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Wingnuts love to cut higher education, because they much prefer for-profit trade schools:

The Republican’s budget slashes overall state support for public universities by 17 percent to $1.4 billion.

Three of the four state-related universities, scandal-plagued Penn State and Temple Universities and the University of Pittsburgh, would all see their state funding reduced by about 30 percent.

And taxpayer support for the 14 state-owned universities, which includes Kutztown and East Stroudsburg universities, decreases from the current $413 million to $330 million in the administration’s spending proposal. That’s an overall decrease of 20.1 percent.

Corbett said those reductions show the state needs to rethink how it funds higher education. He said his administration would create a panel, led by former state Sen. Rob Wonderling, “to study our system and to make recommendations on how our universities can best serve the students and citizens of this new century.

“We need to have a thorough, public and candid conversation about how best to deal with the spiraling costs and our own obligations,” Corbett said.

Rep. Gary Day, R-Berks, whose district includes Kutztown University, said he wants to take a closer look at the administration’s proposed reductions to “make sure they do not harm the operations” of the state-owned school.

The budget slashes Penn State’s funding by $64 million, from the current $228 million to $163.4 million starting July 1.

Funding for Pitt drops from $136 million to $95.2 million; Temple’s funding drops from $140 million to $98 million and the fourth state-related school, Lincoln University, is flat-funded at $11.1 million.

Prop 8

Court didn’t rule gay marriage is a right — only that singling them out as not having the right is unconstitutional.

Half-truths about the job market

If the people who run the corporate media weren’t cowardly, crooked, or just plain lazy, they would have reported the sobering facts presented yesterday in a Reader Supported News piece by economist Robert Reich. More here.

Frackin’ Democrats

Mary Landrieu is almost always a worthless piece of corrupt shit (I throw in that caveat on the off chance that she doesn’t sexually molest children, but confines herself to poisoning their water supply). http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/wyoming-fracking-report-6652109#ixzz1lhkMLMWF“>Charlie Pierce:

Landrieu and a Republican senator from Ohio named Rob Portman have joined their oily hands to jack around with an upcoming EPA report on fracking-related groundwater contamination in Wyoming. The EPA already has made it known that the report will be both specific and damning as regards the reckless way the fracking procedures have been used in Wyoming and the terrible consequences that may result:

The EPA found that compounds likely associated with fracking chemicals had been detected in the groundwater beneath Pavillion, a small community in central Wyoming where residents say their well water reeks of chemicals. Health officials last year advised them not to drink their water after the EPA found low levels hydrocarbons in their wells.

Now why should a senator from Ohio and another one from Louisiana want to slow-walk an EPA report about groundwater contamination in Wyoming? Because they’re both a couple of ‘ho’s, that’s why. Landrieu’s been in the pocket of the extraction industries for so long that she probably has dryer lint in her ears, and Portman wants to be re-elected and so needs some of that sweet-sweet crude cash to do so. So the two of them draft a letter to Cass (Middle Ground) Sunstein complaining that the EPA might go too harshly on the frackers in Wyoming:

A false-positive link between hydraulic fracturing and groundwater contamination could form the basis for costly new regulation…. Unwarranted regulation of hydraulic fracturing could have substantial economic impact on the natural gas industry, the consumers and businesses that rely on it, and the millions of jobs that it directly or indirectly supports.  There is little doubt that the regulatory response that this report could generate may exceed the $500 million threshold.

This is a threat, pure and simple. Get the EPA to soft-pedal its report or there will be hell to pay over this during an election year. And to hell with what might be going on right now with the water people are drinking in Wyoming. That a Democratic senator has signed onto this dangerous nonsense should give us all pause, but no real surprise. I’m sure there’s some common ground to be found between the needs of energy companies to make every buck they can and the needs of the people whose tapwater explodes.

Trial tax

Yes, there’s something very wrong with a system that punishes you like this for not taking a plea bargain.

All these people, whining about the weather

We’ve always had weather, what’s the big deal?

“The question is not whether sea ice loss is affecting the large-scale atmospheric circulation…. It’s how can it not?” That was the take-home message from Dr. Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University, in her talk “Does Arctic Amplification Fuel Extreme Weather in Mid-Latitudes?”, presented at last week’s American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco.

Dr. Francis presented new research in review for publication, which shows that Arctic sea ice loss may significantly affect the upper-level atmospheric circulation, slowing its winds and increasing its tendency to make contorted high-amplitude loops. High-amplitude loops in the upper level wind pattern (and associated jet stream) increases the probability of persistent weather patterns in the Northern Hemisphere, potentially leading to extreme weather due to longer-duration cold spells, snow events, heat waves, flooding events, and drought conditions.

Big deal! It’s cold, turn up the friggin’ heat! Okay, so it might cost a little more… and you might be out of work… and we might be running out of oil anyway… but I’m sure someone, somewhere will figure something out!

I’d almost forgotten such things were even possible. Hallelujah!

One of the largest companies that provided home foreclosure services to lenders across the nation, DocX, has been indicted on forgery charges by a Missouri grand jury — one of the few criminal actions to follow reports of widespread improprieties against homeowners.

A grand jury in Boone County, Mo., handed up an indictment Friday accusing DocX of 136 counts of forgery in the preparation of documents used to evict financially strained borrowers from their homes. Lorraine O. Brown, the company’s founder and former president, was indicted on the same charges.

Employees of DocX, a unit of Lender Processing Services of Jacksonville, Fla., executed and notarized millions of mortgage documents for big banks and loan servicers over the years. Lender Processing closed the company in April 2010, after evidence emerged of apparent forgeries in these documents, a practice now called robo-signing.

Chris Koster, the Missouri attorney general, will prosecute the case. “The grand jury indictment alleges that mass-produced fraudulent signatures on notarized real estate documents constitutes forgery,” Mr. Koster said in a statement. “Today’s indictment reflects our firm conviction that when you sign your name to a legal document, it matters.”

Security

Lately we’ve been inundated with Comcast ads for their new home security systems.

You knew it wouldn’t be that easy, right?

What I learned about anti-virals

You can be going along just fine, with your shingles pain a fading memory, but if you take your medicine a mere hour later than usual, the pain will return to remind you and it will take another 24 hours or so to get back to that relatively pain-free state. Just sayin’!

Bye, Karen

In a bit of irony, I’d just like to point out that Karen Handel was a relatively moderate Republican who morphed into a gay-hatin’, pro “family-values” icon because she was beaten up so badly in an election for not being conservative enough.

In any event, looks like she’s leaving the Komen Foundation. I wonder which wingnut welfare job is waiting for America’s Own Martyr?

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