Trip Travelogue

I shot some videos along my recent trip to Santa Fe and now have them uploaded.  I’m currently doing the video from Oklahoma City and the Murrah Federal Building Memorial and should have it finished shortly.  These I did from the car once I got into Oklahoma.  Traffic got a lot lighter outside of the cities (Tulsa and OK City) allowing some time to shoot the scenery.  Terrain changed significantly on the four day journey from flat, boring greenery in southern Indiana and Illinois to rolling hills in the northern Ozarks driving though southwest Missouri.  As soon as I crossed into Oklahoma there was a change as the prairie began.  New Mexico marked the onset of mesas, sculpted hills and mountains and the desert.  Santa Fe is 7,000 feet above sea level and my trip began at 200 feet above so I did a lot of climbing.  The gradual rises throughout Oklahoma and Texas were almost barely noticeable unless you were expecting them.  Once in New Mexico it was obvious you were going into mountains.  Enjoy the clips and the scenery.

The Orie Oracle

Amidst reports the Orie sisters consulted a clairvoyant I have a confession:  I can see their future too.  Had they desired to save a few bucks they simply could have come to the Oracle of Oley.  My crystal ball is becoming clearer and clearer and I see set of triplets…no, they are three sisters who just appear identical.  Inside their hearts the seer says they are.  Perhaps it is the set of identical, matching orange jumpsuits I see them wearing in the near future that is also clouding the ball.

Papers are swirling around them.  Many are newsprint and many seem to be legal in nature.  Their friends are deserting them and they do not know who to trust.  My advice:  trust no one, everyone IS out to get you.  The air is filled with retribution, just rewards and smiling people gazing upon the sisters doing a frog march.   Yes, the Oracle of Oley sees a definitive future of difficult times ahead for Jane, Janine and Joan.  The positive in all this is that calm, serene times of solitude lie ahead for some 5-15 years, less with good behavior.  Based on their black auras however good behavior doesn’t seem to be in their natures.

News & Notes July 21, 2010

There’s an old saying:  fool me once its your fault, fool me twice its mine.  Fox News is full of fools who allowed Andrew Breitbart to fool them yet again.  It wasn’t bad enough, I suppose, that this purveyor of misinformation pawned a manufactured video about ACORN on them but now he used another doctored video to attempt to prove reverse racism on the part of the Obama Administration.  Notice one thing about his videos:  they are all racially charged and designed to make Black people appear stupid.  Instead the stupid people are at Fox News.

Republicans have announced their agenda for this year’s elections and for the next Congress should they regain control.  Hint:  if you liked George W. Bush you’ll love the GOP agenda because it is a return to that era of failed policies, corruption and pork barrel spending.  I’m not sure that’s a winning formula.

Gov. Rendell says we have to raise gas taxes after the Turnpike Commission announced tolls will rise 10% instead of 3%.   This is all because I-80 cannot be tolled.  Why is it we southern Pennsylvanians have to pay for the northern roads?  Why aren’t those drivers able to shoulder their fair share?  I say we insert clauses in the transportation budget that all tolls from the Turnpike only be used for roads and bridges in southern and eastern Pennsylvania.  If they don’t want to pay they don’t have to drive.

Is it hot enough for you?  I enjoy summer but many are feeling the consistently hot temperatures.  Where are all those climate deniers now?  Remember the ones who said last winter was proof global warming doesn’t exist?  According to their ignorant claims this is positive proof of it.  June was the hottest month in recorded weather history.  Of course temperatures alone aren’t what we look at or fear from warming.   It is the frequence of extreme weather and storms, something we’re now seeing daily.

I’ve been working on a book lately so time for blogging has been diminished.  Now a new book project has come my way and putting y nose to the grindstone cranking it out.  Please be patient as my writing time is being consumed by these projects.

President Obama signed financial reform into law today.  The new legislation makes it easier for the government to shut down failing financial firms without risking taxpayer money for bailouts.  This is the opposite of what you may have heard on Fox News by the way.  People, you really need to begin using reputable sources for news and information.  Fox and World Net Daily are infamous for their fabricated misinformation.  Look it up.

The White House apologized today for jumping to conclusions about Shirley Sherrod, the USDA official blamed for being racist to white people.  The NAACP released the full, unedited video of her speech after Fox News aired a doctored version.  This morning the farmers whom she helped were on CNN saying how much she did for them and how she saved their farm by getting them good legal representation.  Its tough to continue a smear campaign when even the supposed victims claim its a lie.

The Pennsylvania Young Democrats are asking people to sign a petition supporting Bob Casey’s FRAC Act of 2009.  Save our state by saving our water!  What good are jobs if everyone is dead?

Jane and Janine Orie have been ordered to stand for trial on charges.  Justice Joan Orie Melvin is up to her neck in this and should be indicted soon.  Why was Janine Orie wearing a coat in such hot weather?

The Republican Problem With the Paycheck Fairness Act

Crossposted from Hillbilly Report.

It is no big secret that in the last several decades millions of women have been forced to enter the workforce. For the most part in working America due to stagnant wages and decreased opportunity households are forced to subsist on two incomes. Essentially gone are the days when the father worked to support the family and the mother stayed home to raise the children and tend the house. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with women wanting to work, what is really wrong is the fact that when they do work they have consistently been paid less than men on average.  

Over four and a half decades after legislation was first introduced to combat the pay gap between men and women, there is still a long way to go in achieving fairness:

Forty-seven years after President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act, women still are not being paid the same as men for equivalent work. On average, women earn about 78 cents for every dollar earned by men. For women of color, African American women and Latinas, the gap is even wider. According to the most recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median wages of full-time, year-round workers in 2008 stood at $35,745 for women and $46,367 for men. That’s $10,622 less per year for women and their families in a difficult economy.…

With that in mind the current President, Barack Obama is urging Congress to act on the Paycheck Fairness Act, to give businesses and employees the resources they need to close that gap. Despite the common sense that women should not be working and making less than men, Republicans always have some garbage to spew at anything that helps real working people:

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama  is calling on Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, which he calls a common sense bill to ensure that women get paid as well as men for equal work.

The legislation would make it easier for women to sue employers who pay them less than men. The House passed the bill in 2009, but it failed to clear the Senate. Some Republican lawmakers have argued that the bill could aid trial lawyers more than it would help women.…

Which is extremely insulting to women and to the American way. Republicans now seem to want to forget that American freedoms are protected by the right to file grievances in court. While they preach the Constitution to everyone, they actually work to tear it apart and rob anyone who is not wealthy or incorporated of the justice that can come from redresses in the court system. What does it matter if it gives some trial lawyers business, at least it is not allowing Corporate fatcats to rob women!!  

But hidden within the next paragraph is the true hangup for the modern Republican Party:

The administration’s Equal Pay Enforcement Task Force also recommended Tuesday that the federal government collect better data from businesses so it can more effectively track wage discrimination in the workplace.

You see, the modern Republican Party speaks of “freedoms” and how they are being “robbed”. What they are really talking about is that the elites are afraid that they are losing their freedom to do whatever the hell they want. Republicans do not care about freedom, just the freedom for Corporate America to continue to prey on everyone else and for the unwashed masses to have no recourse. To them, if women are making more wages, that means one less yacht for some arrogant snob to sail around in.

And these are not just faceless Americans who are being treated this way. These are our mothers, grandmothers, sisters, nieces, daughters and granddaughters all of whom must not only work but work for less. The really hypocritical part is that Republicans would force single mothers to work for less, then bemoan the fact that they need government assistance. We should all be fighting for the women that we love on this!!

The sad part is that this is all just another small battle in the war on the American worker which has been waged quite successfully by Republicans and just enough “Democrats” to decimate our middle-class. The principle has gone from a fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work to you just take whatever the hell we decide to give you and be thankful for it. All while ownership and management connive behind closed doors how to pay even less than they do.

We should demand this Paycheck Fairness Act and should embark on other reforms as soon as possible to even the playing field for all working Americans. At the very least I am just hoping that America is tired of Corporate America insulting their mom.

Meehan Gets His Facts Wrong on Biden

Pat Meehan sent an email today (around 1 PM) accusing Joe Biden of something he didn’t do.  This is interesting because the White House pool report (which I get when they’re in PA) clearly said this wasn’t accurate.

Meehan is accusing the Vice President of saying Nancy Pelosi was the most powerful person in Washington.  The former “loyal Bushie” jumped on it calling it a gaffe because, obviously, Barack Obama has that title.  Here’s the problem:  according to the press pool report that isn’t what Biden said:

VP Biden did not leave out the President in his remarks in Philadelphia today– he said his name during applause.

Biden was referring to a comment Schwartz made that Pelosi was the most powerful woman in politics. Biden’s full quote:

“You know Allyson said the most powerful woman in American politics. I would rephrase that: the most powerful person in American politics (applause…unclear comments on audio)  with the exception of the President of the United States. And I mean that sincerely.”

Biden then talked about how he has worked with a number of House speakers over the years, and said “the single most successful, the single most persuasive the single most strategic leader I have ever worked with is Nancy Pelosi.”

The pool reporter was Joelle Farrell of The Philadelphia Inquirer and it is interesting the Meehan campaign embarrassed themselves without checking their information.  Or did they and just not care they made a false accusation?  These are Republicans after all and we know they never allow facts to get in the way of a bad opinion.  It isn’t as if their supporters will fact check them is it?

Republicans to the Unemployed: Go Eat Cake

Republican Senators have blocked a vote to extend unemployment benefits three times.  Since Democrats aren’t forcing them to pay a political price for filibustering every bill they’re continuing to block all important legislation.  With the passing of Sen. Byrd 60 votes were impossible to come by to rescue millions of Americans from welfare, poverty and foreclosures.  It doesn’t seem to faze these Senators that its cheaper to pay now than later.  With 7,300,000 homeowners currently in default on mortgages throwing several million more under the bus isn’t smart.  The costs in terms of economic output (no money, no spending), additional foreclosures sinking real estate values and markets, rising welfare rolls and higher crime rates as people try and survive will far surpass the cost of extending these benefits.  The jobs simply don’t exist.  Some might have if the stimulus had been big enough and more of it used for infrastructure instead of tax cuts but the GOP insisted on those.  Jobs might be there if Republican economic ideology hadn’t failed us, they might be there if two ward weren’t draining our treasury and if the Bush tax cuts hadn’t created a huge hole in our budget.

Unfortunately we have to deal with the present and what is.  Leaving millions of Americans out to dry isn’t the answer and these sudden fiscal watchdogs don’t realize they created this problem and also don’t seem to be aware that the Bush tax cuts set to expire are part of the problem.  They don’t want to spend $35 billion on unemployment benefits but, at the same time, want to extend those tax cuts which dwarf the cost of this one program.  You can’t have it both ways:  be a fiscal watchdog on one but not the other.  Extending unemployment is cheaper in the long run and allowing the tax cuts to expire is good fiscal policy and will help pay for the benefits.  How did Republicans suddenly get so tone deaf?  Who, exactly, is handing out the stupid pills?  Mitch McConnell?  John Boehner?  The Tea Party?  I know, its that pill popper Rush Limberger.

Pat Toomey: Bagman For Wall Street

Congressman Pat Toomey: has he ever worked an honest day in his life?  I know he co-owned some restaurants with his family but even he testified under oath he was working in international finance in Hong Kong and didn’t run or manage the enterprises.  Pat Toomey worked on Wall Street and then became a bagman for his former Wall Street crooks.  He went to Washington and helped deregulate financial markets and set up the catastrophic global economic and financial meltdown which cost millions of Americans their jobs, homes, retirements and peace of mind.  Now after running the Club For Growth he wants to return and do it all over again.  Are you going to let him?

SS Orie A Sinking Ship

The Orie’s ship has taken a torpedo and is sinking fast.  You can tell by all the rats suddenly turning state’s evidence.  This is going to be interesting because these sisters have used hardball tactics of threats and intimidation against every one of their political opponents and now, unafraid of reprisals, they are running to DA Stephen Zappalla.  Yesterday numerous affadavits were unsealed for the preliminary hearing on charges the State Senator and Supreme Court Justice used state offices and staffers to run political campaigns.  If these were Democrats and the Pennsylvania Attorney General were investigating and prosecuting this would be part of BonusGate.  Tom Corbett, though claiming he was investigating the Senate Republican Caucus, is not part of this scenario however because the Ories are Republicans.

The news yesterday that Sen. Orie and Justice Orie Melvin met with a man and told him to threaten the DA for them in response to his investigation of them has completely shattered their careers and will surely result in prison sentences.  I doubt there is a better way to get a DA to comb through everything you’ve ever done than to threaten him.  The Orie ship is sinking, the rats are leaving and this is about to get very, very interesting.

The other major scenario which will play out will be Orie Melvin’s presence on the bench in any case involving a District Attorney.  Is she fit now to pass judgment in any criminal case coming before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court?  I’d insist on her recusal if I were an attorney.  How will the other Justices react to this and will they tolerate her much longer?  Justice Orie Melvin must either resign from the bench or be impeached. She obviously isn’t fit to sit in judgment on anything in the criminal docket.

Corbett Afraid His Political Shenanigans Put Him In Danger

Tom Corbett is continuing to violate the Open Records Law because he seems to be afraid of his own safety if he releases documents showing his health care lawsuit is purely political.  In a response to Keystone Progress’ demand for records among his office and Republican political operatives, including some already public, the Attorney General’s Office says complying with the law could create “a risk of physical harm” to Corbett according to Keystone Progress.

If Tom Corbett cannot and will not comply with Pennsylvania law he needs to resign.

Orie Sisters Threatened DA

The Orie sisters have met their main nemesis and it stares back at them in a mirror:  themselves.  The audacity, hubris and arrogance of these two women knows no bounds.  According to an affadavit unsealed today as part of their preliminary hearing Robert Kramm says Jane Orie and Joan Orie Melvin called him into a meeting to have him threaten DA Stephen Zappalla for opening an investigation that they violated state law.  The Orie sisters are accused of using the Senator’s offices and staff to run the Judge’s campaigns for the Supreme Court.

This seems to be in character for these two misfits:  threaten them with legal action for violating the public trust (along with various state laws) and they turn around and threaten you.  No better examples exist of public “servants” who deserve to go to jail.  The Ories seem to think they are above the law in Pennsylvania.  Of course they have been up to now because no one else has stood up to their bullying and intimidation tactics.  The fact the District Attorney has this testimony is very damning. it means someone they trusted has turned on them.

Today’s onset of their preliminary hearing was interesting.  A state expert on the ethics law testified that using state offices and staff is a violation.  The Orie lawyer contested that assertion but sine the PA Attorney General has been prosecuting Democrats for doing exactly what the Ories did and is sending them to prison seems to escape them.  The question is why hasn’t Tom Corbett investigated and prosecuted the Ories?  Oh yes, the Ories are Republicans…