Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Stolen Content - Breaking News entry

Who would have thought my foray into actually puting words to papers would be this?  Needless to say, my radio job today just got much easier.


Statement by Sen. Arlen Specter
Tuesday, April 28, 2009

April 28, 2009

I have been a Republican since 1966. I have been working extremely hard for the Party, for its candidates and for the ideals of a Republican Party whose tent is big enough to welcome diverse points of view. While I have been comfortable being a Republican, my Party has not defined who I am. I have taken each issue one at a time and have exercised independent judgment to do what I thought was best for Pennsylvania and the nation.

Since my election in 1980, as part of the Reagan Big Tent, the Republican Party has moved far to the right. Last year, more than 200,000 Republicans in Pennsylvania changed their registration to become Democrats. I now find my political philosophy more in line with Democrats than Republicans.

When I supported the stimulus package, I knew that it would not be popular with the Republican Party. But, I saw the stimulus as necessary to lessen the risk of a far more serious recession than we are now experiencing.

Since then, I have traveled the State, talked to Republican leaders and office-holders and my supporters and I have carefully examined public opinion. It has become clear to me that the stimulus vote caused a schism which makes our differences irreconcilable. On this state of the record, I am unwilling to have my twenty-nine year Senate record judged by the Pennsylvania Republican primary electorate. I have not represented the Republican Party. I have represented the people of Pennsylvania.

I have decided to run for re-election in 2010 in the Democratic primary.

I am ready, willing and anxious to take on all comers and have my candidacy for re-election determined in a general election.

I deeply regret that I will be disappointing many friends and supporters. I can understand their disappointment. I am also disappointed that so many in the Party I have worked for for more than four decades do not want me to be their candidate. It is very painful on both sides. I thank especially Senators McConnell and Cornyn for their forbearance.

I am not making this decision because there are no important and interesting opportunities outside the Senate. I take on this complicated run for re-election because I am deeply concerned about the future of our country and I believe I have a significant contribution to make on many of the key issues of the day, especially medical research. NIH funding has saved or lengthened thousands of lives, including mine, and much more needs to be done. And my seniority is very important to continue to bring important projects vital to Pennsylvania's economy.

I am taking this action now because there are fewer than thirteen months to the 2010 Pennsylvania Primary and there is much to be done in preparation for that election. Upon request, I will return campaign contributions contributed during this cycle.

While each member of the Senate caucuses with his Party, what each of us hopes to accomplish is distinct from his party affiliation. The American people do not care which Party solves the problems confronting our nation. And no Senator, no matter how loyal he is to his Party, should or would put party loyalty above his duty to the state and nation.

My change in party affiliation does not mean that I will be a party-line voter any more for the Democrats that I have been for the Republicans. Unlike Senator Jeffords' switch which changed party control, I will not be an automatic 60th vote for cloture. For example, my position on Employees Free Choice (Card Check) will not change.

Whatever my party affiliation, I will continue to be guided by President Kennedy's statement that sometimes Party asks too much. When it does, I will continue my independent voting and follow my conscience on what I think is best for Pennsylvania and America.

First published on April 28, 2009 at 12:30 pm

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Scenes from a day of sorrow


Conspiracy nonsense - An addendum

We break from our previously scheduled blogging to utter forth a new proclimation from the desk of moi. 

For those that haven't been caught up in the news, at least round these parts, then a quick primer.  Saturday morning saw three police officers shot and killed here in Pittsburgh, and ever since then the city has been in a state of mourning of sorts. as events have unfolded and we have gotten a better glimpse of the shooter, who in his all found glory, stood over the police officers he shot and proceeded to riddle them with bullets just to make sure they were dead, we find that he spent large portions of his time patrolling the web on conspiracy sites that fit his personal agenda, that being that whites are right and all else is, in his words, dirt.  This goes for blacks, Asians, Latiinos, pretty much anyone that didn't fit in his all white world.  He peddled in Zionist nonsense and conspiracy theory bullshit, spending a significant portion of his time using such websites as those for Stormfront and Alex Jones to buttress his argument.  Previously I had taken a certain task to try to denounce conspiracy nonsense from such sites, but at the end of the day did it really matter?  After all, if i were right, nothing would ever come of it and on the ever so slight chance I was wrong I am sure i would never hear the end of it.  So it really was a no win game in that perspetive, arguing the point of Occam's Razor, that usually the simplest explanation is probably the correct one, turns into a fools errand, because at the end of the day, the conspiracist  can always just argue that I am not smart enough to know better.  But now there are three police officers lying in state in the City-County Building, due in some part to the very same conspiracy nonsense, and I can honestly say I no longer have any patience for it.  So to those that wish to riddle me with such nonsense in the future I have but one thing to say, go fuck yourself. 


That is all.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

If you write a blog and nobody reads it, does it make a sound?

I would like to say that it has been far too long since I have done this, but I am not sure it has been long enough. Seems I have been in a bit of a blogging funk of recent. Maybe the two job thing is cutting into my attention span, maybe I am juist being lazy, I don't know, I just know that I have had little gumption to go about the effort of actually blogging.

It isn't as though there aren't things to blog about, plenty has happened in the last couple of weeks, but I just haven't been of the ilk to sit down and put cursor to wordpad to get it all out. Both jobs continue to go well, at least as well as can be expected. The newsstand is what it is, a decent full time job and while I was originally threatened with a reduction of hours because I took the radio gig, nothing of the sort has happened. Originally I lost my Saturday night shift, though it wasn't anything to do with me and two jobs, just one of the guys who worked there wanted a fifth night and has some seniority on me, so I told him he could have the shift if it was okay with management. It cut me down to 4 day weeks for a couple of weeks, but I am again back at 5 days as I now have a Sunday shift because one of the people that works part time is leaving for another job, so I get his Sunday morning shift as well as my four other shifts during the week. Plus I am now being trained on the stocking/maintainence position, so I will be able to fill in on that spot as well as needed. All of this is good because I can always used the extra cash.

I have been tinkering with facebook still, mostly playing games and what not. I set up a fantasy baseball league over there. So far it has 18 teams in it, which isn't too shabby. Of course I know almost none of them, so only a couple of the invites I sent out were replied to, but that's okay, I just do these things as a lark and if it turns out i am the smartest guy in the room, great, if not, I will look like I did during hockey season, which is grinding down to its last days and I am sitting in the consolation bracket hoping I can escape with 7th place out of 10 teams. Yikes and double yikes. Oh well, there is always next year.

I think i made some enemies of our Democratic listenership the other day at work. A story popped up in the news about Joe Biden's daughter being caught doing cocaine. To be honest, I really don't care what Joe Biden's daughter does, I didn't vote for her and last I checked she doesn't affect national or international policy all that much. So she does some coke, big deal, so have I many moons ago. And I'll be honest, the reason I don't do it now was I liked it the two times I tried it, maybe liked it a little too much. I could see where it could become a very expensive and destructive habit for me, which is why I didn't do it after that. That being said, a caller mentioned it and then mentioned about how all of the right wing shows are piling on Obama. I stand by what I said in the past, if those shows annoy you that damn much, don't listen to them. Trust me, they aren't sitting at home wondering how they can convince you to their argument, they are just happy you are tuned in whether they piss you off or not. A couple more callers followed suit when finally I had had enough and said, listen, when the Republicans controlled the House,. Senate and Executive branch, I distinctly remember sitting in this radio booth getting phone calls every time the Bush twins had a beer, and hearing phony conspiracy crap like the President declared a state of emergency so that in 2008 he can stay in power by declaring martial law, so before we go off on some holier than thou crusade about how much better we are, take a step back. I have my piss the listener off moments, sorry, guess it is part of my charm.

Speaking of radio talking points, there was the shooting in Binghampton, NY on Friday, a hostage situation where a man of Vietnamese decent went into a building and shot up a classroom of immigrants studying English in hopes of being citizens themselves some day. Of course I am sure there will be talking points made of how if they were armed, maybe they could have stopped the shooter before he killed as many people as he did but then what do you make of today's shooting here in Pittsburgh, where armed officers responding to a domestic disturbance call saw three of their officers shot and killed and a fourth injured as a man held police at bay with an AK 47 and a shotgun while holed up in his home. The issue isn't the right to bear arms or not to bear arms, the issue is why take what is an inherent tragedy and use it as nothing more than political propoganda to begin with.

Okay, off of my soapbox for a little while. I did start doing something new online. ESPN has a game where they give a list of sporting events and each day you have to pick at least one game from the list and the winner of that matchup. The goal is to build the longest winning streak. I started last month and nailed my first four picks, but the system reset at the end of the month, wiping out that streak. So far this month I am a paltry 2-2 and currently on a 0 game winning streak (thanks for not showing up UConn). Some of the matchups they give are just games, just typical pick a winner stuff, others are more complicated. Take today's NBA matchup between San Antonio and Cleveland. Instead of picking who will win the game, you have to pick who will have the better number, Tony Parker's total of points and assists versus Lebron James' point total. Yeah, I stayed away from that one. Strangely though, most of my picks have went the NBA route, despite the fact I haven't watched a game in years. As little as I know about the NBA, it is probably still better than my soccer and golf knowledge. Today's selection I am taking the Penguins over the Florida Panthers in hockey. Technically you can pick more than one game a day, but your second pick can't be entered until the first game is completed, which is why the current streak leader sits at 11, despite us being in only the first days of the month of April.

While I am on the big of things online, I did add another .20 cents to my online survey account. I am almost up to $13 and while I could have cashed out at $10, I deceided I am definitely going to try to stick around for the coffee pot, even though it is over $30. Hopefully I will get credit for the survey I mailed in a couple of weeks ago, that would be another .50 and I just found another survey in my mailbox this weekend. I added another 33 points to the Coke Rewards account as well. Giving away the magazine subscription a couple of blogs back dented the account for a couple of hundred points, and I haven't been finding caps nearly as much as I used to, then again, I wasn't working two jobs then either, and if given a choice, I do slightly better working than not working. Lastly another $3.55 to the change meter and I have to seriously wonder if I can crack the $100 this year, as the total is already up to $78.79, almost a $30 increase since just December.

I have started wrapping the coins I have found out and about, as well as the ones I get from spending money, paychecks, etc. It is still very much a work in progress, no big totals to speak of, but it is nice to add some organization to the money I have been collecting. And I still haven't finished my taxes. I started them yesterday, looks like I will pull about $500 or so in a refund, just enough for me to cause trouble with.

Well as much as I have said nothing, I should wrap this up. I have a Blunt Force Trauma deadline Sunday night that will need my attention badly if I am to get it done on time. And I still have a 3-11 shift at the newsstand Sunday afternoon, so I best get cracking.

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