This will be a cause celebre on MSNBC very soon, I predict. And rightfully so. When's the last time a store worker wished you a "Happy Saturnalia"?
Catching up on reporting and other things but more "substance" later. Meanwhile, please talk about "Duck Dynasty" because for God sakes no one else is.
Speaking of gay rights, there was an unexpected announcement from Gov. Corbett in Harrisburg today.
The embattled governor told reporters that he'd be willing to sign legislation that would ban discrimination based on someone's sexual orientation or gender identity, which would remove Pennsylvania from the list of just a small handful of Neanderthal states that don't currently offer such protections.
That newspaper story I was working on yesterday? Only one thing is clear: That Petty Officer 1st Class Michael Strange -- a 2005 North Catholic grad who became a codebreaker working in Afghanistan -- died a hero, shot down with 29 other U.S. troops in August 2011 during a dangerous rescue mission. But the story of what happened next doesn't add up.
His father, Charles Strange, a former casino dealer, makes a compelling case that he's not getting the straight story on how his son died. Less clear are Strange's allegations that the U.S. government targeted him for spying after he started asking too many questions. But in teaming with gadfly lawyer Larry Klayman. Strange and his wife sued the National Security Administration over its collection of bulk data from his phone company, Verizon -- and remarkably he's won Round One.
WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama on Tuesday announced his delegates to the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. And, in what may be a thumb in the eye to Russian President Vladimir Putin over his crackdown on gay rights, two of Obama's delegates are openly gay.
The world already ended for newspapers....
Today, the National Security Administration, or NSA, got slammed by a federal judge who found that its practice of systematically keeping records of all Americans’ phone calls probably violates the U.S. Constitution:
In a 68-page ruling, Judge Richard J. Leon of the District of Columbia called the program’s technology “almost Orwellian” and suggested that James Madison, the author of the Constitution, would be “aghast” to learn that the government was encroaching on liberty in such a way.
If you remember the good ol' days of journalism, you remember something called "the beat reporter." When newsrooms were swimming in profits and in reporters, folks were detached to cover things like the labor movement, transportation, even health care. That era has been mostly downsized, which makes the survivors really stand out. Michael Hiltzik of the Los Angeles Times has been all over the Obamacare story like December ice on a Philly street, which means that unlike 90 percent of the folks writing about the Affordable Care Act, he knows what he's talking about.
This weekend, Hiltzik lashed out at Gov. Tom Corbett's plan for expanding health care coverage here in Pennsylvania. In fact, he called it "a sham."
Specifically, he said that Corbett's recent plan called "Healthy Pennsylvania" contains so many provisions that violate the 2010 health care reform law that federal regulators are certain to reject it, and even if they didn't the plan probably wouldn't be ready until 2015. In the meantime, some 500,000 Pennsylvanians who would have had health care had Corbett done a simple, federally funded Medicaid expansion — as other governors, even a few conservative Republicans, have done — will now be uncovered. A few of them will get sicker for no good reason except politics. Some of them will die.
America marked the one-year anniversary of the Newtown school massacre the only way it knows how: With another school shooting, in Colorado (pictured above).
Tomorrow on the official anniversary there'll be a minute of silence. When it comes to preventing another Newtown, it will be the 525,601st minute of silence...and counting.