News & Notes March 31, 2013

Our internet was out for several days so I’m catching up.  

Happy Spring Fertility Festival for all of those who celebrate the holiday.  May all the bunnies and eggs get you in the mood…

A couple of defense contractors tied to late Congressman Jack Murtha have finally been charged.  This scandal was enveloping the Congressman in the late days of his life before a botched surgery killed him.

Pressure is on Sen. Casey to finally support marriage equality.  He’s heard from prominent gay activists Mark Segal, Rep. Brian Sims and others this week.  Keystone Progress is collecting petition signatures.  Don’t hold your breath waiting folks.

Navy Seal Team 6 member Brett Schadle of Elizabethville died in a training accident in Arizona the other day.  He and another SEAL collided during a parachute jump.  We send our condolences to his family and thank them for his service.

Another Neanderthal Republican (is that term becoming redundant?) is on the loose in Harrisburg.  Rep. Tim Kreiger wants to make it impossible for those who object to religious symbols in public places to sue to have them removed.  Because of the threats of backlash and violence those filing such court cases do so anonymously.  Kreiger wants to force them to identify themselves so his fellow Neanderthals can harass and threaten them for supporting the separation of church and state.

North Dakota passed a bill outlawing safe, legal abortions.  The legislation defines life as beginning at conception and gives a fertilized egg the same rights as persons.  Gays and lesbians still don’t have those rights in North Dakota.  The bill is clearly unconstitutional and will be struck down by the courts.

In a decision last week the Supreme Court said cops can’t bring a drug sniffing dog to your dog to search for drugs.  It’s nice to see that some semblance of the Fourth Amendment remains.  The Justices have sliced and diced it so much that little of it remains intact.

East Penn School Board member Julian Stolz is again in hot water over his social media statements.  The man has been anti-public education for years so his outrageous and provocative anti-education rantings are no surprise.  His Twitter feed is littered with stupid and crazy stuff.  Now one father has taken offense and the result should be Julian’s final demise on the Board.  Unfortunately for Emmaus he’s running for Mayor.

Corporate Dem Ed Rendell is taking heat for supporting fracking.  He’s a corporate Democrat and always has been so why the surprise?

State Senator Gene yaw is leasing his land for fracking.  As if that weren’t bad enough he’s also Chair of the committee overseeing energy and environmental protection.  Some think it’s a clear conflict of interest.  For a Pennsylvania lawmaker?  That’s a first (said completely in jest).  At least he’s open and honest about being bought off.

State Sen. Rob Teplitz is gaining a reputation as a serious reformer.  Now he and Sen. Patty Kim, another newcomer to Harrisburg, want to stop automatic pay raises.  Following the huge public outcry when lawmakers raised their salaries by over 30% a few years ago someone got smart and passed an automatic COLA.  Now, even as budget cuts hurt people all across the Commonwealth our Reps and Senators continue grabbing the gold ring.  My advice to them:  ask Josh Shapiro how frustrating it can be to be a true reformer in Harrisburg.

President Obama has named the first woman to head the Secret Service.