Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The thing I feared

I predicted this. Well, at least this is the first step to what I said here. The police want to look like they're doing something. And in turn, gun rights advocates are going to escalate their rhetoric about government being corrupt and oppressive.

Monday, April 27, 2009

City Paper points

I probably am out of ideas at the moment for posts. I think I was stunned by the sudden outburst of Indian (insourced?) summer we have had, due to come to a crashing halt tomorrow.

I haven't yet watched the video Bram put up of a non-televised debate from last Thursday, but I still feel a little urge to comment on Chris Potter's comments on the debate. Potter thinks Ravenstahl has grown in office, as evidenced by his ability to absorb attacks and stay on message. I'll concede that, but I see no reason to think that the Mayor has learned the idea that being Mayor means serving the entire public, and maybe working harder for the poor since they can't buy the help of a politician. Dowd and Robinson are both a bit erratic, but there is no indication that they are on anyone’s radar to be bought. If some CMU hacker gets into the Diebolds (or whatever we have) and either Robinson or Dowd pulls out an upset, then maybe Dowd will be approached by Ted Stevens’ contractor with an offer to finish Dowd’s remodeling in five years instead of the twenty that seems to be Dowd’s schedule. But Potter’s other observation is probably right, no one seems to be paying much attention to this election.

Friday, April 24, 2009

It's not fare ...

I noticed this article while looking for movie listings in the PG. Rider-ship is up at the Port Authority by 3.5 percent. It is not at an all time high, since it dropped after the last fare hike and service cuts, but it is at about 96% of the previous high. Nationwide rider-ship is at an all time high, but not here. We cut some driver benefits, giving PAT what it said it wanted for a long term arrangement. This freed up the 22 million from the drink tax (I dunno what happened to the extra the courts said had to go to PAT, I assume it went somewhere), and that freed up some huge amount from the State from tolling I-80 (which still hasn’t happened, but the revenues were borrowed). But apparently the Port Authority is considering another round of fare hikes and possible service cuts. They say State and County funding is flat and inflation is rising, which would be what would force them to cut service and raise fares … again. Inflation being … what, maybe one percent, I guess fares would go up a penny and a half.

So rider-ship is at about 96 percent of its highest, and the Port Authority previously cut routes. So that likely means that … buses are more crowded than they ever have been. And these guys still can’t break even. I wonder what Larry, Curley and Moe are doing right now, if they are available to serve on an Authority Board (already over at the PWSA? Damn!).

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Are we listening?

Bob Mayo does a good job of covering how he tried to follow up at the end of Monday's debate, and did follow up with Mayor Ravenstahl on Tuesday, about his making his schedule public. I gather there was a press conference on Tuesday and when Mr. Mayo asked his question again (about the Mayor making his “full” schedule public, as he apparently used to do), the Mayor quipped “I did a pretty good job of not answering it, didn’t I” and got some laughter.

OK, that’s actually not funny. A televised debate is when reporters ask questions on our behalf, and the candidates are supposed to answer them. Not answering is basically telling Pittsburghers “I have no respect for you, you have no right to know”.

Now, the Mayor did sort of say he would make his schedule public, tentatively (and defintely said he would participate in a third debate), but he took pains to say he might keep some things private. He wouldn’t reveal his campaign strategy, for example. Um, how does a schedule reveal a campaign strategy? On the other hand, schedules might say which donors the Mayor is meeting with. If the Mayor wants to keep certain donations or arrangements off the books, it would be better not to have those meetings or attendees listed somewhere publicly.

By the way, I think I might have (inadvertently) harassed Bob Mayo on his blog, if so, I apologize and feel bad. I referenced a question he asked the Mayor in a debate two years ago, and I whined about him not following up when the Mayor didn’t answer. Of course my memory could be faulty, or I could just be peeved my candidate didn’t win, but I should point out Mayo did ask the question in the first place. Mayo frequently is the person with the toughest questions, one of Pittsburgh’s best journalists, and by the way, then goes out of his way to provide the blogosphere with his thoughts, something only a couple of local journalists do.

But all that is not what this post is about (argh, he’s being long winded as always!). The Mayor volunteered in his closing statement in Monday’s debate that he wasn’t ready to be Mayor when he took over in September of 2006.


‘cause that’s what a lot of his critics were saying then. Were you ready to be City Council President in December of 2005? You could have declined that honor, and you could have declined the office of Mayor, for that matter. But you accepted both, because you felt you could handle them, I guess. Now you tell us you think your judgment was faulty then.


Can you give us some indications why you think you judgment was faulty then? Something about Dennis Regan, maybe? Did you project a deficit in your budget, and now realize that the truth is over rated? Something?

And how, exactly, can we trust you now? You now admit your judgment was wrong then, but at the time you said we could trust you, right? Should we trust you now when you say you are equipped to run the City? Why? You can’t be running on your record, can you? After all, you said you weren’t ready in ’06. By the by, when would you say you transformed from naïve youth making mistakes to experienced Mayor? Can you pinpoint a date?

This is a Mayor who wants to laugh about not answering a question in a televised debate. And I should point out that he was only going to participate in two debates (despite all his rhetoric), so each debate counted even more. And he wanted to waste the viewers time by not answering questions.

And he told us all this himself, its not anybody putting words in his mouth.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Well, maybe a winner, at least on the internet

Just to point out that WTAE is conducting a poll on its web page about last night's debate. Pat Dowd is winning as of 6:00 AM, 50% to 39% for Ravenstahl and 8% for Carmen Robinson. Of course, this is a voluntary poll, and computer users are not likely a representational cross section of the electorate. In fact, I suspect this is the result Mark DeSantis would have gotten after any one of his debates with Ravenstahl.

But hey, a plurality is a plurality.

Monday, April 20, 2009

no winners tonight, particularly not us...

My thoughts about tonight's debate:

Ravenstahl put in an entirely uninspiring performance. He makes me think of just exactly what he is, a kid with a second rate education trying to sound impressive even though he is not fully sure what is going on. That said, he made no major gaffes and he had a surprising command of some facts. He made quite a few minor gaffes in my opinion, but you would need a seasoned, alert debater to catch those and turn them against Ravenstahl, and Pat Dowd was not that debater.

The point where Dowd did catch the Mayor flip flopping, on campaign reform, the Mayor simply toughed it out. Dowd was correct, the Mayor did a one eighty on camera, completely reversing what he had said previously. And by pretending he had not said it before, it did not seem like the Mayor was reversing himself. He flat got away with it.

There was a point where that situation was reversed. The Mayor tried to catch Dowd up on his support for the gun control bill that Dowd had spoken against, and then voted for. Dowd’s explanation that he was swayed by what police officers said was reasonable and somewhat convincing, but when the Mayor said “if you thought it was a bad bill, why not vote against it?”, I think the Mayor scored a little bit. Anyone undecided about whom to vote for did not get much help tonight.

Not to sound snooty, but I was not impressed with Carmen Robinson. She may draw off some African American voters, who probably were going to vote for Ravenstahl (no one seems to be able to explain why, at least not satisfactorily). If Dowd had made an effort to get the African American vote (even DeSantis showed up on Perrysville Ave) … but I guess Robinson being in the race might mean he loses by a few less percentage points.

There is at least one more televised debate. I hope Dowd throws caution to the wind, and goes for the jugular. He should start the debate pointing out that Ravenstahl is the beneficiary of being Mayor at the end of the first five year Act 47 plan, which destroyed Tom Murphy’s career, by the way. Dowd should hammer on what happens next, when we go into a new five year plan. How many police will we have to lay off this time? Will the State step in and appoint an executive to run the City because Ravenstahl obviously can’t? These are the things I would say if I were Pat Dowd. Maybe they aren’t totally fair, but since when did fair matter in politics? The trick is to go for our gut.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


So I did read the Tushnet book “Out of Range”, all in one sitting on Saturday. I also watched David Simon, creator of “The Wire” and “Homicide, Life on the Streets” interviewed by Bill Moyers on Moyer’s “Journal” Friday evening. Doing both in a short space of time affected me considerably.

Tushnet is a rare bird indeed, a constitutional scholar who claims never to have considered the second amendment (and I believe him), and so come to the subject as the closest thing to an expert without an agenda., based on his analysis of available material, is that there is support for both sides of the argument in the history of the second amendment (gun rights versus gun control). Let me say right upfront that Tushnet’s position is that there is no empirical support the gun control works, particularly because there are not good empirical data sets. Tushnet spends a fair amount of time on this notion, and makes a somewhat confusing but ultimately somewhat persuasive case that regardless of whether you are trying to show that more enforcement of existing laws or more gun control is effective, that it is impossible to show why a crime drop occurs. Consider the argument advanced in Freakonomics, briefly mentioned by Tushnet, that the drop in crime that we saw in the 1990’s could be traced directly to women being able to have abortions legally from the mid-seventies on, and thus a generation of what might have been neglected children were not born. That would surely color the statistics for any effectiveness of the assault weapon ban, as well as any effectiveness of a program in Richmond that combined federal and state prosecutors to get criminals the harshest sentences possible for gun crimes. Tushnet did not look at the experience of other countries with gun control, but ultimately, to be realistic, most Americans who own guns would not likely give them up because the Japanese and the British ban guns and have lower crime then we do. Realistically that suggestion will be met with the refrain that if law abiding citizens give up guns, only criminals will have them (if nothing else, if guns were banned and citizens were ordered to give them up, then indeed the only people with guns would be criminals … sorry, couldn’t resist).

By the way, Tushnet mentions the “right of resistance” early in his book. He spends some time talking about militias, whether the second amendment is only supposed to apply to them and what their relationship should be to the government. Interestingly this issue was brought up in a discussion on another blog, although in my opinion the circle was not closed in the sense of attributing to Poplawski the “right of resistance”. Interstingly, just before (Shays) and just after (whiskey) the writing of the second amendment, there were two tax rebellions by poorer farmers aginst the government. Shays’ was ended by State authorized but private funded troops, the whiskey rebellion was ended by troops led first by Washington and later Hamilton. Even though both rebellions could be said to be the efforts of a local government to oppose a government that had become corrupt and oppressive, I have seen no evidence that the country as a whole either agreed or even sympathized. Which makes me think that one of the cornerstone arguments for at least not restricting the second amendment, not banning assault or military style rifles, is not an argument supported by public opinion when military weapons are used to resist the government. Something for tea party participants to think about.
Tushnet does examine the issue of the right of resistance in some detail. He acknowledges that even while some commercially available rifles are fairly fearsome, modern armies have tanks, aircraft and artillery which when used are quite a bit more effective. Tushnet does then briefly mention the concept of guerilla war. Most guerilla wars are fairly brutal affairs, but in keeping with notion of a militia. Of course, there is conundrum right there. Are militias for the defense of the United States per se, or for the defense of the concept of the United States against a now corrupt and oppressive national government. Personally I think that the writers of the second amendment were is some sense splitting the difference. As I mentioned, they appeared to have little sympathy when people were protesting taxes they had created. Yet the second amendment sort of justified what America had done in resisting England. It will be interesting to see if the second amendment plays any role in Poplawski’s trial.

But what is the context in which we should be discussing gun control anyway? When we talk about three dead policemen we are absolutely talking about a huge tragedy. But most of the victims and perpetrators of gun violence here in Pittsburgh are African American. Are we concerned about them? This was the subject David Simon talked about on Friday on Bill Moyer’s Journal. Simon’s thought is that we are not concerned about inner city poor neighborhoods. They have high unemployment and high underemployment, Simon calls them excess citizens, people we don’t need, we pretend to serve as citizens, but we really don’t. And they realize that, they realize there is a difference between urban schools and suburban schools. There’s a difference between how police approach a face of color and a white face.

The poor know the drug war has gone on for how long, thirty or more years? We said “Just Say No” in the 1980’s. as if that is likely to help a black teenager get a better education or get a job. I myself have just finished seeing the economic situation up close but in little increments. Helping people do their taxes is something I like to do, and I am happy to be paid something for doing it. But I am sure I am not part of any kind of long term solution, I am just helping some people get all the money the government is wiling to give them (within the rules), or at least owe as little as possible. I am not encouraged by what I see. Based on the incomes and situations I see, poor people do not have the credit to buy a house, except sometimes in Lincoln Lemington or the Hill or East Liberty. They do not save for retirement. I remember one gentleman in particular, still working at eighty, I believe just to make ends meet. These are difficult lives, with a lot of stories of setbacks, or being dragged down by disabilities (or family members with disabilities), or bad choices that they make worse (such as refusing to pay child support).

Within the context of crime, “The Wire” is all about the (too few) police who do try to solve crimes and/or bring order to the streets. Meanwhile, the higher-ups in the police department try to create statistics that show something is being done. The inner city is where there are AK-47’s and high magazine capacity pistols that are used, mostly by African Americans against other African Americans. And there is little hope of pulling those guns out of the neighborhoods, because there aren’t enough police and anyway doing so might imply it was ok to take away everyone’s guns.

But we shouldn't make a mistake of who the other, forgotten victims are.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Less room for debate

So how to address this? KDKA postpones a Mayoral debate, on it’s own (apparently) over the logistics of running a debate when they have had so much coverage of the shooting now over a week ago, and the events that followed. KDKA also apparently questioned the appropriateness of having a debate so soon after the shooting.

Strikes me as lousy reasoning, although if they say it’s so you kind of have no choice but to believe them. But what is especially annoying is that the Mayor is using that as an excuse to get out of one of the three debates. No time for a rescheduled debate, according to the Mayor’s office. Meanwhile, in responding to Pat Dowd’s complaint about the Mayor’s office cancelling his participation in the taped debate, the Mayor states he was the first to propose debates and to offer a schedule. That makes this another ironic situation.

Now, I suspect it violates some kind of campaign laws, but doesn’t the City have it’s own video cameras, facilities for editing and it’s own cable channel. So the debates could be aired, with questions posed to all three candidates from whomever, the media, the general public or bloggers, it hardly matters.

Of course my suggestion won’t be acted upon.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

A bit more gun (out of) control

I had a lengthy "discussion" over at Slag Heap on the potential for gun control with one of those "well informed" individuals who support the Second Amendment. I suggested that this person (mjfletcher, unless my worsening eyes deceive me) that they had a agenda to their comments, and that (I thought) they sounded (vaguely) threatening. He/She responded that (s)he was giving me simple facts, if I felt threatened by those facts that was my problem. Among the simple facts mj recounted were that the all the founding fathers knew all governments become corrupt and oppressive and that’s why the Second Amendment was put in the constitution. It is our patriotic duty to resist an oppressive government. There was also stuff at first about how gun control doesn’t work and legislators know that, but they (a) want to make ordinary know-nothing citizens feel good, and (b) want to consolidate their hold on the patriotic citizens who might resist the corrupt and oppressive ways of the legislature by taking away the guns of ordinary law abiding citizens. There were lines about how we let felons out of jail too soon, and when I countered with a statistic that we have the most persons in jail percentage wise, mj suggested we put people in jail for parking tickets or failure to pay child support, but still let the gun toting felons go. Actually mj could have said, had mj chose to, something about how we jail people mostly for drugs, but perhaps mj thinks that is justified; jail is where the drug users and petty distributors belong.

mj also said some technical things about guns themselves, he said that gun control doesn’t work, that reducing the capacity of magazines (my suggestion) can be easily gotten around. Then he asked why no one is paying attention to the nuttiness of Poplawski, how Poplawski was thrown out of the Marine Corps, how Poplawski had protection from abuse orders, how Poplawski wrote nutty things about an international Jewish conspiracy, and how the government (Obama) wanted to take away his guns. Of course, mj only knows these things because the media was paying attention to it, but whatever. My response (yes, I didn’t need to give one, but I did) was to say “irony”, and also God help us all. To me, one person with pseudo conspiracy theories was complaining about another person with conspiracy theories.

I don’t thing that there is going to be a serious call for gun control in Congress. Obama has too much on his plate; he can’t make new enemies right now. And by the way, I do agree that gun control up till now really hasn’t worked. Even if there is a call for some new but limited measure, it would not involve any kind of reduction of the guns or high capacity magazines that are out now (by one estimate I read, 200 million). But what might happen is the police may take matters into their own hands. They may start wearing helmets, a heavier grade of body armor and they may come to the door (when someone calls the police because you are watching TV too loud) carrying M-16’s, the same guns carried by the army and SWAT team members. When they stop you for running a red light, they may be pointing M-16’s at you until after they make you get out of the car and search you and your car for weapons. In short, the police may act as if every person they come into contact with is a patriotic, law abiding citizen who feels it is his or her patriotic duty to resist the corrupt and oppressive police with an AK-47 when the police seem to want to take guns away (by stopping people for traffic violations or responding to domestic disputes). Serves us right for being supporters of the Second Amendment.

Are you getting Smart with me?

I really think Barrack Obama is trying to be a “smart” President. It may be the way he approaches the world, and, given the law of unintended consequences, it may not work, but it is interesting to watch. A couple of examples:

If you asked Americans on September 12th, 2001, what should the government do now, the response would have surely been to get Osama Bin Laden by any means possible. It would have been ok to strike a deal with the Taliban, or fine to invade Afghanistan and get him that way. "Just get him" was the operative theme.

A few Americans might have mentioned Saddam Hussein in passing. But I think no one would have thought Saddam was a primary threat.

So we went after Osama bin Laden, and spectacularly failed to get him. And a year and a half later we went after Saddam Hussein, not having got Osama bin Laden. We invaded Iraq because the Bush administration made the case that Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction would soon be in the hands of terrorists, or Iraqi intelligence operatives pretending to be terrorists, and America would suffer a more devastating attack. Later we would be told that a democratic Iraq would be a catalyst for democracy throughout the Middle East (including the Palestinian territories, where they clearly don’t understand democracy, having elected the wrong people).

So Obama wants to focus back on Afghanistan. Although it has not been mentioned, it appears Obama might be willing to accept a dictator or at least a much less democratic Iraq than what the Bush administration seemed to have in mind (to they extent they had a plan at all). Since it seems Iraq is evolving in that direction anyway, what I am really saying is that the Obama administration appears ready to accept reality in Iraq. But in Afghanistan, there is still room to expand democracy a bit, and more importantly maybe we can yet get Osama Bin Laden. That would be a popular, and therefore smart thing to do.

Meanwhile, on the domestic side, if you ask people what they would like the economy to be like, if you asked them to fantasize and think of the time they were most happy (economically speaking), you would probably get a bunch of hunh’s and wishing doesn’t make it so (I am assuming Americans are an unimaginative bunch, by and large). I suspect if they got the question, a slim majority would say they wished it was 2006 all over again, with growing home values and growing 401k’s. I suspect Obama realizes this, and realize he needs to make the stock market “happy” again, to make a majority of voters happy. What I mean is that Obama realizes he needs to have the widely recognized symbol and barometer of how the American economy is doing start going up again. Then a given subset of Americans will automatically give him some credit for being responsible for America having a good economy (like many of us blame Bush for the opposite).

But how do you make the stock market happy? Well, you start by not firing any of their CEO’s. You continue by continuing to give investment companies and banks (or bank holding corporations) lots of taxpayer money.

The problem with that is that some ordinary Americans blame the investment companies and banks (or bank holding companies) for our current financial mess. So there is a tension between make/keep the financial market happy and satisfying ordinary taxpayers desire to see someone punished for our financial mess. The solution? Fire an executive in a different industry. To use a basket ball term, throw an elbow. In this case, a symbolic elbow at Rick Wagoner of GM. I think the subtle message to the financial industry is “look, I am trying to keep you happy, but see what I am capable of; now how about that re-regulation?” Will that work, and will Americans be satisfied with Rick Wagoner as a sacrificial lamb? Probably not, but it is early days yet, and there are other heads that can go on the chopping block if the financial industry complains or resists re- and new regulations (too bad John Thain is already gone, although maybe he could be prosecuted at some point).

So Obama is trying to do the smart thing in foreign and domestic policy. Which is probably confusing to a lot of people: pundits, Washington insiders, ordinary voters, etc. Maybe we will get used to it or maybe the midterms will turn Congress back over to the Republicans.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Gone Baby Gone

Via Bram's Comet, we find out from Jeremy Boren that tonight's debate is at least postponed, possibly cancelled. Too bad, in a way, it would not be bad to see the candidates responded to stressful news. No word on when the debate might be rescheduled to.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

A true tragedy ...

Since it happened roughly six blocks from my house, I feel more compelled to say something about the killing of the three police officers than I might otherwise. Except there really isn’t much to say beyond what has been said. It was truly a senseless killing. One co-worker (I did my second job yesterday) remarked that Poplawski’s life is over, while someone else suggested he would get the death penalty. I think if he doesn’t get the death penalty, it will be life in prison and I would hope he would never be paroled.

A couple of thoughts do occur to me that I would like to remark on. First, Poplawski’s back story reads like the poster child for tougher gun control. Dropping out of high school, joining the marines and then being dishonorably discharged during basic training (apparently to chase a girl), having protection from abuse orders in his past history; this is a person that should never have been allowed to buy an AK-47 or a concealable handgun. I remember last summer, during the debate about the election, how gun enthusiasts commenting on the Burgh Report were claiming that gun control makes countries less safe, and linking to web sites that used statistics purporting to prove that. Now, the shooting yesterday is just one anecdote, but, when I think about it, the gun crimes I hear about are a series of anecdotes where guns are almost never used by innocent parties to successfully defend themselves against criminals. Instead it is drug gang violence, or some drunk carrying a pistol into a bar, pulling it out over some random argument and shooting several people, or just recently three senseless bouts of shootings including the Poplawski affair.

At the very least, I hope and also suspect Congressional Democrats will bring back the assault weapon ban. I believe they will get it passed too; there is talk about using an obscure rule/tactic in the Senate that I have not looked into yet (but I believe is called reconciliation) that nullifies the need for the 60 vote super majority. I can see that being used here because the assault weapon ban is actually popular among Americans. Not that I believe one party rule is good for us, and I strongly suspect the Democrats will soon collapse under their own weight, and find a way to fritter away their majority. Frankly, House Democrats seem determined to do just that as soon as possible.

Anyway, back to the topic of this post; the last thought that occurred to me was that this issue might show up in the Mayoral race. Obviously the Mayor would have nothing bad to say about the police department. It’s hard for me to think of any local ordinances that could have even the remotest chance of preventing or minimizing an incident like this in the future. Since I believe that’s true, I hope Pat Dowd does nothing more than join the Mayor in offering condolences to the families of the slain police officers. The debate tomorrow will undoubtedly be colored by this tragedy.

Friday, April 03, 2009

How debatable ...

The Post Gazette has the news, currently in their breaking news section online. There will be three debates between the Mayoral (Democratic) candidates, including a live one Monday at 7:00pm on PCNC. The other two will also be at 7:00pm, taped on KDKA on April 15 and again live on April 20 on WTAE.

As we may all remember, Obama was behind right before the debates. By being cool and very reasonable sounding, and because McCain was cranky and less reasonable sounding, Obama pulled ahead and never looked back. For Dowd to score a similar result, the Mayor would have to be less on his game than he was with DeSantis. For that to happen, Dowd will have to challenge the Mayor the first time he doesn’t answer a question. Also Dowd will have to be somewhat dismissive when the Mayor lists achievements, and Dowd will have to suggest that the City’s financial achievements are the result of ICA or Act 47 team guidance, while the City's missteps are the Mayor's own fault. Finally Dowd will have to be charitable to Carmen Robinson, to avoid seeming a bully.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Blogging gets as bad as everything else.

This is very disturbing to me. (local) Bloggers have a habit of picking up clever videos made by campaigns or other “interested” parties and posting them on their blogs. I don’t think I ever have, except for that animated thing, and I don’t remember how I did that (I followed some sort of instructions). And several of us have produced those little animated things (myself not using much of its capabilities) with our own words. Bram started with Ravenstahl’s words, I used (mostly) a post I had put up, and then Matt Hogue and Bram created some scripts.

But what I have just seen is different. You may remember that Matt Hogue had a post about Franco “Dok” Harris (the Mayoral candidate) that had an impressive amount of internet research and a nasty tone. The level of research was so impressive that at least a couple of people voiced the opinion that the Mayor’s office or campaign had written the post. Personally I don’t know what to believe. College students famously have a lot of spare time, but Matt seems more interested in the West End Council race. In fact now he is Anthony Coghill’s campaign manager.

This is all leading to the video on Matt’s blog “What will Patrick say next to get elected?”. This is essentially an anti Pat Dowd commercial. Matt doesn’t source it in the post, but a click on the You Tube link reveals it was created by someone who calls themselves “pghrebel”. I am willing to believe that is probably not Matt. This is the only video they have uploaded, although their favorite videos are listed, mostly they seem to have to do with males lifting weights. The video itself has no credits, although it does put text on the screen several times. Now I assume it has not hit the television airwaves, although I suspect it will soon.

What makes the video interesting is the amount of access this person has. Maybe I am naïve, but I wouldn’t know how to lift the PG’s video. I certainly wouldn’t know how to lift the City’s Council video. I recently heard a discussion about how the City wants to put the Council video on the web, but has not done so yet. So how would you get access to that video, unless you were either a City IT employee, or a high level City employee?

Even the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth identified themselves. This video cites no campaign, no 501c. It is does not let voters know it’s producer’s agenda. Seems to me this surely bends if not breaks campaign laws. And its on Matt’s blog.