Tea Party Republican Tom Corbett continues his scorched earth campaign as governor of Pennsylvania. He is gutting education and public services while handing out over $300 million in new tax cuts for corporations. He also takes organized hypocrisy to astonishing new heights. An article in the Philadelphia Inquirer lays out Corbett's faux fiscal conservativism in exquisite detail.And with that in mind, I give you this from March…
As new taxes go, a levy on natural-gas drilling in Pennsylvania would seem like a pretty easy political sell. Two-thirds of the state's voters support the idea, several polls indicate. Politicians are desperate for money to plug a $4 billion budget gap and prevent deep cuts in the state college system and other programs.
With only a partial picture of the impact of Gov. Tom Corbett's proposed budget, the Pennsbury School District is already facing the loss of between $4.9 million and $6.7 million in state subsidies.So what has Pennsbury done in response? From here…
The bad news was delivered by district CEO Dr. Paul Long at a special meeting Thursday night of the Pennsbury School Board. As stark as the financial picture is, the numbers reflect no increase in teachers' salaries. The governor's proposed budget cuts affect school districts across the state, Long said.
In a brief presentation before the board, Long contrasted the cost of basic education - $15,143,000 - for the 2010-2011 school year with Corbett's proposal of $13,755,206, a loss to the district of $1,388,396. Also kicked out completely in the governor's charts are $876,385 in block grants and the state's $750,000 contribution to charter schools within the district.
If Corbett's budget stands, Pennsbury will have to find a way to make up the lost funds.
Board President Gene Dolnick expressed concern because of the possible impact on increasingly expensive programs such as charter schools and special education classes. He also said that the specter of vouchers, which would give district parents a choice on which schools to send their kids, could break the bank.
"I hope we are not witnessing the destruction of the public school system on the backs of our taxpayers," Dolnick said.
…the district is also endorsing a controversial new measure in order to raise funds: selling advertisements in its schools. Three weeks ago, the district’s 16 public schools installed advertisements. Overall, there will be 218 ads district-wide.You know, I really am surprised – this is no time for “half-measures,” people. How about making the students wear shirts with Nike swooshes, caps with the Coors Beer logo or sweater vests with the Apple logo (as a tribute to Steve Jobs, of course)?
These ads “must relate to health, education, nutrition, or student safety, and may not directly endorse products,” but some of them are sponsored by private companies and advertise products like Post-It Notes. The district hopes it can raise $425,000 annually with the ads.
Hey, at least Corbett didn’t tell Pennsbury to drill for its own natural gas (here – removing my tongue from my cheek now…what else can I say besides this being another example of Corbett’s pathetic non-governance?).
Of course, we’re talking about the Repugs, so their “jobs” bills don’t create any actual, real, you know…jobs. But if you’re looking for still more stinking tax cuts, getting rid of those pesky, burdensome big gumint regulations (and by the way, don’t ask which ones, or else that’s a “gotcha” question) and passing “free” trade deals, then brother, do Boehner, Cantor and their pals have a deal for you!
Meanwhile, in the world of reality, 4 of the 6 ideas receiving popular support as noted here come from President Obama and the Democrats (and as noted here, business leaders in this country called for infrastructure spending at this “roundtable” or whatever where Obama participated recently, which, as noted here, is opposed by that sleazy weasel Cantor and his pals, including McCarthy).
Congressional Republicans on Monday called for the immediate repeal of a major component of the 2010 healthcare reform law as the issue blew up in the administration’s face.OK, I have a problem right away with this - to begin, this development wasn’t a total surprise, unfortunately; HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius warned this might happen to the CLASS Act, which was crafted by the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), since apparently it could not pay for itself. As noted here…
The CLASS Act is a voluntary, federally administered, consumer-financed insurance plan. The CLASS plan provides a cash benefit after a five year vestment period that can be used in multiple ways to allow an individual to stay in his or her home.Oh, and before everyone rejoices too much about the demise of the CLASS Plan, please take note of the fact that it was supported by the Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) last February, as noted in the linked article.
Returning to the Hill piece (which reads like it was largely written by GOP.gov), I give you the following from BoBo’s one-time man crush (here, second bullet)…
Rep. Charles Boustany Jr. (R-La.), the House sponsor of legislation to repeal the program, told The Hill that he is “pushing” Republican leaders “personally” to bring up his bill shortly after the House returns from recess next week. The only Democrat who has co-sponsored Boustany’s legislation is Rep. Daniel Lipinski (Ill.), who voted against healthcare reform last year.In response, I give you the following from K.O. in August 2009…
The bill’s Senate sponsor, Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), also took to the floor to urge quick action.
“Hopefully we can kill this thing once and for all so it doesn’t become a drain on our children and grandchildren,” Thune said.
…the insurance industry owns the Republican Party. Not exclusively. Pharma owns part of it, too. Hospitals and HMO's, another part. Nursing homes — they have a share. You name a Republican, any Republican, and he is literally brought to you by... campaign donations from the Health Sector. Sen. John Thune of South Dakota? You gave the Republican rebuttal to the President's weekly address day before yesterday. You said the Democrats' plan was for…So much, indeed.
"…government run health care that would disrupt our current system, and force millions of Americans who currently enjoy their employer-based coverage into a new health care plan run by government bureaucrats."
That's a bald-faced lie, Senator. And you're a bald-faced liar, whose bald face is covered by…your own health care plan run by government bureaucrats. Nobody would be forced into anything; and the Public Insurance Option is no more a disruption than letting the government sell you water, and not just Poland Spring and Sparkletts. But, as corrupt hypocrites go, Senator, at least you're well paid. What was that one statement worth to you in contributions from the Health Sector, Sen. Thune?
Five thousand dollars? Ten? We know what you are, Sir, we're arguing about the price. What about your other quote? "We can accomplish health care reform while keeping patients and their doctors in charge, not bureaucrats and politicians." Wow, Senator — this illustrates how desperate you and the other Republicans are, right? Because Sen. Thune, if you really think "bureaucrats and politicians" need to get out of the way of "patients and their doctors," then you support a woman patient's right to get an abortion, and you supported Michael Schiavo's right to take his wife off life support, and you oppose "bureaucrats and politicians" getting in the way, and we'll just mark you down on the pro-choice list. That's a rare misstep for you Sen. Thune. No twelve-thousand dollar payoff for that statement! I am not being hyperbolic, am I, Senator? On the money?
Sen. Thune has thus far received from the Health Sector, campaign contributions — and all these numbers tonight are from "The Center For Responsive Politics" — campaign contributions amounting to $1,206,176. So much for Sen. Thune.
Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) said Monday that he doesn’t expect the Occupy Wall Street protest movement to last long unless it becomes more coherent.Oh, I don’t know – this seems pretty “clear and cogent” and “coherent” to me.
“I’m not sure this movement is going to last if it doesn’t have some reasonably clear and cogent purpose and message and so far I haven’t seen that,” Toomey told Pennsylvania’s WKOK news radio. “For the most part there just doesn’t seem to be a coherent message.”
But what else can you expect from someone as out of touch as Toomey, as noted here, here and here (and who was responsible for this video)?
EDITORS, despite what writers say about them, are every journalist's best friends.I suppose, but Aregood basically uses this column as an excuse to say that Will Bunch and Sean Hannity are the same, only they represent opposing points of view (which is apparently OK with Aregood, since he knows where both are “coming from”). Bunch has an affiliation with Media Matters, and Hannity with Fix Noise, of course. And that makes everything just peachy.
They save us, as much as they can, from making total fools of ourselves while at the same time making sure we stay grammatical and have facts to back up even our wildest assertions.
Michael Schefer has been my editor since I began writing this column. I've come to value his brains and collegiality, which have made me look smarter than I really am. He has accepted a buyout and will be leaving the Daily News. It's a big loss for the Daily News and for me.
Really? Try reading this and let me know the next time (or the first time) Bunch panders in such a shameless, utterly-fact-free manner, would you please?
Apparently, Aregood (as noted in his bio) is the Charles R. Johnson Professor of Journalism at the University of North Dakota. Still, it seems that he can’t see the difference between a journalist whose sometimes strident point of view is rooted firmly in fact-based reporting and a bought-and-paid-for Ken doll employed to sit in front of a camera and propagate Republican Party talking points.
Referencing his column once more, I would say that Aregood’s “journalistic GPS” needs some time in the shop for maintenance.