Archive: April, 2013
I'll bet the name Rick Odell Smith means nothing to you. I don't blame you -- his unspeakable deeds literally whizzed past for about 15-20 seconds on MSNBC this morning. But here's the not-funny thing -- Rick Odell Smith killed more Americans violently within the last 10 days than both Tsarnaev brothers put together. And his list of victims is every bit as gut-wrenching as those who perished in Boston:
After he shot his way into a home in the small town of Manchester, police say Rick Odell Smith gunned down a great-grandmother, a young couple and three young children. Then he did something that puzzled authorities.
If you're over 50 and work in a precarious industry, this comes as heartwarming news, by way of a PennLive.com interview with the Pennsylvania Secretary of Labor and Industry, Julia K. Hearthway:
But some jobs – especially higher paying ones for the over-50 set – might not be coming back. Hearthway called this a form of structural unemployment. And while she talked movingly about her interactions with many older unemployed, she stopped short of calling their employment predicament job discrimination.
It seems like just the other day we were talking about how Gov. Corbett's policies were helping to drive large numbers of Pennsylvanians out of the labor force. But, one might ask, how could this happen when the governor is executing his scheme to make Pennsylvania the fracking capital of the world? Now, the Associated Press has provided the answer, and the photo (above) to prove it.
It's all in the sausage.
Another thing that got lost in the craziness last week. Remember the Koch brothers? You know, those wild-eyed crazy oil billionaires from Wichita who fund a lot of the Tea Party (and the Cato Institute), deny climate science and want to kill anything and everything that regulates? Of course you do. Apparently, they need a bigger platform for their extremist views:
Other than financing a few fringe libertarian publications, the Kochs have mostly avoided media investments. Now, Koch Industries, the sprawling private company of which Charles G. Koch serves as chairman and chief executive, is exploring a bid to buy the Tribune Company’s eight regional newspapers, including The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Baltimore Sun, The Orlando Sentinel and The Hartford Courant.
Call this instant karma. In the angry minutes after the Senate defied the will of 90 percent of the American people and blocked a common-sense gun background provision, I saw a lot of that ire focused on one man, Montana Democratic Sen. Max Baucus, who was up for re-election in 2014 and whose vote against gun sanity felt like a major betrayal. (I think my Dad was on the brink of moving to Montana just so he could vote against Baucus). Well, this may be the ultimate case of, be careful what you wish for.
WASHINGTON - Democratic Sen. Max Baucus, the powerful Senate Finance chairman who steered President Barack Obama's health care overhaul into law but broke with his party on gun control, said Tuesday he will not run for re-election.
If you're as old as me, you remember "the Massachusetts miracle." It won a bland non-entity named Michael Dukakis the 1988 Democratic presidential nomination, as he briefly convinced the nation that his state had outperformed the nation in creating jobs during the Reagan years, and now he would bring his secret of success to the White House. Not only did Dukakis' claim not survive the unrelentingly cynical negative campaign of George H.W. Bush and Lee Atwater, but the next few years showed that "the Massachusetts miracle" was mostly "the Massachusetts mirage." The reality is that in this post-industrial economy, it's very difficult for states to outperform economically. But it's very easy to screw things up.
Consider Pennsylvania's Tom Corbett. Three years ago, he was running for a governor on a platform of "jobs, jobs, jobs." The funny thing was that, although thousands of Pennsylvanians were struggling through unemployment and other economic woes after the fiscal collapse of 2008, thoughout the Great Recession the state had suffered less than the nation. There were several reasons for that -- one of the biggest was the lack of a speculative housing market like in California, Nevada, Arizona, or Florida.