Skip to main content

John Murtha Dies: Another Open Seat in Congress

Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) died this week, leaving another vacant seat on Capitol Hill and setting the stage for another political race which the Republicans are probably going to win. Why do I say probably? I don't know...just seems they are riding a wave of Obama Backlash right now and have a nice head of steam ever since they stone-walled the Healthcare Bill and won the late Ed Kennedy's senate seat. And with Sarah Palin running wild whipping up support from the Tea Party Movement (whatever that is), there's no telling what could happen.

I don't pretend to know who the candidates will be in the race for Penna.'s 12th district. But I can tell you it's an oddly-shaped peice of territory, encompassing all of the southwest corner of the state (including Waynesburg, where I went to college) and spidering northeast to cover parts of suburban Pittsburgh, and small cities like Johnstown, Washington, Latrobe, and Uniontown. If you're not from PA that won't mean much to you. But, suffice it to say, it's not the most urban part of the state. It's not the most rural either. It's essentially a mixture of suburbs, rusted out steel-towns, coal country, and rugged farmland. All of which means it is pretty bad-off economically. And when things are bad economically, people want a change.

Murtha was likely to get re-elected, but that's mostly because he'd been around for about 35 years and people knew and trusted him. What will happen now that he's gone? We'll have to wait and see...but until I have reason to think otherwise, I'd bet the Party of "No" is going to add another Representative to its ranks very soon...


Popular posts from this blog

New Yorker Fiction Review #151: "The Bog Girl" by Karen Russell

From the June 20 issue...

My loyal readers (if there are still any, which I doubt) will know I'm usually not a fan of Magical Realism, which, as you may also know, is Karen Russell's stock in trade. That said, there's nothing I love more than having my antipathy for magical realism shattered by an awesome story like "The Bog Girl."

Briefly, an Irish teenager discovers the body of a young woman who as been buried in a bog for over 2,000 years and begins to date her. What more do you need, right? If I'd read that one-line description somewhere else, and wasn't on a mission to review every New Yorker short story, I doubt I'd have read "The Bog Girl." But maybe I should start doing a George Costanza and do the opposite of everything I think I should do.

Where Russell succeeds here is in two main areas: 1.) Making us really love Cillian, the teenager who falls in love with the bog girl, and 2.) pulling the unbelievable trick making the characters…

Holiday Q&A, Volume 1

These questions come to us from Grace. Thanks for sending your questions!! Answers below:
What is the most thrilling mystery you have read and/or watched?
The Eiger Sanction (book and film) by Trevanian is what's coming to mind. International espionage. Mountain-climbing assassins. Evil albino masterminds. Sex. Not a bad combination. Warning, this is completely a "guy" movie, and the film (feat. Clint Eastwood) is priceless 70s action movie cheese. But in case that's your thing...
What's the deal with Narcos?
Narcos is a Netflix show about the rise and fall (but mostly the fall) of Columbian cocaine kingpin Pablo Escobar. Thus far there are two seasons of 10 episodes each. RIYL: The film Blow, starring Johnny Depp; the book Zombie City, by Thomas Katz; the movie Goodfellas; true crime; anything involving the drug trade. My brief review: Season 1 started out a bit slow and I know a bunch of people who never made it past the first few episodes. Some of the acting is a…

A Piece of Advice I Learned From My Grandfather

My grandfather was one of the most learned men I know. He read widely and voraciously, and not just in the sciences (he was a doctor); he loved politics, philosophy, and great literature as well. Whenever he finished a book he would write his thoughts about the book in the front cover and then sign and date it. To this day every once in a while I will open a book from my bookshelf or my mother's bookshelf, or at one of my family members' homes, and there will be my grandfather's handwriting. He was also a great giver of his books; if you remarked that you liked a particular one or wanted to read it, you were almost sure to take it home with you.

Reading is a very solitary pursuit but my grandfather was not a solitary person. He relished having family and friends around him which is convenient because he was blessed with a lot of both. And he carried out his intellectual life in a very "public" way as well. He was, in some ways, an intellectual evangelist. If he r…