News & Notes July 23, 2012

Is climate change convincing you yet that it’s real?  How much more extreme weather is necessary to convince the deniers?  Farmers in the Midwest are now culling their herds because there won’t be enough corn and soybeans to feed them.  A rise in meat prices will inevitably be blamed on Obama instead of the culprits who have fought policy changes to forestall the effects of global climate change.  Conservatives never accept personal responsibility for their failures.  Isn’t that interesting?

Cronyism in Reading City Hall continues.  One Term Vaughn hasn’t learned his lessons.  Cronyism almost always leads to corruption.

State Rep. Kevin Murphy was arrested in a domestic beating incident.  The rap sheets for our lawmakers gets longer and longer.

Former Speaker Bill DeWeese, his hubris never ending, even from prison, remains on the ballot.  As a convicted felon he cannot serve even if he won the election from his prison cell.  PA Dems are now going to court to get him off the ballot so they have some hope of keeping the seat.  

Someone explain to me how what the mob did in this case is different from what Mitt Romney did at Bain?

I felt I was in a parallel universe this morning watching the NCAA sanctions against Penn State.  Never in my life did I expect to see my alma mater penalized so harshly for the sins of its football team.  We still haven’t gotten answers from Tom Corbett about why he allowed just one Trooper to investigate the case for 18 months.  Even then the two OAG investigators were narcs and had no experience in child abuse cases.  He refuses to answer questions.  Maybe someone needs to investigate him.  He’d better start answering soon or his chances for a second term go the way of Penn State football.

Boycott any company which is financing right wing attack ads.  Voting with your dollars sends a distinct message.  Look at all the negative attention being targeted at Chick Fil-A for example.  Here’s a guide to some of the worst corporate offenders.

School districts are now facing another huge financial hurdle:  funding their pensions.  The state keeps putting off making these payments and soon the shit will hit the fan.  As Corbett keeps strangling their budgets schools may need to use their nuclear option:  renege on their long term debt bonds.  Since these are backed by the state the legislature would be on the hook for the billions in long term debt used to build and renovate school buildings.  Serves them right if it happens.

Rachel Maddow devoted a program last week to Sheldon Adelson and the corrupt methods he used to build his gambling mecca in Macao.  He could be convicted of a felony for bribing Chinese interests to make his fortune.  That’s a serious crime.

More evidence that privatization leads to corruption.  The FBI is investigating Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School.  Its web of corruption is interesting.  These are your tax dollars at work funding corruption.

A friend recently lamented that she didn’t have employment benefits and said union members shouldn’t either.  Her logic was that since she didn’t have a pension no one else should either.  I just looked at her and said that wasn’t the problem.  The problem was that her workplace wasn’t union and she should fight for those same benefits instead of condemning those who have for themselves.  Union bashing seems to be a favorite pasttime for some people who forget what unions have done for everyone.  This letter in the Bucks Courier Times reminds us:

First, instead of condemning unions, we should extol their historical accomplishments. Unions have brought us laws against child labor. Unions have brought us the 8-hour work day and overtime pay. Unions have brought us safer workplaces, so that getting sick or maimed was no longer “just part of the job.” Unions have brought us pensions, employer-paid health care, vacation pay, sick leave, etc. Though currently under attack, these same benefits are enjoyed by nearly all full-time, nonunion employees, too.

Second, as so many Vent writers have rejoiced, union membership is in substantial decline as powerful companies and now Republican-controlled governments attempt to break any semblance of union power. But such union critics also should notice and acknowledge that as unions have declined over the last 30-plus years, the income of the entire bottom 90 percent of all Americans has stagnated. Notice that I didn’t say that just the income of blue-collar Americans has stagnated; instead, even as the top 10 percent (and even more so, the top 1 percent) has flourished, EVERYBODY ELSE has stagnated or declined. Instead of consistently raising the bar for labor compensation, so that the benefits of increased technology and productivity are shared between labor and management/capital, unchecked corporate power is keeping virtually ALL of these benefits for shareholders and top management.

The NRA has been curiously silent following the latest gun massacre.  It’s Tweet last Friday morning was frighteningly tragic:  “Good morning, shooters. Happy Friday! Weekend plans?” James Holmes did.  Isn’t it time we banned assault weapons and 100 bullet clips for them?  SCOTUS says we cannot infringe gun rights but there’s nothing in the Second Amendment about ammunition.  If bullets cost $1000 apiece Holmes wouldn’t have bought 6,000 of them.  Right wing morons keep talking about infringing the rights of gun owners but what about the rights of those they kill?

A judge says disrobing as a protest of TSA regulations is protected free speech.  A movement is underway for a mass stripping protest at airports.  I may need to apply to work at an airport, this could be interesting.  My camera is all charged up.

The Vice Chair of the PA GOP admitted she lied about President Obama last week.  The only thing unusual about this is the fact she fessed up.  Republicans are so used to lying they’re shocked when they’re exposed.  This moron, someone named Renee Amoore and she didn’t even know her company’s layoffs were overseas.  Some boss.

Mitt wants to take away your internet porn.  Yea, that’ll get him a lot of votes…

Dan Miller, the openly gay Controller in Harrisburg, is marrying his partner.  Of course he has to leave Pennsylvania in order to make a commitment to his lifetime lover.

One constant mantra of the right wing noise machine is that government doesn’t create jobs.  This is yet another of the myths with which they use to brainwash people.  Now that defense spending is on the table as part of Taxaggeddon they’re suddenly changing their tune.  The potential loss of jobs from  Pentagon cuts is exposing this lie.

Michele Bachmann is channeling Joe McCarthy.

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