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Fetterman Says Magic Mushrooms Could Be ‘Economic Boom’ for PA

It’s not every day that the phrase “magic mushrooms” turns up in U.S. Senate proceedings. But leave it to Sen. John Fetterman (D-Pa.) to make it happen. Now critics say he is high on his own supply.

During a Senate agriculture subcommittee hearing last week, Fetterman spoke favorably about psilocybin mushrooms, claiming the mind-altering fungi can provide both economic and mental health benefits to growers and users. Fetterman has also long advocated the legalization of marijuana, writing on his campaign website that weed “should be legal, nationwide.”

Psychedelics aside, mushrooms are a major part of Pennsylvania’s agricultural economy. Chester County’s Kennett Square is known as the “Mushroom Capital of the World,” and the American Mushroom Institute says more than 60 percent of all mushrooms produced in the U.S. come from the region.

Reps. Chrissy Houlahan (D-Pa.) and Dan Meuser (R-Pa.) have introduced the Protecting Mushroom Farmers Act mandating a federal study on crop insurance benefits for mushroom farmers. Fetterman and fellow Democrat Sen. Bob Casey filed companion legislation in the Senate.

According to Fetterman, the mushroom industry employs nearly 9,500 Pennsylvanians and contributes an estimated $2.7 billion to the local economy. But “magic mushrooms” are not part of the mix.

“I’ve been an advocate of psychedelics in terms of the magic mushrooms for PTSDs and for veterans especially,” the senator said during the hearing. He argued psychedelics could present an “amazing economic kind of boom” for growers in the state and “a revolution in mental health.”

Witness Chris Alonzo, a Kennett Square mushroom farmer, quickly tried to steer the conversation away from mind-altering drugs, speaking more broadly on the need to “create healthy food for the community.”

Fetterman briefly persisted, claiming the U.S. “should have more research in microdosing and other issues” before ultimately dropping the issue.

The use of psilocybin mushrooms has been hotly debated among mycologists and drug regulators. The federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) lists the drug as “a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act, meaning that it has a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision.”

DEA literature claims that persistent substance usage can lead to “longer, more intense ‘trip’ episodes, challenging experiences (physical and emotional), psychosis, and possible death.”

The Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs did not comment directly on Fetterman’s remarks, though a spokeswoman pointed to the portion of the Pennsylvania code that lists psilocybin as a “controlled substance.” Like the DEA, Pennsylvania claims psilocybin has “a high potential for abuse; no currently accepted medical use in the United States; and a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision.”

In contrast, Michael Beug, professor emeritus at the Evergreen State College in Washington State, downplayed the alleged dangers of mushrooms.

“Psilocybin mushrooms are anti-addictive (abuse them, and you do not get hooked, they quit working),” he said. “There is no known LD-50 (lethal dose in 50 percent of the population).”

“At a ‘heroic dose’ (full-scale hallucinations), the therapeutic effects can last months to years, and in some cases, even one trip can change a person for a lifetime,” he claimed, though he added “guidance is essential” as “the trip can be terrifying and unguided trips can lead to very bad decisions while tripping.

“In addition to the original, intriguing studies in the 1960s,” he continued, “serious research resumed in the late 1990s, and now dozens of major research institutions (mainly in the U.S. and Europe) have programs underway.” He called the potential therapeutic quality of the mushrooms “absolutely a ‘revolution in mental health.’”

Not everyone agrees.

“When it comes to significant side effects, experts’ primary worry about ketamine, psilocybin, and other hallucinogens, like LSD or ayahuasca, is that they can trigger a psychotic or manic episode,” The New York Times reported.

Experts Warn of Grid Crisis as PA Senators Demand Green Energy

When the U.S. Senate approved the Inflation Reduction Act, Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) celebrated the legislation as “the most ambitious climate bill the Senate has ever passed.”

Casey said he supported the Biden administration’s goal of reducing power from coal and natural gas sources. “It will shore up the U.S.’s place as a clean energy producer and reduce our greenhouse emissions by 40 percent by 2030,” Casey said, “while investing in the coal communities that powered our nation for generations.”

But last week, senators on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee heard a very different story. The retirement of fossil fuel electricity production and the lack of reliable renewables to replace it are putting America’s grid at risk. That includes the possibility of rolling blackouts and widespread deaths from a loss of power.

For example, the regional grid operator PJM projected 40 gigawatts of electric production to be retired by 2030, about one-fifth of its current installed capacity. More than half of that loss comes from what it termed “policy-driven retirements.”

Last week’s committee hearing was called to “examine the reliability and resiliency of electric service in the United States in light of recent reliability assessments and alerts.” The news was ominous.

James Robb, president & CEO of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, told senators the electric power system “is absolutely at an inflection point right now.”

The grid, Robb said, needs to be able to hold up especially well when demand surges, and residents call for huge amounts of electricity. He argued that novel new forms of electricity production “can’t do that nearly as well as large, spinning mass generation.”

“And that’s why the loss of coal plants and natural gas plants and nuclear plants is so concerning from a grid reliability perspective,” he said.

“Grid transformation” has occurred throughout the U.S. for years as increasing numbers of reliable coal-fired power plants are retired, and renewable energy methods take their place. Activists claim the rapid shift away from carbon-based fuels to green energy is necessary to prevent the theoretical effects of climate change in the coming century.

David Tudor, CEO of the midwestern Associated Electric Cooperative, predicted the rapid retirement of fossil fuel power plants could bring about population-level deaths in the U.S.

“My concern is, you’ve got a gap period here that we have this push for new renewables and this push to shut down plants that work, and there’s nothing there in the middle to save us,” he said.

“I fear we are going to have blackouts, and I’m afraid we’re going to see a significant number of lives lost.”

Grid warning signs have been flashing at the state level as well. A panel of experts told the Pennsylvania Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee last month the state and the region were facing near-term power shortages due to the retirement of legacy plants in favor of newer, untested renewable source generation.

State Sen. Gene Yaw warned at the hearing that “short-sighted environmental policies” have “forced fossil fuel plants into nonexistence, resulting in fewer reliable energy sources to shoulder the burden of increased demand on Pennsylvania’s electrical grid.”

Also of concern is the number of jobs in Pennsylvania and elsewhere supported directly or indirectly by fossil fuels. A recent report found that fossil fuels, directly and indirectly, support over 400,000 jobs in Pennsylvania alone and millions across the country.

Neither of Pennsylvania’s federal senators appeared concerned about the possibility of electricity shortages in the state or nationwide. Casey, who did not respond to requests for comment, has supported the use of “tax credits for companies to build American-made clean energy facilities” and called upon the state to “increase the use of renewable energy” to address the climate crisis.

Sen. John Fetterman, meanwhile—who also did not respond to requests for comment—has claimed that the U.S. needs to “transition to clean energy as quickly as possible.” The freshman Democratic senator has shown a willingness to play politics on the question of energy, having reversed his position on fracking during his contentious run for Senate last year. But he has also supported extreme policies like carbon caps as a way to mitigate the possible dangers of climate change.

After the Senate hearing, Rich Nolan of the National Mining Association released a statement saying it was “impossible to listen to the testimony this morning, including from the nation’s top reliability regulator and from the CEO of our largest grid operator, and not conclude that we’re pushing aside existing, dispatchable generation – namely the nation’s coal capacity – far too quickly.”

“We are already in a grid reliability crisis, and the EPA’s regulatory onslaught is making an extraordinarily challenging situation all but unmanageable,” he said.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration said most electrical generation in the U.S. continues to come from coal, natural gas, nuclear energy, and petroleum. Just around one-fifth of the total generation comes from renewables.

Robb told the senators his industry is doing its part on the infrastructure side to move the power, but that doesn’t solve the problem if there’s no power to move.

“The electric transmission grid is highly reliable and resilient,” he said. “Yet the risk profile to customers is steadily increasing.”

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Fetterman, Dean Endorse ‘Frivolous’ 14th Amendment Debt Ceiling Scheme

Montgomery County Rep. Madeleine Dean and Sen. John Fetterman are urging President Joe Biden to invoke the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and unilaterally raise America’s debt ceiling. It is a move many legal scholars dismiss as both unserious and unconstitutional.

As America’s national debt approached $32 trillion, a 1917 law requires Congress to increase the amount the federal government could borrow if it were to keep issuing debt. As has happened in the past, Congress — the GOP-controlled House in particular — wants to use the debt ceiling vote to leverage a deal on political policies they support. Republicans want spending reductions in future budgets and work requirements for able-bodied adults receiving some welfare benefits.

After weeks of insisting there would be no negotiations and demanding a “clean” debt-ceiling bill, Biden is negotiating with Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy. progressive Democrats like Dean and Fetterman are outraged. They want Biden to invoke the 14th Amendment and issue new debt without congressional approval.

The 14th Amendment says in part that “the validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law … shall not be questioned.” Progressives have occasionally argued, without evidence, that this provision means the president has the power to raise the federal debt limit without consulting Congress.

Fetterman recently publicly urged Biden to utilize this theoretical measure amid stalled debt ceiling talks. It has never been attempted before and would doubtlessly be subject to considerable litigation and a likely rebuke by the U.S. Supreme Court.

“This is the whole reason why the 14th Amendment exists, and we need to be prepared to use it,” Fetterman said. “We cannot let these reckless Republicans hold the economy hostage.”

Seemingly anticipating a negative Supreme Court reaction to the plan, Fetterman added. “And, if our unelected Supreme Court Justices try to block the use of the 14th amendment and blow up our economy, that’s on them.”

Dean, meanwhile, this month signed onto a letter from the Congressional Progressive Caucus urging Biden to “invoke the 14th Amendment of the Constitution” and “refuse to reward Republicans’ reckless refusal to raise the debt ceiling without preconditions.”

Neither Dean nor Fetterman responded to queries regarding their support of the plan. But one key opponent of their approach is Biden’s Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen.

“What I would say, it’s legally questionable whether or not that’s a viable strategy,” Yellen said.

The issue is so far out on the legal fringe many constitutional scholars queried by DVJournal declined to speculate on the proposal’s feasibility.

“Not my area of Con Law, unfortunately,” one wrote.

“Sorry – beyond my expertise!” said another.

“Sorry, don’t know. Good luck!” wrote a third.

One exception was Michael Dimino, a professor, and expert in constitutional law at the Widener University Commonwealth Law School in Harrisburg, who has very clear views on the matter.

“The Fourteenth Amendment gives the president no authority unilaterally to raise the debt ceiling,” he told DVJournal.

“All the amendment says is that debts (except those incurred by the rebellious states) are valid,” he said. “It says nothing about how they are to be paid, and it certainly gives no authority to the president to override Congress’s decision about when or how to pay debts.”

“I do not know of any particular situation where it’s been used to this effect,” he said. “It seems like an absolutely frivolous argument.”

Other experts have weighed on the matter, with different scholars coming down on different sides of the constitutional question.

Jeffrey Rosen, a law professor at the George Washington University Law School, wrote during the 2011 debt fight that then-President Barack Obama stood a good chance of successfully using the 14th Amendment in such a way.

Rosen argued the Supreme Court would likely decline to hear the case at all, and the White House stood a chance of winning if it did.

“[T]he possibility of a lopsided victory should certainly embolden a constitutionally confident president to … throw down the gauntlet,” Rosen wrote.

On the same day, Rosen wrote those words, Dean of the UC Irvine School of Law Erwin Chemerinsky argued there was “no plausible way to read [the 14th Amendment] as providing the president the ability to increase the debt ceiling without congressional action.”

“The power of the purse — including the authority to tax, spend and borrow — is quintessentially legislative,” Chemerinsky wrote. “Not even a dire financial emergency would allow the president to take this over.”

The U.S. national debt on Tuesday stood at around $31 trillion, or about $250,000 per American taxpayer.

The only time since the nation’s founding when the debt balance was paid off was 1835 when President Andrew Jackson oversaw the successful termination of the national debt.

The government financed that achievement through land sales and tariffs.

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Fetterman’s ‘Borderline Incoherent’ Performance in Committee Hearing Raises Concerns

Pennsylvania Sen. John Fetterman’s stammering, unsteady delivery during a Senate Committee hearing — and media attempts to cover it up —  are raising questions once again about the Democrat’s ability to fulfill his duties, with one commentator labeling his performance “borderline incoherent.”

Fetterman was participating in a Senate Banking Committee hearing, where former Silicon Valley Bank CEO Gregory Becker was answering questions about his institution’s collapse.

According to The Washington Post’s Jeff Stein, Fetterman said at one point, “Shouldn’t you have a working requirement after we bail out your bank? Republicans seem to be more preoccupied with SNAP requirements for hungry people than protecting taxpayers that have to bail out these banks.”

But a video of Fetterman’s comments is transcribed as follows:

“Shouldn’t you have some kind of working required after we sail your bank us billions of your bank? Because you seem we were preoccupied, uh, when, uh, then SNAP us requirements for works for, uh, hungry people but not about pro, protecting the tax, tax papers you know that will bail them out of whatever does about a bank to crash it.”

Later in the hearing, Fetterman said to Becker, “Is. Is it staggering? Is it a staggering a, res, uh, responsibility that ju— that a head of a bank could literally, could literally crash our economy? It’s astonishing.”

Fetterman only recently returned to the U.S. Senate after spending six weeks at Walter Reed Military Medical Center being treated for clinical depression. The depression is believed to be a consequence of a major stroke Fetterman suffered during last year’s U.S. Senate race.

Trending Politics co-owner Collin Rugg called Fetterman’s remarks “the most painful 90 seconds you will watch all month.”

Fox News reporter Houston Keene wrote Fetterman was “borderline incoherent” during his remarks, claiming the senator “appeared to struggle through his opening statement.”

“We are told we are to salute him for his bravery,” said John Podhoretz, editor of Commentary magazine, “but if his aphasia is so severe he cannot speak… he obviously can’t perform his duties in the way that he should.”

Fetteman’s performance has been compared to that of fellow Democrat Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), the 89-year-old senator who has missed months of votes in the Senate due to extreme age and illness.

When asked about her absence, Feinstein told a writer with, “No, I haven’t been gone.”

When asked whether she meant that she’d been working from home, Feinstein responded, “No, I’ve been here. I’ve been voting,” she said. “Please. You either know or don’t know.”

Even progressives are now urging Feinstein to step down due to her inability to do her job.

“If you’re a Democratic senator and you’re not at least privately urging Feinstein to resign and urging Schumer and Durbin to take action, you have failed the people who sent you to Congress. You’re lying to yourselves that this is *okay*,” tweeted MSNBC Host Mehdi Hasan.

But elected Democrats in Congress are standing by Feinstein.

“I don’t have a medical degree, so I’m not going to comment on how she’s feeling or what she looks like,” said House Caucus Chair Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.), though he added, “We expect Senate Democrats to have our backs on some of these votes and discussions … I appreciate the fact that she’s back working and we wish her nothing but the best.”

Fetterman’s staff acknowledge Fetterman has problems, but they insist all is well.

“We have been clear for literally months and months that John continues to have auditory processing issues due to the effects of his stroke,” Fetterman spokesman Joe Calvello told Fox News.

“If sickos on the internet want to keep making fun of John for recovering from a health challenge, that’s between them and their consciences.”

Video of Fetterman’s Struggles in Senate Committee Goes Viral

The video of Pennsylvania U.S. Senator John Fetterman struggling to speak during a committee hearing went viral on Wednesday, once again raising questions about the first-term Democrat’s ability to do the job.

It was Fetterman’s first time to chair a Senate subcommittee, and his performance repeatedly revealed the lingering effects of the stroke he suffered while on the campaign trail last year.

“I call to this hearing of the U.S. Senate subcommittee and food and nutrition and specialty crops, organics and research, to order,” the Democrat said.

Fetterman spoke haltingly, struggling to pronounce simple words. He used a child-like, sing-song voice as he read pre-prepared questions to those giving testimony to the committee.


State Sen. Doug Mastriano (R-Franklin), who may be eyeing a run for the U.S. Senate in 2024, called the video “heartbreaking and difficult to watch.”

“Sadly, he has been unfit to serve since last May. Last year, he was unable to preside over the state Senate (as lieutenant governor) due to health reasons. Yet there is silence from the mainstream media, who would be daily demanding his resignation if he were a Republican.”

Fetterman was recently released after spending six weeks at Walter Reed Military Medical Center receiving treatment for severe depression. “My message right now isn’t political,” Fetterman said after his release. “I’m just somebody that’s suffering from depression.” Depression is a common after-effect of strokes, medical experts say.

His absence, coupled with the inability of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D- Calif.) to serve due to her age (she turns 90 in June) and health issues, denied Democrats a majority and brought work on several key committees to a halt.

Fetterman’s decision to remain in the 2022 Senate race despite his debilitation at the time generated criticism and questions. His poor performance in his one televised debate with Republican Dr. Mehmet Oz was widely viewed as a fiasco at the time. But Fetterman handily defeated his GOP opponent, possibly because of the large number of ballots that had already been mailed in.

The criticisms were revived when Fetterman was forced back into treatment soon after being sworn into the Senate.

Delaware County GOP Chairman Frank Agovino said that while he supports “compassion and resources” for the disabled, “Sen. Fetterman is over his head and current ability level. It’s not fair to him, and every day he serves in the U.S. Senate, we are a little less safe.”

Pat Poprik, Bucks County GOP Chairwoman said, “It is so sad to see him struggle to read prepared remarks like this. It appears that he is unfortunately still dealing with the effects of his stroke, and I believe it raises questions about his ability to effectively serve in the United States Senate.”

Political pundits immediately reacted to the new video.

Christine Flowers, who often writes for DVJournal, said, “The senator is clearly still suffering the effects from the debilitating stroke he experienced almost a year ago. Listening to him speak in a halting, stilted manner elicits sympathy for him as an individual, but deep concern for his ability to fulfill his duties as a public servant. It is also an example of just how much his supporters, including his family and support staff, lack candor, as well as respect for his constituents.”

Townhall’s Matt Vespa wrote that his speech troubles indicate Fetterman “cannot serve a full term.”

Hannah Nightingale at the Post Millennial reported the senator “struggl[ed] with his words” during the speech.

And longtime Trump ally Jenna Ellis put it bluntly: “Fetterman is not okay.”

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MILLER: Journos Covering for Fetterman’s Health Condition

According to a recent NBC News report, Pennsylvania residents feel abandoned after the East Palestine train derailment and the subsequent controlled explosion. A group of Keystone State lawmakers responded with a letter urging Northfolk Southern Rail to assist residents in any way they could. Signatories included Senator Bob Casey, Rep. Chris Deluzio, and Senator John Fetterman.

Casey and Fetterman are also part of a bipartisan group of senators introducing a bill titled the Railway Safety Act of 2023.

One would assume that Fetterman cannot introduce or sign onto legislation while incapacitated and under medical observation, but we are forced to assume a lot of things about Fetterman because journalists aren’t asking questions about his condition. Is he able to perform tasks while under medical inpatient care? Is he signing letters and introducing bills while under medical supervision?

That’s not what he and his campaign promised before the election.

The problem? John Fetterman, per his staff, is still under medical observation at Walter Reed for severe depression and side effects concerning his stroke. His office has previously admitted he may not be able to fully recover from this condition, despite their earlier proclamations during the campaign.

So either John Fetterman is using Walter Reed as his personal open-door office for staff to come and go as they please while doctors treating the causes for his admission in the first place simply turn and look away, or his office is effectively operating without the sitting Senator.

What is going on? We don’t know because we have yet to hear from a single doctor. And journalists aren’t asking any questions. They are deleting tweets about praising his wife, who took the family for a ziplining vacation in Canada last month instead of visiting her ill husband.

When I asked Adam Jentlesen, a former Harry Reid staff flack and now John Fetterman’s chief of staff, about this, I found myself blocked by him on Twitter.

Something is not adding up. Journalists all know it, and they are all covering for it.

During the campaign, NBC News reporter Dasha Burns, the only reporter to sit down face to face with Fetterman, took enormous fire from colleagues for questioning Fetterman’s ability to understand her questions without the assistance of captioning. There was a Senate seat at stake and that was far more important to Dasha Burns’s colleges in the media than being honest about Fetterman’s actual health. The campaign is over, Fetterman won, and the dogpiling on Burns proved that no journalist will dare question Fetterman’s current condition.

There were open questions as to how Fetterman, if elected, would be able to perform his Senate duties. Those questions went unasked, and unanswered, even after he was rushed to an emergency room for lightheadedness and malnourishment.

We have yet to hear from a single medical doctor treating John Fetterman, and there is zero pressure from the media to finally come clean about the true nature of Fetterman’s ability to serve. The public receives press statements regarding his condition that are both rare and vague.

In the meantime, his office is pushing out legislation with his signature, and without him being present on the Senate floor. Both his campaign and a donor who signed a medical letter — a doctor who also happened to be a campaign donor — said Fetterman would be back on full-time duty by now.

It’s time to end this charade, both for John Fetterman’s health, and the health of the Republic and the institution of the Senate. John Fetterman’s chief of staff is not an elected senator. If Pennsylvania’s elected Senator cannot perform his duties, even with an army of journalists covering up the true nature of his condition, then he must resign.

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What Is John Fetterman’s Health Outlook Moving Forward?

In his successful U.S. Senate run, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, 53, had to surmount not just a formidable Republican opponent but also the lingering effects of an ischemic stroke likely caused by atrial fibrillation, the cardiac abnormality involving the heart’s upper two chambers.

When he takes office in January, Fetterman will have to persist with massive lifestyle changes necessary to stay healthy and also manage a new and demanding position.

Having served as Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor since January 2019, and having run as a senatorial candidate once before, Fetterman is no stranger to the challenges of high-stakes politics.

And for patients with atrial fibrillation and a prior history of stroke, the potential for returning to a normal, healthy adult life is good. But doctors and medical researchers stress that beneficial lifestyle changes must be initiated and followed through. And there lies the challenge.

“Lifestyle modifications are hard to adopt and even harder to persist with,” said Peter Noseworthy, M.D., a cardio electrophysiologist and cardiologist in the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. He spoke in general about atrial fibrillation, not specifically about Fetterman.

Atrial fibrillation is a cardiac disorder resulting in an irregular heartbeat that can have bothersome symptoms, such as palpitations and shortness of breath. It also can lead to blood clotting and stroke, such as happened to Fetterman on May 13, 2022. He underwent surgery to implant a pacemaker-defibrillator on the day of the Democratic Senate primary, four days later.

After that, it was not a simple matter of getting up and leaping back into the race. The stroke had temporarily starved his brain of oxygen, leaving Fetterman with an auditory processing disorder known as aphasia. That made it difficult for him to understand spoken speech and respond clearly. The seeming disability gave his opponent, Mehmet Oz, fodder to accuse him of being unfit for the office.

Aphasia is a language deficiency, not a cognitive defect, and experts agree the adult brain can continue repairing itself six to nine months after a stroke, possibly for much longer. Some aphasia patients have made a full recovery.

Patients with atrial fibrillation are generally placed on oral anticoagulants to lessen the risks of another stroke. Lifestyle changes are also strongly recommended. “Atrial fibrillation is somewhat of a chronic condition,” Noseworthy said.

“That doesn’t mean it can’t be treated or controlled, but the risks of atrial fibrillation and stroke likely persist, so it’s not the kind of thing where you can take a short course of anticoagulant and minimize your risk. It requires ongoing treatment, usually over the course of a patient’s life to control symptoms and minimize the risk of stroke,” he said.

Fetterman is 6 foot 8 inches tall and given his peak weight of 400 pounds he had a body mass index (BMI) in the neighborhood of 44, well over the recommended BMI of 25 for his height. He has appeared much slimmer in public recently, suggesting that he is losing weight. He claims to walk four to five miles regularly. However, tall people have larger atria and are at greater risk for atrial fibrillation, and Fetterman, being unusually tall, is in a class by himself.

Medical researchers say there is compelling evidence that weight reduction can contribute enormously to risk reduction in atrial fibrillation. Patients who fail to bring their weight under control or who have wide weight fluctuations are at higher risk for recurrence of symptoms, according to studies reported by the American Heart Association.

At least 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity physical activity every week is also thought to be beneficial in preventing problems with atrial fibrillation.

Fetterman famously ignored his doctor’s advice about his heart condition for five years until he had a stroke. So, succeeding with his recovery will involve bucking deep lifestyle trends while contending with a highly demanding public role.

Senators average just 165 “legislative days” a year, and for that, it is often alleged they do not work as hard as others. In fact, the days on Capitol Hill can be very long, and when not in session those elected to Congress have many other demands on their time.

“No matter where they are or what they are doing, House and Senate members are spending 83 percent to 85 percent of their time—and well over 40 hours a week—on legislative and policy work, constituent services, political and campaign work, press and media relations, and administrative duties,” according to, an education website.

In a mid-October 2022 update on Fetterman’s health, his doctor, Clifford Chen, M.D., said Fetterman was making substantial progress with his recovery, as evidenced by a blood pressure reading of 116/82 with a heart rate of 80 and a positive cholesterol profile. “I have spoken with his neurologist and cardiologist and he will follow up with them routinely. [Fetterman] takes appropriate medications to optimize his heart condition and prevent future strokes. He also exercises routinely.”

Based on that, Chen said Fetterman was committed to maintaining good fitness and health practices and could work a full shift in Congress with no restrictions.

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FLOWERS: PA Voters Pick Nihilism Over Compassion

I’ve been told abortion was the deciding factor in Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate race.  I myself have written about the importance of abortion in the grand scheme of things, the measure and metric by which we determine our collective humanity. And if abortion really was the thing that motivated women and the men who loved (or at least wanted to date) them, we have our answer about that collective humanity: It’s missing in action.

When I think that a majority of voters in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania chose to align themselves with someone who has such a radical view of abortion rights as John Fetterman, and to a slightly lesser extent Josh Shapiro, whose Twitter feed kept sending out inane messages about “a woman’s right to choose” as if it had Tourette Syndrome, then the Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade revealed a very deep schism in modern society and in this state in particular.

You might think the word “eugenicist” is a bit much, given its overtones of the Holocaust and Mengele.  The doctor who performed horrific experiments in the concentration camps was attempting to design a society where only perfect Aryan creatures existed and reproduced with each other. But the pseudo “science” of eugenics has existed for generations and was embraced by exalted historical figures like Teddy Roosevelt, Oliver Wendell Homes, and Margaret Sanger. That brings me to the point of calling abortion supporters “amoral eugenicists.”

Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, championed abortion as a form of extreme birth control.  Despite an attempt at whitewashing by the PP crowd, Sanger never actually disavowed her enthusiastic support for sterilizing immigrants, people of color, poor people, and all those others who did not rise to the level of what she considered a valuable and contributing member of society. She did not use terms like “Aryan.” She simply wanted to improve society by weeding out the less desirables. Generations later, Hillary Clinton echoed that philosophy when she talked about the basket of “deplorables,” and it is clear that from a progressive standpoint, eugenics was at the very least a nuanced issue. To them, it had some value.

Abortion is an extension of eugenics. It permits people to make judgments about the value of other people, other human beings. The terminology is carefully curated so that we stop talking about “people” and shift towards a focus on “fetus.” Some have even used the term “opportunistic parasite.” Those of us who are pro-life and follow the actual science are content to settle for the universal term “human being.”  But that is something that encourages compassion and reflection on the exact nature of the act of aborting. And to those who support abortion, like John Fetterman, reflection is a dangerous and counterproductive thing.

When I think that a majority of voters in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania chose to align themselves with someone who has such a radical view of abortion rights, I realize the Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade revealed a very deep schism in modern society, and in this state in particular. While Roe was still in place, the abortion supporters were marginally pacified. They were not on the defensive, the law was on their side, and they could complain about conservative pro-lifers, safe in the knowledge that a half-century of creative precedent was on their side.  Then came Dobbs, and the tectonic plates shifted to create a social earthquake. Pro “choice” women saw their choice reduced to a state-by-state determination, panicked, and looked for people to blame.

The target was easy: Conservatives in general, Republicans in particular.

The method was easier: Elect the man who said he’d protect their right to abort whenever and however they wanted.

The reckoning came on Tuesday night, and I have to congratulate the sisters for their determination, organization, and motivation in making sure that they were still able to advance Margaret Sanger’s mission of selecting human value by calling it “autonomy.”

The nihilism vote won.

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Obama, Biden Rally DelVal Dems to Back Fetterman, Shapiro

If anyone doubted Pennsylvania is Ground Zero for the 2022 election, the events on the final Saturday before the midterm elections left no doubt. The current resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and two previous tenants came to the state to campaign for their favored candidates for governor and senator.

Former President Trump was in Latrobe to rally with Republican senatorial candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz and gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano. President Joe Biden and former President Barack Obama came to the Liacouras Center at Temple University to rally for Democrats John Fetterman and Josh Shapiro before a largely young crowd.

President Joe Biden

Like a clean-up hitter, Obama spoke last.

He urged the crowd to vote, lashed out at the Republicans, and bemoaned the 2014 midterms when Democrats lost the Senate.

“Midterms are always hard for which every party is in the White House, and typically midterms are tougher on Democrats. A lot of folks don’t pay attention to politics the way they do in a presidential year. In fact, maybe they don’t know Congress matters…Young people, especially, are less likely to vote in midterms, and that hurts Democrats. Young people tend to be more progressive. I can tell you from experience that midterms matter a lot. Some of you are too young (to know).

“When I was president, I was elected in the midst of a financial crisis. We did the right thing to get the economy back on track, but it was hard, and people were frustrated just like they are now. Sometimes it takes a while for things to settle down, so in 2010 we lost the House. And then, in 2014, even though now the economy was improving, we saw the lowest voting rate in modern history, and because of it, we lost the Senate.”

So, his agenda on guns, climate change, and immigration reform stalled, he said.

Former President Barack Obama

“Sometimes I like to imagine what it would have been like if enough people had turned out to vote in those elections,” said Obama. “If we had maintained control of the House and maintained control of the Senate.”

It was clear from the loud and sustained applause he garnered Obama is still a Democratic Party rock star.

Biden mentioned his childhood in Scranton and that First Lady Jill Biden is from Philadelphia.

He told the audience of several thousand they have the power to make “John Fetterman your next United States Senator and Josh Shapiro your next governor in three days.”

“Your right to choose is on the ballot, your right to vote is on the ballot, Social Security and Medicare are on the ballot. And something else is on the ballot. Character. Character is on the ballot. When I think of character, I think of John Fetterman…John Fetterman is Pennsylvania.”

“I lived in Pennsylvania longer than Oz has lived in Pennsylvania, and I moved away when I was 10 years old,” said Biden.

Lt. Gov. John Fetterman

“Courage is also on the ballot,” he said. “When I think of courage, I think of Josh Shapiro…He stood up for the people of this state, and he’s going to be a fantastic governor.”

Fetterman mentioned that he is recovering from a stroke and gave his standard stump speech, taking shots at Oz, eliciting boos from the crowd.

Oz “likes to pander,” said Fetterman.  “I want to get this off my chest. Wawa is so much better than Sheetz.”

He said Oz would be on a stage with Trump and Mastriano, but “we are 100 percent sedition free,” an allusion to the Jan. 6 riots. Earlier in the day, when Fetterman made that same statement in Pittsburgh, the wind blew down the American flags behind him.

Fetterman said that he would vote to “codify Roe v. Wade” and to be the 51st vote to end the filibuster and “fundamentally change America.”

He also promised to ban “assault weapons.”

Shapiro said if elected, he would increase spending on public school education and teachers’ pay, start an apprentice program for high school students and remove the requirement of a college degree for thousands of state government jobs.

He said he “dedicated himself to public service” for his four children. He worries about their climate, their safety, and that they have “fewer opportunities than the world I was blessed to be born into.”

He also cited his Jewish faith where no one is required to complete the task of improving the world but “neither are we free to refrain from it.”

Shapiro promised to make sure that every child “has a safe community to live in.”

Attorney General Josh Shapiro

Shapiro also spoke about abortion, saying Mastriano would take that freedom from women, while he promised to veto any bill that would restrict it. Mastriano has said that while he opposes abortion, as governor he does not have the power to ban it. That would be up to the legislature.

Shapiro called his opponent extreme. However, during the primary Shapiro funded commercials that boosted Mastriano’s primary campaign, a move made by Democratic candidates across the country to pick the opponents they believed were easiest to beat.

Shapiro also mentioned Mastriano went to Washington D.C. on Jan. 6 and “he plans to decertify voting machines…Probably the ones here in Philadelphia. Are we going to let him get away with that? That is not how our democracy works.”

“It’s not freedom to tell women what to do with their bodies,” said Shapiro. “It’s not freedom to tell children what books they’re allowed to read.”

Delaware Valley parents have been objecting to obscene books in public school libraries, such as “Gender Queer.” Mastriano has sided with those parents.

Earlier in the rally, lieutenant governor candidate state Rep. Austin Davis (D-McKeesport) spoke about being the son of a bus driver and hairdresser, the first in his family to go to college.

“I’m going to be the first Black lieutenant governor,” Davis said.

Gov. Tom Wolf also spoke about abortion and touted the state surplus that he will leave the next governor.

And Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) accused Republicans of being about “fear, smear, and divide.”  He urged the crowd to vote for Democrats.

“Let’s win in 2022,” Casey said.

GIORDANO: Debates Matter — And They Should

Are you amazed that a key state like Pennsylvania–in an election cycle that might change the history of our country– will end up having only one debate for the two highest offices being contested? If you’re like me, you might also be tired of pundits droning on TV that voters don’t make decisions based on what occurs in debates.

Is there any doubt that the Oz-Fetterman debate shook up the race?

More importantly, it underlined the seriousness of the issues that Fetterman still faces. The Insider Advantage poll taken the day after the debate had Oz leading Fetterman by 47.5 percent to Fetterman’s 44.8 percent. A subsequent poll released by Wicks Insights had Oz at 47.6 percent and Fetterman at 45.9 percent. It also was telling that among undecided voters, Oz led Fetterman 64.4 percent to 35.6 percent.

On my radio show, Dr. Oz told me he regrets the debate moderators did not spend enough time talking about crime. By my count, the actual time spent on crime was a little over two minutes. It was fine to spend ample time on abortion positions because there was a lot of contention over the positions of the two candidates. Oz made it clear once again he supports exceptions to abortion bans in the case of rape, incest, or the life of the mother. It is unclear to me, but I sense that Fetterman is for abortion rights in any situation and time frame.

As I said, the moderators made a big mistake by not allowing the candidates to debate their visions on personal safety. Crime is the issue that distinguishes these two candidates and the issue that filtered back into the race. It is the issue across the country that people care about the most after their deep concerns over inflation. A central part of this debate should have been Fetterman’s defense of his work as chairman of the state Pardons Board and his views on sentencing convicts to life in prison.

This was even more important because Fetterman supports the policies of radical Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner. Of course, Republicans in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives announced last week they will formally try to impeach Krasner on various grounds in the near future by adding some days to their legislative session.

There is quite a backstory to this development. Republican leaders were afraid to go forward with impeaching Krasner because it would be done in retaliation to their guys in various offices. However, their members in the House revolted and forced them to move on to impeachment. As I have said many times before, Larry Krasner will be impeached. If Oz beats Fetterman, it will be more about the Democrats’ radical positions, particularly on crime, rather than his difficulties brought about by his stroke.

Regarding these after-effects and what they mean regarding Fetterman’s ability to serve as a senator, he could resolve some of the debate by releasing his complete medical records from his cardiologist and neurologist. They would give insight to voters about his cognitive ability and possible future issues.

There is a good chance that this Senate seat will determine which party holds the majority in the Senate. I believe Republicans will overwhelmingly take back the House of Representatives. If Dr. Oz beats Fetterman, President Joe Biden’s unprecedented spending will be stopped, and we will slowly roll back inflation.

If that happens, we’ll think back to the one debate between major candidates held in Pennsylvania this year and remember debates often do matter.

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