News & Notes January 28, 2010

Tomorrow is the first of the two days for the Pennsylvania Progressive Summit.  Several hundred progressives from across our Commonwealth and some from parts hither and yon will convene in Harrisburg.  There will be debates, forums, panels, speeches and lots of networking happening.  Several candidates are holding receptions and if you aren’t there you’ll be missing a valuable opportunity to learn things and meet people.  I won’t have tons of time for blogging but I hope to cover as much as I can and catch up when I get home Sunday.

The following weekend is the Democratic State Committee meeting in Lancaster.  It too will be crawling with candidates seeking the two thirds vote for endorsement as the Party’s pick for Senator or Governor.

New polls out this week show that Joe Sestak needs to begin his media campaign.  Working his tail off traveling the state visiting group after group just won’t work.  I recall how Chuck Pennacchio did well over 220 such events but didn’t have the money to get on television and radio.  Running statewide means having to use media to get your message out to the masses.  Pennsylvania simply is too large a state to do it small group by small group.  Joe has to establish who he is, why he’s running and build name recognition state wide and do it soon.  Failing to do could dry up his cash as donors look at these poll numbers.

Sen. Musto of Luzerne County is the latest legislator to announce his retirement from Harrisburg.  This is a solidly Democratic county but no seat is safe this year.  Dems must get something productive done to remotivate their disenchanted and angry base.

So the explanation for James O’Keefe’s attempt to bug Mary Landrieu’s phones is that it was a “dumb stunt” doesn’t wash even though that could be this guy’s middle name.  This was a serious crime.

Don’t buy a used car in Virginia.  Under their new Governor Bob McDonnell, you saw him make the GOP response last night complaining about governmental regulation of business, used car dealers can now sell water damaged cars from Katrina without disclosing the damage if it is less than $5000.  And he wonders why Republicans are out of the mainstream.

It was good to listen to the President discuss Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell last night but he didn’t get into specifics or advocate for ENDA or the repeal of DOMA.  He has a long way to go to receive a passing grade on LGBT issues.

Did you see the reaction of Justice Samuel Alito when the President castigated the Supremes?  Remember that Sen. Specter was instrumental in putting him on the Court also.  These mistakes are monumental and illustrate we cannot trust him for another term in the Senate.

“There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people.”  I have a button with this Howard Zinn quote.  The historian passed away yesterday and will be sorely missed by all those who treasure true accounts of history.  Zinn reminded us of our genocide of Native Americans, the lies and deceptions behind our wars of imperialism and reminded us that papering over the ugly parts of our history only means we are doomed to repeat them.

Apple unveiled its new tablet computer yesterday.  The immediate negative responses to the name are swamping any publicity they expected.  This was a monumental marketing mistake on the order of “New Coke.”  I’ll wait for the next model, hopefully smaller, called the MiniPad.  I know some women who prefer to wit for the MaxiPad.  This was one douchebag marketing mistake.

Holden Caulfield will live forever because of the genius of J.D. Salinger who also passed away.  The recluse hadn’t published in forever and let’s hope he didn’t just idle away the hours in his solitude.  Hopefully a stash of new literature will be his legacy beyond “Catcher in the Rye.”

PoliticsPA is citing an article from Lehigh Valley Ramblings saying John Morganelli is saying Dan Onorato supported Tom Corbett in 2008.  Morganelli ran against Corbett for Attorney General and got no help from the Allegheny County Executive.  In fact Morganelli says he took several fundraising trips to Pittsburgh only to find empty rooms.  Canny way to sabotage someone’s campaign without coming right out front.  If this is true it could seriously derail Onorato’s march to the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.

There’s absolutely no truth to the rumor that Aramark has hired Dave Raymond to be their new mascot:  a giant, personable, huggable mouse.  Hey, if you can’t get rid of the little critters you need to make them likable.

The AFL-CIO is considering supporting primary challengers to Blue Dog Democrats not voting with working people.  This is what I first reported last month when major labor leaders told me how upset they are with Congressmen like Jason Altmire and Tim Holden.  I asked if they’d support and fund primary challengers and they took the conversation off the record.  Today’s report in The National Journal reveals some of what they told me that afternoon.

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