News & Notes October 18, 2012

The Koch brothers and other billionaire company owners are using intimidation and threats to get their employees to vote Republican.  I thought voter intimidation was illegal?

Joe Pitts sent me a mailer today.  Has he forgotten who I am?  Why would he waste money trying to get my vote and claim he’s working to create jobs.  That what GOP Congressional candidates promised in 2010.  They, including Pitts, proceeded to block every job bill submitted by the president.  These assholes vowed to force the President to fail by filibustering every bill in the senate then turn around and blame HIM for the lackluster job creation numbers.  I thought conservatives believed in personal responsibility?

Mitt Romney blamed parents for violence done by their children during the debate.  Then his 42 year old son said he wanted to slug the president.

Any woman who votes for Mitt deserves what she’s going to get.  By the way, it won’t be a job.  More likely, if you’re a woman, voting for Romney will cost you your job.  Signing the Ryan Budget will slash government programs, many of which are staffed by women.  Cuts in education will cost female teachers their jobs.  Tax cuts will deepen the recession causing more layoffs.

Mitt syas he’ll cut taxes for the rich and won’t increase them for the middle class.  Guess who that leaves to pick up the tab?  Poor people.  Here’s a basic economics lesson:  you tax money.  Poor people don’t have any.

The state House was busy at the end of its session for the year.  After taking all summer off our hard working Representatives are off for the rest of the year.  Don’t you wish you had a job like that?  A charter school reform bill went unpassed.  It would have strengthened ethics and reporting for these bloodsuckers.

A gas chamber ban for animal shelters did pass.

A Senate bill allowing companies to keep your state income tax withholding is on a path for passage.  This would create a new Delaware type loophole for out of state corporations putting local firms at a competitive disadvantage.  It also robs taxpayers of their contributions to state government.

Sen. Larry Farnese is justly proud of his bill outlawing straw purchases of guns.  The bill strengthens current law.

Gov. Gasbag says he will sign a bill criminalizing sexting by teens.  There’s nothing like forcing kids into court for being young and dumb.  That’s it, give them a criminal record for showing their tits.

One of the few good things to be accomplished by this radical conservative state House was the voting down of a bill violating the Fourth Amendment.  It would have authorized police to obtain DNA samples, without warrants to search person’s bodies, for even summary offenses.  The ACLU said this today:  The government is constitutionally mandated to explain to a court why it wants to search someone,” said Reggie Shuford, executive director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania. “This bill undermined that fundamental liberty by allowing warrantless searches of a person’s body.”

The US Court of Appeals for the Second District struck down DOMA today.  It says it violates the equal protection component of the Fifth Amendment.  From the American Foundation for Equal Rights:  

“Today’s decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit continues the unceasing momentum toward marriage equality for all Americans and affirms that discrimination against gay and lesbian Americans is unfair, unjust, and unconstitutional.  The body of evidence in support of marriage equality is clear and convincing.  This decision, as well previous decisions in other DOMA cases and in our federal constitutional challenge to California’s Proposition 8, signals that the arguments opposing the recognition of marriage for gay and lesbian Americans have no legal basis.  With today’s ruling, we are one step closer to the day when marriage equality is a reality for every American.”

I ran into a Birther yesterday while getting my Element inspected.  He insisted that President Obama is a Muslim born in Kenya.  As evidence he cited his wedding ring with its Arabic inscription saying “there is no God but Allah.”  This is yet another myth created by Faux News.  I explained to him that he’s been brainwashed.  I won’t waste precious breaths trying to reason with fools who have chosen to live in a parallel universe where there is no reality.

New Mexico Senator Jeff Bingaman is retiring and his seat is being contested by former Congresswoman Heather Wilson (disgraced in the GonzalesGate scandal) and Congressman Martin Heinrich.  Spanish normally win elections in The Land of Enchantment.  They have a saying in Santa Fe:  “the Indians have the land, the Spanish have government and the Anglos have the money.”  Democrat Heinrich is leading in the polls rather nicely.  They debated last evening.  I’m hoping to interview both outgoing Sen. Bingaman and incoming Sen. Heinrich next month while in Santa Fe.

Former Sen. George McGovern entered hospice care earlier this week and now is reported as being unresponsive.  He ran for president in 1972 against Richard Nixon.  A paranoid President sent a team of bungling burglars into Democratic headquarters in the Watergate.  The rest was history.

Berks Democrats keep embarrassing themselves.  This time Democratic DA John Adams endorsed Republican Attorney General candidate David Freed.  Another one may be financing the campaign of a Tea party candidate against a fellow Democrat.  I’m digging into campaign finance reports on that one.

Don’t trust those polls allegedly showing the race getting close in our Commonwealth.  If Obama thought there was any chance of losing our 20 electoral votes he’d be here along with Bruce Springsteen and Bill Clinton.  Meanwhile Mitt Romney sent his Pennsylvania spokesman on to Virginia.

Speaking of Virginia that state’s Health Commissioner resigned today over new abortion clinic regulations going into effect.  Gov. Bob McDonnell is trying to convince women to vote for Mitt but he can’t keep his head of Health because he’s so extreme on women’s women’s reproductive rights.  From the Associated Press:

Virginia Health Commissioner Karen Remley has resigned over the state’s controversial new abortion clinic regulations.

Remley submitted her resignation to Gov. Bob McDonnell Thursday. Her resignation is effective immediately.

Remley said in the letter that issues surrounding the development and enforcement of the clinic regulations have created an environment that compromises her ability to fulfill her duties. She did not elaborate.

The state Board of Health last month adopted regulations that require existing abortion clinics in Virginia to meet the same construction standards as new hospitals. Abortion-rights advocates argued the strict standards could force most clinics out of business.

Here in Pennsylvania our Dept. of Health has granted waivers to abortion clinics for many of the onerous new regulations forced upon them by Senate bill 732.

News & Notes May Day Edition

This is my third time writing this today.  Every time I got halfway through Firefox crashed taking the work with it…  Now I’m using Chrome and trying to figure out how it works.  At least Chrome remembers my passwords and saves my tabs (I hope!).  My 64 bit system simply hasn’t worked well with Firefox and after today’s failures I’m fed up.

Today is May Day, the traditional labor celebration day worldwide.  Many general strikes were planned.  Occupy movements are also scheduled to resume as of today.  Occupy Delaware has been broken up though, as of this morning, several tents remained.  Occupy Wilkes-Barre says it will resume.

Vice President Joe Biden is in Easton tomorrow speaking at Lafayette College.  I plan on being there for coverage.

The President is in Afghanistan where 90 minutes ago he and President Karzai signed an agreement for ten years of cooperation after the 2014 U.S. withdrawal.  I’m on a White House conference call about it as I type.  The agreement says the U.S. will not maintain military bases in the country.  

Iraq is buying American fighter jets as the real reasons for our failed invasion there evolve:  it’s all about business.

Last week Pat Toomey joined every other male Republican Senator voting against the Violence Against Women Act.  The renewal expanded coverage to Native Americans, members of the LGBT community and others.  A section written by Bob Casey expands protections for college coeds who are a disproportionate number of the rapes in that age group.  Date rape continues being a problem at colleges and universities.  Why does Pat Toomey hate women?  Though the bill passed the Senate a House version passed today strips LGBT protections.  According to Republicans it’s OK for gays and lesbians to be beaten.

The Pennsylvania ACLU is initiating legal action against Gov. Corbett and the Commonwealth over Voter ID.  The fact PennDOT is insisting on charging people for state issued identity papers for voting makes this a poll tax.  Those have been struck down by the Supreme Court.  This is the first of many legal actions to come caused by Corbett’s radical agenda which taxpayers will forced to cough up dollars to fund.  Instead of educating our children, providing services for the disabled and fixing our roads we’ll be paying lawyers in losing causes.

The AFL-CIO is ridiculing Mitt Romney:

New Mexico Senate candidate Eric Griego has a new ad targeting Heather Wilson on Social Security and Medicare:

This will be an interesting race to watch, New Mexico is a swing state and this open seat is a bellweather.

The Fox/Rupert Murdoch hacking scandal continues unfolding.  James Murdoch stepped down as head of the Fox empire in Britain and today Parliament found Murdoch senior “unfit” to run the company:

Texas efforts to defund Planned Parenthood met a roadblock when their law was declared unconstitutional.  It has already cost the Lone Star State $35 billion in federal Medicaid funding.  Rep. Daryl Metcalfe plans on introducing a similar initiative here soon.  Meanwhile the Oklahoma Supreme Court struck down its “fetal personhood” legislation.

Poor Mitt Romney:  just after hiring a communications guru infamous for his sexist Tweets (he scrubbed his Tweets after being hired) Ric Grenell has quit already.  Instead of his horrible sexist comments about women (and, especially Rachel Maddow) being the cause for his exit it is his sexual orientation.  Republican extremists couldn’t bear having  a gay man in that position.

News & Notes April 23, 2012

Tomorrow is election day, don’t let bad weather keep you from exercising your right to vote.  People in Syria are dying in the streets fighting for this right.   On the other hand don’t allow Tom Corbett to rob you of your right to vote.  They’ll be rolling out the Voter ID program though the law says you don’t have to produce an ID until the November election.

Matt Cartwright got the endorsements of three Northeastern PA papers.  Marybeth Kuznick is also racking up endorsements for her House race.

The Reading Eagle isn’t running the news that Frank Denbowski broke state election law.

Denbowski isn’t alone.  Marty Schmotzer didn’t even file a report.  The difference is we already knew Marty was a crook.

The DCCC points out how Jim Gerlach voted to give the Dallas Cowboys a tax break.  Their vote would provide all major sports teams owners another cut.  Have those crumbs trickled down to you yet?  Ronald Reagan promised they would.

NARAL’s pro-choice voters guide is available here.

This week there will be a major women’s rally in Harrisburg.  Join us on April 28th at 10AM on the Capitol steps.

Reading Mayor Vaughn Spencer is already tangled up in a web of cronyism and corruption.  That didn’t take long.

It appears fracking is already destroying fish in the Susquehanna River.  Will Corbett’s DEP do anything?

Two notable trials are going on this week:  Roger Clemens and John Edwards.

Wal-Mart spent millions bribing Mexican officials so they could build stores.  How much did they spend here?

The Catholic League got all in a lather over a skit Jon Stewart did.  They responded by showing him amidst fire on the day Jews use to remember victims of the Holocaust.  Very bad idea…

New Mexico Senate candidate Heather Wilson says bullying of gay teens is simply teasing.  Sure, hundreds of kids commit suicide every year over “teasing.”  She lost her Congressional seat over ties to George W. Bush’s GonzalesGate.  Should we tease her about that?

Education Voters PA has endorsed several candidates:  Erin Molchany, Shauna D’Alessandro, Duane Milne, Babette Josephs, James Roebuck and Sen. Patricia Vance.  Milne and Vance are moderate Republicans being challenged from their right (Tea Party).

Mitt Romney stepped in it when he dissed a famous Pittsburgh bakery.  Just when he was making progress trying to win the battleground state this fall he stepped in a pile of sh*t.  Maybe he still has time to come to Philadelphia and say how bad Tastykakes are…  Then he can throw up outside Pat’s Steaks.  Go to Lancaster and say something bad about scrapple?  He may as well try for the whole enchilada!

We’re finally getting some rain.  The last six months have been very dry, months we normally see considerable precipitation.  Climate change is affecting us and rivers are so low we can’t go kayaking.  I drove up along the Delaware Saturday, a stretch I’ve paddled many times, and was shocked at the low levels.  How will climate change affect our state in the future?  Here’s how.