News & Notes October 21, 2013

New Jersey began same sex marriages this morning as Gov. Chris Christie halted his official appeal of a court ruling mandating marriage equality.  The Garden State is the fourteenth to legalize same sex marriage.

The New Mexico Supreme Court should weigh in by Wednesday on marriage equality there.  It should become the fifteenth state.  As usual Pennsylvania is stuck in the eighteenth century.

As I watch gas prices come down they’re nearing the point at which I bought gas in New Mexico.  If you gas up on Native America reservations there you save on gas taxes.  I paid $3.19/gallon on my most recent trip to The Land of Enchantment.  It was $3.51 elsewhere.

State Rep. Brendan Boyle is calling for an investigation into the state Workers Compensation system.  It seems their faulty software is causing delays for those injured on the job.  Workers Compensation is designed to provide coverage and disability payments to workers hurt or who got diseases like mesothelioma from their jobs.  In exchange for not being able to sue their employers they are supposed to be provided health and disability coverage.  Unfortunately the system is designed to protect businesses from their negligence rather than provide quick and fair compensation to workers.

Pittsburgh is feeling a bit deflated this morning after its giant rubber duck has been flattened and put away.

Sen. Pat Toomey along with Congressmen Joe Pitts, Scott Perry, Tom Marino and Keith Rothfus all voted for the United States to default on its debt.  So much for fiscal responsibility.  Republicans got us into this deficit mess and now they refuse to pay their bills?

State Sen. Jim Ferlo has introduced a bill to impose a moratorium on fracking.  Until studies are completed to fully understand the impact of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas all new permits for wells would be suspended.

Another homophobic Republican has been outed as having a gay past.  This time it’s an Alabama Judge.

Viewers of Fox News continue being the most misinformed voters in America.  Is that due to the crap they pull out of their butts and present as factual news stories?  Here are some surprising things Faux News viewers believe.

While conservatives cut $4 billion in food stamps after crashing the economy and sending millions of Americans into poverty, one in three children in Scranton now live in poverty.  News flash:  food banks are unable to pick up the slack and now supposed “pro life” conservatives are going to starve children.

Pennsylvania’s health care system for the poor is poorly ranked.  The Corbett Fiasco has resulted in hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians being tossed from health care coverage.  Again, how “pro life” is it when you remove health care from people?  

Former State Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin, now doing home confinement as part of her conviction for political corruption, may face real prison as a consequence of her refusal to fully comply with the terms of her sentence.  She is balking at having to write letters of apology to fellow jurists.  The arrogance of the Ories never ends.  Send the bitch to prison.

Another charter school criminal goes to jail.  How long will it take until we awake and realize that these charter schools are not just underperforming public schools but their owners are corrupt?

By the way, charter schools should not be considered “public” schools.  Public means the people own them.

The State House is discussing a large transportation bill this fall.  The state’s roads and bridges are in horrendous condition.  PennDOT restricted 1,000 bridges this summer because of their poor condition.  Conservatives must bite the bullet and approve new funding sources before there’s a tragedy.

Gun nut Mark Kessler is going through the process of being fired from his job in Gilberton amidst a new action filed against him in court.  It seems he’s also raising an irresponsible gun nut son.

Gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf (my favorite) is going after gas corporations for criticizing proposals to tax the industry.  The PA GOP already shot itself in the foot by going after Allyson Schwartz for proposing taxes on energy companies removing natural gas which belongs to the people of this Commonwealth with no remuneration to them.

Gas companies are now attempting to transfer the small impact fees they’re currently paying onto those landowners from whom they lease land.  Instead of paying the impact fee themselves they trying to pass it onto the leaseholders.  Greedy bastards.

Computer glitches continue plaguing as ObamaCare rolls out.  This seems primarily to be because of privatization of the effort.  Private businesses aren’t good at providing government services simply because they aren’t government.

Bill Maher educated a Republican about the ACA in this clip:

Income inequality in America is now equal to that of your average banana republic.  Democracies are unable to survive when there is this much disparity.  I saw something this morning pointing out that the twenty richest Americans earn more from their investments in one year than we spend aggregately as a nation on education.

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