9 E. 71st St. in Manhattan. During this period, Plaintiff was a minor of age 13and was legally incapable under New York law of consenting to sexual intercourse and the other sexual contacts detailed herein. NY Penal L § 130.05(3)(a).
She was 13, Wendy. And this was at a party Donald Trump attended at Jeffrey Epstein's, if you need a reminder. Donald Trump was friends with Jeffrey Epstein, Wendy.

The document has some gruesome details, Wendy:
Defendant Trump initiated sexual contact with Plaintiff at four different parties. On the fourth and final sexual encounter with Defendant Trump, Defendant Trump tied Plaintiff to a bed, exposed himself to Plaintiff,and then proceeded to forcibly rape Plaintiff. During the course of this savage sexual attack, Plaintiff loudly pleaded with Defendant Trump to stop but with no effect. Defendant Trump responded to Plaintiff’s pleas by violently striking Plaintiff in the face with his open hand and screaming that he would do whatever he wanted.

All Debra Messing was doing was quoting actual court documents, Wendy.

THAT'S your fact-check, Wendy.

September 15, 2020

House Resolution 1094 - Condemning QAnon And Rejecting The Conspiracy Theories It Promotes.

I wonder how many of those sitting in the House of Representatives (or currently campaigning for such a seat) would support HR 1094 ("Condemning QAnon and rejecting the conspiracy theories it promotes.").

Some highlights from the legislation: 

Whereas throughout history, conspiracy theories that falsely blame secret cabals or marginalized groups for society’s ills have fueled prejudice, genocide, and acts of terrorism;

Whereas QAnon is a movement promoting a collection of unfounded conspiracy theories that have spread widely on the internet since 2017;

Whereas QAnon initially alleged that prominent Americans are engaged in a secret plot to control the world, while using their power to exploit children, and has expanded to embrace virtually every popular conspiracy theory of the last several decades, from questioning the Kennedy assassination, to believing in alien landings, to denying the safety of vaccines;

Whereas many QAnon followers express anti-Semitic views, and the Anti-Defamation League has said that the movement’s central conspiracy theory includes anti-Semitic elements;

Whereas the FBI has assessed with high confidence that “fringe political conspiracy theories”, including QAnon, “very likely motivate some domestic extremists, wholly or in part, to engage in criminal or violent activity”, and that these conspiracy theories “very likely encourage the targeting of specific people, places and organizations, thereby increasing the likelihood of violence against these targets”;


Whereas the FBI further assesses that “these conspiracy theories very likely will emerge, spread and evolve in the modern information marketplace … fostering anti-government sentiment, racial and religious prejudice, [and] increasing political tensions”;

Whereas according to the Combatting Terrorism Center at the West Point Military Academy, “QAnon is arguably no longer simply a fringe conspiracy theory but an ideology that has demonstrated its capacity to radicalize to violence individuals at an alarming speed”;

You can read that FBI assessment here.

You can read the Cobating Terrorism Center's report here.

Back to the resolution. Before the "Resolved" parts, there's this:

Whereas QAnon adherents have been harming legitimate efforts to combat child exploitation and sex trafficking, including by overwhelming anti-trafficking hotlines with false reports; and

Whereas the conspiracy theories promoted by QAnon undermine trust in America’s democratic institutions, encourage rejection of objective reality, and deepen our Nation’s political polarization...
We've seen QAnon's presence at a few rallies seeking to combat child exploitation here in Pittsburgh.

Finally, the "Resolved" part:
Resolved, That the House of Representatives—

(1) condemns QAnon and rejects the conspiracy theories it promotes;

(2) encourages the Federal Bureau of Investigation and all Federal law enforcement agencies to continue to strengthen their focus on preventing violence, threats, harassment, and other criminal activity by extremists motivated by fringe political conspiracy theories; and

(3) urges all Americans, regardless of our beliefs or partisan affiliation, to seek information from authoritative sources, and to engage in political debate from a common factual foundation.

Any comment Senator Toomey? Congressman Reschenthaler? Candidate Parnell?

September 14, 2020

More UnConstitutional Talk From The Donald Trump

The 22nd Amendment of the United States Constitution begins with this:

No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice...

And yet, this weekend the leader of one of the two major political parties in this once-great nation (and the party that claims to be the "law and order" party) said this:

And there was much rejoicing in the un-masked crowd.

But wait, only a few years ago the right-wing crazies were warning the faithful about an Obama third term:

Baltimore-based businessman Porter Stansberry is at it again.

The man who in the past has been found guilty of swindling customers with fabricated investment information is now trying to cash in on some of the public's dislike of President Barack Obama.

In an E-mail solicitation blasted across the Internet — including on Monday over a listserv previously devoted to former House Speaker Newt Gingrich's presidential campaign — Stansberry warns that Obama is secretly planning to seek a third term.

"Most people believe the election was all about whether or not Obama will have a second term. But it was not," says the E-mail. "What was actually at stake was whether or not he will have a third-term."

Then there's this:

Roger Stone is making baseless accusations of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election and is urging Donald Trump to consider several draconian measures to stay in power, including having federal authorities seize ballots in Nevada, having FBI agents and Republican state officials “physically” block voting under the pretext of preventing voter fraud, using martial law or the Insurrection Act to carry out widespread arrests, and nationalizing state police forces.

Stone, a longtime confidant of the president, made the comments during a September 10 appearance on far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ Infowars network.

Of course it was Infowars.

Anyway, a few short years ago the right wing crazies were ranting loudly enough about this that a Fact-Check smack-down was necessary:

Q: Has President Barack Obama signed 900 executive orders, some of which create martial law?

A: No. Obama’s executive orders do not create martial law. And so far he has signed 139 executive orders — not 900.

You can go to that Factcheck piece for the details. 

Meanwhile, 193,000+ US Citizens have died from COVID-19 and Donald Trump lied to us about its severity. Then he lied about the lying.

As candidate Sean Parnell said, if you don't denounce something, you endorse it.

What say you, Sean? Do you denounce Trump's proffer of an unconstitutional third term? How about Roger Stone's idea of martial law in the event Trump loses the election? How about his lying about COVID-19?

Remember, if you don't denounce, you endorse.

September 12, 2020

A Special Message To KDKA Radio's MARTY GRIFFIN

[Please pass this along to Marty. Thanks, I appreciate it.]


I appreciate that you're really pushing for the state and/or county to open up restaurants for more customers. In your push, I've heard you say that there's no science to warrant the decision to restrict the number of customers dining in restaurants (and so therefore those restrictions are unfair and burdensome).

Well, Marty, here's some science from the CDC:

In this investigation, participants with and without COVID-19 reported generally similar community exposures, with the exception of going to locations with on-site eating and drinking options. Adults with confirmed COVID-19 (case-patients) were approximately twice as likely as were control-participants to have reported dining at a restaurant in the 14 days before becoming ill. In addition to dining at a restaurant, case-patients were more likely to report going to a bar/coffee shop, but only when the analysis was restricted to participants without close contact with persons with known COVID-19 before illness onset. Reports of exposures in restaurants have been linked to air circulation. Direction, ventilation, and intensity of airflow might affect virus transmission, even if social distancing measures and mask use are implemented according to current guidance. Masks cannot be effectively worn while eating and drinking, whereas shopping and numerous other indoor activities do not preclude mask use. [Emphasis added.]

I'm sorry that this is the case. I, too, miss going out to eat. But the stakes these days are very high and not only for my own personal health but for everyone's.  

This is very important - just as important as me protecting my own health - because even if I were to catch the virus and be among those lucky enough to be asymptomatic, I could inadvertently still be part of a transmission chain that could end up getting people sick and/or killing someone. This is the part of the story that you almost always seem to omit on-air.

If limiting the number of people sitting in a restaurant or at a bar is needed to keep the transmission down, then this is something that has to be done. The alternative, opening up the restaurants for the sake of someone's bottom line even when knowing that some of the patrons/employees are going to get sick and some of those will die because of it, is simply unacceptable.

Some other solution to the restaurant industry's plight has to be found. If anything instead of this false choice between the health of the industry and the public health, we should be discussing the need for a more robust social safety net so that that choice doesn't have to be made.

Sadly, with the GOP in control of the state legislature (and one chamber of the Congress in DC) a "more robust social safety net" will never be an option discussed.


September 11, 2020

Trump Lied About Lying

Did you know there was a press briefing yesterday? After a rather Onanistic opening statement, the first question to our glorious apricot leader was this:

Yes, thank you, Mr. President.  Why did you lie to the American people?  And why should we trust what you have to say now?

The reporter, Jonathan Karl of ABC, was referring to this section of one of Trump's interviews with Bob Woodward:

“You just breathe the air and that’s how it’s passed,” Trump said in a Feb. 7 call. “And so that’s a very tricky one. That’s a very delicate one. It’s also more deadly than even your strenuous flus.”

“This is deadly stuff,” the president repeated for emphasis.

Whereas on February 26, Trump said this to the American people:

You know in many cases when you catch this it is very light — you don’t even know there’s a problem. Sometimes they just get the sniffles, sometimes they just get something where they are not feeling quite right and sometimes they feel really bad but that’s a little bit like the flu. It’s a little like the regular flu that we have flu shots for and we will essentially have a flu shot for this in a fairly quick manner.

He lied. 

His response to Karl's question?

Attack the question and person asking the question:

Such a terrible question and the phraseology...


And your question — the way you phrased that is such a disgrace.  It’s a disgrace to ABC Television Network.  It’s a disgrace to your employer.

Then deflect to something else:

We’ve had flu years where we lost 100,000 people.  The flu is a very serious problem for this country also.

Then blame another country:

Listen, what I went out and said is very simple: I want to show a level of confidence and I want a show strength as a leader, and I want to show that our country is going to be fine, one way or the other.  Whether we lose one person — we shouldn’t lose any, because this shouldn’t have happened.  This is China’s fault.  This is nobody’s fault but China.  China should not have allowed it to happen.

Mix in a few more:

If you look at Nancy Pelosi, you look at Cuomo, you look at de Blasio, you look at Biden, months later, they said there’s no problem — they’re talking about me.  Months later.  And before any statement was made — you have to remember, I put the ban on China.  So, obviously, outwardly I said it’s a very serious problem.  And it’s always a serious problem.  That doesn’t mean I’m going to jump up and down in the air and start saying, “People are going to die!  People are going to die!”  No.  No.  I’m not going to do that.

And then circle back to the beginning: 

We’re going to get through this.  And we’re, right now, I hope — really think we’re going to — we’re rounding the final turn.  And a lot of good things are happening with vaccines and with therapeutics, but there’s no lying.  And the way you ask that question is very disgraceful.

He lied.

190,000+ US Citizens have died from COVID-19. How many would not have had he not lied to the nation? There's blood on his teeny tiny hands.

By the way, that reporter's last question went unanswered. This is it:

But should people trust you now?


September 10, 2020

189,147 Dead And Donald Trump ADMITS He "Play[ed] it Down."

And then there's this from CNN:

And this from ABC:

President Donald Trump, in an interview with journalist Bob Woodward, has admitted to deliberately minimizing the seriousness of the novel coronavirus to the public despite understanding its true danger, according to reports on Wednesday.

"I wanted to always play it down," Trump said on March 19, according to CNN, which obtained an audio recording of the interview, and The Washington Post. "I still like playing it down, because I don't want to create a panic."

Trump had acknowledged to Woodward over a month before that the recognized COVID-19 was "deadly stuff," according to CNN -- in contrast with the president's public assertions the virus would "work out fine" and was "very much under control."

This is what he said on March 19:

I wanted to always play it down.
So the next time anyone asserts that Donald Trump played down the severity of the virus, all they'd have to do is to say they're quoting (now wait for it) Donald fucking Trump.

September 9, 2020

The Allegheny County Black Activist/Organizer Collective Issues A Statement Regarding This Past Weekend's Events

By now, we may have some idea what happened this passed weekend in the Cultural District.

However, we may have missed what WPXI reported:

Activists said what was caught on a cell-phone camera and shared on social media does not represent the protest movement or the message in Pittsburgh.

“Those of us who have been activists, those of us who are leaders in our community, all of us, we want everyone to know that it is completely unacceptable behavior,” said Dr. Kimberly Ellis, the founder of Black Politics Matter. “We do not approve. It does not represent us. This is not about coddling white feelings or respectability politics.”

Or what WTAE reported:

The founder and CEO of Black Young and Educated (BYE), says the Civil Saturday demonstration was never meant to turn into the volatile protest that was caught on video during the weekend.

"I'm disappointed about the behavior," says BYE CEO Nick Anglin. He says others joined in with their peaceful demonstration and turned it into something he did not want to see, as protesters verbally attacked people dining along Penn Avenue and rushed a McDonald's next to the Golden Triangle.

"I was standing right there when it happened, and I was completely disappointed. I just shook my head and just literally walked away because this wasn't the time or place for any of this to happened," Anglin said.

BYE is a part of 1Hood and 1Hood is part of the Allegheny County Black Activist/Organizer Collective. 

The Collective itself has issued a statement on their Facebook Page regarding last Saturday events.

This is the statement in its entirety:

Don’t be in a hurry to condemn because he doesn’t do what you do or think as you think or as fast. There was a time when you didn’t know what you know today” (Malcolm X).

Just as many of you, we have seen the video from the encounter at Saturday’s protest. Yes, we were saddened and distraught by what took place. However, we will not attack our fellow Black activists, we will hold them accountable, showcase a better way of direct action, and remind them that we are not interested in oppressive tactics; these are tactics that have been orchestrated against Black bodies merely walking through this County and State. We understand the fear that organizers and activists may have as we watch our white allies recede into a position of comfort and weaponize every narrative and image they can to tell Black people we're the reason we suffer in this County and Country. We understand the feelings of betrayal as support we knew would fade slowly begins to wane, and although 93% of protests have been peaceful, white gaze has mostly cared about the chaos and violence perpetrated against Black bodies. The takeaway from this should be the fact that this County continues to fail Black people daily. To fully grasp this, one must have an understanding of our values and principles.

Our goal is to achieve black liberation by addressing racism and police violence through the deconstruction of white supremacy. To achieve this, our vision is to work toward Black liberation by utilizing righteous activism, re-centering Black leadership and advocating for positive social change for ALL Black (disabled, mentally ill, undocumented, people with records, queer, trans, non-binary and all Black lives along the gender spectrum) people. Our collective upholds the following principles:

  • We will give Black people grace and hold them accountable in love.
  • We do not strive to be the voice for ALL Black people in Allegheny County. Instead we hope to strive toward building a people that recognize their voices are stronger together.
  • We will work toward a county where Black people are no longer systematically targeted.
  • We believe in bold righteous activism.
  • We believe in centering Black leadership and making a safe space for Black disabled, mentally ill, undocumented, people with records, queer, trans, non-binary, and all Black lives along the gender spectrum.
  • We recognize that to move toward Black liberation this involves holding people accountable, avoiding burnout, building, healing, learning, organizing, and mobilizing.
  • We believe that Black people are the experts in our own pain.
  • We will not use the tools of white supremacy to deconstruct white supremacy.

While the video from Saturday may have made YOU uncomfortable it shouldn’t be the focal point. Let’s not forget that we live in a region that has been proven to be THE worst place for Black people to live. Let’s not forget that Black activists have been targeted for years and some are presently facing federal charges for peacefully practicing their First amendment rights. While you may not agree with the methods, righteous rage comes from a real place.

Furthermore, while we don’t support all the actions on Saturday, we understand the trauma that led to this and how it continues to show up. As Black people many of us come from backgrounds where facing various forms of systemic oppression are common. Moreover, we are fighting to change a system in a period of economic and government failure, a pandemic and now a resistance movement from which things will never emerge the same. Furthermore, in the past, we as members of this collective have made missteps and allowed unmet trauma to lead us as well. It would be hypocritical to not acknowledge that. We also recognize that these activists are laboring without accepting the many attempts we have given at developing a background of political theory to the way they do activism. Despite this we can't ever stop trying to reach out to one another in love; we must because we know this system won't. 

It is our duty as revolutionary freedom fighters to pass on lessons, wisdom, knowledge, and experiences to the next generation of freedom fighters, cultural workers, and activists. It is our enemy’s job to prevent this and isolate one generation or ideology from the other. It is for this reason that we approach this with love. Nevertheless, it’s also our duty to speak out against and hold anyone accountable that is affecting the growth of the movement. 

With that being said we are asking that these Black activists tend to their trauma, as well as ensure that they have a political theory background to their activism before leading further actions. We also recognize that they have a solid following of white allies and accomplices. However, we fear that they have been misled into thinking that attending protests somehow equates to them fighting white supremacy. While their willingness to show up helps the movement, it’s not the only way. We need white allies and accomplishes talking to other white people in their families, neighborhoods, jobs, and the various tables at which their privilege allows them to sit. At this point, it’s not safe for Black people to open themselves up to further system involvement/harm or white accomplices to be derailed from the movement. 

A lack of discernment can be dangerous and misguided actions can lead to false narratives that embolden racist orgs/individuals and make it unsafe for Black people to attend these protests. We must be strategic. We must be organized. We are not making this request lightly but know that it’s necessary understanding our role in movement building.

The collective is made up of people from these groups:
Radical Youth Collective
OKRA Ethics
Pittsburgh Union of Regional Renters (PURR)
Take Action Mon Valley (TAMV)
Alliance for Police Accountability (APA)
1 Hood
PGH Freedom Fund
Pittsburgh Feminists for Intersectionality

Elected Official Representatives:

County Councilwoman Olivia Bennett
State Representative Summer Lee

And Now A Word From Some Sane Republicans

September 6, 2020

No, Sean. The Trump Story Has Been Confirmed.

We'll start with this tweet:

Disputed? Let's see:

The AP:

A new report details multiple instances of President Donald Trump making disparaging remarks about members of the U.S. military who have been captured or killed, including referring to the American war dead at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery in France in 2018 as “losers” and “suckers.”

Trump said Thursday that the story is “totally false.”

The allegations were first reported in The Atlantic. A senior Defense Department official with firsthand knowledge of events and a senior U.S. Marine Corps officer who was told about Trump’s comments confirmed some of the remarks to The Associated Press, including the 2018 cemetery comments.

The defense officials said Trump made the comments as he begged off visiting the cemetery outside Paris during a meeting following his presidential daily briefing on the morning of Nov. 10, 2018.


The Defense officials also confirmed to The AP reporting in The Atlantic that Trump on Memorial Day 2017 had gone with his chief of staff, John Kelly, to visit the Arlington Cemetery gravesite of Kelly’s son, Robert, who was killed in 2010 in Afghanistan, and said to Kelly: “I don’t get it. What was in it for them?”
The New York Times:

While current and former officials contacted on Friday could not confirm some of the specifics in The Atlantic’s account, they did verify that Mr. Trump resisted supporting an official funeral and lowering flags after the death of Senator John McCain of Arizona, a Vietnam War hero whose military service he had disparaged. And Mr. Trump’s assertion on Friday that “I never called John a loser” was belied by video and Twitter recording him doing just that in 2015.

Moreover, people familiar with Mr. Trump’s private conversations say he has long scorned those who served in Vietnam as being too dumb to have gotten out of it, as he did through a medical diagnosis of bone spurs in his heels. At other times, according to those familiar with the remarks, Mr. Trump has expressed bewilderment that people choose military service over making money.

The Washington Post:

A former senior administration official, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity to speak candidly, confirmed to The Washington Post that the president frequently made disparaging comments about veterans and soldiers missing in action, referring to them at times as “losers.”

In one account, the president told senior advisers that he didn’t understand why the U.S. government placed such value on finding soldiers missing in action because they had performed poorly and gotten caught and deserved what they got, according to a person familiar with the discussion.

Trump believed people who served in the Vietnam War must be “losers” because they hadn’t gotten out of it, according to a person familiar with the comments. Trump also complained bitterly to then-Chief of Staff John F. Kelly that he didn’t understand why Kelly and others in the military treated McCain, who had been imprisoned and tortured during the Vietnam War, with such reverence. “Isn’t he kind of a loser?” Trump asked, according to the person familiar with Trump’s comments.

Fox News:

And then when Trump reacted in a way we all knew he would:

Fox News Channel journalists have rushed to defend their colleague, correspondent Jennifer Griffin, after President Donald Trump suggested on Twitter that Griffin “should be fired” after she confirmed reporting by The Atlantic that detailed President Trump repeatedly disparaging members of the military, the nation’s war dead, and wounded veterans.

In an appearance on Cavuto Live Saturday, Griffin defended her reporting: “My sources are not anonymous to me and I doubt they are anonymous to the president,” Griffin told Neil Cavuto. “I can tell you that my sources are unimpeachable.”

Interesting use of that word, isn't it? Seeing that Trump has already been impeached.

Sean, let me ask you a few questions: 

  • How would all those "absentee military ballots" make it to a place where they'll be counted?
  • Wouldn't that be the US Postal Service?
  • And tell me again who's been looking to restrict mail-in voting? 

The answer to that last question is: The same guy who called Sen John McCain (and a lot of other military veterans) a "loser" - Donald Trump.

The fact that you're still defending this guy tells us everything we need to know about you.

September 4, 2020

KDKA Radio's Wendy Bell Has Officially LEFT THE BUILDING

Just this afternoon, KDKA Radio posted this:

Entercom Pittsburgh announced Friday that talk show host Wendy Bell has been taken off the air at KDKA Radio in a statement released by Entercom Pittsburgh Senior Vice President Michael Spacciapolli.

"Entercom is the home to thousands of voices representing Americans of all races, ethnicities, gender identity, sexual orientation, beliefs and ability.  

We take very seriously our responsibility to provide a platform for our communities to engage in diverse and meaningful dialogue, debate and the right to freedom of speech, we do not condone the incitement of violence on any of our platforms. 

Members of our community have recently brought to our attention comments made by Wendy Bell that do not align with Entercom’s values. Wendy has been taken off air until further notice.

Entercom Pittsburgh remains steadfast in our commitment to inclusive conversations that engage everyone in Pittsburgh while excluding any form of violence."

Then the lame stream media piled on to take away the First Amendment rights of the innocent and defenseless Wendy Bell who only wants the bring out the positive in this world-weary world.

The Trib has some details regarding her being taken off the air:

KDKA Radio has taken controversial afternoon talk show host Wendy Bell off the air, effective immediately, after comments she made advocating for park rangers to “shoot on sight” people defacing public monuments.


In a video recorded on June 26 during her live radio show, Bell looks into the camera and says: “My easy solution for the park rangers and hopefully snipers who are going to be watching for this is to shoot on sight.” Bell then mimics the sound of a gunshot. “Shoot! Done! No more messing with monuments. You want to mess with a monument? Done! Get out!”

Though the video was recorded over two months ago, a clip from it went viral this week.

As does the P-G

Breadworks, a North Side-based bakery that advertised on Ms. Bell’s show on KDKA Radio, also announced on Friday via their Facebook page that it would be pulling its ads from Bell’s show due to her June 26 video, saying “we were shocked and saddened by her comments. Breadworks does not condone violence. This is why we will not be advertising on her show any longer.”

I'd love to think that this blog had something to do with the Angel Of Death being cast out of the KDKA (radio!) studios but, as far as I can tell, any mention of her COVID-denial has been absent from the coverage over her radio defenestration. And it was her COVID-denial that I wrote about.

Instead, the coverage of her firing is all about her final solution to those pesky protestors who don't like Nathan Bedford Forrest monuments. It was this: Shoot on sight!

Shoot! Done!

But as I wrote to Sue the other day:

I didn't spend much time with that because there's nothing to fact check. Don't get me wrong, it's a hideous idea, both politically and morally, but it's not a misstatement of fact like this:

[T]he CDC says that 94% of people who we think died of COVID did not die from COVID but died and happened to have it at the same time.

On the other hand from now on, her COVID-denial will follow her to wherever she lands (Fox News? CNS? Newsmax? World Net Daily? OAN? InfoWars?). While this might ease her transition to a conservative cloud cuckcoo land, the rest of us based in a reality-based reality, will know her for what she really is: a person who let her right-wing politics corrupt her into someone ugly, racist, and cruel.

As I quoted Wendy way back at the beginning of this story:

We're told that we need to shut down the economy. There's a cost. Everything shuts down. But to what end? Yes, every life lost is one too many. Yes that's the talking point, that's what we're going  to say - 

 [At this point, she's doing the sort of "blah-blah" hand gesture that usually means "this is nonsense."]

- but dollars and cents boil down to, "are you going to bankrupt America and the future for less than one percent of our population, many of whom are already ill? Or aged?"

This was when she was "on the fence" about sacrificing the ill and/or aged just for the sake of a healthy economy.

Positively Wendy Bell.