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19 innings

I watched until the 18th inning and finally went to bed. But it was fun!

Bill Clinton

I did not know that he was known for his plan to cut Social Security — but it doesn’t surprise me. He was an approval junkie who wanted everyone to love him — especially Wall St.

So Grover wrote a letter

To one of our Republican state senators:

When is a fee a tax? When Grover Norquist says so.

The Inquirer reported last week that anti-tax guru Norquist was the wizard behind the Oz-like fiscal contortions of the GOP-controlled state legislature, which has refused to consider raising revenue of any kind in the face of a massive debt.

It was Norquist and his D.C.-based group, Americans for Tax Reform, who advanced the “no tax” pledge signed by hundreds of elected officials, including Gov. Corbett and 34 members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly.

The state House – in keeping with Corbett’s “no way, no how” to new taxes – has buried any proposals to place a levy on Marcellus Shale natural gas extraction.

But this month Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R., Jefferson) bit the bullet and offered up a shale gas “impact fee” with proceeds funneled to affected areas.

Over in the governor’s office, Corbett remains unwavering in his campaign-era hard line over tax increases, but in recent months has shown some hint of openness – if not support – of the prospect of an “impact fee.

Until now.

Because Grover -arbiter of all things fiscal throughout the land – said so.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette today reports that Norquist sent a letter to Sen. Mary Jo White (R., Venango) whose committee would have to consider the shale fee pronouncing it, in fact, a tax.

“Make no mistake, this proposal is a tax increase based on any honest and objective analysis,” Norquist wrote.

“As such, a vote in favor of Senate Bill 1100 also represents a violation of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, a commitment which Gov. Corbett and 34 members of the legislature have made to their constituents to impose any and all efforts to raise taxes.”

I wonder who voted for this guy. Oh, that’s right: NOBODY.

Awkward

That Joe’s boys would be caught breaking the law like that.

‘Because it’s free’

You remember Rep. Rob Woodall – he’s the GOP asshole who told people at a public meeting that they should start taking responsibility for their own health care instead of letting their employers do it:

Daily Bernie

Gov. Corbett shuns disability activists

What a worm. He wouldn’t even talk to them? I forgot, his office is only for rich people:

Activists asked Tom Corbett to talk about his draconian cuts to services for the disabled. Instead of acting like an adult and discussing their issues with them he sent out the capital police to make sure they didn’t go into his office. For several hours the activists held a sit-in and chanted outside the governors office with promises of being back after the legislative break.

PA’s Gas Company Protection Agency

The think that stinks is the filthy Corbett Administration in PA:

Something stinks around a Marcellus Shale wastewater reservoir operated by Range Resources in Amwell, Washington County, according to local resident’s lawsuit, but a state inspector said administrators told him to ignore complaints.

The lawsuit, filed Monday in Commonwealth Court in Harrisburg by Beth Voyles, states that John Carson, a Department of Environmental Protection field inspector, said superiors in Harrisburg and the southwest DEP regional office in Pittsburgh told him he was not permitted to accept any complaints, investigate or file any citations against Range for noxious odors allegedly coming from the reservoir known as the “Yeager impoundment.”

The court case comes as the DEP struggles with news reports about procedural changes that require field inspectors to get approval from administrators in Harrisburg before issuing violation notices to Marcellus Shale drilling operations or other state agencies.

The lawsuit asks the court to force the DEP to accept and investigate Ms. Voyles complaint, take water, soil and air samples and issue notices of violation if warranted.

Civil liberties?

Ah hell, we weren’t using them anyway, right?

You may think you understand how the Patriot Act allows the government to spy on its citizens. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) says it’s worse than you’ve heard.

Congress is set to reauthorize three controversial provisions of the surveillance law as early as Thursday. But Wyden says that what Congress will renew is a mere fig leaf for a far broader legal interpretation of the Patriot Act that the government keeps to itself — entirely in secret. Worse, there are hints that the government uses this secret interpretation to gather what one Patriot-watcher calls a “dragnet” for massive amounts of information on private citizens; the government portrays its data-collection efforts much differently.

“We’re getting to a gap between what the public thinks the law says and what the American government secretly thinks the law says,” Wyden tells Danger Room in an interview in his Senate office. “When you’ve got that kind of a gap, you’re going to have a problem on your hands.”

What exactly does Wyden mean by that? As a member of the intelligence committee, he laments that he can’t precisely explain without disclosing classified information. But one component of the Patriot Act in particular gives him immense pause: the so-called “business-records provision,” which empowers the FBI to get businesses, medical offices, banks and other organizations to turn over any “tangible things” it deems relevant to a security investigation.

“It is fair to say that the business-records provision is a part of the Patriot Act that I am extremely interested in reforming,” Wyden says. “I know a fair amount about how it’s interpreted, and I am going to keep pushing, as I have, to get more information about how the Patriot Act is being interpreted declassified. I think the public has a right to public debate about it.”

Fucking commie.
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Master class

Eric Clapton on how he gets his distinctive sound (h/t Karl):

Eric Clapton interview and guitar demo 1968 from Robb Navrides on Vimeo.

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