Still Calling

Pennsylvania

Pathetic Pat Toomey gets punked, HARD






Pathetic Pat Toomey, who’s a real tough guy when he’s taking health insurance away from kids with cancer or sending Syrian refugee children back to warzones, is terrified of his adult constituents. So much so that he hasn’t met with them for months. But after he decided to support Betsy DeVos for Department of Education,…

LIAR! Sicko Pat Toomey’s empty promises to addicts






Sicko Pat Toomey is at it again. He brags about his fight against opiate addiction. Like, constantly. But when he voted to repeal Pennsylvania’s Medicaid expansion, he left thousands of white, rural opiate addicts to DIE. Pat Toomey KNOWS better than most that opiates kill. He says as much on his website. So a vote…

PA Budget Crisis: a Modest Proposal

Gov. Wolf’s administration began its defense of a $33.3 billion budget proposal Monday, with the Democrat confronting Pennsylvania government’s worst budget gridlock in decades and a Republican-controlled Legislature that is hostile to the election-year tax increase he wants.

Republicans faced off with Wolf’s budget secretary, Randy Albright, at the first Senate Appropriations Committee hearing over Wolf’s warnings of local tax increases and steep school layoffs if lawmakers choose to close a $2 billion-plus projected deficit by spending cuts alone.

“That’s a nice math game, but come on,” Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman, R-Centre.

I have a modest proposal. Give the Republicans, who hold the majority in the state house, exactly what they want, and then some: small government.

Let the schools shut down, statewide. Let the nonprofits that work with the elderly and the disabled shutdown. Since taxes are the worst thing evah, shut down the department of revenue, and stop paying state workers their salary (including legislators, who aren’t working anyway). Shut down the DOT and the DEP. Shut down the county assistance offices. Shut down the state police and the courts and the state prisons (let ’em out or let ’em die). Furlough everyone. Every single state function, just shut that fucker down. Turn out the lights in Harrisburg and go home (the place is bankrupt already.

The governor’s office should set its voicemail to say something like “Although I have tried to work with the Republicans to craft a budget, they have refused to compromise. Given their majority, I’ve decided to give them what they want. Please call House Majority Leader Dave Reed, Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman, and Speaker Mike Turzai if you have any questions or concerns.”

And then just wait. Give them what they want. Maybe they’ll find they don’t want it after all.

Deep Thought






If I got caught emailing porn, racist material, and sexist material to my work colleagues, on company email, on company time, I would be fired. No questions asked, no explanations accepted. Must be nice to be part of the Pennsylvania good ol’ boy network.

PA Budget Deal Looks Like a Turd

Ugh.

Philadelphia, for example, stands to win more money for schools. But a proposed hike in the sales tax from an already statewide high of 8 percent to 9.25 percent is a loss for city residents and retailers…

You a renter? Bend over. You’ll pay more in sales tax to fund property-tax cuts you won’t get.

And if you’re a renter who smokes and buys lots of stuff? Get a loan, extend your credit or move.

If you’re looking for good news, look someplace else…

Gov. Wolf abandons the bedrock of his 2014 campaign, a severance tax on natural gas to bring hundreds of millions (at one time $1 billion) in new revenue for schools, and backs a $2 billion increase in the regressive sales tax.

PA Budget Crisis






The ongoing stalemate on the Pennsylvania budget -pitting the novice Democratic governor against the entrenched Republican majority in the legislature- is finally getting real for people. It’s easy to forget that what seem like picayune arguments over money have real impact on the lives of ordinary people, and the shit it beginning to hit the…

On the PA Death Penalty Moratorium






As Booman writes, “[We have the luxury to do without the death penalty if we want to do without it.” And I wholeheartedly applaud Mr. Wolf’s decision to put a moratorium on this outdated and barbaric practice. I’ve actually had a bit of writer’s block for the past few days -I was laid off recently…

Elections Matter






Title stolen from Atrios, here’s some big news: Wolf opts for traditional Medicaid expansion: Fulfilling a campaign pledge, Gov. Wolf on Monday moved to dismantle his predecessor’s alternative to Medicaid expansion and implement a traditional plan to extend health insurance to hundreds of thousands of low-income Pennsylvanians. Wolf said the “Healthy PA” alternative plan instituted…

Shorter PA Legislature: “Hey, Let’s Waste Some Money”

Via the indispensable Raging Chicken Press, two brain-dead bags of meat from the PA Republican Party, Jerry “I Look Like a Chicken” Knowles and Tim “Roundhead McBoingboing” Krieger, have introduced two bills that would subject welfare recipients to drug tests:

Knowles’ co-sponsorship memo would randomly drug test welfare recipients because his “constituents are frustrated with what they see as abuse of some state welfare programs, such as access cards” and continues with “this is money which is, in many cases, being wasted on those who choose not to work and spend state money on illegal and illicit drugs.” At the end of his memo, Knowles thinks that anyone who receives assistance from the state of Pennsylvania are people who turn to the state for a “paycheck,” and they should meet the same standards of being privately employed.

Given than this scheme already failed spectacularly in both Florida (where it cost the taxpayers nearly $165,000 to learn that only about 2.5% of welfare recipients failed the test) and Tennessee (which spent an unknown-but-surely-ghastly amount of money to learn that only 1 out of 802 welfare applicants failed the test), I have to agree that drug-testing recipients of government largesse is necessary. Specifically, for Congressmen Krieger, Knowles, and any other ding-a-ling that supports this. Seriously, those guys must be HIIIIIIIIIIGH AS FUCK on the good stuff to believe that a thoroughly discredited attack on our poorest neighbors is going to work here when it has failed everywhere else it’s been tried.