News & Notes August 10, 2013

Montgomery County passed the 100 mark in same sex marriage licenses Friday.  103 couples have now secured the document and 33 of them have wed.

Almost every day I see some pick-up truck with illegal, oversized tires.  Pennsylvania doesn’t allow any tires to be wider than the vehicle’s fenders.  They tend to kick up stones and rocks which crack other people’s windshields.  Is there no enforcement of this?  Who is inspecting these when it’s an automatic fail?

August 24th is the 50th commemoration of the March on Washington.  Buses are organized to transport those wishing to participate.  One is going from Reading and is $30.

Lebanon County Commissioner Jo Ellen Litz is the third woman to enter the Gubernatorial race.  With former DEP Secretary Katie McGinty also in Allyson Schwartz cannot wrap up the lady’s vote for herself making it a real race.  Look for Rob McCord’s official launch next month.

Westmoreland County Dems launched an effective attack ad in their row office races:

With th eannual Congressional recess in gear go to your friendly, neighborhood Tea Party Congressman’s town halls and ask why they insist on wasting money on meaningless repeal votes on ObamaCare instead of creating a single job.  Remind them this was their #1 promise in the 2012 elections and ask when they intend to begin working on the issue.

Another summer and another year when climate change is wreaking havoc in the western states.  How bad does it have to get before they realize this is real?

I’m never shocked at the ignorance and stupidity of conservatives.  They manufacture lies, myths and tales to convince themselves they are correct in spite of reality (facts).  Here are 20 of them assembled by Addicting Info.

For example they’re mad as hell about this bit of truth telling by actor Ed Asner:

A while back I wrote a piece about Paula Deen.  Since then I’ve read more on her and realize she really is a racist asshole.

Tom Corbett, the Guv who took free trips and other gifts then gave lucrative state deals to those folks swears he isn’t corrupt.  Lying to us when the facts are indisputable won’t get you re-elected next year Gov. Gasbag.  If this isn’t corruption I wonder how he defines the term?  Cash in a bag slid to him under a table in a Harrisburg pub?

Will Bunch fried Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz after her horrid vote on NSA spying.  It’s a must read for anyone considering supporting her because she’s progressive (she isn’t).

News & Notes July 13, 2012

I’ll be away this weekend, heading up to Sullivan County (northeast of Williamsport) for a getaway with friends.  No internet and likely no cell signal either.  Can I survive two days disconnected from the world?

Happy Friday the 13th.  It wasn’t a lucky week for Mitt Romney.  Maybe the media should hold off exposing all his lies until he’s the official nominee.  At this point Republicans my realize they have a wounded duck and replace him.

Tom Corbett began taking heat yesterday following the Freeh Report disclosures.  It seems they dug up more in eight months than Corbett’s OAG did in three years.  They did it without subpoena power or a grand jury.

When I peruse the state’s newspapers each morning I am saddened sometimes by the local news I find.  The Times Leader of W-B had a story last week when three people were killed in a drug buy in Plymouth.  I remember going to Plymouth all the time as a boy to visit my Grandmother Morgan and Aunt Betty.  It was a working class town just outside Wilkes-Barre with a corner store down the hill where we’d buy penny candy.  Times have changed for the worse for Plymouth.

Speaking of Williamsport a GOP candidate and his wife have been charged with forging names on nominating petitions.  Christopher B. and Misty Bain are charged with forgery, tampering with records, obstructing a government function, false swearing, false signatures and fraudulent filing of nominating petitions when Mr. Bain attempted to run for the State House.  Candidates do these forgeries all the time and mostly get away with it.  It’s time someone faced serious charges.

Harrisburg has relaxed regulations for health clubs.  They no longer must have someone certified in CPR on duty.  Why is it they’re making regulations unreasonably strong for abortion clinics while relaxing them for other businesses?  It couldn’t really be that they want to unconstitutionally restrict abortions could it?

There’s a banner on facebook that struck me as poignant this week:  Liberals protest war while conservatives protest health care.

Pennsylvania State Police Troopers are being sued for extreme violence against Robert Leone.  The video is horrific and citizens of the Commonwealth need to question the integrity of our State Police:

Tom Corbett’s approval rating i snow at 36%.  More importantly his disapproval is at 50%.  This will make him One Term Tom.

Congressman David Dreier has made himself a one man Death Panel.  He thinks if you get a brain tumor you shouldn’t get medical care.  The reason we even have health care is so sick people can get care.  American Civilization is in jeopardy.

Gov. Gasbag Delivers Budget Address

Tom Corbett addressed Pennsylvania’s General Assembly this morning with his annual budget address and illustrated, again, that he isn’t the sharpest tack in the box.  Let’s face it, he’s one of the dullest tacks in the box.  he’s too stupid, for example, to understand that government spending creates economic activity ($1.42 for every $1 spent), that not everyone sitting on a local school board is an intelligent person (many can’t even spell themselves), that state officials can manage welfare programs quite well, or even that FDR delivered more than four State of the Union speeches.

The Governor, wholly owned by the natural gas industry (hence his nickname), promised more painful cuts to both education and welfare.  He claims he didn’t cut funding for basic education and lambasted those of us who said he did.  Last year his budget cut $1 billion from K12 education.  He blamed those cuts on Ed Rendell who, he says, used stimulus money for education (instead of shovel ready projects).  

His cuts to public welfare have resulted in 200,000 Pennsylvanians losing medical coverage.  He promised more pain.  He stood again and said he refuses to raise taxes.  Thus far that adamant stand has cost the Commonwealth $300 million in gas extraction funds, money desperately needed to feed poor Pennsylvanians.  He said he will merge welfare programs and turn them into block grants to counties.  This means, as Sen. Hughes said on PCN, he is passing the buck from the state to counties.  That means your county property taxes will rise to cover the cost of these programs.

He also pledged to continue cutting the state workforce, cutting jobs instead of creating them as he promised during his campaign.

He will find money for a new cadet class for the Keystone Kops.  115 more Troopers will also see a merging of the PSP with the state’s homeland security operation.  Let’s hope this isn’t more militarization of law enforcement.

He quoted many people from FDR to Barack Obama in attempting to justify his austerity measures.  I notice he neglected to include some others such as this:

“…the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; those who are in the shadows of life; the sick, the needy and the handicapped. ” ~ Last Speech of Hubert H. Humphrey

“A nation’s greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members.” ~ Mahatma Ghandi

He also announced a new task force to study higher education.  He keeps creating these bodies because he’s to dumb to figure things out for himself.  He said tuitions are out of control but doesn’t seem to comprehend the link between constant cuts in state aid to higher education and rising tuition rates.

When it comes to Tom Corbett  I’m reminded of a quote from a movie:  “stupid is as stupid does.”

State Trooper Blames Accident on Local Township

I was sitting at my computer reading through the state’s newspaper stories when I heard another set of squealing brakes outside then the thud of cars colliding.  Such is life at an intersection with five stop signs everyone ignores including the State Police.  Crashes are a regular routine here and everyone seems to run them with abandon, especially workers at East Penn Manufacturing in nearby Lyons Station.  In this morning’s accident a woman sustained a broken arm and a baby in a car seat was whisked away by ambulance.  Three Pennsylvania State Troopers responded and I asked one what it will take until they begin traffic enforcement of the stop signs.  He blamed Ruscombmanor Township for erecting the stop signs.

Wait, the fault for all these crashes and injuries isn’t because the Troopers won’t enforce the law but because the local township put up stop signs?  Route 12 is a state road after all and no one even bothers to do anything to slow people down as they cruise through one stop after another.  It’s possible for motorists coming down Conrad Road and onto Rt 12 to run three stop signs in the blink of an eye.  I call it hitting the trifecta.

Albright College: No Honorary Degree For Corbett

Nearly 70 activists descended on northeast Reading Sunday afternoon to protest Gov. Tom Corbett and his radical policies.  Albright College conducted its commencement with the Governor as its main speaker amidst controversy.  Students wrote a letter to Corbett following his massive cuts to k12 and higher education funding and asked him to rescind his acceptance.  The College’s faculty voted NOT to grant him an honorary degree, something customary for such events.  It is highly unusual for an institution of higher learning to invite a dignitary to be its commencement speaker and then not vote to grant them an honorary degree.  The vote of Albright’s faculty was unanimous.

The protesters arrived around 1 PM and were orderly, peaceful and courteous.  They applauded the entire senior class as it marched to Shirk Stadium for their degrees while six mounted Pennsylvania State Troopers stood providing a clear signal from the Governor.  He obviously sent these Troopers to intimidate those exercising their constitutional rights of assembly and free speech.  One female Trooper purposefully pulled her steed back into the crowd on 13th Street sending them scrambling for safety.  She did so twice until I purposefully walked over and stood before them recording everything they did.  

The action of the Pennsylvania State Police was a black eye for the entire Commonwealth and tells us something very dark and disturbing about our new Governor.  I have pictures and video so most of them will be under the fold since we already have so much video on the front page (it takes it too long to load for those with dial up connections).

The mounted Pennsylvania State Police:

Then after they rode to the steps:

Pictures from the exhibition:

News & Notes February 21, 2011

MoveOn has a good list of the right wing’s attack on women.  A few excerpts:

1) Republicans not only want to reduce women’s access to abortion care, they’re actually trying to redefine rape. After a major backlash, they promised to stop. But they haven’t yet. Shocker.

2) A state legislator in Georgia wants to change the legal term for victims of rape, stalking, and domestic violence to “accuser.” But victims of other less gendered crimes, like burglary, would remain “victims.”

State budget cuts will result in fewer campaign finance reports being available online.  The state Department of State lists all reports from campaigns and political committees on its website.  This is what I access when I conduct my research.  reports for PAC’s submitted on paper may not be posted online.  This will be an incentive for political action committees not wanting their contributors names on the internet to attempt to hide the information.  This is just another example that democracy in America is dead.  Anyone who thinks otherwise is a fool.  We have an oligarchy now.

Reuters is reporting that mortgage services may finally face action after being caught committing fraud in the foreclosure process.  To date none of the mortgage brokers who knowingly and willingly defrauded homeowners and those financing them have been prosecuted.  Crooked bankers routinely falsified loan documents submitted for mortgages, defrauded buyers by not disclosing the onerous terms of their mortgages and then sold these as AAA rated securities when they were actually junk bonds.  If you robbed a bank or stole from the people you’d be in jail.

Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church are being threatened by a group which calls itself ANONYMOUS.  It is a group of sophisticated hackers which emerged from the WikiLeaks controversy.  After major banks refused to transmit payments and contributions to WikiLeaks Anonymous attacked their servers and brought them to their knees.  Now they are targeting Phelps’ band of insane protesters and saying they will shut them down unless they stop protests.  While I love the letter they sent this also makes me nervous.  A single anonymous group of computer experts playing internet vigilante can boomerang on all of us.  What if they chose to come after liberal blogs, for example?  Who is to say they won’t choose their targets carefully and responsibly?

A rogue State Trooper in the Pittsburgh area is costing taxpayers serious money in lawsuits.  Samuel J. Nassan III already shot a 12 year old boy and now is being sued, for the umpteenth time, for allegedly beating a man.  He has cost the Commonwealth $12, 762,930 in legal settlements thus far.  He isn’t the sole rogue Trooper in this state though, only the worst.

The trial of State Sen. Jane Orie resumes today in Allegheny County.  An interesting tidbit emerged last week:  the intern who originally triggered the investigation first went to Attorney General Tom Corbett’s office.  He was supposedly investigating all four legislative caucuses in Harrisburg for exactly this sort of corruption.  The attorneys there told her to go to the Allegheny County DA instead.  This means Corbett’s office willfully neglected their duty and their public position and passed the buck.  It also tosses the Orie claim of political prosecution out the window.

Today is President’s Day.  It was established because Southerners refused to honor Abe Lincoln’s birthday because he ended slavery.

Baseball has begun with spring training.  Rumors that the Phillies have purchased the Pittsburgh Pirates to serve as a farm team are merely satirical.  It will be fun watching the Four Aces all year.

The people of Libya are close to overthrowing Gaddafi after 42 years of brutal dictatorship.  The regime has used artillery and machine guns to mow them down but the protests haven’t stopped.  There were reports last evening that he had fled the country.  Meanwhile in Bahrain the military stopped trying to massacre their own people.  Last week they overran sleeping protesters before dawn and began shooting them as they slept in the square.

A couple years ago a right wing radical named Shawna Ford, a rabid anti-immigrant demagogue, murdered a child and her father in Arizona.  Last week she was convicted of the murder of Brisenia Fiores.  Ford invaded their home and shot them because of their race.  The case received little to no national press.  Why?

Tea bagger exile Mark Williams is leading an effort to infiltrate pro union rallies this week.  He is encouraging his compatriots to disguise themselves as SEIU organizers.  Doe she really think the real ones won’t understand they don’t know the imposters?  Williams was kicked out of the Tea Party for his overt racism.  Here’s what he’s suggesting:

Here is what I am doing in Sacramento, where they are holding a 5:30 PM event this coming Tuesday: (1) I signed up as an organizer (2) with any luck they will contact me and I will have an “in” (3) in or not I will be there and am asking as many other people as can get there to come with, all of us in SEIU shirts (those who don’t have them we can possibly buy some from vendors likely to be there) (4) we are going to target the many TV cameras and reporters looking for comments from the members there (5) we will approach the cameras to make good pictures… signs under our shirts that say things like “screw the taxpayer!” and “you OWE me!” to be pulled out for the camera (timing is important because the signs will be taken away from us) (6) we will echo those slogans in angry sounding tones to the cameras and the reporters. (7) if I do get the ‘in’ I am going to do my darnedest to get podium access and take the mic to do that rant from there…with any luck and if I can manage the moments to build up to it, I can probably get a cheer out of the crowd for something extreme.

I hope they show up in Philadelphia this week.  I’ll gladly expose them with videos.