News & Notes December 12, 2011

I’ll be in Harrisburg Tuesday for a Planned Parenthood Board meeting.

Police in North Dakota called on an ICE drone to track several “sovereign citizens” wanted.  This is dangerously close to violating the Posse Comitatus Act prohibiting the military from police activity.

Reporter at Tuesday’s preliminary hearing for Jerry Sandusky will be allowed to text and Tweet from court so I’ll follow the proceeding that way and attend our Board meeting in Harrisburg instead.  The media petitioned the court to have the previous ban overturned.

The AP finally published the analysis of wrongdoing at Penn State surrounding the entire institutional failure allowing Sandusky to allegedly molest boys on campus.  They were denied access to a considerable number of documents because Penn State is exempt from the Open Records Act.  Read the article here (without using up access to in state newspaper restrictions).

Mitt Romney chose the wrong veteran to approach in New Hampshire this morning.  He got an earful about his stand on gay marriage from the vet and his husband.

When asked at the last debate what financial sacrifices they’ve been forced into due to financial hardship not one of the GOP candidates could produce a response to the query.  Of course they’re all rich and members in good standing of the richest 10%.  Newt has traded on his public service to become quite wealthy.

The situation at the doomed Fukushima nuclear reactor is getting worse and may jeopardize an entire region of Japan.  Reactor 4 is severely damaged and a wall apparently has fallen.

Legislators in Harrisburg are hell bent on making abortion unavailable in Pennsylvania.  If you believe it is immoral to restrict access to healthcare and make a legal medical practice impossible to obtain due to unconstitutional restrictions call your Representative and Senator today.  This is going to be voted on this week.  This is what Republicans (and many Democrats) are doing in Harrisburg instead of creating jobs, providing education and rebuilding our roads and bridges.  While I’m skidding on a rain soaked bridge which cannot provide traction in wet conditions nothing is being done to repair and rebuild these crumbling structures.  Instead we’re restricting all kinds of rights.  I thought conservatives believed in freedom and democracy.  Instead they’re hell bent on destroying it.

The State House passed HB 1977 tonight 146-45.  It prohibits women from purchasing private abortion coverage under the new health care exchanges.   This means women will be unable to obtain abortion coverage in Pennsylvania even if they pay for it themselves.  We’ll be seeing a profusion of back alley abortion providers which will make the Gosnell clinic appear good.  The vote signifies that many Democrats also supported this bill.

Another issue coming up soon is a ban on pigeon shoots.  These inhumane exercises in machismo are immoral.  

The redistricting commission approved House and Senate plans today on a 4-1 vote.  Citizens now have 30 days in which to appeal to courts against the plans.

Joshua Young announced his candidacy for the 45th State House district in Chester County.  The District was represented by Democrat Nick Kotik when it was located in the Pittsburgh area.  Due to population shifts away from western PA several House and senate districts were moved east.

The “family values” crowd is hell bent on dividing families.  Even that “saint” of protecting families Rick Santorum, has come out in favor of splitting up families.  Of course this only applies to those of minority status:  immigrants.  When will conservatives finally give up their hatred and bigotry of minorities?  Excuse me Rick but your racism is showing again.

Occupy Pittsburgh is resisting efforts to evict it.  Other Occupiers shut down western ports today.  It’s impossible to shut down OWS.

Congressional Republicans want to tie extending unemployment benefits and the payroll tax to approving the Keystone XL pipeline.  If Obama caves on this one he loses the environmental vote next.  These GOP’ers are crazy like a fox.  They keep forcing the President to do things to piss of his key constituencies.  He doesn’t seem to care.

Republicans are great at brainwashing people with constant repetition of their myths.  Tax cuts don’t actually create jobs, they eliminate them.  Corporate taxes aren’t high because there are so many loopholes most major companies pay zero.  The rich are NOT job creators.  How many jobs are there for butlers, private jet pilots and yacht captains?  The growing wealth inequality has cost us millions of jobs however.

Rick Perry is doing his darned best to make George W. Bush appear to be the smartest Governor in recent Texas history.

Tom Corbett keeps trying to explain away his conflict of interests and handling of the Sandusky/Second Mile scandal but he’s knee deep in shit.  He should be returning all those campaign contributions from Board members of The Second Mile but isn’t.  As long as he keeps that money he’s as dirty as Sandusky.  The Governor needs to take shower to wash all the shit off him that’s showered on him lately.  Perhaps Jerry will help him do it in the Lasch Football Building.

Fukushima Update

There is continuing news coming from Japan regarding the situation at the nuclear power plant damaged by the massive earthquake and tsunami.  Plutonium has now been found outside the reactor in the soil.  Reports of radiation 10 million times normal were erroneous and caused by translation problems.  It is merely 100,000 times normal.  17 workers at the plant have been identified as having been exposed to radiation and it does appear that one reactor core has been breached.  The radiation in sea water near the plant is disturbingly serious.  

Radiation in rain falling here in Pennsylvania has been detected but is infinitesimal, no danger exists.  It does show how these accidents can spread around the globe through weather patterns however so power plants anywhere have the potential to effect everyone.

This accident is causing people to rethink nuclear power.  President Obama embraced nuclear as an option to wean us off fossil fuels and now he’s a harsh political position going into 2012.  Should he continue this position it could hurt him with his base, what’s left of it at least.  Interest in renewable energy sources is gathering momentum and that’s good.  The potential for converting geothermal, solar, wind, waves and other possibilities is endless but it may never match what we currently consume in gas, coal and oil.  However when we increase renewables and increase conservation we can drastically reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and possibly save the planet in the process.  This isn’t a matter of how we do it, we HAVE to do it.