I'm hoping that WPHT's toe-sucking Dick Morris will continue his new trend of reading my blog posts on the air by focusing on this one: How one of the scary (and beyond arguably unconstitutional on the state level) policies promoted and advanced by the Corbett administration -- the EITC, or "voucher lite" program -- is funding anti-science religious schools in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania:
It's been a while since I've seen folks as worked up about a local story as the case of Attorney General Kathleen Kane and the botched sting of local lawmakers. Even though I've already blogged this two or three times in the last week (check it out here and here and here), people keep tweeting and emailing me non-stop, determined to shoehorn this story into their ideology -- and want everyone else to agree with them. For Pennsylvania conservatives -- who, in fairness, have been given a lot to work with here -- the story is somewhere between Watergate and the birth of Jesus; for liberals, Kane and the lawmakers who were taped accepting gifts from a lobbyists were set up in a kind of a black-op by allies of Gov. (and former Attorney General) Tom Corbett.
The truth of the story isn't complicated -- it just won't fit in the box that everyone is determined to shove it into.
Now that the Philadelphia news media has written a story that conservatives simply LOVE, maybe they'll read this and agree that here in Pennsylvania the deck is stacked in favor of politicians and against anyone who dares try to expose them. On what planet does "libel" mean "a story that a politician doesn't like"? For a public figure -- like the attorney general of a large state -- to win a libel suit, she would have to prove the newspaper knowingly printed false information...good luck with that.
(Blogger's note: Filling in on a busy editing shift, apologies for the light blogging. See you next week!)
It was nearly a century ago that a trade union leader said this: "And, my friends, in this story you have a history of this entire movement. First they ignore you. Then they ridicule you. And then they attack you and want to burn you. And then they build monuments to you." The quote is often misattributed to Gandhi, and it's usually paraphrased: "First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." But the reason it's remembered at all is because it's a pretty darned good summary of progressive social movements in modern times.
I wasn't around in 1918, but I watched in 2011 when the cauldron of income inequality and the beat-down of the American working class started to boil over in places like New York's Zuccotti Park, and I wrote one of the first pieces about how it was being ignored. Then I went to report on Occupy Wall Street in person and heard some of the harsh ridicule shouted by the Jordan Belfort-wannabes of the world.
In the last few months, though, we've seen something truly amazing happen. The 1 Percent is in "they fight you" mode, in some of the crudest terms possible. They are attacking the movement for equity in this country, and -- at least rhetorically, for now -- they want to burn it.
Wherever you come from politically on the whole Kathleen-Kane-versus-former-Tom-Corbett-underlings fracas over the six or eight politicos who were on tape captured accepting gifts from a lobbyist but who were not indicted, I think there's one thing we can all agree on.
How could it not be a prima facia crime for an elected official to accept a cash gift from a lobbyist? Also, is there no recourse for the citizenry, at all?
OK, maybe not the first -- do you remember, your President Nixon? -- but how's that President Obama promise to be the most transparent POTUS in American history working out?
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration more often than ever censored government files or outright denied access to them last year under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act, according to a new analysis of federal data by The Associated Press.