Deming’s an idiot…I endorse Sutton

I hate it when people challenge others for ballot spots at all, period.  I don’t care what party you are, I don’t care what you think of it or not…it is WRONG, ALWAYS WRONG!

Voting, democracy, it is all about access of the people to participate and be involved in their civic affairs…why do we have so many out of touch, smug, idiotic, ignorant political leaders today in all parties?   Because the people are cut off from the process to a very high degree and when people got to step into that arena, they are subjected to rules and principles that do not honor nor affirm our most cherished constitutional and founding values of this nation.  We are frauds to ourselves if we think we are honoring or respecting what is most dear and most cherished to our nation and all that those who have fought and died to establish, protect, and defend this nation have done for it, if we think that keeping the status quo of voting and ballot access for citizens as it is now is the answer.  IT IS NOT!

So, along those lines, I take serious issue with Mr. Deming who is trying to run for Berks County Prothonotary, as the Democratic nominee…he had to take Peter LeVan to court to challenge his nominating petitions, which I think should be invalidated as a matter of the process to allowing people on the ballot.  He didn’t want to have competition for the nomination, so he did the dirty thing and took it to court to challenge his petitions and won, but actually he lost, because I’m now throwing my full endorsement behind Marianne Sutton the Republican or any other person who comes forward to run for that office at this point, BUT NOT Deming.  Hell will freeze over before I lift a finger to help that SOB!

This is what you get for violating the sanctity of the public and access to the ballot for office.  

It is time to get tough, get hard, and work change by whatever reasonable means necesary…I’m not taking anybody’s crap anymore for stuff like this…y’all can kiss my ass and deal…it’s time we made things right and we’re going to, if I have to beat people upside the head with a Frozen Tuna to do so, figuratively speaking.  

The people will be heard, the people will be brought back to the power and position of importance where they belong OR ELSE!

Three New Tax Breaks Will Cost PA Schools and Services

By Chris Lilienthal, Third and State

After making deep cuts to schools, early childhood education, and health and human services, Pennsylvania lawmakers are now considering new tax breaks that will largely benefit a small number of higher-income earners.

Last week, the Senate Finance Committee approved legislation that would create a new loophole in the state inheritance tax. It allows business owners to bequeath business assets tax-free to their heirs – an advantage unavailable to most hardworking Pennsylvanians who inherit a family home or car.

Over in the House, the Finance Committee voted 18-16 on Wednesday to approve a bill that would exempt sales tax on the purchase of private and corporate aircraft, jet parts, and aircraft maintenance and repair. A car or truck purchase will still be subject to sales tax, but those in the market for a private jet will get a tax break. 

Finally, the House Commerce Committee is voting today on legislation that would reward investors in Pennsylvania start-up companies with a new tax credit that they can take even if they owe no state taxes. To qualify for the credit, the investor must have a net worth of $1 million or income above $200,000 a year.

Each bill, estimated to cost millions annually, could come up for votes before the House and Senate in the coming weeks. The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center has more on all three bills here.

These bills come on top of Governor Corbett’s proposal to enact a new round of tax cuts beginning in 2015 that will ultimately cost hundreds of millions from the state treasury and put profitable corporations first in line when future budgets are negotiated. It would be the latest in a series of costly special tax breaks over the decade that have undermined Pennsylvania’s ability to invest in schools and other vital services.

Pennsylvania can continue to fund special tax breaks like these or we can invest again in our children and our economic future – but increasingly we can’t do both. Unaccountable tax cuts undermine success in the classroom and growth in our communities, and they shift costs onto school districts, local governments, and property taxpayers.

Pennsylvania needs real tax reform that closes loopholes, ends special tax breaks, and levels the playing field for everyone. Only then can we enact a state budget that returns to tried-and-true investments in education and the services that promote long-term economic growth.

The Paul Ryan Magical Mystery Chop, Dice, and Slice Budget

By Walter Brasch

In 2011, before he was the Republican nominee for vice-president, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) proposed a federal budget. He called it, “The Path to Prosperity: Restoring America’s Promise.”

Two years later, now in his second year as chair of the House budget committee, he dusted off and polished his old proposal. He calls this one: “The Path to Prosperity: A Responsible Balanced Budget.” His plan is to cut the federal deficit by $4.6 trillion in four years, reducing the deficit to about $12.1 trillion.

While the Republicans blame President Obama and the Democrats for wild tax-and-spend policies that led to the huge deficit, they conveniently overlook the reality that Bill Clinton left George W. Bush a budget surplus of about $230 billion. By the time President Bush completed his eight years, there was no longer a balanced budget, and the deficit soared another $5 trillion.

Much of the additional deficit created under President Obama was a result of being forced to continue many of the Bush policies that included massive tax cuts and the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that cost more than $1.4 trillion and are expected to cost Americans $600 billion-$1 trillion over the next three decades to provide health care and disability benefits for combat soldiers.

President Obama’s stimulus plan was a largely successful program to bring the nation out of a corporate-created, government-neglected Recession that was greater than anything since the 1929 stock market crash that led to the great Depression. This year, because of Obama policies, the stock market is at a record high, and the unemployment rate is now below 8 percent and dropping, with almost all states having lower unemployment rates than a year ago.

It’s been four years since President Bush left office, and the Congressional Republicans who fully embraced the Bush-Cheney policies still haven’t learned anything.

If you’re living comfortably in your upper class lifestyle, you’re going to love Ryan’s proposed budget.

The budget eliminates the graduated income tax-that’s the one with several brackets, increasing the tax upon those with more money. Under this budget proposal, there will be only two brackets-10 percent and 25 percent. The top rate of 39.6 percent, which multi-millionaires pay, is cut to the 25 percent level.

But if you’re among the rest of us, Paul Ryan’s proposal, endorsed enthusiastically by the Congressional Republicans and their Tea party base, is a disaster.

Under the cover of saying he’s going to balance the budget, Ryan cuts retirement and health benefits for veterans and federal employees. He cuts disaster relief, and the federal role in education and scientific research. He cuts funding for the nation’s infrastructure, leaving our already-neglected highways and bridges to undergo even more deterioration.

He cuts Medicare costs by issuing vouchers-individuals would receive a set amount to buy retirement benefits. This, of course, is on every insurance goliath’s wish list.

While keeping more than $40 billion in corporate subsidies, Paul Ryan cuts Medicaid, food stamps, and unemployment insurance, mostly by having the federal government issue block grants to the states so they can take care of the poor. Thus, we are likely to have 50 separate programs instead of one-with the expected consequence of the poor and disadvantaged moving from state to state to find jobs and better programs.

He cuts more than $1.8 trillion from the Affordable Health Care Act that passed both houses of Congress and was declared constitutional by the Supreme Court. The Republicans have brought more than 30 bills to gut the Act; they lost every time. Ryan’s proposal is the political end run that, if successful, would eliminate critical and necessary health care, while shoving more than 30 million Americans, mostly low-income and the middle-class, back into the unprotected category. Of course, every member of Congress and their staffs have premium health coverage and retirement benefits.

Ryan’s budget, which has the Republicans salivating, would be the lowest in six decades. This doesn’t even take into account there has been significant inflation the past six decades, or that Medicare, Medicaid, NASA, WIC (the women, infant, children nutritional program) and numerous other programs to benefit all Americans didn’t exist six decades ago.

What Ryan’s budget doesn’t include is as much an indication of his hatred for the lower- and middle-classes, and his pandering to the nation’s Luxury Class and corporate monoliths. Unlike the proposed Democrats’ budget, Ryan’s budget doesn’t include closing significant tax loopholes used mostly by the wealthy. That means they can continue to employ an army of accountants and lawyers to find innumerable ways to avoid taxes. And, like Mitt Romney, the wealthy can still hide money in foreign countries and avoid U.S. taxes. The Democrats’ budget raises $1 trillion in revenue by cutting those loopholes.

The Ryan budget also has only minimal and largely cosmetic cuts in military spending. But, in an ironic twist, the Pentagon’s highest officials, both civilian and military, have criticized Congress for keeping certain programs the military believe is wasteful or unproductive-but favored for political reasons by members of Congress.

Although Ryan has a degree in economics, his proposed budget, says Senate majority leader Harry Reid, can not be balanced because it “relies on accounting that’s creative at best and fraudulent at worst.”

The American people broadly rejected Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan in 2010. They need to now reject his so-called new budget that proves the Republicans are nothing more than the lackeys of corporate greed at the expense of the rest of us.

[Walter Brasch is an award-winning columnist and author of 17 books. His latest is Fracking Pennsylvania, an in-depth look at the social, environmental, health, and political issues of the controversial method to extract natural gas. The book is available from www.greeleyandstone.com, amazon.com, and brick-and-mortar bookstores.]

 

Myers: Church Leaders Appointed By God

Max Myers is a Democrat running for Pennsylvania Governor.  He doesn’t think church members have any say in who their evangelical leaders are, that they are appointed by God.  Since he has been a leader of the Global School of Supernatural Ministry he thinks he has been annointed by God.  A bit of an ego there…  This is a compilation of some of his beliefs (correction, he was not head of Global awakening but of the Global School of Supernatural Ministry):

Yes, I’m still here…

…arising out of mist, slush, and cold of winter…hopping mad and tired of the BS that passes for acceptable behavior by our governing, business, and professional leaders in many ways,  I am back from the hibernation from the page…

It’s time to take some hard wood to some real situations and I’m not going to hold back much…because honestly…the time for being kind, and persuasive is pretty much at a useless end, because those who need to get it…DON’T and those who just don’t give a damn are going to keep on being the obstinate tools they are…and deserve to get blasted on their butts for it…

From federal government, to state government, and local government, as well as, corporations, non-profits, PAC’s Super-PAC’s, political parties, and the like…if there’s one rule to go by with me, it’s if there’s an issue to be taken and you’re being a prick or seriously ignorant or harmful to others, I don’t care who you are, what you are to me, or which “side” of the spectrum you fall on, I’m gonna let you have it…becuase at the end of the day…Love is the Law, the principles of DBAD are in effect pretty much 24/7 and ultimately it is the people who matter the most.  

Why do we do what we do, why do we have the jobs we do, the things that motivate us, the lives we are given, the opportunities and so on…THE PEOPLE, all of us, each of us, in our own way and collectively…that’s why and if you don’t get this, then welcome to a very bumpy ride for you and a rough day…wear a helmet.  

First order of business…the people who sit there and call out those who are non-heterosexual of any particular kind or type or shade thereof…because they are not normal or they are perverted or immoral or amoral or deviant or sinful or any other such type of label or aspersion…

To those who do this sort of thing to the GLBTQ community or any other habitually and frequently chastised and persecuted group…from what I’ve seen of most of those who are at the forefront of the issue who are doing the calling out…they are some of the most perverted and immoral, fraudulent people I’ve ever seen…because they walk around governing and living a life that seeks to contrive and pervert and defraud and ruin the very foundations of the things they claim to want to protect, defend, and uphold…such as liberty, prosperity, freedom, and opportunity…they hide behind some thin veil of contrived religious nonsense as their reason to explain why they should be allowed to hate and pervert things because apparently their perversion, corruption and contrivance is somehow more pure and divinely guided and therefore allowed…

WELL!

I’m here to tell those people that you are WRONG! You are always wrong, you are the truly sick perverts and corrupted frauds out there and I’m going to call you out on your crap at every turn that I find…

BUT!

More than that, I’m going to also push for and tout why we need to pursue certain other policies and strengthening of existing laws and regulations and principles that have been allegedly held dear since our founders in America sought to put them in a little document called the Constitution!  

I’m tired of the “we just have to accept things” lame explanation given by some or the outright indifference and callousness shown by others in the course of their public service and the continued flaunting of laws and regs by big business and financial firms across the board.  Folks, it is time to wake up and get together and truly make the changes we need and want…the basic, everyday, affecting everyone kind of values and needs and things that require serious attention and love.  We’ve gotten too distracted and pulled in every direction and that has been a hallmark of the scheme of those who want to monopolize our time, so we can’t organize, so we can’t get our heads around the circus of crazy and sick things that have come to be accepted and allowed, while we slowly slide down the pipe into the sewer of time and history.  We’ve become comfortably numb, but if we really understood what’s going on, it would become very uncomfortable really fast and it should!  

Obituary: Punxsutawny Phil

At Gobblers Knob February 2nd Punxsutawny Phil predicted an early spring.  Today as snow fell across Pennsylvania he was put to death as part of a right of spring.  The groundhog was long regaled as a noted weather forecaster.  His absolute failure in 2013 rubbed people the wrong way and a lynch mob, bundled up in winter clothes against the cold chill, climbed the Knob this morning and captured the rodent.  Phil lived regally in the home on Gobblers Knob for a number of years and came out every February 2nd to predict the weather.  Thousands of people attended the event annually and his predictions garnered national media attention.  His untimely death is being celebrated by many as the official start of spring approaches Wednesday with snow still falling.

Myers’ LGBT Talk Last Year

Earlier today Gubernatorial candidate Max Myers kicked off his campaign at the William Way LGBT Community Center in Philadelphia.  Interestingly last year these were some of his comments about the gay community:

Update: The Myers campaign sent this response this afternoon:

Max Myers is running on a moderate platform.  Abortion and gay marriage are social issues that divide our population and focus on toxic partisan politics.  Max chooses to lead his campaign by example and believes the time has come for Pennsylvanians of all positions to treat each other with consideration and respect.

Prolife and prochoice have become divisive labels that cause people to stop listening to one another.  He believes that the key to productive conversation about this issue is to bring people together in honor and respect.  The best way to respect both the life of the baby and the rights of the woman is for both sides to work together to attack the root of the problem not the politics of the issue.

The bottom line is that Max wants to move the dialog to the “why” behind the number of unwanted pregnancies we see in our society.  In reality, we can uphold the law of the land while focusing our attention on the cause of the situation, not the response to the situation.

The same is true of gay marriage.  It is time for the LGBT community to be given the same respect that we give to other people groups.  In that vein, Max will support legislation that gives equal access and equal treatment under the law.  William Penn established that all Pennsylvanians are to be treated with honor and respect:  Max wants to reestablish this powerful value for all of Pennsylvania and specifically for the LGBT community.

These important issues require cautioned attention but this is the time to bring Pennsylvanians together, not pit them against each other.

In respect to a debate, we look forward to beginning negotiations with the Hanger campaign and future candidates.

Of course this response is total bullshit. These aren’t labels they’re our rights. I served for five years as a member of Pennsylvania’s Planned Parenthood Boards fighting to protect women’s reproductive rights in the face of legislative onslaughts from the likes of Max Myers. They aren’t babies, they’re fetuses. Yes, it is toxic politics because radicals like Myers attempt to steal women’s rights from them. The above comments against LGBT rights said just last year raise this question: Is Myers lying or just pandering to the LGBT community now?

His group has been active in Uganda pushing “kill the gays” legislation. This isn’t a matter of toxic politics, honor and respect or attacking the root of the problem. Perhaps the latter since his solution is genocide. He claims to support legislation providing equality while saying elsewhere he is fervently against gay rights. I choose to believe what the preacher said and not what the candidate says.

Myers told me he is a progressive. He is nothing of the sort. This is n’t a moderate man, he’s a far right fringe religious nut.

Myers’ Response

Before launching our series on Max Myers I emailed him last week.  He attended the Pennsylvania Progressive Summit in Harrisburg and had one of his students along acting as a campaign aid.  Here is his email response:

Yes, I worked for Global Awakening in Mechanicsburg from 2007 until last May.  My wife and son continue to work for this ministry in the Events Department.  I was the director of their ministry school.  Like all religious groups or denominations, it has its followers and it has it detractors.  

My spiritual journey does have something to do with my run for governor and what I would bring to the table should I become governor.  That will be true for every candidate of course, at some level.  As for me specifically, it has given me this tint in the glasses that I view the world through:

I see a PA culture that is disconnected and lacks a sense of community.

I see a PA culture that has become disconnected from its responsibility to the poor and disenfranchised.

I see a PA culture that has allowed the dialog about public school education to be moved to the level of focusing on what it costs financially, instead the education that our children are receiving.

I see a PA culture that has forgotten the values of Wm. Penn, as it pertains to the LGBT community.  He established that in PA, all residents are to be treated with honor and respect.

I see a PA political structure that continues to convince the public that by doing things the same way, year after year, we will somehow get different results.

My faith looks at the above (and so much more) and says:

It is possible to find the answers to poverty.

It is possible to have world class public school education.

It is possible to bring our blighted urban neighborhoods into transformation.

It is possible to establish manufacturing throughout PA, and have the unions on the front end of that movement.

It is possible to bring PA to the place of Penn’s vision that it would be “an example to the nations.”

It is possible to access and activate the residents of PA in the journey of transformation, as they are the greatest resource that we have.

My journey has also given me a different view of leadership than the standard cultural / political approach.

I believe in the power of “power under” as opposed to the standard “power over.”  I would affirm the value of people and support them, instead of pushing my authority on them.

I believe that the key to successful governing, is not as much about legislating as it is about leadership.  Effective leadership can begin to minimize the need for fence building legislation.

I believe in the value of listening and affirming.  I am a centrist or moderate, whatever word you like best.  It is where I believe Jesus would be.  Searching for an understanding of where people are coming from and what shapes issues, instead of making narrow pious edicts.

John, if I’m not getting at what you are looking for, just ask something specific.  I have committed to not being a “bait and switch” politician, and I have always lived my life in the open as best I have known how.  I plan to keep it that way.

Max Myers: Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing

Max Myers, a preacher from Mechanicsburg running as a progressive for Governor is deeply involved in a fringe religious movement called Apostolic and Prophetic.  The fundamentalist group is deeply involved in anti-gay legislation in Uganda but he chose the William Way LGBT Community Center in Philadelphia to kick off his official campaign today.

I’m greatly indebted to Rachel Tabachnick for her extensive research on Myers.  She has provided this content.

Formerly an Assemblies of God minister he got so involved with the fringe Apostolic and Prophetic movement he is now one of its national leaders.  His wife and son run a company providing materials for the movement.  They believe in and teach supernatural healing led by lunatic Randy Clark.  They are anti-abortion and anti-gay rights among other things.  To give you a taste of who they are here’s a video of their graduation service in 2012 in which Myers participated:

Rachel Tabachnick of the Political Research Associates is preparing a lengthy, in depth examination of Global Awakening and Myers which will begin later this week on this blog.  Since he chose to officially launch his campaign today pretending to be an advocate for LGBT rights I felt it proper to begin exposing his hypocrisy today.  From Tabachnick:

Max Myers, Democratic candidate for governor in Pennsylvania, is a former Assemblies of God pastor who worked from 2007 – 2012 as the head of the Global School of Supernatural Ministries (GSSM) in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. Myers also founded satellite schools, including in Brazil and South Africa.  The school’s three-year program teaches supernatural healing, prophecy, and other powers or manifestations believed to be

bestowed by God in order to “transform” the world prior to Jesus’ return.  

The GSSM led by Myers is part of the Apostolic Network of Global Awakening, the ministry of nationally known Apostle Randy Clark, housed in

an office building in Mechanicsburg.  The NAR is on the cutting edge of antiabortion and anti-gay rights both in the U.S. and other nations. They teach that these and other evils are the product of literal demonic entities that can be harbored by humans and must be battled through “spiritual warfare.”  The phenomenon of modern-day apostles and prophets is called the New Apostolic Reformation or NAR and is a rapidly growing movement organizing both nondenominational as well as some denominational churches. This is the same religious movement that received some mainstream press when apostles in the movement led Rick Perry’s Houston prayer rally in August 2011. The movement is unique in both structure and ideology and is aggressively political, teaching that like-minded believers must take over the “seven mountains” of society and culture including government. They are becoming involved in both

Republican and Democratic politics.

Randy Clark is one of six apostles leading a network called Revival Alliance.6 The network includes Prophet Lou Engle who leads TheCall, a series of events held in stadiums around the world, promoting activism against reproductive and gay rights. Engle led TheCall in Kampala in 2010, featuring Ugandan leaders in support of the “kill-the-gays” bill.  In 2008, Engle helped organize support for Proposition 8, including TheCall San Diego, a 12-hour event closing with Engle calling for martyrs. Engle often includes “racial reconciliation” ceremonies in TheCall events, while simultaneously targeting gays and

Muslims as being controlled by demons and as the cause of societal and economic problems.

Global Awakening in Mechanicsburg markets and teaches from books claiming that homosexuality is

demonic. One example is Peter Horrobin’s book Healing through Deliverance which is marketed from the Global Awakening store and required curriculum for certification in faith healing.10 Global Awakening was one of the participating ministries for a 2012 pre-election prayer rally, America for Jesus, held in Philadelphia and featuring Che Ahn, Lou Engle, and other vocally anti-gay leaders.

The GSSM program that was run by Myers for five years included participation of New Apostolic leaders from around the nation, many of whom have also written and taught that homosexuality is an

“abomination” to God.12 In the classroom, Myers clearly supports an anti-abortion and “pro-family”

agenda. The GSSM application, during Myers’ tenure, requires applicants to answer to, “Have you ever been involved in sexual immorality (pre-marital sex, homosexuality, adultery, pornography, etc)?”

Myers’ 2011 book calls for “theocratic” governance of churches or “supernatural leadership” by leaders who are chosen by God instead of voted on by the church.14

Here are some of the ministries’ videos:

Texas Gov. Rick Perry is one of the followers of this movement.  Anything but progressive Perry led an evangelical gathering where the Global Awakening movement was front and center.  We’ll have more on the movement and Myers’ leadership of it during the week.  This man isn’t who he purports to be so I call him a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

News & Notes March 18, 2013

I hope everyone had a nice and sober St. Patricks Day.  We spent the day burying that lying groundhog who froze to death after predicting an early spring.

On the tenth anniversary of the ill fated Iraq War we need to take a second and remember all those lies which led us into the disaster.  At one time 70% of Americans believed Saddam was involved in 9/11 and that he had weapons of mass destruction.  Our soldiers would be greeted with flowers and candy and the oil would pay for the war.  $2.2 trillion and 200,000 deaths later we know it was all lies.  Next time be prepared for all the lies about Iran.

Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski’s consultants issued a press release last week touting his performance as Mayor and ability to defeat Tom Corbett.  He’s definitely a second tier candidate against the likes of Joe Sestak, Allyson Schwartz, Rob McCord and Tom Wolf.  The poll shows how weak the Governor is a year and a half out from re-election.

Pennsylvania is getting $82.7 million from Washington to aid homeless persons and families.  Do you think there’s any way Gov. gasbag can manage to divert it all to corporate tax breaks?

Speaking of Gasbag he has lots of company among state officials with ties to the fracking industry.  45 of them exist who have either worked for or now work for the industry.  It is a revolving door of cronyism and corruption.

Speaking of fracking Chesapeake Energy is being sued for allegedly screwing landowners out of royalties.  Why would anyone think they could trust anything involved in oil and gas?

The State House is getting ready to vote on reforms of child sexual abuse laws.  There are a slew of them in the hopper but one sponsored by my Rep. Mark Rozzi would extend the statute of limitations and allow victims a two year window (for those for whom the statute has expired) to sue.

It’s time to raise the state minimum wage to a living wage with a COLA incorporated into the law.  The City of Santa Fe requires all employers to pay a living wage and even restaurant workers receive it.  There wages are $10.34/hour and they have good employment.  This myth that raising wages costs jobs is yet another conservative lie.  There is absolutely no statistical or economic evidence supporting that lie.  In Pennsylvania the average apartment costs $895/month for a two bedroom unit.  That requires a wage of $17.21/hour.  Meanwhile the minimum wage is $7.25/hour, $2.35/hour for restaurant servers.  No wonder we have so many homeless persons, people working several jobs and parents who have no time for their children (they’re working constantly).

The Pennsylvania Turnpike has been a cesspool of corruption for decades.  Former Sen. Bob Mellow, now residing in federal prison, was charged with seven others last week in a pay to play scandal.  There should be many more to follow.

In interesting news scientists at CERN say they believe they did, indeed, find the God Particle.

Some cities across the nation are banning plastic grocery bags.  This would be a good idea here.

As kayaking season quickly approaches I found this neat video of a sea lion taking a ride on one.  I can’t wait to get my boat prepped and ready for the waters.

There was a bank run in Cyprus over the weekend as Britons began pulling out the 1.7 billion pounds they have on deposit there.  This followed a decision to allow 10% of such deposits to be seized by the government.  Smart, real smart…

More trouble for Papa Johns:  the pizza chain is being sued for spamming cell phones.  The $250 million being sought would, I suppose, be more cause for the right wing owner to justify not providing health care for his workers.  Do you really want food prepared by workers with no health care?

CPAC never fails to shock us with the insensitivity and callousness of conservatives.  One panelist actually praised slavery for “providing food and shelter to Blacks.”  Yes, scraps of food along with beatings, lynchings, separation of families and oppression.  So what was such a good deal about this for the slaves?  

The Steubenville football players were finally convicted of rape yesterday.  CNN lamented how their lives have now been ruined.  Since when do we sympathize with rapists who actively sought to cover up their crime and use their positions as football stars to escape responsibility?  Shame on Candy Crowley and CNN.

President Obama named Thomas Perez as Secretary of Labor.  AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka had this to say about the nominee:

Throughout his career, Perez has fought to level the playing field and create opportunities for working people, whether in the workplace, the marketplace or the voting booth. He has worked to eliminate discrimination in housing, provide access to education and health care, end hate crimes, crack down on employers who cheat workers out of wages and expand our democracy by protecting the fundamental right of every American to vote. In the 1990’s, he worked on the front lines of the effort to pass comprehensive immigration reform under the leadership of the great Senator Ted Kennedy-a job that will serve him well in today’s drive for commonsense immigration reform.

At a time when our politics tilts so heavily toward corporations and the very wealthy, our country needs leaders like Tom Perez to champion the cause of ordinary working people. And working families need and deserve a strong advocate as their Secretary of Labor — one who will vigorously enforce job safety standards, wage laws, and anti-discrimination rules, and who will speak out forcefully for working families and their workplace rights, including their right to join together to improve their lives and working conditions.

PA isn’t the only state where politicians are being charged with corruption.  Last week Florida’s Lt. Governor resigned amidst an investigation of a Veterans charity called Allied Veterans of the World.  They also have a presence here in Pennsylvania.  They run internet gambling parlors and lavish themselves with the proceeds giving little to nothing to vets.

We had two recent gun incidents in the Commonwealth.  A man stole a shotgun and ammunition at gunpoint in a Dick’s Sporting Goods store in Bucks County then killed himself in the rest room.  Another man with four guns killed someone in North Fayette.  The NRA figures the clamor for gun control will die out as soon as “the Connecticut effect” wears off.  We need to keep up the pressure.

As we approach the second anniversary of the meltdowns at Fukushima Japanese are protesting their reliance on nuclear power.

Sequestration is hitting areas hard.  Republicans are outraged that White House tours are done with while ignoring vital programs being subjected to their budget axe.  Here’s one example which I haven’t seen plastered all over TV channels devoted to entertainment (as opposed to real news).

Pennsylvania prisoners with mental health issues are languishing in isolation according to a recent lawsuit.  This is disgraceful in this day and age.

Pennsylvania’s two major political parties have conspired to make ballot access extremely difficult for third parties and their candidates.  This deprives voters of clear choices on election day.  A bill to change this has been reintroduced in Harrisburg.