The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Sunday, June 27, 2004  

Together With Media Miscellany

MoveOn with Hoeffel
The campaign of Rep. Joe Hoeffel, the Pennsylvania congressman running against incumbent Sen. Arlen Specter (R), continues to gain momentum. This week Hoeffel won one of the first four endorsements from MoveOn.

The Philadelphia Inquirer explains the significance of the endorsements (“Hoeffel, Murphy Get Backing of,” by Nancy Petersen and Carrie Budoff):

Last week, in an e-mail sent to all its members, MoveOn asked for nominations for House and Senate candidates to support in the fall elections. According to its Web site, the organization received 16,000 responses and 400 nominations.

Hoeffel and Murphy were two of the first four candidates whose campaigns were singled out as needing financial support from MoveOn members before they file fund-raising reports with the Federal Election Commission at the end of this month.

“Demonstrating that they’ve raised significant early money -- especially from small donors -- will make a big difference in how they’re viewed nationally,” Eli Pariser, executive director of MoveOn’s PAC, wrote in an e-mail to members.

MoveOn also endorsed the candidacy of Lois Murphy of Lower Merion, Pa., a Philadelphia suburb. Murphy is challenging freshman incumbent Rep. Jim Gerlach (R) in Pennsylvania’s sixth congressional district. According to the Inquirer, “The Sixth Congressional District covers parts of Montgomery, Chester and Berks Counties, stretching from Lower Merion to Reading. Pundits said the district was drawn to favor Gerlach, but his Democratic challenger in 2002, Dan Wofford, nearly defeated him in a race that was a lot closer than expected.”

Also getting the nod from MoveOn were Arizona’s Paul Babbitt and Patty Wetterling of Minnesota.

This is excellent and exciting news for Hoeffel. Please consider aiding MoveOn’s effort on Hoeffel’s behalf by donating to the Hoeffel campaign today.

Why are They Always Picking on Me?
President Let Me Finish and his handlers didn’t much care for a couple of really-not-all-that-tough questions from Carole Coleman of RTÉ. If you haven’t seen or heard the interview, you can catch it here. (See also “Angry White House Pulls RTÉ Interview,” by Miriam Lord, the Irish Independent.)

Theresa’s Money; John’s Money
Who cares how much money Theresa Heinz Kerry has, whether it’s $500 million or $1 billion? Democratic presidential aspirant Sen. John F. Kerry has been raising money hand over fist (“Kerry's Campaign Has Soared From Poorhouse to Penthouse,” by Glen Justice, the New York Times):

Late last year, Mr. Kerry’s campaign was so broke that the senator had to mortgage his own home to keep the presidential effort in motion. Now its finances are soaring, the result of a surge of more than $100 million in contributions after the Super Tuesday primaries in March. That has given Mr. Kerry the distinction of being the best-financed challenger in presidential campaign history.

Keep it up, folks. Donate here.

Who’s Number Two?
Among those jockeying for the number-two spot on the Democratic ticket are Gov. Tom Vilsack (Iowa) and Sen. John Edwards (N.C.).

Even the Liberal Green Party
Cool. Even the liberal Green Party has rejected Ralph Nader, opting instead to nominate longtime activist David Cobb. (See also “Harvest Time,” by Hanna Rosin, the Washington Post.)

Michael Moore Called Fat
Calling a political adversary fat is pretty low. It’s hard, I think, to believe Ralph Nader would stoop so low.

Dean on Nader
Former Vermont governor Howard Dean takes a dim view of Ralph Nader’s campaign for the presidency: “I think Nader’s the biggest problem in the race right now,” Dean told the Boston Globe. (“Dean Sees Nader Support as Biggest Threat to Kerry,” by Glen Johnson.)

Practicing Without a License
My driver’s license lapsed several months ago. I haven’t driven since. (Actually, I haven’t driven a car since October 2002.) What am I so worried about? As noted here previously, President Call My Father has nominated Thomas Griffith for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit who has practiced law in the District and in Utah without license. The editors of the New York Times, among other observers, disapprove:

The unlicensed practice of law is no small matter, and certainly should disqualify anyone from sitting on what is often called the nation’s second-most-important court. Licensing puts a considerable burden on lawyers, who must study for bar exams and pay dues, but it is critical to policing the legal profession. Mr. Griffith has shown a striking disregard for the rules, and his profession.

Take a Chance on Your Health
Tell me there’s more to this story than appears:

Medicare is planning a lottery later this year for people with cancer, multiple sclerosis and several other diseases. For the 50,000 winners, the government will start helping pay for their medicine, but more than 450,000 others must wait until 2006.

[T]he law limits the new program to 50,000 people and $500 million, at least $200 million of which must be spent on cancer drugs. Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson estimated 500,000 to 600,000 Medicare recipients without prescription drug coverage are eligible.

“There’ll be a lottery to be chosen as one of 50,000 lucky individuals,” Thompson said.

(Link via Digby’s Hullabaloo.)

Good Question
Purported humorist P.J. O’Rourke, writing in The Atlantic (“I Agree With Me,” July/August), asks a good question: “When was the last time a conservative talk show changed a mind?” Here’s a better question: When was the last time P.J. O’Rourke made you laugh?

[Note: Additional items may be posted to “PP&T” after initial publication but only on the day of publication, excluding post-publication addenda.]

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