Sunday, February 14, 2016

Archive: May, 2013

POSTED: Thursday, May 30, 2013, 7:56 PM

Milton Standard-Journal photograph

In February 2012, with his budget plan and his favorable treatment of the fracking industry under attack, Gov. Corbett traveled up the Susquehanna River to Milton, Pa, to tout his vision of what the Pennsylvania economy could be -- by hailing the opening of a new facility for a company that supplies water to fracking rigs and hauls away drilling waste.

POSTED: Thursday, May 30, 2013, 3:51 PM to any critics of its new "bromance" with Tom Corbett: We've only just begun.

Are they really "the most famous couple in Pennsylvania," though? I dunno, I'd rate Chase and Jen Utley a little higher. Also, why do you have to watch an ad for yeast infection first?

POSTED: Wednesday, May 29, 2013, 9:18 PM

The only thing that was surprising about this morning's "surprise" announcement by GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann -- the 2012 presidential candidate and Tea Party heroine -- that she won't be running for a 5th term in 2014 was the timing. Usually lame ducks don't announce their lameness so long before the election. It was always more than a little unfair and more than a tad sexist that Bachmann was seen for a time as a Sarah Palin doppelganger -- lumped together because they are both attractive (in a kind of "Steoford Wife" way for Bachmann) women who occasionally blurted out inane things. Bachmann proved herself smarter than Palin and -- unlike the Alaskan -- had the gumption to run for president.

But in the end, they had something in common with each other and with some of their Tea Party compatriots like Jim DeMint of South Carolina.

POSTED: Wednesday, May 29, 2013, 7:26 PM

Stopped clock, or whatever, but Glenn Beck was right -- Woodrow Wilson was a terrible, terrible president. Of course, the reason isn't progressivism. Theodore Roosevelt -- backing food safety or worker protections -- was a progressive. Wilson was for all intents a purposes a dictator, as I was reminded this morning reading a blog post by Esquire's Charles Pierce. He was arguing -- and I agree -- that the 1917 Espionage Act which has been used by the Obama administration to prosecute whistleblowers and harass journalists is fundamentally a horrible, horrible law. Check out how it was used in the late 1910s and early 1920s:

Under the Espionage Act of June 1917, it became a felony punishable by twenty years' imprisonment to say anything that might "postpone for a single moment," as one federal judge put it, an American victory in the struggle for democracy. With biased federal judges openly soliciting convictions from the bench and federal juries brazenly packed to ensure those convictions, Americans rotted in prison for advocating heavier taxation rather than the issuance of war bonds, for stating that conscription was unconstitutional, for saying that sinking armed merchantmen had not been illegal, for criticizing the Red Cross and the YMCA. A woman who wrote to her newspaper that "I am for the people and the government is for the profiteers" was tried, convicted, and sentenced to ten years in prison. The son of the chief justice of the New Hampshire Supreme Court became a convicted felon for sending out a chain letter that said the Sussex Pledge had not been unconditional. Under the Espionage Act American history itself became outlawed. When a Hollywood filmmaker released his movie epic The Spirit of '76, federal agents seized it and arrested the producer: his portrayal of the American Revolution had cast British redcoats in an unfavorable light. The film, said the court, was criminally "calculated . . . to make us a little bit slack in our loyalty to Great Britain in this great catastrophe." A story that had nourished love of liberty and hatred of tyranny in the hearts of American schoolchildren had become a crime to retell in Wilson's America. The filmmaker was sentenced to ten years in prison for recalling the inconvenient past.

POSTED: Wednesday, May 29, 2013, 5:42 PM

I'm not really a Reddit reader but someone on Twitter sent out a link to an Ask Me Anything (AMA) session with a John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival, and I'm glad I read it. Someone asked him about the Liberal National Anthem, "Fortunate Son."

Q. If you were to write a "Fortunate Son" for today, what would it be about?

POSTED: Wednesday, May 29, 2013, 3:36 PM

There's an old saying that you should quit while you're ahead. Maybe Michele Bachmann saw the writing on the wall -- liberalism is surging in America:

Economic conservatism has hit a five-year low, according to a Gallup poll released Friday.

POSTED: Tuesday, May 28, 2013, 8:30 PM

UPDATE II: Here's an update from the New York Times Magazine editor, which seems to confirm at least the existence of he flight.

Hey, remember that time here in Philadelphia that a Denver-bound commercial jet with "failed" landing gear circled the airport runway for two long hours while emergency personnel assembled on the tarmac and the captain cut all electricity, yelled back commands from the cockpit and finally cut the power to the engines before a miraculously safe landing?

POSTED: Tuesday, May 28, 2013, 5:44 PM

Have six sweeter words ever been uttered? The New Republic goes there:

On April 17, the bill to expand background checks on gun buyers failed in the Senate, and the fatalistic shrugs in Washington were so numerous they were nearly audible. The legislation had been a modest bipartisan compromise, supported by 90 percent of the public and lobbied for hard by the president. A group backed by Michael Bloomberg had spent $12 million on ads pressuring senators to vote “yes.” When the bill fell short—by just five votes—it seemed to confirm a Beltway article of faith: There’s no point messing with the National Rifle Association (NRA). And that, many assumed, was the last we’d be hearing about gun reform.

About this blog
Will Bunch, a senior writer at the Philadelphia Daily News, blogs about his obsessions, including national and local politics and world affairs, the media, pop music, the Philadelphia Phillies, soccer and other sports, not necessarily in that order.


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