Saturday, September 25, 2010

Saturday Stuff

Arlene Holt Baker of the AFL-CIO has an important announcement about an event taking place a week from today (here - to do more, click here)...

...and as long as Wingnut Pat Toomey can continue running ads at news sites telling lies (Joe Sestak voted to ban private health insurance? Really? Which Roll Call vote was that?), I can put up this video which tells the truth (more here, and to help, click here)...

Update 9/26/10: This is an awesome column on Toomey by Karen Heller of the Philadelphia Inquirer (here).

...and a lot of people saw the meltdown by "Saint McCain" over the fight to repeal DADT in the Defense Authorization Budget (or, at least, to do so pending Defense Department review), but I wonder how many people saw this clip by Sen. Al Franken this week?...

...and I suppose this is a good Saturday night song (sorry, no video).

Friday, September 24, 2010

Friday Stuff

But just remember, people, Chris Dudley is tall (last item here)...

..."Worst Persons" (not from MSNBC's still-hosed website..beyond belief - Patrick Strickler, president of The Blue Waters Group, gets the "bronze" for one of the most hilarious outdoor board screwups I've seen in a long time; it turns out that Sharron Angle is opposed to health care for autistic kids and pregnant mothers - I agree with K.O.'s assessment that Angle is a genuinely despicable person; but Liz Cheney gets the top citation for criticizing President Obama's language about trying to "absorb" a terrorist attack, when her dad said exactly the same thing when he wasn't holding secret energy task force meetings or accidentally shooting lawyers in the face)...

...and I just have three words after watching this epic takedown by Jon Stewart on the GOP's "Contract On America II" - Nail. Hammer. Head...

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...and I thought I'd put this up anyway even though it isn't the birthday of Lenny Kravitz - long story (another "baby, please take me back" entry, and probably as close as I get to hip-hop...the "wigger" wearing the panties on his face at the end was a hoot).

Friday Mashup Part Two (9/24/10)

(Part One is here...also, posting is really questionable for early next week.)

  • I don’t have much to highlight from last Sunday’s “Area Votes in Congress” writeup in the Philadelphia Inquirer, but I did want to take note of one Senate vote in particular (here)…

    Health-law funding. Voting 56-42, the Senate failed to reach 60 votes for advancing a Democratic-sponsored plan for easing the new health law's Form 1099 filing requirement (HR 5297, above).

    This plan would exempt companies with 25 or fewer employees from the requirement, raise the filing threshold from $600 to $5,000 per vendor, and exempt transactions paid by credit and debit cards.

    A yes vote backed the Democratic amendment.

    Voting yes: Carper, Casey, Kaufman, Lautenberg, Menendez, and Specter.
    As noted here, this was sponsored by Dem Bill “Spaceman” Nelson of Florida after another amendment on this from Repug Mike Johanns of Nebraska was pulled; neither reached the magical “60 votes needed for passage” threshold.

    Now I would ask that we step into the “wayback” machine and set it for, say, 2005. If a similar amendment had first been sponsored by a Dem but then pulled by the Repug House leadership in favor of their own amendment, and if the Repug amendment had been voted down, imagine the outcry about how the Democrats supposedly don’t support small business and are trying to create onerous reporting requirements or whatever.

    Instead, what do we hear from the Dems and Harry Reid in response to the Repugs torpedoing them yet again on legislation (with the help of the execrable soon-to-be-former Senator Blanche Lincoln, along with the only-slightly-better Mary Landrieu and Mark Begich, who I thought knew better)?

    I think you know the answer at this point as well as I do.

  • Next, I got a kick out of this column at Fix Noise (here – I guess you could file this under “Forward Into The Past”)…

    If Ronald Reagan was the Dwight Eisenhower of the “conservative revolution,” then Jack Kemp was the George Patton. The former Congressman, cabinet secretary and vice presidential nominee was the one who translated Reagan’s vision to legislative success by serving as the chief author of the Reagan tax cuts and the leading congressional champion for supply side economic principles.. Kemp knew how to both win with a broad-base of support and govern as a principled conservative.
    Being a filthy, unkempt liberal blogger, I always thought “principled conservative” was an oxymoron :-).

    And as noted here, I also always thought Kemp got more than a little bit of a pass back in the day by tossing the idea out there every so often of a block grant for the poorer communities of this country, never mind the strings that usually came attached to such a proposal (I guess the news flash would be that some conservatives even realized that poor people existed at all).

    As I also pointed out on the occasion of Kemp’s passing…

    Kemp criticized the Kerry/Edwards presidential campaign in 2004 for trying to roll back those idiotic estate tax cuts (gee, wonder how much better off we would’ve been if more people had listened to the two Dems?). Kemp got a pass from our corporate media cousins because he used to play football, and I think he used his formidable intellect to incorporate his experience with primarily African-American players to learn how to develop a language that “talked the talk” on housing and other “hot button” economic issues impacting the poor, though Kemp never “walked the walk” to back up his rosy rhetoric (being a tried and true Reaganite – and a movement conservative at heart, I would argue – he could never comprehend government by itself as an answer to anything).

    And if Kemp was bad on domestic policy, he was worse on foreign policy; as Think Progress tells us here, Kemp said Dems Hillary Clinton and John Kerry were “sad, hypocritical and pathetic” for supporting Ned Lamont in his successful Democratic senatorial primary bid in Connecticut in 2006.

    So Kemp criticized the Dems for supporting an anti-Iraq war candidate, even though Kemp escaped military service from a “knee problem” which still did not bar him from playing for eight years in the National Football League, as noted here. Is that about right?

    Oh, and Kemp (who was called “unmanageable” as a candidate because he ignored timers on his speeches, refused to call contributors, and refused to practice for debates, as noted here) once called for the firing of Reagan Secretary of State George Shultz who didn’t properly support the Strategic Defense Initiative as well as “freedom fighters” in Nicaragua and Afghanistan as far as Kemp was concerned (all of which represented stupendous wastes of resources by this country, to say nothing of sewing the seeds of our present misery, particularly in Afghanistan).

    And just for good measure, Kemp claimed here that Hillary Clinton and President Obama wanted to “halt trade with Mexico” (please).
    So sure, conservatives, you go ahead and “channel” Jack Kemp, or whatever (appropriate to profess admiration for one of the authors of what eventually became our current misery).

  • Also, The Washington Times continues to give column space to Ted Nugent, who opines as follows (here)…

    We've been told there are so-called moderate Muslims who deplore terrorism and that Islam has been hijacked by extremists.

    If there are in fact moderate Muslims, they have been quiet as mosque mice regarding their views.
    (And by the way, there’s even an artist’s rendering of what a “mosque mouse” would look like – didn’t they have a hit called “Dashboard” or something? :-).

    Meanwhile, in the world of reality, this tells us the following…

    LOS ANGELES, Sept. 11 (Xinhua) -- Various government agencies, religious and civilian organizations across Southern California held a number of vigils, prayers and services on Saturday to mark the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

    Two vigils were held in Los Angeles, one by the Islamic Center of Southern California, and the other by various groups demanding religious freedom.

    At the annual event held at the Islamic Center of Southern California, participants vowed to defend American values of religious freedom and equal rights for all.

    The event drew religious leaders from Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Sikh and Buddhist faiths as a reflection of America itself, said Mariam Rasheed, one of the event's organizers.

    "I hope we can use the memory of 9/11 and remain steadfast against those who have lost sight of our religious freedoms that were so fundamental to our nation's founders and are core to our nation's future," Rasheed said.
    See you later, Ted.

  • Finally, former Laura Bush employee Andrew Malcolm tells us the following (here)…

    In case you've missed a few issues of the Archie comic book over the years, eternal teens Archie and Reggie and Veronica and Betty apparently have been held back for decades now. Archie still has the red tic-tac-toe hair. Betty's still blond, Veronica brunet and Reggie is still, well, Reggie.

    In the upcoming December issue, Archie and Reggie are locked in a tough class president race.
    A bit of a “spoiler alert” – Archie gets the help of President Obama to run for office, while Reggie counters with a certain half-term, moose-hunting former governor of Alaska.

    And as Malcolm communicates this earth-shattering information, he tells us this…

    …if you promise not to tell anyone else on the school bus, Veronica, apparently still clueless and unaware of President Barack Obama's failing election endorsement record the last year or so, stages a photograph to make it look like the liberal Democrat is endorsing Archie.

    And in a clever Rovian kind of way, Reggie counters by obtaining the grassroots common-sense backing of conservative Sarah Palin, who's done so much better in the real political endorsing game this year.
    Let’s cut to the chase with Malcolm and read the following (here)…

    Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin may still be making news headlines, but the U.S. electorate has news for her. If the 2012 presidential election were held today and she were the Republican candidate, Palin would not defeat President Barack Obama. In fact, the president would win the election by a considerable margin.
    And if somehow that changes, I’m sure Malcolm will be the first to let us know.

    However, he should be congratulated on perhaps finding his true journalistic niche; telling us the details of comic books, I think, meets his approximate level of expertise.
  • Thursday, September 23, 2010

    Thursday Stuff

    Yeah, I know it's a bit unproductive to preoccupy ourselves with Ms. "Yes Wiccan" (and no, I didn't think of that) when there are so many other congressional seats to attack and defend, but aside from the legal implications of O'Donnell's actions, look at it this way - deflating her means that Palin gets deflated a bit too.

    (And by the way, President Obama has tapped this guy to be Delaware U.S. Attorney - awaiting confirmation at this point so like many other of his nominees)...

    ...and here is some more music for our life and times.

    Thursday Mashup (9/23/10)

  • From the “trying to make something out of less than absolutely nothing” department, I give you the following from Tucker Carlson’s Crayon Scribble Page (here)…

    The nation burns as leftist radicals tear at the national fabric from within, yet daily headlines scream, this congressman said this, was caught on tape saying this, or in (Christine) O’Donnell’s case, O’Donnell said this, someone says she said this, that 20 years ago.

    But the same rules don’t apply to gaffes and missteps made by anyone on the left — this ruling class phenomenon is so pervasive now as to be considered an absolutely predictable leftist reaction by rightists.

    Why do I shed light on these things, you ask?

    Senator Harry Reid referring to New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand as the “hottest” member of the Senate at a fundraiser on Monday more than amply confirms the double standard that we see today (Politico):

    How would the left react if a conservative called Gillibrand the “hottest” senator? The truth is oh-so-self-evident and once again proves the left’s sexism double standard.
    Actually, speaking as a member of the “left” (which I guess I am), I could care less if a conservative referred to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand as “hot” or not, any more than I would care if, say, Ron Wyden complimented Susan Collins of Maine (yes, this whole talking point is getting silly quickly).

    Besides, for any Repug looking to throw stones at Senate Democrats over allegations of sexism, I have one name for you; Bob Packwood.

    As noted here…

    Packwood's political career began to unravel in November 1992, when a Washington Post story detailed the claims of sexual abuse and assault by ten women, chiefly former staffers and lobbyists.[34] Publication of the story was delayed until after the 1992 election, as Packwood had denied the allegations and the Post had not gathered enough of the story at the time.[35][36] Packwood defeated Democrat Les AuCoin 52.1% to 46.5%.
    I realize that neither political party is innocent when it comes to these matters, but all I’m saying is before anyone decides to throw stones, make sure your own proverbial glass house is well polished first.

  • Next, I give you more lies from Mikey Fitzpatrick, running against Patrick Murphy for the latter’s U.S. House seat (here) – this time, the subject is the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell…

    A spokesman for (Fitzpatrick), the Republican candidate hoping to oust Murphy, said the Democrats were forcing the issue too soon — weighing in before the military does with an upcoming study. In December, the Pentagon is slated to release the results of a study on the effects of gays serving openly in the military.

    “What Congress has essentially done here is prejudged the outcome of that study,” Fitzpatrick spokesman Darren Smith said. “If we ask the military to figure something out, why are (Senate Democrats and the White House) taking action now?”
    Meanwhile, for the reality point of view, I give you the following from dday (here)…

    …the Administration decided to get off their duff and send a statement of Administration policy in favor of the defense authorization bill. Here’s the part about DADT:

    Policy Concerning Homosexuality in the Armed Forces: The Administration supports section 591 as it would allow for completion of the Comprehensive Review, enable the Department of Defense to assess the results of the review, and ensure that the implementation of the repeal is consistent with the standards of military readiness, effectiveness, unit cohesion, recruiting and retention. Such an approach recognizes the critical need to allow our military and their families the full opportunity to inform and shape the implementation process through a thorough understanding of their concerns, insights and suggestions.

    It seems they favor more the completion of the Pentagon study than the harming of a discriminatory policy.
    Meanwhile, Patrick Murphy quite rightly said the following…

    “Even though the vast majority of Americans think that all able-bodied men and women should be allowed to serve their country, the process has been hijacked by a minority of right-wing extremists,” said Murphy, who is running for re-election in the 8th district.

    Murphy was the lead sponsor of a House bill earlier this year to end the military's so-called Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy, which bans gays from openly serving. His House bill has not made it to a vote.

    Murphy added: “The fact is it just doesn’t make sense to spend $1.3 billion to kick out Arabic translators and fighter pilots who just want to serve their country.”
    And is it really necessary to point out which one of our candidates actually served this county and which one didn’t (and I’ll come back to Mikey in a minute).

  • Finally, this story tells us the following (a thoroughly unsurprising development, but one that must be pointed out)…

    (CBS/AP) Six months after President Barack Obama signed landmark legislation that will extend health care coverage to millions of people, Americans still do not really know what the law does.

    More than half mistakenly believe the overhaul will raise taxes for most people this year, an Associated Press poll finds. That would hold true only if most people were devoted to indoor tanning, which the law hit with a sales tax.

    The uncertainty and confusion amount to a dismal verdict for the Obama administration's campaign to win over public opinion. Before the final votes in Congress, Obama personally assured wavering Democrats he would take the case to the American people after the law passed. It has not worked. And in the final stretch before congressional elections, scheduled for Nov. 2, Republicans are united by their demands for repeal.
    As far as I’m concerned, you can chalk this up to yet another corporate media epic fail; as noted here…

  • Health care coverage was the No. 1 story in the mainstream press from June 2009 through March 2010. There were numerous ebbs and flows to the health care coverage. But in the 10-month period studied, the topic registered at 14% of the newshole, edging out economic coverage (12%) and the conflict in Afghanistan (6%).

  • The health care debate was tailor-made for ideological talk shows. No media sector devoted as much time to health care as the political and polarizing talk show hosts. Accounting for 31% of the airtime from June 2009 through March 2010, the subject was more than twice as big in the talk show sector as it was in the overall media (14%).

  • Liberal talk show hosts devoted more airtime to health care than conservative hosts. Left-leaning talk hosts, who broadly supported health care legislation, spent 44% of their time talking about health care issues during the time studied. The right-tilting hosts, who vigorously opposed it, devoted 26% of their time to the subject.

  • Opponents of health care legislation won the message war. A Nexis search of key terms in the health care debate finds that opponents' terms appeared almost twice as often (about 18,000 times) as supporters' top terms (about 11,000). In short, the opponents' attacks on government-run health care resonated more widely than the supporters' attacks on the insurance industry.

  • The debate centered more on politics than the workings of the health care system. Fully 41% of health care coverage focused on the tactics and strategy of the debate while various reform proposals filled another 23%. But only 9% of the coverage focused on a core issue -- how our health care system currently functions, what works and what doesn't.
  • And at Matt Yglesias tells us here…

    This is, of course, the media’s characteristic flaw. The bulk of reporters and editors at major political media institutions have almost no understanding of substantive public policy issues. And they conjoin to their ignorance a kind of contempt for people who do understand them. Consequently, people who are interested in such matters tend to be driven out of the institutions in questions. Instead, you get a self-replicating cadre of self-congratulatory and shallow people who enjoy doing this kind of coverage while sneering at people who care about substance.

    The bias toward process stories is not ideological in its intent, but it’s strongly ideological in its impact. Creating public confusion and ignorance while obscuring what’s really happening tends to favor elites versus people of modest means, it favors the status quo over change, it favors insiders over outsiders, and it favors narrow interests over the public interest.
    And returning to Mikey Fitzpatrick, I give you the following from here…

    (Fitzpatrick), joined by two doctors and Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn on Tuesday, called for repeal of the health care legislation passed earlier this year by Democrats.

    "More and more, the ugly truths of Obamacare are coming to light," Fitzpatrick said outside the office of Dr. David S. C. Pao, a Levittown ophthalmologist. "The bill contains 19 new taxes, fees and cuts to existing programs. Everything from medical devices to real estate sales to existing health plans are taxed to pay for this plan.

    "This is a tax bill, not a health care bill. It does nothing to increase the quality of care."

    Tim Persico, Murphy's campaign manager, said: "Mike Fitzpatrick is parroting the same baseless lies and distortions because he wants to distract from his plans to privatize Social Security and Medicare. If there was any doubt that Fitzpatrick was lost to the far right, the fact that he stood with a congresswoman who is the leader in the fight to eliminate Medicare should take care of that."

    Blackburn's bill - the Health Care Choices for Seniors Act - would give seniors a voucher for a private health savings account or high-deductible private health plans instead of taking Medicare, which they currently are required to accept. Her bill, however, would allow them to keep their Social Security benefits, which they would lose under today's law. That change came in 1993, when Social Security and Medicare were linked together.
    Sounds like a typical “divide and conquer” Repug strategy on Social Security and Medicare, two legislative pillars of Democratic governance.

    As you consider this, I would ask that you read this also about an Iowa grandmother by Deb Robben; the post tells us the following…

    Last December, Robben was diagnosed with colon cancer. Because she has been unable to obtain insurance, she has had to pay the costs for treatment out-of-pocket. For chemotherapy treatment alone, Robben expects to pay almost $2,000 a month. “She’s only two months into chemo and already she’s at $50,000. Oh my, what is another four months going to bring,” says Melissa Gradischnig Nelson, a friend of Robben.

    In desperation, Robben’s friends and family have turned to local fundraisers to try to pay for her treatment. Over the weekend, they held a $5-a-plate pasta dinner in the hope of putting “a dent” in Robben’s massive health care bills.

    Local news station WHO-TV recently interviewed Robben, who told them, “It’s kind of hard when you can’t get insurance. To say, lady you’re going to die or figure out how to come up with the money. It’s not right.”


    It is worth noting that the United States is the only developed country without a universal, cradle-to-the-grave health care system. Nowhere else in the industrialized world would a woman have to turn to holding pasta fundraisers to get the money to pay for her chemotherapy.
    Robben had to resort to bake sales to pay for her chemo because no insurance company would carry her because of what was determined to be a “pre-existing condition”; benign cysts on her breasts.

    And in trying to defund and utterly neuter health care reform (it won’t be repealed because Obama would veto such legislation, and even in the nightmarish event of a Repug takeover of the House, there wouldn’t be enough votes to override the veto), Mikey and his would-be House Repug playmates would make sure that everyone else covered under HCR who was denied coverage previously would be denied coverage all over again.

    Oh, and one last thing – colon cancer is something familiar to Mikey, since he suffered from it previously but (fortunately for him) he appears to have made a full recovery. And it goes without saying that, due to his extensive legal and political background, he has the means to ensure the coverage for himself that he would willfully deny to others.

    Lucky, lucky Mikey.
  • Wednesday, September 22, 2010

    Wednesday Stuff

    What a great idea from Stephen Colbert...

    The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
    Christine O'Donnell Witch Test
    Colbert Report Full Episodes2010 ElectionFox News

    …and in case you were wondering about Christine O’Donnell’s “formative years,” as it were, I have this clip (maybe more appropriate a month from now, but I guess it works :-).

    Tuesday, September 21, 2010

    Tuesday Stuff

    "Why do Republicans hate the troops" indeed (and once more, click here to do something about it)...

    Update 9/22/10: As Dick Durbin notes here, this is the first time that a defense authorization bill hasn't passed since 1952 (and of course Blance Lincoln joined the Repug filibuster...enjoy private life after election day, Blanche).

    ...and here's a little reminder to the "Catfood Commission" that we're wise to shell games on Social Security (a spot-on ad from a presidential campaign whose candidate at the top of the ticket was accused of being untrustworthy by our corporate media about ten years or so ago - they conversely claimed that the Republican candidate was a "regular guy" with whom you would want to have a beer, or something)...

    ...and by the way, happy 60th birthday to Bill Murray (we all know about "Caddyshack," "Ghostbusters," "Stripes," "Groundhog Day," etc., which were all great in their way IMHO, but this is one of my favorite films...just saw him in "Zombieland" where he's mistaken for a mutant and gets shot, and as his character appears to be dying...haven't seen the whole flick yet...someone asks him if he has any regrets, and he says, "maybe 'Garfield'" - funny stuff)...

    ...and WXPN in these parts is absolutely playing the crap out of this song, but it's good (like to see Larry Summers have to "beg, steal or borrow" and see how he ends up based on this).

    Tuesday Mashup (9/21/10)

  • There are a lot of reasons why I disagree with conservatives and fundamentally don’t like many of them as people personally, but I think this National Review post captures what they embody that I particularly despise.

    As you can see, the following “put a smile” on the face of someone named John J. Miller…

    Jacques Chirac, the former French president, will stand trial for embezzlement in a Paris court early next year, his lawyer said on Tuesday.

    The 77-year-old, whose presidency of France ran from 1995 until 2007, could face a ten-year prison sentence and 150,000-euro (£130,000) fine if found guilty. He will be the first modern French leader to face a corruption trial.
    Don’t think this makes me sympathetic to embezzling for a moment, but we all know why Miller is so happy.

    As noted here (dusting off the memory banks a bit), Chirac actually had the unmitigated gall to oppose and criticize the Not-So-Excellent Iraq Misadventure brought to us by Former President Highest Disapproval Rating In Gallup Poll History (of course, as noted here, Russia and China opposed it also, but it’s a lot easier for conservatives to lambaste those "cheese-eating surrender monkeys" than it is to poke at the Russian bear, as it were, or ridicule a country holding a large portion of our debt).

    So, if Chirac is convicted and receives the maximum sentence, he could very well die in prison, which no doubt would cause Miller and his pals to do cartwheels in glee.

    However, if Chirac is acquitted, you can be sure that you’ll hear nothing from the National Review but silence.

  • Next, it seems that J.D. Mullane of the Bucks County Courier Times aroused the passions of some individuals with a column about child endangerment (here – I’ll let you, dear reader, avail yourself of the details if you so choose).

    So what does he do with these metaphorical flames burning out of control? Why, pour gasoline all over them, of course (I have to keep reminding myself that it’s a job requirement for working at that newspaper to also serve as a moral scold)…

    As for child endangerment - what if you were to discover that throughout Pennsylvania is a widespread adult behavior, proven to endanger children. It leaves them prone to school delinquency, drug and alcohol abuse, teen pregnancy, economic struggle, among other pathologies.

    It's called single parenthood. There is 30 years of data to attest to its harsh impact on kids. Boys are disproportionately affected. Does it shock anyone to learn that that 70 percent of convicted rapists and killers in U.S. prisons had no father at home?
    I will only say that Mrs. Doomsy and I know a great many single parents who courageously balance the demands of work (assuming they’re employed) and family life with kids who embody the very best qualities of many offspring from two-parent families (and we know a few two-parent kids with issues in their own right); I don’t believe Mullane’s inanities deserve any further response on my part.

    Speaking only for myself, though, do you want to know something that poses a greater danger to us than the generic “single parent” boogeyman Mullane tries to concoct here?

    The young one is about old enough to the point where he can walk to the morning school bus by himself. One of the reasons I continue to accompany him, though (at the risk of making him look “uncool”) is because of the drivers who routinely ignore the STOP signs showing from the bus that picks him up (a source of continual irritation to yours truly and his bus driver).

    It doesn’t matter if he’s walking north and the driver is turning south. When the school bus stops, drivers approaching from either direction are supposed to stop also. IT’S THE LAW!

    (My apologies for cranking to the people who do the right thing, but I felt like I needed to say something.)

  • Also, this post at The Hill from Repug U.S. House Rep Brian Bilbray tells us the following (opposing the DREAM Act)…

    The recent murders of 72 migrant workers in northern Mexico highlight one of the main immigration issues in the United States: before we see a peaceful and secure border, our southern neighbor must get control over the violent cartels that plague the entire country. According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, more than 4,500 people have been murdered--just along the border--since 1998.

    These 72 migrant workers were looking to make a better life for themselves on the promise of illegal jobs from unscrupulous employers and a promise of amnesty from unscrupulous politicians. The migrants paid the cartels to bring them across our border illegally, not knowing they would be kidnapped, held for ransom and murdered—whether or not their families paid for their release.

    Unfortunately, some people in Congress and in the business community share the responsibility for the murders. When my colleagues talk about providing amnesty (or “a pathway to citizenship”) they become an accessory to these murders.
    That’s pretty vile stuff, but then again, Bilbray has made his name bashing immigrants.

    As noted here, he originated the “Anchor baby” nonsense parroted by fellow House Repug Louie Gohmert of Texas (of course) earlier this year. And here, he said he could spot illegal immigrants by their footwear. In spite of this, though, Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei of Politico referred to Bilbray as a “centrist” here.

    Bilbray, though, need not worry about the DREAM Act for now, since, unfortunately, it was defeated in the vote on the Defense Authorization Bill (here, though this is a good idea, I must admit).

    Still, I’m glad Harry Reid scheduled the vote. Get the names of those who oppose it and the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” made public, and let them answer to their constituents.

  • Finally, I give you the following from the campaign of Patrick Murphy for Congress…

    AFL Endorses Murphy, Slams Fitzpatrick for Outsourcing Jobs

    Group calls out former Congressman Fitzpatrick for lying about promises to vote against unfair trade deals that shipped American jobs overseas

    (Bristol, PA) – On Monday, the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO endorsed Patrick Murphy in Pennsylvania’s 8th Congressional District race over his opponent, former Congressman Fitzpatrick, who lied to the organization when he promised members he would vote against outsourcing American jobs.

    Mary Dunne, President of the Bucks County AFL-CIO, recalled the meeting she had with Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick in the summer of 2005. She traveled from Bensalem to Washington to ask that Fitzpatrick vote against a trade deal that would ship American jobs to Central America. The Congressman promised Mary and the other working families present that day he would vote no. But something changed in between that meeting and the time Fitzpatrick walked down to the House floor to cast his vote on the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) just a few hours later. As documented in later news reports, Dick Cheney called Fitzpatrick to tell the freshman Congressman they needed his yes vote. That was all it took.

    One phone call from Cheney and Congressman Fitzpatrick flipped, breaking his word to his constituents and becoming the tie-breaking vote to outsource American jobs (see article below).

    “Fitzpatrick lied to my face that day,” Mary said of her 2005 meeting with the former Congressman. “You may not agree with Patrick Murphy on every issue, but you know when he tells you something, he’ll stick to his word.”

    The endorsement announcement took place in Bristol at the site of the former Jones New York plant, which laid off hundreds of workers after CAFTA passed and its pattern-making operations were shipped overseas.

    Murphy thanked the AFL for their endorsement on behalf of working families and reiterated his commitment to moving our economy forward and creating jobs here at home. He has worked to advance his “Make it in America” aimed at driving innovation and expanding domestic manufacturing. His efforts have centered on closing tax loopholes that encourage outsourcing, providing tax credits to encourage local manufacturers to invest in new technology and innovation, and working to stop China from manipulating its currency and thus gaining an unfair and illegal trade advantage against U.S. producers.

    He drew a stark contrast between his efforts and those of his opponent, who advocates a return to the failed Bush economic policies of the past, like unfair trade deals and tax breaks for outsourcing jobs.

    “Mike Fitzpatrick voted to outsource American jobs to Central America and the Middle East and then has the nerve to criticize high unemployment,” Murphy said. “That’s like an arsonist complaining about the Fire Department’s response time.”

    # # #

    Excerpt from The Hill article detailing Fitzpatrick’s role as the tie-breaking vote to pass CAFTA:

    Then, just before midnight, Fitzpatrick emerged from the cloakroom followed by Blunt, DeLay and Hastert. The field was set.

    Around midnight, Hayes switched his vote, then Fitzpatrick and LaTourette voted yes, after which Blunt signaled his deputy whips to release the remaining nos. Then the majority whip drew a hand across his throat signaling the vote to a close.

    Note: The link to the Hill article has expired.

    CAFTA: Part 3 the night of the vote
    By Patrick O'Connor

    An eerie calm fell over Capitol Hill on the morning of the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) vote. Police cars blocked all roads leading to the Capitol, and a helicopter hovered over Constitution Avenue in anticipation of a presidential motorcade. In the Capitol basement, a press gaggle had gathered to glimpse President Bush on his way to HC-5, the basement conference room where he would thank Republican House members for their efforts in the first seven months of the year and make one final conference-wide appeal for members to support his controversial free-trade bill. As he passed the assembled reporters, photographers and television cameras accompanied by Vice President Cheney, a handful of Cabinet secretaries and most of the Republican House leadership, one reporter yelled, “Mr. President, do you have the votes to pass CAFTA?” Bush smiled, waved to the cameras and kept walking. House Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and his team had been aggressively selling CAFTA to Republican members for almost two months when it came to the floor that last Wednesday in July. The bill had momentum in its favor, but passage was not a guarantee that hot and humid morning. The whip team had been whittling down the official list of member concerns since mid-June, after Blunts 15-member task force completed its preliminary count of the votes. There was still much to be done, but the entire apparatus of Republican leadership was now behind Blunt and his team. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas), the iconic former whip whose effectiveness and outspoken manner have made him a forceful and controversial figure on Capitol Hill, volunteered to take on many of the hardest cases during that final stretch. In addition, Bush unleashed the full force of his Cabinet for the final push. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman, Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns and Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez all spent much of that final day on the Hill lobbying. By visiting congressional Republicans that morning, Bush also put the entire weight of his office and reputation on the line in support of CAFTA.

    Working the phones

    The early-morning calm quickly dissolved once Bush reached the Capitol. During a round of votes earlier in the day, Cantor and Blunt both had private discussions with Virginia Republican Jo Ann Davis, who was expected to vote no but missed the vote. She was away to attend a Boy Scout Jamboree event in Caroline County, Va., that was eventually canceled. Later that afternoon, as Cabinet secretaries and lobbyists canvassed the halls of Capitol Hill, Blunt assembled his 60 or so deputy whips to remind them to stay in the House chamber throughout the vote in case he needed people to help put pressure on reluctant members or find someone who skipped out of the chamber early. Around 5 that evening, Cheney, a former House whip who has become one of leadership’s most effective closers, set up shop in his House office just off the chamber. There, he called on members with his legislative liaison Brenda Becker standing nearby. Just after 6, Blunt and his floor director, Amy Steinmann, briefed the vice president on their official whip list heading into the vote. As Cheney left his office just after 10, John Engler, the president of the National Association of Manufacturers who had been stalking the Capitol that night, thanked the vice president for supporting the bill. While Cheney worked the phones that night, Cantor was scrambling to secure Rep. Robert Aderholts (R-Ala.) vote. Aderholt was seeking assurances from the White House that CAFTA would not hurt sock makers in his district by eliminating an existing tariff on imported socks. Fort Payne, Ala., is the self-proclaimed Sock Capital of the World.? He asked for a letter from Portman and Gutierrez assuring him, and in turn his constituents, that the administration would negotiate protections for American sock makers as part of the deal. He also got Portman on the phone with Charles Cole, the chief executive of one of his districts biggest sock producers. Cantors last-minute effort with Aderholt was illustrative of how leadership and the administration earned member support during those critical last days. Lobbyists and administration officials had been holding similar meetings for months, but wavering members waited until those last weeks to commit. Cajoling votes To the outside observer, the House floor is filled with members glad-handing and joking while paying minimal attention to the board overhead that lists each of their votes. But amid the social element, the floor is where rank-and-file members push their individual issues or campaign for promotions within the conference while leadership monitors that activity to keep a pulse on the troops. During each of the votes earlier that week, Blunt and Cantor worked the floor tirelessly, holding a series of one-on-one meetings with uncommitted members on the floor to gauge their level of commitment for or against CAFTA. In general, whipping tough votes is generally more about cajoling members than outright coercion because a hard case on one vote might be the difference on another. And while lobbyists, staff and administration officials tend to push the policy benefits of a particular bill, members often tell their colleagues that it’s all about the team.? When Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) reached the House floor that night for the CAFTA vote, Cantor immediately found her and said, We need you to hold your vote.? He knew she was a no, but they needed her to hold out so that they would have more flexibility once the vote got close. Cantor sat with her throughout the night as House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Thomas (R-Calif.) and other eager CAFTA supporters paid her occasional visits. Earlier that day, Bush had called Capito to say, “I need you on this.” Afterward, her 24-year-old son, Charles, who had been sitting up in the gallery that night, told her, “I could tell you were getting pretty heated. In the end, Capito voted against the bill, but not without heavily weighing the impact on her state and the importance of her team. The team is important, Capito said the following day. I’ve been the recipient of a lot of help from the team.

    ˜Any other competition Blunt is a study in understatement, and that night as he walked to the floor he was focused on the task at hand more than any particular emotions surrounding the moment. But he does get excited for the big votes. It’s like any other competition, Blunt said. As he walked to the floor, he and DeLay had a list of members who were planning to vote no. Within that list, Blunt knew he and his team needed to persuade some of those members to vote yes. House Administration Committee Chairman Bob Ney (R-Ohio) had already caused the first stir of the night when his office put out a press release just after 6:30 explaining his vote against the trade bill. Then, on his way to the floor, Blunt learned that Democratic Rep. Sanford Bishop Jr. (Ga.) was voting against the bill after promising Bush earlier in the day that he would support it. When the vote finally began, Republicans took an early lead and held it until the Democrats tied things up at 174 votes apiece. The Democrats then went up by as many as nine votes before Republicans tied it up again at 207-207. As the overhead screen tallied member votes, Republicans and Democrats alike scoured the board to see how their colleagues were voting.

    The vote then locked at 214-211, where it remained for the next 30 or so minutes. Nine Republicans had not yet voted, while Rep. Marty Meehan (D-Mass.) was the lone Democratic holdout. Outside lobbyists were confident at that point that Blunt would find some combination of loyal Republicans to bring the tally to the necessary 217. Afterward, Blunt said it was a big advantage for him to have the lead at that point because Democrats could not shout regular order and demand Republicans to close the vote. A curious exchange On a night full of tense conversations, the most curious was that between DeLay and House Resources Chairman Richard Pombo (R-Calif.). DeLay and Pombo had a brief, heated conversation at the back of the chamber, after which DeLay marched over to Transportation Committee Chairman Don Young (R-Alaska). Young, who was putting the finishing touches on a massive highway bill filled with members’ pet projects, quickly explained something to DeLay. DeLay walked back to Pombo, told him something and watched in frustration as Pombo stormed out of the chamber. Pombo returned to vote yes 10 minutes later, but the content of those conversations is still unclear. Ney and Armed Services Committee Chairman Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) were the only Republican chairmen to vote against the bill. They were joined by four Republican freshmen ” Reps. Charles Boustany (R-La.), Bobby Jindal (R-La.) and Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) had pledged to vote against it during their campaigns, something Blunt always recommends against, and Rep. Connie Mack (R-Fla.) had told leadership that he was voting no because the White House had not done enough to support him during last years Republican primary. Jeff Cohen, Mack’s chief of staff, said, Congressman Mack didn’t think the bill sufficiently protected Florida’s interests. The three freshmen held their votes until late as a strategic favor to their Republican colleagues, but they all faced enormous pressure during the course of the vote. McHenry, who was standing by himself, finally appeared to relent and vote no after enduring an aggressive appeal from Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.). Blunt and other leaders had been leaning heavily on Reps. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), Robin Hayes (R-N.C.) and Steve LaTourette (R-Ohio), as leaders quickly realized they were the swing members. Fitzpatrick spent most of the vote surrounded by members of the Pennsylvania delegation in the Republican cloakroom. At one point, he told Bush that he would vote yes on the bill but that he wanted Brian Conklin, the White House liaison working CAFTA, to get National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley on the phone to explain the national-security benefits of his vote. Conklin then had to wake Hadley up to go over the vote with Fitzpatrick.

    Hayes had voted no earlier in the night, but leaders and business owners in his district persuaded him to switch his vote and support the legislation around midnight. Portman meanwhile was explaining how a tariff issue related to the bill would not affect furniture makers in LaTourette’s district an explanation that has since come under severe scrutiny by local press.

    Then, just before midnight, Fitzpatrick emerged from the cloakroom followed by Blunt, DeLay and Hastert. The field was set.

    Around midnight, Hayes switched his vote, then Fitzpatrick and LaTourette voted yes, after which Blunt signaled his deputy whips to release the remaining nos. Then the majority whip drew a hand across his throat signaling the vote to a close.

    Republicans erupted with applause.

    In the Speaker’s office shortly after the vote, Commerce Secretary Gutierrez thanked Fitzpatrick and promised the tired freshman he would visit his district to explain the benefits of the bill, an agreement arranged through Blunt’s staff.

    Gutierrez hugged Hastert and thanked him on behalf of the administration for all his hard work to pass the trade bill. We did what we had to do to get this job done,? Hastert said. Staff soon appeared with cigars and beers for an impromptu celebration on the Speakers Balcony. While Blunt and his team celebrated their big win looking out over the Mall, inside the dark Capitol fell silent again as a lone janitor swept Statuary Hall just outside the Speakers quarters and CAFTA joined the 200-year-old echo of tough votes long forgotten.
    What a sorry tale (and to help our congressman fight to help develop new jobs and keep the ones we have that are left, click here).
  • Monday, September 20, 2010

    Monday Stuff

    It's us versus the investor class, people, and I wish I could say we're winning (here - campaign finance reform including public-only financing of campaigns would be an important step, but it's just the tip of the proverbial iceberg)...

    ...and you know "C.O.D." has a problem when the Wiccans are mad at her (here - sorry about the cutesy graphic...couldn't find a better video of this great song).

    Monday Mashup Part Two (9/20/10)

    (I also posted here – also, no posting on Wednesday, and I don’t know about Thursday either.)

  • There has been a lot of attention, quite rightly, on Delaware Repug U.S. Senate candidate Christine (“Witchy Woman”) O’Donnell, but John Feehery reminds us here that that doesn’t mean that we should just assume Chris Coons will skate to Washington in November…

    Chris Coons is terrible. He has been terrible when it comes to protecting the taxpayers and the fiscal integrity of the county he currently runs. According to a National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) analysis: “As New Castle County’s spending skyrocketed by 10 percent under Coons’s leadership, he shifted the burden for his irresponsibility to taxpayers with three massive property tax hikes of 5 percent, 17.5 percent and 25 percent respectively. In 2008, Fitch Ratings downgraded the county’s ‘rating outlook’ from stable to negative because the county’s cash balances were decreasing under Coons’s reckless stewardship.”
    Yeah, well, that’s about what you would expect a Repug to say given the fact that tax receipts declined along with matching federal dollars for Delaware and, like just about everywhere in this country, Coons had to find a way to provide existing services for less.

    From here…

    Republicans are likely to make hay out of a budget crisis Coons endured as a two-term New Castle Executive. Coons raised property taxes by 25 percent and laid off employees, although he said those actions were necessary to maintain the county's triple-A bond rating.

    “We delivered a budget on time and with a real minimum of rancor,” he said. “That encouraged me in my gut feeling that this is a community of grown-ups — people who expect their elected officials to talk directly to them and are willing to make hard choices.” Giroux, Greg, CQ Politics, "Storming the Castle: Democrats Believe Coons Can Win," April 15, 2010(2)Giroux, Greg, CQ Politics, "Storming the Castle: Democrats Believe Coons Can Win," April 15, 2010
    And as noted here, Coons supports a lifelong ban on senators becoming lobbyists (works for me – I would say that this is an idea whose time has definitely come).

  • Next, this post from The Hill tells us the following (here)…

    Often the basis for jokes, it should not be forgotten that vote fraud is a serious problem. An American is stripped of her civil rights every time vote fraud occurs. The injury is felt when her legally cast vote is cancelled out by the fraudulently cast vote. This leads to the core American belief of “one person, one vote” becoming a myth and places the outcomes of elections in doubt as vote fraud pervades our election process. Contrary to the belief of some, vote fraud is not a victimless crime.

    Since the start of this century, a myriad of characters have engaged in concerted efforts to steal elections by way of vote fraud. In 2000, there was the New York socialite using cigarettes to encourage the less fortunate to vote for Al Gore.
    I should say that, personally, I find nothing funny whatsoever about vote fraud, whether it is real or (as it frequently is) imagined (the quintessential Repug issue where they yell that they’re being oppressed when in fact they are the ones doing the oppressing).

    And as proof, I give you the following here (from Wisconsin, the state where the cigarette anecdote came from)…

    A massive, coordinated and illegal plan to suppress Wisconsin voter turnout in November was exposed today by One Wisconsin Now (OWN).

    The plan, targeting minority voters and students, is a joint effort of the Republican Party, Americans for Prosperity, and Tea Party groups. OWN has somehow obtained both copies of the plan and a recording of a meeting at which it was discussed, both available on a new website,

    OWN Executive Director Scot Ross said the group will request investigations by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, as well as the Wisconsin Attorney General’s Election Integrity Task Force and the Government Accountability Board, to insure the right to vote is not stolen by these plans.

    The term for what the right-wing intends to do is called "vote caging," and involves sending mail to addresses on voter lists and using returned mail to challenge voters at the polls on election day.

    The result? Some voters are forced to cast provisional ballots, which require them to follow-up the day after an election for the ballot to be counted. Historically, about 35% of all provisional ballots are never counted.

    Voters who have no reason to think their registrations will be challenged at the polling place may not have the required material to complete an Election Day registration, so the voter will be turned away or sent home to get more documents.
    Gosh, teabaggers helping to commit vote fraud for real! And in collusion with the Repugs (and don’t tell the teabaggers that they’re basically Repugs in disguise, even though, based on the little they know of the issues, they really are).

  • Also, we have the following from Tucker Carlson’s crayon scribble page (here)…

    Tight credit, reduced spending, and a host of symptoms of the poor economy have pummeled businesses large and small, and workers are feeling it with 9.6 percent unemployment. Unable to find credit to expand or even endure bad times and unable to find customers willing to spend, companies are forced to lay off workers. Two hundred employees of a plant in Winchester, Va., will soon join the millions of American unemployed.

    The Winchester 200 weren’t working for a small, struggling company. In fact, their employer, GE, is one of the world’s most robust corporations. They weren’t manufacturing high-end computers, super colliders, or luxury consumer goods Americans don’t feel they need or can afford. Instead, their product is on the shopping list of tens of thousands of Americans at this very moment. They made “old-fashioned” incandescent light bulbs. They have lost their jobs not through market failure but because Washington policy makers capriciously decided to give them the boot.
    This was written by U.S. House Repugs Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee and “Smokey Joe” Barton and Michael Burgess of Texas, who have introduced H.R. 6144, the Better Use of Light Bulbs Act.

    (I would ask that you hold your applause until the end of this post. Thank you.)

    In addition to the fact that this attempt at legislation is like putting a band aid on a compound tibia fracture, it should be noted that the Waxman-Markey energy bill which passed the House but is (altogether now) stuck in the Senate addressed this matter and a host of other energy-related issues.

    As noted here (from last year)…

    This bill would complete America’s transition to a clean energy economy, which was begun in the stimulus (see “EIA projects wind at 5% of U.S. electricity in 2012, all renewables at 14%, thanks to Obama stimulus!“). Within four decades, the vast majority of American’s carbon dioxide emissions and fossil fuel consumption will be replaced by the technologies discussed here: “An introduction to the core climate solutions.”

    This bill makes possible an international deal in Copenhagen this December — as well as a bilateral deal with China, hopefully sooner. Had the bill failed, the chance of humanity avoiding catastrophic climate change would be all but eliminated. As Nobelist Gore wrote earlier today, there was no “backup plan” to Waxman-Markey.

    And there still isn’t, even though, as noted
    here, the bill could save $3,900 per household and created as many as 650,000 new jobs by 2030 (and as noted here, the bill “sets forth a series of energy efficiency programs that target energy reductions and efficiency standards in buildings, lighting and appliances, industrial facilities and public institutions,” so yes, light bulbs are covered).
    And by the way, as noted here, Barton, Blackburn and Burgess all voted No on Waxman-Markey (and I’m trying to resist snark about “dim bulbs,” I should point out).

  • Finally, as noted here in the New York Times yesterday, Crazy Tom Coburn is holding up a food safety bill…

    Many of the gaps in the nation’s food protection system that the bill would close became apparent in the recent recall of 500 million eggs after more than 1,500 people became ill.

    For instance, the F.D.A. never inspected the Iowa egg facilities at the center of the recalls. Even if it had, the agency would not have had the power to order that their eggs be recalled despite conditions it later found to be filthy. And until recently, producers were not required to ensure that their eggs were safe.

    By requiring regular inspections of high-risk facilities, providing the F.D.A. with the power to order recalls and demanding food makers create plans for safe processing, the proposal would change many of the circumstances that led to the illnesses.

    But in a little-known footnote to the egg recall, inspectors from the Agriculture Department regularly visited the Iowa egg facilities to grade the eggs and noted unsanitary conditions but never told the F.D.A. about them. That kind of poor communication and coordination between the government’s main food agencies is routine, and the legislation stalled in the Senate would do little to correct them.

    Nonetheless, mainstream consumer advocates and major food makers are nearly united in calling for passage.
    As noted here, Coburn has received $331,822 in political campaign contributions from “agribusiness” since 1989, as well as $102, 569 from “food processing and sales.”

    That’s one hell of a good “return on investment,” unfortunately.
  • Sunday, September 19, 2010

    More Mikey Jobs Mischief In PA-08

    I just have an update to the last item in this post based on this Courier Times story today...

    Back in 2003, (Mike) Fitzpatrick voted against tax-free status for businesses at the USX Industrial Park. U.S. Steel sought for the site to become a Keystone Opportunity Zone to lure new companies to its park's 1,259 available acres with the promise of 15 years of tax-free status.

    The idea behind an opportunity zone is that being a tax oasis will bring in new businesses and jobs. The Pennsbury School Board and Falls supervisors needed to agree with commissioners.

    The school board was the first to sign on, but township supervisors said they were unwilling to buck public opinion or give up an estimated $88 million in tax revenues.

    A year later, when the plan resurfaced, supervisors agreed but commissioners decided to table a vote for what Commissioner Charley Martin described as "inadequate" compensation from U.S. Steel.

    Finally, in May 2004, the measure passed with Fitzpatrick abstaining. He said he was advised not to vote because his employer, the law firm Saul Ewing, was working with a client on a land deal with U.S. Steel.

    "Fitzpatrick had his chance to stand up for Bucks County workers and help create jobs," Miller said. "Instead, he turned his back on them."

    She also took issue with his "conflict of interest" claim.

    "Fitzpatrick was the lead negotiator on the deal for a year and had already taken votes on the tax incentive proposal just days earlier," Miller said. "Fitzpatrick can make excuses, but the bottom line is that he voted against jobs for Bucks County."

    Fitzpatrick's response: "I voted in 2003 exactly as Commissioner Miller voted."

    On Friday, Miller said she couldn't recall her 2003 vote. But a story from the meeting found in this newspaper's archives said the vote was unanimous.

    Miller also agreed with Fitzpatrick and Martin later to table the vote. That led to U.S. Steel increasing its offer from $95,000 to $140,000 annually over the zone's lifetime.

    During the months of meetings, several union representatives attended in support of the KOZ.

    Critics, however, called the zone unnecessary corporate welfare that would only lure businesses from nearby areas, leaving the job situation flat but costing communities tax dollars that would need to be made up elsewhere.

    One of those against KOZ was then Lower Makefield supervisor Steve Santarsiero, a Democrat and now a state representative.

    Supervisors believed KOZ might shift a tax burden onto residents in many area townships, including theirs, and also lead to businesses leaving Lower Makefield and other area municipalities.

    Fitzpatrick, however, said in 1996 he led the economic task force to create the county's first enterprise zone and in May 2004 would have voted for KOZ.

    Murphy wasn't buying it. "If Fitzpatrick had his way, this would still be an economic and environmental brownfield instead of a growing hub for manufacturing and green energy companies," he said. "We can't afford to put Fitzpatrick back in charge and return to the failed policies of the past."
    I think former Bucks County Commissioner Sandra Miller put her foot in it a bit, shall we say, by criticizing Mikey’s KOZ vote in 2003 when she voted the same way herself. But Sandra Miller isn’t running for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010. Mike Fitzpatrick is, however.

    Also, Fitzpatrick's claim that he would have voted for KOZ when he plainly did not in 2004 is more of Mikey’s typical double talk.

    All of which is even more reason to support our incumbent Democratic congressman by clicking here.