I had to drive to Exton this morning and was near Rt 322 where Ryan Dunn crashed and burned taking a Navy SEAL to die with him. Police say he was going 130 mph at 3 am after visiting a West Chester tavern. He had a history of wild, reckless driving. The lesson here is when you drive like a jackass you die like a jackass. I never watched Jackass, I can see enough of them driving Pennsylvania’s roads every day. Why glorify stupidity?
President Obama will address the nation tonight about a gradual withdrawal from Afghanistan. Someone remind me, now that OBL is dead what IS the mission? I’ll be on a 3:30 PM White House conference call previewing the speech.
Clarence Thomas is corrupt and must resign. The New York Times expose which hit Sunday shows exactly how unethical this Justice is and his time has come and gone. Go get your dirty Coke can Justice Thomas and try and learn a few ethics before you go down as the next Abe Fortas. Combine this with his repeated failures to reveal his wife’s $800,000 in fees from The Heritage Foundation and other sources and the bottom line is simple: we have a thoroughly corrupt Supreme Court Justice.
Josh Shapiro and Leslie Richards might just gain control of Montgomery County for Democrats. They have $378,000 cash on hand in their joint committee compared with $37,000 for Bruce Castor and Jenny Brown. PhillyBurbs.com called them “money magnets.” While money doesn’t insure victories in an expensive TV market it is absolutely necessary for a good result on election day.
The National Labor Relations Board reviewed organizing rules for unions and yesterday released revisions shortening the time for workers to vote on union membership. This will help level a very unbalanced playing field for Labor. The Pennsylvania AFL-CIO sent a press release yesterday from national President Richard Trumka:
Although we are still reviewing the proposed new changes from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), they appear to represent a common sense approach to clean up an outdated system and help ensure that working women and men can make their own choice about whether to form a union.
When workers want to vote on a union, they should get a fair chance to vote. That’s a basic right. But our current system has become a broken, bureaucratic maze that stalls and stymies workers’ choices. And that diminishes the voice of working people, creates imbalance in our economy and shrinks the middle class.
With the proposal of these new standards, the Board is taking a modest step to remove roadblocks and reduce unnecessary and costly litigation-and that’s good news for employers as well as employees. The proposed rule does not address many of the fundamental problems with our labor laws, but it will help bring critically needed fairness and balance to this part of the process.
Unfortunately, in today’s poisonous political environment, any action by the Board may unleash a torrent of attacks from politicians and ideologues opposed to any protection of workers’ rights. We call on leaders from both sides of the aisle to defend the independence of the NLRB. Political interference with any independent agency sets a dangerous precedent that should not be tolerated.
Bethlehem is the latest Pennsylvania municipality to approve a comprehensive civil rights ordinance. It now goes to Mayor John Callahan who introduced the bill. From The Pennsylvania Diversity Network:
June 21, 2011, Bethlehem, PA — Following a three hour public meeting, the City Council of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania voted unanimously to send the proposed non discrimination ordinance back to Mayor John Callahan for his signature. The ordinance was introduced by Mayor Callahan in September 2010 and previously passed unanimously through the Human Resources and Environment Committee and the First Reading of City Council. Mayor Callahan is expected to sign the bill into law.
Adrian Shanker led the coalition effort to pass this ordinance. Shanker, who is Vice President of Pennsylvania Diversity Network, built a coalition of more than 100 business, faith, labor, arts, education, and civil rights organizations in support of the ordinance. “We won tonight, but there were no real losers,” stated Shanker. “The Bethlehem community was loud and clear that they want Civil Rights protections, and the City Council tonight listened and voted accordingly.” Shanker continued, “This law helps working people, it helps small business, it protects religious freedom, and most importantly, it makes discrimination illegal in the City of Bethlehem.”
“I would be hard-pressed to find a vote that I support more than the one I’m voting on tonight” said Councilperson J. William Reynolds as he cast his vote in favor of this ordinance. Reynolds is not alone his sentiments. Mike Fegley of the popular Bethlehem Restaurant, the Bethlehem Brew Works stated, “this is the ethical thing to do in Bethlehem.” Before passing the ordinance, Council voted to clarify the religious exemption and retain expanded powers, such as subpoena power, for the Human Relations Commission., following requests from many supporters of the ordinance
Broad support for the law did not end in Bethlehem. Testimony was provided by the AARP of Pennsylvania, Equality Pennsylvania, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1776, Communities in Schools, and the Indian American Association of the Lehigh Valley, among others. Ted Martin, Executive Director of Equality Pennsylvania attended three of the four public meetings on the issue. Following tonight’s vote, Martin said, “I can only hope that the Pennsylvania legislature will follow Bethlehem’s lead and pass a fully inclusive statewide non discrimination law.” Senator Pat Browne (R-Lehigh) has introduced this legislation in the Senate, and Representative Frankel introduced companion legislation in the House. The lack of a fully inclusive state law has caused 21 municipalities, including Bethlehem, to pass their own versions on the local level.
Bethlehem follows neighboring Allentown, Easton, and Reading in passing this law. Liz Bradbury led a similar effort in Allentown more than ten years ago and attended tonight’s meeting. “I am so pleased that I can now recommend Bethlehem as a safe place to live or work for members of the LGBT community” said Bradbury.
The President’s visit to CMU Friday coincides with a visit from family coming from North Carolina so I won’t be able to travel to the Iron City for this event. He’ll be speaking about manufacturing jobs at the same time he pursues more “free trade” (the only thing free about them is the ease with which OUR jobs are lost) deals killing manufacturing here at home.
Elsewhere on the jobs front a Pennsylvania company in Exton is featured on the website for the National Export Initiative. Analytical Graphics hosted an event last year highlighting its success which I covered for the Department of Commerce.
I was on a White House conference call Monday morning about foreign investment in the States expecting some significant announcement but none came. While it’s nice to see companies coming here and hiring our masses of unemployed why aren’t we doing more to create our own jobs?
The Pennsylvania legislature is so busy creating jobs they haven’t had time for voter suppression, making it easier to kill people, easier to get drunk, harder to get a safe, legal abortion, and tougher to get an education while tossing 100,000 seniors, children and poor people off Medicaid. Isn’t it nice to see all these newly furloughed teachers, state employees, fireman and cops being disenfranchised to solve a non-existent problem? By the way the budget is due a week from Thursday and doesn’t appear to be ready. What have they been doing all this time???
I’m having some Achilles Heel issues and haven’t been able to sit for extended periods at the computer. I apologize for not being able to blog much this past week. I’m wearing a brace at night and icing it constantly and some progress is being made towards recovery. Its tough getting old…