Senate Endorsement

Its that time again, formal endorsements before Tuesday’s vote.  For the U.S. Senate I endorse Joe Sestak.  I’ve been in Joe’s corner since before he announced and since that time I simply became more and more impressed with this man.  I began covering Congressman Sestak and attended and covered summits he held for veterans and small businesses in his district.  As it appeared Arlen Specter would be ushered to a position as a Democrat after fighting progressive legislation for thirty years it became essential that a real progressive step up this time.

That’s what Congressman Sestak did.  He stepped up first for 31 years in the Navy retiring as a three star Admiral.  He knows what public service is as opposed to serving Wall Street.  He is there on almost every issue important to progressives save single payer health care.  Pat Toomey on the other hand is a Tea Party fringe extremist who would dismantle our government, eliminate Social Security along with countless other programs serving the people and insure that Wall Street continues running this country instead of us.  Congress has become a wholly owned subsidiary of Wall Street and its time to take it back.

Character is the most important thing in someone for high office.  Joe Sestak has as strong a character as anyone I’ve ever met in politics.  Vote for Joe on Tuesday.

It’s time to VOTE…or else!

Tuesday,  November 2nd, 2010, a date, which could live in infamy, to be added to many others that have been infamous for various reasons.  Election Day 2010 and probably one of the singular most important Election Days we’ve had in 20 years.  Yes, 2008 was big and it was all about our want of change and we started to get that, but when it didn’t come fast enough or in the ways in which we thought it ought to, bolstered by the rampant ramblings of people who are part of the culture that didn’t want change or wants change for the worse, some or many of us began to doubt the change we voted for in 2008, after the previous 8 years of steady decline and woeful failures in government and the business sector.  

So, now we’ve got some rather rabid and quite angry people out there, who should have an honest beef with the ways things have been done for too long and the relative inaction that dominates Congress, but they too have been taken over from within, by some vocal leaders and others who are wolves among the sheep and full of ideas to turn this country into a shadow of its former self whilst telling us and screeching at us that they want to “restore America” and bring moral credibility back to the government.  Of course many of these people also want smaller government, or in some cases whole parts of government, like the education department or several other agencies reduced or wiped out entirely.  

In general, this broader group is called the TEA Party and there are smaller sub-groups within that larger cohort, but most have many shared core values and views and hopes for the future of this country, most of which, if put into practice would do so much more harm than any amount of possible good you could fathom.  

So, come this Tuesday, our nation, its future, and the heritage we’ve inherited from our predecessors and parents and their parents and so on, is hanging in the balance in a real sense.  You, each of you, as voters, this coming Tuesday has the ability, and people like Tom Corbett know it, to use your most important power as a citizen of this country and make the decision as to what direction this country will head or will not.  Tom and perhaps others want to suppress your power to vote, want to keep it at bay, want to do what they can to curb your ability to fairly, freely, and fully decide the elections, so that those who are not likely to succeed in their election get an unfair chance to sneak into an office they do NOT deserve.  

Therefore, it is absolutely important and crucial that each of you get out and vote and do so when you are not hopping mad, angry, and filled with spite for what you feel has not been adequate progress in the last 2 years, knowing that many in Congress stood to obstruct any and all change that was offered.  Instead, become reasonably informed about the candidates, the effect of what electing persons who are utter hypocrites and detached from what their commercials say versus what they share with people and others on the campaign trail to get votes.  

Bottomline, I’m not saying you need to love a Democratic candidate  or candidates, but the mound of evidence and problems that have been dogging the TEA Party candidates and some GOP candidates should lead most people to realize that a vote FOR a Democrat right now is far less of a problem than getting risky and following your anger into the voting booth and onto the front page of Wednesday’s paper.  

We cannot stand idly by, we cannot let weather, bad political commercials, or a sense of disenchantment or simply a lack of desire to vote win on Tuesday or we WILL all LOSE.  

We need reform, we need change, but what’s being offered in that line right now is NOT change we either need or want and in time we may get groups who are not so easily taken over, but for now the TEA Party candidates in particular are NOT people you want to elect at all.

President Obama Reacts to Terror Threat

On the eve of Congressional mid term elections Al Qaeda in Yemen attempted to send two package bombs via cargo plane to the U.S.  President Obama released this statement regarding the threat:


James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

4:22 P.M. EDT

    THE PRESIDENT:  Good afternoon, everybody.  I want to briefly update the American people on a credible terrorist threat against our country, and the actions that we’re taking with our friends and our partners to respond to it.

    Last night and earlier today, our intelligence and law enforcement professionals, working with our friends and allies, identified two suspicious packages bound for the United States — specifically, two places of Jewish worship in Chicago.  Those packages had been located in Dubai and East Midlands Airport in the United Kingdom.  An initial examination of those packages has determined that they do apparently contain explosive material.

    I was alerted to this threat last night by my top counterterrorism advisor, John Brennan.  I directed the Department of Homeland Security and all our law enforcement and intelligence agencies to take whatever steps are necessary to protect our citizens from this type of attack.  Those measures led to additional screening of some planes in Newark and Philadelphia.

    The Department of Homeland Security is also taking steps to enhance the safety of air travel, including additional cargo screening.  We will continue to pursue additional protective measures for as long as it takes to ensure the safety and security of our citizens.

    I’ve also directed that we spare no effort in investigating the origins of these suspicious packages and their connection to any additional terrorist plotting.  Although we are still pursuing all the facts, we do know that the packages originated in Yemen.  We also know that al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, a terrorist group based in Yemen, continues to plan attacks against our homeland, our citizens, and our friends and allies.

    John Brennan, who you will be hearing from, spoke with President Saleh of Yemen today about the seriousness of this threat, and President Saleh pledged the full cooperation of the Yemeni government in this investigation.

    Going forward, we will continue to strengthen our cooperation with the Yemeni government to disrupt plotting by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and to destroy this al Qaeda affiliate.  We’ll also continue our efforts to strengthen a more stable, secure and prosperous Yemen so that terrorist groups do not have the time and space they need to plan attacks from within its borders.

    The events of the past 24 hours underscores the necessity of remaining vigilant against terrorism.  As usual, our intelligence, law enforcement and Homeland Security professionals have served with extraordinary skill and resolve and with the commitment that their enormous responsibilities demand.  We’re also coordinating closely and effectively with our friends and our allies, who are essential to this fight.

    As we obtain more information we will keep the public fully informed.  But at this stage, the American people should know that the counterterrorism professionals are taking this threat very seriously and are taking all necessary and prudent steps to ensure our security.  And the American people should be confident that we will not waver in our resolve to defeat al Qaeda and its affiliates and to root out violent extremism in all its forms.

    Thank you very much.

Pat “Trick” Toomey Embraces His Inner Tea Partier

Pat Toomey, the original Tea Party candidate who has openly courted the extreme fringe people openly embraced them during a radio interview:

“In my experience, the Tea Party has been just an amazing organization – not an organization, that wouldn’t be their way to describe it. It’s just a movement, it’s a group of folks who come from all walks of life, in my experience mostly middle class people who love this country. They’re concerned about its future, they’re very concerned about the debt that their kids are going to have to pay back and they decided to do something about it. They’re justifiably skeptical about both parties and I understand that. But I think it’s a very constructive movement, because what they can do is they can force politicians to get spending under control, to remember that opportunity really comes from the private sector, that politicians work for the public, not the other way around. These folks in my experience have been a very constructive force in this cycle.”

Corbett: Supress the Vote in Philadelphia Tuesday

Pennsylvania’s Attorney General urged his supporters today to suppress the Democratic vote Tuesday in Philadelphia.  As AG it is his sworn duty to uphold and protect voting rights, not suppress them.  This, of course, is the same Tom Corbett who has repeatedly refused to comply with the state Open Records Law.  Here’s what he said:

“We want to make sure that they don’t get 50 percent,” Corbett said, motioning downward with his hand. “Keep that down.”

Isn’t it time the FBI began an investigation of the Attorney General?

Mike Kelly’s Dealership Has Open Judgments

Mike Kelly, the GOP candidate for Congress in PA-03 says if you elect him to Congress “Mike vouches to run Washington like his business.

That wouldn’t be very well.  A bit of research shows that Mike Kelly’s automobile dealership in Butler has three open legal judgments against it.  That means three different entities, having sued Mike Kelly Chevrolet-Cadillac (and Olds-Geo) have yet to be paid.  If Mike Kelly doesn’t pay his bills, especially court ordered bills, why would he make a good Congressman for Northwestern Pennsylvania?

Here are the details:

Creditor:  John J Porterfield owed $2,307.44 since 1/12/05  docket # CV-00000053-2001-C2

Creditor:  Village Profile/Progressive Publishing Inc. owed $1,595.00 since 6/28/01

docket # SC-00010671-2001-

Creditor:  Jeffrey L Leech, owed $356.13 since 1/29/01  docket # CV-00000053-2001-C2

I contacted Mike Kelly for Congress for an explanation and as to whether the dealership has satisfied these open judgments.  Thus far they have not responded.

Why Does Pat “Trick” Toomey Hate the Constitution?

Pat Toomey and his friends in Washington are flooding our televisions screens with dark images and scare tactics about Joe Sestak’s upholding of the constitution.  The ad tells us not to trust Sestak because he believes terrorists should be tried in civil courts.  It is fear mongering of the lowest sort because while they claim to cherish the constitution they are refusing to abide by it.

In America we are a land ruled by laws.  The foundation of these laws is the constitution.  While Toomey’s Tea Party compatriots attend rallies clutching their pocket size editions and claim we have strayed from it at the same time they are trashing it on these TV commercials.  They can’t have it both ways. Is Toomey for the constitution or against it?

The document clearly establishes rights of all people in this country to due process, freedom to confront witnesses, freedom from torture and right to counsel.  This holds for EVERYONE.  We have tried many terrorists in American civil courts under the laws of our land.  We are imprisoning many terrorists as dangerous as Khalid Sheik Muhammed.  KSM is no different than any other criminal who has committed crimes in this country and who have been duly tried in this country.  This is what our constitution demands.  Pat Toomey is condemning Joe Sestak though for saying we must follow our laws and our constitution.  Why does Pat Toomey not trust the American legal system?  Why is he trying to subvert the constitution?

Sons of Immigrants in NEPA

Northeastern Pennsylvania was settled by immigrants who came principally from Ireland, wales and Poland.  You can travel through coal country and see pierogi restaurants, Irish bars and bakeries selling Welsh cookies.  The Wilkes-Barre area is a hub of what once was a formidable coal mining industry.  Once upon a time though the Irish, Welsh and Polish immigrants competed for jobs and settled within their own ethnic neighborhoods and competed in everything.  Welsh boys fought Irish boys while their fathers fought for jobs in the mines.

Today I’m reminded of those days as I traveled back to Nanticoke Monday for a Kanjorski for Congress event.  I was actually wishing for a Joe Biden appearance because we three represent the sons of those three groups.  Joe Biden is descended from Irish immigrants in the Scranton area, Kanjorski from Polish immigrants in Nanticoke and me from Welsh immigrants in Plymouth.  Nanticoke and Plymouth were (and I assume, still are) archrivals.  As three sons of area immigrants Joe Biden, Paul Kanjorski and I are on the same side these days.  We three are fighting collectively for worker’s rights, freedoms and welfare.  There are no divisions from those old days when the three groups fought each other rather than the business elites who kept everyone down.

We also represent the success of several generations of our immigrant families.  Biden has risen to be Vice President of the nation, Kanjorski a powerful and influential Congressman bringing sorely needed jobs to a depressed area and me, I humbly write and cover their successes.  We all are united in one goal:  not allowing immigrant basher Lou Barletta take all of this away.

Lou made himself famous by regular appearances on the infamous Lou Dobbs show on CNN where together they bashed immigrants and warned Americans of the threat these people posed to the American Dream.  Well Wall Street killed the American Dream under Ronald Reagan and anyone who thinks it still exists is either a gifted athlete or a fantastical dreamer divorced from reality.  These two wound up with blood on their hands when three high school football players in Shenandoah took their words to heart and beat a Mexican man to death for being Mexican.

Lou Dobbs and Lou Barletta are the worst sort of demagogues who prey on immigrants for their own political and financial fortunes.  They care not for whom they hurt.  Now Lou Barletta wants Paul Kanjorski’s House seat.  The son of Polish immigrants who has risen to such heights is being threatened by someone who has forsaken his own immigrant past to condemn others.  Are we going to allow this?  Are we going to look at all those sons and daughters of Welsh, Irish and Polish ancestry whose grandparents dared cross the ocean in search of a better life to fall to the fear mongering of a devilish demagogue?  Not if Joe, Paul and I have anything to say about it.  We’re proud we’re from Northeastern Pennsylvania, proud of what we’ve accomplished and proud to hold the flag we share together regardless of our origins.  Send Paul Kanjorski back to Congress where he can finish his fine work.

Accountable to Whom? Constituents or Joe Scarnati?

Would you vote for someone whose campaign financing came from their constituents or from a select (3) group of elitists from Harrisburg?  This is the choice voters in State Senate District 46 will make next Tuesday.  While Tim Solobay has collected campaign contributions from local constituents in whatever amounts they can afford Republican Vanderman has been funded by three entities in Harrisburg:  powerful Senator Joe Scarnati, the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee and the Republican Party of Pennsylvania.  This to the tune of $339,000+ just from July through October.  The money has poured into Vanderman’s campaign while he hasn’t filed a single state campaign finance report in this interim meaning he hasn’t spent over $250.  

If Kris Vanderman gets to the State Senate in January to whom will he beholden his constituents or Sen. Scarnati?  Who will he be serving, the people of the 46th District or Joe Scarnati?  Solobay has this to say about it all:  “We have run a clean campaign focusing on the issues that matter to voters in southwestern PA.  Mr. Vanderman has been claiming that he wants to end politics as usual, but it looks like he has been taking money from the usual politicians and fat-cat party bosses this whole time.”


Haliburton must be shut down….right???

HOUSTON (Reuters) – BP Plc and Halliburton Co, the contractor who cemented the blown-out Macondo well, ignored cement design flaws weeks before the disaster that sparked the worst U.S. offshore oil spill, a White House panel said on Thursday.

Both Halliburton and BP were aware of flaws in the cement slurry, similar to the one used to seal the well, as early as March 8, “but neither acted upon that data,” according to the National Oil Spill Commission’s chief counsel, Fred Bartlit.

Haliburton had run a series of tests that showed the material was unstable, the letter said.

So, using the logic that people were throwing about that BP should be utterly destroyed, since we now know that Haliburton was aware of problems and willfully choose to ignore them, they too must be destroyed….right?

OR….does Haliburton get a pass because they’re an “American Company”?

Oh.. an look, the report goes on….

The industry has developed tests to identify faulty cement jobs in offshore wells, but “BP and/or Transocean personnel misinterpreted or chose not to conduct such tests at the Macondo well,” Bartlit wrote.

Well now that raises the spectre that Transocean might bear some fault here too. I guess that means they have to be destroyed as well. Oh but wait…they’re an American company too. Oh Fooey!

Accidents are terrible and tragic and we all feel for everyone who suffered in the Gulf oil spill but especially for the families of the 11 men who died. But, as I suspected, it’s not likely that BP has sole responsibility here. Double Fooey! Right?