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You’d think someone would have warned these Tories what they were up against with Paul Krugman:


Big Al.

PA HB 2191

The fight is on to stop payday lending in Pennsylvania, and of course the Republicans are working to protect it. If you live in PA, please sign the petition or make a call TODAY:

The GOP is saying they’ll call for a vote on the bill next week.  The only way to stop it is to put constant pressure on the Republican State Reps now, so people should be calling them and spreading the word.  People can find out the name and contact information for their State Rep here.  Calls are a must.

This is Penn Action’s action page, which lets you send an email and make a call.

Opposition to HB 2191 is broad and deep.  You can see a list of organizations opposed to the bill at Stop Pay Day Loans PA.  In addition to several other military organizations, the PA Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America are opposing the bill.  Iraq war veteran Rep. Tom Murt (R), has filed an amendment that would align HB 2191 with the federal law currently in place for members of the armed forces.  Details are below.

The bottom line is that HB 2191 worsens the problems it claims to solve. It legalizes internet and storefront payday lending at rates more than 12 times existing law. It codifies the very toxic terms of the loan product and allows payday lenders to electronically debit 50% of a borrower’s bi-weekly take home pay. Exorbitant fees and interest rates will drain hundreds of millions of dollars out of PA’s economy.

Predatory Pay Day lending doesn’t only hurt the people desperate enough to get them, they hurt most everyone who lives and does business in PA.

Here’s more info on the Murt amendment:

This amendment aligns HB 2191 with the laws currently in place for members of the armed forces.  This ensures that Pennsylvanians, such as our veterans, the National Guard, and others are not exploited by the very practices that the U.S. Department of Defense found to threaten our national security.  Specifically, this amendment, similar to the law signed by President George Bush, provides that charges on payday loans do not exceed 36 percent annual interest, prohibits holding a post-dated check or electronic access to a borrower’s bank account as a security for the loan, and provides a minimum repayment period of 91 days.  In assessing the effectiveness of these types of provisions, the U.S. Department of Defense concluded that “has established a balanced approach in using the regulation to curb products with demonstrated high costs…”

Texas-style justice

‘Who doesn’t like money?’

Two dimbulb girls steal money from a kid selling her Girl Scout cookies. Remember when the Republicans were so concerned about Bill Clinton’s blowjob ruining the nation’s youth?

Pennsylvania, land of giants

Voters should be very proud!

Republicans in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania have elected Steve Smith, a lifelong white supremacist with close ties to neo-Nazi groups and groups like Aryan Nations, to the county’s GOP Committee.

The elections, which took place in late April, were certified by the committee two weeks ago, and Smith notified supporters of his victory last week by posting a message to the online forum White News Now.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has documented Smith’s participation with known skinhead organizations like Keystone State Skinheads, (now Keystone United) which he co-founded in 2001. And his racist activism extends far beyond violent rhetoric as well, into actual violence:

In March 2003, he and two other KSS members were arrested in Scranton for beating up Antoni Williams, a black man, using stones and chunks of pavement. Smith pleaded guilty to terrorist threats and ethnic intimidation and received a 60-day sentence and probation.

Smith is also an active member of local Tea Party groups, a network that he used to gain support for his bid for the committee seat. According to the SPLC, Smith referred to the Tea Party as “fertile grounds for our activists.”

Encouraging news! Now let’s see how this shakes out on appeal. Republicans always put so much effort into coming up with clever new ways to evade the law, but Judge Robert L. Hinkle called them out on it anyway as an unconstitutional burden:

Florida’s GOP war on (minority and Democratic) voters has two parts. First, there is the well-publicized effort to throw tens of thousands of legitimate voters off the rolls in ostensible pursuit of what may be only a handful of noncitizen voters at most.

The second, less-well-known effort, is a new set of Florida state rules that make it very difficult to register new voters, and create severe penalties for anyone who doesn’t precisely comply with them. These rules are so onerous that many groups that formerly routinely ran voter registration drives, like the League of Women Voters, stopped doing it because they found the new rules were impossible to comply with.

Now, thanks to a lawsuit by the League of Women Voters of Florida, Florida Public Interest Research Group Education Fund, and Rock the Vote, a federal judge in Tallahassee, no hotbed of liberalism, has issued a preliminary injunction halting enforcement of key parts of the voter-registration-suppression scheme:

The statute and rule impose a harsh and impractical 48-hour deadline for an organization to deliver applications to a voter registration office and effectively prohibit an organization from mailing applications in. And the statute and rule impose burdensome record-keeping and reporting requirements that serve little if any purpose, thus rendering them unconstitutional even to the extent they do not violate the [National Voting Rights Act].

The housing bottom is here


‘Call us when it’s worse’

So the family of the guy in Seattle who just killed six people knew he was getting volatile and tried to get his concealed-carry permit revoked.

Guess what the cops said.

Can’t touch this

Wow. Remember when we were really shocked that Richard Nixon said “the president can do whatever he wants”?

The Obama administration is set to argue to a federal appeals court Friday that the government may breach, with impunity, domestic spying laws adopted in the wake of President Richard M. Nixon’s Watergate scandal.

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