November 30, 2011

Police rousted Occupy Philadelphia yesterday arresting fifty people.  Perhaps if Mayor Nutter had taken some time to visit with and listen to, those camped outside City Hall he’d be more compassionate about their issues and concerns.  People have a constitutional right to assemble, speak and have redress of their grievances.  There are no limits on those rights.

Occupy Los Angeles was also routed by police.  People need to begin acting to recall or replace every Mayor working to protect the 1%.

One of Rush’s callers called him a “brainwashed Nazi.”  Correction:  Rush is the brainwasher, not a brainwashee.

A new NLRB rule requires all employers to display a poster detailing worker’s rights.  To listen to the right wing you’d think informing workers of their rights is dangerous:

Steve Welch, a former Democratic supporter, has a “mockumentary” aimed at Bob Casey.  Welch is one of a myriad of candidates running for Casey’s Senate seat.  The mystery of this video is how Bob Casey could have been born in Kenya to socialistic parents, something widely believed by moronic Pennsylvania Republicans.  If he and Obama were separated at birth that would have to be true wouldn’t it?

Rumors say Sen. Dominic Pileggi may also jump into that crowded field.

A Judge has blocked “pro life” license plates in North Carolina.  I wonder if everyone who would display such plates is against the death penalty?

Former Philadelphia schools superintendent Arlene Ackerman has applied for unemployment.  Considering her $900,000 severance package this is the height of arrogance.  She also would be ineligible for benefits until that severance deal runs its course.

Congressman Joe Pitts is the latest to get mic checked at a town hall:

Rep. Jennifer Mann announced she is not running for re-election next year in Allentown.  She has served 13 years and ran for statewide office.  I expect we’ll be hearing much more from Ms. Mann in the future.

The Liquor Control Board has reversed its long standing policy against Pennsylvanians having booze and wine shipped to their homes.  For many years the people of Pennsylvania have desired to be able to order wine from suppliers from out of state.

The first lawsuit has been filed against Jerry Sandusky, Penn State and The Second Mile.

Herman Cain’s Sexual Infidelity

Ginger White went on Atlanta news last evening to disclose she had a 13 year intimate affair with the very married Herman Cain.  She says he broke it off about eight months ago which would probably coincide with his decision to run for president.  He denies the adultery but says the private sex lives of people are their own affair (pun intended) and not for public consumption.

This is the case for public persons who don’t claim the moral high ground, don’t comment on the sexual affairs of others, who don’t judge other people’s private sexual affairs or who don’t adopt “family values” as a political position.  Let us take the issue of gay marriage for instance, Cain opposes the right of gay Americans to have their loves and relationships equal with those of straight Americans.

Cain actually has a section on his campaign site dedicated to “family values.”  The difference between Bill Clinton’s infidelities and Cain’s is hypocrisy and that’s what makes it relevant.  If you’re going to stand and claim to be holier than thou you’d better be.  Ask Joe Paterno about it.  Bill Clinton never claimed to be a saint and we all knew he wasn’t so when Monica’s blue dress came out who cared?

Herman Cain can’t run on family values and against gay marriage when it appears he’s a sexual harasser and had a 13 year adulterous relationship.  We aren’t talking about a fling here but a long extramarital relationship.  He announced yesterday he will attend a family values conference in Arizona.  Gloria Cain went on Fox News after the sex harassment allegations defending her husband.  I wonder how she feels this morning?  Does she know who “that person” is today?  We do.

The issue here isn’t adultery it is hypocrisy.  I don’t actually care who Cain has slept with or what they did in bed though I know Rick Santorum will.  Cain cannot claim same sex relationships are immoral however when he is an adulterer.  He cannot run on “family values” knowing he had a 13 year affair with Ginger White.  The man is a lying phony who lives by the principle of “do as I say not as I do.”  He has no moral authority to dictate to me who I sleep with or what I do privately or whether I can be equal with him under law.  He’s nothing but a lying hypocrite.

Using Temporary Workers to Forecast the PA Economy

A blog post by Sean Brandon, originally published at Third and State.

The employment services industry provides a variety of human resources services, including most notably supplying temporary workers to other businesses. Because of the unique characteristics of this industry, economists often use its job market trends as an economic forecasting tool. The reason is simple: When the economy starts to slide, the first workers to go are usually the temporary employees, but when the economy begins to pick up, businesses will hire temporary workers first.

Historically, the employment services industry has proved a reliable indicator of broader job market trends. Let’s consider the Great Recession as an example. In the past five years, the height of employment (a 12-month moving average of not-seasonally-adjusted employment data) in the employment services industry in Pennsylvania was in January 2008, just after the recession began. The employment services industry then shed 23,517 jobs before it reached its low point in December 2009.

On the other hand, total nonfarm employment in Pennsylvania did not reach its peak until September 2008, eight months after employment services peaked. Furthermore, total nonfarm employment did not begin to recover until April 2010, after employment services had seen steady growth for four months.

In the case of both the recession and the recovery, the employment pattern in the employment services industry foreshadowed what was going to happen to Pennsylvania’s job market as a whole.

So what are the statistics in Pennsylvania’s employment services industry suggesting now?

From September 2009 to September 2010, employment in the employment services industry grew by 9%. In the subsequent year, employment only grew by 7%. The trend has been job growth, but employment is increasing at a slower rate.

As of October, Pennsylvania’s job deficit, the number of jobs lost during the recession plus the number of jobs needed in order to keep pace with the state’s population growth, was over 240,000. In this hole, Pennsylvania needs to add 8,000 jobs each month in order to get back to full employment in three years.

Recently, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry reported that the number of jobs in the commonwealth grew by 13,800 in October. Relatively, October was a very good month for Pennsylvania. Previous months have seen weak private-sector job growth and continued public-sector job losses, resulting in net job losses. With the recent employment stagnation of the employment services industry, it is likely that October is an exception and that the coming months will yield more moderate job growth.

Random Thoughts

A new woman has come forward claiming a 13 year affair with Herman Cain.  No word from Mrs. Cain but Herman says it is no one’s business if he committed adultery.  Say what you want about Newt’s serial adultery but at least he married them.

Tobey Maguire is returning money he won fair and square in a gentleman’s poker game.  Just because some fool lost hundreds of thousands in high stakes poker doesn’t mean he (or his estate) doesn’t honor their debts.  If you can’t risk losing you shouldn’t be playing.  There’s no evidence any of the players knew he was losing money he’d stolen in a Ponzi scheme so why should they have to repay investors?  Is nothing sacred any more?

Barney Frank isn’t seeking re-election next year.  This frees him up to accept unlimited bribes from Wall Street banks.

A judge has rejected a $285 million settlement against Citibank.  He thinks it isn’t sufficient and that the public should be informed what the bank did, this time, to get such a slap on its wrist.

What idiot would claim there’s no such thing as income inequality?  This one:

There are so many absurdities on this spiel one hardly knows where to begin.  Teachers “are allowed to exist?”  News flash:  we don’t need stock brokers in order to have teachers.  Without teachers those morons on Wall Street wouldn’t even know how to add and subtract or how to commit massive fraud.

A gay couple on layover in Denver were called “faggots” by a United Airlines supervisor.  Don’t fly United folks.

Bob Casey aggressively courted the gay community in 2006 despite a career of gay bashing.  He promised he’d seen the light and would support equality.  Now it’s time to pay up on the DOMA vote.  We’re watching Bob.

Congress’ UnAmerican Detention Bill

1984 is headed our way if a bit late.  Already living in a surveillance state where we are on camera everywhere we go and where we readily surrender all of our privacy in exchange for a few cents off purchases, we are now ready to allow our government to violate ALL of our civil rights.  The National Defense Authorization Act would allow the feds to arrest and detain anyone and detain them indefinitely under the guise of terrorism.

Of course one person’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter.  What if some official decided all of the Occupy protesters are terrorists?  They could do this very easily and all of them would be rounded up and shipped to Gitmo or some other unknown destination…indefinitely and without trial.

First, the committee’s proposal accepts prosecutors as the arbiters of guilt. We have courts in America to check executive power.  Impartial judges limit over whom the state may exercise its coercive power to deny freedom.

Or consider this analysis:

A provision of S. 1867, or the National Defense Authorization Act bill, written by Senators John McCain and Carl Levin, declares American soil a battlefield and allows the President and all future Chief Executives to order the military to arrest and detain American citizens, innocent or not, without charge or trial. In other words, if this bill passes and the President signs it, OWS protesters or any American could end up arrested and indefinitely locked up by the military without the guaranteed right to due process or a speedy trial.

The bill was drafted in secret without any public hearings.  It would, essentially, establish a police state and turn us into Amerika.  Why did we fight the Cold War for forty years just to turn around and become the Soviet Union?

Penn State Names Insider Panel to Investigate Scandal

The Penn State Board of Trustees has named the members of its investigative panel investigating the University’s actions in the wake of the Sandusky scandal.  Let’s recap a bit first…

President Spanier and Coach Paterno were fired not just for failing to report acts of child molestation to police but for creating an atmosphere where protecting the institution and its football program were more important than protecting children.  The culture on campus was that Paterno and Penn State Football were a major brand which had to be protected even if it meant boys were being raped in the Lasch Football Building.

As such it is imperative that any investigative panel have as many people from outside the University as possible.  No one with a vested interest can be seen as being impartial and reliable.  As such six Trustees are on the nine member panel along with Louis Freeh who, as CEO of MBNA had a long financial relationship with the Penn State Alumni Association.  Add in the head of the Faculty Senate and a former student Trustee and you have a totally insider panel.

No one is going to believe anything this group releases as a report.  The University Faculty Senate adopted a position that the panel be composed of a majority of people from outside the University and I concur.

News & Notes November 28, 2011

President Obama, whose meager 42% approval rating in the Keystone State is cause for worry, will be speaking at Scranton High School Wednesday afternoon.  His topic will be the moribund American Jobs Act.  Will anyone bring a dead horse for the President to beat?  I have a Planned Parenthood PAC Board meeting so I won’t be able to cover this event.

George W. Bush and Tony Blair have been found guilty of war crimes in Malaysia.  Why are they so far ahead of us on human rights issues?

OFA/DNC has a new ad called Mitt v. Mitt attacking Romney for his flip flops.  Democrats are turning the tables on the GOP for the Kerry campaign.

Addicting Info (I love this site) has 18 Newt quotes which will destroy his campaign.  A few of the choice ones:

3. “The idea that a congressman would be tainted by accepting money from private industry or private sources is essentially a socialist argument.”

~Newt Gingrich, arguing that it’s okay for politicians to be bought and paid for.

5.  “The problem isn’t too little money in political campaigns, but not enough.”

~Newt Gingrich on campaign finance reform.

12. “She isn’t young enough or pretty enough to be the President’s wife.”

~Newt Gingrich, talking about his first wife after divorcing her.

I keep seeing so-called intelligent people blaming both sides for the collapse of the Super Committee.  Democrats put both Social Security and Medicare on the table along with $600 billion in cuts but Republicans were only willing to allow $3 billion in tax increases.  So how do you blame both sides for that?  The issue is the effect Grover Norquist has had on the decline of the nation and American civilization.  He is our unelected, unappointed tyrant.

Now he has Tom Corbett by the balls over his no tax pledge.  The miniscule 1% drilling extraction tax, 75% of which would go to local governments to pay for new roads and stuff is now prohibited.  Norquist has now decreed that it is a tax and against the interests of Pennsylvanians.  Isn’t it bad enough these energy companies are drilling in our public lands for OUR natural resources and poisoning our aquifers in the process?  Isn’t it enough that they’re using 30 million gallons of water per well and exploding them resulting in toxic fracking fluid flowing into our waterways?  Now we can’t even tax them 1%!

It’s time for Tom Corbett to step down if Norquist is really running this state.

The worst part of the bill in Harrisburg is how it dictates local zoning and ordinances.  You and your local elected officials will now have NO say about what goes on in your community regarding fracking.

Equality Pennsylvania is seeking to win a $25,000 grant in the Pepsi Refresh contest.  Please go here and vote for them.

Police Fail to Evict Occupy Philly

The Philadelphia Police Jackboots showed up as scheduled at 5 PM to evict the Occupy camp and were met by 1,000 supporters refusing to leave Dilworth Plaza.  The City wants to begin a $50 million reconstruction project and told the protesters they had to leave.  They didn’t and remain there.  The night turned into a giant party as they conga lined and danced before police brownshirts afraid to do anything which would turn into a new UC-Davis type video.

It’s a shame that police officers everywhere are now being chided as Nazis for their terrorism directed towards peaceful protesters.  That’s the price they pay for siding with the 1% however.

News & Notes November 27, 2011

New Mexico is paying out $636,000 in legal settlements resulting from a string of sexual harassment suits arising from its previous privatization of its juvenile detention system.  The for profit system engaged in the usual private industry sexism and misogynism against female employees that simply wasn’t tolerated after it became a public entity again.  These are all the warnings which are ignored by conservatives hell bent on privatizing government and making it serve for profit interests instead of the public interest.

The newest war is over privatizing public education and turning it into a for profit enterprise turning students into computer zombies who don’t even leave their home to go to school.  It’s being funded, surprise, surprise, by computer giants Microsoft, Apple, Dell and the Gates Foundation.  Rupert Murdoch is also jumping into it head first so he can indoctrinate your kids.  This is where the voucher program is going to destroy our children’s future, destroy our competitiveness in the global economy and make people rich in the process.  I have one question for these activists:  if virtual education is so good why don’t you use it for your conventions instead of meeting in person?

It’s bad enough that our Congress persons and Senators are enriching themselves with insider information but then to treat people as badly as Rep. Don Young did in this video is outrageous.  It’s time Congress is subject to all the laws themselves.

The Chevy Volt is being investigated for battery fires.  Now I know why the guy in the commercial is going to the gas station restroom:  to find water to put the fire.

Here’s a neat video on equality:

Bank of America is being fined $410 million for reordering financial transactions in order to maximize overdraft fees.  This is but one more example of the tyranny caused by corporate America.  The amount of the fine is a pittance to a company like BoA.  They make far more money than they are fined, they’re just a cost of doing business if caught.

Penn State barred Sue Paterno from using the Lasch Football Building to swim.  This was simply petty.  Sue did nothing wrong.

The average tax cut for the 1% under the Bush/Obama tax cuts will be more than the average income for everyone else.

“I’m not looking to put any money in your pockets.”  That is Mitt Romney standing tall for the rich against the poor.

Tom Corbett’s Pants Afire

Right after the Penn State/Jerry Sandusky news broke Gov. Corbett admonished his fellow Board of Trustees members and the Penn State community:

“But we must keep in mind that when it comes to the safety of children, there can be no margin of error, no hesitation to act.”

The problem is Attorney General Tom Corbett also failed to act.  There was enough evidence to arrest Sandusky after the 2008 incident in Clinton County.  Instead the AG assigned a single State Trooper to the case for a year and a half.  In fall of 2010 he assigned investigators from the Office of the Attorney General to supplement the Trooper’s efforts.  The coach’s home was finally searched last summer and he was allowed to go on a trip to Ohio just before being arrested.  The arrest only came when the grand jury presentment was accidentally posted on a Magisterial District Judge’s website by mistake.

Then after his own investigation was questioned he said this:

“But we must keep in mind that when it comes to the safety of children, there can be no margin of error, no hesitation to act.”

In other words Gov. Corbett is telling child sexual predators that if they limit themselves to just one kid they won’t be prosecuted.  So who is the monster Jerry Sandusky, Tom Corbett or both?

Of course the reality is that child predators are arrested and convicted routinely based on single incidents.  It isn’t normal to use a grand jury for such investigations either.  Those are normally used for difficult probes in which witnesses aren’t forthcoming, there is widespread corruption (organized crime for instance) and where secrecy is paramount.  The Sandusky case fit none of those benchmarks.

What we do know about Tom Corbett’s record as Attorney General is that his was a highly political office pursuing political cases which would spring him into the Governor’s Mansion.  BonusGate was the best example.  Triggered by bonuses given to House and Senate staffers who worked actively on political campaigns while being paid by taxpayers it broke open the cesspool of corruption in Harrisburg.  All four caucuses (House and Senate Republican and Democratic) were fraught with rot and state resources were routinely being used to run campaigns.

Corbett targeted the House Democratic caucus first and spent two years investigating it through a grand jury.  Then he finally got around to serving a warrant on the House GOP caucus computers.  In other words he gave his Republican allies two years to cleanse their records.  Amazingly they forgot to erase the database they spent 20 million tax dollars on for their campaigns.  The Senate caucuses were never investigated and then we discovered Sen. Jane Orie had done the same things as the House Dems.  Corbett never investigated her.

Att he same time he was prosecuting legislative staffers and Representatives for using state resources for political purposes Corbett was using his AG’s office cell phones for his Gubernatorial campaign.  He was doing the same thing.

Then he goes and lambastes the Penn State Board of Trustees for dragging their feet acting on the Sandusky case.  This after he dragged his feet on it for three years.  Gov. Corbett is a “do as I say not as I do” kind of guy.  His denials that he acted properly is a blatant lie.  His own Office of the Attorney General prosecuted child sexual predators swiftly and in cases where there was but one victim, except for Sandusky.  Why the exception?  The former Nittany Lion Defensive Coordinator was extremely popular and well known.  Corbett was accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from Penn State and Second Mile Trustees.  Those funds would have dried up if he’d indicted Sandusky before the 2010 election.

Tom Corbett’s pants are on fire with his lies.  He must stop spinning this for political purposes and resign.  If Graham Spanier and Joe Paterno had to take the fall for not doing what was right so does Tom Corbett.