Democracy Has Prevailed.

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.


April 4, 2023


This is happening.

From The NYTimes:

Donald J. Trump is expected to surrender to the authorities in Manhattan on Tuesday and appear in court for the first time as a criminal defendant to face more than two dozen felony charges, a remarkable spectacle that will play out before a divided nation.

The charges, the first ever against a former American president, stem from a hush-money payment to a porn star that was made days before Mr. Trump was elected in 2016. He is expected to be accused of playing a role in covering up the payment, even as he led the nation as commander in chief.

Lock him up! 

The Washington Post:

Donald Trump, the first sitting or former U.S. president to be indicted, plans to turn himself in Tuesday and then appear in court in New York to be arraigned in a case that involves payoffs through an intermediary to adult-film actress Stormy Daniels to conceal an alleged affair ahead of the 2016 election. Trump, who is again seeking the Republican nomination for president, arrived in Manhattan on Monday after leveling fresh attacks on Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and the judge who is handling the case, Justice Juan Merchan of the New York Supreme Court.

 Lock him up! Lock him up! 


Donald Trump will officially become the first former president to face criminal charges Tuesday when he’s arraigned in a New York courtroom – an appearance that is expected to be quick and routine but represents a surreal and historic moment in US history. 

 Lock him up! Lock him up! Lock him up! 

And now some eye candy for all my friends in Pennsylvania: 

Hey, who's that with the twice-impeached once (so far?) indicted vulgarity?

April 3, 2023

Uh-oh - Did Trump Obstruct at Mar-a-Lago?

From The Washington Post:

Justice Department and FBI investigators have amassed fresh evidence pointing to possible obstruction by former president Donald Trump in the investigation into top-secret documents found at his Mar-a-Lago home, according to people familiar with the matter.

The additional evidence comes as investigators have used emails and text messages from a former Trump aide to help understand key moments last year, said the people, who like others interviewed for this article spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing criminal investigation.


In the classified documents case, federal investigators have gathered new and significant evidence that after the subpoena was delivered, Trump looked through the contents of some of the boxes of documents in his home, apparently out of a desire to keep certain things in his possession, the people familiar with the investigation said.


Investigators now suspect, based on witness statements, security camera footage, and other documentary evidence, that boxes including classified material were moved from a Mar-a-Lago storage area after the subpoena was served, and that Trump personally examined at least some of those boxes, these people said. While Trump’s team returned some documents with classified markings in response to the subpoena, a later FBI search found more than 100 additional classified items that had not been turned over.


April 2, 2023

There They Go Again - Mastriano Touting The PACT Act

Take a a look at this. State Senator Doug Mastriano posted it on this on his Facebook page recently.

And that link leads here:

The Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) is pleased to announce its 2023 Veteran Town Halls which will focus on the Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act. Each Town Hall will provide the commonwealth's more than 700,000 veterans with two convenient ways to participate: in-person or call-in.

The new federal PACT Act law expands VA health care and benefits for veterans exposed to burn pits, Agent Orange, and other toxic substances. The Town Halls will provide veterans and their advocates with a convenient platform to learn and ask questions about eligibility and applying for benefits related to the PACT Act.

The Veterans Administration says of it

The PACT Act is a new law that expands VA health care and benefits for Veterans exposed to burn pits, Agent Orange, and other toxic substances.

The PACT Act adds to the list of health conditions that we assume (or “presume”) are caused by exposure to these substances. This law helps us provide generations of Veterans—and their survivors—with the care and benefits they’ve earned and deserve.

This is HR 3967 and guess what? There's some stuff that Doug chose not to tell you.

This is what The White House said of it back in August of 2022:

Today, Congress answered President Biden’s call to strengthen health care and benefits for America’s veterans and their survivors by passing the bipartisan Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act. The PACT Act is the most significant expansion of benefits and services for toxic exposed veterans in more than 30 years.

When it passed the US House of Representatives (256-174) only 34 Republicans voted for it.

No Democrats voted against.

In fact only two Republicans from Pennsylvania (representatives Fitzpatrick and Joyce) voted in favor. Seven voted against.

In the Senate, Republican Pat Toomey voted against.

While the vote is certainly bipartisan, its support comes overwhelmingly from the Democrats.

State Senator Doug Mastriano simply chose not tell you any of this while he's touting the Act to the veterans in his constituency.