News & Notes

There’s a lot to catch up with after vacation so I’ll comment on several issues.  First off I’ll be away again next week to go kayaking in Maine.  I will have my laptop but squeezing in writing while away with the family can be difficult, especially since we’ll be sharing the computer again.

Sen. Jim Bunning has decided to retire rather than lose.  The former Phillies perfect game pitcher sullied his legacy by shilling for extreme right wing causes in the Senate.  His strange, unpredictable behavior of late became bizarre and resulted in his own Party turning upon him.  What else is new for the GOP?

Speaking of the Phillies a fan was beaten to death in the parking lot last week.  This came as no surprise to me.  I had a scary experience there when I had Sunday season tickets.  This is a major reason I stopped going to games there.  When I contacted the team about the unsafe conditions in their own parking lot they couldn’t care less.  They have allowed these rowdies to take over their facility and it was only a matter of time until tragedy happened.

On the good news side Sonia Sotomayor was confirmed by the Senate Judiciary Committee today.  It isn’t even August and we are this far in the process.  Maybe we can even get a real liberal next time.

Are you as fed up with the death of customer service as I am?  I recently had some really bad experiences.  Monday I was in a Redner’s market when an employee in a hurry to go home almost ran me down in the aisle.  I mentioned sarcastically (as I too often need to do) to “excuse me for getting in your way, I’m only a customer.”  This is designed to remind them that customers are too important to be rude towards.  Her reaction?  She began laughing.  I put all my purchases back and left the store.  Why should we tolerate such horrid customer service?  Vote with your feet and shop elsewhere.

Then there are the rude drivers.  People right on red doesn’t mean you can run red lights.  The law requires that you STOP first and insure no oncoming traffic is coming.  I’m fed up with people trying to crash into me while running red lights.  This is a bad law because there’s no traffic enforcement because the Keystone Kops can’t patrol everywhere.

Bethlehem Mayor John Callahan has decided to run for Congress in the 15th CD.  Charlie Dent hasn’t had a serious challenger until now.  Callahan is smart, young, handsome and a real up and comer.  Dent’s people are giving him serious credibility by attacking him already.  They should be worried.

Health care reform is dead.  The current proposed legislation will do almost nothing.  Failure to go for the best resulted in getting nothing.  Blue Dogs and Republicans are to be thanked the next time you get sick, get denied by your insurer or die because you cannot get in any waiting line for care.  The delaying tactics of the GOP have killed reform.  What a shame.

I was on a blogger conference call with President Obama and David Axelrod last week.  Obama said he had serious reservations about health care coops.  We’ll see if he winds up signing a bill in which coops are the “reform.”  He sounded very good on the call and having the opportunity to listen directly to the President and his chief adviser was amazing.

The mortgages with preferential VIP terms given to Senators Dodd and Conrad have turned out to be bad news for both Democrats.  After denying they knew they were receiving sweetheart deals Countrywide now is saying both were told they were getting special terms because of who they were.  Hubris always is the fall guy when powerful people allow their power to go to their heads.  I don’t care which Party to which you belong, if you do wrong we’ll call you on the carpet.  Both of these men should resign.

Last week’s sting in New Jersey surprises no one.  The corruption there is depressing and is so endemic to the process you’d swear the state was part of Philadelphia.  Clean them all out and send them all to prison.  Violating the public trust these days is only good for 55 month sentences regardless of your level of corruption.  Shame on the courts too.

KBR electrocuted 17 soldiers because they cut costs to increase profits running their massive war profiteering operations in Iraq.  Credit to Sen. Casey for pursuing this issue but Cheney’s company got off the hook today.  Part of the reason for government is that some vital services and duties should not be done for profit.  Military operations, prisons and health care are obvious examples.  Every time we make these for profit the greed takes over, we have endless wars, judges sending kids to prison by denying them their right to lawyers, millions of people incarcerated, and tens of millions of people with no access to medical care.  Shame on us for privatizing government.

The people called “Birthers” are insane.  Claiming Barack Obama cannot be president because he was born in Kenya illustrates their complete lack of intelligence.  The birth certificate and two newspapers in which his birth announcement was published when he was born in Hawaii were made public before last year’s election.  This is the same stupidity which results in people denying the Holocaust, global warming and evolution.  Meanwhile we wonder why our students are falling behind in science?  Facts are stubborn things, they do not disappear simply because you wish they would.  Lou Dobbs is one of the most visible idiots fomenting this craziness.  It’s time CNN took him off the air before they lose whatever credibility they retain.

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News & Notes

News flash:  Michael Jackson is still dead.  Rumors are he and Anna Nicole Smith are in the hereafter sharing drugs.

The Fourth of July weekend came without any state legislators working in Harrisburg to insure state workers continue getting paid.  With no budget they should be in the Capitol sacrificing their holiday until this is completed.

Several dozen staffers in the Capitol received subpoenas this week from defense lawyers in the BonusGate scandal.  Tom Corbett’s political prosecution of Democrats only is making his likelihood of a successful Gubernatorial campaign appear doubtful.  Everyone knows how both Parties abused the taxpayers and the law by running political campaign operations from the people’s house but let’s go after ALL of them.  This is going to continue being interesting as more and more people are implicated.  A newly found box of documents shows Bill DeWeese was completely immersed in the illegal operations happening in his office.

Former Senator Vince Fumo is seeking a new trial after being convicted of massive fraud at taxpayer’s expense.  Hubris knows no bounds.  Was he not paying attention at all?  That mountain of evidence was undeniable to everyone, especially the jurors who wasted no time delivering their verdict considering the complexity of the case and 139 counts.  This was one case the DOJ got right.

TV pitchman Billy Mays was buried in McKees Rocks.  I won’t miss those annoying commercials but one must give credit to anyone who gets famous for pitching crap on television.

Steve McNair was killed by his young mistress yesterday.  I assume he was a Republican Governor?

Why is Jenny Sanford still with her cheating husband?  He said his Argentinian mistress is his life’s “soul mate” and she’s still by his side?  How does she think this will end happily?  For the sake of those four kids get the heck of that before it gets worse lady.  He flew to Buenos Aires to get laid rather than spend Father’s day with his boys.  We all know what his priorities are.

Right wing extremists rallied again this weekend for their Tea Parties.  Has anyone explained to them yet that all of our tea is imported?  White Supremacists are using these fringe events to infiltrate the movement and recruit people for their cause.  Stormfront (I refuse to link to hate groups) postings reveal they are attempting to take over the Tea Party movement.

Fallout from Sen. Eichelberger continues as a right wing nutjob posting at Think Progress left this little tidbit:  


Realamerican09 thinks a new campaign of human extermination is in order?  Sen. Eichelberger needs to understand the effect of his words on real people.  Whackjobs like “realamerican09” take this stuff seriously then the next thing we know another Matthew Shepard incident happens.  We need an apology NOW.

Cynthia McKinney has been captured along with an entire boatload of people seeking to deliver humanitarian supplies to the Palestinians.  The ship was in international waters and the Israelis are imprisoning these compassionate heroes for doing what had to be done.  The Israeli embargo on Gaza is inhumane.  These actions must be condemned but I hear nothing from anyone in Washington?  Where’s the outrage?

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