How Conservatives Really Control the Media

Sean Hannity calling President Obama on Fox News Channel a “socialist” every night in prime time on the Fox News Chanel is only the visible tip of the conservative propaganda iceberg. The Right’s real power lies in its ability to shape the narrative and define what is fair and out of bounds for the rest of the media.

Last week MSNBC reported the following:

“So you may not hear Mitt Romney say ‘Keep America American’ anymore, because it was a rallying cry for the KKK group, intimidation against blacks, gays and Jews, and the progressive AMERICAblog was the first to catch on to that.”

Within hours, so-called liberals at MSNBC like Chris Matthews and Al Sharpton were falling over themselves to see who could offer the most debasing, abject apology to Mitt Romney.

Predictably, the rest of the so-called mainstream media and more of the “Liberal Media Establishment” weighed in on the issue, all to denounce MSNBC and to portray Romney as an innocent victim.

As recent as last night, Bill O’Reilly and fellow right-wing media ideologist Bernard Goldberg hashed over the affair in Prime Time. The focus of their debate was whether NBC did enough in their apologizing or whether they were still evil because of their so-called liberal bias.

The otherwise normally sensible describes the story this way:

“It turns out, the (MSNBC’s) story was not exactly true. …”

There is only one little problem with all of this hysteria. MSNBC’s story that Romney said “keep America American” and that this was a phrase used by the Klan appears to be 100% factual and truthful!

The Romney campaign initially refused to respond to this story for two days. Finally, they claimed that Romney never said “Keep America, American.” They claim he said “Keep America, America.” The central point of evidence is a video you can see here.…

When I play the video to various people, most claim they hear Romney saying “Keep America American” (I definitely do). But to be fair, a few do hear Romney saying “Keep America America.” But here’s what isn’t a close call. The Los Angeles Times reporter on December 9, 2011 reported that Romney said this: “We have on one side a president who wants to transform America into a European-style nation, and you have on the other hand someone like myself that wants to turn around America and keep America American with the principals that made us the greatest nation on Earth. And I will do that with your help.”

Was the reporter ever contacted by the Romney campaign demanding a retraction? Are there comments on the LATimes website at the time of the story (this was before the controversy broke out)?

No and no.

So now we are supposed to believe that The Los Angeles Times reporter just makes up stuff and that most people who hear Romney on this video with their own ears saying “Keep America American” should disbelieve their own ears and instead put their trust in the Romney campaign’s press release.

This stretches credulity.

Another school of thought in most of the media reporters is that MSNBC was horribly irresponsible for not providing more context to the story, presumably to cast Romney in a more favorable light.

Fair enough; let’s parse the phrase “Keep America American.” After all, it truly would be unfair to pick a random phrase like “I love America” or “I am a vegetarian” and show that the Klan or a Nazi had once used the phrase. But “Keep America American” is not that general. It’s not a phrase that easily floats from everyone’s mouth. The phrase had a specific meaning in the 1920s and it has one today. The similarity is that in both cases, what it means is this “My ideas and principles are good and the ideals and values of people who oppose us are bad. And these ideas are bad because they got their ideas from other countries and other parts of the world. We should reject their ideas and values not just because they are bad but specifically because their ideas originated from other parts of the world.”

It doesn’t matter how you slice or dice it, the phrase “Keep America American” is a rhetorical cheap shot used by demagogues in the act of committing demagoguery. No, it doesn’t mean Romney is a closet Klansman, but it does mean he uses rhetorical cheap shots that have a long tradition and it’s fair game to point out their tradition.

So are we being unfair to Romney for looking at the phrase he used and inferring one set of ideas when he was really implying something else? NO. Just look at the full quote above. Romney is rejecting Obama and his ideas, specifically because Obama’s ideas are European. That’s what makes them bad, they aren’t from America-get it?

What O’Reilly and all of the right wing echo chamber have been doing for the last week is tending to the media landscape. And what they have done, to a remarkable degree of success, is to say that any suggestion of racism among prominent republicans is out of bounds. In the conservative media establishment’s worldview, there is no such thing as racism among conservatives. Only liberals can be racist. Therefore any story that hints at or suggests that a conservative is racist is inherently wrong and demands an immediate denunciation and retraction.

This bit of zeitgeist shaping was done with such efficiency and collaboration that it left the other side helpless.

In the conservative world view, it is quite Ok to brand Obama a “socialist” or even a “communist” if he does something so radical as suggesting Richard Nixon’s healthcare plan. Never mind that socialism and communism are hated ideologies by most Americans and is represented by regimes such as Cambodia’s where 7 million people were slaughtered by a genocidal communist. No, that’s considered completely fair, and normal because, well, because that’s what every conservative gets away with in the media every day.

But no one is ever allowed to compare any extreme Republican rhetoric with, say, fascists or racists. That’s considered automatically beyond the pale. There is an un-written rule imposed by the conservative media establishment and accepted by even liberal mainstream media:

“Thou shalt not accuse any Republican of doing anything even mildly racist or even racist-friendly unless you can capture video tape of the republican saying ‘I hate all black people and want to string them all up and kill them!'”

The result is a media climate where any ambitious, smart reporter pulls his/her punches when reporting on Republicans. Don’t report anything that can tie a Republican to an extremist cause or organization, even if the facts bear it out. Instead, use that time to report that Obama isn’t a citizen or that Bill Clinton made a fortune on Whitewater or that House Democrats want to wage “class warfare” because they want to raises taxes to the same rates they were in 1994.

The strongest form of power is away the subtlest and Conservatives have both overt and subtle power to get the media, all the media, to sell their propaganda.

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Indefinite Detention

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) passed this week funding The Pentagon for a staggering $662 billion for the fiscal year.  That total wasn’t the focus of the bill however.  Provisions inserted by Carl Levin and John McCain, at the request of the Obama Administration, say a president can declare anyone an “enemy combatant” and have our military detain and imprison us without trial indefinitely.  This marks the end of democracy in America if any leader can arbitrarily arrest a citizen and hold them without trial forever.  These are police state tactics.

Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware argued on Up With Chris this morning on MSNBC that he voted for the bill for several reasons.  First he didn’t want to defund the Defense Department while the nation is at war.  His second reason was that since, statutorily Congress cannot enact such legislation which contradicts the constitution, the Supreme Court will strike it down.  Neither argument is valid.

First, defund the The Pentagon and we won’t be “at war” any longer.  This is the most direct way to bring an end to a bad war where we have no clear mission, Osama has been eliminated along with 22 of the top 30 Al Qaeda leaders and we are doing harm than good to our strategic national security.

On his second argument one cannot assume the Roberts Court would overturn such provisions.  Meanwhile great harm can be done.  That wouldn’t stop a president from implementing these powers and start arresting Occupy protesters for example.  They would disappear to, who knows where?  Gitmo?  One of those secret CIA prisons overseas?  We’d never know and, with no access to legal counsel the detainees couldn’t even challenge the constitutionality of their arrests.  Congress has passed all sorts of unconstitutional legislation since 9/11:  the USA PATRIOT Act, expanded FISA abuse, the wiretapping of everyone’s communications and examination of billions of financial transactions and nothing yet has been overturned by SCOTUS.  So that argument has no merit whatsoever.

Under this law you could contribute funds to a religious charity and, if, unknown to you, the money was transferred to a person or body deemed to be hostile or terroristic, you could be arrested and disappear ala Salvadore Allende style in Chile.

America has become yet another banana republic controlled by tyrants.  Both Bob Casey and Pat Toomey voted for this.  What will you do about it?

MSNBC Becomes Apologist for Mitt Romney’s Klan Quotes

Right-wing lunacy has won again! MSNBC yesterday forced itself to apologize for telling the truth about Mitt Romney’s rhetorical ties to the Ku Klux Klan.

Here’s the background: The good folks at reported that Mitt Romney has again used the phrase “keep America American” in a recent speech. The journalists at the site then factually noted that this was a phrase widely used by Ku Klux Klansman in the 1920 and was even used in their recruitment literature. Further, it was noted that Romney has a nasty habit of smearing Obama on any policy disagreement by claiming Obama “wants to transform America into a European style nation.” Get it, Obama is un-American if he wants, say, basic health care common to, say, Austria. Yet conservatives who routinely cite their belief in a field of economics founded in, say, Austria, are claimed by Romney and other conservatives to be good, right-thinking Americans.

Next, here is what MSNBC reported yesterday:

“So you may not hear Mitt Romney say “Keep America American” anymore, because it was a rallying cry for the KKK group, and intimidation against blacks, gays and Jews, and the progressive AMERICAblog was the first to catch on to that.”

As Americablog has since pointed out, MSNBC merely reported two indisputable facts: 1. The phrase Keep America American” was a phrase widely used by the Klan. 2. Romney has used this phrase and is unlikely to use it again.

I will give a free dinner on me to any reader who can point out the factual errors in that report. Typically, when news organizations make obsequious apologies, it is for getting facts wrong, not getting facts 100% right, as in this case.

So how did the ostensibly pro-Democratic Chris Matthews react to this news report? Here’s what Matthews said:

“It was irresponsible and incendiary of us to do this and it showed an appalling lack of judgment. We apologize; we really do, to the Romney Campaign.”

So in the Chris Matthews/MSNBC worldview, it’s not irresponsible or incendiary for a presidential candidate of the conservative party to pander to conservative white voters by using the rhetoric of the Klan. It is irresponsible and incendiary of a news organization to report well-documented facts that might make a Republican candidate look bad.

Nor does Matthews think it is incendiary for Romney to say things like this: “he (Obama) takes his political inspiration from Europe, and from the socialist-democrats in Europe.”

This is insanity!

Of course I can understand MSNBC’s position. After all, why spend valuable time reporting actual facts about Republican Presidential candidates when it’s so much more fun to report “debates” on utter nonsense on how Obama was born in Kenya,  how Obama is a Muslim, and how Obama wages class warfare and numerous other right-wing memes.

Romney, to his credit, is basically the only Republican candidate who hasn’t called Obama a socialist or communist. So we are supposed to grade him as the enlightened one and so it’s supposed to be unfair to make him look bad on these sorts of things. After all, nobody, myself included, really things that Romney is a bigot or endorses Klan philosophies. But the problem is that a lot of dangerous demagogues of the past didn’t really believe their own demagoguery. They used it because it worked.

It’s important to note that people who knew George Wallace didn’t think he was really a racist. It’s just that in his first gubernatorial Wallace ran as a liberal, integrationist on race relations and lost. So he simply switched positions for pragmatic reasons and vowed that he would “never be out-nigg*!d again.” Hmm…a pragmatic politician who first ran as a liberal and then moved right out of pragmatic concerns…sound familiar?

We are supposed to give Romney a pass because compared to the Rush Limbaugh/Glenn Beck/Mark Levin/Sean Hannity/Herman Cain/Newt Gingrich demagogues on the right who routinely traffic in socialistic/communistic/un-American slurs, Romney looks like a flaming liberal. But that is a low bar indeed.

This whole sordid episode is a perfect example of how the right-wing establishment has completely taken over the media in the US. Fox News is merely the clubhouse. But make no mistake about it, the ten gazillion right wing “think tanks,” media criticism institutes, talk show hosts, bloggers and pundits, have been “working the refs” (as right-winger William Kristol once conceded) for so long that all mainstream reporters and hosts and even supposed Democratic host and pundits have been cowed.

We now live in world where the only valid criticism of politicians is when it is directed at Democrats. Criticism of Republicans is, ipso facto, illegitimate and therefore must be retracted immediately, as happened yesterday.

I’m half-way tempted to produce a 30-second anti-Romney attack TV ad using footage of his “keep America American” sound bites and then juxtaposing it with quotes and a voiceover from KKK literature, but given, shall we say, the “proclivities” of the Tea Party, that might actually help Romney win the nomination.

News & Notes September 28, 2011

I got moved to the new house over the weekend but am still ferrying carloads of small things so my schedule is kind of busy right now.  The desktop system isn’t set up yet so I’m dependent on my laptop and the dining room table.  Hopefully by next week I’ll be somewhat back to normal.  It doesn’t appear there’s a way to disassemble the old desk/hutch so I’m shopping for something new.

Michelle Bachmann says she’d eliminate all taxes as president.  That means she’d eliminate all government.

Rick Santorum is moving ahead of Bachmann and some of the other dwarfs in the Snow White GOP field.  Have people forgotten he wants to establish a Big Government to intrude into your sex life and tell you what you can and cannot do with your partner in bed?  Santorum believes every sex act must be vaginal intercourse without contraception so we can continue overpopulating the planet.  Remember he’s a member of the Roman Catholic cult Opus Dei.  He would report to the Pope.

Could next year’s election be stolen?  It turns out Diebold electronic voting machines can be hacked with $10 worth of materials.  A majority of Pennsylvanians will vote on machines which can be hacked to rig an election.  No wonder half of us no longer even vote.  The system is becoming more and more corrupt.

New census data out shows 130,000 same sex married couples and 514,000 living in long term relationships but unable to wed.

It also shows the poorest city in America is our own Reading, PA.  It surprises no one here that Reading now has the highest percentage of residents living in poverty.  One need only drive through the City to see the condition of its residents.  Crime is skyrocketing and anyone who has been able to flee Reading has already.

In the “tell me something I don’t already know” department a BBC interview is getting attention for the blunt words said about the economy:

I’ve been saying for a while that anyone with money in the market is a fool because the game is rigged by Wall Street insiders.  It is obvious to me a collapse of global proportions is coming because Washington has failed to regulate bankers.  They have failed to do that because Goldman Sachs runs our government.

Lawrence O’Donnell is covering the occupation of Wall Street and the police brutality against protesters:

The baseball season ends today and the Phillies are the best team of the year and enter the playoffs the favorite to win the World Series.  Unfortunately for Pirates fans they’ve endured their 20th consecutive losing season.  The Phils sleepwalked through an eight game losing streak where it appears they allowed St. Louis to sweep a four game series to screw the Braves.  If so those of us who attended those games deserve our money back.

The Eagles, coronated as the “Dream Team” all summer are also sleep walking through their schedule.  I don’t think this is what was meant by “dream team.”  They won’t win until they get an offensive line.

Have you seen the Taco Bell commercial where they brag about using “select grade” beef?  Select is the lowest grade of beef you can buy.

The new season of “Survivor” is on and my readers know I’m a long time Survivor fanatic.  There’s another interesting cast this season and I’ve yet to choose a favorite.  I do like Jim, the marajuana dealer from California.  The Hantz kid is riding his uncle’s coattails but he’s no Russell.  He screwed Coach last week so he’s history.

Gov. Corbett continues to hide from Pennsylvanians, not making public appearances or conducting press briefings.  We all know what he’s trying to hide and this simply makes it obvious.

While in New Mexico last month I did a bit of research into hydrofracking in The Land of Enchantment.  They’ve had it for thrity years with far fewer problems than we’ve had in a short time period.  I went to the office of the State Land Commissioner, a state wide elected office there to make an appointment to talk to some experts.  They not only accommodated me they had me wait a few minutes until two gentlemen came out of a conference room in front of me, answered a few questions and then escorted me up a flight of stairs.  there they introduced me to New Mexico’s state geologist who gave me half an hour on the spot.  Would that happen in Harrisburg?  Never in a million years.

By the way the geologist said if any officials from Pennsylvania want to come to Santa Fe and see how it’s done (effective regulation and taxation) they’re welcome.

MSNBC Violates White House News Embargo

This morning the White House conducted an on the record conference call with members of the credentialed press on the SOTU.  The rules of the call were that all the information was embargoed until the President makes his speech this evening.  That means none of us can release, write, or disclose the information we received.  MSNBC then violated that rule by releasing  some news from the call.  I bet they don’t get invited on any more calls for a while.

News & Notes January 25, 2011

Berks County Democrats finally got around to selecting a candidate for the special election.  Four days later, in a painfully short campaign window, there remain no materials, office for phone banking, staff on the ground or website.  With three weeks to prepare this is a bad stumble out of the gate.  

I was just on a White House call concerning tonight’s State of the Union Address.  I cannot comment on the content until the speech (embargo rules are in effect) but I will later.  Barack Obama, however, is going to embrace more items from the Republican agenda.  He may as well just go change his voter registration to the GOP and be done with it.  I didn’t get to ask my question about Social Security but I did email the White House for a response.  If he calls for cutting our safety net be sure to take a good, long drink.  You’ll need it.

We commented last year how Ed Rendell was losing staff to the gas drilling industry and now DEP is seeing a migration.  Since DEP was, essentially, in bed with Marcellus Shale drillers this is no surprise.  Expect a bombshell report to be published soon exploding this issue.  It will be very bad for the DEP under Gov. Rendell.

The Inquirer keeps exposing the lack of regulation and oversight which led to the back alley butcher in West Philadelphia killing babies and patients.  This is what happens when you restrict women’s access to reproductive services.  We saw it before Roe v. Wade and we’re seeing it now with all the restrictions to access.  Republicans in Harrisburg are planning to introduce legislation banning abortion in the new health care exchanges.  This will only create more Dr. Gosnells and kill more women.  I thought these folks were “pro life?”  We must expand coverage for abortion and insure safe, legal procedures in sanitary clinics staffed by licensed, competent medical professionals.

There is little new information about the demise of Keith Olbermann at MSNBC.  It does seem the pending takeover by Comcast was significant however.  This is what happens with total corporate control of the media.  So much for that mythical “liberal control of the media” lie.  I hope Keith lands on Sirius/XM or other national radio outlet.  He should have his own channel there though its reach would never match that on cable TV.  Vote with your clicker: stop watching MSNBC.  This is one thing they’ll comprehend:  ratings.

Meanwhile NBC has hired Ed Rendell.  Please tell me we aren’t going to see the former Guv on MSNBC instead of Keith???

The “Texas Miracle” touted as a model by Republicans only to be revealed as a $27 billion budget deficit, is slowly crashing to the ground.  The black hole created by Gov. Rick Perry means a California sized crisis.  Now, after denouncing government bailouts during his re-election campaign Perry wants President Obama to bail him out.

Speaking of Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison announced she won’t seek re-election next year.  Targeted by Tea baggers in the gubernatorial primary she would be primaried by the Republican fringe.  She bailed out instead.

For all you animal lovers and rights people you have an opportunity this week.  Berks County DA who supports the shooting and torture of pigeons, will be making his re-election announcement Thursday evening at 6 Pm at the FOP Social Club 776 Mt Laurel Ave, Temple, PA, 19560.  Come and protest.

Sen. Anthony Williams spoke to the PA School Boards Association and left rather unhappy.  The champion of privatizing public schools took $4 million from charter schools impresarios for his Governor campaign last year.  No wonder the PSBA didn’t like the guy!  Is he clueless or what?

Planned Parenthood has asked the FBI to investigate a man who is attempting to trap employees into giving him information for treating sex workers.  It sounds like Andrew Breitbart is at it again.

Planned Parenthood, a perennial protest target because of its role in providing abortions, has notified the FBI that at least 12 of its health centers were visited recently by a man purporting to be a sex trafficker but who may instead be part of an attempted ruse to entrap clinic employees.

Disclosure:  I am a Board member of Planned Parenthood Association of Pennsylvania, Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania Advocates, and Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania PAC.

MSNBC Cancels Olbermann Contract

Keith Olbermann signed off on Countdown tonight for the final time after MSNBC canceled his contract.  No information is available yet as to why the action wastaken by the network.  Countdown was the cable news channel’s highest rated show and Olbermann had a tremendously loyal following.  No one has stood up for and advocated for liberal causes and issues like Olbermann.  His elegant writing and smooth delivery captivated me as a writer and radio host.  I wish I was a fraction of the writer he is and having him go off the air is a terrible blow.

Keith, if you’re coming to Pittsburgh for the Jets-Steelers game come over to the south shore and find hundreds of fans at the Pennsylvania Progressive Summit.  We’re at the Sheraton Square Hotel.

Update:  Comcast has issued a statement saying they are not responsible for this action.  Their takeover of NBC was just approved but they have yet to take over the network.  There is much speculation due to a lack of explanation by both parties as to the reason for the firing.  Comcast’s buying of th enetwork is fueling rumors they were responsible.

Producer Matthew dug out the clip from “Network” to which Olbermann referred last night.  The 1976 movie has a classic line “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.”  The just fired news caster urges everyone to begin yelling it from their windows.

It may be time we all do this today.  Use your facebook, Twitter or blog to repeat it today.

I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!

Refudiate Sarah

Sarah Palin spent her day today scrubbing her websites of her violent rhetoric inciting people like Jared Loughner to violence.  Consciousness of guilt?  Unfortunately for Sarah her gun sights on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords remain, unscrubbed by all those who saved her graphics and statements.

As Keith Olbermann said tonight on a special comment it is time to repudiate, or, as Palin says, refudiate, all those who incite violence.  It isn’t only Palin, Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly or others on radio and television we saw it here in Pennsylvania last year.  Remember the Tea Party extremists who openly carried weapons to Congressional and Senate events?  Remember the group in Lancaster which invited candidates to a shooting range to actually target President Obama and other liberals?

I have been railing about this since my own life was threatened by one of these unbalanced extremists on March 1st.  Ron Renninger, aka Ace of Sweeps” left a message on my voice mail saying he was going to “put a bullet in my head.”  Because I have a “Pennsylvania Progressive” bumper sticker on my car I’m routinely run off the road by other sick people, usually small businessmen in pick up trucks, given the finger and victimized by overly aggressive tactics.  Some in the media called for anyone with Obama bumper stickers to be “targeted.”

Today’s targeting of a Member of Congress, the killing of six people including federal Judge John C. Noll and a 9 year old child should shock America to its senses and have all of us vehemently reject such rhetoric.  Glenn Beck is the worst and Fox News should be taken off the air for supporting this man and his unhinged verbiage.   Should they not it is imperative on each of us as citizens to boycott any advertiser on that network, any entity which supports and funds such activity wherever it exists.

Killing your political enemies or intentionally inciting (and, yes, I believe it is intentional) others to do so has no place in a civilized society.  Perhaps we have ceased being one but it is imperative we take our country back from those who would take us to the depths of insanity.  The Sheriff clearly and openly blamed those on hate radio and television and said this:

“But again I’d just like to say that when you look at unbalanced people, how they respond to the vitriol that comes out of certain people’s mouths about tearing down the government, the anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous. And, unfortunately, Arizona I believe has become sort of the capital. We have become the Mecca for prejudice and bigotry.”

Instead of retreating from their extreme views many on the right are claiming someone using numerous fringe right wing code phrases is actually a leftist and decrying Sheriff Dupnik for making the statement above.  Of course we know what motivated this young man.  The Congresswoman was his target, he walked up to her outside the Safeway and shot her in the head.  Before doing so he posted a message online saying “don’t hate me” and “I’m not a terrorist.”  Of course he is.  This is a clear cut case of American domestic terrorism just as it was when another deranged extremist flew his plane into an IRS building last year.

There are consequences for actions and words and it is time conservatives accepted personal responsibility for theirs.  Should they refuse then all of us should refudiate them and their networks.

News & Notes November 8, 2010

Nancy Pelosi will run for Minority Leader as well she should.  She was one of the most successful Speakers in decades shepherding 472 bills through the House this session.  Just because Senate Republican filibustered 90% of them doesn’t make her tenure ineffective.  She had no control over Senate rules.

Those Senate rules are responsible for our dysfunctional government, not Democrats.  Of course the GOP didn’t have to insist on obstructing all legislation and almost all presidential appointments but now that voters have endorsed their hyperpartisanship it is unlikely they’ll stop.  The moronic intelligence of the average American voter never ceases to amaze me.

Keith Olbermann created some hysteria on the left last week after he was temporarily suspended by MSNBC for contributing to three Democratic candidates without disclosing it on TV.  There wa smuch anguish because Joe Scarborough regularly gives to Republicans but was never disciplined.  The real issue here is disclosure.  If you are writing or talking about a candidate for whom you are giving or receiving material support you must disclose that.  I think the MSNBC action was appropriate given the circumstances.

This reminds me how just before the election I was asked to make phone calls for a candidate for whom I was covering for The Huffington Post.   The coordinated campaign manager was somehow unaware of the inappropriateness of her request.  There’s no way, journalistically, I could do that working for an outlet like HuffPo.  

The Pennsylvania State House decided to can the rest of its session.  This leaves some very important legislation hanging out to dry.  With the GOP set to take control of all levels of state government in January this is especially unfortunate.   Maybe they deserved to lose.  

I’ve been catching up on all those personal errands and tasks which take a back seat right before elections.  It’s usually a week until I catch up on sleep and errands.  Today I was getting my Blackberry tuned up, looked at new phones and finally figured out how to use my MiFi aircard wirelessly.  The service at both AT&T and Verizon was superb.  I even got some Christmas shopping finished.

The State House election was a serious loss for pro choice supporters.  Seven key supporters of rights for women went down to defeat.  With Corbett & Co. coming in options for women may get severely curtailed.  I’m afraid funding for family planning in this next state legislature may take a beating.  My advice?  Don’t have sex.  Remember this in 2012.