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Name: Kathy Hinsman
Gender: Female
Hometown: Pittsburgh PA
Home country: USA
Current location: Pittsburgh
Member since: Sat Feb 18, 2017, 02:16 PM
Number of posts: 20,485

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Sen. Bob Casey will vote "no" for Gorsuch - Pgh Post Gazette

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Bob Casey has joined the chorus of Democrats opposing Judge Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Pennsylvania Democrat announced his decision to vote no, citing Judge Gorsuch’s “hostility” toward the executive branch and his “rigid and restrictive judicial philosophy.”

“After considering his nomination seriously and without pre-judgement, and mindful of the awesome responsibility of passing judgement on nominees to the highest court in the nation, I do not believe Judge Gorsuch’s judicial approach will ensure fairness for workers and families in Pennsylvania,” Casey said in a lengthy explanatory essay posted to the Internet. “We cannot demand perfection from Supreme Court justices. But we can demand a constant commitment to fairness, to protecting all Americans regardless of power or wealth, to that guiding creed: equal justice under law. I have concluded that Judge Gorsuch is not the right choice to fulfill this commitment. I will not support his nomination.”

Casey characterized Gorsuch’s judicial philosophy as right of Antonin Scalia’s, saying it “employs the narrowest possible reading of federal law and exercises extreme skepticism, even hostility, toward executive branch agencies.” He said Gorsuch argued judges should restrict the ability of such agencies to do their work on behalf of the American people - “Indeed, even Justice Scalia, a conservative ideological stalwart whom Judge Gorsuch has praised effusively, would not even go this far.”

“Judge Gorsuch opinions often reflect a commitment to satisfy his judicial philosophy more than to grapple with the complex circumstances faced by ordinary Americans,” Casey said. “Disproportionately, powerful interests are the beneficiaries and ordinary Americans the losers of this approach.”

While in the minority, Democrats can filibuster the nomination. If they do, Republicans are threatening to employ the so-called “nuclear option,” which would change Senate rules so that justices can be approved by a simple majority rather than 60 votes under current rules.

Mr. Casey said that would be a bad move.

“When you’re given the kind of power that only nine people in our Republic have, I think it should be a much higher” threshold for confirmation than 50 votes, he said. “I would hope Republicans would not go in the direction of a rule change on the Supreme Court. … It would be really bad for our country.”

Washington Bureau Chief Tracie Mauriello: tmauriello@post-gazette.com, 703-996-9292 or on Twitter @pgPoliTweets.

First Published March 23, 2017, 10:15am

Link: http://www.post-gazette.com/news/nation/2017/03/23/Bob-Casey-vote-Neil-Gorsuch-confirmation-hearing-views/stories/201703230147/

Know any grammar Nazis?

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Pennsylvanians make a rum run to Cuba

By Brian O'Neill / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
HAVANA, Cuba — Pennsylvania legislators flew to Havana last month with a simple idea for getting around the 55-year-old embargo against Cuba: Trade our agricultural products for rum.

Two days in, the plan got even simpler: just buy a boatload of rum for state liquor stores and forget the embargo. Republican state senate leaders say the 21st Amendment, which ended Prohibition 30 years before the embargo began, gives each state absolute control over alcoholic beverages.

“You can’t just suspend the federal constitution,” said Sen. Chuck McIlhinney, R-Bucks County and chair of the Senate Law & Justice Committee.

A Pennsylvania play for Cuban rum would be an extraordinary move at a time when eased Cuban-American relations under President Barack Obama have given way to mostly guesses about President Donald Trump’s stance. In the mid-1990s, Mr. Trump put out feelers for an investment in Cuba once the restrictions were eased, but while the Pennsylvanians were away on the island, Mr. Trump announced that he and Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, “have very similar views on Cuba.’’

Mr. Rubio has been a vocal critic of Mr. Obama’s Cuba policy. Toss in conservative Keystone Republicans venturing into one of the last outposts of socialism — and finding bureaucrats who have their own spin on the art of the deal — and the plot is as thick as Cuban molasses.

If Mr. McIlhinney is right, and Pennsylvania has a winning constitutional argument to bypass the embargo, it’s one that might have worked years ago. The Liquor Control Board is consulting its lawyers and planning a strategy that could end with Pennsylvania being the only place to buy Cuban rums — though likely not before a court battle.


Follow link to see rest of article.

If any non-Pennsylvanians are reading this, the Pennsylvania LCB controls all alcohol sales (other than beer/ale) in the state, through our world famous State Stores. Recently there's been been a move to licensing retail liquor stores in PA which would finally bring about the end of the PA State Stores. Could this be the next step?

Multi-dimensional chess game

It was oft said during Obama’s tenure in office that he could play multi-dimensional chess while the GOP weren’t adept enough to win at checkers. What we’re witnessing now is a Republican party that keeps confusing high-stakes poker with a game of Go Fish. And not only are they telling their opponents just where the “fish” can be found – they’re conveniently baiting their hooks for them.

Oh man I love this quote! It's perfection.

Here's how I'm reading it

According to CNN's Jim Acosta, however, Gordon said that at the RNC he and others "advocated for the GOP platform to include language against arming Ukrainians against pro-Russian rebels" because "this was in line with Trump's views, expressed at a March national security meeting at the unfinished Trump hotel" in Washington, DC.

"Gordon says Trump said at the meeting ... that he didn't want to go to 'World War Three' over Ukraine," Acosta said.

This would have been referring to March 2016, when Trump had only been running for a few months and had no idea he would win the Nomination or the Presidency. So I'm reading this as standard Trump hyperbole, as in "let's not make a big fuss over this."

I don't believe Trump thought so far ahead as to realize that his finger would actually be on the button to start World War Three. At least, not in March 2016. But I could be wrong.

NBC News - Senate Democrats in Pennsylvania Are Being Held Cyber-Hostage (breaking story)


The Pennsylvania Senate Democrats have been hit by a ransomware attack that has locked senators and employees out of their computer network since the early morning hours of Friday, state officials told NBC News.

In a statement, Sen. Jay Costa, the Democratic leader, said the Democrats were working with law enforcement agencies and Microsoft to resolve the problem. He did not say what payment has been demanded to unlock the data, or whether the attackers had suggested any political motive.

In a ransomware attack, hackers inject a network with malware that typically encrypts important data, and then demand payment in exchange for a key that releases the data. They threaten to destroy the data if they aren't paid.

Story continued on NBC News website

American agriculture - breadbasket to the world

Our agriculture is actually - one of the best in the world.

We could increase our food production dramatically if we needed to, but farmers don't want to see prices go down if they grow too many crops. If it weren't for the profit motive, if all we had to do was grow the food, we could probably end world hunger in one growing season.

So my point is why are the wages so low, and why are so many young people leaving farming for city jobs? We have to figure out our priorities and make it possible for people to make a good living in agriculture. Has the Democratic Party ever even looked into this? Probably not, but maybe that's why the Midwestern states turned into red states so quickly.

They're trying to save him

The way I read it, Uncle Vlad has figured out that anything he says now makes it worse for Trump. So they're keeping quiet and laying low. He thinks this is all going to blow over, but his boy is going down. We're very close to getting the kill shot now.

Trump's casinos - also laundered Russian money

I'm sure the Feds are already onto this, because there have been lots of leaks in the press already. Trump's casino in NJ (maybe elsewhere too) for a long time accepted money from shady Russian "mafia" types and paid them back as winnings from the casino games. So that's exchanging dirty money for clean, and it allowed the Russians access to the American economy. Once they had clean money they could buy US property, stocks & bonds, etc. There are plenty of other deals involving the gas & oil companies doing business in Russia, but I'm not sure if those involve Trump directly. Mostly it's Trump's billionaire buddies that are implicated.

Dear Mr. Trump

You may not use any of our hard-earned tax dollars to pay for your fucking idiotic wall.
You want a wall, you pay for it with your own untaxed dollars.
Thank you,
Citizens of USA
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