Thursday, June 30, 2005


HARRISBURG-- Senate Democratic leader Robert Mellow isn't shy about pushing for a $10,000 raise for state legislators -- to take their pay up to $80,000 a year.
"A pay raise is warranted," he said yesterday. "People work very hard in this job. I work a full day Saturdays and a half day many Sundays. It's a seven-day-a-week job at this point. And we haven't had an actual pay raise since 1995."
Legislators currently earn $69,700 a year, up from $66,000 last year. They got a two-year cost of living adjustment in December, based on the rate of inflation in Philadelphia.

My first reaction when I read this was I thought he sounds like Terrel Owens when he was crying he didn't make enough to feed his family. I work on weekends too and I don't make what they make. I'm going to ask my boss if we can have a vote of the employees to give ourselves a raise.

But then someone pointing some things that melted my heart. The story of these people living in such appalling conditions right in my own back yard brought a tear to my eye. I will never look at Harrisburg the same way again.

The Halls of the Harrisburg Capitol Building. It is the worst alley in the worst slum in the poorest corner of this depressed state. Street-urchin style interns and staffers line the sides of the hall. Too undernourished and weak to move, they can only look on. No one is smiling. A fat, jovial man who resembles Santa Claus in khaki shorts walks through the crippling poverty, holding a middle-aged man in a $900 suit.

Read the rest at Don't Panic.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

There is no crying in baseball

Is nothing sacred? Does politics have to get in the way of everything?

Major League Baseball hasn't narrowed the list of the eight bidders seeking to buy the Washington Nationals and some Republicans on Capitol Hill already are hinting at revoking the league's antitrust exemption if billionaire financier George Soros , an ardent critic of President Bush and supporter of liberal causes, buys the team.
"It's not necessarily smart business sense to have anybody who is so polarizing in the political world," Rep. John E. Sweeney (R-N.Y.) said. "That goes for anybody, but especially as it relates to Major League Baseball because it's one of the few businesses that get incredibly special treatment from Congress and the federal government."

Rep. Tom M. Davis III (R-Va.), who was a strong supporter of bringing a baseball team to Virginia, told Roll Call yesterday that "Major League Baseball understands the stakes" if Soros buys the team. "I don't think they want to get involved in a political fight.

Tom Davis is the same clown who called the hearings on steroids. Do these guys have too much time on their hands? They are worried about steroids, who owns a baseball team and flag burning. Mr. Davis, how many people died in Iraq today? What have you done to reduce the national debt?

I don't agree with allot of George Soros agenda, but he is a good businessman. If he buys the team I'm sure he will do everything he can to make it a success. This really pisses me off. Get the government off my back, out of my bedroom, my library books and my favorite game.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Sharks are circling

It seems all the pols smell Don Sherwood's blood in the water. I think he probably could survive this thing if he settles the lawsuit. He would take some heat if he did, but by the election it would be old news. Of course it is entertaining to have someone who talks family values exposed as a hypocrite. If this does drag on and his poll numbers start going south I'm sure the powers that be will twist his arm to retire. At least one Republican is saying he will run if Sherwood steps down.

From the Times-Leader:

Jerry Birmelin, an 11-term state representative from Wayne County, said Wednesday he'll run if Sherwood does not seek a fifth term.
"I'd run only if Congressman Sherwood decides to resign or does not run'" said Birmelin. The 56-year-old chairman of the House Children and Youth Committee and a leader of the Pro-Life Caucus in the General Assembly, Birmelin proposed unsuccessful amendments last year that would have barred homosexuals from adopting children and prohibited the state from offering same-sex benefits to its employees.

I know Jerry from when I lived in Honesdale. He was very good at constituent service but he was mostly a one issue candidate.

The Democrats have two people testing the waters. Luzerne County Commissioner Greg Skrepnak and Susquehanna county political science professor Christopher Carney are both interested. According to the TL:

He has never before run for political office, but Carney said he believes he can win against Sherwood now that the four-term congressman is embroiled in a $5.5 million lawsuit brought by 29-year-old Cynthia Ore, who alleges Sherwood repeatedly beat her during a five-year relationship.
"There seem to be some cracks in Mr. Sherwood's armor now,” Carney said, adding that he would not make Ore's allegations a central theme in his campaign. "This is about judgment. What kind of judgment does this man really have?
"But that is not the focus of this campaign. This campaign is about issues."

I love the quote about issues. I think the only issue is the proper technique of giving a neck massage. Being unknown he would have a hard time raising the money to challenge Sherwood. Any serious Democrat is going to have to spend $2 million or more to win.

Then there is Skrep. I think he has the star power and name recognition to mount a serious challenge. Too bad he hasn't done a very good job as commissioner. And I'm sure the GOP will make an issue of his wife's drug use. As a friend pointed out:

The district is gerrymandered conservative--only a Skrepenak could break the party hold because voters in this area don't read too many papers and are apt to be star struck. The only chance that the democrats have of taking the seat is to front a personality--some liberal think tank guy won't win that district.