News & Notes January 30, 2013

I was watching CNN this morning as host Carol Costello interviewed guests about gun control.  The head of GeorgiaCarry said that background checks are ineffective because only .08% of those checked are prohibited from purchasing guns.  This was a false argument because those who can’t pass the background check are smart enough to buy at gun shows where no background checks are necessary.  Costello never challenged him on his claim and I promptly turned her off.

Gov. Gasbag seems ready to break his “no new taxes” pledge by increasing gas taxes to repair our decrepit roads and bridges.   Now that he’s gone back on the central promise of his campaign can we now begin taxing natural gas extraction?

The Guv’s approval numbers continue sinking halfway through his term.  Tom Wolf, former Revenue Secretary from York is ready to announce his candidacy.  He’ll be a formidable opponent who has been lining up significant support and staff.  I also expect Admiral Joe Sestak to run.

Jerry Sandusky’s request for a new trial was denied this morning.  I was in the dentist chair when the email came in.  Getting a new trial has been worse than pulling teeth for the child molester.

Justice Joan Orie Melvin is on trial in Pittsburgh.  Her defense is that since all work got done there was no harm because she forced her staff to campaign on state time.  That’s her best defense?  No wonder she tried getting her colleagues on the state Supreme Court to declare her above the law.  The Orie sisters Achilles heel was their hubris and attitudes that they were above the law.  They’ll be able to discuss it among themselves in their prison cells.

Dick Cheney was on Faux News talking about guns.  This is the same guy who shot a friend in the face.  Yes, if I want an expert on gun safety Darth Cheney would be my choice too.

John Kerry was approved as Secretary of State and Gov. Deval Patrick announced that William Cowan will fill the seat until June’s special election to replace Kerry.  It took John Kerry 25 years to become the senior Senator from Massachusetts.  It took Elizabeth Warren three weeks.

Camelot Global Services doubled the price of lottery tickets in Britain.  People are upset both with the firm Gov. gasbag outsourced to and the manner in which he did it bypassing the legislature.  This Governor continues failing to work with others.  He has alienated his own fellow Republicans because he doesn’t seem to think he has to work with the House and Senate.  The way privatization of government services works the unionized workforce gets fired and the new workers, far fewer than before, are overworked and underpaid.

Pennsylvania’s charter schools are not performing well.  Only one had annual yearly progress.  Why are we siphoning needed funds from our public schools to these private, for profit entities when they’re failing and dishonest?

Another Republican legislator started a firestorm over rape.  New Mexico Rep. Cathrynn Brown of Carlsbad introduced a bill requiring rape victims to keep their pregnancies because the fetuses were evidence in criminal cases.  If they got an abortion they would be guilty of a felony.  The outcry was so bad she had her office telephone disconnected.  Her home number was then posted on facebook so those outraged by her callousness could call and complain.  She quickly amended her bill.

Hillary Clinton has turned over her partial ownership of the family’s Lake Winola vacation cabin to her brothers.

Rep. Rosita Youngblood is trying to get the name of Negro Mountain changed.  It is south of Somerset and straddles the state line with Maryland.  It was named for an African American who was involved in a French and Indian War battle on the site.  Youngblood, along with a colleague in Annapolis, wants to rename it for the slave Nemesis.  Good idea.

Right to Work For Less legislation has been introduced in Harrisburg.  If you enjoy the 40 hour work week, vacations, health care, sick days, overtime, safe work conditions and all the other blessings brought to you by organized labor oppose this bill.

Tomorrow evening I’ll be on BCTV (Berks County) on a panel discussing the book “The New Jim Crow.”