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Cheap sporks (and other indignities)

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Contact Colin McNickle (412-320-7836 or

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Sunday, April 29, 2012, 12:30 a.m.

No doubt ColdSpark Media will be touting its list of "wins" in last Tuesday's Pennsylvania primary election. Whether they were "wins" for the Republican Party is another matter.

ColdSpark helped guide to GOP nominations Tom Smith (with a 40-year record of voting for Democrats) for U.S. Senate, Tim Murphy (with a 10-year-record of shacking up with organized labor as he engages in pay-to-play-to-shaft with business) for the U.S. House, and D. Raja (who, in another election, was snookered into believing that the results of "push-polling" make for good public policy) for the state Senate.

Brilliant! No. ColdSpark's "riches" are but a cheap spork into the gut of the GOP. ...

As of June 30 , the Pennsylvania Legislature was sitting on a cash reserve of nearly $184 million. That's according to an audit expected to be approved this week, reports The Associated Press.

The commonwealth's highwaymen defend what's really a slush fund as necessary to keep the Legislature running in a budget standoff with the governor. It's a "separation of powers" thing, one Republican lawmaker insists. Actually, the dosh hoard is designed to thwart the checks and balances of the separation of powers doctrine.

The real kicker here -- there are no rules governing this hardly small stash of cash and our "altruistic" public servants can meet in secret to decide to whom they can pay tribute.

And the folks in Harrisburg protest when anyone dares to use the word "corrupt"? ...

The same White House that used its taxpayer-funded press office to release a transcript of a purely political Michelle Obama speech (and had the arrogance to plainly state the political nature of the speech on the transcript) now is being shown to regularly campaign on the public dime.

An analysis by The Daily Caller concludes "President Obama, his immediate aides and his Cabinet secretaries have used taxpayer dollars to woo young voters at more than 130 universities and schools between March 2011 and March 2012."

It's taxpayer-funded indoctrination, pure and simple. ...

It's pretty stunning to think that the American Lung Association still gets so much publicity for its totally bogus air pollution reports.

By now, you should know the group's "scientific method" quite well -- stick an air pollution monitor in some smokestack, then defame, smear and slander the air quality of an entire region based on its nonsense. That's what the ALA's been doing to the eight-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Area for years.

If the Lung Association truly is concerned about air quality and health, it will stop engaging in junk science. But don't hold your breath. ...

The Property and Environment Research Center (PERC) is out with a marvelous 50th-anniversary debunking of Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring," which long has been the manifesto for environmentalists.

Not only do scholars Roger Meiners and Andrew Morriss reiterate their well-researched argument that the Allegheny County native's "celebrated scholarship was, at best, sloppy, and, at worst, an intentional deceit" (think DDT), it also contributed "to the justification for more restrictions on innovation."

Sloppy, deceitful and innovation-killing. In the real scientific world, such "research" is retracted. In Pittsburgh, a bridge is named for the fraud's perpetrator.

Colin McNickle is the Trib's director of editorial pages. Ring him at 412-320-7836. Email him at:

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