Thursday, October 2, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Ho, Ho, Ho!

For the state Legislature, the holidays are here. And the "peoples' business" is done for the year.

Ho, Ho, Ho!

(A brief discussion twixt Baer & Baer's editor, a.k.a. BE)

JB: Yo, boss, merry and happy are we!

BE: And by "we" you mean?

JB: The Capitol crowd. The Harrisburg herd. For the legislature, the holidays are here and the "peoples' business" is done for the year.

BE: Um, what business, exactly, was done?

JB: The ususal, of course: as little as possible. The Senate is gone (doesn't YOUR holiday vacation start today, too?) and the House is in a couple days next week to pass a ridiculously gerrymandered congressional districting bill.

BE: And vouchers, state stores, shale tax, highway and bridge funding?

JB: Gone, not happening, failed and not touched. Because, in the case of highway and bridges, that's actually something the public needs that would create/protect jobs and enhance public safety. And here's an account detailing flops for vouchers and shale.

BE: But surely they did something?

JB: Yep. Passed and sent to the Guv legislation to get tougher on abortion clinics.

BE: And for this we just gave them a pay raise?

JB: Well, technically, they gave it to themselves. Well-deserved, doncha think?

BE: Let me get this straight: A Republican Senate and a Republican House with a sitting Republican governor is ending a full year of legislative -- dare I say -- "work" and leaving town to celebrate the holidays with a new pay raise after taking care of its own by making silly-shaped legislative and congressional districts designed to protect incumbency and imposing new, stricter standards on legal abortion clinics that those in the medical profession say will result in some clinics closing?

JB: Couldn't have said it better myself, chief. How do you do it? And, remember, next year is an election year so the prospect of them doing ANYTHING controversial, ANYTHING to draw attention to themselves, is bleak to non-existent.

BE: Well, for those who like consistency in government...

JB: Good point! Republicans AND Democrats are sure consistent in making certain they spend tons of time and money spinning their wheels before grabbing raises and leaving town. And, don't forget, the Congress is holding up its end, proving the only Ho's aren't in Harrisburg.

BE: When you think about it, it kinda makes you want to...


BE: That's what I was thinking. 




John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
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