Thursday, February 11, 2016

Shooting Flies With Shotguns

The legislature, while hurrying to adopt a new state budget, is also taking time to attack "problems" that barely exist.

Shooting Flies With Shotguns


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

JB: Good news, boss, your state lawmakers are cracking down on the state's public problems.

BE: School funding? Joblessness? Health-care costs?

JB: I mean REAL problems. Voter fraud. Gun rights.

BE: Gun rights?

JB: Yep. The legislature just sent a "castle doctrine" bill to the Guv expanding citizen rights to blast away when threatened at home, at work, anywhere you roll.

BE: Lock & load, baby!

JB: Never mind that the spokesman for the statewide DA's association tells the online news service the bill is "a solution in search of a problem," we're not gonna let people threaten us in this state.

BE: So I can shoot a guy I don't like just for walking up my driveway, tell the cops he made a threat and get away with murder? Cool! Does the Guv sign it?

JB: You betcha. Poppa Grizzly. Grrr.

BE: And voter fraud?

JB: House is still debating it but it'll pass. It requires voter ID photos every time you vote. It's part of a national push in states controlled by the GOP. Democrats say it's a new way to discourage older people and poorer folks without drivers licenses to go through another hoop in order to vote.

BE: But it attacks the problem of voter fraud, yes?

JB: And what a problem! Inky report today on the debate notes that of six million Pennsylvanians voting in `08 a total of four were charged with fraud.

BE: Well, not next time, brother. Those four and their ilk are cooked!

JB: Yep. So what if the state starts a new program and pays for ID cards for those who need them? (By one estimate the program could cost $11 million.) We've got money to burn.

BE: Thankfully. Will it pass and will the Guv sign it?

JB: Does a bear shoot in the woods?

BE: Are you threatening me?

JB: Grrrr.




Daily News Political Columnist
We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy: comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
comments powered by Disqus
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
Also on
letter icon Newsletter