News & Notes August 16, 2012

The silliness of a presidential campaign season is in full swing.  The VP references a term used by Republican leaders and gets slammed for it from…Republican leaders.  Romney screams for an end to negative campaigning while issuing ad after ad which are proven to be false and misleading.  We have two and a half months of this nonsense to go before the election and it’ll only get worse.  My advice?  Turn off your TV.

A new Franklin & Marshall poll has Obama up by 6 points, about half what it was.  With over a million voters disenfranchised and a 620,000 vote margin in 2008 Pennsylvania is in play.  Polls will mean nothing this year because we have no idea of those surveyed can actually vote because of ID.

State Rep. Joe Brennan got busted for alcohol abuse again yesterday.  Police arrested him for beating his wife then driving off drunk.  He’s in the Lehigh/Northampton District once represented by T.J. Rooney, former State Democratic Chair.  Brennan and Sen. Lisa Boscola from the Lehigh Valley both have had problems with alcohol.

The Institute for Policy Studies released a report claiming that 26 large corporations paid their CEO’s more than they paid in taxes.  Conservatives are always claiming we have the highest corporate tax rate around but neglect to tell you how many businesses actually pay that rate.  Corporations share of federal tax revenue is down from 30% to 9% because of all the loopholes and other measures taken to reduce their taxes.  Many of the top 100 corporations pay no federal taxes whatsoever.  I don’t consider that a high tax rate.

New videos:

The reductions in Medicare are offset by closing the donut hole and providing more covered services such as colonoscopies.  The Ryan Budget cuts the same amount but those funds go to tax cuts for the rich.

An ACORN worker fired after James O’Keefe illegally recorded him and manipulated a video to destroy ACORN is suing the video artist.  Juan Carlos Vera actually reported O’Keefe to police for his supposed child prostitution ring but I bet you never heard that part of the story.  Every video James O’Keefe has produced has been riddled with editing lies and he has gotten into repeated legal trouble for his actions.  Let’s hope accountability results in this liar being held responsible for his actions.

Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin is fighting to keep her salary as she fights corruption charges.  Her suspension has the PA Supreme Court deadlocked in a 3-3 partisan divide.  Her sister, former State Sen. Jane Orie is now in prison for using state offices, resources and staffers to run Melvin’s Supreme Court campaigns.  A third sister Janine Orie is also charged with operating those campaigns from then Superior Court Judge Melvin’s office.  Does she deserve to get paid while in court?  Her sister used state and campaign funds to fund her defense so it is likely Melvin will also.  Hasn’t she scammed taxpayers enough?

Sen. Pat Toomey is a strong supporter of Paul “Ayn” Ryan.  Not only do they go way back they once lived together.  Gee, does that make them gay?

According to State Rep. and Auditor General candidate Eugene DePasquale Gov. Corbett’s administration is training state workers on how to get around the Open Records Law.  I wonder what they want to hide from us?

Great Britain is threatening to invade Ecuadoran territory in London to seize WikiLeaks hero Julian Assange.  Embassies and consulates are officially the sovereign territory of those nations and doing so would constitute an act of war.  All this to arrest a man who Obama wants to send to Gitmo for revealing damaging secrets the U.S. government didn’t want out.  Assange is a hero and this morning Ecuador announced it is granting him asylum.

Florida Congressman Cliff Stearns lost a primary yesterday and his 12 terms in Congress are done.  he is infamous for efforts to defund Planned Parenthood.

Rachel Maddow did a piece on our Voter ID election rigging scandal yesterday.  Obama is going to have to focus his efforts here on helping voters get ID’s instead of regular campaign activities.  He’s lost a lot of support since 2008 among Pennsylvania liberals, especially young voters, and must overcome this huge obstacle.

Metcalfe Introduces Marriage Amendment

Extremist Republican Daryl Metcalfe today introduced an amendment to the Pennsylvania constitution which would legalize discrimination in marriage rights.  The effort would enshrine inequality into the law forcing same sex couples into permanent second class citizenship.  Again this effort will need to be blocked during the process.  Once again I will out any closeted members of the legislature who vote in favor of this measure.  Voting against one’s interests is news.

This comes just a day after the Equality Forum in Philadelphia celebrated the heroism of two men Dan Choi and Daniel Hernandez Jr.

Choi chained himself to the White House perimeter protesting Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.  He was railroaded out of the military for being gay and has become the symbol of opposition to discrimination in our Armed Forces.

Hernandez is the hero who saved Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords life by wresting the gun from her would be assassin.  We salute these heroes and role models at the same time Daryl Metcalfe attempts to say they aren’t worthy of the same rights as other Americans.

This photo is of the two men and Malcolm Lazin, Executive Director of the Equality Forum.

Rendell Proposing “Bridge” Budget

Gov. Rendell is preparing to enact a bridge budget if a House/Senate conference committee meeting today is unable to reconcile huge gaps between Republican (Senate) and Democratic (House) budget proposals.  Senators Dominic Pileggi, Jake Corman and Jay Costa join Representatives Dwight Evans, Todd Eachus and Sam Smith trying to hammer out spending authorization for state government.  State workers are looking at a payless payday tomorrow and vendors are not getting paid.

The Governor says he will ask the House to pass Senate Bill 850, the GOP budget, and he will then use his line item veto to annul all but the essential services pending passage of an acceptable budget.  This way core governmental services can continue, vendors and employees get paid in the interim.  Pennsylvania Democratic Party Chair TJ Rooney and spokesman Gary Tuma appeared on Democratic Talk Radio this morning to discuss the impasse and Rendell’s proposed short term solution.  Rooney mentioned a certain Senator who is voting with Republicans on this and condemned the traitorous conduct.  Lisa Boscola went unnamed by Rooney but is the Lehigh Valley State Senator, well known for her public and private bouts of shameful drunkenness, who cannot seem to see through her alcoholism induced fog to understand the importance of education.