Archive | February, 2012

Gov. Tom Corbett, the invisible man

Marcus Hook was one of the towns I covered as a reporter, and now it’s on the edge of losing the one main industry. The Republican governor is largely indifferent to their plight:

“Marcus Hook is a town teetering on the edge of destruction. Last year, Sunoco Oil announced that it would shut down its refinery in Marcus Hook. This refinery has employed residents for generations; it provides a tax base for the community, and directly funds part of the school district. As horrible as it is, I wish this were an isolated event; but Sunoco is also closing its south Philadelphia refinery, and ConocoPhillips is closing one in nearby Trainer, Pa. In total, 2,500 Pennsylvanians will be laid off, and thousands more will see their livelihoods affected as more residents struggle with unemployment and the tax base disappears.
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Piggie of the Week: PA State Rep. Kathy Rapp Moves into your Uterus

PA state representative Kathy Rape -er, RAPP- is your garden variety Republican. She claim to love children while supporting anti-child policies. She stands for family values, like poverty and hunger. And like all republicans, she wants the government small enough to fit in your uterus. Enjoy our latest Piggie of the Week:

Freedom of Religion……

I’ve been kinda grumpy today. I must have a Newt hangover.  He came to visit the West Jawja area and I had tired of hearing about it, so I am not going to talk about it.

Moving on to other crazy people, there is Congressman Phil Gingrey, Republican from the 11th district of Jawja. Oh, that’s DOCTOR Gingrey,  pro life OB-GYN.

A friend dropped this letter from Dr. Gingrey into my email box this morning…….

Dear Friend:

Thank you for contacting me to express your opinion regarding Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) regulation that will require mandatory coverage of contraceptives, sterilization, and abortifacients for religious institutions. As your Congressman, I appreciate hearing your thoughts and welcome every opportunity to be of service.

As you may know, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius announced on January 20, 2012 that an agency regulation stemming from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148)—commonly referred to as ObamaCare—will require mandatory coverage of contraceptives, sterilization, and abortifacients, regardless of whether such coverage infringes upon the religious rights of individuals or businesses.

I believe that this regulation is a direct assault on our constitutionally protected right of freedom of religion. Employers must now choose between offering health insurance coverage to their employees or risk federal penalties if they exercise their religious beliefs. Religious charities will now have to choose between their convictions and providing food, clothing, medical care, and education to those who are most in need.

Unfortunately, many religious institutions have reported that they will be forced to close their doors rather than compromise their religious beliefs. Currently, religious employers include charities, hospitals, community clinics, universities, and other non-profits that provide free services to millions of Americans and insurance coverage for their employees.

To that end, Representative Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) has introduced legislation – H.R. 1179, the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act of 2011 – that would permit a health plan to decline coverage of specific items and services that are contrary to the religious beliefs of the sponsor, issuer, or other entity. Furthermore, this important issue of conscience protection was the subject of a hearing in the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health held on November 2, 2011.

As a cosponsor of H.R. 1179 and a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, please be assured that I will continue to monitor this situation closely.

Sincerely, Blah Blah blah

Energy and Commerce committee? Ooooo-Kay!

I was under the impression that “Freedom of Religion” was meant for the individuals practicing a religion, not the religious institutions. I thought the religious institutions existed because people came together to create them.




So intellectual journals in general are rather lax in publishing pieces by women writers! I am so very, very shocked.

Seriously, don’t kid yourself. It happens in the blogosphere, too. I still remember a young Ezra Klein (yes, even younger) lecturing me about expecting to be supported by male bloggers when I hadn’t paid my dues, like him. “Uh, Ezra, I’ve been blogging a year longer than you,” I said.


Here’s why it’s important: Because women in general are more liberal than men. We want specific social things, we’re not as eager to whip out our dicks on national security issues to make people take us seriously. The national discourse would look very different if more women – diverse women, not women selected for their ability to parrot the standard male policy wonk positions – were given a voice.

And if pigs had wings, they could fly.

You could read this, too.

Because writing a note keeps me polite and civil…. sometimes.

If I had called them up, I would have yelled, cussed and started ranting. But, as a former call center employee, I know that isn’t really effective. So, I just send polite notes.

Dear Mortgage Company,

Last night I tried to give you money, like I always do through your website on the 28th. First, I got a message that my password was wrong. I changed it and I got the same message again. I told you the name of the street I grew up and then I was redirected to another mortgage payment site. Typed in my username and password 3 times and was locked out.

Reverend Al came on tee vee, so I suspended this frustrating exercise. I have to have my daily dose of preaching.

This morning, I pulled up the original website. Put in my username and password 3 times and was locked out. Changed the password and proceeded to “Speed Pay” (?) and completed my transaction.

I WANT y’all to have my payment every month in a timely manner. I use the Internets because it is (allegedly) convenient and the one time I mailed in a payment it “disappeared.” Your website is starting to give me the impression you just don’t want my money.

I think next time I have to go through all that nonsense; I’ll bypass it all and just mail you the freakin’ keys. K?

Your “Under Water” Customer,


Panetta to the rescue

I don’t care if he’s doing it because of bad PR or because he genuinely cares, just as long as it’s done:

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta Tuesday announced a new layer in the Army’s investigations into a Madigan Army Medical Center behavioral health program that changed post traumatic stress disorder diagnoses for certain soldiers who were seeking medical retirements at the Army base south of Tacoma.

Panetta told a Senate committee that he asked a Defense Department undersecretary to look at whether the military is diagnosing post traumatic stress consistently.

It was not clear Tuesday whether that inquiry overlaps with at least two other ongoing investigations into Madigan’s forensic psychiatry unit. Pentagon and Army Medical Command spokesmen were not able to describe the latest investigation.

Panetta’s remarks came at a defense budget hearing at which Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., pressed him about his knowledge of the forensic psychiatry team at Madigan, on the grounds of Joint Base Lewis-McChord. That unit, created in 2008, reviewed PTSD diagnoses and sometimes adjusted them to other diagnoses.

The decisions were costly to some service members who were no longer entitled to the level of disability benefits the government provides to soldiers who suffer from PTSD. One psychiatrist in the forensic unit this fall encouraged other behavioral health specialists not to be a “rubber stamp,” and said a PTSD diagnosis could cost taxpayers $1.5 million in benefits over the lifetime of a retired soldier.

“I never want to hear anyone in any service say we’re not going to give you a PTSD diagnosis because we have a budget problem,” Murray said at Tuesday’s hearing.

Panetta replied that he was troubled by the Madigan reports and said he asked his undersecretary for personnel, Dr. Jo Anne Rooney, to look into the situation at Madigan.

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