News & Notes June 25, 2012

The Supreme Court ruling on ObamaCare is expected today.  Consensus seems to be that the Roberts Court will strike it down.  So far this court has backed the U.S. Chamber of Commerce 100% on its rulings.  Elections do have consequences.

Focus on SCOTUS is increasing as the result of the total corruption of our democracy because of Citizens United.  When 30 billionaires can funnel a billion dollars into a single campaign we no longer have a democracy.  Meanwhile Justices Alito and Thomas are getting heavy criticism for their purely partisan work.  Clarence Thomas’ wife works for a think tank opposing the Affordable Care Act.  His household gets money from those working to strike down the law.  

Fast & Furious continues being a focus of the news.  The failed program begun under George W. Bush ran guns into Mexico in the hope they could be tracked.  It failed.  Concern and outrage by the Right is missing the larger issue:  the huge flow of guns from this country into Mexico fueling the rampant violence and destabilization.

The student loan interest rate issue and a transportation bill both need to be passed this week.  Is the Tea Party House capable of passing anything meaningful and progressive?

A disturbing article about a Justice Department suit against two polygamous towns is required reading.  Polygamy is illegal and residents of these Utah/Arizona border towns are openly discriminating against their non-polygamous residents to the point of destroying their crops and killing their dogs.

East coast sea levels are rising due to global warming.  How much evidence do morons need before they stop believing what they hear from Rush and Fox?  The oil companies are fueling this denial so they can continue destroying the planet for profit.  Imagine the chaos if tens of millions of people are displaced all along the east coast?  How much will that cost?

It’s time for an increase in the minimum wage.  Low wage workers are actually earning less than thirty years ago due to inflation.  Places like Santa Fe which have living wage minimum wages prove that higher wages don’t mean fewer jobs.  The business community constantly rolls out this debunked argument when the issue comes up for votes.  In Santa Fe, where the minimum wage is now $10.29 they now have more people working in the hospitality sector, a center of low wage workers, than before 2008.  Their high minimum wage has not affected employment.

A Philadelphia jury convicted Msg. William Lynn of child endangerment last Friday.  Two landmark child molestation trials ended in Pennsylvania on the same day, both with convictions.  The Catholic Church must pay for its disregard of morality.  Penn State’s mistake wa snot shuttling Sandusky from campus to campus to better hide his abuses.  It worked for the Church for decades after all.

Voters keep electing car dealers to Congress then are mystified when the corrupt businessmen become corrupt Congressmen.  Have you ever dealt with an honest car dealer?  There’s no such thing.  The latest is Florida’s Vern Buchanan.  At least this corrupt Buchanan isn’t from Pennsylvania but we have our own car dealer in Congress:  Mike Kelly in PA-03.  Before that we had Don Sherwood in PA-11 who lost after getting caught choking his mistress.

I come from a family of teachers.  My Mom was a special education teacher, a sister is a college professor, another a retired guidance counselor and two more teach in local high schools.  When I hear idiots complaining about teachers it makes my blood boil.  They have no idea how hard these jobs are, especially nowadays.  Kids who have no interest in learning because their parents fail to instill a love of it in them when young challenge every teacher.  Would you want your job dependent on such kids?  Teachers are vastly underpaid when CEO’s earn billions.  Here’s a suggestion on how to pay teachers, gotta love it.

There are so many important areas being cut by Gov. gasbag so he can shell out tax credits to energy companies it’s hard to keep up with all of them.  The Times-Tribune covers how cuts are affecting day care centers.

Congratulations to new AFSCME leaders Lee Saunders (President) and Laura Reyes (Sec-Treasurer).  Saunders succeeds Jerry McEntee who retired after a good tenure.

In yet another tragic shooting of a Black kid by an angry white man are we entering into a race war where White men are openly killing African-Americans?  This seems to have been the real motivation for Stand Your Ground laws.

Fox News is so stupid not only can’t they get facts straight (of course they don’t want to when they can just make them up) but they can’t even get people right.  In their latest flub they showed a picture of Gov. Mitch Daniels instead of Jerry Sandusky.  It may be a freudian slip though since Daniels is screwing Indiana the same way Jerry screwed his kids.

The Supreme Court did strike down Arizona’s “papers please” anti-immigration law this morning.  But they also struck down Montana’s law against unlimited corporate money in politics.  This is a double down on Citizens United.  From the Brennan Center For Justice:

“The 2012 elections make one thing clear: unlimited spending by super PACs and secretive nonprofits is corrupting our political process and threatens to swamp our democracy,” said Adam Skaggs, senior counsel in the Brennan Center’s Democracy Program. “Increasing numbers of Americans believe our government is bought and paid for by special interests and that their votes don’t matter. By not taking this case, the Court missed a critical opportunity to rein in some of the worst excesses of Citizens United, and other rulings, that created this super PAC mess.”

Montana banned corporate election spending for more than 100 years as a result of a dramatic history of efforts by big companies to capture the state government. The state of Montana compiled an extensive and powerful factual record that demonstrated how unlimited corporate spending previously held the state hostage to mining companies and still poses severe threats to Montana’s elections and government. For the Court to strike down the state’s anti-corruption law without even reviewing that record is a serious mistake.

News & Notes February 7, 2012

Komen VP Karen Handel resigned today after destroying the breast cancer charity.  Recruited by former Bush Administration spokesman Ari Fleischer, she admits she was responsible for the policy excluding Planned Parenthood from cancer screening funds.  CEO Brinker, a Bush Administration funder and former Ambassador, claimed on television last week that that wasn’t the case.  The Susan G. Komen Foundation has no credibility at this point and no one is believing their fairy tale that they’re reversed their policy condemning poor people to death from breast cancer.

Rick Santorum is still pushing the myth that abortions cause breast cancer in spite of their being no scientific basis for the belief.  Haven’t we had enough stupid, anti-science Presidents?

Here’s one woman’s reminder of what breast cancer is, and is not:

Speaking of stupid Republicans Congressman John Fleming of Louisiana takes the cake this week.  He posted an article from The Onion on facebook that said Planned Parenthood was building an “abortionplex.”  The piece from last May satirically joked about a facility being built in Kansas.  Everyone, except Rep. Fleming, of course, knows The Onion is a fake news site which writes satire.  None of their stuff is true.

CNN contributors keep getting into trouble for saying bigoted things.  Perhaps the “news” network is trying to hard to be Faux News?  Sunday Roland Martin Tweeted this:  “If a dude at your Super Bowl party is hyped about David Beckham’s H&M underwear ad, smack the ish out of him!”

The David Beckham underwear ad didn’t even show the front of the man’s briefs for crying out loud, why would anyone turn that commercial into an opportunity for gay bashing, bullying and violence?  Frankly I don’t see why anyone worships that man’s body.  Of course I hate tattoos and think they debase the human body so Beckham does nothing for me.  He obviously did for Martin however, the man should be banished from the airwaves for his hate speech.

Bill DeWeese is insisting he will remain a State Representative even after his conviction yesterday on five felony counts.  This is a common condition known as delusion.  Instead of resigning now and saving taxpayers the cost of a special election he will stubbornly stay in Harrisburg until his formal sentencing on April 24th.

AFSCME sent me this neat video of Arizona Governor Jan Brewer.  You’ll recall her standing on a tarmac shaking her finger in President Obama’s face recently.

Labor $$ Supporting Medaglia

I traveled to Harrisburg yesterday to secure a copy of Larry Medaglia’s campaign finance report.  It is interesting as these always are.  He has only 20 individual supporters.  Other than Peter Giorgi of Giorgio Foods ($15,000) none are significant.  His money is coming from Senator Dominic Pileggi ($25,000) and the Pennsylvania Republican Party ($181,330) in in-kind contributions (direct mail pieces).  When going through Pileggi’s reports I noted dozens of organized labor unions contributing to the Republican Senator.  These include:

AFL-CIO,Carpenters, IBEW, IUPAT, Plumbers and Pipefitters, Steamfitters, SEIU, AFSCME, Teamsters, Plumbers Local 27, Iron Workers, cement masons, Western PA Laborers, Sprinkler Fitters, Bricklayers, Reinforced Iron Workers, IUEC, Asbestos Workers and Sheet Metal Workers.

Pileggi contributed $25,000 to Larry Medaglia.  Republicans all across the nation, in partnership with their GOP Governors, are now trying to attack worker’s rights to organize and engage in collective bargaining.  GOP State Senators in Wisconsin are leading this effort and this special election is going on in the shadow of those union busting efforts.

So why are so many labor unions supporting Republicans?  Their money is now flowing to someone who has avowed to bust public employee union pensions (though Medaglia will accept his own).