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Will Darlene Harris run?

Chris Potter of City Paper noticed the PG story last week about Pittsburgh City Council President Darlene Harris, one of Democratic mayoral nominee Bill Peduto's fiercest critics, switching her registration from Democratic to independent "to keep her options open." This presumably means she might run against Mr. Peduto in the fall, but she would not elaborate.

"Harris, of course," writes Mr. Potter, was a [Democratic] mayoral candidate herself for about 17 minutes. She dropped out to back Peduto's main rival, Jack Wagner, and in fact appeared in anti-Peduto ads to back up claims that Peduto is divisive.

"Talk of a Harris candidacy might seem premature, if not sort of crazy. But SOME of us journos are experiencing withdrawal symptoms now that this mayoral race is over. So don't spoil this for me."

Obama: into darkness

Via Atlantic Wire: At the New Yorker, Amy Davidson writes about "Star Trek: Into Darkness," focusing on the film's portrayal of government secrecy and the perils of power when consolidated in one individual. Ms. Davidson highlights the timing:

"President Obama [gave a big speech last Thursday] about counterterrorism, drones, detainees and everything he's trying to do in that space. For a president who has been accused of being Spock-like, his approach to national security and the law has been far too Kirk-like: driven by a belief that his good will alone, his character, compensates for legal limbos like Guantanamo and discredits the anger, here and abroad, about drones.

"He remembers who he is, and thinks that that should be enough. He's wrong; what we need to remember is what America is, and ought to be."

Getting rid of the gay

Matthew Tharrett at "After figuring out that electroshock therapy and gay conversion therapy didn't really work, a Catholic seminary in Wynnewood, Pa., has come up with yet another suggestion on how to force grown men into changing their sexuality. You know, because they chose it in the first place.

"The organization, run by Father Paul Check, is planning the 14th year of a weeklong Catholic 'sports camp,' which will help men to shed their homosexual desires through playing contact sports with other barely clothed, sweaty and presumably sexy gay men. Check believes the lack of contact sports at an early age can lead men to develop homosexual tendencies and hopes to extract the 'shame' gay men feel while playing sports with other men."

Eleanor's pistol

From Slate: "At the FDR Library, one exhibit holds the contents of Eleanor Roosevelt's wallet. While many of the cards and slips of paper from the wallet are fascinating (a Met membership card, a scrap of a poem about the importance of good cooks), this pistol permit is perhaps the most surprising.

"Roosevelt was a peripatetic traveler, covering large distances in service of the many projects she pursued both during and after the FDR presidency. It was Eleanor's determination to drive her own car that led to her pistol ownership. The Secret Service begged her to take an agent, a police escort, or at least a chauffeur; she refused. The pistol was a compromise: a small bit of protection to put their minds at ease."

Congress buckles again

Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone: "It's becoming an annual tradition: Spring rolls around, and while nobody is looking, Wall Street quietly lays siege to Washington and reaches a hand out to yank the last remaining teeth out of the government's financial regulatory head. In the last two weeks, we've seen ... a wave of deregulatory bills that snuck through the House with surprisingly bipartisan support and a series of regulatory decisions by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission that will seriously weaken the already-weak Dodd-Frank reform legislation ...

"If a story about a wave of bills designed to prevent the meager derivatives reforms passed in Dodd-Frank from being enacted sounds familiar, that's because it is. I wrote almost exactly the same story a year ago, in the middle of May 2012, when a herd of Wall Street-friendly congresshumans teamed up in the House Financial Services Committee to push through a wave of nine ambitious bills targeting derivatives reform."


Greg Victor (


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