If you’re against voter suppression in Pennsylvania and across the country, add your name to our petition right now.
In a highly partisan move, PA Republican Gov. Tom Corbett signed a new Voter ID law into effect that could prevent up to 758,000 Pennsylvania voters from casting their ballot.
Mike Turzai, the State House Republican Majority Leader, said straight out, “Voter ID…is going to allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania.”
The impact of Pennsylvania’s new Voter-ID law could be much wider-reaching than the state’s Republican officials claimed when passing the bill, thePhiladelphia Inquirer reports.
In fact, over 758,000 registered voters in Pennsylvania — representing 9.2 percent of the state’s 8.2 million registered voters — do not have photo identification cards from the state Transportation Department, based on a comparison between voter registration rolls and the Transportation Department database.
Flood Victims Getting Fed Up With Congress
By ROBERT PEAR
TUNKHANNOCK, Pa. — Standing in the living room of their house, now full of mud, slime and debris, Helen and Peter Kelly cannot believe that Congress is bickering over disaster aid to people like them.
The roaring waters of the Susquehanna River burst into their home more than two weeks ago. “Water — you work with it every day, and then it destroys your whole life,” Mrs. Kelly said.
Her husband, still looking shell-shocked, said: “We lost everything. Stove, washer, dryer, TV. Hot water heater, clothes, dishes, refrigerator. Everything, just gone.”
The Kellys also lost confidence in government and politicians.
“I wish they would understand that people like us are really in need of assistance,” Mr. Kelly said, pointing to a bathtub filled with mud and to the blades of a ceiling fan twisted out of shape by torrents of floodwater.
…With just five days to go before the start of a new fiscal year, the Senate is scheduled to take a test vote on Monday on a stopgap spending bill that includes money for disaster relief. The Senate action seems unlikely to resolve the impasse with the House, where the Republican majority wants to offset some of the cost with cuts elsewhere in the federal budget.
People here in northeastern Pennsylvania, already traumatized by the loss of their homes, were further disheartened by word that FEMA’s disaster relief fund was running short of money.
“Members of Congress are playing with people’s lives, not just their own political careers,” said Martin J. Bonifanti, chief of the Lake Winola volunteer fire company. “While they are rattling on among themselves down there in Washington, people are suffering.”
FEMA provides money to eligible individuals and households to help pay for home repairs, temporary housing, replacement of personal property and other serious needs related to a disaster. In the absence of action by Congress, the agency’s disaster relief fund could be depleted by midweek, federal officials said.
“…floodplains maps should first be updated to take into account the recent extreme weather events and point out that such flooding makes hydrofracking an even bigger environmental risk.
“The floodplain is a different place than it was,” said New York State Assemblyman Kevin A. Cahill, a Democrat, who chairs the energy committee.
He said places that used to flood sporadically or not at all now experience three or four floods a year. “We need to remap,” he said.”
Source: NYTimes Green
Ten years ago, on the first Sunday after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the NFL did something truly heroic and generous: nothing. The league willingly ate millions of dollars and cancelled the games out of respect for the unfolding tragedy. As 9/11 morphed into a decade-long “Global War on Terror,” the league has, to put it mildly, failed to show similar restraint. From the now ubiquitous presence of military flyovers and honor guards at every game, to the armed forces recruitment stations set up outside preseason contests, to having war-gourmands like General David Petraeus toss the coin before the Super Bowl, to staging Fox’s NFL pregame show from Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan (with Terry, Howie and the gang dressed in fatigues), the league has treated our era of endless war as an odious exercise in corporate branding.
This Sunday, the NFL season opens in earnest on the tenth anniversary of the September 11 attacks and the league, like John Boehner finding an abandoned pack of unfiltered smokes, just can’t control itself. Teams will be going all out to commemorate that horrific day ten years ago when nearly 3,000 people were killed in DC, Pennsylvania and New York City. If you think this anniversary should be remembered with somber soft voices and an air of dignity, you are going to want to keep your distance from NFL Sunday or you will lose your lunch. […]
I have officially heard it all today…until tomorrow.
Due to Republican cuts in education in the state of Pennsylvania, a local school district is having to resort to drastic measures to cut their grass…having sheep eat it.
When Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett (Republican) unveiled his budget in April, students and parents protested the $1.2 billion in education cuts it contained by holding a mock bake sale at the state capitol, where they estimated they would have to sell 2.4 billion cookies to make up the cost of the cuts. Corbett eventually signed into law a budget, with $900 million in education cuts, reducing the amount of cookies the parents needed to sell but still forcing school to districts to find creative ways to fill their budget gaps.
In Carlisle, Pennsylvania, those cuts meant putting an end to traditional means of cutting grass at two local schools. Instead of lawnmowers, the schools are using sheep:
Rather than spend money on cutting grass, the Carlisle School District has brought in 7 Romney sheep to tend the fields. “They’ve done a good job so far,” says Superintendent John Friend.
The sheep come free of charge, since they belong to the principal of the middle school. Friend estimates that they will save the district about $15,000 this year in mowing costs.
While the $15,000 saved will barely make a dent in Carlisle’s $2 million budget gap, Pennsylvania could render the draconian education cuts unnecessary if it ended special interest tax breaks benefiting corporations and natural gas companies. Pennsylvania is currently the only one of the top 15 gas producers that doesn’t tax companies that use fracking to extract natural gas, when doing so could earn the state $400 million annually. Unfortunately, Corbett, who received more than $835,000 from oil and natural gas companies during his campaign, refuses to go that route. Instead, he’s chosen to force school districts to layoff teachers, cut extracurricular programs, and replace basic landscaping services with animals.
-Drew, Concerned American
Gallup recently released the results of its cumulative state-by-state polling on political party identification for the first six months of 2011. The polling revealed that 44% of Americans identified as Democrats and 40% identified as Republicans. The chart above profiles the states that most clearly mirrored the national numbers.
According to Craig Gilbert:
If Wisconsin has returned to something like a 50/50 state, that suggests 2012 will be a furious partisan trench war – for president, for Herb Kohl’s vacant US Senate seat and for governor if Democrats try and succeed in forcing a recall election against Walker.
This state is indispensable to a winning electoral majority for President Obama and his party, and it now sits very close to the 50-yard line of American politics.
Wisconsin was almost a perfect microcosm of the country in its partisan makeup: 45% of Wisconsinites called themselves Democrats, 40% called themselves Republicans.
“A longtime northeastern Pennsylvania judge was ordered to spend nearly three decades in prison for his role in a massive juvenile justice bribery scandal that prompted the state’s high court to toss thousands of convictions.”
How did no one else see this coming? When you privatize prisons and make imprisonment profitable, of course this is going to be the end result.