“Marriage is between one man and one child less than one-third his age.” [Via JoeMyGod.]
Gov. Tom “Secret Agent Man” Corbett is pursuing many of the same draconian budget and union-busting measures as more high-profile Republican governors, but since he so rarely holds unscripted press conferences or answers questions, I suppose the state’s media gang figures there’s nothing to cover!
Since taking office in January, Gov. Tom Corbett and his allied Republican majorities in the state House and Senate have been guided by two principles as they approach crafting a new budget: no proposal may exceed the $27.3 billion originally proposed by Corbett regardless of specific spending; any revenue derived from the booming natural gas industry must be dedicated to specific purposes rather than deposited in the general fund.
Corbett and legislative leaders view the general fund as a swirling, voracious black hole. Once public money enters the vortex, it is lost forever.
So any new revenue must be put in funds dedicated to specific purposes. Curiously, however, the rule does not seem to apply to existing funds with dedicated revenue streams.
One of the first acts of the administration, with tacit approval from the legislative majorities, was to eliminate state subsidized health insurance coverage for more than 40,000 low-income working adults under the adultBasic program. Instead, the state directed those needy workers to far less affordable skeletal plans offered by private insurances. Far fewer than 10 percent of the newly uninsured workers opted for the private plans, for which premiums range up to 500 percent of the premium under adultBasic.
Yet, a major part of the funding for adultBasic came from a dedicated revenue stream – Pennsylvania’s share of the master settlement that states reached with the tobacco industry. In 2001 the state Legislature passed and Gov. Tom Ridge signed a law creating the Tobacco Settlement fund and dedicating the revenue solely to health-related purposes – including adultBasic.
This year the state is scheduled to receive $315 million in settlement funds. But instead of using the money for the dedicated purposes established by law in 2001, the administration plans to divert some of the fund for other purposes, including $220 million for a business loan fund.
I forgot yesterday was Brian Wilson’s birthday, but we’ll make up for it today. And really, what could be more appropriate for a celebration of his music than the first day of summer?
Rachel Maddow went on a tear Thursday, condemning Democrats for forcing Anthony Weiner to resign and warning them that they have damaged themselves “probably for a generation” because of their actions.
Maddow has repeatedly decried what she views as a double standard: Weiner was forced out because of his sexts and pictures, but Republicans like David Vitter and John Ensign managed to stay in office even though they broke the law.
“Democrats have not only refused to hold Republicans accountable for the double standard, but they have joined with Republicans in piling on with the demands that Anthony Weiner had to resign even as David Vitter stays in the Senate,” Maddow said. She then went on a long monologue, listing all the Republicans and Democrats who were not forced out of office even after admitting to more serious ethical violations than Weiner.
“Anthony Weiner, who was not accused of corruption, who does not appear to have done anything illegal, who does not even appear to have had sex with any of the women with any of the people with whom he had scandalous talk and picture-taking, for him a line was drawn,” Maddow concluded, her voice bristling with anger. She then turned her focus on the media, saying that the story was actually “the media covering the media ending a man’s career.”
Maddow ended by addressing Democrats. She issued a dire warning.
“Congratulations, Democrats,” she said. “In an era of unhinged, ideological, big money conservative media that is wholly and admittedly divorced from the precepts of journalism, in hounding Anthony Weiner into resigning … you have just fed and unleashed this beast onto yourselves, probably for a generation.”
We’re never really leaving Afghanistan. Just so you know.