Saturday, November 11, 2006

Saturday Videos

Coldplay ("Clocks" - I know this song is in at least one commerical and a "Peter Pan" movie promo, but it's still good)...

...and Shinedown ("Save Me").

"Steno Mike" Strikes Again

Just for the record, I should note that I attached the following comment to this piece of fluff from Mike Allen of Time Magazine in which he allows Karl Rove the chance to put the best possible spin on the fact that the Republicans lost Congress on Tuesday...

Here are the reasons why the Republicans lost control of Congress last Tuesday:

The failed execution of the Iraq war in which our government betrayed our service people for reasons that were lies to pursue WMD that no longer existed.

The revised FISA guidelines in which our government feels that they can spy on with impunity for 90 days, reporting only to a secret court.

The plundering of our government and entitlements in the name of reducing the estate tax.

The failure to fund embryonic stem cell research in the name of appeasing an intolerant and small cadre of fundamentalist “values voters”.

An equally intolerant Republican leadership that protected its own every way imaginable and demonized anyone who opposed them (so many examples, but the Mark Foley scandal was one where they thought it was more important to run an incumbent child predator than protect underage congressional pages).

The contractor fraud in Iraq and obscene energy company profits while most Americans struggle to keep their jobs, retirement savings, homes, and maintain a bare minimum of health care.

Approval of a Republican presidential administration that routinely disregards treaties (the NPT and Kyoto Protocols, for starters) as well as the Geneva Conventions.

The squandering by this administration of the Clinton-era economic surplus and decimation of our economy under Republican “stewardship”

Failure to fund and/or implement the 9/11 Commission recommendations.

Failure to raise the hourly minimum wage from the Dickensian rate of $5.15.

The farce that is Medicare Plan D, particularly the “donut hole.”

The continued existence of Donald Rumsfeld in the job of Secretary of Defense.

The failure to adequately prepare for Hurricane Katrina and its devastating aftermath (some blame goes to Louisiana for that also).

Publishing Iraq weapons secrets on the Internet in Arabic, including steps to making a nuclear weapon.

The “K” Street Project.

The fact that the Democrats, on the whole, ran better candidates (with the exception of Harold Ford - and by the way, why the hell is James Carville
pushing him to head the DNC over Howard Dean anyway? What kind of a "democrat" favors the permanent repeal of the estate tax?).

This is only a partial list, by the way. If you publish this, I will provide some more reasons later.
And as you can note from the story, the comment has not been published, and I don't expect that that will happen.

This is yet another example of our "liberal media" at work.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Friday Videos

Cream at the Royal Albert Hall performs "Outside Woman Blues" (Ronnie Hammond of the Atlanta Rhythm Section celebrates a birthday today, and they covered this, but Cream's version is so good that I'm going with this instead)...

...and "I'm Free" by the Soup Dragons (I think I met the one in the black skirt, green and gray pattern top and hoop earrrings once on a blind date...there's not one word of truth for me in this song, by the way, but that's OK, and I don't mean to give anyone a headache watching the background - behind the women, I mean).

Earn This

Before I say one more word, I should point out that the official holiday for Veterans Day is tomorrow, and I want to wish any veterans who may be reading this a good day and say thank you once more for your service and sacrifice on behalf of our country. And though I didn’t really plan it this way, it turns out that there is what you might call a military theme of sorts that I’m trying to articulate in this post, so it ties in somewhat.

As I’ve had some time to ponder the full extent to which the Democrats have completely and thoroughly whipped the Repugs in the recent elections, primarily in the U.S. Congress (helped largely by the epochal tragedy in Iraq), what has come back to me over and over again is the climactic scene in “Saving Private Ryan.”

As Tom Hanks’ character Captain John Miller lay dying by the side of the road after being hit by a German sniper, he fires his pistol at an enemy tank and, in an improbably lucky shot, manages to ignite the tank into flames. At that moment, an Allied air strike approaches and the enemy, surrounded by Allied forces, surrenders.

Soon after that, those remaining in Miller’s platoon approach him, including the movie’s title character. The last words uttered by Capt. Miller towards James Francis Ryan (Matt Damon), the Army private for whom Hanks and many of those under his command have lost their lives, are the title of this post (as in, make yourself worthy of the sacrifice others have made for you).

I don’t mean to be melodramatic here, since those of us who have worked in any way at all towards this week’s election victories sacrificed their time, their labor, sweat, tears (hopefully no blood), and money. To my knowledge, no one sacrificed their lives or was seriously wounded in the process (I hope not, anyway).

Still, by virtue of everything we’ve done, we’ve placed our trust in what you could call with no exaggeration (I believe) a new generation of Democrats (except for Lieberman and a few others, of course). And it is incumbent upon them to “earn this” every day.

They must do this because, in addition to being watched by us who will give them the benefit of the doubt as much as we can, they will be watched by our corporate media, the wounded Repugs who will be simmering with rage as they prepare for another turn in a few years, and the rest of the world who are hoping and praying for sane political leadership from this country.

I took a few minutes to review some prior “Where The Rubber Meets The Road” posts where I commented on legislation in the U.S. House and Senate over the past few months, and I also checked elsewhere to come up with a list of issues that the new Democratic Congress should address after they are sworn in next year. They appear below (and I readily admit that some of these are “wish list” items):

- At the very least concerning Iraq, adopt a resolution demanding deadlines for a phased redeployment of our troops currently stuck over there to an “over-the-horizon” force, start transitioning others to Afghanistan and Pakistan as needed, and start bringing the rest of them home, in accordance with the recommendations of PA-08 Congressman-elect Patrick Murphy, among others.
- Pass the serious ethics reform legislation sponsored by the House Democrats that the Repugs gutted last May, which included the provision that it is a felony offense for a lawmaker to influence hiring decisions within lobbying firms (goodbye “K” Street Project).
- Pass a bill immediately revoking the new FISA guidelines and reinstituting the old ones.
- Pass a bill expanding federal funding of embryonic stem cell research, including funding for development with new stem cell lines.
- Establish a commission to examine allegations of fraud by defense contractors and other firms related to the Iraq war, along the lines of
the commission proposed by Rep. Louise Slaughter.
- Demand an accounting from this administration concerning jobs lost to offshoring in this country and anticipated future losses, and if none can be provided, demand the immediate resignation of Labor Secretary Elaine Chao.
- Begin a comprehensive review of
OSHA guidelines overturned by the Bush Administration and take every means to see that they are reinstated, including those concerning repetitive strain injuries in the workplace.
- Raise the hourly minimum wage at long last from $5.15 per hour to $7.25 per hour in a bill with no other riders, provisions, or amendments.
- Make sure that the Department of Defense and all federal agencies comply with environmental regulations
as promised by presidential candidate George W. Bush in the 2000 election (there’s so much more that needs to be done to try and remedy the environmental crimes of this administration that I don’t think it’s possible to list everything here).
- Demand the immediate resignation of U.S. ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton (
that may be happening soon anyway).
- Restore
the Advanced Technology Program, which provided venture capital funding across a wide geographic area of the country in diverse industries, including electronics, information technology, materials and chemistry, biotechnology, and manufacturing.
- Repeal the estate tax cuts immediately and return the tax to its level before it was changed, and remove the $90,000 ceiling on earnings subject to Social Security withholding.
- Establish a bipartisan commission to look into Medicare Part D reform, including elimination of the “donut hole” and the provision to negotiate drug prices as well as buying drugs in bulk quantities (other measures advocated by Patrick Murphy among others).
- Pass a bill establishing habeas corpus rights for “enemy combatants.”
- Pass legislation to ensure electronic screening of all U.S.-bound containers, including appropriating the funds to modernize equipment at our ports to accomplish this as needed (short of 100-percent screening, we should work diligently on this to the most practical goal we can achieve).
- Approve $1.5 billion for mass transit and inner city rail systems as a follow up to the 9/11 Commission recommendations to ensure safety against a terrorist attack.
- Bar the Pentagon from spending funds (in accordance with HR 5631) on a contract with a public relations firm to generate “positive news” on Iraq.
- Pass a resolution to forbid drilling in the ANWR once and for all.
- Add $750 million to the Department of Homeland Security grants to cities at a high risk of suffering a terrorist attack (this measure was defeated last June).
- Pass legislation to establish an oil refinery reserve that would be brought to full capacity during emergencies to stabilize commercial markets (also work on legislation to protect consumers against price gouging by energy providers, particularly pertaining to rising gasoline prices after Memorial Day which, as if by magic, fall again by Labor Day).
- Call for an investigation into the Food and Drug Administration concerning the chronic shortages of flu vaccines in this country (Henry Waxman would probably be a good person to handle this since his committee has monitored this agency for some time).
- Call for an investigation into the use of thimerosal in vaccines and the possibility of a link to autism, and DO NOT automatically exclude pharmaceutical companies.
- Pass legislation reducing the fines on “broadcast indecency” from a maximum of $325,000 back to the prior maximum of $32,000 that stood until last June (fining a performing artist, radio or TV personality, broadcaster or media company a third of a mil for accidentally uttering a bad word is insane).
- Immediately restrict the sale of nuclear technology and fuel to countries that do not comply with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, so we don’t have a replay of Dubya’s sale of same to India; though we have friendly relations, they have not signed the NPT.
- Pass an amendment requiring that new Defense Secretary Robert Gates reports to Congress on Iraq at least every three months.
- Pass legislation to ensure strict privacy controls over medical records transmitted over the Internet.
- Authorize federal grants to promote sex education as a deterrent to teen pregnancies.
- Authorize additional funds and additional law enforcement personnel for online predator surveillance.
- Approve a supplemental pay raise for all military personnel of at least 2 percent (a 2.2 percent pay raise was approved as part of a supplemental appropriation in September, but I’m sorry…we should do better than that for our service people, given what they’ve endured under Bushco).
- Expand TRICARE health coverage to National Guard and Reserve personnel serving overseas.
- Pass an amendment barring spending on producing or selling cluster bombs until such time as the Pentagon sets rules for their use near civilians.
That’s all I can think of at the moment.

We’ve all worked hard, as have you, new members of Congress. Now, start to address these issues and craft the best possible legislation that you can in response.

We’ll be tolerant and understanding knowing what you’re up against (after all, this country was WAY TOO TOLERANT of Bushco and the Repug congress that got us into this mess, so the least we can do is extend to you the same courtesy).

But we want results, and we have every expectation that you’ll deliver.

Earn this, Democrats.

Update 12/8: Looks like diarist MissLaura at The Daily Kos has a list also.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

More From Congressman-Elect Murphy

By the way, the Philadelphia Inquirer named Bill Marimow editor today, replacing Amanda Bennett. Marimow won two Pulitzer Prizes writing for the paper in what seems like another lifetime ago. He was greeted with an enthusiastic welcome, as the Inquirer reported, but the cold, hard, bottom-line fact (which is all Brian Tierney and Bruce Toll care about, of course) remains that 150 jobs could be lost, at a maximum.

I'm not quite sure what to make of this, for whatever my opinion is worth in these matters. Marimow brings absolutely solid "cred" with him, while the only thing I remember Bennett saying that captured my attention (not in a good way) was when she proclaimed (regarding the insurgence of bloggers and other online media into what was formerly a print domain and nothing else) that, "we (the Inquirer) are the Internet in Philadelphia," which was truly one of the silliest things I'd ever heard.

So good luck to Marimow and the Inky staffers. I have a feeling that they're going to need it.

One of those people is beat reporter Christine Schiavo, who wrote about Patrick Murphy today and obviously ignored or never knew about my criticism a week or so ago (probably the latter) when she referred to Patrick's position on the issues as "typically Democrat" (which, aside from the "Democrat" slur in that context, wasn't even accurate). If you're not going to include the "ic," then all your doing is propagating a slur that works below the Mason-Dixon line, out west, and in other redneck locales.

This is what she noted...

The worn-out soles of newly elected Democrat Patrick Murphy's shoes told the story of his surprising victory in an Eighth Congressional District race that was too close to call election night.

Showing reporters the holes in the shoes he has worn since he launched his campaign more than a year ago, Murphy, a 33-year-old political newcomer, said yesterday that it was old-fashioned, door-to-door stumping that enabled him to clinch a key seat for his party.

"We knocked on 160,000 doors on Election Day alone," he said of himself and volunteers who canvassed the district, which includes all of Bucks and slivers of Montgomery County and Philadelphia.
Also, I've spent months beating up Mike Fitzpatrick for good reason at this site, but now that everything is said and done, I should note the following from Schiavo's column...

"I congratulated (Murphy) on a hard-fought campaign," (Fitzpatrick) said outside his Levittown home. "I talked to him about what an honor it has been for me to represent this community for 12 years. I asked that he represent it with the same care and compassion that I have. And I believe he will."

Murphy, whose only elected office before Tuesday's win was that of class president at King's College in Wilkes-Barre, said he intends to seek Fitzpatrick's advice before taking office.

Murphy said Fitzpatrick was "gracious" in offering to help him ease into the role. The two plan to meet when the dust settles on what was a hotly competitive and, at times, contentious race.
And I thought this was a nice touch by Patrick...

Six hours after declaring victory to bleary-eyed supporters at a Lower Bucks hotel, Murphy was at a Cornwells Heights train station at 7:30 a.m. yesterday. He thanked voters for their support for two hours, in the rain. And in the same worn-out shoes.
And I absolutely MUST link to this great AP photo of Patrick and Jennifer Murphy addressing the crowd after Patrick's victory (the photo appeared in the Daily News).

Let's wish our new congressman from PA-08 well, and given Mikey's conciliatory gesture, I promise to try and take it easy on him in the future.

Here’s To A Philly Legend

I’ll be honest with you – there were times when I watched “60 Minutes” and Ed Bradley would annoy the living hell out of me because he seemed to be caught up with the theatrics of asking his “gotcha” question in his reports, and they would be the types of questions that were so elemental and simple that I would wonder why he was even bothering to ask them (I apologize for not having an example at the moment…it’s been years since I watched that show regularly – Sunday evenings at 7:00 is not a good time to watch television if you’re the parent of a young child).

However, the background work on his reports was always excellent; I don’t know for sure where the role of the news producer ends and the reporter begins with some of these “news magazine” stories, but I have no doubt that a reporter as accomplished as Bradley oversaw the editorial content from beginning to end (I don’t know, of course, but that’s my guess).

I once saw Bradley reporting on Philippine refugees during the era of Ferdinand Marcos (yes, I’m going waaay back with this) and he seemed to be existing with these people in every aspect of their wretched lives – skewering for food, clothing and shelter, getting soaked with them in the ocean, all the while trying to keep a step ahead of the army. I also remember an interview Bradley conducted with murderer Jack Henry Abbott in prison (Abbott had just written “In The Belly Of The Beast,” and he was acting like he was trying to play head games with Bradley), and I thought that was a consummate exercise in courage on Bradley’s part.

We also enjoyed Bradley’s “Jazz From Lincoln Center” programs, and he once conducted an interview with Aretha Franklin on “60 Minutes” where the two of them joked about the “earthiness” of some of the lyrics in her songs (such as “give me my propers when you get home” in “Respect”).

I’ve come across a lot of moments where TV talking heads seem to cross that line between reporters and propagandists (documented at Media Matters for America and elsewhere), and many of them have been caught in the process (I’m sure you’ve noticed also). However, I’ve never found that to be the case with Ed Bradley. There was an element of self-promotion in his work (I think it’s impossible to escape that when you reach the level he reached in that business), but not much. More than anything else, his reports were the product of perseverance, adherence to the truth, and an overall dedication to his craft. And he will be sorely missed.

Praise The Lord And Vote Blue!

I thought this analysis from Flavia Colgan in the Philadelphia Daily News today was particularly interesting, especially in light of the narrative foisted on us by our dear MSM cousins that the Democratic Party lost the so-called “values voters” for good in the 2004 election:

ONE OF THE most stunning developments in the midterm elections is how Democrats pulled religious voters back into the fold - without pandering on issues where people of faith know the party just doesn't agree with them.

According to Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, in each of the seats the Democrats picked up in the Senate, Catholic voters came back to the party in droves. The shift was most dramatic in Ohio, where Sen. Mike DeWine lost 42 percent of Catholics who voted for him in 2000, but the shift was pronounced in other states, too. Rick Santorum lost 25 percent to Bob Casey, George Allen of Virginia lost 16 percent and Montana's Conrad Burns lost 11 percent.

And on CNN, self-proclaimed moralist Bill Bennett said that in Virginia, 40 percent of evangelical Christians voted for Senate challenger Jim Webb.

So what gives? In none of the Senate races did Democrats play up religion, or harp on gay marriage or abortion, or any other conservative touchstones. In fact, Sherrod Brown, who beat DeWine in Ohio, is one of the most progressive people in Congress.

The key is that, finally, the Democrats who won realized that they had more in common with people of faith than differences, so there was no need to fake it on the hot button issues.

Brown, for example, ran as an economic populist, was anti-corruption, against the war in Iraq, for a responsible environmental policy. Here in Pennsylvania, Casey could have run as a social conservative, but didn't, choosing to run on those same issues.

In Virginia, Webb ran strongly against the war (and he let Allen successfully portray himself as a buffoon). In Montana, where Republican Burns was singed on ethical issues, Jon Tester ran as an ethical populist.

Evangelicals turned out in force in Missouri to vote on the stem-cell research issue, and that didn't stop Claire McCaskill from pulling out a win over Jim Talent. McCaskill ran strong on the war and "kitchen table issues" like health-care affordability.

Interestingly, the one place where Democrats might have won but didn't was Tennessee. Democratic Rep. Harold Ford Jr. didn't run on populist economic issues, or the environment, but instead spent most of his time talking about his faith, and his opposition to gay marriage and partial-birth abortion. When the exit polling is analyzed, I suspect that most of the religious vote ended up going to the winner, Bob Corker.

WASHINGTON Democrats should take this lesson to heart - people of faith largely have the same concerns as everyone else.

They want to care for the poor and underprivileged. They want to be stewards of the earth. Religious people want peace on earth.

And, most of the time, they will vote for someone they disagree with on some social issues as long as that candidate is strong on the issues that matter most.

The idea that Democrats need to quote scripture and run away from populist issues is a great canard that has been pushed by so-called centrist Democrats for the last 12 years. Not surprisingly, in each and every one of those years, Democrats lost. This year, finally choosing a new course, buoyed by the populist netroots, Democrats won, and won big.

It's been a long time coming, but Democrats finally learned a simple truth. When it comes to people of faith, we ain't any different than you.
And by the way, on a note closer to home, the paper noted the following about the PA-08 congressional race won by Patrick Murphy (in this story):

Fitzpatrick actually won in Bucks County, though barely - a margin of just over 1,000 votes out of 232,000 cast. And even though 93 percent of the district is in Bucks County, Murphy did so well in the Philadelphia and Montgomery County slices of the district that he erased Fitzpatrick's margin and ended up with a 1,521-vote victory.
So take a bow, all you Philly and Montco voters. And thanks for putting Patrick over the top!

Also, DeWayne Wickham of USA Today wrote a column today on a similar precedent over 50 years ago (though expecting Dubya to act in a manner that resembles Dwight D. Eisenhower in any way at all is the ultimate in foolish optimism...scroll to the top to read the entire column).

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Wednesday Victory Videos

Just for good measure, here's "Just You Wait" by the Trolleyvox one more time...

...and Happy Birthday to Bonnie Raitt, performing "What Is Success?" with Allen Toussaint (I think we know the answer to that question, actually, with Jim Webb defeating George Felix Macaca Allen in Virginia, giving the Dems control of both houses of Congress!!).

Bye Rummy

In light of today's long-overdue departure of Donald ("The Defense Secretary You Have") Rumsfeld, I'd like to go back in time to this CNN story once more, particularly this excerpt (and, as ThinkProgress points out here via Atrios, Dubya's lie the other day about Rumsfeld remaining through the end of the term is somehow OK since it was "for political purposes").

While U.S. military commanders are busy making plans for possible troop reductions (in Iraq) over the next year, Rumsfeld avoided any predictions on when the roughly 137,000 U.S. troops would be cut back.

"We don't have an exit strategy," he said. "We have a victory strategy."
And this story was posted in April 2005.

What a shame that neither Rummy nor his incompetent cohorts have ever told us what the strategy was.

And by the way, here's an appropriate smackdown from Keith Olbermann...

Update 11/10: Lukery over at Wot Is It Good 4 is all over Rummy's replacement here (why should we expect anything different?).

Singin' In The Rain

It's absolutely pouring outside here at the moment, but I don't care because PATRICK MURPHY WON! (here's more information...and according to Kos, it looks like Mikey remained true to form even in defeat). As you can see from the CNN graphic, it was every bit as razor thin of a margin as was expected one way or the other.

Update: I don't know where Kos got his information, but this came via Atrios. Good for Mikey for doing the right thing, though I'm not sure why it took him so long.

Also, congratulations to Admiral Joe Sestak out in PA-07 for his victory over Crazy Curt Weldon. Now Weldon can concentrate on keeping himself and his family out of jail.

I think Lois Herr was leading for a brief time in her race against Joe Pitts before the "Guns N' God" crowd took over and gave him the win. So when Pitts decides to start invading homes in PA-16 to make sure everyone has good "family values" as part of his "fatherhood initiative," or whatever that nonsense was that he was talking about in the Inquirer a few days (which I guess his supporters believe is something government is supposed to do), you'll know who to thank.

Also, it looks like there was the same sort of "cultural" thing going on over in PA-6 with Lois Murphy and Jim Gerlach, with Murphy winning Montgomery County in the Philadelphia suburbs but Gerlach taking Berks and enough of Delaware County to win (and somehow I'm sure the sleazy NRCC robocalls hurt Murphy as well).

In our area regarding PA state government, Democrats Chris King and Bryan Lentz appeared to have defeated Repugs Matt Wright and Tom Gannon, respectively, and it looks like Chris Serpico lost in our area, though it was close (and Paul Lang came up short against Tommy Tomlinson in our vicinity also).

Also, I don't know how many of you heard Diane Sawyer and Robin Roberts this morning on "Good Morning, America," a show I otherwise would normally never watch or hear on the radio, but I had to laugh at the mournful tone of the entire broadcast, with the announcement that Dubya is going to "reach out to Democrats" in the House with some phony baloney press conference, as if the House Dems are some sort of "problem child" that needs therapy.

If President 35 (?) Percent Mandate and "Turd Blossom" had managed to actually govern with the opposition party once in awhile instead of beating it over the head at every opportunity, maybe this entire phony exercise of "reaching out" would not have been necessary (more than that, the Repugs might not have lost the House, so it was stupid all around for those two).

And by the way, this leads me to the following thought on Karl Rove.

Everybody knows that Dubya wouldn't be where he is without this guy. And everyone knows how formidable he has been in shaping Republican party policy. And every other political consultant in the universe has given him his due for his considerable influence.

But here's another media "narrative" on this guy that I'd actually see become part of the discussion, and that is the fact that, through his "take no prisoners" political strategy (demonstrated, horrifically, through the entire history of the Iraq War - this has mainly been Cheney and Rumsfeld's show as far as I'm concerned along with the PNAC crowd, but Rove handled what passed for a political strategy), he has managed to alienate an entire generation of potential Republican voters because of the catastrophic consequences of our invasion (that's the primary reason, though there are others).

And as I looked at the CNN electoral map with more and more spatterings of blue working their way into territory that was solidly red on the awful morning after the November 2004 mess, it occurred to me that maybe this guy isn't so smart after all.

Here's something else I want to point out (and I have to ponder it some more because it was so shocking). I saw Senator Eye-Of-Mordor-Man-On-Dog speak last night after Casey knocked him off, and I have to admit that Rick Santorum gave one of the most gracious concession speeches I've ever heard. I was absolutely floored as Little Ricky paid tribute to Casey and his campaign over and over.

After the shock subsided, I recalled what Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Tom Ferrick, Jr. wrote about Santorum a few days ago, and that was the fact that Santorum's campaign made no sense until you realize that all he's trying to do is appease "the base" who will vote again a couple of years from now (I can't even imagine that at the moment) in an effort to regain their national influence.

So as the former Pennsylvania Senator from Northern Virginia slinks back to his McMansion in Leesburg to contemplate his next move, rest assured that he will make a run for the White House and sell himself as the guy who fell, but rose again in the name of the holy conservative cause (trying, in his twisted way, to mimic Winston Churchill's return to power as World War II started after his years in isolation).

And I'm sure that, when Ricky returns, he will provide ample ammunition to bloggers everywhere.

Finally, here's a tribute to every Dem who fought the good fight, but came up short.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Don't Take It For Granted

I have a feeling that I’m “preaching to the choir” on this, and the individuals I really hope to reach with this post probably would only come across this site by accident (I’d love to be wrong, though).

I added some links in the upper right corner of the main site page in case any voters out there come across any irregularities; you can click on the links for more information. Also, I know The Daily Kos among other sites has been putting up information on this also throughout the day.

I also added the link “The Case For Patrick” under the photo of Patrick Murphy a few minutes ago, for anyone in PA-08; I also added a link called “What The Inky Ignored” in its endorsement of Fitzpatrick a couple of links below that one. I meant to do this yesterday, but you know how it is – hopefully it will matter to some people who can still get to the polls, which will be open in these parts for about six more hours.

Also, I came across this story from ABC News about how a bigger percentage of the people in Iran – Iran! – vote in that country than the people of this country do. That should automatically shame more people in the U.S. right into the voting booth as far as I’m concerned.

With that in mind, I want to highlight the following text from this link:

Some may ask, "Is voting a right or a privilege?" Considering no women, blacks, Indians, nor poor whites had the vote when "All men were created equal" by the Declaration of Independence, I think it is safe to say voting is a privilege, and one earned by generations that have gone before, people who desperately wanted that privilege and we're willing to fight for it. So please, do not take your vote lightly. "The People" paid huge prices, sometimes the greatest price, in order to have their voices, and yours, heard.
So do your duty, fellow citizens. If you don’t, you automatically forfeit the right to bitch about anything for at least the next two years.

I Thought It Was A Comma, Rupert

Leave to the truly soulless one himself to trivialize the ultimate sacrifice paid in blood by the men and women of our military.

I recently finished reading John Cassidy’s article in The New Yorker about Rupert Murdoch (behind on this stuff, I know), and though you get a sense after reading it of just how astutely Murdoch senses political change in this country and elsewhere and how thoroughly he hedges his bets, you also come to know full well that, first and foremost, he hates organized labor and any type of advocacy that threatens his almighty profit margin.

You also come to understand after reading it to what extent the major political players on both sides grovel to him and curry his favor (including the Clintons, and indeed Murdoch’s papers have been giving Hillary more favorable press lately in her unofficial campaign for president).

As we know, Murdoch is chiefly responsible for all things Fox, which is a blight on humanity in its many wretched forms as far as I’m concerned. It is apparent (not just in reading Cassidy’s column but from other sources also) that Murdoch views us as nothing but commodities to be exploited for his own personal gain.

Only someone with that kind of a mentality could refer to the death toll in Iraq as “minute.”

And another pearl of Murdoch’s wisdom appears near the end of the India Times article.

"I think that one forgets that American foreign policy for the whole of the (20th) century saved the world from terrible things three times," he said, "for which they certainly got no thanks and for which they never had imperial ambitions at all."
Murdoch has obviously never read Noam Chomsky, and I realize that’s something he wouldn’t do anyway (I found this link that contains a detailed critique of our empire expansion under Bushco through what was probably the easiest Google search of my life, with this paragraph in particular).

The goal of an expanding American empire is seen by the administration not only as a strategy for establishing the United States permanently as the world’s paramount power, but also as a way out of the nation’s economic crisis that shows no signs at present of going away. The administration clearly believes it can stimulate the economy through military spending and increased arms exports. But enhanced military spending associated with a war may also contribute to economic problems, since it will undoubtedly cut further into spending for social programs that not only help people but also create the demand for consumer goods that business needs badly to stimulate economic growth. Historically, attempts to use imperial expansion as a way around needed economic and social changes at home have nearly always failed.
But of course Murdoch, ever the businessman, will have moved onto new markets for exploitation if the day ever comes when our economy is ruined at the hands of Bushco and the Repugs (and of course, while Murdoch steals from somewhere else, hopefully these heroes will be rewarded in another life for their “minute” sacrifice).

Real Lies, Real Deceit, Real Pain

I found out about this from one of my "field corre- spon- dents" a day or so ago, and I only wish I had published it sooner (re: another atrocious mailer from Mike Fitzpatrick - actually, it was from Mikey's mother, if you can believe that).

I am in receipt of your 2 page letter addressed to "Dear fellow Senior". I resent labels and wonder how you would know my age. My name is (I'm withholding it here), which is how I wish to be addressed, thank you very much.

Clearly you are very proud of your son as you should be but frankly his editorial response to the Courier Times endorsement was embarrassingly whiney. "Vote for me because I was an Eagle Scout", yada, yada. Now he has called on Mom to come to his rescue.

I am sure Mrs. Murphy is equally proud of her son as she should be but her son is standing on his own two feet which I guess is the discipline of military training. He is not whining and his mom is not sending out letters on his behalf.

Your son is blessed to be able to say he has lived in, and will die in, and be buried in Bucks County. There are nearly three thousand Americans who would have liked to die of old age in their home town but they died in a war for the establishment of a political ideology. Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11 or the terrorist attacks on America.. Saudia Arabia has done more to support terrorism than Saddam Hussein. The intent to depose Saddam was established in 1995 by the neo consesrvatives who feared the expansion of Iran and Syria. They were calling for his removal in a letter they wrote to President Clinton in January 1998. They wanted to establish a strong American friendly leader in Iraq to protect American allies and the worlds oil. They said so in their papers which can be read on their websites and in particular the website of The Project for the New American Century Of course we know that to depose a soveriegn head of a sovereign state for an ideological reason is illegal, so the wmd fear was perpetrated to make the invasion legal. Your son may not have been in Congress to vote for the war but he supports the big lie behind it and he supports the president who has no way out of the quagmire. Those with military experience who have good ideas are being slimed by supporters of your son and his party.

Let me remind you Mrs Fitzpatrick, the wars in Korea and Viet Nam were fought over a political ideology called the "Domino Theory". The US ended both wars with a cease fire in Korea and the abandonment of Viet Nam. Today, on ground that absorbed the blood of Americans, where 58,000 Americans died, commerce and industry flourishes, including tourism. Major American businsesses and industries are heavily invested in Viet Nam. The aviation industry is growing and education is being supported by the Microsoft Corporation with gifts of laptops to the schools. I suspect we will one day see Viet Nam airlines filing the void as American airlines go bankrupt. We still have troops in Korea...and if history repeats itself as it usually does, we will have troops in Iraq for the rest of time.

The Bush team broke it and it is time to let someone else try to fix it.

I should think as a mother and grandmother like me, you would appreciate Murphys plan to withdraw in a timely manner, so the Iraqi's can stand up and take over. Your son is blessed that he does not have to fight in this war, but if it is not ended soon your grandsons might have to. I have family that served in Iraq, and a grandson in the Army who just graduated boot camp. The military is wearing out, and despite the enlistment age being elevated to 42, the recruiting stations are empty. Will you and your son still support the war if the draft is resumed and your grandsons are taken? Will your son vote yes to resume the draft?

You said your son is committed to protecting social security. That will not happen with privatizaton which he supports. Let me remind you that The Social Security Act was created to end poverty among those whose work had ended. It ended the evicitons of old people to the streets and the need for poor houses. Since your son promotes his Catholic faith let me remind him that the social security act has a moral component to it. Those who worked would provide for those who could not work ...and put an end to evictions and hunger. In due time, those who provided would be provided for. Every worker eventually would get his due. It was to keep a roof over ones head and to buy food. Social Security was never intended to be a means to acquire wealth with the abiltiy to pass it to heirs. If you are in a higher income bracket there are lots of ways to accumulate savings and benefit from pensions and IRA's and 401k's in addition to funding social security for those whose income does not allow for private investment. Social Security is income for the life of the worker and now for surviving dependants, not all investments or private retirement plans accomplish this. I had 3 aunts who worked all their lives and retired at 62 with wonderful pensions and savings. They all lived into the late 90's. The pensons ran dry and the savings was used up. The social security was the one benefit that carried them to their last day. There are real solutions for social security which include eliminating the cap on wages that are taxed.

Oh by the way Mrs Fitzpatrick, your Eagle Scout told a fib when he said at the Kings debate that Carter gave social security to immigrants. And he criticized Clinton for increasing the tax on social security income but failed to criticize the republicans who voted en masse not to repeal that increase. Oh, that tax was imposed by the Reagan administration...another ommission.

Your son also takes credit for the drug program for senior citizens. The program that is so confusing seniors signed on not knowing what they were getting.. They signed because they were told it is now or never. The plan has a huge loophole called a donut. Nothing sweet about fact is was deception at it's worse. The plan was written by the pharmaceutal manufacturers and it prohibited Medicare from negotiating discounts. Is it any coincindence that the pharma companies gave the republicans 71 percent of it's political contributions? Your son's campaign benefited.

Your son also takes credit for an expanded reverse mortgage program. How sad in America that the American Dream of homeownership is fast fading. Seniors who spent a lifetime working and paying the mortgage often took pride in a mortgage free home. What is wrong with the economy that they cannot survive on retirement income without draining the only asset they may have to pass on. It is the asset of the middle class. Those who lose this asset by spending it to live have no need to worry about estate taxes...the so called "death tax" that republicans like to scare people with. There is something criminal when this asset has to be used to pay taxes...especially property taxes...something the politician impose on us. If it is not paid the government takes your house from you. This is government at its worse. During you son's tenure as County Commissioner my county taxes increased and I can't recall him ever taking the lead and proposing any viable solutions other than to change the way homes are assessed. All that did was postpone the inevitable mass reassessment.

Lastly, Mrs Fitzpatrick, your son supports caps on medical malpractice lawsuits for pain and suffering. While I realize pain and suffering has no metric it is the only leverage consumers of medical care have against bad doctors and bad medicine. The medical professiion is loathe to police itself. In 1999 there were 98 thousand preventable deaths in the country. That is a lot of pain and suffering and yet the suits brought were minimal. I sympathize with the outrageous malpractice insurance premiums doctors pay, but they are buying the lie of the insurance industry and the insurance industry has also made big contributions to the republicans to support caps. The insurance industry was not putting away enough money in reserves for future suits, and lost a lot of invested money in a down market, they went to the pockets of the consumers as they always do to make up the losses. The insurance industry is a 400 billion dollar industry and Warren Buffet added it to his holding company saying he loves insurance. Of course. insurance is a very profitable investment. Medical insurance should be returned to the non profit formula that worked so well before the industry produced HMO's. If you recall, before HMO's and PPO's and managed care with it's network nonsense, everyone had medical insurance and it was very affordable as was malpractice insurance.

The doctors are being penalized with shrinking reimbursements. Doctors have to practice quantity medicine, which shortchanges quality. If you are waiting weeks to get an appointment and hours in the waiting room it is because of the volume of patients the doctor has to attend in order to make a living and to pay for the office and staff and his insurance. The sad story related by your son of the patient having to go to Philadelphia for brain surgery may be true but how many brain surgeries are done every day or week? Are there enough to sustain a neurosurgeon in the county? The insurance companies gave us managed care at the demand of congress years ago. I call it mangled care. The insurance companies control the care we get and how much the doctor will get paid and we are all hostages. Congress must investigate and audit the insurance industry to make it prove it's claims as it pertains to payouts for lawsuits but it will not. Congress and your son just voted to cut Medicare payments to doctors again for year 2007.

The number of payouts for malpractice is down, as reported by the governments own data recording. The number of suits in Philadelphia is nearly half as reported by the Pew Foundation. The Weiss Corporation, a business rating company that rates thousands of businesses presented a white paper on the insurance industry and malpractice payouts were not cited as the cause of the rise in premiums. It took to task the industry and offered solutions and at great expense to me I had the report copied and mailed it to your son with a very articulate impassioned letter asking him to read the report with an open mind and not jump on the bandwagon supporting caps. I asked him to respond to me with his thoughts on the report.

Your son the Eagle Scout never replied to me. Not a letter, not an e mail response. It was a large package of information which included the report from the federal governments data reporting agency that records all the payouts for malpractice since l991.

Your son has flooded my mailbox with junk mailings at taxpayers expense. Your son the Eagle Scout ignored a very serious attempt by a constituent to engage in a fair discussion about medical malpractice. What I want is safer medicine, for all americans to have afforable medical insurance, fairer reimbursement for our doctors, freedom for them to practice real medicine and for the doctors and patient to have contol of medical care and not the insurance company. Your son does not represent me. Your son does not represent those grieving famlies who buried 98,000 medical mistakes in 1999. My husband was one of them.

I will not be voting for your son.
Thank you for this contribution, and know that you're in my thoughts and prayers.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Mood Music

Jack Bruce and Rory Gallagher (didn't catch the drummer) with a kickass cover of Cream's "Politician"...

..."Just You Wait" by the Trolleyvox (obligatory hat tip to Atrios)...

...and for the final time, here's our theme for tomorrow ("Stand Up," by Trapt).

Lest We Forget (11/06)

Our dear cousins in the corporate media have been telling us for awhile now that the election tomorrow is a referendum on the Iraq war and the horrible mismanagement that has led to so much death and ruin suffered by both our men and women in the services but also by innocent Iraqis.

This is largely true.

However, as we know (and it bears repeating), this election is about someone else who (sadly) can no longer run for office again, and that is George W. Bush.

The time to send him packing and limping back to Crawford, Texas has come and gone (though impeachment should very definitely be on the table as a weapon in the Democratic arsenal). However, short of that, we are stuck with him.

I’m prompted to say this based on a couple of links to news and opinion columns that I found today. The first is this account from CNN of Bush’s 35 percent approval rating, and the second is this Editor and Publisher link to a piece by Andrew Sullivan who, though he is primarily a conservative blogger, managed to come up with a great line; based on Bush’s promise to retain Cheney and Rumsfeld through the rest of his term (and seriously now…would Dubya do ANYTHING ELSE?), Sullivan said “this isn’t an election, it’s an intervention.”


The goal tomorrow is to elect a Democratic U.S. House and Senate and totally marginalize Bushco so they CAN’T RUIN ANYTHING ELSE!

And bless CNN, MSNBC and – of course – FOX for not point this out. And bless them, as noted by Eric Boehlert and other “A” listers, for absolutely REFUSING to provide historical context to the unbelievably Godawful approval ratings that Dubya has registered since the carnage of Hurricane Katrina to now and into the future (trust me, people – I’m hardly clairvoyant, but I can tell you that those numbers aren’t going to go anywhere). And bless them for REFUSING also to tie Bush’s numbers with the Iraq war and providing any kind of serious analysis.

(And as always, courageous individuals like Jack Cafferty of CNN and particularly Keith Olbermann of MSNBC stand as exceptions.)

I say bless them because their abject failure to do their jobs gives bloggers such as your humble narrator more credibility.

So yes, we should support all of our candidates tomorrow as much as we can and do our best to elect Democrats because it is the right thing to do for our country. Not just for the war, but for a whole host of other issues, including fixing Medicare Plan D, restoring sanity to the federal budget, supporting stem cell research, preserving the environment, and addressing homeland security for real.

But we should also do it to make sure President Stupid Head and his cabal can’t do any more damage.

More Bushco Cowardice

The International Committee of the Red Cross demanded action today on the use of cluster bombs, calling for a worldwide ban, as noted here.

The ICRC also pointed out, according to the news story, that the use of such arms by the Israeli military in Lebanon in the recent war seemed unprecedented, in particular:

According to Handicap International, the Israelis used four million cluster bombs, of which up to 1.6 million failed to explode.

At least 20 people have been killed and 120 injured by residual cluster bombs since the August 14 ceasefire, it said last week.
And what does our government have to say about this (as noted in the story)?

"We don't think the new rules are really needed," the senior American delegate said on condition of anonymity.

Cluster bombs allow the US to protect large sites, such as aerodromes, without needing to use large quantities of explosives, the source explained.

If such cluster bombs were banned, he argued, combatants could resort to even more destructive weapons.
The fact that this person said this anonymously, though they are ostensibly a member of a government purporting to represent US, is sickening almost beyond words. And of course, instead of looking for more efficient ways to kill people, we could actually be trying to mediate conflict instead.

(So “pre-9/11” of me, I know…)

But it wasn’t always that way. As this Common Dreams article notes (where the author basically categories cluster bombs as land mines, which in fact is what they become when they land without exploding):

The Americans themselves are committed to abandoning landmines by 2005 — or were under Bill Clinton.
So there actually was a time when we were trying to do the right thing.

But since there is very little likelihood that anyone in this country will ever be victimized by this (with Great White Father Dubya "fighting the terrorists over there so we don't have to fight them here")...

More Fog And Lies From Mikey

As reported in the Bucks County Courier Times, Saint McCain brought his “Straight Talk Express” to our area yesterday to campaign for Mike Fitzpatrick and proclaimed that a timeline for withdrawal from Iraq would bring “chaos.”

And how exactly is that different from what our people currently face in that godforsaken mess?

And another thing…am I the only one out there who is suspicious as to the reason why we haven’t heard the official findings from Jim “The Fixer” Baker and Mikey’s precious Iraq Study group concerning the war? Gee, do you think it’s the same reason why the verdict on Saddam Hussein was just announced yesterday? Do you think Baker’s findings are being, oh, I don’t know – how shall I say it…TIMED FOR THE ELECTION?

Given that, how much do you want to bet that, a week from now, McCain will “reconsider” based on the group’s findings and say, “The Republican Party advocates a new strategy on Iraq,” completely ignoring the fact that Patrick Murphy and John Kerry among others, have been calling for a very similar “new” strategy for almost a year?

Oh, but they’re Democrats, so we can’t possibly give them credit for anything, can we now?

Well anyway, please allow me to turn to the most recent campaign mailer we received from the Fitzpatrick For Congress committee, and I'll do my best to refute each of Mikey's claims.

- Mikey said that he voted for the Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Act (House Resolution 2520).

This is the stated purpose of the bill:

To provide for the collection and maintenance of human cord blood stem cells for the treatment of patients and research, and to amend the Public Health Service Act to authorize the C.W. Bill Young Cell Transplantation Program.
This bill became law last December.

- He also said he cosponsored the Cord Blood Stem Cell Act (HR 596).

Here is the stated purpose of this act:

To amend the Public Health Service Act to establish a National Cord Blood Stem Cell Bank Network to prepare, store, and distribute human umbilical cord blood stem cells for the treatment of patients and to support peer-reviewed research using such cells.
It’s currently stuck in the House Energy and Commerce Committee (as with the prior bill, it supports using stem cells in human cord blood.)

After reading about these two pieces of legislation, I found myself a bit curious as to how cord blood stem cells could be used to treat disease or some other bodily affliction, and it seems that the best used for cord blood stem cells is for replacement in blood or bone marrow tissue and to combat related diseases. This is important and should be supported of course, but it doesn’t appear that this type of stem cells has the same potential for disease treatment as embryonic stem cells.

I hasten to add, though, that I am not a scientist or other life sciences professional, so I’ll defer to someone without a political agenda who knows more about this than I do.

- Also cosponsored something called the Ronald Reagan Alzheimer's Breakthrough Act (even the name sounds suspicious...HR 1262).

Here is the stated purpose of this bill (all three, so far, were introduced by Chris Smith of New Jersey):

To amend the Public Health Service Act to fund breakthroughs in Alzheimer's disease research while providing more help to caregivers and increasing public education about prevention.
This bill was introduced a year and a half ago and is currently stuck in both the House Energy and Commerce Committee also as well as the House Education and Workforce Committee.

I would say that that’s not much of a way to honor the memory of the premier icon of the Republican Party, by the way (though Reagan’s widow Nancy had something to say about a piece of legislation Mikey voted against related to Alzheimer’s, and you can watch the video file about it here.)

- Also voted for the Alternative Pluripotent Stem Cell Therapies Enhancement Act (HR 1262).

This bill was introduced in the Senate by Rick Santorum (automatic freeper alert), and it is described as follows:

A bill to derive human pluripotent stem cell lines using techniques that do not knowingly harm embryos.
“Not knowingly harm embryos” is vague legalese here, and my suspicion is that, though this passed in the Senate somehow, this is why it failed in the House, so the bill is now dead.

- Also cosponsored the Gynecological Resolution for Advancement of Ovarian Cancer Education (HR 444).

And here’s what this did:

Supporting (sic) the goals and ideals of National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.
Yawn... (I’m not trying to trivialize ovarian cancer, only the pomp and silliness behind this proclamation).

- Also cosponsored the Breast Cancer and Environmental Research Act (HR 2231).

Here is the stated purpose:

To amend the Public Health Service Act to authorize the Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences to make grants for the development and operation of research centers regarding environmental factors that may be related to the etiology of breast cancer.
This bill has been introduced and is currently sitting in the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

So, based on all of these accomplishments from Mikey, this is where we stand:

- One bill signed into law
- Three bills stuck in a House committee
- One resolution passed the House
- One bill passed in the Senate but died in the House
Call me crazy, but this doesn't sound like much of anything to crow about, particularly because we pay for this.

Also, the mailer states that "Pat" Murphy's supporters are also lying about Mike Fitzpatrick on "wanting to ban the birth control pill."

The Truth: Mike Fitzpatrick has never voted against contraception. Never!
This is a flat-out lie based on the information from this link, in particular what I've highlighted below (and if someone out there wants to argue, argue with NARAL - if it turns out that they're wrong somehow, you'll see it here, though this is completely "in character" for Mikey):

Update: never know, do you?

- Eighty-three percent of this electorate says that the fact that incumbent Mike Fitzpatrick co-sponsored an amendment to the Constitution to outlaw abortion creates serious doubts about Fitzpatrick in their minds, with 54 percent saying that it creates very serious doubts.
- Eighty-four percent of these voters said that Fitzpatrick’s co-sponsoring of a bill to ban the pill creates serious doubts. Fifty-two percent respond that it creates very serious doubts.
This entire mailing to me represents Mikey's "Hail Mary" pass because he's lost the moderate vote, particularly among women voters, so he's willing to say ANYTHING to get it back, per usual.

Also, this is more disinformation from Mikey’s campaign because the decision to fund a contraceptive like Plan B would not be made by Congress. It was made in August by the FDA under Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach; the pill is now sold as a prescription to those 18 and older (and we can thank Senators Hillary Clinton of New York and Patty Murray of Washington for that – they held von Eschenbach’s nomination until he approved the sale of Plan B, as noted here).

However, Congress can cut off funding, making the decision irrelevant, and I read that there was some thought to do this in the Senate, but I cannot locate the link on that at the moment (someone probably realized that it would be election-year dynamite at a time when the incumbents are on the run anyway and decided not to try it).

And on a wholly unrelated matter, please allow me to remind everyone that Fitzpatrick, to date, has STILL not returned about $190,000 worth of campaign contributions linked to Jack Abramoff (I suppose he never will at this point).

This will probably be the last opportunity I’ll have to post against Mikey like this – I can only imagine what fresh new NRCC garbage awaits today, but I may not be able to get to it tomorrow. Posting will be sporadic over the next few days in general, so this will probably be my last chance to urge everyone as strongly as I can to VOTE TOMORROW and drive a stake through the heart of the Repugs, so to speak (assuming they even have one), and make sure they NEVER FORGET IT!!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Sunday Videos

Happy birthday to Glenn Frey ("The Heat Is On" - "Beverly Hills Cop" was a pretty entertaining movie, I thought)...

...and here's our theme for Tuesday ("Stand Up," by Trapt).

Two More For Patrick

Amidst the muck and the garbage aimed at Patrick Murphy and Democrats in general, these two letters were published today in the Bucks County Courier Times:

The keepers of the Catholic faith were at it again on Oct. 21. There were several letters. These people just don't seem to get it

Pro-choice Catholics have as much of a right to our religious heritage as they have. We are pro-choice, not pro-abortion. The right to abortion is the law.

Democratic congressional candidate Patrick Murphy will uphold that law regardless of his religious affiliation. I was a young voter when John Kennedy was nominated for President, and the cry then was "Rome will be running the White House." Well, that never happened. His religion never interfered with his politics, as it should be.

If these people are so concerned about killing the unborn, then why aren't they just as concerned about the killing of our young soldiers in Iraq and the thousands of innocent Iraqis being killed every day? What about the tragedy in Darfur?

These are the issues that should concern the faith keepers.

Estelle Austin
Middletown Township

If he's really trying to prove that he's independent, why didn't Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick oppose the Iraq war from the beginning? Why doesn't he fight against keeping the minimum wage at a pathetic $5.15 per hour? Why does he vote to protect oil-company gouging? Why does he support cuts to federal student aid? Why doesn't he fight for a universal health insurance plan that every one of the 23 other industrialized nations has? Why doesn't he fight for a realistic prescription drug program that favors seniors instead of the Bush plan that is a bonanza for drug companies?

Fitzpatrick has proven himself to be nothing more than a rubber stamp for the Bush administration in almost all of its failed major policies.

Democratic challenger Patrick Murphy, on the other hand, is a brave, bright, intelligent new face we need in Washington. He has a plan to end the war and he will fight for seniors, veterans, and the middle class to end this Republican disaster.

Danielle Poorman
Falls Township
To help Patrick, click here.