Democracy Has Prevailed.

June 6, 2023

Doug Mastriano's Latest Mis-Information Meeting

Take a look:

We've done this before, haven't we?

Yes, we have.

But let's take a look at the "experts" PA State Senator is having in this discussion.

Dr Peter McCullough

The AFP wrote this about McCullough in November 2021:

A video has been shared repeatedly on social media that shows American cardiologist Dr Peter McCullough urging Malaysia to dismantle its Covid-19 vaccination program because vaccines are purportedly unsafe and create virus mutations. The claims — many of which have previously been debunked by AFP — are misleading, according to experts.

The nine-minute and seven-second video was posted here on Facebook on September 25, 2021.

The video shows Dr Peter McCullough, an American cardiologist who has previously been exposed for promoting virus misinformation, speaking to the camera about the Covid-19 pandemic and vaccines.

And the link in that piece leads here:

Video of a cardiologist claiming that there is no reason for healthy people under the age of 50 or those who have recovered from Covid-19 to be vaccinated against the virus has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times on social media. But medical experts say younger people should be inoculated because they can still be affected by the virus, and that the shots also benefit those who have already had the disease.

And some facts from the AFP:

Healthy people younger than 50 do not need a Covid-19 vaccine: FALSE

The CDC says on its website that risk of severe disease from the novel coronavirus increases with age, but National Center for Health Statistics data shows that people under age 50 account for four percent of deaths involving Covid-19.

And a March 26, 2021 article in Science also found that by mid-August 2020 “the resurgence in the United States was largely driven by adults 20 to 49 years of age.”

Olivier Schwartz, head of the Virus and Immunity Unit at the Pasteur Institute, told AFP by phone: “It is obvious that people under 50 who are in good health should be vaccinated” because they can still be affected by the disease.

That was back in April of 2021.

So Dr McCullough has been spreading Covid misinformation for some time now.

Attorney Thomas Renz

This is what The Washington Post (by way of The Seattle Times) had to say about attorney Renz:

In one of dozens of recent media appearances, Ohio attorney Thomas Renz was claiming that coronavirus vaccines were more harmful than the virus itself. “The people that are dying are vaccinated,” he said on a conservative online talk show in July.

As Renz spoke, a message flashed across the screen with his website address. “Donate to his cause,” it urged.


Renz’s quick public ascent illustrates how promoting misinformation about the pandemic can be an effective fundraising tool and lead to renown within the portion of the country that remains suspicious of coronavirus vaccines, despite their general acceptance by the medical and scientific communities. The legal challenges are similar to the courtroom wrangling that followed the presidential election, when groups supporting former President Donald Trump raised money and made headlines by filing lawsuits — or promising to file them — based on dubious claims of widespread election fraud.

Oh, and there's this:

Anti-vaccine groups, conspiracy theory enthusiasts and far-right media have embraced him, and his best-known client, the group America’s Frontline Doctors, calls him part of a “Legal Eagle Dream Team.”

So he's been spreading Covid misinformation for some time.

Steve Kirsch

This is what Politifact had to say about Steve Kirsh: 

Kirsch’s presentation said: "Pfizer vaccine kills more people than it saves." 

There is no evidence that the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine has caused death. Available data indicate just the opposite: Vaccines are overwhelmingly effective at preventing death and serious illness from the virus that causes COVID-19.

We rate the post Pants on Fire!

That was back in September 2021.

Steve Kirsch has been spreading Covid misinformation for some time now.

Graham Hetrick

This is what ABC27 wrote about Graham Hetrick:

The Dauphin County Coroner is an outspoken critic of mask mandates and believes the COVID vaccines aren’t safe. Public health officials say arguments like these are dangerous.

And Lancaster Online

Hetrick also told ABC27 that he doesn’t wear a mask, saying “this is uncomfortable, and it’s not a good thing to do.” He added that he’s not getting a vaccine since he already had COVID-19, and that “God vaccinated me … As a matter of fact, it might be more harmful for me to have the vaccine.

He's also not a doctor.

That was back in August of 2021.

Graham Hetrick has been spreading Covid misinformation for some time.

Yea, that's PA State Senator Doug Mastriano "expert panel" set to discuss "Medical Freedom."



May 31, 2023

Can Someone Ask Doug Mastriano About THIS??

From The Department of Justice:

A Pennsylvania woman was sentenced today in the District of Columbia on felony and misdemeanor charges for her actions during the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol breach. Her actions and the actions of others disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress convened to ascertain and count the electoral votes related to the presidential election.

Pauline Bauer, 55, of Kane, Pennsylvania, was sentenced to 27 months in prison, 24 months of supervised release and a fine of $2,000 for obstruction of an official proceeding, a felony; entering and remaining in a restricted building; disorderly or disruptive conduct in a restricted building; disorderly and disruptive conduct in any of the Capitol Buildings with the intent to impede, disrupt, and disturb the orderly conduct of a session of Congress or either House of Congress; parading, demonstrating, and picketing in a Capitol Building. Bauer was convicted on January 24, 2023, following a trial before U.S. District Judge Trevor N. McFadden.


Bauer was standing approximately 30 feet from the House Speaker’s office when she was recorded saying “Bring that fucking bitch out here now. Bring her out. Bring her out here. We’re coming in if you don’t bring her out here.” 

And so on.

This is Pauline Bauer at the "Stop The Steal" rally in Harrisburg on January 5, the day before she joined the mob and stormed the Capitol - you'll note her choice of clothing and signage:

Oh, look. Doug Mastriano and Wendy Bell were at that rally as well:

State Sen. Doug Mastriano, who represents parts of Adams, Cumberland, Franklin and York counties, told the crowd the fight is not over, and took aim at Gov. Tom Wolf, saying “Any governor who cared about the people would investigate any allegations.”

He added a proper investigation and audit of the election must be done and, “If people believe their guy won, what are they afraid of?”

Radio personality Wendy Bell spoke near the end of the rally, telling the crowd “We are witnessing an amazing part of our history. Regardless of how it ends, this is the beginning of a great awakening.”

“A sleeping giant has awakened, and it’s called ‘serving us’ like they were elected to do. And we have awakened as well,” she said.

By the way, when Wendy Bell dog-whistles "a great awakening" this is what QAnon hears

Followers of QAnon, the pro-Trump conspiracy theory, have spent weeks anticipating that Wednesday would be the “Great Awakening” — a day, long foretold in QAnon prophecy, when top Democrats would be arrested for running a global sex trafficking ring and President Trump would seize a second term in office.

That's what Pauline Bauer heard the day before she stormed into the Capitol, threatening then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Anyway, back to the sentencing. CBS Congressional Correspondent Scott McFarland was live-tweeting it.

For the purpose of this blog post, this is the interesting part:

And then Bauer reiterated:

In effect, on her way to a couple of years in prison for her actions on January 6, Pauline Bauer asserted during her sentencing that she was radicalized by listening to Doug Mastriano.

Any comment for the blog, Doug?

How about you, Wendy? Any comment?

May 26, 2023

So It's A "No" From Doug?

Oh. My. God.

First Judge Patricia McCullough loses the GOP primary for a seat on the PA Supreme Court and now this:

MAGA firebrand Doug Mastriano said on Thursday that he is not running for Senate in Pennsylvania in 2024.

“At this time, we have decided not to run for the U.S. Senate,” he said, “but to continue to serve in Harrisburg.”

What are the Christian Nationalists to do?

May 24, 2023

For Florida

When day comes we ask ourselves,
where can we find light in this never-ending shade?
The loss we carry,
a sea we must wade
We’ve braved the belly of the beast
We’ve learned that quiet isn’t always peace
And the norms and notions
of what just is
Isn’t always just-ice
And yet the dawn is ours
before we knew it
Somehow we do it
Somehow we’ve weathered and witnessed
a nation that isn’t broken
but simply unfinished
We the successors of a country and a time
Where a skinny Black girl
descended from slaves and raised by a single mother
can dream of becoming president
only to find herself reciting for one
And yes we are far from polished
far from pristine
but that doesn’t mean we are
striving to form a union that is perfect
We are striving to forge a union with purpose
To compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters and
conditions of man
And so we lift our gazes not to what stands between us
but what stands before us
We close the divide because we know, to put our future first,
we must first put our differences aside
We lay down our arms
so we can reach out our arms
to one another
We seek harm to none and harmony for all
Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true:
That even as we grieved, we grew
That even as we hurt, we hoped
That even as we tired, we tried
That we’ll forever be tied together, victorious
Not because we will never again know defeat
but because we will never again sow division
Scripture tells us to envision
that everyone shall sit under their own vine and fig tree
And no one shall make them afraid
If we’re to live up to our own time
Then victory won’t lie in the blade
But in all the bridges we’ve made
That is the promised glade
The hill we climb
If only we dare
It’s because being American is more than a pride we inherit,
it’s the past we step into
and how we repair it
We’ve seen a force that would shatter our nation
rather than share it
Would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy
And this effort very nearly succeeded
But while democracy can be periodically delayed
it can never be permanently defeated
In this truth
in this faith we trust
For while we have our eyes on the future
history has its eyes on us
This is the era of just redemption
We feared at its inception
We did not feel prepared to be the heirs
of such a terrifying hour
but within it we found the power
to author a new chapter
To offer hope and laughter to ourselves
So while once we asked,
how could we possibly prevail over catastrophe?
Now we assert
How could catastrophe possibly prevail over us?
We will not march back to what was
but move to what shall be
A country that is bruised but whole,
benevolent but bold,
fierce and free
We will not be turned around
or interrupted by intimidation
because we know our inaction and inertia
will be the inheritance of the next generation
Our blunders become their burdens
But one thing is certain:
If we merge mercy with might,
and might with right,
then love becomes our legacy
and change our children’s birthright
So let us leave behind a country
better than the one we were left with
Every breath from my bronze-pounded chest,
we will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one
We will rise from the gold-limbed hills of the west,
we will rise from the windswept northeast
where our forefathers first realized revolution
We will rise from the lake-rimmed cities of the midwestern states,
we will rise from the sunbaked south
We will rebuild, reconcile and recover
and every known nook of our nation and
every corner called our country,
our people diverse and beautiful will emerge,
battered and beautiful
When day comes we step out of the shade,
aflame and unafraid
The new dawn blooms as we free it
For there is always light,
if only we’re brave enough to see it
If only we’re brave enough to be it

For context:

May 17, 2023


From The Trib

Allegheny County Council: Allegheny County Councilwoman Bethany Hallam on Tuesday night won her Democratic primary race against challenger Joanna Doven for an at-large seat on Allegheny County Council, unofficial tallies showed. With more than 154,000 votes tallied and about 96% of precincts reporting results just after 10:30 p.m., Hallam had collected 56.4% of the votes counted compared to 42.9% for Doven, according to the Allegheny County Elections Division.

I put this on top because I wrote about one piece of dishonest Doven literature last week.

The AP is reporting:

Democrat Dan McCaffery and Republican Carolyn Carluccio won their parties’ primaries for a vacant seat on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Tuesday, setting up a fall contest to join a high court that is at the center of cases on guns, abortion and elections in a presidential battleground state.

Each nominee won a two-way primary race. McCaffery defeated Deborah Kunselman, a colleague on the Superior Court, and Carluccio defeated Patricia McCullough, a Commonwealth Court judge who lost a primary for a high court seat in 2021. Party allies reported spending nearly $1 million to help her beat McCullough.

On the campaign trail, McCullough repeatedly boasted of being the “only judge in 2020 in the presidential election in the entire country” to order a halt to her state’s election certification.

She's also Chuck McCullough's wife. Chuck spent some time in jail after being found guilty of abusing his power of attorney when he cut some checks "on behalf" of his client, an elderly dementia patient.

He cut some checks to a number of Pittsburgh area politicians and one charity.

As Dennis Roddy the (pre-strike) PPG noted in 2007:

An Upper St. Clair woman's last-minute gift to Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Pittsburgh created a stir among staff members, one of whom said they were told to keep quiet about it when they found out hours before the charity's annual banquet last year.

The charity this week returned the gift "just out of caution" after a week of reports that the woman's attorney had helped dispense tens of thousands of dollars in political donations the woman later said she did not approve. The attorney, Charles P. McCullough, is also the husband of Patricia McCullough, executive director of Catholic Charities. [Emphasis added.]

Such a relief not to have to revisit this over the next few months.

Back to The Trib:

Allegheny County executive: State Rep. Sara Innamorato declared victory Tuesday night in the crowded Democratic primary race for county executive, unofficial tallies showed. With nearly 168,000 votes tallied and 96% of precincts reporting results, Innamorato had collected 37.5% of the votes counted compared to 29.6% for Weinstein, 19.6% for Pittsburgh Controller Michael Lamb and 9.7% for former Allegheny County Councilman Dave Fawcett, according to the Allegheny County Elections Division.
Khari Mosley won:

And then finally this from WTAE:

Matt Dugan is the projected winner in Tuesday's Democratic primary for Allegheny County district attorney, defeating longtime incumbent Stephen Zappala.

TAE says Zappala was seeing a seventh term - that's a long time.

How long? He was in the office more than a decade before I wrote (for the pre-strike PG) about how Cyril Wecht called him a goombah.

This blog's been around a long time. Stephen Zappala was DA longer.

May 14, 2023

PA St. Sen. Doug Mastriano Sticks To The Anti-Vax Crowd

Take a look:

This is the event:

It even got some local Patch coverage.

Sen Mastriano said he was "joined by a panel of medical professionals" for this conference (heckuva deal at only $50 - and look breakfast and door prizes included!) This is the list from Patch:

  • Dr. Stephanie Coxon, BCTN, PhD
  • Dr. Jeanne O'Connell, MD, Frederick, MD
  • Graham Hetrick, MS, FD, B.C.F.E.
  • Dr. Scott Perlman,Chiropractor, JAS Medical & Wellness Center of GA
  • Michael Carnevale, Quantus Life
  • Dr. Jeff Barke, MD (Member, America's Frontline Doctors - CA)

Let's look at those professionals.

Dr Stephanie Coxon - not a medical doctor. And that BCTN? Took me a while to find out what that means. The American Naturopathic Medical Certification Board says it's:

Board Certified Traditional Naturopath

BTW, there's no medical license required for that certification. She does have a CNHP and a CHS from the Trinity School of Natural Health in Warsaw, IN, where a CNHP is a "Certified Natural Health Professional" and a CHS is a "Certified Health Specialist." Trinity School also offers courses in Aromatherapy and Advanced Biblical Studies, by the way. Her PhD is in "Instructional Leadership and Management" but I wasn't able to track down the university that awarded her that very non-medical/non-scientific degree.

Certainly not an expert on vaccines or Covid or epidemiology.

Dr. Jeanne O'Connell - is a medical doctor. Though not, as far as I can tell, an expert in vaccines or Covid or epidemiology. She is the medical director at Sylvan Medical and Aesthetics Center. Take a look:

Dr. Jeanne O'Connell is a board certified physician with decades of experience in aesthetic, functional, integrative a regenerative medicine. Her vision was to establish a medical spa and medical practice that focuses on aesthetics, underlying illnesses, offering an integrative, evidence-based approach to care and incorporating biomedical approaches that help regenerate cells and tissue to restore or establish normal function.

Dr. O'Connell is also a master of the latest science-based developments in skin care, facial rejuvenation, weight loss and body sculpting. We take a personalized whole person approach to helping you maintain, enhance and restore the healthy glow that comes with looking and feeling your best. At Sylvana Medical & Aesthetics Center we treat the whole person, inside and out, not just symptoms.

Nothing about Covid, by the way.

Graham Hetrick - not a medical doctor. Anti-vax County Coroner in Dauphin County.  I was able to dig up some interesting facts about the good not-a-Dr.

From ABC27:

The Dauphin County Coroner is an outspoken critic of mask mandates and believes the COVID vaccines aren’t safe. Public health officials say arguments like these are dangerous.

 And from Lancaster Online we learn:

Hetrick isn’t a doctor, but he is “a subject matter expert on drug abuse, child death and child abuse, organ tissue donation, violent crimes, medical legal death investigation, forensic methodology, and the grieving process,” according to his website.

Certainly not an expert on vaccines or Covid or epidemiology. But apparently, he looks good on TV.

Dr Scott Perlman - not a medical doctor. A chiropractor. 'Nuff said.

Certainly not an expert on vaccines or Covid or epidemiology. 

Michael Carnevale - not a medical doctor, evidently. He is from an entity called Quantus Life, however. It's a health and wellness center out of Casper, Wyoming and from the website it looks like they'll sell you many products for your health and wellness for what I am presuming is a fair and honest price.

Certainly not an expert on vaccines or Covid or epidemiology.

Dr Jeff Barke - is a medical doctor. But he's from America's Front Line Physicians - a group that has been spreading anti-vax misinformation for years:

A physician group that rampantly spread COVID-19 misinformation is back in the spotlight -- but this time, sowing doubt about the vaccine.

America's Frontline Doctors, an organization that claims to provide uncensored, accurate information about the pandemic, became infamous in July after a viral press conference that protested government lockdown restrictions and spread inaccuracies ranging from the ineffectiveness of masks to claims that hydroxychloroquine could "cure" COVID-19.

Now, those same doctors -- the majority of which have no experience treating COVID-19 patients -- have launched a campaign to warn Americans that they should not be forced to take an "experimental vaccine," while failing to mention the safety trials and large phase III efficacy trials, along with the fact that no vaccine mandate exists.

So, how do we sum up this meeting?

Judging from the poster and what I was able to dig up online, there was little or no actual expertise in vaccines on those panels - certainly not Covid vaccines, certainly not in epidemiology. But there was lots of access to  "health and wellness" and/or naturopathic "remedies" that can be purchased for, I am presuming, a fair and honest price. Have I got that right?

And, yea and judging by who was there and where they came from and what they were looking to sell, I would also presume that there was a fair amount of anti-vax BS there too.

Doug Mastriano, anti-vax activist.

May 10, 2023

Will St Sen Doug Mastriano Be Commenting On Trump's Sexual Assault?

From The Washington Post:

A civil jury in New York found Tuesday that former president Donald Trump sexually abused and defamed E. Jean Carroll, a writer who has accused him of assaulting her in the mid-1990s.

Jurors deliberated for a little under three hours before siding with Carroll, awarding her a combined $5 million in damages. The verdict was an undeniable victory for Carroll, who testified during the trial that Trump violently assaulted her and, years later, unleashed further trauma by ridiculing her as a liar once she spoke out.

The New York Times:

A Manhattan jury on Tuesday found former President Donald J. Trump liable for sexually abusing and defaming E. Jean Carroll and awarded her $5 million in damages. More than a dozen women have accused Mr. Trump of sexual misconduct over the years, but this is the only allegation to be affirmed by a jury.


Donald Trump must pay $5 million in damages for sexually abusing magazine writer E. Jean Carroll in the 1990s and then defaming her by branding her a liar, a jury decided on Tuesday.

Donald Trump, sexual abuser, forced to pay $5 million in damages.

Any comment, Senator Mastriano?

Here are the two of you together at a campaign rally.  You're the guy shaking the abuser's hand.

Surely you have a comment on a jury finding that Trump more than likely sexually assaulted a woman and then defamed her when she spoke out.


May 9, 2023

Um. Yea.

Donald Trump: Sexual abuser

Joanna Doven: Dishonest. At Best.

I'm not a member of the Democratic Party so I usually don't take sides in primary disputes. 

But sometimes you just gotta, y'know?

Got a bit of campaign literature from Joanna Doven and it's targeting Bethany Hallam with the dreadline:

First off, let me ask you a framing question: What do you think when you read that?

That somehow Hallam was in league with and/or supported the Trump/Stone/Flynn coup attempt, right? 

Says so right there. In big scary letters.

At least that's what you're supposed to think.

But you'd be wrong.

A little digging will show you how Doven's campaign chose to mislead you.

Across the page there's this:

And that leads us to the truth. If you were to google (an I suppose the Doven campaign is not counting on you to do this) "A Pennsylvania county delayed certifying the midterms..." you'll get to this article from Vox:

And it starts thusly:

More than a month after the midterm elections, Pennsylvania still hasn’t certified its results of the 2022 election. Recount requests are holding up a process that has been playing out in sometimes dramatic fashion at the county level — producing at least one scene that should set off alarm bells for anyone concerned about election deniers refining their strategy ahead of 2024. [Emphasis added]

Recount requests from whom? Seems that our friends in the "Stop the Steal" crowd flooded the courts with recount requests. The Vox piece is a warning about how the election-deniers are looking to gum up the works in 2024.

This was November 20, 2022. The Court of Common Pleas dismissed them on December 9.

Back to Vox a few weeks before that dismissal:

“How can we certify when we don’t know what the court is going to do?” Democratic County Councilperson At Large Bethany Hallam said at the meeting, prompting applause from the audience and cutting against the attorney’s advice. “I just don’t feel super comfortable jumping the gun ruling for the judge because that’s kind of what it feels like we’re doing.” 

And Hallam?A bit too-careful-by-half, perhaps, but "sided with the insurrectionists?" Where? When? How?

The Doven campaign is misleading you (or at least hoping to mislead enough of you) into thinking that what happened in 2022 actually happened in 2020 and are looking for you to vote accordingly.

They don't trust you to dig for the truth and they're looking to benefit politically for it. In fact they're hoping that you don't - so that you don't unearth their dishonesty.

Joanna Doven should be better than that.

For the record, this is what happened about 2 years earlier in 2020:

The Allegheny County Board of Elections voted Monday to certify results of the Nov. 3 general election.

The vote was 2-1. Democrats Rich Fitzgerald and Bethany Hallam voted to certify, while Republican Sam DeMarco voted no.

Joanna Doven: Will lie to you to get your vote.

May 4, 2023

Doug Mastriano, PhD - Um, Maybe Not?

Anyone else catch this?

From our friends up in The Great White North:

The University of New Brunswick has appointed three professors from other institutions to conduct a formal investigation into allegations of academic fraud against a former PhD student who is also a high-profile ally of former United States president Donald Trump.

The academic credentials of Doug Mastriano, a retired U.S. army colonel and Republican politician, were called into question last fall when several scholars alleged that his 2013 doctoral dissertation was plagued by factual errors, fabrications, omissions and amateurish archeology.


Factual errors? Fabrications? From someone who spread the big lie about 2020?

Say it ain't so, Doug.

Some more details:

The formal complaint was submitted on Oct. 6, 2022, by James Gregory, an instructor and PhD candidate at the University of Oklahoma, who documented 213 allegations of academic misconduct in Mastriano’s dissertation about U.S. army Sgt. Alvin York, a highly decorated First World War infantryman.

On March 3 of this year, Gregory received a letter from UNB’s vice-president of research, David MaGee, who said he had determined the allegations had “sufficient substance” to warrant a formal investigation under the school’s Responsible Conduct in Research policy.

So, Doug ain't much of a historian, is he?

The fact that there was "sufficient substance" to trigger a formal investigation is enough to show that.

April 29, 2023

Sen Mastriano's Political Hypocrisy On Display. Again.

St. Sen. Doug Mastriano is in the habit of posting "E-news Updates" on his official legislative Facebook Page

Sometimes he's bragging about his own accomplishments. Sometimes it's just letting his fellow right-thinking Pennsylvanians about some of the benefits they can expect to access via Pennsylvania guv'ment.

They all link back to his legislative webpage.

Recently, he posted an update that includes this benefit:

The Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority recently approved the Pennsylvania Broadband Infrastructure Program which will provide $200 million in funding to businesses, nonprofits, local governments and economic development organizations.

This program will fund line extension and development projects, as well as large-scale regional infrastructure projects. Upon completion, projects must deliver service that meets or exceeds symmetrical download and upload speeds of 100 Megabits per second, with prioritization being given to fiber-optic deployment.

The application period will begin May 10 and will close July 10. View program guidelines here.

Let's go take a look, shall we? 

If you were to click on that link, you'll quickly learn this:

The Broadband Infrastructure Program (BIP) is funded pursuant to the Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund (Capital Projects Fund) established under The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

For the sake of this discussion, the important part of that sentence is the last half-dozen (or so) words:

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 

(Posted like that in case you missed it.)

Know what? That's a bit of Biden legislation that made it through Congress with no GOP support whatsoever


That's information that Doug Mastriano decided his readers didn't need to know, I suppose.

Not only that, he's done this before:

  • July 20, 2022 - The  "Law Enforcement Recovery Grant Program" funded by the American Rescue Plan.
  • February 2, 2022 - The "Pennsylvania Homeowner Assistance Fund" also funded by the American Rescue Plan.
  • April 3, 2022 - Assistance Available for COVID Related Funeral Expenses, with funding from The American Rescue Plan.

This is shameless, Senator. 

Why aren't you telling anyone that these plans are being funded by a piece of legislation that got no GOP support in the Congress?

April 28, 2023

So, The Former VEEP Testified

From The NYTimes

Former Vice President Mike Pence appeared on Thursday before the grand jury hearing evidence about former President Donald J. Trump’s efforts to cling to power after he lost the 2020 election, a person briefed on the matter said, testifying in a criminal inquiry that could shape the legal and political fate of his one-time boss and possible 2024 rival.

Mr. Pence spent more than five hours behind closed doors at the Federal District Court in Washington in an appearance that came after he was subpoenaed to testify before the grand jury earlier this year.

As the target of an intense pressure campaign in the final days of 2020 and early 2021 by Mr. Trump to convince him to play a critical role in blocking or delaying congressional certification of Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory, Mr. Pence is considered a key witness in the investigation.

And more importantly: 

[Jack Smith, a special counsel appointed by Attorney General Merrick B. Garland,] has gathered evidence about a wide range of activities by Mr. Trump and his allies following Election Day in 2020. They include a plan to assemble slates of alternate electors from a number of swing states who could be put forward by Mr. Trump as he disputed the Electoral College results. They also encompass an examination of whether Mr. Trump defrauded donors by soliciting contributions to fight election fraud despite having been repeatedly told that there was no evidence that the election had been stolen from him. [Emphasis added.]

I wonder if State Senator Doug Mastriano is following all this, considering:

  • CNN, January 2, 2023
    The day before the US Capitol attack, Trump spoke to then-Vice President Mike Pence. After that conversation, Trump spoke with Pennsylvania state Sen. Doug Mastriano, who helped fuel Trump’s election lies in the state, and then the switchboard operator left a note “that Senator Douglas Mastriano will be calling in for the Vice President.”
  • NYTimes, July 26, 2022
    As they organized the fake elector scheme, lawyers appointed a “point person” in seven states to help organize those electors who were willing to sign their names to false documents. In Pennsylvania, that point person was Douglas V. Mastriano, a proponent of Mr. Trump’s lies of a stolen election who is now the Republican nominee for governor.

What say you, Senator? Do you think your name came up on that five hour deposition?

You're looking to run for US Senator, right? As a potential constituent of yours, let me then ask you outright:

  • What did you discuss with then-President Trump the day before January 6th?
  • Did you get to talk to then-VP Pence?
  • If you did get to talk to him, did you discuss Trump's plan to install alternative electors?
  • If you didn't get to talk to him, what were you planning on talking about?

April 25, 2023

April 20, 2023

Wendy Bell Is Lying About The Vaccines. Again.

Why oh why does Wendy Bell do this to her self? In public?

Take a look at a recently posted BS Board of Wendy's:

She's referencing this article in the anti-vaxxx website which in turn leads to this Pfizer document.

The story of how "reveals that 82%-97% of pregnant women who received the company’s COVID-19 vaccine “lost their babies.” (which is what Wendy Bell is arguing this week) was debunked more than 10 months ago by the AP:

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The flawed calculation misrepresents data from a Pfizer database of adverse events recorded during the first two months of the vaccine rollout. The registry included 270 reports of vaccination during pregnancy. No adverse events were recorded among the majority of those women. Of 34 women who specified outcomes, 28 reported the loss of a fetus or a neonatal death, five reported “outcome pending” and one reported a “normal outcome.” The misleading percentages were based on this small subset of the data. 

And if you don't want to go with the AP's fact check, you can always look at Reuters:

The document, which is looking into adverse reports between Dec. 2020 and Feb. 28, 2021 is part of Pfizer-BioNTech’s Biologics License Application to the FDA. It does not provide evidence that all pregnant women who received the shot in the reported period lost their babies.


It is key to note that the document does not provide the total number of pregnant women —or people in general — who received a shot during that period; making it impossible to calculate the percentage of pregnant women who reported an adverse effect or, in this case, had a spontaneous abortion following vaccination compared to a larger total.

Wendy Bell is lying to her audience by showing them a flawed (and already debunked) "analysis" of some Pfizer data.

If Wendy Bell (and her lil' buddy Brock) were truly interested in telling the truth to their listeners about this subject, they'd do much better with this piece from the University of Minnesota:

Two studies published yesterday in JAMA, one from Sweden and Norway and one from Ontario, find no link between COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy and adverse outcomes.


In the first study, a team led by researchers from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health in Oslo and the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm studied 157,521 singleton pregnancies ending after 22 weeks' gestation among vaccinated and unvaccinated pregnant women listed in national birth registries. The study period began Jan 1, 2021, ending on Jan 12, 2022, in Sweden, and 3 days later in Norway.

The conclusion from that study reads:

In this population-based study conducted in Sweden and Norway, vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 during pregnancy, compared with no SARS-CoV-2 vaccination during pregnancy, was not significantly associated with an increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes. The majority of the vaccinations were with mRNA vaccines during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy, which should be considered in interpreting the findings.

Wendy Bell and Brock Schneider are bad at science, bad at research and bad news for the general health of their audience. 

Why do they continue to do this to themselves in public?




April 19, 2023

Wait, WHAT? Sen Mastriano on Holocaust Rememberance Day

Yes, yes, we've all read about the Fox/Dominion settlement.

Fox lied on air about the 2020 election and now they have to pay.

Fox lied about more than Dominion. Will there be more lawsuits? 

How many more lied about Trump's loss? Will they have to pay, too!

Looking forward to all that.

In the meantime, did you happen to catch this on St Sen Doug Mastriano's FB page?

It was only a short period of time before some brave soul on Facebook (and that would be me) to point to this stubborn fact about Doug Mastriano:

Doug Mastriano, the Republican gubernatorial nominee in Pennsylvania, is facing bipartisan criticism for his ties to Gab, a far-right social media platform, and its founder Andrew Torba, over the rife antisemitic commentary that exists on the site.  


Mastriano has had a formal relationship with Torba and Gab since at least April, when Mastriano’s campaign paid Gab $5,000 for “consulting” services, according to state records first published by Media Matters for America, a left-leaning watchdog organization that has documented the relationship between Mastriano and Torba.

Gab, founded in 2016, brands itself as the “free speech social network” and has grown in popularity with conservatives, alt-right figures and some extremists as a counter to more traditional social media spaces such as Twitter and Facebook. The site’s lax approach to content management has made it a haven for QAnon conspiracy theories, misinformation and antisemitic commentary. 

Does he think that the people of Pennsylvania don't remember that?

Then there's this:

It is not entirely clear what Mastriano received for his $5,000 payment to Gab. His campaign reported it as an expenditure for “consulting services,” though one media outlet reported that after the payment, Gab automatically enlisted new members as followers of Mastriano’s own account.

And even as he professed to have sundered ties with the site, Mastriano accepted a $500 campaign contribution from Torba — a gift that campaign finance records reflect no effort to return.

The Lincoln Project summed it up:

So yea, Doug Mastriano on Holocaust Remembrance Day.



April 12, 2023

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington On Doug Mastriano

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (hereafter: "CREW") starts a recent report this way:

Pennsylvania State Senator Doug Mastriano’s apparent participation in and work to plan, mobilize and incite the attack on the Capitol on January 6th, after he swore multiple oaths to defend the Constitution, means he is likely ineligible to serve in office under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. 

This, by the way, is Section 3 of the 14th Amendment:

No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may, by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability. 

Keep that in mind as we dip into CREW's report.

This is the basic outline of the report:

The facts provide a strong argument that Doug Mastriano is disqualified from holding public office under the Disqualification Clause. As detailed in the full report, those facts indicate Mastriano: 

  • helped to mobilize and incite the mob ahead of January 6th, including by spending thousands of dollars in campaign funds to charter buses to transport Trump supporters to Washington, D.C. for the day’s events
  • played a pivotal role in the fake electors scheme, a plot which the January 6th Select Committee concluded “led directly to the violence” on January 6th
  • personally joined the mob within the restricted area of the Capitol grounds on January 6th before ultimately leaving

Most of this stuff we've already covered here on this blog.

In the event you were wondering if this even applies to St Sen Mastriano, CREW has the answer:

To be subject to the Disqualification Clause, an individual must have previously taken an “oath... to support the Constitution of the United States.” Doug Mastriano has served as a senator for Pennsylvania’s 33rd District since 2019 when he was first elected in a special election. Mastriano was reelected to that seat in 2020, with his current term expiring in January 2024. Before assuming office in 2019 and again on January 5, 2021, Mastriano took an oath to “support, obey and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution [of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania]” and “to discharge the duties of [the office of senator] with fidelity.” Prior to his political career, Mastriano also took an oath to support the Constitution of the United States as a military officer in the Army. The text and history of Section 3 of the 14th Amendment make clear that the oath taken by former military officers meets the standard for disqualification if they participate in an insurrection and then seek civil office in the future.

Because he took oaths to support the Constitution both as a state legislator and a military officer, Mastriano is unquestionably subject to the Disqualification Clause.

 So yea, it applies.

Whether the GOP dominated State Senate will adhere to Article II, Section 11 of the Pennsylvania Constitution is an entirely different matter:

Each House shall have power to determine the rules of its proceedings and punish its members or other persons for contempt or disorderly behavior in its presence, to enforce obedience to its process, to protect its members against violence or offers of bribes or private solicitation, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds, to expel a member, but not a second time for the same cause, and shall have all other powers necessary for the Legislature of a free State. A member expelled for corruption shall not thereafter be eligible to either House, and punishment for contempt or disorderly behavior shall not bar an indictment for the same offense.[Emphasis added.]

Two-thirds of the PA State Senate voting to expel Mastriano?

I'm not seeing it. No matter how solid CREW's evidence is. 

We will be returning to the report for a deeper dive into each of the bullet points above.

April 11, 2023

Guess Where THIS Comes From!

Read this paragraph from a recently posted postmortem on the 2022 Pennsylvania election:

State senator Doug Mastriano, on the other hand, romped to victory in his primary for the open gubernatorial seat on a ticket of 100 percent pure unfiltered MAGA “stolen election” revanchism. While Oz’s campaign was merely sluggish and tone-deaf, Mastriano’s was actively toxic. An ultra-conservative in a swing state, he was most known for speaking at a QAnon-friendly “Patriot” conference and attending the January 6 protests outside the U.S. Capitol, and for then doubling down on his belief that the 2020 election was stolen and that he, as governor, would intervene in future elections to prevent that from happening.

Now, guess where it comes from.

Is it some left-leaning Biden-liking commentary from some mainstream media news source?

Nope - it's from The National Review.

For those who do not know, The National Review is one of the pillars of American Conservatism. It's been around since 1955. That's seven years before Ronald Reagan left the Democratic Party, saying, "I didn't leave the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party left me."

From The NYTimes:

Year Zero was 1955, when William F. Buckley Jr. started National Review, the small-circulation magazine whose aim, Buckley explained, was to “articulate a position on world affairs which a conservative candidate can adhere to without fear of intellectual embarrassment or political surrealism.” Buckley excommunicated the John Birch Society, anti-Semites and supporters of the hyperindividualist Ayn Rand, and his cohort fused the diverse schools of conservative thinking — traditionalist philosophers, militant anti-Communists, libertarian economists — into a coherent ideology, one that eventually came to dominate American politics.

Buckley would be appalled at the state of the current GOP, dominated as it is by a QAnon-infested crowd intent on turning the party's collective back on most, if not all, of Buckley's coherent political ideology.

To them, it's just RINO.

And I don't think that this piece from the National Review will move any of them. Let's be honest: for those conservatives still clinging to Buckley's bi-weekly, they can't actually leave the GOP. The GOP has already left them.

April 6, 2023

Mike Pence To Testify! Will Doug Mastriano's Name Come Up In His Testimony?

Let's start here with The Washington Post:

Former vice president Mike Pence will not appeal a judge’s ruling that requires him to testify in front of a grand jury exploring the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, a spokesman said Thursday, likely setting up a pivotal moment in the special counsel investigation related to former president Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

Pence’s decision to drop the appeal means he will probably testify under oath about Trump’s attempts to pressure him, and he could be a key witness. 

The NYTimes has a little more:

From shortly after the election until Jan. 6, Mr. Pence was subjected to an intense pressure campaign from a range of Mr. Trump’s associates outside the government, including John Eastman, a lawyer working with the president, and from Mr. Trump himself. Mr. Pence had his advisers research what his powers were with regard to Jan. 6. Over time, he made clear to Mr. Trump that he did not believe he had the authority that the president insisted he did to unilaterally overturn the results of the Electoral College vote.

By Jan. 5, Mr. Trump’s pressure campaign had become so heated that Mr. Short, who was then Mr. Pence’s chief of staff, called the vice president’s lead Secret Service agent to his West Wing office to tell him that Mr. Trump was going to turn on Mr. Pence, and that they might have a security risk.

Hmm. Trump's pressure campaign on January 5th, huh?

What else happened the day before Trump's mob stormed The Capitol?

This from CNN:

The committee also released call logs from the days leading up to January 6, 2021 painting a fuller picture of who the former president was speaking to as he and his allies were plotting for him to stay in office, the first time the panel is releasing White House call logs in their entirety.

The logs have been crucial to the panel’s investigation in piecing together a timeline of events. While the log for January 6 has a seven-hour gap, the committee has gone to great lengths to fill in that part of the timeline through witness interviews and other records.

The day before the US Capitol attack, Trump spoke to then-Vice President Mike Pence. After that conversation, Trump spoke with Pennsylvania state Sen. Doug Mastriano, who helped fuel Trump’s election lies in the state, and then the switchboard operator left a note “that Senator Douglas Mastriano will be calling in for the Vice President.” [Emphasis added.]

You can see the call log here. You can see the messages involving Pennsylvania State Senator Doug Mastriano are here:

I imagine it's would be a pretty good bet that Pennsylvania State Senator Doug Mastriano was part of Trump's "intense pressure campaign" to get the then-VP Pence to delay the electoral count to keep Trump in power.

Will Doug's name come up in Pence's testimony?

Who knows?

Will anyone please ask Doug himself what he knows about Trump's pressure campaign?

Because he was certainly an active part of it.

April 5, 2023

This Happened

Here it is.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg, Jr. today announced the indictment of DONALD J. TRUMP, 76, for falsifying New York business records in order to conceal damaging information and unlawful activity from American voters before and after the 2016 election. During the election, TRUMP and others employed a “catch and kill” scheme to identify, purchase, and bury negative information about him and boost his electoral prospects. TRUMP then went to great lengths to hide this conduct, causing dozens of false entries in business records to conceal criminal activity, including attempts to violate state and federal election laws. 

TRUMP is charged in a New York State Supreme Court indictment with 34 counts of Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree.

Here's the Indictment.

And the Statement of Facts.

And here is fact #2:

From August 2015 to December 2017, the Defendant orchestrated a scheme with others to influence the 2016 presidential election by identifying and purchasing negative information about him to suppress its publication and benefit the Defendant’s electoral prospects. In order to execute the unlawful scheme, the participants violated election laws and made and caused false entries in the business records of various entities in New York. The participants also took steps that mischaracterized, for tax purposes, the true nature of the payments made in furtherance of the scheme.

And this also happened:

A New York judge warned former President Donald Trump to refrain from rhetoric that could inflame or cause civil unrest during Trump’s arraignment Tuesday in Manhattan.

And then this

You may recall that earlier today Judge Juan Merchan declined to slap a gag order on Trump but warned him to “please refrain from making statements that would incite violence or civil unrest.” He also told Trump to “not engage in words or conduct which jeopardizes the rule of law, particularly as it applies to these proceedings in this courtroom.”

Of course, Trump did exactly that tonight. During his speech, he not only called out Merchan as a “Trump-hating judge” but also said he had a “Trump-hating family.” He then explicitly called out Merchan’s daughter for insult.

And this:

Appearing to great fanfare at Mar-a-Lago hours after his New York arraignment, former president Donald Trump cast Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg as a “criminal” prosecutor who, along with other progressive prosecutors across the country, is twisting the law in service of a political agenda.


The former president further accused Bragg of violating New York state law by leaking his indictment to news outlets before unsealing it on Tuesday.

“The criminal is the district attorney because he illegally leaked massive amounts of grand jury information for which he should be prosecuted, or at a minimum, he should resign,” he said.

Lock him up.