Archive for August, 2004

Region Employment Numbers

August 31, 2004

The Post-Gazette has published July employment data for the Greater Pittsburgh region. I don’t have time to write any in-depth commentary, but pay attention to the difference between the household survey data (subject to statistical error) and the payroll data (numbers collected from employers).

Republicans are above the law

August 30, 2004

The Associated Press:

About 15 percent of the 4,800-plus delegates and alternates to the convention in New York are veterans, organizers said Monday. An additional 3 percent are active military personnel.

Department of Defense Directive 1344.10, paragraph

A member on active duty shall not … Participate in partisan political management, campaigns, or conventions (unless attending a convention as a spectator when not in uniform).

Thanks to Shea McKinney for bringing this to our attention.

Upcoming Events

August 30, 2004

Tonight you can socialize with Kerry supporters at Buffalo Blues (Highland Avenue in Shadyside) at 6 p.m.

On Tuesday you are spoiled for choice: a similar event is happening at Chiodo’s Tavern (right of the Homestead Bridge) at 7:30 p.m. in addition to the Young Dems Meeting at Deja Vu Lounge.

On Wednesday the monthly Democracy for America Meetup will take place at Kiva Han on Craig Street in Oakland at 7 p.m. We will have much to discuss, including preparations for the upcoming D.C. for Democracy visit and reviving the lost art of letter writing.

On Thursday, Rebecca Watkins is hosting a House Party for New Leadership. Attend the party to watch Bush speak at the convention, hear Howard Dean on a conference call, and swing the bat to raise money for DFA and local Democrats.

Finally, I’ve heard rumors that Billionaires for Bush will be in Oakland on Thursday evening. If you have some spare time you should go heckle them.

Bill Clinton Book Signing Monday

August 29, 2004

BREAKING NEWS: Bill Clinton will be signing copies of his autobiography, My Life, at the Barnes & Noble at the Waterfront at 2 p.m. on Monday. In order to control the inevitable mob, Barnes & Noble will issue 1,000 wristbands on a first-come, first-served basis, starting at 8 a.m. You don’t get in the signing line without a wristband. No cutting in line.

Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Waterfront Town Center, 100 West Bridge Street, Homestead, PA 15120. (412-462-5743)

Young Democrats Meeting Tuesday

August 29, 2004

In the words of esteemed YDAC President, Marc D. Daffner, Esq.:

The meeting will be held at Deja Vu in the Strip (as usual), on TUESDAY, AUGUST 31st. In keeping with our new, more organized format, there will be a “happy hour” beginning at 6:30, and the actual “meeting” will get underway at about 7:15, so those people who like to come fashionably late will end up being just plain late.

Deja Vu is at 2106 Penn Avenue.

Trib Letter Response

August 29, 2004

The Trib prints a letter by Scott Smith of Sewickley regarding Kerry’s challenge to debate George W. Bush once a week until the election. Scott commits two errors.

First, Smith insists that the President is far too busy to make time for a series of debates. Nice try, Scott, but considering all the time Bush has spent on vacation in Crawford, Texas (including all of last week) and speaking at supporter-only campaign rallies, I don’t think a few debates will seriously impair Bush’s schedule.

Pointing out the votes Kerry has missed is a cheap shot, since nothing even comes up for a vote in the Senate unless the Republicans who control it already know the outcome. Kerry is there to vote when it makes a difference; there is not much point in him showing up to vote against a bill when the Republican majority is going to pass it anyway. The infamous May 2004 vote to extend unemployment benefits was rigged by Republicans who knew Kerry wouldn’t be there to vote for it.

Second, Smith accuses Kerry of trying to have it both ways by serving in Vietnam and then returning to testify about the atrocities. I’m sure, Scott, if he could have testified to what he saw without going to Vietnam to see it first, he would have.

The point is, when his country asked him to serve, he did. When he witnessed a wrong, he spoke out against it. There is nothing contradictory about that.

Open Thread

August 29, 2004

It’s Sunday and I’m killing time before I go out to do some voter registration. If you are watching this blog, post a comment and say hello. I’ll give you a topic:

Republicans believe that you ought to work hard to get ahead in life.

Democrats believe that you ought to get ahead in life if you work hard.


Walk with Joe Hoeffel on Monday

August 29, 2004

Joe Hoeffel is in the last leg of his “Change is Gonna Come” walking tour of 67 Counties of Pennsylvania! Join him on Monday, August 30th at the IBEW Hall on the South Side at 1pm for a rally, followed by a walk down Carson Street, over the 10th Street Bridge, and to the courtyard of the City/County Building.

The weather is looking good for Monday and this is a great way to show your support for Joe! If you have any questions or need more information, please contact the Hoeffel campaign office at 412-281-6299.

Max Cleland Rally on Sunday

August 26, 2004

There will be a Veterans for Kerry Rally featuring former Georgia Senator Max Cleland. (You may remember him as the triple-amputee Vietnam veteran who was defeated in 2002 because he wasn’t patriotic enough.) Be there on Sunday, August 29 at 5:00pm at the IBEW Hall on the South Side (4 Hot Metal Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15203).

South Side Bar Crawl

August 26, 2004

Democracy for Pittsburgh is continuing our successful and verbosely titled South Side Voter Registration Bar Crawl this Saturday. It’s simple: we walk along East Carson Street, stopping inside bars and registering people to vote.

The crawl begins on Saturday, August 28th at 8:00pm in the SouthSide. Meet at the corner of 26th Street and East Carson St.

If Saturday is no good for you but today and Friday is fine, check out the Driving Votes folks, who will be in Pittsburgh and working with VIE to register voters like crazy today and tomorrow.


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