Monday, June 21, 2010

Monday Mashup Part Two (6/21/10)

(Part One is here – once again, no posting tomorrow and the rest of the week is TBD).

  • I give you the latest from the Bucks County Democratic Party (here)…

    Bucks Commissioners Urged to Abolish Policy of Taking Taxpayer-Funded Pay Raises While Increasing Taxes

    Marseglia Proposal Would Demonstrate Fiscal Responsibility yet Cawley and Martin Refuse to Sign On

    (Doylestown, PA) – Earlier this week, Bucks County's Democratic County Commissioner Diane Marseglia challenged her colleagues to establish a policy of prohibiting any pay raises for themselves in years when county taxes are raised by the commissioners. Her Republican colleagues failed to join her call for reform.

    A quick review of the tenure of former Bucks County Commissioner Mike Fitzpatrick reveals why Commissioners Martin and Cawley might prefer that the issue simply go away.

    While in office, Mike Fitzpatrick gave himself a $23,667 pay raise – an increase of over 45% - while simultaneously raising Bucks County Property Taxes nearly 60%.

    In six different years, Mike Fitzpatrick squeezed Bucks County families’ budgets with higher taxes while padding his own pocket – at taxpayer expense.

  • 1997: Fitzpatrick raised taxes 6.7% yet gave himself a $2,699 pay raise.

  • 1998: Fitzpatrick raised taxes 3.6% yet gave himself a $2,833 pay raise.

  • 2001: Fitzpatrick raised taxes 3.5% yet gave himself a $1,930 pay raise.

  • 2002: Fitzpatrick raised taxes 5.1% yet gave himself a $1,988 pay raise.

  • 2003: Fitzpatrick raised taxes 4.8% yet gave himself a $2,048 pay raise.

  • 2004: Fitzpatrick raised taxes 14.6% yet gave himself a $4,751 pay raise.

  • Under Marseglia’s proposal, County Commissioners would forgo salary increases during years when there is a county property tax increase.

    The Bucks County Democratic Committee supports Commissioner Marseglia’s leadership and supports enacting her proposal. We call on the Republican Commissioners to end the policy that allowed Fitzpatrick to take a massive pay raise while increasing county property taxes by a staggering 60%.
    And by the way, to help Fitzpatrick’s opponent in the PA-08 U.S. House contest, click here.

  • Also, Ken Blackwell at The Daily Caller tells us the following about Obama Supreme Court Nominee Elena Kagan (here)…

    At issue was a film produced by Citizens United that attacked the public record of Hillary Clinton. The McCain-Feingold law says that such communications are unlawful contributions.

    Kagan was asked if, instead of making a movie, Citizens United had published a book criticizing Hillary Clinton and it hit the stands less than sixty days before an election? Could the government ban that book? Yes, she said, representing the Obama administration.
    (“…such communications are unlawful contributions.” – WHAAA???)

    It should also be noted that, when you click the link to the NRO post on the infamous Citizens United ruling in Blackwell's piece, Kagan isn’t mentioned in the article. And I have no intention of trying to provide the correct link that Blackwell should have provided to support his flimsy argument.

    Instead, I’ll link to Media Matters here, which tells us that Kagan actually argued that the government could restrict corporate pamphlets that advocated for the election or defeat of a candidate (as the post tells us, a pamphlet is pretty much a staple of political campaigns, whereas a book could fall under any one of a number of categories).

    Blackwell also tries to make an equally idiotic argument that Kagan supports human cloning for embryonic stem cell research, but that’s not even the main reason why I’m bothering to note what he said.

    No, what really has me cheesed about Blackwell’s column is the fact that he would actually criticize Kagan for a “disregard for human rights” when he, as Secretary of State in Ohio in 2004, was responsible for the following (here)…

    Ohio's Republican Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell boasted of helping "deliver" Ohio for President Bush and said he was "truly pleased" to announce Bush had won Ohio even before all of the state's votes had been counted in his own fundraising letter, RAW STORY has discovered. The letter, which was received by a Butler County resident Dec. 31, is a plea to support Blackwell's campaign for governor. The resident has asked to remain anonymous.

    In apparent disregard for his nonpartisan role as Ohio's chief election official, the Republican Secretary and chairman of Bush's Ohio reelection campaign slammed Senator Kerry as a "disaster" who would have reaped "terrible" and "horrible" results on both Ohio and the United States.

    Further, Blackwell's use of the word "deliver" finds striking resonance with another controversial fundraising letter sent by the CEO of voting machine manufacturer Diebold Walden O'Dell in the summer of 2003 when he said he was "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year."
    And as noted here…

    Every significant decision that Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell made regarding the 2004 presidential election benefited George W. Bush. Blackwell was honorary co-chair of Bush's 2004 Ohio campaign and served as an election expert in the Florida fiasco that ensued after the 2000 campaign, spinning the Bush campaign's case to the media.
    Given this, it’s oddly appropriate that Blackwell begins his Daily Caller column with a reference to theft.

  • Update 6/23/10: Good points on Kagan and the cloning thing here (h/t Atrios)...

  • Finally, it seems that a play has opened in NYC having to do with A Certain 43rd President on trial for war crimes at The Hague. However, as Times reviewer Jason Zinoman tells us here…

    The problem with “When We Go Upon the Sea” is not that it’s yet another derisive play about George W. Bush. Nor is it that the playwright Lee Blessing (“A Walk in the Woods,” “Cobb”) offers a liberal fantasy of Mr. Bush on trial for war crimes. The real trouble, dramatically speaking, is that this Bush character (played by Conan McCarty, with perfect squinting eyes) doesn’t do anything of interest. He doesn’t engage in soul-searching or in an elaborate defense of his presidency — or anything else that might cause much conflict. He just generally acts smug.
    (Yep, sounds like "art imitating life.")

    Still, this makes me recall the quote “A great artist is always before his time or behind it” (let us hope for the former in this case).
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