Feed on


Well, Clinton-backed Kathleen Kane won the nomination for Attorney General, beating progressive-backed Pat Murphy.

BUT: Pennsylvania Blue Dogs Rep. Jason Altmire and Rep. Tim “The Fracker” Holden were both soundly defeated!

Two conservative Democrats lost their seats in Pennsylvania tonight thanks to the state’s new congressional map.

Rep. Mark Critz beat Rep. Jason Altmire in a highly competitive member-vs-member Democratic primary for the 12th district, while Rep. Tim Holden (D) was defeated in a primary by lawyer Matt Cartwright in Pennsylvania’s new 17th district.

Altmire represented about two thirds of the new 12th district, and early polls suggested he had the edge in the race.

But organized labor invested heavily in taking down Altmire, in part for his vote against the health-care law, and former President Bill Clinton endorsed Critz. (Critz is no liberal either; he also opposed health-care reform, although he wasn’t in office at the time.)

While Altmire won the majority of voters in his territory, turnout in Cambria County was huge and almost entirely in Critz’s favor.

“Congratulations to my colleague Congressman Mark Critz on his hard-fought and well-deserved victory in the primary,” Altmire said in a statement. “He has my full support as his campaign moves on to the fall.”

A Blue Dog Democrat and another health-reform opponent, Holden represented a central Pennsylvania swing district for the past ten years. But Republican-controlled redistricting gave him a safe Democratic district where he was little known to the vast majority of voters.

That created an opening for Cartwright, a Scranton lawyer who stars in a popular legal segment on the evening news.

The Campaign for Primary Accountability, a new super PAC aimed at taking down incumbents in both parties, spent over $200,000 on the race. But the League of Conservation Voters actually spent more to defeat Holden, who often supported Republican energy policy.

You don’t know me

Ray Charles:

Happy pills

Norah Jones:

Join the family

Kopecky Family Band:

Like a tree

Matt Sevier:


Virtually Speaking | April 24 | 9pm eastern | Susie Madrak and Culture of Truth. Tune in to find out what’s on their minds. Listen live and later here

I really liked this response, mostly because it echoes what I’ve saying for years: LEAVE YOUR KIDS ALONE as much as possible. Let them play. See what they come up with. Stop hovering, stop scheduling. Now parents even take their kids to “indoor fun parks,” instead of letting them dig in the dirt.

Creativity needs time to bubble up, not summer classes and enrichment programs. It really helped that my mom was a frickin’ genius with little kids. She taught us how to make our own Play-Do, gave us paints and scrap paper, and had a huge collection of blocks and building toys. And when we had kids of our own, she did the same with them. I did my best to follow in her footsteps, because we all turned out pretty damned smart.

Mad cow disease

Hmm. I wonder if they test each cow, or just do random spot checks. Because if the latter, I’d say we still have something to worry about.

MF Global and Jon Corzine

Matt Taibbi:

Almost every story written about MF Global by any financial news outlet will contain the word “chaos,” and describe the bookkeeping challenges of the firm’s last days as just too overwhelming for mere human beings to handle. The sources are almost always unnamed, but they all say the same thing – it was just too much math, too much! The Times’s Dealbook page offered one of the most humorous examples:

A flurry of transactions engulfed the firm in the week before it filed for bankruptcy, as $105 billion of cash shuttled in and out. Amid the chaos, the employees became overwhelmed.

”It’s like being at the bottom of Niagara Falls,” recalled one employee in a meeting with federal authorities, according to one of the people involved in the case.

It’s incredible that people are offering as a defense the idea that a financial company could be so overwhelmed by transactions that it could just lose track of $1.6 billion. If you’re so terrible at managing money that you can honestly lose a billion dollars – especially after swearing up and down to the whole world that you were the right choice to manage the cherished millions and billions of scads of farmers, ranchers, and other investors – you should go to jail just for that, just on general principle.

But most pundits aren’t saying that. Instead, it seems like like every financial reporter both in this city and in Washington is talking to the same five or six defense lawyers, buying their weak arguments, and offering the same lame excuses for the missing money, which should tell you a lot about how the Wall Street press corps managed to miss the warning signs for 2008 and other disasters.

Somebody from MF Global has to be arrested soon. The message otherwise to middle America is so galling that it boggles the mind.

It would be one thing if this was a country with a general, across-the-board tendency toward leniency for property crime. But we send tens of thousands of people to do real jail time in this country for non-violent offenses like theft. We routinely separate mothers from their children for relatively petty crimes like welfare fraud. For almost anyone who isn’t Jon Corzine, it’s no joke to get caught stealing in America.

But these people stole over a billion dollars, right out in the open, and nobody is doing anything about it. Instead, we get a lot of chin-scratching legislative hearings, and an almost academic-style public discussion about whether or not a crime even took place. If there aren’t arrests in this case soon, ordinary people will correctly deduce that it simply isn’t a crime to steal in America, if the thefts are executed with a computer by white people in suits.

Just as it was incredible when Florida authorities dragged their feet in the Zimmerman case, it’s incredible that people in Washington don’t see the implications of this continual non-decision on MF Global. Apparently they hope no one notices. The sad thing is, they might be right.

What school lunches look like

In 20 other countries. But of course, in most other countries, they care enough about kids that feeding them isn’t some kind of crazy political football.

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »