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Tom “The Mustache of Understanding” Friedman on the Middle East.

The cost of war

Wake up, Pennsylvania

The GOP-dominated PA state house approved their new budget last night, and thanks to a lot of tricky last-minute amendments and no public input, it looks like a right wing wish list — with Gov. Tom “I’m Owned by The Gas Industry” Corbett as Santa Claus. About the only bright spot in this mess is that a last-minute push for school vouchers failed — but Corbett says he’ll bring it back in the next session. The other highlight is that the budget displaces many, many costs to the local municipalities under the guise of “preventing” tax increases:

Corbett got most of what he wanted – deep spending cuts, no new taxes on natural gas or anything else – but only after his administration pushed through a last-minute Senate measure to shift control of billions in welfare funding from the legislature to his administration.

His welfare secretary said budget needs necessitated the change. “We have a savings target to meet, and we can’t wait months and months to do it,” Gary Alexander told The Inquirer Wednesday night.

But the measure set off alarms among advocates for the poor, who portrayed it as a power grab by the executive branch that would shred the safety net for hundreds of thousands of people – most of them women and children – who depend on government assistance.

Richard Weishaupt, a lawyer with Community Legal Services in Philadelphia, said past administrations had been given temporary authority over a narrow range of welfare services, but nothing so sweeping as what the Corbett administration is seeking.
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Greeks say no

The Greek government has voted in favor of a new round of austerity cuts – securing the next multi-billion instalement of cash from the EU and staving off a default. But furious protesters have reacted violently to the vote, with battles between police and demonstrators continuing just meters from Parliament. Scenes from downtown Athens resemble a warzone – as protesters fought with riot squads amid volleys of tear gas. Hundreds of thousands of people nationwide walked off their jobs for a two day strike against the austerity cuts:

Another one bites the dust

Andy Stern, former progressive.

The dream goes on forever


So close

Hall & Oates:

Endless war

We have always been at war with Eurasia. We always will.

Our community vetoes the budget

Friday, July 1 ยท 12:00pm – 1:00pm
Philadelphia Office of Governor Corbett
200 S. Broad St.
Philadelphia, PA

Don’t take this shit lying down. No, no, no!

The Rick Smith Show

Talking about the draconian PA GOP-led budget being rammed through the state legislature tonight with Scott Walker-type amendments and no public input:

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