Archive for pittsburgh

"Staunchly Republican, conservative Catholic" Pa. Supreme Court justice convicted of corruption


busted 3

Two "staunchly Republican, conservative Catholic" sisters are in legal hot water. Did I mention one of them is a Supreme Court justice in Pennsylvania? The other is a Supreme Court aide. Or was.


PITTSBURGH - A member of Pennsylvania's highest court was convicted Thursday of corrupting the election process in her campaigns to win a seat on the bench, triggering renewed calls to change the system of electing state judges.

Justice Joan Orie Melvin was just the second known Supreme Court justice to be convicted in nearly three centuries, and her conviction may soon set in motion political campaigns by would-be justices vying to replace her.

Melvin and her sister, Janine Orie, were convicted of corruption for allegedly misusing state-paid staffers to do campaign work.

At least justice was served. And a Justice is serving.

Here's a fun fact: A third sister — former state Sen. Jane Orie — is already in state prison for using her state-paid staff to run her campaigns.

All in the family (values), as they say:

three gop sisters convicted pennsylvania (Photo- Keith Srakocic, Gene Puskar, AP)

Former state senator Jane Orie, right, Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin, center, Janine Orie, left,
(Photo: Keith Srakocic, Gene Puskar, AP)


2011 VIDEO- Rachel Maddow documents heartbreaking consequences of NRA influence



In light of the Newtown, Connecticut massacre, I'm bumping this up. It was originally posted on May 7, 2011. I've included another video of Rachel Maddow and Meghan McCain at the NRA convention from the same time period.

Original post with quotes added in:

Please watch the videos all the way through.

This is the single most effective, touching, infuriating documentation of the NRA's negative influence on this country that I've ever seen, and of course, it took Rachel Maddow to expose these gun zealots in the most gut-wrenching and understandable way-- by putting a human face on it.

And  that human face belongs to Pittsburgh councilman Ricky Burgess, who suffered personal loss after personal loss with family members shot, neighborhood kids shot, businesses in his district closing, beautiful homes abandoned, all a result of violence decimating the Homewood area. Just watch:

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"If you have guns on the street, then a fist fight turns into a shooting."


"What would it take to get business back to Homewood?"


"You gotta stop the shootings. You have to stop shootings."

"If you see it once or twice, it'll change your life forever."

At about 12:12, Rachel asks the councilman:

"If you could talk to the bigwigs at the NRA to explain to them the connection between what they're doing downtown at the convention center right now [see last video of Rachel at the NRA convention below] and what has happened here in your community, how would you put it to them?"

Long thoughtful silence. Then Burgess responds:

"I have watched people who I love-- my own family, my immediate family...-- I've watched them walk out the door and not come home. I've seen kids that grew up in my church who I baptized, who I taught, who I tutored, who ate candy and pizza with with me in my youth group, I've had to do their funerals, watched them shot... We're not hunting rabbits... These guns- are - killing - people... people who I love.... Tell me how many people in your family have been shot and killed by guns, and maybe if you lost 4-5 family members through gun violence, maybe you'd see it from my position."

"But for them it's fun. But for me it's life and death."

"Tell me where it says we have a right to pack an AK-47."

"Certain guns should not be on the street, period."

"There should be ... responsible laws so that a handgun owner has a gun, maintains a gun, and is qualified to have the gun..."

"I believe their interest is more political... well, their interest is not the lives of these people."

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The NRA "absolutely control our state. And so any responsible gun law hasn't been passed..."

"I challenge them to come here... I will show you the victims of gun violence... and you tell me what good your lobbying has done for my community."

VIDEO ADDED, Rachel and Meghan McCain in a segment called "Two tickets to the gun show" in which Rachel pointed out that two of the NRA's members actually manufacture high-capacity magazines:


Video- President Obama on the Jobs Council and the American Jobs Act in Pittsburgh



VIDEO & Press Release: Pittsburgh Tea Partiers try to get Rep. Altmire(D) to "kill the bill"


By GottaLaff

Via an e-mail (bolding is mine):

Press Release

Pittsburgh Tea Party Movement

March 11, 2010

Pittsburgh Tea Party Movement Meets with Representative Jason Altmire in Washington, D.C.

Yesterday, a group of forty members of the Pittsburgh Tea Party Movement journeyed to Washington, D.C. by bus to attend a meeting with U.S. Representative Jason Altmire (D) to discuss concerns about his position on the Senate health care bill. The group, comprised mostly of small business owners, passionately expressed their concerns about the Senate bill and repeatedly asked Rep. Altmire to vote no and kill the bill.

The tea party members have been closely following the legislation, reading the bills, researching Rep. Altmire's past statements on health care, and discussing the legislation with Senators Specter's and Casey's offices. In November, the group visited Rep. Altmire in Washington to ask him to vote no on the House bill. The impression then was that Rep. Altmire was listening; and while he would not commit as to how he would vote, it appeared that he heard what was said and was considering voting favorably. Ultimately, Rep. Altmire voted no on the House healthcare bill.

This visit was different and the Pittsburgh Tea Party Movement’s members walked away with the distinct impression Rep. Altmire would vote yes on the Senate bill. Rep. Altmire spent considerable time defending the bill, which is not expected behavior from someone who is pondering voting no in opposition to a bill. While Rep. Altmire invited comments and questions, unlike the prior visit, he did not engage in meaningful dialogue. He spoke primarily of his positions in support of the bill.

Rep. Altmire failed to address questions about why the federal government did not resolve significant problems within the healthcare industry that drive prices higher before putting into place legislation which will ultimately result in socialized medicine. Issues that remained unaddressed were why the government did not first institute tort reform and facilitate increased healthcare competition.

Rep. Altmire stated that he liked the Senate bill better than the House bill he voted against, but was not sure he would vote for it. Rep. Altmire indicated that he hoped portions of the bill that he did not like would be modified in Reconciliation. He also stated that he would not vote for a bill that added one penny to the deficit.

One Pittsburgh Tea Party Member raised the issue of constitutionality of the healthcare bill: namely, mandating individuals purchase insurance coverage, fining individuals who refuse to purchase insurance, and possible taxation prior to the receipt of benefits. Rep. Altmire explained that constitutionality was not a concern as the bill would be incorporated into the tax code.

Rep. Altmire stated that he would not factor into his vote studies showing 70% of U.S. citizens are against the Senate healthcare bill because that data was not specific to his district. He also mentioned when questioned that he had not done any internal polling since running his campaign for office. However, one tea party member who was unable to make the trip to Washington, D.C., received a market research call last night, that appeared to be on behalf of Rep. Altmire, asking whether she would vote for him if he supported the Senate healthcare bill. This appears to be a direct contradiction of his statement made at the meeting.

Patti Weaver, organizer for the Pittsburgh Tea Party Movement, stated, “We firmly believe the people of the fourth district are against Obamacare and this Senate bill. If Mr. Altmire wants to vote for something that our citizens don't support, which it appears he does, we will see to it that he is not reelected.”

Rep. Altmire, who previously worked for UPMC as their lead lobbyist, was asked if he would return to UPMC if he does not get reelected. He responded no.

Members of the group expressed concerns about language in the Senate bill indicating taxpayers would foot the bill for abortions. Rep. Altmire, who claims to be prolife and who voted for the Stupak Amendment, stated taxpayers would not be paying for abortion under the Senate bill.

Members of the Pittsburgh Tea Party Movement who were unable to travel to Washington protested at the local offices of Rep. Altmire yesterday. Fifty attended a protest at Rep. Altmire’s Natrona Heights office, and 40 attended a protest in his Aliquippa office. Protests will be held again today at the same offices.

Rep. Michele Bachmann and Mrs. Weaver participated in introducing the program Take The Town Halls to Washington ( on Tuesday night. Michele Bachmann and Mrs. Weaver encourage those opposed to the Senate bill to call, fax, email, write or visit representatives who support the Senate bill. Some of the grassroots’ footage of the group’s meeting with Rep. Altmire and footage of Rep. Bachmann’s comments at the press conference can be found at

The Pittsburgh Tea Party Movement will pursue a Health Care Protection Act for Pennsylvania similar to that passed in seven states, Alabama, Arizona, Kansas, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia and Wyoming, and being drafted in approximately 38 other states. Health Care Protection Acts assert 10th Amendment rights to protect against a federally imposed individual mandate.

Media Contact: Patti Weaver 412-779-0854

Isn't it fun (and annoying) to find all the lies, efforts, and silliness in Tea Tantrum e-mails? And yes, the Tenthers and Tea Tantrumers seem to have morphed into one big ol' rancid cup of crazy.