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Profile Information

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: 20,491

Journal Archives

Rep. Kelly (R) PA-3rd faces ethics scrutiny over stock purchase

(Link) https://www.post-gazette.com/news/state/2021/10/22/Pa-Rep-Kelly-faces-ethics-scrutiny-over-stock-purchase/stories/202110220146

WASHINGTON — A congressional ethics watchdog has concluded there is “substantial reason to believe” that the wife of Pennsylvania Rep. Mike Kelly used nonpublic information gained through her husband’s position in Congress to purchase stock last year, a likely violation of federal law and House rules.

A report from the Office of Congressional Ethics released late Thursday detailed the April 2020 purchase of stock in an Ohio steelmaker. The company had threatened to shut down a plant in Mr. Kelly’s district unless the Trump administration took action that would help make it more competitive, steps the administration took after Mr. Kelly, a Republican, and others intervened.

The ethics office has recommended that subpoenas be issued for Mr. Kelly, his wife, Victoria, a senior staffer and former Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross because they declined to be interviewed or participate in the investigation.

“Victoria Kelly made an uncharacteristic stock purchase ... on April 29, 2020, and profited from this purchase. The purchase occurred just after her husband, in the course of his official job duties, learned confidential information about the company,” the report states.

Though the ethics office investigates complaints, only the House Ethics Committee has the power to punish a lawmaker for wrongdoing. The committee said in a statement that it would review the report and investigate further.

- more at link -

Whoopsie! Looks like The House Ethics Committee will be very busy this Fall.

University of Pittsburgh faculty vote to unionize in landslide election

(link) https://www.post-gazette.com/news/education/2021/10/19/Pitt-faculty-vote-to-unionize-in-landslide-election-United-steelworkers/stories/202110190153

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
OCT 19, 2021 4:57 PM

Faculty at the University of Pittsburgh will be forming a union, capping a five-year organizing campaign with an overwhelming vote in favor of joining the United Steelworkers.

The final tally Tuesday showed that 1,511 faculty members voted in favor of a union and 612 voted against.

The Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board announced the results around 3 p.m., after counting began at 10 a.m. in the agency’s Harrisburg headquarters. The labor board mailed ballots to union-eligible faculty at the end of August and accepted all ballots returned by mail before Oct. 12 at 5 p.m.

Pitt’s faculty union will become the largest new union of any kind in the country this year, organizers said, with more than 3,000 people represented across all five of the university’s campuses. The union includes all full-time and tenured professors, as well as some part-time faculty.

- more at link -

This is sort of a BIG DEAL in Pittsburgh! We were a once proud union stronghold here in Pittsburgh, because of the steelworkers more than anything else. No need to explain that the steelworkers are weaker numbers nowadays, and the unions have lost a lot of strength since the 1980s. So it seems that white collar unions will be the next big thing.

Congressman Mike Doyle PA-18th announces retirement after current term

(link) https://www.post-gazette.com/news/politics-local/2021/10/18/mike-doyle-major-announcement-possibly-retiring-us-rep-house-18th-congressional-district-summer-lee-files-fec/stories/202110180115

Passing the torch: U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle to retire after current term
State Rep. Summer Lee files to run for seat

U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle, the long-serving member of the House from Pennsylvania, will not seek a 15th term in Congress, he said Monday afternoon.

“I believe time has come to pass the torch to the next generation,” Mr. Doyle said at his South Side district office.

Mr. Doyle, D-Forest Hills, is serving his 14th term in Congress, representing the deep-blue 18th District, which encompasses a large portion of Allegheny County.

The incumbent is already facing a challenge in the upcoming 2022 Democratic primary from University of Pittsburgh law professor Jerry Dickinson.

However, according to Federal Election Commission filings Monday, state Rep. Summer Lee, D-Swissvale, is now also seeking Mr. Doyle’s seat.

Ms. Lee, a leading progressive voice in Harrisburg, did not immediately respond for comment Monday morning.

Mr. Doyle’s announcement also comes as the redistricting process is underway in Pennsylvania, which will lose one of its 18 congressional districts, the Census Bureau confirmed in April.

First Published October 18, 2021, 11:50am

Short article - no more at link

Mike Doyle will be missed! Thank you sir, for all you've done for us in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County.

Sharing a little "Grandpa humor"

This is kind of cute, but it's a little dated though. Today's Grandpa's would be veterans of the Vietnam War, most likely.

PA Democratic Voters - get a preview of your November ballot

This is for research only - the PA-Dems website doesn't provide an actual ballot.

This webpage from the PA Democratic Party indicates the endorsed candidates for your area. Whether you are mailing your ballot or voting in person, this handy guide will personalize your choices. (No donation is required for this service.)

(link) https://www.padems.com/candidates/?emci=ee02f91c-cd2b-ec11-981f-c896653b9208&emdi=86fa4fe3-b92d-ec11-981f-c896653b9208&ceid=13493602

In the first entry line, give your full mailing address.

This permits the PADems to personalize your guide to your state-county-district-precinct. I find this guide very handy, especially with the state-wide judge candidates that are hard to remember. Some towns and cities have mayoral races or school board candidates, others do not. It's personalized for you to see which candidates are party-endorsed, and background info is given on most endorsed candidates.

Buzzfeed: If You Take Ivermectin For Covid, Here's What Happens To Your Body

(link) https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/theresatamkins/ivermectin-for-covid-side-effects

Medical experts say this parasite-fighting drug shouldn’t be used to prevent or treat COVID-19. Here are the side effects and signs of toxicity you should know about.
Theresa Tamkins
BuzzFeed News Reporter
Posted on October 13, 2021, at 4:28 p.m. ET

You’ve probably heard of ivermectin, a drug best known for getting rid of parasites in animals and humans. Like other pandemic-related topics, this once-obscure drug has catapulted into the global discussion because…well, people are desperate for treatments that work against COVID.

While some research in 2020 suggested ivermectin might be useful against COVID, those results haven’t stood up under scientific scrutiny, said Dr. Joseph Khabbaza, a pulmonary and critical care physician at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio.

Early studies were conducted in laboratory culture dishes when scientists were testing pretty much anything and everything against the COVID-causing virus, SARS-CoV-2. However, just because a drug can kill a virus in a lab dish doesn’t make it a safe or effective treatment in humans, he said.

Some research was “very flawed or even fraudulent,” Khabbaza noted. “Those have been debunked; all the really good studies have not shown a benefit.” (Here’s an in-depth look at one prominent ivermectin study with serious flaws and inconsistencies.)

The verdict so far is clear: Ivermectin, although it’s still being studied, “has not been found to be effective for the prevention of COVID-19 or the treatment of acute infection once it has developed,” Khabbaza said.

- snip -

However at high doses, side effects “can get really profound,” he said.

The following side effects and drug interactions that can occur with ivermectin are signs of ivermectin toxicity, according to the CDC:

Abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
Low blood pressure
Tachycardia (an abnormally fast heart rate)
Blurred vision and visual hallucinations
Tremors and loss of coordination and balance
Central nervous system depression, decreased alertness, and coma
Ivermectin can also be dangerous when mixed with drugs that also can suppress the central nervous system, like benzodiazepines and barbiturates. It can sometimes increase the risk of side effects in people taking the blood-thinning drug warfarin.

The CDC recommends calling the poison control hotline (1-800-222-1222) and seeking immediate medical treatment if you have taken ivermectin and are experiencing symptoms.

- lots more at link -

Great article! Thank you Buzzfeed

Nuclear engineer, wife used Pittsburgh address to commit espionage

(link) https://www.wpxi.com/news/top-stories/officials-nuclear-engineer-wife-used-pittsburgh-address-commit-espionage/VQ7SLSZFIZB3DIUVYE37GFOGGA/

October 10, 2021 at 1:07 pm EDT
By WPXI.com News Staff

WEST VIRGINIA — Like a scene right out of a spy movie, two Maryland residents were arrested in West Virginia after federal authorities said they used a Pittsburgh address, among other concealed methods, to commit espionage by selling restricted data to an undercover FBI agent.

Jonathan, 42, and Diana Toebbe, 45, both of Annapolis, Maryland, were arrested in Jefferson County, West Virginia, by the FBI and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) on Saturday and charged with violations of the Atomic Energy Act.

“The complaint charges a plot to transmit information relating to the design of our nuclear submarines to a foreign nation,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “The work of the FBI, Department of Justice prosecutors, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the Department of Energy was critical in thwarting the plot charged in the complaint and taking this first step in bringing the perpetrators to justice.”

The FBI agent posed as representative of a foreign country and for almost a year, purchased information known as “Restricted Data” concerning the design of nuclear-powered warships from the Toebbes, who worked as a nuclear engineer at the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program, where he had access to the restricted data, including information related to sensitive military design elements, operating parameters and performance characteristics of the reactors for nuclear-powered warships.

According to officials, the investigation began in April 2020 after Jonathan Toebbe sent a package to a foreign government, listing a return address in Pittsburgh, containing a sample of the Restricted Data and instructions to purchase additional secrets. The FBI set up a sting, and corresponded for several months before providing $100,000 in cryptocurrency for the secrets, which were left in encrypted SD cards at pre-arranged “dead drops” in West Virginia and Virginia, inside a half a peanut butter sandwich or chewing gum packages.

- video story at link -

WPXI Channel 11 is the NBC affiliate in Pittsburgh.


My choral group just voted last night - we're vaxxed only now

I sing with the Teutonia Maennerchor in Pittsburgh, which is a very old chorus that performs traditional German folksongs - nothing political, just folksongs from the homeland. Most of my group of about 75 or 80 men and women are in their 60's, 70's and some are in their 80's. Because of our advanced age and health issues, we've been extremely cautious during Covid-times, as I'm sure all choruses have been.

We took 15 months off, and finally started back in June with rehearsals and one or two outdoor performances. Long story short, not everyone is ready to come back yet. At least one of the members refuses to be vaccinated, at least one other member says s/he will quit the chorus unless all of us are vaccinated. The original plan was that unvaccinated members must wear a mask at all times, but we've seen that it's not happening in the past 4 months.

It all came to a head last night. The chorus met and discussed the issue, and we voted unanimously - no unvaccinated singers allowed. Get the shots or you can't sing with us.

I imagine other groups are going through the same, either privately or publicly.

Edit to add: (update) Our chorus president reports that last night's vote was NOT unanimous, there was one "nay" vote. So my apologies, I guess I didn't hear the dissenting voter.

An Ohio COVID patient treated with ivermectin after wife sued hospital has died

(link): https://www.post-gazette.com/news/health/2021/10/04/Ohio-COVID-patient-livestock-jeffrey-smith-drug-ivermectin-judge-order-hospital-wife-sued-dies/stories/202110040083

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Oct. 4, 2021

An Ohio man diagnosed with COVID-19 whose wife sued to force a hospital to give him the anti-parasitic drug ivermectin has died, his attorney said. Jeffrey Smith, 51, died on Sept. 25, his attorney, Jonathan Davidson, of Hamilton, told WXIX-TV in Cincinnati.

In August, an Ohio judge ordered West Chester Hospital to treat Mr. Smith with ivermectin after his wife sued, alleging that the facility refused to give her husband the drug, despite him having a doctor’s prescription.

Since mid-July, Mr. Smith had been the intensive care unit, battling a severe case of COVID-19, according to court records. His wife and guardian, Julie Smith, argued that ivermectin — a deworming drug that some people are using to prevent or treat COVID-19, despite several public health agencies advising against it — was her husband’s last shot at survival.

But then last month, a different judge reversed that order after Mrs. Smith and the doctor who prescribed her husband the ivermectin failed to provide “convincing evidence” at a court hearing to show that the drug could significantly improve his condition.

- more at link -

Another one bites the dust?

Is it too soon for creepy Halloween costumes?

Found on Ebay

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