Extreme Pa. GOP mapping its own demise

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By Mike McGann, Editor, The Times @mikemcgannpa

You’ve probably heard about the old story about the dog who finally caught the car — and didn’t know what to do with it.

In Pennsylvania, of late, assume legislative Republicans are the dog grabbing the rear bumper, but one who doesn’t see the reverse lights suddenly turn on.

They’ve already moved to take emergency declaration power away from the governor (which for the life of me, I don’t understand how the courts would allow this violation of the separation of powers). 

It. Will. Be. A. Fiasco.

We’ll have a weather-related disaster before the end of summer, and the GOP will screw up the emergency declaration and people will lose federal funds for repairs and low interest loans; municipalities will be left out in the cold on restoration funding and a minor disaster will turn into a lot of needless pain and suffering.

But, that’s not enough, of course. Now they want to end gun registration, background checks and are pushing a cruel bill on the handling of fetal tissue along with a bill to effectively ban abortion.

From this legislation, it appears that some part of the Republican Party wants to make it impossible to end a pregnancy — and make it even more painful, if one ends naturally — impossible for business to insist on vaccines but much easier to end your neighbor with a gun, based on legislation being pushed through the committees in the state House of Representatives.

The same people who screamed bloody murder about having wear a mask want to dive deep in the uterus of every woman in the Commonwealth and literally use legislation to control women, their lives and their choices. They are, in short, amoral monsters.

A couple of key points: all of these proposed laws will not go anywhere. Gov. Tom Wolf has made it plain that he plans to veto them. No GOP legislator — just three remain — from Chester County has signed on to these efforts.

Understanding that even moderate Republicans (the few that remain) don’t think any of this is a good idea: large majorities locally support abortion rights and common sense gun safety measures such as universal background checks. When 65% of the population is against you, you have a political problem.

But you know what? I’m not letting State Reps. Tim Hennessey (who, as you might recall, actively tried to void my — and probably your — mail in vote, not because they were illegal, but because too many of them were for that Biden guy), John Lawrence and Craig Williams off the hook on this madness. 

All we hear from them is silence — fearful of upsetting the lunatic right-wing fringe (who in reality, are a bunch of heavily-armed, wimpy, whiny snowflakes), all the while knowing what the Idiot Squad from central Pa. is trying to shove through is political cancer to their careers.

The quickest way to stop this is to push Republicans into the political wilderness. You may recall I got a lot of flak when this publication said in 2018 that you shouldn’t vote for any Republican. I even took a verbal beating on Philly’s Trumpy, alternate-reality talk radio station (well, as much as one can get abused by people limited to two-syllable words).

Not to pat my own back, but the last three years have shown how right that turned out to be.

Make your mark in 2021. 

Do not vote for any Republicans in November. None.

Not for Township Supervisor, school board, district justice or county row office. 

The voters of this county have been sending a strong — but largely ignored — message to the Republican Party since 2017. Now, it needs to be crystal clear and as loud as force 5 hurricane.

It’s not about conservatism or liberalism, it’s about which party believes in small d democracy and which one believes in oligarchy and power at any cost. It’s about one party wanting to govern and another expecting to rule, regardless of the will of the people.

While any number of them might well be moderate, well-qualified candidates, until they feel the pain of their association with the retrograde, authoritarian Republican Party, nothing meaningful will change.


Those of you who spend time on enthusiast sites on the Internet have probably seen the claims from some that the COVID vaccines have caused some 4,000 deaths.

That blatant lie came from none other than Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, who continues to spread lies about COVID and the vaccine. Carlson cites the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) as his data source.

Here’s the skinny: yes, people died in the hours after getting the vaccine. Out of some 166 million people who got the shot, about 4,000 have died within some relatively short time of getting vaccinated. Two important things, the time frame is not clear on the site which uses self-reported data and the cause of death is not clear or even specified. So, someone who got the shot and then wandered into traffic and got hit by a bus could be included. Or if they had a heart attack, were murdered or any number of other causes of death. 

I’ll the note Centers for Disease Control (CDC) suggests there is no causality between the deaths and the vaccine. The vaccines are safe and effective.

People die. 

In fact, according to the CDC, about 6,500 Americans die every day.

So you can tell a lot of scary – and wildly misleading — stories with numbers.

I did some number crunching and discovered this: based on his ratings, about 50 people die daily, five days per week within 24 hours of watching Tucker Carlson. So, assuming Tucker took two weeks off since mid-December, when the vaccines were introduced, that means more than 5,000 people have died in the day after watching Carlson’s show.

Math says: Tucker Carlson’s show is much more deadly than the vaccines.

But, like Carlson’s wildly misleading claim, it doesn’t really reflect causality. Clogged arteries, poor exercise habits, a propensity for poor choices (I mean, they are watching Carlson) and a demographic that already has one foot in the grave more than likely has a lot more to do with all of those deaths.

In terms of causality, it seems like getting the vaccine makes you less likely to die within the short term (and we know it makes you much less likely to die in the long term) than watching Carlson.

So, if you’ve been hesitant to get the shot for this reason, now you know it is a bunch of hooey. 

Get the shot.

Save your life.

Protect the ones you love.


Lousy weather notwithstanding, this is a Memorial Day Weekend that many feel like celebrating (and yes, I know it is a day to remember those who gave their lives in service to this country — but to many it is also the unofficial start of summer).

Much of our world is reopening. In many places, we who have been vaccinated don’t have to wear masks. We can have folks over for a barbecue.

People scoffed when President Joe Biden said if we did our part, wore a mask and got shots, we’d be able to do this by the Fourth of July. Well, we’re pretty much here and it’s five weeks early.

Say what you will about Biden, but his COVID management has been effective. Cases, hospitalizations and deaths are all down. The economy is opening back up. Life is getting back to normal.

It looks like a good summer is coming.

Have a wonderful, friend and family filled Memorial Day.


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