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Member since: 2002
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Pa. Democrats elect Groen as state chairman; Burn officially resigns

GETTYSBURG — The Pennsylvania Democratic State Committee elected Marcel Groen as its chairman on Saturday, ending months of uncertainty that fractured the state party's leadership.
Groen, a lawyer who has headed the Montgomery County Democratic Committee for more than two decades, was unopposed in his bid to serve as the party's leader for the nearly three years left in the second term of former chairman Jim Burn.

Burn, a former Allegheny County councilman and mayor of Millvale, resigned Saturday prior to the state committee vote, fulfilling a promise he made in July to step down in the interest of party unity.

“I see this as the best solution ... to get the focus back on the candidates and the Democrats,” rather than on internal disputes, Burn said Friday.

This year's election battle for control of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court could assure Democrats a majority on the state's highest court for more than a decade if they win all three open seats. The crucial 2016 election will bring the Democratic National Convention to Philadelphia and decide slew of national and state races: the presidency, the U.S. Senate and House, the three state row offices and the state Legislature.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/9080668-74/state-democratic-groen#ixzz3lZ0PQjdo
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook
“They're all important,” said Groen, 70, who will serve as chairman through at least June 2018.

Groen, who has been active in Democratic politics since 1971, said he wants to involve more rank-and-file party members in the candidate endorsement process and encourage potential rising stars. As Montgomery County's Democratic leader, he was instrumental in the party's takeover of county government in 2012 for the first time in nearly 150 years.

Groen, a partner in the Fox Rothschild law firm, is the son of Holocaust survivors from Amsterdam who emigrated to the United States with his family when he was 9.

“When I got off the boat, I spoke no English,” he said Friday.

The Post-Gazette article gives additional background on today's meeting in Gettysburg and the issues involved in this change in leadership. http://www.post-gazette.com/news/politics-state/2015/09/12/Pennsylvania-Democrats-select-Groen-as-party-chair/stories/201509120155

Today’s outcome was never in doubt. After Mr. Burn announced his plans to resign, support quickly coalesced around Mr. Groen, who was backed by Mr. Wolf. Many party regulars believe the governor, as the state party’s standard bearer, deserves deference on selecting the party’s leadership.

But not everyone agrees, especially in rural areas, where some party leaders have complained of being neglected by the party’s urban centers. By all accounts, Mr. Burn has made nurturing relationships with party leaders a hallmark of his tenure.

“Jim built a grass-roots effort: He knew the county chairs and the caucus chairs, and the local people got to know who he was,” said Charles Vizzini, a state committeeman from Cambria County.

“I thought Jim Burn was doing a great job, and I’m not pleased to see him being forced out,” said Franklin County Democratic Committee Chairwoman Sherri Morgan on Friday.

Yet another HRC campaign move - faith based/values messaging - Hallelujah!

What Hillary Clinton’s Faith Means For Her Campaign

by Guthrie Graves-Fitzsimmons - Guest Contributor Sep 11, 2015 11:29am

Hillary in the pulpit may seem as likely a sight to see as Mike Huckabee officiating a same-sex wedding. Democrats understand religion and politics at around the same level as Republicans get climate science.

But this Sunday, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton will share the pulpit at the D.C. church they actively attended during their time in the White House. The rare occurrence presents some opportunities for Hillary Clinton campaign to allow voters to see a genuine side of herself — as well as a chance for a Democratic candidate to meaningfully connect with people of faith.

There are good reasons for the Clinton campaign to do more religious outreach. Hillary has smart policy wonks who are mapping the “what” and seasoned political operatives who can map the “how” — but only through faith-based and values messaging can she communicate the “why” that’s been sorely lacking from her campaign.

These comments following the article at the OP link speak for me:
1. Patrick Fiegenbaum · Portland, Oregon

I disagree with this: "Democrats understand religion and politics at around the same level as Republicans get climate science." Democratic people of faith don't look to politics to validate their religious beliefs. I don't need my Representative, my Senator, my Governor or my President to pander to me to understand that I want a society that values all its members, that prioritized feeding the hungry and housing the homeless above blasting people to bits halfway around the globe. I want government to spend more educating our citizens than it does arming them and sending them off to battle. I want a federal budget that preserves more wilderness areas and spends less propping up oil companies.

These policies are all rooted in my faith, but I don't need government officials and candidates framing policy proposals in faith terms for me to feel validated in my positions. Religion and politics certainly blend, but when one leans on the other for justification, it leads to theocratic pronouncements and a feeling of "Almighty God is on our side," which turns discussions and disagreements into holy wars. It's not a good way to conduct the nation's affairs, as can be seen in instances too numerous to recount here.

and 2.
Erin Kathleen Grant · Newark Valley, New York
I don't understand how this can be seen as a good thing. Aren't we (liberals) for the separation of church and state? How many times have we trashed Republican candidates for using the pulpit to garner support from the religious population? Why do we complain when churches lend their support to candidtates (if they're Republican) and say that if they want to preach politics they should lose their tax exempt status? Why is it ok all of a sudden just because its Hillary? Hypocrisy is one of my hot buttons and this reeks of it.

At a Brooklyn Cemetary, A Place of Work and an Enduring Memorial

Rest in peace, Rosa Maria Feliciano - you died far too soon.

Beginning of the link:
On Sept. 11, 2001, Isaac Feliciano dropped his wife off at the subway so she could get to her job at Marsh & McLennan, in the south tower of the World Trade Center. Then, he headed to work himself — at the Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, where he's worked for the past 21 years. When the plane struck the tower, even as far away as he was, Feliciano was still able to see the damage firsthand.

(Read the whole report at the link)
End of the report
"When I cross the bridge every morning, I see the city and it just doesn't look the same anymore. I just see that new tower there, but I can't see myself going there for no reason at all."

Whatever the name given to the site of the Sept. 11 attacks, there is just one name that matters to him — and just one site he wants to keep visiting.

"Her name is Rosa Maria Feliciano," he says. "She's buried here, so Green-Wood Cemetery is ground zero for me."

9/11 FB post from Joe Sestak

For those who don't know him, Sestak is a retired Navy 3 star Admiral and former U.S. Congressman who is running for the U.S. Senate from Pennsylvania.

Joe Sestak
3 hrs ·

Fourteen years ago today, I walked out of the Pentagon shortly before the plane hit. I returned to see the waste of human cruelty triumphed by the strength of human bravery.

We will never forget.

Guardian: 5 Ways for Hillary to Recapture Her Cool

Hillary Clinton
Can Hillary Clinton avoid the fate of Mitt Romney? Five ways to recapture her cool
Her email controversy and a perceived lack of the ‘personal touch’ look ready to derail yet another campaign – but we know how she can get it back on track

God, Hillary Clinton is a stuffy old suit, isn’t she? Everyone knows that. She’s out of touch, she lacks the “personal touch”, and she hasn’t got “the common touch” either.

Over the past few weeks it has become accepted wisdom among political commentators that Clinton is 2016’s Mitt Romney. She is distant and lacks a sense of humour. She’s stiff! She’s wooden and overly cautious!

Basically Clinton is like a real-life Pinocchio, trotting about on stage with rigid arms and legs, except she is voiced by a bad actor who can’t do jokes and is ill-advisedly flippant about email disclosure.

But it wasn’t always this way. Remember that phone picture where she was wearing sunglasses? She was cool then.

I don't think there are any core beliefs.

If you read her books, you know that her mother had a miserable childhood - basically was abandoned, and then married a man who was so controlling and abusive that if HRC came home with A's from school, he belittled her by belittling any school which gave her an A. Her father was physically abusive as well.

Some kids with abusive parents get in to trouble, others double down and try twice as hard to win parental approval, i.e, love. It's not what you DO(getting an A), it's the end results (parental approval) - we see this in people who will do anything, justify anything if it results in a win. Winning isn't the most important thing - it's the ONLY thing.

Some of you may have studied Maslow's research with rhesus monkeys - particularly the study where cloth covered wire cones with a false monkey face on top were equipped with nursing bottles w/ the nipple protruding from the middle of what would be the chest area.

Infant monkeys were removed from their mothers and paired with one of these "cloth mothers". Then Maslow introduced pain to the equation. The babies would receive electric shocks from the mothers, or short, sharp knives were placed around the nipple so that the babies would be cut when they tried to nurse. The results? The more pain the babies received from the faux mothers, the tighter the babies clung to the mothers. Their instincts were that parents were supposed to comfort and nurture them.

The findings from this experiment were used to demonstrate and explain why abused human children still clung to their abusive parents. In particular, it influenced enlightened judges/social workers from deciding whether or not to return children to abusive parents based on asking the child if they wanted to go home.

Is it so surprising that a child growing up placing satisfying his/her parental source of love above all else, no matter how much abuse or rejection, then stays in an abusive marriage? But he's/she's my husband/wife. He/she is supposed to love me. It must be my fault.

The following NYT excerpt was originally posted in the Hillary Clinton group:

Revealing, and somewhat disturbing: Hillary Clinton Draws Scrappy Determination From a Tough, Combative Father
"As a little girl, if Hillary Rodham forgot to screw the cap back on the toothpaste, her father would toss the tube out the bathroom window. She’d scurry around in the snow-covered evergreen bushes outside their suburban Chicago home to find it and return inside to brush her teeth, reminded, once again, of one of Hugh E. Rodham’s many rules.

When she lagged behind in Miss Metzger’s fourth-grade math class, Mr. Rodham would wake his daughter at dawn to grill her on multiplication tables. When she brought home an A, he would sneer: 'You must go to a pretty easy school.'

Mrs. Clinton has made the struggles of her mother, Dorothy Rodham, a central part of her 2016 campaign’s message, and has repeatedly described Mrs. Rodham’s life story to crowds around the country. But her father, whom Mrs. Clinton rarely talks about publicly, exerted an equally powerful, if sometimes bruising, influence on the woman who wants to become the first female president.

The brusque son of an English immigrant and a coal miner’s daughter in Scranton, Pa., Mr. Rodham, for most of his life, harbored prejudices against blacks, Catholics and anyone else not like him. He hurled biting sarcasm at his wife and only daughter and spanked, at times excessively, his three children to keep them in line, according to interviews with friends and a review of documents, Mrs. Clinton’s writings and former President Bill Clinton’s memoir."

http://t.co/LxfS5ft51H via NYTimes

It's a 5 star, luxury boutique of a foundation -

via which the Clinton family travels in private jets w/large entourages of personal assistants, stays in presidential suites of luxury hotels and throws international soirees at luxury resorts for their mega-donors.

Riddle me this, Batman! (as the saying goes) - what is the Clinton Foundation other than an extra layer, gratuitous, skim-a-percentage-off-the-top, middleman? Brilliant move by slick Bill - the privatization of charity. Basically, they solicit moneys from foreign governments and corporations interested in sucking up to HRC while she was Secretary of State, and now in case she makes it to the Oval Office. At the point where she loses the primary, or the general election - those seemingly munificent, albeit self-serving & high return on investment contributions to the Clinton Foundation will come to a screeching halt.

If the Clinton Foundation folded up its tent and disappeared tomorrow, the world would still have all the other charities (Doctors Without Borders, organized religious charities, International Red Cross, International Rescue Committee founded by Albert Einstein, various United Nations programs, etc.) and direct government assistance on-going and emergency relief programs which pre-dated the Clinton Foundation.

I heart Pennsylvania!

Serious topics aside, I just had a lovely, late summer morning driving through sun-dappled Pennsylvania woods - stopped at a country market for the last of the homegrown summer corn & fine fresh produce - then a stop at a nursery to buy 40 - count 'em - 40 winter hardy mums - and a butcher shop for some perfect center cut, stuffed pork chops (sorry, vegetarian relatives) for Sunday dinner.

My Pennsylvania Dutch ancestors settled in Pennsylvania back in 1642, and their descendants - all farmers, gradually moved west through the generations. I lived in the Midwest (Chicago) the East Coast (Baltimore/Washington D.C., Florida and the West Coast (Los Angeles & Sacramento) before moving to southwest PA back in 1969. I harbor no fantasies about the grass being greener or the skies bluer, etc., anywhere else.

Yet the beauty of Pennsylvania remains fresh and exhilirating to me even after some 45 years.

And now we're headed into my favorite season, with the glorious fall foliage.

Wishing all of my fellow Keystone Staters a beautiful autumn.


Robert Reich: Bernie 1st pres. candidate since RFK to join picket line.

Bernie joined workers in a picket line today at a plant in Iowa, where they're seeking higher wages. The last candidate for president I recall joining a picket line was Robert F. Kennedy in 1968.

For years labor unions have been marginalized or castigated by Republican politicians, and taken for granted by Democratic ones. Every four years the Democratic candidate for president promises organized labor that he or she will push hard for labor law reform once in office, but nothing ever happens. In 2008, Obama committed himself to the "Employee Free Choice Act," which would have strengthened labor protections and enabled workers to organize with a simple majority in an up-or-down vote -- but Obama never followed through. In 1992, Bill Clinton promised labor that if elected he'd make labor law reform a central issue -- but Clinton never pursued it.

Bernie is making stronger promises. He believes, accurately, that the decline of organized labor (from 33% of the private sector workforce in 1955 to less than 7% today) is directly related to the decline of the American middle class. If elected, I believe he'll follow through.

Senate candidate Sestak fund-raising for Dem. Supreme Court candidates.

Here's the email I just received from Admiral Joe Sestak. It's really important & worthwhile with this fall's historic election for Pennsylvania's State Supreme Court. Please consider contributing to these candidates. With a Democratic majority, the makeup of our Supreme Court can be a rare counterweight to the gerry-mandering of our legislative districts. Worth passing along to other PA Dems.


I know you might think this is a little different that I’m asking you to contribute to someone else, but we have here in Pennsylvania a once in 311-year opportunity:

For the first time since 1704, there are three vacancies on Pennsylvania’s highest court – and all three vacancies will be filled on November 3rd election by "We the People" through our vote.

When William Penn established Pennsylvania’s court system, he did so with the promise that justice would not be “sold, denied, nor delayed” and that people “of all persuasions” would have access to “open” courts. Today, we must continue that legacy.

With three of seven seats up for election this year, we have a chance to elect men and women committed to safeguarding Pennsylvanians’ public health, worker protections, environmental quality, and equal access to justice.

Please, be sure to vote in the November 3rd election, and also consider contributing to the campaigns of these three qualified candidates:

Judge David Wecht

Judge Christine Donohue

Judge Kevin Dougherty

There is much at stake in my 2016 race, Nancy, but 2015 is vitally important as well. I’ll see you at the polls on November 3rd!

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