A recent official tweet from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is not an April Fools Day joke. In full context, it's not even funny, because it's part of a long campaign by an utterly unhinged mob to shut down entire industries. Specifically, that March 31 PETA tweet claims that milk is an awful thing because it "has long been a symbol used by white supremacists."
In June, the City of Philadelphia, in what was hailed as a "historic moment for public health," passed a deliberately misnamed 1.5-cent per ounce "soda tax." What anyone with a lick of sense could have predicted would happen is happening, and the national press is mostly ignoring the tragic results.
Channel 27 in Harrisburg reported today that former Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane (D) has been sentenced to 10 to 23 months in prison for leaking grand jury materials to the media and then lying about it under oath. Kane was also sentenced to eight years of probation. She was convicted on August 15 of two felonies involving perjury, and seven misdemeanors.
While some have criticized Donald Trump’s predictions of a “rigged” election in favor of Hillary Clinton, the New York Times went inflammatory on Monday’s front page, playing the race card on the candidate by dismissing suspicions of vote fraud as just anti-black fear-mongering: “Trump, Claims of ‘Rigged’ Vote And Issues of Racial Politics.” The fretful text box: “Election law officials fear a self-fulfilling prophecy, all but ensuring fraud claims.” Reporters Maggie Haberman and Matt Flegenheimer found “alarmed” Republicans and outraged Democrats, and fanned the racial flames early and often.
MSNBC’s Hardball host Chris Matthews had always been a big admirer of now-former Democratic Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane, so he was naturally beside himself on Tuesday night as he gave a news brief on Kane being found guilty of nine criminal charges stemming from a series of leaks to a grand jury concerning a legal and political rival.
The Obama administration is once again riding to the rescue of U.S. Muslims persecuted by Republicans. That’s the takeaway from Monday’s lead National section story by Katie Shepherd (who claimed without evidence that "anti-Islamic rhetoric and discrimination surges this presidential election year"): “To Township, It’s a Zoning Issue. To Justice Dept., It’s Discrimination – The Federal Agency Emerges as a Bulwark For American Muslims.” The New York Times covered the controversy over the proposed Ground Zero mosque in similar positive fashion, while sliming critics of the project as Islamophobes.
The establishment press is thrilled over the City of Philadelphia's enactment of a 1.5 cents-per-ounce "soda tax" last week. Monday morning, Mayor Jim Kenney signed the legislation which its City Council passed last week.
Especially unseemly is the virtual euphoria over how so-called "public health" advocates gained their long-sought foothold into using the tax system to dictate personal behavior over (eventually) any and all food and beverage products it doesn't like. Instead of making the "we know better" nanny-state arguments which really form the foundation of their effort, the press is applauding Mayor Kenney for, in the words of New York Times reporter Margot Sanger-Katz, portraying "the soft drink industry as a tantalizing revenue source that could be tapped to fund popular city programs, including universal prekindergarten."
Ed Rendell, the chairman of this year's Democratic National Convention, stepped in it bigtime in a Sunday interview with billionaire businessman and radio talk show host John Catsimatidis. He got in even deeper trouble with supporters of candidate Bernie Sanders when he tried to explain himself.
Though there's plenty of hostility in the Republican Party these days, there's no shortage of it among Democrats either. Rendell's comment that supporters of Bernie Sanders "have to behave" has raised the vehement ire of the Vermont senator's supporters, but has drawn almost no establishment press attention.
New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait admires Bernie Sanders’s willingness (eagerness?) to raise taxes so as to “finance the kind of social benefits American liberals would prefer.” That’s why Chait is disappointed that Sanders opposes Philadelphia’s proposed three-cents-per-ounce tax on sugar-sweetened drinks, revenue from which would fund citywide pre-kindergarten and other programs.
In a Tuesday post, Chait wrote that Sanders “has received justifiable credit for breaking the taboo on middle-class taxation and asking just why it is that Americans must be denied public services taken for granted elsewhere…But where does this leave his opposition to the soda tax? His position is strange and ironic because taxes on specifically defined, unhealthy goods has long been the loophole through which Democrats escape the pressure of their own no-taxes-on-the-middle-class vise…What’s more, the proceeds of the soda tax finance a vital liberal social goal (in this case, early education).”
In an utterly amazing and totally unexpected coincidence, Verizon is reporting that there has been a spike in vandalism and sabotage against its facilities since workers went on strike on April 13. (That's sarcasm, folks.) Paul J. Gough at the Pittsburgh Business Times has reported the company's claim that "there have been more than two dozen cases of what it called sabotage to cables and its facilities in the week since tens of thousands of its employees went on strike."
Some other local TV stations and outlets have also covered the matter, but it's not national news at the Associated Press or other national outlets, even though the wire service has done several stories on the strike, and even though its scope — 39,000 union members in nine states and DC — is hardly inconsequential.
The top law-enforcement officer in the Keystone State, Democrat Kathleen Kane, is in trouble for allegedly abusing the powers of her office. Yet in briefly noting the story in their Cheat Sheet digest on Thursday, the Daily Beast omitted any reference to her party affiliation.
ABC failed to cover on Wednesday’s World News Tonight the criminal indictment of Democratic Congressman Chaka Fattah (Penn.) on charges related to alleged racketeering and conspiracy that resulted in the misuse of campaign funds and federal grant money for his personal gain. Surprisingly, the CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News covered the story and labeled Fattah as a Democrat in news briefs on the matter. In addition, NBC disclosed the fact that Fattah’s wife is a news anchor with the peacock network’s station in Philadelphia, NBC 10 (but neglected to note that she’s been placed on leave following Wednesday’s events).