pawatercooler.com

Re: Fugitive Donors

Norman Hsu, Democrat donor, has turned himself in.

Democratic fundraiser Norman Hsu, who had been a fugitive from a 1992 grand larceny case, was briefly jailed today before posting bail.

 

Superior Court Judge H. James Ellis this morning ordered Hsu held and ordered bail set at $2 million. Hsu had turned himself in after news accounts identified him as a fugitive.

 

Though brief, the jailing was a surprise because supervising Deputy Atty. Gen. Ronald D. Smetana and the attorney representing Hsu had agreed that Hsu could be freed on $1 million bail on the condition he surrender his passports and make all further court appearances.

 

But Ellis rejected that arrangement and ordered Hsu held.

Congressman Patrick Murphy is manning up and giving the money away.

In May, Hsu gave Murphy’s campaign $1,000, according to federal campaign contribution documents. Murphy spokesman Adam Abrams said Murphy’s campaign also received $2,000 in contributions conveyed by Hsu from other sources.

Abrams, Murphy’s spokesman, said the fact that Murphy gave the donations to charity before he was even asked about it “shows that Murphy is vigilant and will continue to be.”

 

Abrams said the money will go to three charities. One of them is the national Wounded Warrior project, a veterans organization. The others are the Network of Victims Assistance, a Doylestown-based nonprofit, and the Center for Independent Living of Bucks County.

 

Ken Spain, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, said Hsu’s donation to Murphy proves the congressman has become part of Washington’s special interest machine.

Governor Rendell has promised to return $40,000 from Mr Hsu upon conviction. Go figure.

August 31, 2007 at 9:19 pm Comments (0)

Re: Viva Reagan

I’ve never had a problem when wearing my Viva La Reagan Revolucion shirt.

… and I am going to Wildwood next week.

August 31, 2007 at 9:15 pm Comments (0)

Viva Reagan

PhillyBurbs’ top columnist JD Mullane sported a “Che style” Reagan shirt down the shore and got some interesting reactions.

The worst reaction came at a seafood take-out joint in Anglesea. The French-Canadian woman in front of me was busy torturing the counterman, demanding that no Old Bay seasoning be used on her food. She saw my shirt and contempt swept her face. “R-r-r-raygunn” she growled low and slow, and then she said something fast in French to her bald, ponytailed, flip-flopped husband, who nodded. My shirt was worse than Old Bay, I guess. My advice to the Ché shirts — switch to Reagan. You’ll tick off uptight strangers, and that’s the point, right?

So I guess people are more offended by a Republican who carried California and Massachusetts than a terrorist.

August 31, 2007 at 7:28 pm Comments (0)

Re: Fugitive Donors

Ed Rendell, Profile in Courage.

Gov. Ed Rendell this afternoon defended his decision to keep a $40,000 donation from a prominent Democratic fundraiser who is wanted on a felony fraud charge in California, saying he will only return the charges against him are sustained.

 

In a conference call with reporters, Rendell said fund-raiser Norman Hsu “gave me that money legally. He hasn’t been convicted of anything … We’ll see what the court system does. If the court sustains it, we’ll give it back.”

 

The Los Angeles Times reported this week that Hsu appeared to be a fugitive from justice in California.

August 30, 2007 at 6:55 pm Comments (0)

Fugitive Donors

Hillary, yeah yeah…. how about The Hundred Thousand Dollar Man, Patrick Murphy?

As a host of boldfaced Democrat names scrambled to return campaign donations from a convicted felon on Wednesday, research by the Majority Accountability Project (www.majorityap.com) found that three more freshmen in the House of Representatives received campaign cash from California fugitive Norman Hsu.
Federal Elections Commission (FEC) records show that U.S. Representatives Kirsten Gillibrand, D-NY; Patrick Murphy, D-PA; and David Loebsack, D-IA all received contributions from Hsu, who is wanted in California after failing to appear for sentencing in 1991. Hsu had earlier pleaded no contest to grand theft.

Patrick Murphy and Admiral Sestak both received a thousand dollars.

August 30, 2007 at 1:51 pm Comments (0)

AG Santorum

It might have been Bill Fitz who suggested that Senator Santorum get the nod for Attorney General after Alberto Gonzalez… that was months ago.

I remember thinking that was nuts.

Well…

Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., is on at least one list of prospective candidates to replace Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. He’s No. 10 on a 10-person list compiled by conservative fundraising icon Richard A. Viguerie. And considering many of those named ahead of him are pure poison to Democrats, Santorum as A.G. doesn’t seem that far-fetched. But would he serve if asked? The better question: Would we want him to serve if asked?

Remember that AG Ashcroft lost a Senate re-election campaign prior to his tenure as the Attorney General.

August 30, 2007 at 1:47 pm Comments (0)

Partisan Witchhunt

That will be the spin anyway.

AG Tom Corbett is going after Democrats in the Legislature.

State investigators last week executed a search warrant on the Capitol basement headquarters of the Democratic Office of Legislative Research in a broadening investigation into whether state employees were used to run several political campaigns last year.

 

The search, carried out shortly after 10 a.m. last Thursday, is part of a probe into former state Rep. Michael Veon, D-Beaver Falls, and whether he used taxpayer funds for campaign activities at the time he served as House Democratic whip.

 

A state grand jury is currently investigating Mr. Veon as well as a half-dozen other Democratic activists, state employees and former legislators, sources told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

 

One person familiar with the raid said agents appeared to know the precise location of boxes believed to contain campaign records, including research into Republican opponents. Four agents, dressed in suits, who brought their own dollies to carry away the material, presented a search warrant, quickly removed the boxes and carted them to a waiting van parked nearby.

Here’s a taxpayer scam that Harrisburg Republican weren’t a part of.

August 30, 2007 at 1:36 pm Comments (0)

Re: Rendell for VP?

Alex,

Heavyweight journo, Mickey Kaus, weighs in on the Rendell thingy,

The strongest argument I can see against Rendell being the Dem’s vice-presidential candidate is that he should be the presidential candidate. … He’s probably too outspoken and candid for a controlling personality like Hillary–another point in his favor. … Rendell/Zinni ’08. The bipartisan all-beef no-BS ticket.

Read it here.

“all-beef no-BS”?!?!?!?!?!

That seems to be how Fast Eddie is perceived by moderate left-coast Dems. What does it say about the Democrats that a shyster like Eddie would seem honest by comparison?

August 30, 2007 at 10:46 am Comments (0)

Suing Murtha

From NewsMax:

If Marine Col. Jeffrey Chessani is exonerated of the charges against him he may haul Pennsylvania Democratic Congressman John Murtha, into court, suing him for libel, one of his lawyers told NewsMax.com.

Brian Rooney, one of the attorneys at Michigan’s Thomas More Law Center representing Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani and a former Marine captain himself told NewsMax.com that his client, who is alleged to have failed to fully investigate the killing of 24 Iraqis in Haditha November, 2005 and not reporting an alleged Law of War violation, may follow the example of another Haditha Marine, SSgt. Frank Wuterich who is suing Murtha for libel.

Read it here.

I don’t normally support the idea of taking every complaint into court, but in this case….

August 30, 2007 at 4:11 am Comments (0)

Keeping Things in Perspective

The one great value in studying history is gaining a realistic perspective on today’s world.

Brad DeLong, Professor of Economics at Berkeley, is doing a series of essays in his blog on the economic history of the Twentieth Century titled “Slouching Toward Utopia.” The whole thing is worth reading [start here], but the second “chapter” is of particular interest for Pennsylvanians. There he looks at the life of Homestead steel-workers only a century ago.

    Few households in Homestead in 1900 had running water or a hot water heater. Water came in buckets from a faucet in the street into the house, and then heat it on the stove. In the–relatively prosperous for its time–factory steel town of Homestead, Pennsylvania at the start of the twentieth century, only one in six working class households had indoor bathrooms in 1910. Half of “Slav” and “Negro” families lived in one or two room houses. Most white families lived in four room houses. And most households in Homestead in their one or two or four-room houses had boarders: male, unrelated, single workers sleeping and eating in the house….

    And even if you did have a four room house, could you afford to heat more than one room of it? Many Homestead four-room houses became two-room houses–the kitchen and the bedroom–in the depths of the western Pennsylvania winter.

    The diets of workers in Homestead, Pennsylvania at the turn of the century were composed primarily of meat of widely variable quality, bread, butter, potatoes, oatmeal, and tea and milk–with luxuries such as sweets added in more or less regularly. We would find the diet somewhat monotonous (however, a lot of time and effort went into finding different ways to make potatoes). Almost always the first luxury that a working-class family moving up would purchase would be the services of a laundress: since laundry was expensive and difficult, few working-class families could maintain upper-middle-class standards of cleanliness. How often would you take baths if the water had to brought in from an outside pump, and then heated on the stove? How often would you wash your clothes if everything had to be washed out in the sink, if the fabrics were three times as heavy and the detergents one-third as powerful as the ones available today, and if as a result the laundry was a full day’s chore? Hand laundry was not a two hour a week task. Those who could afford the resources to maintain bourgeois styles of cleanliness flaunted it. White shirts, white dresses, white gloves are all powerful indications of wealth in turn of the century America. They said “I don’t have to do my own laundry and ,” and they said it loudly.

    As a rule married women did not work outside the home–unless they were African-American, in which case they might well do their own family’s housework and be paid for doing a share of some white family’s housework as well. Meal preparation was not a one-hour-a-day but a four-hour-a-day task. Barring a shift toward larger-scale communal or cooperative living–a shift which simply did not happen even though anticipated, hoped for, and worked for by many feminists–within-the-household production and maintenance soaked up one-third the potential adult work hours. It made it next to impossible for married women (unless they were quite rich, or quite poor) to have independent careers and still fulfill the social expectations of household maintenance.

    Infant mortality at the turn of the century was high. One in five babies in Homestead, Pennsylvania died before reaching his or her first birthday. Adult men died, too, like flies (and adult women faced substantial risks in childbirth). Accident rates in the factory were such as to leave 260 injured per year–30 dead–out of a total population of 25,000 and a steel mill working population of 5,000. Each year, five percent were injured enough to miss work for some time (although only one percent per year were permanently disabled), and 1/2 percent per year were killed in factory accidents.

    You can do the math. Start to work for U.S. Steel when you are 20. There is one chance in seven that the factory will kill you before you reach 50, and almost one chance in three that the factory will disable you…. Of course, in 1910 Homestead… the most arduous and difficult jobs were done by minorities and immigrants….

    Most of the Homestead workforce only worked six days a week: for four out of five workers, the mill was shut on Sundays. U.S. Steel viewed this–shutting most of the mill on Sundays–as a major concession on their part, a concession that they hoped would produce large public relations benefits. From U.S. Steel’s perspective, each hour that a modern plant like Homestead stood idle was tremendously expensive….

    As long as it could find workers willing to work the night shift, the Homestead mill (depressions and recessions apart) stayed open 24 hours a day on weekdays. And when things did change, they changed all at once-from two 12-hour shifts before and during World War I, to two 8-hour shifts (or three 8-hour shifts) during the 1920s, and during and after World War II. Yet Homestead jobs–at least Homestead jobs taken by native-born Americans–were good jobs by the standards of the United States….

    And Homestead, Pennsylvania jobs paid well both by the standards of the United States and much more so by the standards of the world economy of the time. White households could make around $900 (of 1910 value) a year, placing them well the upper third of the U.S. population in terms of income per household in 1910. Relative to what could be earned by people of similar skill levels anywhere else in the world, a job in the Homestead mill was a very attractive job. Even the unequal America at the turn of the century was a very attractive place compared to the rest of the world. America was exceptional. In spite of the hours, in spite of the risk of death or injury, in spite of the working conditions, these were very good jobs by international standards: jobs worth moving 7,000 miles for, from Hungary or Lithuania to suburban Pittsburgh.

Read it here.

My how far we have come! This is the world my grandparents lived in as adults. When I hear today people complaining about the state of the economy, I can only shake my head and wonder. Even the poorest Americans today enjoy luxuries our grandparents could only dream of.

August 30, 2007 at 1:54 am Comments (0)

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