News & Notes January 28, 2011

The Judge in Sen. Orie’s corruption trial ruled yesterday that evidence collected through search warrants can be presented when her trial begins February 7th.  This is one day later than originally scheduled due to the Super Bowl game on the 6th.  I suppose they’re assuming the jurors will all be hung over.

President Obama is coming to central Pennsylvania next Wednesday.  I don’t have any further information as yet but I will be on a White House conference call about it at noon.

Update:  The President will be at Penn State University.

WASHINGTON- On Wednesday, February 2, President Obama will travel to the Penn State Campus at University Park in State College, Pennsylvania.  As part of the Administration’s strategy to win the future through new investments in research and development, the Department of Energy has launched Energy Innovation Hubs across the nation.  Penn State will provide overall leadership for the Greater Philadelphia Innovation Cluster for energy-efficient buildings that will be located at the Navy Yard in Philadelphia.  

While at Penn State, the President will tour labs focused on energy-efficient building solutions and deliver remarks on the importance of  investing in innovation and clean energy to put people back to work, grow the economy, and win the future.

State House Republicans are acting like schoolyard bullies after Democrats tried to add many amendments to their reform legislation.  In a snit fit they closed the session, went into caucus and decided to punish the Dems for using normal, regular parliamentary tactics.  As a result all committees now will have one less Democrat.  Instead of a ratio of 15 Republicans to 10 Dems it will now be 15-9.  Of course adding amendments is a time honored tradition and is part of governing.  In fact House Republicans did it constantly to slow down or stop the Democratic majority the past four years.  

Speaking of reform Gov. Corbett finally presented his plan for reforming state government.  Let’s just say we’re quite underwhelmed.  After all that hot air last year it amounts to little.  No blanket campaign finance reform or lobbying restrictions.  Until those are implemented anything else is window dressing.  C’mon Tom this is the best you can do?

Sen. Pat Toomey again embraced the Tea Party when he met with them in the Senate and provided his stamp of approval.  If you walk like  tea bagger, talk like a tea bagger, meet with the tea baggers, court the tea baggers and embrace the tea baggers guess what?  You’re a tea bagger Pat.

Campaign for America’s Future has a great blog post up at OurFuture.com (I’m paid by CAF to blog there) about reality checks.  Filled with informative graphs it is must reading.  Go take a gander.

Egypt is on fire as protests and demonstrations rock the nation in the wake of the takedown of the government in Tunisia.  Planning events through social media people have taken to the streets and faced down water cannons, billy clubs and every other violent measure concocted by the government to suppress their rights.  Now the internet has been silenced and Mohammed El Baradei arrested.  It’s time for Hosni Mubarak and his repressive regime to fall.

Sen. Rand Paul is proposing legislation outlawing the 14th Amendment.  He wants to restrict birthright citizenship.  Of course any sane person would understand you cannot void a part of the constitution by simply passing a law.  Amending the constitution is a rather laborious process and his futile attempt, while pathetic, tells us the man is simply a fool.  The acorn doesn’t fall far from the oak.

The Senate has defeated attempts at filibuster reform.  That hope and change you worked for in 2008?  Republicans filibustered it to death.  The remains are rotting in the Oval Office.

The number of Wall Street thieves, bank fraudsters and others prosecuted so far for collapsing the economy?  None.

New accounting rules enable banks to keep tricking investors into thinking they are solvent.  Instead of valuing assets at their actual value they can pretend mortgages and the real estate backing them up are still worth what they were in 2008.  Anyone investing in the markets right now is a fool.  The Fed is buying so many stocks to prop up the market they’re creating another bubble.

As if being gay in Uganda weren’t already horrible thanks to people like Joe Pitts and The Family an activist there has been murdered.  Words and actions do have consequences Congressman.