Pennsylvania’s state legislators are the fourth best paid in the nation, according to The Pew Center of the States. At $78,314, it puts the wonders of Harrisburg just behind third place New York ($79,500) and second place Michigan ($79,650) but with a ways to go to catch the champ which is California at $95,291.
What’s interesting about the rankings is that it correlates nicely with the listing of states with the greatest fiscal problems. Someone may be respond with the claim “correlation does not equal causation” and the proper response to that would be “Ho, ho, ho. You want to buy a bridge?”
BTW, the Reading Eagle has a column noting the state House members worked 119 days last year while our senators clocked in for 81. Maybe that’s why they buy into the claim that public school teachers are overworked.
And of course, the Pew list doesn’t account for all the neat little perks Pa. solons get. Maybe Pennsylvania’s fiscal crisis is even worse than it seems.
Hat tip to Tony Phyrillas
Drexel Thug Life Or Culture Counts — A trio of young black men who are students at Drexel University in Philadelphia allegedly followed through on a convoluted plot to rob a female student at gunpoint in her apartment and are now charged with robbery, theft, assault, weapon offenses and conspiracy which are felonies and mean a pretty screwed-up life if convicted.
Two of men, Jamie Harris and Kevin Phillip, both 21 from New York City, are scholarship players on the school’s Divison I basketball team which last year went 16-16 and finished fifth in the Colonial Athletic Association.
Harris, the team’s starting point guard and leading scorer. was a third-team, all-conference selection. Phillip was a 6-6 backup forward.
The third man, Devon Bond, 21 also, of Marlton, N.J. is said to be the one who cooked up the Keystone Crook scheme and is also charged with burglary.
The incident occurred after Bond allegedly convinced the others that a co-ed who was an acquaintance had a lot of money in her apartment. He allegedly obtained an invitation to her home and after a short conversation left with the door propped open. He then returned and short time later Harris and Phillip entered waving guns, police said. They pushed Bond to the floor in an attempt to make it appear he was also a victim, police said. No money was found so the basketball players reportedly stole two cell phones. Bond quickly followed them out, said police.
The accused were soon tracked down via surveillance camera footage and credit card transactions at a nearby pizza shop, and that’s how things stand.
Authorities and others expressed puzzlement as to why young men would throw away such promising lives. Well, culture counts Sherlock. If the music to which you listen glorifies the thug life; and the magazines you read and movies you watch glamorize those who lead such lives; and your community leaders give you a wink and tell you it should be part of your experience; and if your preachers give you something other than the Gospel and tell you theft and violence are legitimate responses to the condition they tell you you’re in; and if your schools reinforce that message; and if the general media does not contradict it; and if there is no father around to set you straight; expect to be a young man facing felony charges.
Drexel Thug Life Or Culture Counts
Change Opportunity For Jim Thorpe, Pa? — Sunday’s New York Times’ sports section carried a large story on the continuing saga of Jack Thorpe’s attempts to bring the bones of his father back to his home state of Oklahoma from his grave in Jim Thorpe, Pa.
The Pennsylvania sports legend was buried in 1953 in the small borough that is the Carbon County seat after his wife, Patricia, who was Thorpe’s third wife and Jack’s stepmother, became angered at Oklahoma’s refusal to erect a monument to her husband. The Pennsylvania boroughs of Mauch Chunk and East Mauch Chunk were merging and offered to not just do so but to rename the new municipality in his honor if she would let him be buried there.
Thorpe never set foot in the place. His road to fame started 100 miles southwest at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School which he led to a national collegiate football championship in 1912.
Jack, 73, is now suing in federal court demanding the bones be returned in compliance with Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990. One has to admit that it is a bit of a stretch to use a law aimed at preventing the desecration of Indian grave sites to move Thorpe’s bones considering Thorpe was a life-long Catholic, a quarter Irish and a quarter French, and had never been buried anywhere else. Federal judges, however, have certainly been known to be whimsical in their interpretation of law especially in the pursuit of political correctness and praise from the wine and cheese set.
Perhaps, it would be best for the borough to cut its losses and let the bones go. Of course, then it would need a new name. Maybe there is a long-ago sports great looking to return to a little bit of spotlight by agreeing to let his body be buried there. How does Mark Spitz, Pa. sound? Bruce Jenner, Pa.? Randall Cunningham, Pa.? Greg Gross , Pa.? They could open it for bids. The possibilities are endless. Feel free to make a suggestion.
Change Opportunity For Jim Thorpe, Pa?
After Greg Gross took over as Phillies hitting coach on Friday the Phils have won games 6-0 and 10-2. Who could have thought the solution was that easy?
The state Department of Education has renewed the charter for five years for The Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School , which was the first and is the largest cyber charter school in the state.
Pa Cyber, founded in 2000, now provides free public education to 9,000 students from kindergarten through 12th grade. It is one of 11 cyber charter schools in Pennsylvania.
PA Cyber started when the small Midland Borough SchoolDistrict on the Ohio border was forced to close its high school due to economic conditions and began busing students across the state line for classes.
District officials expecting an enrollment of 50 local students were shocked to find applications from 500 throughout the state
The school remains based in Midland but has opened support centers in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Harrisburg.
Classes mostly occur online and can be either taken real-time or via recorded sessions.
The school has met statetargets for graduation, participation and academic performance.
Hat tip to Commonwealth Foundation
GOP senate nominee Pat Toomey has sent a letter to Dem opponent Congressman Joe Sestak (D-Pa7) asking he return $119,650 in campaign contributions. Why? The donor has received federal earmarks through Sestak’s office and Sestak says “If an organization or individual has made a request for an appropriations project, and has made a contribution to his campaign, he returns that contribution”
That earmarks were being steered to Sestak donors came to light in this July 15 Philadelphia Inquirer article by Thomas Fitzgerald .
“According to your website, this pledge was made as part of your ‘effort to restore faith in government,'” Toomey said. “This is a noble goal and I fully agree with the sentiment. It is apart of the reason I have long opposed the corrupt Washington earmarking system that results in the waste of millions of taxpayer dollars and shady backroom deals.”
Toomey counts corporate CEOs who have given the individual maximum and “at least one who even hosted a fundraiser” for Sestak as among the beneficiaries of the crony capitalism.
Here’s the complete text of Toomey’s letter.
Hat tip to GrassrootsPa.com
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review is reporting that Gov. Rendell is plotting to use money the feds kick back to Pa. to keep its share of the national roadway system passable to bail out the Port Authority of Allegheny County, which is Pittsburgh public transit system and is facing a $47 million deficit.
“You’re robbing Peter to pay Paul, but that may be the only choice I’m
left with,” Not-So-Fast-Anymore-According-To-Polling Eddie said.
Hmmm. So the only way to solve this mess according to those we voted to rule us is to let our national roads go to pot? Edddie says yes because wiser minds kept him from creating traffic bottlenecks on I-80 as a government revenue raiser.
How about this to solve this crisis:
- We cut salaries for all state workers until revenue increases which would be when Pennsylvanians start finding jobs, getting raises and buying things?
- We limit state pensions to $50,000 ex post facto (It would certainly be as moral as taxing a widow out of her home albeit those who vote themselves $313,000 annual pensions would disagree, I’m sure.
- We repeal strange and onerous laws that burden local taxing authorities such as Act 195, the 1970 law that prohibits school boards from replacing striking teachers and the passage of which saw a dramatic increase in school cost and a correspondingly dramatic decline in educational quality.
- We end prevailing wage requirements to allow public projects to be built in the most efficient and cost-effective manner.
- We embrace the 21st Century in the conveyance of information.
It’s time we Pennsylvanians come to realize that neither our governor, nor our legislature, nor our state courts for that matter, look out for us. Their constituencies are themselves. They are not men and women of the people but men and women of the hacks,
And it’s about time we recognize that we are allowed to get mad about it.
The IthinkI’msmart set has been sneering at Sarah Palin’s Twitter post of a few days ago regarding the proposed $100-million mega-story mega-mosque at the site of 9/11 attack on the Twin Towers. For the many who have forgotten, 2,605 innocent persons died there that day at the hands of those motivated by the teachings of Mohammed.
Sarah tweeted “Ground Zero Mosque supporters: doesn’t it stab you in the heart, as it does ours throughout the heartland? Peaceful Muslims, pls refudiate”
“Ho, ho, ho,” the IthinkI’msmarters said. “Doesn’t the bumpkin know that there is no such word as “refudiate?” Meanwhile not a peep on the in-your-face plan to build a structure dedicated to the expansion of the philosophy that inspired the murders on that sky-blue September Tuesday; a philosophy that treats rape as a crime — by the victim; a philosophy that demands horrible punishment for those with sexual weakness; a philosophy that exults in the destruction of archaeological treasures.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is defending the planned mosque saying stopping it would be “unAmerican”. You think he would be saying the same thing if it were Evangelicals that had bought a spot near the attacks to make a 13-story unapologetic point?
The IthinkI’msmarters are fools and bigots and it is imperative that we as nation quickly recognize this.
Gov. Palin corrected her grammar in a subsequent tweet. She has not, however, let up on the proposed mosque.
How’s this for a proposal, the city takes over the proposed mosque site for use as a park? If Bloomberg needs more justification, he can pretend he runs a pharmaceutical company .
Chalk it up to things you haven’t seen on CBS or any of the dino media.
Vice President and famous Phillies fan Joe Biden, that union-lovin’ regular guy of the people, has been fined by the Federal Election Commission for accepting donations above the legal limit for his failed 2008 presidential run.
These illegal donations included a deeply discounted flight on a private jet owned by Clinton Group , a New York hedge fund that manages $1.1 billion for domestic and offshore clients and $5 billion collateralized debt obligations, which includes things like, well, mortgage-backed securities.
Why would a hedge-fund heavily involved in mortgage-backed securities back a union-lovin’ regular -guy-of-the-people Phillies fan like VP Joe? I‘m sure they have their reasons .
Anyway, the fine was for $219,000.
Biden spokeswoman Elizabeth Alexander says the fine was “‘relatively small.” Hey, it was probably just a week’s worth of pay for Clinton Group manager and Biden bud George E. Hall.
Biden Broke Law; Gets Fined
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce ads pointing out Congressman Joe Sestak’s support for job-killing economics and his lock-step voting record with San Francisco limousine liberal and crony-capitalist Nancy Pelosi are back on WPGH and WPMY in Pittsburgh after station management investigated the complaints by Sestak and found them unfounded.
Sestak, who represents Pennsylvania’s 7th District, is the Democrat nominee to replace Arlen Specter in the U.S. Senate.
He had objected to the ads because they claimed he voted with Pelosi “100 percent” and he had voted against an amendment on the DISCLOSE Act, a bill which would impose restrictions on campaign financing.
Bill Miller, the Chamber’s senior vice president of political affairs, noted that Sestak voted entirely with Pelosi on every bill of substance including the final version of the DISCLOSE Act .
If you want to be technical the Washington Post says Sestak has voted with Pelosi 97.8 percent of the time.